Saturday, 30 May 2009

Wonders Never Cease!

Mr Acta pinch-hit for Detwiler in the top of the fifth. The Nationals were down, 5-1. To my mind, it was one of those mystifying Manny moves. The bullpen would leak a few more runs, and the Nationals would lose.

Amazing - five relief pitchers went out there, and the Phillies could not add a single more run! This is against the Washington Nationals' bullpen, the worst in the league.

And then the Nationals' bats woke up. They scored three more runs. The last four innings of the game were quite entertaining.

All of which is a long-winded way of saying that, although the Nationals lost, awarding a Goat of the Day seems churlish. Instead, I award a Pat on the Back to the chaps who took the mound last night.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Whither the Blue Jays?

Somehow, I managed to obliterate the original post for this, packed as it was with all kinds of helpful links. I guess I just don't know all the ins and outs of

So, here's the Cliff's Notes version:

20-game chart, blue line = runs scored, orange = runs allowed.

The Blue Jays may have given up lots of runs recently, but look at that downward trend in runs scored. That's the real culprit, the sputtering offense.

Nationals' Bullpen Goats of the Day #s 7, 8, 9

Several awards to hand out today owing to modem issues.

25 May vs Mets
Reliever            Effect on 
Win Expectancy
Colome -0.079
Cabrera -0.012
Wells 0.004
Bergmann 0.010

26 May vs Mets
Reliever            Effect on 
Win Expectancy
Bergmann -0.172
Wells 0.005
Tavárez 0.001

27 May vs Mets
Reliever            Effect on 
Win Expectancy
Colome -0.118
Villone -0.109
Wells -0.055
Hanrahan 0.002

Much as I don't like to kick a man when he is down, I feel obliged to point out that Colome has been the goat in all but one of his outings. I'd also like to point out that Wells is excellent for one inning - so, Mr Acta, don't get ambitious.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Nationals' Bullpen Goat of the Day #6

Another easy one to identify. Or was it?

Reliever            Effect on 
Win Expectancy
Villone -0.386
Tavárez 0.008
Hanrahan 0.045
Bergmann 0.059

Those numbers suggest that it's unfair to blame the bullpen for this one. In this case, the previously vaunted Nationals' lineup just couldn't score the needed runs. Manny Acta certainly made that point about Friday's loss: "We just couldn't get anything going offensively, and it cost us," Acta said.

It might be more applicable to this one.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Nationals' Bullpen Goat of the Day #5

This one is obvious.
Reliever            Effect on 
Win Expectancy
Wells -0.794
Villone 0.114
Bergmann 0.149

Friday, 22 May 2009

Nationals' Bullpen Goat of the Day #4

What with one thing and another, and my eagerness to post the Interleague comments, I didn't get round to doing the latest Goat of the Day this morning. In the spirit of Respice post te! Hominem te memento!, I otherwise mutely post the Goat rankings for Wednesday's game.
Reliever            Effect on 
Win Expectancy
Hanrahan -0.711
Villone 0.114

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Improving Interleague Play

I'm a baseball traditionalist. Even at age 12, I quit being a fan of the local team, an AL one, and switched to a nearby NL one whose radio station's clear channel signal reached my abode. So, as you can imagine, I'm generally of the view that interleague play is the abomination of desolation, and not worth improving.

However, like the Expos being in DC now, I'm forced to accept that the situation isn't changing for the foreseeable future, so I'm left with thinking how to make the best of it.

To me, the main problem is that while there are natural rivals, like two New York teams, or two Ohio teams, there are also teams that don't have any natural rivals. To make Interleague Play work better, they need to get manufactured rivals. How to do it?

One obvious way is to pick a nearby team that isn't someone else's rival but, because I'm an historian and a traditionalist, I'd prefer to do something more complicated that actually made sense from a temporal perspective. If you are going to invent tradition, do it properly, like the British do.

I sat down and made a list of all the teams by league, and then I paired them off, initially by 'natural rivals'

AL Philadelphia with NL Philadelphia
AL Chicago with NL Chicago
AL New York with NL New York
AL Boston with NL Boston
AL St Louis with NL St Louis
AL Cleveland with NL Cincinnati

That left Washington and Detroit in the AL and Brooklyn and Pittsburgh in the NL. Now I adopted the principle of vicinity, and matched Washington with Brooklyn and Detroit with Pittsburgh.

