Archive for April, 2013

FanGraphs After Dark Chat – 4/30/13

Paul Swydan: Hi everybody!

Join us live at 9 pm ET for all of the baseballing action that you’ll let us cram down your cramhole! Get your questions in now, and I’ll put up a bunch of polls too, because polls are fun.

Chris Cwik: My fantasy team had a -3 yesterday. Screw fantasy baseball. Let’s talk actual baseball.

Paul Swydan: Just finished listening to Katy Feeney tell Buster Olney why the schedule is the way the schedule is on his podcast. I remember meeting with Katy waayyyyy back in 2006, and getting the chance to ask her the same questions. She’s the best. Let’s do this!

Paul Swydan: 2006? 2005 maybe? Whatever. I’m old.

Comment From jeff
why does cj wilson suck so much?

Paul Swydan: Well, it’s not because he uses Head & Shoulders, that’s for darn sure!!!

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On an Intentional Ball Thrown to Albert Pujols

Monday night and Tuesday morning, the A’s and Angels played a game for the ages, a 19-inning affair that saw the hosts rally in the ninth and the 15th before walking off in the game’s seventh hour. The game featured 18 runs and nearly 600 pitches, and in the end, the A’s improved to 15-12, while the Angels fell to something much worse than that. Generally, such games are immediately thought of as turning points, and generally, such games don’t go on to work that way. But this was a game that few will forget, regardless, simply because the duration grew to be so extreme.

FanGraphs isn’t in the business of issuing game recaps, particularly several hours after the fact. But still, some attention to the game should be paid, and I’m electing to focus on a particular intentional ball. With two out in the top of the 11th inning, Grant Balfour intentionally walked Albert Pujols. We consider the 3-and-0 pitch.

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Very Urgent Scouting Report: Skip Schumaker, Pitcher

While it goes without saying that the present site is required reading for all of baseball’s most progressive front offices, it’s also the case that no post at the site today will be read more hungrily or with such hunger as this one — which post is a very urgent scouting report on Skip Schumaker, who both (a) is a middle infielder for the Dodgers and (b) threw a scoreless inning for that same team on Monday night (box).

Schumaker’s fastball — in relief, at least — bears striking resemblance to an average major-league one, sitting at about 88-90 mph and with similar rise and arm-side run.

Irrefutable proof of same is contained within this animated GIF:

Schumaker FA

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Josh Hamilton Is Swinging Himself Into Oblivion

Josh Hamilton is the most aggressive hack in baseball. This isn’t news, of course, but to put his hacktastic ways in context, here is where Hamilton’s swing rates rank among batters with 500+ PAs in the last year.

O-Swing%: 42.7% (150th of 151)
Z-Swing: 82.0% (151st of 151)
Swing%: 57.9% (150th of 151)
Zone%: 38.8% (151st of 151)
Contact%: 64.9% (151st of 151)

The only guy who has swung the bat more often than Hamilton is Delmon Young, but 46.1% of the pitches Young has been thrown have been in the strike zone. Hamilton is pitched around more than any other hitter in the game, and yet he swings more often than anyone, with the exception of one replacement level scrub.

Josh Hamilton has always been an aggressive hitter. Josh Hamilton has a career major league batting line of .301/.360/.542. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

Well, it is broke(n), but most importantly, this isn’t the approach that made Josh Hamilton an elite Major League player. This approach is new, and if he doesn’t make some changes in a hurry, he’s on his way to becoming the new Ryan Howard.

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Stetson Allie, Pirates Press The Reset Button

Stetson Allie sat, staring at the ground as Rockies farmhand Drew Beuerlein verbally tore into him. Moments before, the 240-pound Allie delivered a glancing blow on a home plate collision, unable to jar the ball loose from the 24-year-old catcher. As teammates took the field, Allie continued to sit as if he’d been shaken up during impact. The pitcher-turned-first-baseman eventually rose to his feet and gingerly took two steps towards the third base dugout before he quickened his pace.

