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September 27, 2009

I apologize for the lack of posting recently- school has started up for me and I’m already overwhelmed with work, while working on some projects for a series of sabermetric awards that I’ll begin presenting at the end of the regular season. So here are a few links of some articles, along with some random thoughts…

Giants-related news first:

-Here’s a beautiful article written by Kevin Fagan on the Villalona case. Fagan does an outstanding job reporting the situation in La Romana and how the two sides see Villalona differently- Villalona is seen by many to be a loving, caring individual that loves to give, while the other claims that his newfound wealth has changed him. It remains to be seen whether or not Angel is guilty of these charges. Either he’ll be spending around twenty years in prison or he’ll come back to play for the Giants with some question marks about his personality.

-Speaking of personality issues, there are some rumors floating about that the Giants could be interested in acquiring Milton Bradley. Bradley is owed about $21 million over the next two years, and it’s assumed that the Giants would be shipping gritty center fielder Aaron Rowand back to Chicago. Bradley’s OBP and overall hitting would be a welcome addition to the Giants’ lineup, but he hasn’t started more than 130 games since 2004. Not only can he not stay healthy, but he is the quintessential “clubhouse cancer” that the Giants have seemingly been trying to avoid ever since they acquired A.J. Pierzynski years ago. Is it worth shipping off Rowand and saving about $12-15 million for two years of Bradley? I’m not entirely sure. I’d feel like I’d be selling my soul to the devil.

-Freddy Sanchez will need surgery this offseason to repair his left knee. The Giants will be either exercising his option for 2010 or they’ll attempt to restructure his contract for a two-year deal. There are a lot of Giants fans that are angry with the fact that we dealt Tim Alderson for an injured second baseman, but they seem to overlook the fact that Alderson simply isn’t that good. Yes, he was the second best pitching prospect in the Giants’ system. But that’s a relative term. We don’t have the depth of, say, the Tampa Bay Rays. Alderson is a mid-rotation starter at best who will most likely be a back of the rotation starter or a reliever. He has a below average fastball, good command, a plus curve, and iffy mechanics. That doesn’t usually indicate superstardom. Rest assured, Sanchez will come back.

-Harry Pavlidis of Beyond the Box Score asks if the Giants should back off of Tim Lincecum. And the answer is…yes, yes they should. A declining velocity rate is certainly a telling sign, in addition to his recent back soreness, that the Giants should be careful with Tim. Lincecum led the Majors in Pitcher Abuse Points in 2008 by a whopping 62,699 points. Lincecum also led the league in “STRESS,” by 20 points. This year, Tim is second to only Justin Verlander in PAP and is second in STRESS to Verlander as well. Considering that the Giants have a 0.12% chance of making the playoffs, it would seem imperative to the future of The Franchise to shut him down for the rest of the season, Cy Young chances be damned. Bruce Bochy, I hope you’re listening. But of course you’re not. This is the same manager that didn’t want to hear the medical staff tell him that Tim needed extra rest.

Around the Majors…

-R.J. Anderson has a nice post about the perception of Alex Rodriguez’s “un-clutchness” and compares him to…well, Derek Jeter. Looks like the perception of Yankee fans is incorrect. By the way, before anyone begins to whine that something isn’t being accounted for- trust me, it is. WPA is what we call a “story-telling stat.” It quantifies literally every single situation in the game.

-Joe Posnanski talks about Zack Greinke’s amazing season. It’ll be blasphemy if Zack doesn’t win the Cy Young. I just don’t see how he can’t. And for those that claim the Cy Young should go to a pitcher that leads his team to the postseason, I’d like to remind you that Cy himself only went there twice in his 22-year career. There’s also the argument that it should go to the pitcher with the most amount of wins, and that doesn’t make much sense either. First of all, wins are not under a pitcher’s control on a single-season basis. Second of all, while Cy is the winningest pitcher in Baseball history, he’s also racked up the most losses. Cy isn’t even top 10 in winning percentage for his career- he’s tied for 72nd overall with Bob Lemon.

-Baseball America has released a Top 50 list of prospects for the 2010 draft. Unsurprisingly, Bryce Harper is at the top of the list for collegiate prospects. Right-hander Jameson Taillon is currently ranked as the top high school prospect. I remember seeing him pitch in the AFLAC game and was impressed. Here’s a clip of his mechanics– they seem fine to me, except for his follow-through, but I’ll leave it to the “mechanics gurus” to make a more informed opinion.

Well, that’s all the time I’ve got for now. Hopefully I’ll be able to find some time to post again soon.

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