October 29, 2009 at 3:43 pm by Capitol Avenue Club under Stat Leaders
Here are the final Stinginess Ranks standings of 2009:
|4.||New York Yankees|
|t-20.||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|23.||Chicago White Sox|
|24.||New York Mets|
|29.||Los Angeles Angels|
I’m surprised by very little. LAA being next to last surprises me a bit. But they run a lot and in turn, make a lot of outs on the base paths. San Francisco wasn’t even close to 29th, by the way. The inefficiency metric I calculate to compute these rankings was, for the Giants, 25% more than the 29th ranked team. They were god awful in 2009, shouldn’t have been close to a playoff berth. Kansas City really shot up these rankings. They were 29th in my first and 2nd installment of this series, but they’re tied for 15th, now.
Boston, despite ranking 28th in defensive efficiency, made virtually zero outs on the base paths (they ranked 4th in my base running efficiency metric) and was 2nd in MLB in OBP, so they’re a pretty stingy team (#3). They could certainly stand to perform better on defense, though.
Atlanta ranked 11th in OBP, 21st in defensive efficiency, and 20th in base running efficiency. Their ranking of 14 overall is up from 26th in the first installment and 20th in the 2nd installment. They really did get better as the season went on.
Despite having a manager constantly being accused of “over-managing”, the Yankees ranked 4th. Has a lot to do with their .362 team OBP (beyond ridiculous). They were also top-half in both DE and BRE.
I’d say these rankings have been a success. While they’re not particularly useful beyond entertainment, they do tell us something and they are fun. I’ll continue to do them next year.
October 22, 2009 at 5:46 pm by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Chipper Jones, Stat Leaders, Statistical Analysis
When you mention “2008″ to a Braves fan, he usually thinks of a few things. First off, how bad that team was. They finished with a 72-90 record, their worst since 1990. Fundamentally, they weren’t that bad, but it was such a large deviation from the norm that Braves fans remember it distinctly. A 72-90 season is nothing to a Reds fan, it’s quite a big deal to a Braves fan. Secondly, they remember how the pitching staff was slowly dismantled by injuries. First, predictably, Hampton, then Moylan, then Smoltz, then Glavine, then Hudson, etc… There were virtually no noteworthy performances among pitchers apart from a rookie and a 29-year old minor-league free agent Mexican League veteran. Again, this is a huge deviation from the norm. For 15 years the Braves had one of the best staffs in baseball, they had one of the worst in 2008. Third, they remember the team’s terrible fortunes in 1-run games. An 11-30 (.268 winning percentage) record in 1-run games kept any false hope for that team to make the playoffs at bay. Fourth, Jeff Francouer. Everything about him. How he was so fucking terrible but idiotic fans were too fucking dense to realize. How he was an insufferable fucking jerk, a complete son of a bitch, whining about getting sent down and refusing to admit he was hurting the team with his sub-.290 OBP. How the organization was so god damn slow reacting to it. How they immediately caved to his (or perhaps his sponsors) desires and recalled him nearly immediately after sending him down when it was beyond clear that he didn’t belong on a MLB roster. Just Jeff Francoeur in general.
But this is not a Jeff Francoeur post. There are a few other things fans recall. Trading Teixeira, Kotsay, Bobby breaking the ejection record, etc. But that’s generally the taste of 2008 Braves fans have in their mouth. I intentionally left something to remember off my list, though. Chipper Jones winning the batting title.
Not just Chipper winning the batting title, Chipper’s season in general. Chipper Jones hit .364 in 2008. .364. Take a minute to let that sink in. That .364 figure ranks 3rd this decade by a NL hitter, behind Barry Bonds’ .370 in 2002 and Todd Helton’s .372 in 2000, which shouldn’t really count with Coors Field and everything. Though Helton did hit .353 and post a 1.074 OPS away from Coors that year, it’s not like he was a bum who got really lucky, though the Coors effect does cheapen it.
