FanPost

Small sample size fun: week 1

Chuck already touched on some of these in the main thread today, but I thought that there were a couple of things that I could add.

  • Jason Motte...  I am as disappointed as anyone after watching him struggle in his first two save opportunities this year.  He was my pick for rookie of the year and I really thought that he was going to dominate.  Needless to say, he hasn't yet.  However, strictly by looking at his numbers, we can make use of some basic descriptive statistics all foundable (?) at Fangraphs: 

2008

2009

FB%
 
89.4 
73.8
FB MPH
96.6
96.4
SL%
8.8
23.8
SL MPH 
88.0  
83.9
FIP  
1.04  
2.04
BABIP 
.250 
.662

 

So basically, Motte has shown almost the exact same fastball as last year, and he has actually improved in the off-speed department, throwing his slider more often and with a better speed differential.  So it seems that his stuff is actually better this year, despite the struggles.  As you can see by his FIP, his peripherals this year have been excellent with 3 strikeouts, 0 walks (although one HPB) and 0 homers in 2 and 1/3 innings.  The extraordinarily high BABIP doesn't mean that he has been unlucky, anyone who watched the games will tell you that he got hit pretty hard, it is the reason for his struggles so far.  However, good news, it won't continue.   

The entire theory of BABIP, is that it will usually stay near .300 for pitchers.  Hell, take Pinata who is the very definition of hittable.  He only allowed a .318 BABIP last year.  So we can expect that Motte's BABP will fall around .300 this year (actually power pitchers tend to force a lower BABIP than average), and if he can keep up his excellent peripherals, than he should do very well.   

  • Joe Thurston... .700 BABIP.  If you look at his plate discipline stats, and the ML averages here, nothing has changed much besides the elevated BABIP due to an unsustainable 40% LD rate.  Not to rain on anyone's parade, but Thurston is still most likely a crappy hitter.  Hopefully, Tony doesn't look into his hot steak, as he really shouldn't, and gives Freese and Skip the bulk of the playing time at second and third.  Speaking of that, why the hell is Thurston playing third anyway?
  • Albert Pujols... am I the only one who thinks that his .581 wOBA so far this year is sustainable?  I mean, did you see how hard he hit that Grand Slam yesterday.  If that happened in Fenway, he probably would have broken through the wall.  He seemingly has reached new plate discipline heights with a 19.2% walk rate and only a 4.8% strikeout rate.  In fact, he has improved in the BB category ever single season in the majors so far:

1177_1b_season_full_3_20090411_medium

via www.fangraphs.com

I would actually not be surprised if Albert has a Bondsian season this year with his elbow cleaned up a little bit.

  • Skippy... is 1/1 against lefties this year with a walk.  His OPS is 2.000 against southpaws and his OPS+ is 435.  Damn.  Of course, this is also the guy who OPSed .433 in 133 PA against lefties last year, with a Juan Pierre like .17 ISO. 

However, his career OPS in the minors is a respectable .732 in 290 PA.  So which Skip is the real Skip?

  • Carp... damn
X
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