Friday, October 31, 2008
I had Bradley as a borderline A, and it turns out he came out to Type B. I'll be gone for the weekend, so I probably won't have time to digest the actual rankings as they come out. Not off to a good start.
Also, I have no explanation for Hank Blalock as a Type B.
I'm also seeing that Pudge is Type B. His classification as Type A is one that I didn't put much stock into because the margin was razor thin.
Again, when the full rankings are out. I will look at the discrepancies and upgrade for next year. I warned these weren't going to be perfect.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Notable among those not put through waivers are Eddie Bonine and Mike Hessman. Bonine seems to be a low-upside pitcher who put up pedestrian numbers in his time in the Majors before ending the season with a shoulder injury. Perhaps with the emphasis on strike throwers that could result from Rick Knapp's hiring, the Tigers opted to hold onto Bonine, who has allowed just 84 walks in the three years since joining the organization. Hessman sticking on the roster again shows that he could be in the plans. While the talk of Brandon Inge getting the third base job may have suggested otherwise, perhaps he'll be on a short leash and internal options could be necessary.
First and foremost, his production has declined in recent years. Here are his BA/OBP/SLG splits since 2005.
2005: .281/.366/.489 (529 PA)
2006: .238/.325/.400 (416 PA)
2007: .255/.361/.421 (518 PA)
2008: .220/.313/.359 (483 PA)
For the time being, I am willing to throw out his 2006 season because he was suffering from a bad knee that year, and he has had surgery to correct that. There isn't, however, anything to justify the poor season he had in 2008 aside from the fact that he was 36 years old during the season. It seems likely that he has lost his skills, and he's not worthy of a starting job, especially when he is only throwing out 22% of baserunners.
Since we have established that Varitek is likely in the decline phase of his career, some would still suggest that coming in and platooning with Dusty Ryan be okay. I'm just curious how this particular platoon would work. Somebody's got to face right-handed pitchers. Via minorleaguesplits.com, lets take a look at Dusty Ryan's career R/L splits.
Vs. L: .274/.363/.485
Vs. R: .218/.301/.347
It would seem to me that if he was going to have a platoon partner, that guy should be able to produce against right-handed pitching, as Ryan seems to have the southpaws covered. What about Varitek?
vs. L (2008): .284/.378/.484
vs. R (2008): .201/.293/.323
vs. L: .284/.362/.468
vs. R: .254/.340/.427
Again, better against lefties, and downright putrid in 2008 against right-handed pitchers. A platoon with Varitek and Ryan would not work. Throw in the money and the draft pick the Tigers would have to give up for Varitek if signed before the arbitration deadline, and there really is no choice but to say no way.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
- Virgil Vasquez was claimed off waivers by Boston. He was on my chopping block for guys on the 40 man roster this offseason, but I'm a bit surprised by the timing. Certainly players like Gary Glover and Dane Sardinha could have been removed first, but I don't find VV to be that big of a loss. Also, the timing could make sense because more players clear waivers in October than during the winter.
- Billfer is doing some pitch f/x work this offseason. The first post was yesterday, focusing on the amount of strikes thrown by the Tigers compared to the rest of the league, including the Twins. Check it out.
- I've posted estimated service time here. The Tigers have official numbers on their website.
- It's time for me to call out Lynn Henning. I found this in his article yesterday.
Where did you get that information, Mr. Henning? Surely you didn't go through and calculate that on your own. Just a bit of recognition would be nice. Also, Gary Glover is not a free agent.
"It is virtually certain they will not have interest in three relief pitchers who will be free agents: Kyle Farnsworth, Casey Fossum and Gary Glover. Nor are they apt to offer salary arbitration to either, given that none figures to finish as high as a Type B free agent (Elias Sports Bureau's rankings have not yet been released) -- that would earn the Tigers a high 2009 draft choice if they offered arbitration and the pitcher signed elsewhere.
Who's out there?
