Archive for March, 2011

ERA-, FIP- , xFIP-

Last night I rolled out ERA-, FIP-, and xFIP- to the site. These are all park and league adjusted and basically your pitching equivalent of wRC+, except that lower is better, with 100 still being average.

You can read more about ERA- (or as it’s called in the article, aERA) here.

These are now available in all the player pages and leaderboards.

One other quick addition was adding Shutdowns (SD) and Meltdowns (MD) to the player pages.

Opening Day Notes: Kershaw vs. Lincecum

Opening Day’s most anticipated matchup is that of the Kershaw vs. that of the Lincecum. How anticipated you ask? The latest issue of Dodgers Magazine was appropriately dubbed “explosive openings” and will only be on sale at Dodger Stadium on Opening Day. And it features both Clayton Kershaw and Tim Lincecum on its front cover much to the ire of many (or a very few) Dodgers fans.

To help you out when you watch the game tonight, let’s take a look at the pitch selection of both aces, as Kershaw and Lincecum mix their repertoires very differently. Kershaw relies heavily on his low-to-mid 90s four-seam fastball, hurling it on at least 70% of pitches throughout his Major League career. His 12-6 low-70s curve ball was the talk of Tinseltown a few years ago, but Kershaw has since developed a low-80s slider. It has become his favorite secondary pitch, used almost 20% of the time in 2010. His straight changeup hovers in the mid-80s range.

By contrast, Lincecum’s out pitch is his sinking changeup, which he adds a split-fingered grip to. Combined with his mid-80s hard slider and high-70s curve, Lincecum’s repertoire also consists of fastballs that cut, break, and rise in all sorts of directions. Timmy breaks out the fastball on 55% of pitches with varying speeds and movement, anywhere between 87 and 95 mph, then throws the changeup, curve, and slider in that order of frequency.

Read the rest of this entry »

Replacing Brad Lidge

The offseason may have brought lofty expectations upon the Philadelphia Phillies, but recent preseason injuries have put a damper on that excitement. The latest Phil to fall victim to the injury bug is closer Brad Lidge, who will miss 3-6 weeks before he can begin throwing again. When healthy, Lidge has proven to be one of the most dominant relievers in the game. To replace that dominance, the Phillies have annointed Jose Contreras as their interim closer. With Ryan Madson reprising his role as a top set-up man, will the Phillies even miss Lidge?
Read the rest of this entry »

One Night Only! (Opening Day 2011 Edition)

Just as last year, I’ll be previewing the most notable games of the day, where notable means something like, “interesting, for one reason or another, for the smarter baseballing fan.”

The NERD scores that all of America has come to love will be available at the end of April, probably.

Milwaukee at Cincinnati | 2:10pm ET
Starting Pitchers
Brewers: Yovani Gallardo
159.7 IP, 9.92 K/9, 3.83 BB/9, .313 BABIP, 3.29 FIP, 117 ERA+ (ZiPS)

Reds: Edinson Volquez
108.1 IP, 9.56 K/9, 4.57 BB/9, .293 BABIP, 3.80 FIP, 115 ERA+ (ZiPS)

Read the rest of this entry »

Opening Day Chat (Also)

Opening Day Chat

2011 Organizational Rankings: #1 – New York

The big dog of big dogs, the Yankees continue to show what an organization can do with access to massive amounts of cash and the understanding of how to use it. They’re not perfect, but they’re still the gold standard for clubs in Major League Baseball. The Yankee brand has never been stronger.

Present Talent: 94.00 (1st)

Yankees Season Preview

Future Talent: 90.00 (t-3rd)

Yankees Top 10 Prospects

Financial Resources: 93.18 (1st)
Baseball Operations: 87.00 (3rd)

Overall Rating: 91.40 (1st)

Read the rest of this entry »

2011 Organizational Rankings: #2 – Boston

At this point in the ratings, there aren’t any surprises. I imagine there weren’t too many surprises about the top few spots even before this series began. While I imagine few would see the Red Sox as anything other than one of the top organizations in baseball, the particulars of the rating do hold some interest.

Present Talent – 89.55 (3rd)

Red Sox Season Preview

Future Talent – 85.00 (t-5th)

Red Sox Top 10 Prospects

Financial Resources – 90.83 (2nd)
Baseball Operations – 89.55 (2nd)

Overall Rating – 89.25 (2nd)

Read the rest of this entry »

2011 Organizational Rankings: #3 – Philadelphia

It’s hard to argue with sustained success, and the Phillies have experienced just that. They have won the NL East in each of the last four seasons and have turned that into two World Series appearances and one title. It’s also arguable that they were the best team in the NL in 2010. The FanGraphs staff thinks they’re the best NL club in 2011 and beyond.

Present Talent – 92.50 (2nd)

Phillies Season Preview

Future Talent – 90.00 (t-3rd)

Phillies Top 10 Prospects

Financial Resources – 88.08 (3rd)
Baseball Operations – 84.17 (t-7th)

Overall Rating – 88.71

Read the rest of this entry »

2011 Organizational Rankings: #4 – Tampa Bay

Already ranking near the bottom in terms of financial ability, the Tampa Bay Rays took a hit on the field with the loss of several key players this offseason. On the other hand, having a smart baseball operations department, a talented major league roster, and a loaded farm system will go a long way in offsetting the mass exodus from Tampa Bay this winter.

Present Talent – 89.17 (4th)

Rays Season Preview

Future Talent – 95.00 (T-1st)

Rays Top 30 Prospects

Financial Resources – 72.69 (T-22nd)
Baseball Operations -91.67 (1st)

Overall Ranking – 85.72 (4th)

Read the rest of this entry »