Friday, April 27, 2018


 I was Watching the game on delay (as usual) and speaking to a reader of this blog on the phone while preparing for the draft at 8 pm when Minnesota’s closer (Fernando Rodney – the righty pitcher who wears his hat like a lefty) got on the mound in the 9th inning with the good guys trailing 3-1.  I said something like we can hit this guy, we have gotten him many times.  I don’t know if my perception was right or not, but he has been an average closer with the exception of one truly great year in 2012.  Watching our first 2 guys get on via an error and a weak play, we were in business with nobody out.  Rodney is a 95 MPH fairly straight fastball and an excellent changeup guy.  Sanchez sat on the fastball and got one inside (a ball) but turned on it and the only question was whether it was fair…in fact, I saw the swing and said, (not a manly) “ooh, stay fair” as I thought it would go foul…but it stayed fair and we had our (I think) first walk off HR of the year!  Love that feeling! 

1.       Our defense has been pretty sloppy so far this year, but I don’t think it is anything to be concerned about with the exception of Sanchez who still has work to do behind the plate

2.       Not to contradict my first statement, while Andujar has been good in the field so far, he has played a few balls off to the side where he easily could have moved his feet on and that may lead to some issues later on.  He did miss a ball playing “2nd base” on a shift and he was slow with his feet, but being out of position could have a lot to do with that…anyway, something to look at

3.       Tyler Austin has played a good first base (he did just miss a line drive yesterday that he might tell you he could have had but not an easy play) and has hit really well.    He has a .991 OPS right now (3rd on team behind Didi 1.245 and Judge 1.122) which is hard to imagine continuing, but let’s ride it as long as we can.  His suspension was reduced to 4 games and I assume he will start it immediately.

4.       Hicks had an important sac fly in the game yesterday to chip away at the 3 run deficit and has played well.  I think he is important, because if he can give us the .836 OPS he has so far, we should be a potent offense.  This is a very encouraging trend so far in this young season.

5.       While on encouraging trends, I got what I wanted in having two rookies starting for us at 2nd and 3rd base and so far it looks very promising!  Andujar has an OPS of .869 which is excellent for a star player; if he could maintain an .800 it is a huge success at this young age.  And Gleyber Torres looks like a kid who belongs as well.  While he missed a throw and took another throw more in front of the bag on a steal than he should, he seems like he does everything well (maybe not great though).  He can run, field, throw and swing the bat all very well. 

6.       Gardner has not had a good start to the year hitting with a .657 OPS, but the biggest disappointment has been Walker who is having his worst year in the majors (.435 OPS is putrid).  I assume when Austin is out, Walker will get his chance to get back on track (and he will be better than this as nobody without injury drops off like this).

7.       Betances has shown some life, but if he comes in and throws the ball all over the place yank him quickly.  The other day he walked a guy missing badly and I told my son take him out now…an air ball to first error and another walk and hit later (with a K in between) and he was out of there.  His stuff is fantastic, but you can’t count on him and need a quick trigger…getting him right would be huge though so we have to try.

8.       Gray and the Minnesota starter were both bad.  They each missed on so many pitches and the teams made them pay.  Gray better get himself straight as he has not looked good yet.

9.       Robertson was really sharp yesterday showing good cutter movement and a sharp bite on his curve; now he needs to get more pin pointed on his location.  He has not used his cutter inside to lefties this year.

10.   This is another shot at Oneill (He actually has been better and made some good comments along with being entertaining, but…) he doesn’t understand advanced stats and analytics.  He still talks about shifting and how it is a fad, he has even stated that platooning doesn’t allow a guy to get better against the other side, and while there is a little truth to that and he is a good example of how a player can get better with that opportunity, there is a reason why he had an OPS of .888 against righties and .699 against lefties.  Anyway, he made a comment about how pitchers play around too much when they get you at 0-2 and should go after a hitter because a friend of his shared with him that batter hit under .200 on a 0-2 count.  While accurate (I remember the number around .165), there is a reason for this.  The main one is that pitchers should not be going right after hitters on a 0-2 count, they should nibble or make a great pitchers pitch on the black.  Michael Kay actually said, that wasting a pitch is different than throwing a waste pitch and I kind of agree with that.  My take is that a waste pitch should be a setup pitch or a pitch close enough for a batter to possibly expand the strike zone for (depends on the batter and the situation on which approach I would take).  A wasted pitch is one that the batter had no chance of swinging at because it was so bad and also doesn’t set up the rest of the AB.  The point is that armed with a good stat Oneill didn’t understand how to use it or what it meant (of course average isn’t as good as OPS either).  I decided to find the numbers and this shows the MLB avg AFTER the count so getting to an 0-2 puts the pitcher in the driver’s seat (slightly different than the actual batting on an 0-2 count as I couldn’t find that stat)
After 0-1 count: .221 average, .592 OPS
After 0-2 count:
.166 average, .438 OPS
After 1-0 count:
.268 average, .796 OPS
After 2-0 count:
.281 average, .955 OPS
After 3-0 count:
.282 average, 1.209 OPS  
After 1-1 count:
.234 average, .656 OPS
After 2-1 count:
.252 average, .781 OPS
After 3-1 count:
.274 average, 1.029 OPS
After 1-2 count:
.178 average, .489 OPS  
After 2-2 count:
.193 average, .584 OPS
On a 3-2 count:
.216 average, .792 OPS


No comments:

Post a Comment