Attractive free agents who would fit any of the Tigers' needs are likely to be overly expensive or would cost the Tigers an early draft pick next year. Exhibit A there is Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, a likely Type A free agent who would be a plausible answer to Detroit's need for a veteran catcher to assist likely starter Dusty Ryan.
Signing a Type A free agent can cost an acquiring team a first-round draft pick. But because the Tigers will be among the first 15 teams to draft in 2009 -- they will have the ninth overall selection -- they do not lose a first-round pick on a Type A acquisition. They instead would lose their second-round choice.It's a scenario that could yet play out if the Tigers are able to dip into the free-agent pool to help their bullpen, although money would be the greater issue there. Money, too -- more than lost draft picks -- could make obtaining a free-agent shortstop (neither Rafael
Furcalnor Cesar Izturis is likely to be even a Type B) difficult for a Tigers team that likely will be cutting, rather than adding, payroll"
Monday, October 27, 2008
And then there was this travesty:
Every single anthem in this series has been truly awful and long-winded. The song should take roughly 75 seconds to sing (hum it and time yourself). Every second over that is a second of selfish indulgence by a talentless hack: end of story. I have no idea if this is a directive from Fox to make the anthem go longer to fit into their endless commercial breaks. It's bad enough that the World Series telecast has begun to make a mockery of baseball with three minute commercial breaks, Joe Buck hating the game, promoting "24" and the NFL while the game is going on. I've accepted that.
If they have gone into mocking this great country, they have gone too far.
This week, Texas finally moves into the #1 spot after a big win over #5 Oklahoma State. Tulsa, who trailed at half time tonight and was the reason for the late rankings, slips to #2 while Alabama holds serve in the #3 spot. Penn State's victory over #9 Ohio State jumps them to fourth, while Utah, Minnesota, Texas Tech, Ball State, Oklahoma State, and Florida round out the top 10.
Entering the rankings this week are USC, fresh off a win over previously #14 Arizona; Florida State; North Carolina; Connecticut; and BYU.
- Texas (2 last week)
- Tulsa (1 last week)
- Alabama (3)
- Penn State (7)
- Utah (5)
- Minnesota (6)
- Texas Tech (11)
- Ball State (10)
- Oklahoma State (5)
- Florida (15)
- Boise State (16)
- Oklahoma (19)
- Georgia (25)
- Ohio State (9)
- Michigan State (18)
- Notre Dame (21)
- South Florida (12)
- Northwestern (8)
- TCU (24)
- USC (NR)
- Florida State (21)
- LSU (17)
- North Carolina (NR)
- Connecticut (NR)
- BYU (NR)
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
There you have it. Edgar Renteria clings on to his Type A status by a margin that appears to be safe. Juan Uribe is the only one whose status is close enough to create some doubt, but I am pretty confident that these will be pretty close to accurate.
The same categories as second and third base are used, with defensive categories only counting for their time at shortstop. The most interesting part of this list, to me, is that Ramon Santiago placed third in OBP among all of these players with one of the players above him being Cody Ransom and his low playing time induced .400 mark.
Now that third base, second base, and shortstop have all been calculated, we can see who is Type A and Type B.
What's amazing is that Miguel Cabrera would have a 94.1 score if he counted as a first baseman. He was hurt by his woeful fielding percentage at third base, and the low amount of chances at the position because of his move to first this year. You'll see similar problems plaguing Carlos Guillen when I post the shortstops.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I'm not sure if Tadahito Iguchi counts. From what I gather, the players eligible for the rankings are locked in on August 31. He was released by San Diego on September 1 and signed by Philadelphia in September. It's very possible that he will be eligible for Type B status assuming he does count. This could mean that the Phillies, if they offer arbitration, could have picked up a sandwich pick for free in September. It's something I'll be watching for when the rankings come out.
edit: Upon further review, Iguchi is not a free agent because of the service time issue. I had thought there was an exception because of his time in Japan, but that was simply in the contract he signed with the White Sox. Disregard what was said above.