But stop and think for a second, Chipper Jones hit .364. That’s not just a high batting average, that’s not just a batting title-worthy average, that’s a once-in-a-lifetime average for the best of hitters. Chipper Jones was hitting .400 on June 18. Halfway through the season, he was hitting FOUR-HUNDRED. I’m being intentionally emphatic here because I feel like Braves fans tend to view everything that went on in 2008 as pejorative and, thus, we look at Chipper’s season and say, eh, “he only played in 128 games” or “his OPS was only 1.044″ or “he only hit 22 HR”. It doesn’t matter, .364 is something that speaks for itself, regardless of everything else. I talk about secondary offense a lot in this space. But this isn’t intended to be one of those super-analytical pieces that scrutinizes walk rate and HR/FB ratios, this is art. Chipper’s batting title was beautiful. One of the greatest seasons by an Atlanta Brave ever.
More impressive than Chipper’s .364 batting average was his .470 on-base percentage. Let me repeat that. Chipper Jones posted a .470 on-base percentage in 2008. He safely reached first base in exactly 47 percent of his plate appearances. It’s often stated that the gold standard for the slash stats is .300/.400/.500. .300 is the gold standard for batting average, .400 is the gold standard for on-base percentage, and .500 is the gold standard for slugging percentage. Only 9% of players each season post a .400 OBP or better. Getting on base at a .400 clip is, in itself, both an outstanding accomplishment and sufficient to make one a productive player. Chipper didn’t just post a .400 OBP, though, he posted a .470 OBP. As Joe Posnanski notes, Chipper’s numbers are sometimes easily forgotten because of the era in which we play baseball–the era of huge power numbers. He’s overshadowed by the Griffeys and the A-Rods, etc. Posnanski writes:
Chipper Jones’ numbers seem classically understated. He is like a superstar from a different age, Musial in a minor key. He has played his whole career with one team (and not just any team — the Atlanta Braves, a team that made the playoffs every one of his first ELEVEN seasons). He has never hit more than 45 homers and never fewer than the 18 he has this year. He has never struck out 100 times in a season. He has hit more doubles than homers, walked more times than he has struck out, and scored more runs than he has driven in.
There’s just a beautiful balance in his numbers. And maybe that is what makes him so easy to miss.
Posnanski is writing of Chipper’s career in general, but I think it’s applicable when discussing 2008 as well. Because the Braves posted their worst record since 1990 and because he only hit 22 home runs and because the Rays were stealing all of the baseball attention and for many, many other reasons, Braves fans are guilty of not realizing just how incredible of a season 2008 was for Chipper Jones. At 36 years old he managed to reach first base in 47% of his plate appearances. That, in itself, is an amazing statistic. It needs no context. A .470 OBP isn’t just good, or MVP-caliber, or HOF-caliber, it’s historic.
How historic, you ask?
Chipper Jones’ .470 OBP has been equaled or bested by an NL player exactly 9 times during the live-ball era by only four players.
Rogers Hornsby – 1924, 1925, and 1928.
Hornsby posted a .507 OBP in 1924. That year he hit .424 which, along with his OBP, led the league and slugged .696, which also led the league. He also led the league in total bases, hits, walks, doubles, runs scored, OPS, and OPS+. For some reason, he was only 2nd in MVP voting that year. A 28-6 record, a 262 ERA+, and 30 complete games was enough for Dazzy Vance to win it, despite Hornsby putting up the greatest offensive season ever seen to that point.
Hornsby repeated his OBP title in 1925, though this time he only hit .403 with a .489 OBP and .756 SLG%. Though he led the league in RBI, so he got the MVP that year.
In 1928 Hornsby produced his third and final season of reaching base more than 47% of the time, hitting .387/.498/.632 in his lone year in Boston. He finished 13th in MVP voting that season, despite leading the league in every slash statistic, which is an abomination.
Arky Vaughan – 1935
As a 23 year old SS for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Arky Vaughan led the league in pretty much everything. He hit .385, that led the league. He posted a league leading .491 OBP, he slugged .607–that led the league, his 1.098 OPS and 190 OPS+ led the league along with his 97 walks. Another fun fact about Vaughan’s 1935 season, he struck out only 18 times. Somehow he only finished 3rd in MVP voting. There isn’t a strong argument for him not winning it other than the Pirates finished 4th in the league and didn’t have a particularly strong fan base (6th of 8 in attendance). Neither of which are good arguments.