Keep applying this principle but move pairings around as teams move or expansion occurs. Thus, the Dodgers end up being paired with the Angels, even though they originally were matched with today's Twins. This is what you would end up with, before we try to deal with the significant problem in that the leagues have different numbers of teams:

AL New York with NL New York
AL Boston with NL Atlanta
AL Chicago with NL Chicago
AL Detroit with NL Pittsburgh
AL Cleveland with NL Cincinnati
AL Baltimore with NL Philadelphia
AL Oakland with NL San Francisco
AL Los Angeles with NL Los Angeles
AL Texas with NL Houston
AL Kansas City with NL St Louis
AL Seattle with NL San Diego
AL Tampa Bay with NL Florida

But that gives us some leftover teams. Until there are a couple of contractions or expansions, we really have to create a concept of a 'rivalry pool'. In the AL, there's Toronto and Minnesota. In the NL, there's Milwaukee, Colorado, Arizona and Washington. For each of these teams there's a certain amount of sense in plunging them into this pool. Milwaukee switched leagues, Toronto lost its 'natural rival', Minnesota and Washington moved, Colorado and Arizona would actually make a pretty good 'natural rival' pairing, but they are in the same league. Being among the most recent expansion teams hurts them.

My solution would be to have each of the natural rivals play home-and-home series with one another as the core of the interleague programme. Meanwhile, the AL rivalry pool plays one series against two from the NL pool, alternating home and away each year, and cycling through all four teams through four seasons. E

Like so:

Year One       Year Two         Year Three     Year Four
Tor v Col (h) Tor v Col (a) Tor v Ari (h) Tor v Ari (a)
Was v Tor (a) Was v Tor (h) Was v Min (a) Was v Min (h)
Min v Ari (h) Min v Ari (a) Min v Col (h) Min v Col (a)
Min v Mil (a) Min v Mil (h) Tor v Mil (a) Tor v Mil (h)

Eventually, one hopes two more teams will be added to the AL, and we can actually have a sensible Interleague Series.

I know this does nothing about balancing the schedule, but that's not really the point of interleague. It also would cut the number of those games down, and hopefully allow the intraleague schedule to balance out better.

Between Hell and Hell

Tonight, I put on the radio to hear the Blue Jays' game while I plugged the computer into this Interweb thingy in order to watch the Nationals on

I switched the Blue Jays off after all the home runs. At least the Nationals were involved in my favourite sort of game, the pitchers' duel.

Feel free to check in tomorrow to see the gory statistical details of another bullpen loss, but in the mean time, I offer a telling snapshot:

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Nationals Bullpen Goat of the Day #3

Manny Acta's Bullpen Follies of Aught-Nine continued yesterday, although fortunately for my workload he only used two pitchers. That reduces my calculating duties to the bare minimum. Thanks, Manny!
Reliever            Effect on 
Win Expectancy
Beimel -0.946
Villone 0.116

My initial response was that Beimel is really a one-inning pitcher, and Acta just left him in too long. But, I see an insidious poison here which I first noticed with Kensing. By a substantial majority, most times Acta brings in a reliever with the Win Expectancy between .500 and .750, they blow it. It's something of a mental issue out there, and it's probably going to take a pitcher with an infectious level of self-belief to turn this round.

In a move calculated to relieve pressure on an overworked bullpen, the Nationals brought up Jason Bergmann to replace the ineffectual Alex Cintron. Now, I've felt for a few days that Cintron might have improved a little with a bit more playing time, but that begs a few questions about where you're going to play him. Guzman's wielding a hot bat, Zimmerman is the best player, and Anderson Hernandez is already getting rests when Belliard comes in.

Thankfully, Iron Man Guzman is unlikely to miss any playing time.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Nationals' Bullpen Goat of the Day #2

I didn't expect this to become a daily feature, but the bullpen was handed the lead in yesterday's game and managed to pass it back to the Pirates.

The game was marred by some curious decision-making by Manny Acta. In the bottom of the fifth, he pinch-hit for the pitcher. Starter Detwiler had been going well, and we all know the bullpen is stretched to cover four innings at the end of the game, so why make it start the sixth when you don't have to? I like Alex Cintron more than most, perhaps, but it's not as if he's a terrific pinch-hitter. Check his 'As PH' line in this chart, if you don't believe me.

Later in the game, down by three, Acta plays the infield in. Huh? I can see playing the infield in if you're down by one, but by three? Naturally, another run scores. Then, after Wells has seen off two left-handed batters, Acta replaces him with Beimel, using up another bullpen pitcher. Finally, he leaves closer Hanrahan in to throw over thirty pitches, in a game the Nationals seem likely to lose.

