Sunday, 31 March 2013
Tuesday, 26 March 2013
This is presented without any analysis. Just it was a piece that was requested by a show that I enjoy, so I figured I'd pitch in. There may be more added to this project in the future, or this could be it.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Mentoch.
Monday, 25 March 2013
Someone's going to be wrong about the Astros. Someone's going to be very wrong.
Maybe it's us. Maybe it's them.
Maybe it's the baseball bloggers who love them. Maybe it's the traditional baseball men who hate them.
The scouts who have watched them all spring take turns predicting how bad it will get.
"I have them winning three games the first month of the season," one says.
"The over-under on wins is 40," says another. "And I actually raised that, from 35."
The blogger-types take turns predicting how soon it will get to be good.
"It bears repeating," our own Dayn Perry wrote last week. "Three or four years from now, no one's going to be laughing at the Astros any longer."
The anti-Astros crowd so badly wants to see them fail that they're no doubt exaggerating how bad it is (and how little chance it has to get better anytime soon). But the pro-Astros crowd so badly wants them to succeed that they're no doubt being too optimistic about how good it will get (and how soon it will happen).
What's happening here is either the start of something really exciting, or a disaster so bad the commissioner should have stepped in to stop it. Either the Astros are embarrassing the game by trying to lose, or they're finally going through a logical process of building a winner.
Luhnow deserves some benefit of the doubt, because his track record is better than his doubters would like to admit. Plenty of people ripped the players Luhnow drafted when he was with the Cardinals, but some of those same players (Allen Craig, Jon Jay, to name two) have already won a World Series.
Again quotes please? If people ripped Luhnow's tenure as the Cardinals scouting director, I'd like to see them, because everything I've read about Luhnow has nothing but praise for both building the Cardinals into the perennial contender they were during the aughts, but also how well set up they are for the future with guys like Shelby Miller, Oscar Taveras, Carlos Martinez, etc.
Goldstein came to the Astros from Baseball Prospectus, and there were certainly eyebrows raised when he was named the team's pro scouting coordinator. But in his first seven months on the job, Goldstein has proven to be a lot more scout-friendly than some in baseball (and in the blogger world) would have expected.
"I know we're going to break people's hearts by saying this," Goldstein said. "We have a scouting staff. We care about scouts. We have crazy-great scouts. It's important that we have a big scouting staff."
The scouting community isn't impressed. Stories abound about former scouts the Astros let go, and some rival scouts refer to holdover Paul Ricciarini as "a dinosaur -- the last Astros scout."
For now, the Astros are happy their offense has looked somewhat powerful this spring (40 home runs in the first 27 games).
The scouts who watch say they just don't see it.
"I don't see how," said one scout who has followed the team. "I haven't seen one player with the status of [Eric] Hosmer or [Mike] Moustakas or that type of guy. They've added all these former No. 1 picks, but the reason those guys were traded is they didn't perform for the team that had them.
Saturday, 23 March 2013
Tuesday, 19 March 2013
“The woman told police she remembered vomiting into the toilet at the apartment. While doing so, the woman told police someone she could not identify was standing at her side masturbating on her.She said she passed out, and when she awoke at around 8:45 a.m., she told police she was lying on a couch with her pants down and other parts of her clothing were missing.A report from the Kern County Crime Lab states, "Josh Lueke matches this DNA" from the anal swab, tank top strap and hair of the alleged victim.”
“It’s controversial enough that a player with Lueke’s past made it onto a big league roster and while Lueke has stayed out of trouble since then, the controversy has only been amplified by how badly he has pitched.”
“The Rays traded a player who was about to break out for a reliever who couldn’t get anyone out- and his criminal record only exacerbates the situation. But in reality, the situation is far better than it appears.”
“You can hate Josh Lueke’s guts, but you have to appreciate the way he has persevered through the critical mistake he made and all the opportunities that have passed him by.”
“Since his arrest, Lueke has stayed out of trouble and has never been regarded as a problem in any clubhouse he has been in.”
“And even as his ERA has reached scary heights of late, he has continued to head to the mound and find a way around his struggles.”
“And not only does he has great stuff, but his results have actually been much better than they have appeared. In 2011 for the Mariners, Lueke’s ERA was 6.06 in 24 games, but it was 3.42 in his final 17 appearances and his FIP on the season was actually 3.32 as his strikeout to walk ratio was 29-13 in 32.2 innings pitched and he allowed only 2 home runs. Lueke did have an 18.90 ERA in the majors in 2012, but it was an exceedingly small sample size he actually struck out 2 in a perfect inning in his final appearance. And most impressive was Lueke’s Triple-A numbers. Lueke’s ERA may have been 5.59, but he managed a 9.4 K/9, a 2.3 BB/9, and a 0.8 HR/9 in 67.2 IP on his way to an outstanding 3.01 FIP. The past couple years, Lueke really hasn’t been that bad at all and the major reason for his struggles has been terrible luck. At least on the baseball diamond, Lueke was always better than he appeared and this spring training he has continued to prove exactly that.”
Nice to see that not only does the author of this poor piece have a terrible moral compass, but he also is very poor at statistical analysis as well.
“And as Lueke finds success for the first time at the major level, we’ll be captivated by his dominating arsenal, and justifiably or not, his past will be forgotten as Rays fans watch him help their team win games.”