63 years passed before someone else did it. Joe Morgan came close with a .466 OBP in 1975 and Gary Sheffield posted a .465 OBP in 1996, but it wasn’t until 1998 that the threshold was again reached.
Mark McGwire – 1998
McGwire’s 1998 season was more famous for a number of things than posting a .470 OBP, but nonetheless, he posted a .470 OBP. The .470 OBP is overshadowed by the .752 SLG% or record-breaking 70 Home Runs or 216 OPS+ or steroids he took, but it’s there nonetheless. Despite leading Sammy Sosa by 93 points in OBP, he finished 2nd in MVP voting to him. Something I can’t justify. One thing to note, he was intentionally passed 28 times that season.
Barry Bonds – 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004
In 2001, Bonds broke the home run record that was set just three years ago by Mark McGwire, hitting 73 HR–a record that still stands. In the process, he posted the highest OBP of the live-ball era to that point–.515. He also led the league in walks (177), SLG% (.863), OPS (1.379), and OPS+ (259). He was intentionally passed 35 times.
After that, pitchers pretty much stopped pitching to Bonds. In 2002 he hit .370/.582/.799 with 46 HR and 198 unintentional walks. Pitchers intentionally walked him 68 times, which led the league by a very wide margin. He was intentionally passed more times than ten other entire teams were. Take away Bonds’ intentional walks and his OBP is under .470. In fact, taking away intentional walks, the only season that Bonds would’ve posted an OBP over .470 was 2001, when it would’ve been .471. He won his second consecutive MVP that year.
In 2003 Bonds hit .341/.529/.749 with 148 unintentional walks and 61 intentional walks. He won his third consecutive MVP and fourth consecutive Silver Slugger that year.
In 2004 Bonds shattered his own single-season intentional walk record with 120, leading to a .362/.609/.812 line (all league-leading) with 232 unintentional walks (also league leading). The .609 OBP is largely a product of his IBB’s, but that is still, today, the single-season record and I have my doubts as to whether or not it will be broken.
And that’s it. Achieving a .470 OBP is so rare, it’s been done 10 times by a NL in over 100 years. Four times by who I think is the greatest hitter ever. He was also on steroids and he accomplished it in large part due to the fact that opposing managers elected to put him on first base rather than actually pitch to him. Once by a similar steroid user. Once by a 23-year old whiz kid who led the league in everything. Three times by the greatest second baseman of all time, 1st ballot hall of famer, and one of the best hitters in the game’s history. And once by Chipper Jones in 2008.
It’s amazing to me that Chipper finished 12th in the MVP balloting in 2008. Albert Pujols certainly deserved the award, but Chipper Jones was the next best candidate. Ryan Howard, who hit .251/.339/.543, finished 2nd. Ryan Braun, who posted a .335 OBP and played for a team that made a gutsy trade for CC Sabathia and barely squeaked into the playoffs, finished 3rd. Manny Ramirez, who played in only 53 games, finished 4th. CC Sabathia, who made only 17 starts, finished 6th. Brad Lidge, a RELIEF PITCHER, finished 8th. I don’t bitch about award voting a lot because I’ve accepted the fact that the voters are idiots. But god damn, if Chipper doesn’t deserve the award more than any of the above I’ll eat my dirty socks.
2008 was a bad year for Braves fans, but all wasn’t lost. We watched Jair Jurrjens and Yunel Escobar develop into young stars, we had a good draft, and, most of all, we watched one of the greatest NL seasons ever take place. It wasn’t just great, it was historic. We’re all guilty of not appreciating just how great of a season Chipper Jones had in 2008.
October 2, 2009 at 8:00 am by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Daily Post, Defense, Player Analysis, Prospects, Stat Leaders
By the time the Braves played yesterday the game was meaningless. The Rockies completed a 3-game sweep of the Brewers and clinched the NL Wild Card. So, the Braves won’t be playing October baseball this year. Well, not meaningful October baseball, as the regular season schedule extends into October this year on account of the World Baseball Classic.