Reliever            Effect on 
Win Expectancy
Colome -0.703
Mock -0.648
Hanrahan -0.078
Wells -0.053
Beimel 0.002

Mock got the blown save and the loss, but he's not the Goat of the Day.

What's Up With the Rays?

When spring training opened, one of my colleagues and I were chatting about the AL East. Living as we do near Toronto,

we gave voice to our woe
at having a tough row to hoe
in our division, with the BEASTS
of the EAST.

'And,' said my chum, 'now there's the Rays.' 'Yes,' I said, 'but they might not do so well this season.' 'Really?' he queried, giving me an odd look. I started to explain the Bill James' notion of the Plexiglass Principle, of how a team that goes from a season of many losses to one of many wins may spring back again in the third season. But our meeting began, and he probably thinks I'm some kind of genius. (We haven't met in recent weeks.)

I'll be the first to say I'm no genius. (Check out my Ross Detwiler prediction for proof.) However, I'm kind of pleased that someone might think otherwise.

That said, what is up with the Rays? They've reached .500 with today's game, so maybe this post will quickly be overtaken by events, but we can still analyse a slow start and hope it becomes relevant to return to in September.

Let's run some numbers like I did the other day for the Jays and the Royals.

Versus teams under .500, the Rays are 11-14.
Versus teams over .500, the Rays are 9-6.
When they score only two runs or less, the Rays are 0-8.
When they score three, four or five runs, the Rays are 4-10.
When they score six runs or more, the Rays are 16-2.

It's pretty basic. It's the Rays' pitching that is at the root of their problem. They have to score at least six runs to have a chance at a win (which they've done quite a few times, actually), and that's like a run and a half over the average.

So, keep an eye on those pitching stats, if you're a fan of an AL East team. If the team ERA starts coming down, those Rays may have deathly effects on the ambitions of the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Nationals' Bullpen Goat of the Day #1

The Washington Nationals blew yesterday's game in spectacular fashion, as Anderson Hernandez apparently was confused by the old 'hidden ball' trick. Unfortunately, it was his own team playing the trick on him! To quote from the Post:
'Hernández initially thought Zimmerman picked up the ball. The second baseman watched for the throw from the wrong source...."I throw it on the bag," Colome said. "Anderson, he thought Zimmerman was throwing the ball, not me."
"I lost it," Hernández said. "I didn't even see who had it." '

Well, move along folks, nothing to see here.

I've decided to start a feature, identifying the bullpen reliever who does the most damage in a Nationals' defeat, after being handed a lead. So, here's yesterday's rankings, by Win Expectancy, for the inaugural Bullpen Goat of the Day
Reliever            Effect on 
Win Expectancy
Colome -0.865
Tavárez -0.519
Beimel -0.133
Villone 0.123

There's an old soccer joke about 'Jesus saves; [insert striker's name of your choice] scores on the rebound.'

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Jordan Zimmermann's QMAX Prospectus

Jordan Zimmermann is being treated to a particularly narrow strike zone by home plate umpire Mike Reilly in today's game. Even before that, though, his Quality Matrix readings were somewhat deflating for any view that he might be the second coming of Alvin Crowder or somebody. The question is whether this would be par performance for a prospect of his age. Let's look first at Zimmermann's ratings prior to today:

Date          Stuff,Command     QMAX
ratings Category
Apr 20 4,3 Success Square
Apr 26 5,4 --
May 1 6,3 Hit Hard
May 7 4,4 --
May 12 5,3 --

Zimmermann's shown a lot of promise if you watch him pitch, with impressive movement, but he's not really putting up great results here. The problem is he's not doing particularly well either with his 'Stuff' (preventing hits) or his Command (preventing walks).

But who to compare him with? Baseball Prospectus' 'deadly accurate' PECOTA player-projection system uses minor-league and major-league statistics to locate players showing similar statistical profiles. In the 2009 edition, they show four players as comparables for Zimmermann — Bobby Jones, Erik Hanson, Terry Taylor and John Maine. Taylor only pitched one game in the majors, but the others have all had reasonable careers. Let's look at the first five starts of each of them in turn, in chronological order.

Erik Hanson (1988)
Start         Stuff,Command     QMAX
ratings Category
1 3,2 Success Square
2 1,3 Success Square
3 4,1 Success Square
4 2,3 Success Square
5 4,4 --

Well, he was pretty good, much better than Zimmermann, yet didn't pitch well past his age-30 season.

