by Tyler Wasserman | @tylerwasserman | email@example.com |
Over the course of about an hour, the Yankees completely changed 40% of their starting rotation. They shocked the baseball world by trading penciled-in DH Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi to Seattle for starting pitcher Michael Pineda and prospect Jose Campos. Pineda will slide into the #2 spot in the Yankees rotation, while Campos will likely begin the season in either the A or AA level. Then, about an hour later, news broke that the Yankees had also signed Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year, $10 million contract.
Let’s start with the two main players of the trade with the Mariners: Jesus Montero and Michael Pineda. Montero is widely considered to be one of the top, if not the best hitting prospect in all of baseball. However, the Yankees clearly did not feel he would be an adequate catcher, as they’ve tried to deal him before and were very hesitant to put him behind the plate during his September call-up last year. With Mark Teixeira holding down 1B for the foreseeable future, that would leave Montero as strictly a DH with the Yankees for years to come.
Pineda, on the other hand, has the potential to be a number one starter. He finished 2011 with 9.11 K/9 and only 2.89 BB/9, both extremely impressive numbers for a 22-year-old rookie pitcher. The main concern with Pineda is his 5.12 post All-Star break ERA. While it’s never good to see pitchers fade that much in the second half of the season, I don’t think there’s cause for concern with Pineda.
Here’s how the 2011 Rule 5 Draft went down:
Stats for 2011 season; former teams in parentheses
1. Houston Astros draft RHP Rhiner Cruz (NYM)
At Double-A Binghamton: 3-2, 7 SV, 36 G, 59.1 IP, 7.74 K/9, 5.92 BB/9, 4.40 ERA, 4.58 FIP
“Cruz has a big fastball, throws regularly in the mid-90s, but his control and his offspeed stuff are both well below average right now. I don’t think he has a great chance to stick.” – Ben Badler,
2. Minnesota Twins draft RHP Terry Doyle (CWS)
At Double-A Birmingham: 7-5, 15 GS, 100.0 IP, 6.57 K/9, 1.98 BB/9, 3.24 ERA, 3.56 FIP
“Doyle is a righthander with guile who lacks a plus pitch but knows how to set up hitters. He helped his chances of being picked with an excellent Arizona Fall League performance. He certainly understands the geometry of pitching, consistently getting outs with his command and a cut fastball. Doyle’s 88-92 fastball did pick up as the season progressed and he touched 93-94 mph in Arizona. Doyle confuses hitters who don’t know him, as he often pitches backward, using breaking pitches to set up his fastball. He throws four pitches for strikes, including a biting slider and a high-70s change up.” – J.J. Cooper,
With Baseball’s Winter Meetings in Dallas, Texas underway, it’s perfect timing to dive into the free agent pool. This is the second part of our nine-part series entitled Set You Free, which takes a position-by-position look at this offseason’s free agency market. Today, Jesse Behr goes over available backstops.
Last week, in the span of six days, five catchers were taken off the market: Jake Fox signed with the Pirates and Carlos Corporan with the Astros to minor league deals, Ryan Doumit will head to Minnesota and Jose Molina to Tampa Bay on one-year deals, and Ramon Hernandez to Colorado on a two-year $6.4 million deal. Hernandez theoretically swapped spots with Chris Iannetta, who was traded to the Angels for right-hander Tyler Chatwood.
I like to talk. I like to talk a lot. Most of the time, I have things worth saying. Sometimes, it just flies right over people’s heads. Regardless of what I’m saying, how I’m saying it never comes out quite perfect. Doesn’t matter whether I’m talking baseball or chatting with a babe from the SU Volleyball team (which, come on folks, it’s clear there isn’t much of a difference for me at this point), the chances I exactly what I want to say are not high.
However, this is not the case with statistics.
Elite Defenders is one of many projects already underway at FoI that allows statistics to speak for both us and speak up for themselves. I’ve sat down with my buddy Tom Barrile countless times this semester, arguing for hours on end whether or not baseball is the superior sport over football (obviously, as everyone deep-down knows, it is). What we CAN’T ARGUE is the number of television viewers that watch the MLB postseason compared to the NFL playoffs.
In September of 2006, PROTRADE.com (a ‘sports stock market’ website) released an article on their picks for the Gold Glove winners that season. In the article, the PROTRADE staff wrote that “traditional fielding statistics don’t measure range, perhaps the most important trait of a solid glove man. Errors tell us how a player does when they get to the ball — but what about when he doesn’t?”
PROTRADE used a system that measured the direction and distance of every hit so as to compare every fielder’s performance with the historical averages at that ballpark. Their statistic was (ironically enough, given the name Moneyball Fielding Runs (or MBF).
Five years later, the baseball community has two stats PROTRADE could not work with: Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs Saved. According to our friends at FanGraphs.com, UZR puts “a run value to defense, attempting to quantify how many runs a player saved or gave up through their fielding prowess” while DRS “captures a player’s total defensive value … comparable to UZR.”