It was a good run. Seeing all the progress this team made and the direction they’re headed in, the future is very bright. If you had told me that the Braves would still have hope for a post-season berth heading into the last week of the season 6 months ago I’d say they made extraordinary progress throughout the year. Think about it, this team lost 90 games last season. A shot at making the post-season is all you can really hope for.
This won’t be the season in review post or the let’s go get ‘em next year post. Those will be composed later. But think about it, we’re pretty lucky to be Braves fans. We’ve had a competitive organization for as long as I can remember and we watched the team play meaningful Baseball until October 1.
The good news? The Braves are looking better in the draft standings:
Moving on up. I’m anticipating a huge draft this coming summer.
Reasons To Watch The Braves
OK, so with the normal motivation of watching a meaningful game out the window, I’ll provide reasons to continue watching the Braves. They’re all related to our “races”.
- Brian McCann needs 8 more RBI to reach 100.
- Rafael Soriano needs 1 more strikeout to reach 100.
- Chipper Jones needs two more Home Runs to hit 20. He’d be the first player to hit 20+ HR in each of his first 15 seasons in MLB history.
- Peter Moylan still hasn’t allowed a Home Run. He’s appeared in 85 games this season. If he finishes the season without allowing a HR, he’ll own the record for most appearances in a season without allowing a HR.
Also of note: Javier Vazquez still leads Tim Lincecum for best xFIP in MLB (2.90 to 2.93). Lincecum and Vazquez are both done for the year, so Vazquez is going to finish the season as MLB’s xFIP leader. Garret Anderson recorded his 2,500th and 2,501st hits last night. Hopefully the Braves shut him down for the rest of the season. There’s simply no point in giving him at-bats in a meaningless September game.
Stat of the Day
Continuing my evaluation of the tedious, we’ll go with Fielding Bible Runs Saved. This covers the entire year and includes everyone who started at one point for the team:
So you can see why the team was pretty bad defensively. There aren’t very many good defenders on the team. There are precisely five. Yunel Escobar at SS, Ryan Church in RF, David Ross at C, Casey Kotchman at 1B, and Martin Prado at 3B. 3B belongs to Chipper, Prado’s just the back-up. Church hardly ever played because he was hurt or somehow in Bobby’s doghouse. David Ross is a back-up catcher. Casey Kotchman got shipped off for a below-average defender at the same position. The only overwhelmingly positive performance on defense was Yunel Escobar’s.
Jordan Schafer’s Lost Season
Perhaps the biggest question Braves fans had in their mind going into Spring Training was, “Who will play Center Field”. A trio of candidates would audition for the job–Josh Anderson, Gregor Blanco, and Jordan Schafer. Gregor Blanco elected to play the World Baseball Classic and the Braves weren’t impressed with what they saw out of spring training. Blanco hit .174/.321/.304–much a continuation of last year’s 2nd half line of .243/.382/.302–and basically played himself out of the race. Josh Anderson played OK, but Schafer’s impressive showing, featuring a line of .324/.378/.471, won him the job out of Spring Training*.
*Giving the job to Schafer turned out to be the right decision. Josh Anderson has posted a .236/.272/.301 line in 291 PA’s with the Tigers and Royals this season, and Gregor Blanco hit .228/.326/.279 at AAA this season.
But Schafer failed to live up to expectations, posting a .204/.313/.287 line in 195 PA’s before being optioned to AAA. That’s a .600 OPS. And though he was heralded for his defense coming into the season, he looked confused in the field and the advanced metrics rated him as a slightly below-average center fielder.
Basically, everyone expected more out of Schafer. The prospects guys hyped him to no end. In fact, here’s what Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus wrote about Schafer in November:
3. Jordan Schafer, CF
Drafted/Signed: 3rd round, 2005, Winter Haven HS (FL)
2008 Stats: .269/.378/.471, .263 EqA at Double-A (84 G)
Last Year’s Ranking: 1
Year in Review: Last year’s breakout performer missed two months early in the season serving a 50-game suspension for some kind of involvement with HGH—the facts are still not clear. He got off to a slow start due to rust and plenty of distractions, but found a groove in the second half, batting .303/.387/.526.