Bobby Jones (1993)
Start         Stuff,Command     QMAX
ratings Category
1 5,3 --
2 7,3 Hit Hard
3 5,3 --
4 3,3 Success Square
5 2,1 Elite Square

That's more Zimmermann-like, almost identical command numbers, but he shows an improving arc, not Zimmermann's decline. Jones wasn't particularly effective past his age-28 season. However, like Hanson, Jones started his career in September, so maybe he had the advantage of facing a lot of cup-of-coffee scrubs.

John Maine (2004-5)
Start         Stuff,Command     QMAX
ratings Category
1 6,5 Hit Hard
2 2,4 Success Square
3 3,5 Power Precipice
4 4,3 Success Square
5 5,4 --

Maine was a little better at hit prevention than Zimmermann, and a little more wild. He's still pitching, and doing well enough, although he's not an elite starter.

On the whole, I'd say Zimmermann's record as of today is about par; maybe just below par, but nothing to worry about. However, based on the story so far, and the absence of any seriously good pitchers in his comparables, I can't help but wonder if Zimmermann's over-hyped. He's got good stuff, but he's not dominating opposing hitters yet. I'll watch the rest of his season with interest, though. And I'm rooting for him to prove me wrong.

For Real? Royals and Blue Jays

The big question in my neck of the woods is whether the Blue Jays are for real. But I've noticed the Royals are tied for first with the Tigers in the AL Central, so I thought I'd look at both of these blue teams and their surprising early season records.

Rather than do any micro-analysis, like I've been doing with Nationals' pitchers, I'm going to to a fairly basic macro-analysis by looking at two aspects of the won-lost record. First, how the teams perform against weak and strong teams; second, how they perform depending on how many runs they score.

               <.500 opponents          =>.500 opponents
Royals 10-7 9-10
Blue Jays 13-5 11- 9

0-2 runs 3-5 runs 6+ runs
scored scored scored
Royals 4-10 3-6 12-1
Blue Jays 1- 7 9-5 14-2

My answers are:
Royals - probably not
Blue Jays - maybe

Based on the results so far, I don't think the Royals offense is potent enough to sustain them over the season. Fourteen games with 2 runs or less scored is almost a third of their total played, and the fact they have a losing record in the 3-5-runs-scored games suggests that their pitching can't always keep the runs against down enough for their weak bats. However, thirteen games with 6 or more runs scored suggests something of the Little Girl With The Forehead Curl — when they are good they are very good.

The Blue Jays, by contrast, are winning with the offense. I don't think anyone expected that. Everyone focused on how they were going to overcome their pitching injuries. Well, one way is to outscore the opponents. They've scored at least six runs in over a third of their games. And their pitching has been good enough to keep them winning the 3-5-runs-scored games.

They're also winning more than they are losing against .500 or better teams. If they can keep this up (and let's see how a road trip against the BEASTS of the EAST in Boston and New York goes before we start getting too excited), then come September Canada might not be entirely absorbed in the chase for CFL playoff spots.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Adventures in Leverage, NatsTown, 15 May 2009

Rather than post links for Washington-based stories, I've gone to a Philadelphia paper in order to highlight something important about perspective. Note that the Inquirer's story doesn't mention the three walks given up by Kip Wells. These were far more important than Ibanez' single in the outcome of the game, but nobody likes to win because the other guy screws up, do they?

Anyway, yesterday's brief introduction to Drinen's P turned out to be a useful curtain-raiser to a study of yesterday's Phillies vs Nationals tilt.

Reliever    Inning   P         Situation             Net Value
Mock 5.2 .770 1st&3rd, 2 out, up 2 -.279
Villone 5.2 .665 1st&2nd, 2 out, up 1 +.070
Colome 7 .683 empty, 0 out, up 1 -.446
Beimel 7 .460 1st&3rd, 0 out, up 1 -.742
Tavarez 7 .195 1st&3rd, 2 out, down 2 +.073
Hanrahan 9 .082 empty, 0 out, down 2 +.170
Wells 10 .500 empty, 0 out, tied -1.000

It's Wells who is the villain of the piece, but Beimel tried hard to beat him. Also, when you add everything up, the Nationals lost more than one game last night. They lost exactly 2.154 games, a quirk of this system that is a product of not awarding value to offensive contributions. Thankfully for them, it only counts as one in the standings.

