16
Mar 09

Bill James is wrong about Rickie Weeks

I really like Rickie Weeks, and I feel strongly that he has major league ability that just hasn't come out yet. One of the reasons it hasn't come out yet -- one of several -- is that they keep playing him at second base, and he really is not much of a second baseman. I would compare him to Don Buford, a player of three or four generations ago who came up as a highly touted second baseman for the White Sox, but never really could put it together as a second baseman. But Earl Weaver moved him to left field, and he was a very valuable player as a left fielder/leadoff man.

The godfather of sabermetrics Bill James decided to talk about Rickie Weeks. It seems like everyone has wanted to talk about Rickie Weeks lately. Some people go so far as to say that he is a failure at life. I am not one of these people. I love Rickie Weeks, have his jersey and everything. That's why I am not afraid to say that Bill James is wrong about Rickie Weeks. Weeks is flawed, but a move to left field is not going to help him. For the Brewers to extract maximum value from Weeks he needs to make it at 2B.

Where Rickie Weeks against other 2B, 2008 MLB:

Runs: 9th
HR: 9th
SB: 6th
BB: 5th
OBP: 10th
OPS: 12th
RC27: 10th
Isolated Power: 8th

A conservative estimate would have him as maybe the 10th best offensive 2B in the MLB, at worst 5th in the NL. The biggest problem with Rickie has always been his batting average. Batting average is a pretty empty statistic as far as value goes, but the fact is that .234 isn't good enough. If Weeks hits .260 he is 10th in OPS and we have a completely different view of him as a ballplayer (oh, and his OPS would be higher than Corey Hart).

Before we hate him and his BA, consider this: Weeks' .234 average was 15th out of 16 qualifying 2B in 2008 and he leapfrogs 5 out of those guys when you add in walks. It is clear that Weeks has talent. (I am even leaving out that most of the guys ahead of him in the counting stats had 100+ more plate appearances than him.)

His defense, no matter what stat you use, has him around average. Maybe slightly below. He's not Mark Ellis and he's not Dan Uggla.

When you add his offense and defense together, Weeks is a slightly above average 2B. He has never played below replacement level for the Brewers and has always given them positive value.

Rickie Weeks is a victim of expectations. He was a top pick and is expected to be like his top pick teammates. He never lead off in his life and he was thrust into the role when he was 24, when he probably should have been batting towards the bottom of the order. Yet he's supposed to know how to do it and succeed. Give Weeks credit for all the work he's done with the coaches this spring to figure this out. He knows there's a problem and he knows he can be better. This is a good thing.

It's good because the upside is still there. He's only 26 years old. Will he ever be Chase Utley? No, but over a full season I think he is a lock for 15HR/20SB/100R with a .350-.370 OPS. Does this sound like a player who fails at life? Or someone very similiar to (but with a lower BA/higher OBP) the beloved Corey Hart?


16
Mar 09

Links for a spring morning

Holy cow, is it nice out there or what? I went shopping for softball gloves yesterday and was too hot in my pants. Crazy. Speaking of softball, what is the deal with that? This is my first year joining a league and there are multiple ball sizes. Seriously? Is this a tremendous difference between a slow pitched 12.5 inch ball and a 14 inch? Is this really necessary for me to have different sized gloves?

On to the links..

Anthony Witrado's English Adventures Continued...: Al points out another classic A-Dub mistake. I love that it's Al pointing it out because he is quick to point out that he's no English major himself.

USA beats itself by slaughter rule: I remember when I was in little league and we lost a game once by slaughter rule. Even though I was 0-3 I still wanted to fight every single one of my teammates for letting this happen. I hope Youkilis doesn't feel the same way, he could probably do it.

Wait a minute, why am I talking about this?: BRAUN IS INJURED??!? I HATE THE WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC!!! I HATE THE DUTCH!!!

You know who else hates the Dutch? Matt Lindstrom: The WBC is no longer fun and games.

Brewers too reliant on home runs: You know, because that strategy worked so horribly for the Phillies.

Bill James wants a piece of me: Bill James comments on Rickie Weeks. I'm going to comment more on this later, but I'll give you a preview: I am going to challenge a 59 year old man to a fight.

Mets owners are greedy, jerks: Shocking, no?