The Good: Schafer’s tools rate as average or above across the board. He’s a patient hitter with a quick, quiet swing and at least average power. He’s a 60 runner and an even better center fielder because of his outstanding instincts, with one scout adding, “I don’t think I ever saw him break wrong on a ball.” His arm is another weapon due to both its strength and accuracy.
The Bad: Schafer struggled against left-handers in 2008, who found success both in busting him inside and getting him to chase good breaking balls. The suspension seemed to hang over his head much of the year; he was clearly pressing at times, and his body language left many wondering if he was having any fun out there.
Fun Fact: While 12 players have been drafted out of Winter Haven High School, Schafer is aiming to become the first to reach the big leagues.
Perfect World Projection: An everyday star-level center fielder who annually hits .300 with 20/20 power/speed numbers.
Glass Half Empty: He turns out to be a one-sided star in desperate need of a platoon partner, a la Ray Lankford.
Path To The Big Leagues: Gregor Blanco does not provide a significant roadblock.
Timetable: The Braves still have the utmost confidence in Schafer, and while they do not go into detail, they have no long-term concerns about his suspension. Schafer is their center fielder of the future, and there’s an outside chance that the future could begin in April.
The Braves scouts at spring training were obviously very impressed with Jordan Schafer, because nothing about his minor league numbers suggested he was ready. He was about 400 PA’s shy of normal development time (I often hear minor-leaguers need 2,000 PA’s before they’re MLB ready. Schafer had 1,597 coming into 2009). Additionally, his only experience in the upper minor-leagues was 349 PA’s at AA.
But you know what, the Braves scouts were probably right. Because had it not been for a pesky wrist injury, who knows what Schafer would’ve done? Certainly more than the aforementioned Josh Anderson or Gregor Blanco. I think the scouts looked at Schafer and saw a .273/.415/.439 hitter. Why did I choose that? That’s what Schafer hit in the month of April. The timing of Schafer’s wrist injury is uncertain. All I know is a) his wrist was seriously injured for a significant amount of his time in MLB stint, b) he waited until after his demotion to disclose the injury, and c) the injury most undoubtedly affected his performance. So like I said, I don’t know exactly when his wrist was injured, but the .273/.415/.439 line in April and the .158/.239/.188 line in May suggests the calendar’s flipping may be a good demarcation point. Additionally, he posted a 23-to-16 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 7 XBH in 82 PA’s in April, but a 40-to-11 strikeout-to-walk ratio and only 3 XBH in 113 PA’s in May.
I suspect the organization has considered all of this. And I suspect they’ll give him the same shot they gave him last Spring, a chance to compete for the CF job. Though this time, the competition is going to be a bit tougher. Nate McLouth, who has hit .261/.356/.412 in 370 PA’s with the Braves, represents a formidable alternative. No such thing existed last go-around. On the other hand, the below-average defense suggests McLouth is a better fit for left field, even if his bat won’t play nearly as well there. So if Schafer recovers from his wrist surgery and has a good spring, I don’t see any reason that he shouldn’t be helping the Atlanta Braves improve their 21st ranked defensive efficiency in April of 2010.
The alternative is you sign a free agent, make a trade, or go with the group you’ve got. In the mix for LF and RF include Brandon Jones, Brian Barton, Gregor Blanco, Ryan Church, Matt Diaz, and Jason Heyward. Independently of what the Braves do with Heyward, they have a nice platoon of Matt Diaz and Ryan Church that could potentially fit at a corner, and a couple of spare parts. It seems to me like with Diaz and Church, your next best internal options to round out the outfield are McLouth and Schafer. Even when you add Heyward to the mix, I think you want all 5 of them on the roster.
Unless the Braves acquire a sure-thing LF’er in the off-season, they’d probably be best served to use Jordan Schafer to both shore up the defense and increase the overall athleticism of the club.
That’s all I got.
I don’t really care if the Braves win and almost want them to lose to get a higher draft pick.
September 11, 2009 at 2:30 pm by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Draft, Farm System, Stat Leaders
Hey! A win! And Derek Lowe was pitching! Weird. Of course, it wasn’t an unusual Lowe win, as he allowed 11 baserunners in 5 and 2/3 innings. He’s got to get it together.