I feel sorry for Kip, by the way. He pitched his heart out in the 11th, but looked tired in the 12th. Acta's quote, though, is ominous: "[Wells] was starting [at AAA], stretched out to 78-80 pitches down there already. He got Victorino on two pitches. After that, he loaded the bases. No excuses. No explanations. We[!] just basically walked ourselves into death."

Friday, 15 May 2009

Examining Logan Kensing's P

P is another statistic from the old Big Bad Baseball Annual stable. It was developed by Doug Drinen, and measures the effectiveness of relievers. Calculate the probability of the reliever's team winning when he enters the game (which was P), when he leaves, and what it would be if he was perfect. If you subtract the leaving score from the perfect score, a bad outing will result in a negative performance. If you subtract the leaving score from the entry score, a good outing will result in a plus performance. Thus, it was possible to evaluate not only the usage of relievers, but their contribution to the game.

On 29 April 2009, the Nationals traded a minor league roster-filler pitcher, Kyle Gunderson, 48th-round pick in 2007, to the Florida Marlins for Logan Kensing, a hard-throwing right-handed relief pitcher who had worn out his welcome in Miami through not pitching particularly well after Tommy John surgery. Manny Acta threw Kensing into the fray at his first opportunity on 30 April, and the 26-year-old has made five more appearances, most recently on 11 May.

Date          Inning     P       Situation           Net Value
30 April 7 .615 1st, 1 out, up 1 -.123
1 May 6 .099 1st, 2 out, down 5 +.014
6 May 6 .061 load, 1 out, down 3 -.069
9 May 7 .204 load, 2 out, down 1 +.164
10 May 6 .592 none, 0 out, up 1 -.564
11 May 5 .069 load, 2 out, down 5 -.014

He's responsible for losing over half a game in the short span of about two weeks, as his Value scores add up to -.592 (A value of 1.000 would equate to a game.)

But looking more closely at the data, Kensing is a tolerable mop-up man when behind. The disappointment is that he has absolutely failed to protect a lead. You wonder whether he gets too nervous when it's close. I think he might stick in the Nationals' bullpen, if they've still got players there with options, as the sixth man coming out to fill-in during blowouts.

EDIT: Kensing was designated for assignment the same day that I wrote this. I also corrected some mistakes in my calculations above.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

The 500 Club

Baseball Think Factory published a link to this blog entry about guys who have hit 500 home runs or more. Reading it while sipping my morning coffee, I rather flew off the handle, because it's a good example of how not much thinking and a need to expostulate the first thing that comes into one's head can land one in the Realm of Medioticity. What follows is an edited and expanded version of what I posted at the Think Factory.

The problem with this Rant is that it's a very clear-cut example of selective understanding. Take the 'Lively Ball' era, beginning in 1920. By the time Rosey, the blog entry's author, is 6, 5 players have hit 500 home runs, or one every 9.2 years. So, on that basis, by 2009, we should expect there to be 9 or 10 current members. But that masks a slight problem. In 1920, the total number of home runs hit in the same league as where Ruth hit 54, amounted to 369. In Ruth's last 40-homer season, 1932, the AL hit 707 home runs. Logic alone tells you that if more home runs are going to be hit, more players are likely to reach 500.

The next players to join Rosey's Original Five were Mickey Mantle and Eddie Matthews. Let's use Mantle as an example, since he played in the same league and park as the Babe. Mantle first reached the 40-homer plateau in 1956, when he hit 56. The league as a whole (still eight teams) hit 1075! Homers have gone up across the league. That's going to mean more 500-homer careers are coming.

And they did. By the end of 1971, the 500-club had twelve members. One every 4.25 years. So, by 2009, at that rate, we'd expect twenty members. By the time little Rosey is 11, he can expect the home-run club to double when he's fifty.

But wait — there's a big fall-off in new entrants all of a sudden. Between 1972 and 1996, only three more members enter the club. What's going on? We've gone to one every 4.25 years, to one every 5.7 years. By 2009, we should anticipate fifteen members.

Then, 1997 through 2008 (let's leave our latest member, Gary Sheffield, out of this), NINE players enter the 500 club. Everybody is talking about steroid-inflated numbers.