We'll be back with more later. (A lot more actually.) Until then if you want links done right check out Brew Crew Ball who have been very kind to us in our short existence. (Sidenote: Does it bother anyone else that the Brewers and Cubs blogs on SB Nation both are initialized BCB? That bugs the crap out of me.)


13
Mar 09

Let’s pretend all the Brewers are from other countries

I am a big fan of the site Walk Off Walk. The writers at that site are big fans of Rinku and Dinesh and their blog. The blog is pretty awesome and hilarious mostly due to the fact that it is poorly translated.

Yesterday locker room man coming to us from company Topps. He saying we sign contract. We telling him we not reading this english. we say he have talking JB sir. He saying he talking JB sir and JB sir say OK signing.

As I read this I am conflicted with dueling emotions. On the one hand I am elated on how awesome these words can be. On the other I am sad because these gentlemen are Pirates and the Brewers don't have any young Indian pitchers coming down the pipeline. Luckily for me, I have the inernet and through the magic of babel fish I can make any Brewer I want become a broken English speaking immigrant. (Is this wrong? Maybe. As you can probably tell I am ready for the season to start when playing with babel fish and posting pictures of guys in lucha masks is all I can come up with.)

  • Mike Cameron
    "Since they decided to pay $10 million to me, I don' t thinks they will seat that me in the bank. I don' t thinks that's good investment"
    "I will play until it is judged that I am not able to play more"
  • Rickie Weeks
    "They plows very straight forward That is what I want. Just tell me"
    "I am hardly trying to obtain to me right after both years last, I am trying to find my oscillation.."
    "They are both good signallers, if they were not, they would not be here. There are certain things that we are trying to work ignition and to perfect those so I can obtain better."
  • Manny Parra
    "He used that more changeup, he said, that never used he it before and that one outside reason of its success, I listened to that one and finishes of tries to incorporate it in my game"
  • Tony Gwynn Jr
    "I am beginning to terrify to me"
  • Alcides Escobar
    "J.J. and I, we' re very fresh, man. He is a good boy, good player."
  • JJ Hardy
    "Without knowing who it was or what position he played, I said, ' I have taste of this cabrito,"
  • Corey Hart
    "In that point, I finish requesting that it would be in the zone of strike and could put it in game."
    "If you play any sport, when you fight, you try to find something to take root on."
  • Ryan Braun
    "The initial humming has been incredible. It' s probably greater than we never anticipated."
    "I recognize that when you are at this level much people put to him in a pedestal, and she wants to a piece of you. "
  • Prince Fielder
    "I'm my worse critic, I'm very happy and so I have done, only I must keep working. There's portions of things that I need to obtain better in, defensive, everything."
    "While it can take a wood and make pivot it. I'm hardly happy. The brewers took the care from me. One hardly feels well. I can' t even explains it." (Somehow this one ended up being the complete opposite.)
    "I finish eating better, I don't knows. I'm fines now"

Yeah, I got nothing.


11
Mar 09

A glimpse into the future, a glimpse into the past

Rotowire:

Update:
Marmol gave up two runs in the 11th inning to blow a save in the Dominican Republic's 2-1 WBC loss to the Netherlands. Marmol made a key throwing error on a pickoff attempt.

Recommendation:
A huge upset loss for the Dominican Republic as they were eliminated from the WBC and a likely emotional blow to Marmol. Still, he has plenty of time to recover for Opening Day.


11
Mar 09

Dance with me you mustachioed fool

Walk Off Walk asks the questions: Why haven't baseball players been invited to be on Dancing with the Stars? It's an interesting question seeing as how this season has Steve-O, Steve Jobs' sidekick (also known as Kathy Griffin's rich ex) and famous coke addict Lawrence Taylor. They could clearly use some fresh meat. So, why not baseball players? Famous people don't get anymore well spoken and elegant than Cal Ripken Jr, Robin Yount and Tony Gwynn. These guys would be a ratings bonanza.

Yet, Robin Yount isn't the Brewer I would most like to see on the show. Nor is he the baseball player I think could do more for this show in the long run. No, that player is.... well, do you really even have to ask?

Gorman Thomas

But why stop at Dancing with the Stars? Why not get Gorman on every reality show? The Amazing Race, Survivor, Cheaters, Denise Richards: It's Complicated, The Principal's Office, everything. I can honestly say without a shadow of a doubt that Gorman Thomas would improve every single reality show on television. In fact, I will go so far as to say that he may be reality TV's only hope.

Make it happen ABC.