Heyward Named Minor League Player of the Year
We had already learned that USAToday named Jason Heyward their minor league player of the year, but Baseball America has followed suit. That’s good to see. Heyward certainly deserved it. Here’s a few quotes from the article:
And unlike Francoeur, who struggled in his first exposure to Double-A in 2004, Heyward has thrived. In fact, he improved after moving up from high Class A Myrtle Beach to Double-A Mississippi, batting .336/.434/.605 with seven home runs there after batting .296/.369/.519 with 10 homers for the Pelicans.
Taken together—his .314/.399/.557 overall performance in his second full season, plus his ascension into the role of future franchise cornerstone—Heyward was an easy choice as Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year, a singular distinction for a singular talent.
“We’re always looking for weaknesses we can develop. In all honesty, I’ve spent two months looking for things we can work on, and it sounds crazy, but I can’t find any,” Wellman said. “That’s a credit to his ability to make adjustments. He’s very cerebral. He’ll strike out twice on changeups, and I’ll say, ‘Now maybe there’s something.’ And the next time up, he’ll hit a 2-0 changeup 500 feet.
In spite of the surface similarities between Heyward and Francoeur, when you break it down, differences are there. The biggest by far comes in their approach at the plate. Francoeur is one of the game’s great free swingers, with just 132 career walks in 2,819 plate appearances. He has struck out 503 times.
Heyward? Not so much.
In fact, scouts had difficulty pinning down his skills as a hitter when he was in high school because so many opponents pitched around him—and he rarely went fishing for balls out of the zone. For this, Braves scouting director Roy Clark will be eternally grateful, because it allowed Heyward to slip to the 14th overall pick in the 2007 draft.
They also include a chart of players stats during their 2nd full season, comparing Heyward to the likes of Gary Sheffield, Joe Mauer, Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr., and our own Chipper Jones. Heyward’s numbers are the most impressive of the bunch. Congratulations to the farm’s crown jewel. He’s made us proud this season.
Which One Would You Rather Have?
Of the following two players, which would you rather have in your starting line-up?:
Player A is Martin Prado. Player B is Kelly Johnson. Speaking of Kelly Johnson.
Kelly Johnson Fan Club
Kelly has started 12 games since he came off of the disabled list. The Braves are 10-2 in those games and averaging 7.25 runs per game. Kelly had a good performance last night, reaching base 3 times in five tries via a single, a double, and a walk. He boosted his post-DL OPS to .903 with his strong showing last night. Keep him in the line-up!
Wild Card Standings
I suppose this will be the last time I post the wild card standings. I said to myself I’d keep doing it until the Braves are mathematically eliminated, but let’s be honest, they might as well be mathematically eliminated. Here goes:
No fucking comment.
Protected Draft Pick Race
If the Braves plan on signing a Type A free agent, they might want to start tanking. They need one of the 15 worst records–between 16th and 30th best records in the league–to secure a protected draft pick. That is, the draft pick isn’t eligible to compensate a club for signing a Type A free agent of theirs. The Braves are currently tied with the Rays and Cubs for the 12th best record. Here’s what those standings look like:
There’s still a lot of baseball to be played, so hopefully the Rays, Cubs, Twins, and Mariners start winning some games. Check out how freakishly similar (or identical) the Tampa Bay and Atlanta lines are.
Stat of the Day: EqBRR
Equivalent Baserunning Runs, courtesy of Baseball Prospectus, is a metric that takes in every baserunning event and converts it to an equivalent number of “runs”. Remember ~10 runs is a win. Basically, this metric allows you to see how valuable each player has been on the basepaths. Other methods, like stolen bases, fall short. Stolen Bases don’t account for non-base-stealing baserunning events and don’t subtract value when you’re caught stealing. It isn’t a perfect metric, but it’s close. I’ve created a few charts. First we have the top-10 most valuable baserunners, a snip, and the most valuable Braves baserunner surrounded by the most proximate places on the master list:
When your most valuable baserunner a) is a utility player, b) has been out for a good portion of the year, and c) is #51 on the list, your team sucks at baserunning. Now for the antithesis of that list:
Casey Kotchman was actually way worse than Chipper, but I didn’t include him. I do this for a reason. If our worst baserunner is #777 and our best is #51 and there’s only half a win of difference between them, you can’t make that much of an impact on the basepaths. It helps, of course. Every little bit helps. But if you’re building a team and try to build it such that the only secondary offensive skill is baserunning, you’re going to have a really fucking shitty offense.