I was doing a little exploration of the archives, and I found an interesting post by notorious sabermetrician Don Malcolm (of Baseball Sabermetric and Big Bad Baseball Annual fame), in which he tallied up a measure of extra-base hits by league. He was making another point, but for my purposes, Malcolm showed how 1950s baseball and 1990s baseball are very similar in terms of extra-base hits. However, in the 1960s we had the Little Deadball™ era, when they raised the mound and fiddled with the strike zone. Then, of course, although they lowered the mound, there was a wave of ballpark building that brought a generation of bigger, artificial-turf, pitcher's parks, in which it was hard to hit home runs. And we got the 'greatest-ever™' era in baseball, the 1969-86 period. At the end of this, after homerriffic 1987, there was some fiddling with the strike zone again, and homers fell off.

The biggest concentration of the 'Roid Era' sluggers in a five-year period comes in 2003-7: Palmeiro, Sosa, Griffey, Thomas, A-rod. Five names. Why am I interested in a five-year period? Because between 1967-71, seven players entered the hallowed halls of the 500 club: Mantle, Matthews, Aaron, Banks, Robinson, Killebrew, Mays.

So, why aren't we asking questions of them? Because we know that some of that power came from the era they played in. The powerful 1950s inevitably led to a sudden jump in the 500 Club in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Likewise, the invention of Homerball in about 1993 meant that we'd be getting a big boost in 500-Club membership right around the middle of the 2000s. And we did. The class of 2005-9 may be a little bit bigger than we have a right to expect, based on the rate of entry to the 500 Club. Some of that may be down to 'drug cheating'. But, as of yet, we've no idea what variance we might expect would be legitimate, because neither Rosey nor I have done a study.

If you know of one, feel free to post a link.

Martis vs Cabrera

For the past few days I have posted the Quality Matrix, or QMAX, stats for the Nationals starter on the Game Chatters at Baseball Think Factory. For those of you who've forgotten, QMAX was a somewhat controversial method used by the old Big Bad Baseball Annual to evaluate pitchers. It could lead to some odd results, such as the possible equation of Jose Lima and Randy Johnson as pitchers of similar value c. 1998.

In exactly that vein, I observed that Shairon Martis, not exactly a Young Phenom™ but still a promising pitcher, and Daniel Cabrera were more alike than they might seem. To which an astute Think Factory reader responded to the effect that I should get my head out of my spreadsheet and actually watch some games, you know.

It's a fair point. Martis has much more self-possession on the mound — in other words, The Good Face™. Now, I actually put a lot of value in that kind of mature handling of difficult situations. But, my main point was that in terms of what the Nationals had got so far out of the two pitchers this season, there isn't all that much between them. Let's use the QMAX method to compare the two pitchers' overall effectiveness prior to 13 May's game.

Daniel Cabrera
Power Precipice starts (2) - April 19 & 30.
'Meh' starts (3) April 8 & 13, May 6.
Hit Hard starts (2) April 25, May 11.

Shairon Martis
Elite Square (1) May 2.
Success Square (1) April 16.
'Meh' (1) April 21.
Hit Hard (3) April 10 & 27, May 8.

Today's start added another to the Success Square, so with this he surpassed Daniel Cabrera in terms of contributing valuable starts to the 2009 Nationals. (He's also showing an 'iambic' pattern of good start/bad start.)

But there's another matter here. Daniel Cabrera is about to turn 28, Martis is just 22. When you see young pitchers putting out Power Precipice starts, you think 'wow, there's a good risk for a future'. Daniel Cabrera, however, is a little old to still be flirting at the Power Precipice. It's got that name for a reason—the pitcher might fall off, but might turn into Randy Johnson. Cabrera may be a serviceable fourth or fifth starter on a second-division team, but my Game Chatterer is quite right to express scepticism over any attempt to avoid a harsh judgment that Cabrera, on the basis of his 2009 starts, is anything other than a stopgap, a $2.6 million one-year gamble that at the moment looks like not paying out much more than a dime.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Daniel Cabrera to the QMAX

Using the old QMAX method of the Big Bad Baseball Annual, we get the following for Daniel Cabrera before tonight's start:

Apr 08 5,3 -- 4.45 ERA
Apr 13 5,4 -- 5.69 ERA
Apr 19 2,5 Power Precipice 2.92 ERA
Apr 25 6,5 Hit Hard 10.46 ERA
Apr 30 2,5 Power Precipice 2.92 ERA
May 06 5,5 -- 7.42 ERA

Sadly, he's winless in spite of two good outings.

EDIT: Last night (May 11) Cabrera was hit really hard, 6,7 for a 17.78 ERA, his worst outing of the season. I think the Washington Times wants him gone. The Post is down on him, too. I don't know, I think I'd give him a little more rope. I believe he's scheduled to pitch Saturday. (04h02, 13 May, BST)