Grudzielanek is the only free agent from this group, as Carroll and Ellis have both re-signed with their respective clubs. Tigers fans should pay close attention to second basemen next year, as it will have an effect on Placido Polanco's free agent classification.
Arguably, the best of them all is Mike LaLuna, who went undrafted in the 2008 draft and was rated as the top Indy League prospect by Baseball America. He's probably a reliever, and would seem to be headed towards West Michigan or Lakeland in the spring.
Charlie Lisk, is a catcher originally drafted by the White Sox in 2001. He seems like a depth, organizational backup type. If he's anywhere, he's filling a hole in Toledo, Erie, or Lakeland and probably not starting anywhere.
Beau Torbert, an outfielder, had advanced to AAA in the Astros system before being released. Too early to make a call on him, but you'd have to think there will be some spots in Erie's outfield.
Kris Regas is a pitcher and kind of an interesting story. He's teaches college math in the offseason and will now be going to camp looking for a minor league job.
Chad Linder, a left-handed pitcher, is the final signing. Just a year and a half removed from college, he seems destined for a spot in A ball next year.
This is after the team went out and signed pitchers Scot Drucker and Josh Kite from the independent leagues this summer.
In other transactions-related news, Francis Beltran and Francisco Cruceta are free agents. Both were members of the pen this year and both struggled with the big league club despite pitching well for Toledo down the stretch. You would have to think that they will be headed elsewhere next season. The other minor league free agents will be announced after the World Series is over. The ones who have filed so far are excercising their right to refuse outright assignments. There have been over 80 players in the league who have done so, some of them are intriguing. I'm hoping to have the time to sort through some of these possible free talent grabs.
Now Tigstown is confirming the releases of the following players: Hayden Parrott, Cory Middleton, Justin Justice, PJ Finigan, Angel Castro, Danny Zell, Derek Witt, Zach Piccola, and Kelvin Cedano. That's a list full of mostly top 20 draft picks. Parrott and Middleton were highly regarded coming out of high school but have failed to live up to expectations. Justin Justice had a fine year for Lakeland this year, but always seemed to be slow to adjust upon promotions. Angel Castro is probably the biggest surprise of this bunch, as he was one of Erie's best pitchers this year. Finigan never recovered from his Tommy John surgery, which is a bit troubling. Had he not had those problems, he probably would have been one of the guys in line to break into the Tigers' battered pen. Zell seemed to plateau with Erie and wasn't going to be taking a step forward. Witt moved quickly after the draft, but has been strictly a low ceiling A ball reliever the past two years. Zach Piccola missed all of this year with arm problems after really stinking up the joint in 2006-07. Finally Kelvin Cedano had some promise coming out of the Domincan Leagues, but struggled big time between West Michigan and Oneonta this year.
It looks like this was an attempt to clear room in Erie's bullpen for the arrival of a ton of big arms who finished this year in Lakeland, such as Perry, Satterwhite, Sborz, Simons, and Weinhardt. There wasn't going to be room for guys like Castro and Zell, so they may have just been doing them a favor by letting them look for work now.
And a few more cuts via Tigstown. Dario Carvajal, Brandon Harrigan, Hayden Lackey, Santo Mieses, Kyle Pearson, and Carlos Ramirez. Carvajal is a relief pitcher who has struggled to get past the GCL. Harrigan would have been better off forgetting to carry a bat to the plate in the GCL. Lackey had a fine season, but was an undrafted free agent a bit old for the GCL. Mieses bounced around this year between four levels, so the writing had to have been on the wall. Kyle Pearson was picked up in the trade for Denny Bautista, but had shoulder problems all year. Finally, Carlos Ramirez played some first and third for Oneonta, but ultimately struggled to do much of anything in the minors.
It's interesting that the hatchet came down now on all of these guys. The Rule 5 eligibility has been updated to show these releases.
Monday, October 20, 2008
|Wily Mo Pena||30.521|
|Alejandro De Aza||5.938|
Say what you will about these rankings, but the fact that Ryan Howard ranks this low shows they are better than some MVP voters at measuring performance.