So, those of you who say, “what the Braves need is a true lead-off hitter”, no, no, and fucking no. They need power. Lead-off hitters are overrated.
Off to St. Louis
Jurrjens vs. Pineiro Friday. Hudson vs. Lohse Saturday. Vazquez vs. Carpenter Sunday. Those are some pretty good pitching match-ups. I can’t believe Kyle Lohse is still alive. These games are important for nobody, the Cardinals have a huge lead and the Braves are out of it.
Kelly Johnson Fan Club Round 2
Kelly Johnson has a 1.538 OPS against Piniero in 13 career PA’s. He has a 1.917 OPS against Carpenter in 6 career PA’s. Knowing how fucking terrible Bobby Cox is at making decisions, he’ll probably sit Kelly vs. those two guys and play him against Kyle Lohse, whom he has a .400 OPS against in 10 career PA’s.
That’s all for now.
July 9, 2009 at 5:09 pm by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Stat Leaders
I apologize for the infrequency of my updates and the lack of thought and depth when they occurr. I’ve been rather busy as of late and haven’t had the time to write those lengthy pieces that I enjoy doing. Just a few announcements:
1) I’m now doing short updates on twitter (I caved). You can see the link on the left sidebar.
2) A new poll will be up by the time you’re reading this. We’ll go with this one until we have 25 votes. Then I’ll use the same set of answers but change the question to “Which Braves Coaches Should Be Fired” and allow you to select multiple answers. And we’ll then go with that for awhile.
3) If you have anything you’d like addressed in a post or just want a chat, email the Capitol Avenue Club Mailbag. You can find a link on the right sidebar.
4) At some point during the All-Star Break I’ll post a fairly lengthy review of the season through 88 games (if all 4 get played in Colorado)
5) I’m going to have a piece up tonight but it won’t be Braves related.
6) Francoeur, in case you didn’t know, sucks. Past 2 years Runs Above Replacement (minimum 100 PA’s):
530) Jeff Francoeur -20.6
529) Tony Pena -18.7
528) Gary Matthews Jr. -18.7
527) Delmon Young -15.6
526) Mark Sweeney -15.1
And yes, only 530 players have 100 or more PA’s over the past 2 seasons. He’s very bad.
July 8, 2009 at 1:18 pm by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Pitching, Stat Leaders
Yep. It’s Javier Vazquez.
MLB xFIP Leaders (Qualified only):
1. Javier Vazquez – 2.65
2. Tim Lincecum – 2.72
3. Dan Haren – 2.94
4. Roy Halladay – 2.97
t-5. Zach Greinke – 3.14
t-5. Justin Verlander – 3.14
The fact that Javier Vazquez isn’t at the All-Star game is very telling of how stupid the selection process is. Of course Ted Lilly makes it with a 4.00 xFIP and Jason Marquis makes it with a 4.36 xFIP.
June 29, 2009 at 7:37 am by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Player Analysis, Stat Leaders, Statistical Analysis
There are 8 qualified players in baseball that are as useless with the bat as Jeff Francoeur.
192. Dioner Navarro .172
191. Brian Giles .218
190. Yuniesky Betancourt .236
189. Jimmy Rollins .242
188. Orlando Cabrera .245
187. Jason Kendall .263
186. Emmanuel Burriss .269
185. Willy Taveras .276
184. Jeff Francoeur .283
It’s time for him to go. There’s no place for him in Major League Baseball. He can’t hit his weight, plays crappy defense, and plays a position where offensive production is readily available (well, moreso than most positions). There is no reason he should have a job in Major League Baseball. I’m sick of watching him make outs and kill rallies. I’m sick of watching him run like a girl. I’m just sick of him, he disgusts me. Get the hell off my team.