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Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 4/30/13

9:02 Jeff Sullivan: I’m the least late I’ve been in months!
9:02 Jeff Sullivan: Reminder #1: I am not a fantasy baseball expert
9:02 Jeff Sullivan: Reminder #2: I am not a baseball expert
9:02 Jeff Sullivan: Remember #3: There are hundreds, if not thousands of questions submitted in the queue over the course of a chat, so I have no prayer of keeping up.
9:02 Jeff Sullivan: Now we begin with the baseball chat!
9:03 Comment From BlueJaysFan1
omg help. say something nice. do something helppppp!

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Daily Notes: Regarding Yu Darvish’s Start Tonight, Mostly

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.

1. Featured Game: Chicago AL at Texas, 20:05 ET
2. Other Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

Featured Game: Chicago AL at Texas, 20:05 ET
Regarding This Game, What Makes It Notable
In terms of what makes this game notable, that’s largely due to how Texas right-hander Yu Darvish is starting it for Texas.

Regarding This Game, What’d Make It Even More Notable
What’d make this game even more notable is if Texas right-hander Yu Darvish were somehow starting it for Chicago, instead.

Regarding Yu Darvish, What Makes Him Notable
When you talk about a pitcher, you’re talking about someone whose objective is to prevent runs. And when you talk about a pitcher’s ability to prevent runs, you’re generally talking about his ability to record strikeouts and induce ground balls while also limiting walks. Darvish has done those things to such a degree (39.8% K, 8.1% BB, 59.0% GB) as we would expect him to concede fewer than two earned runs for every nine innings.

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More MLB Highlights Now On YouTube, But It’s Not All Skittles And Puppies

Major League Baseball Advanced Media and YouTube announced an expanded partnership on Monday that will result in thousands more hours of baseball highlights that will be available for free on the video site. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the content of the highlights and the timing of their availability on YouTube will continue to be strictly controlled by MLBAM. In other words, fans with dusty VHS collections will continue to receive take-down notices from MLBAM and YouTube if they upload their favorite games or highlights.

Still, the expanded MLB-YouTube agreement is a step in the right direction for baseball fans hungry for free content.

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Q&A: Mike Carp, 1.364 OPS [Small Sample Size]

The sample size is small — just 24 plate appearances — but the numbers still jump off the page. Four weeks into the season, Mike Carp is hitting a stratospheric.455/.500/.864. Seven of his 10 hits have gone for extra bases.

The 26-year-old outfielder will obviously come back to earth, but he still might be one of the best under-the-radar acquisitions of the off-season. The Red Sox acquired him from the Mariners in February for a PTBNL.

Carp was an enigma in Seattle. In parts of four seasons, he hit .255/.327/.413 and occasionally drove baseballs long distances. What he didn’t do is prove that he could stay healthy and provide consistent production. Jettisoned to Boston, he is intent on proving he is capable of both. Only time will tell, but Carp is swinging a hot bat.


Carp on his hot start: “Being healthy is a big part of it. I missed a lot of time last year with the shoulder injury, so it’s about finding my rhythm. The more reps I get, the better I see the ball and better rhythm I have.

“I wasn’t getting at bats the first couple weeks of the season, but I’ve gotten a few lately and that’s helped me lock in a little more. I feel great at the plate. I’m just trying to stay short and use the whole field. I’m going up there with a good plan and sticking to it. I kind of got away from it [Saturday] and had a rough night, but I rebounded [Sunday] and got back to what’s working for me.

“I’m itching for as many at bats as I can possibly get, but I also understand the concept of a team. We have a very deep bench and it’s nice to be able to keep guys fresh.”

On hitting at Fenway Park: Read the rest of this entry »

Effectively Wild Episode 192: Stephen Strasburg’s New Injury Scare/The Underhyped Manny Machado

Ben and Sam discuss the news about Stephen Strasburg’s forearm and talk about why Manny Machado’s performance this season hasn’t gotten more attention.