As we head into spring training I have a few random things I'd like to get off my chest. Nothing that really requires an entire post, but some thoughts I wanted to get out there nonetheless. This is the worst time to follow baseball. That's all I really have to say about it because this guy sort of nailed it already. And since I have nothing else to write in this intro.. Here. We. Go. Continue reading
I like to read hastily put together lists that make people angry. Just today I read a list of the best 10 TV shows of the decade that somehow included Modern Family despite it only having aired like six episodes. What a joke, right? Always in search of links and angry comments I decided today would be a good day to put together my own hastily top ten list. Enjoy. Continue reading
I've been reading Al's Ramblings over the weekend and I was shocked at how Al was slowly convincing himself that he really liked this trade. I mean, this is the same guy who thought Corey Hart would be a good center field option and now he's down with a .287 on base percentage? This didn't seem right to me so I shot him an email and decided to engage in a little conversation with him (like we did before). Here's what we came up with. Beware nerdy baseball talk ahead.
MPD: Alright Al I have a bone to pick with you about this Hardy/Gomez trade. Sure, it's a cheap alternative who is great at defense (just like the cheap alternative that is great at defense we have at shortstop), but you of all people should hate this trade. After all you are the one who is constantly talking up the excellence of OXS in predicting runs and you are the one who takes joy in the failures of Jack Wilson. Now, you're okay with a lineup where 1/3 of the players in it have a combined OPS of 650-700 (and that's without including the pitcher.) Seriously, look at this group as it stands now: Continue reading
I don't want to talk about Carlos Gomez. Not tonight. Let me just say that my first word was "gross" when I heard about it. GROSS as in "b. Offensive; disgusting." Yeah.
So I'm not talking about this. To properly explain my feelings I will post a few things that other people have said about this trade and you can get where I am coming from.
Carlos Gomez is a young player who swings at too many pitches at the plate. This handcuffs him from taking too many walks and also causes quite a high strikeout rate. From personal experience, Gomez also rarely makes solid contact at the plate, either.
In all aspects, he is a black hole offensively.
To acquire Hardy, the Twins gave up Gomez, an outstanding defender in his own right. Milwaukee apparently wanted a premium defender to replace Mike Cameron in center field, but they’re taking a pretty big hit offensively in the swap. Gomez strikes out too often to make the slap hitting gig work, and his inability to bunt himself on base in 2009 caused his average to sink to unacceptable levels.
Even with his elite range in the outfield, Gomez is going to have to improve offensively in order to be worth a starting job. With infields taking away the bunt, he’s going to have to get himself on base in other ways, because it’s nearly impossible to justify starting an outfielder with a .286 career wOBA when you’re trying to make the playoffs.
J.J. Hardy is a good player who had a down year. I'm not sure what Carlos Gomez is. Thus far, a pretty big underachiever.
Gomez has been a poor hitter, but is still just 23 with plenty of possible fruitful years ahead of him. The cachet here that the Brewers liked was his defense, which should help the Brewers and their flyball pitching staff. A leap forward offensively may be a long shot to ask for, but perhaps Doug Melvin is hopeful Gomez can experience a Michael Bourn-type breakout.
Yes, he's just now turning 24. But however young, you'd like to see a bit of progress, right? Gomez's seasonal OBPs: .288, .296, .287. That looks like a guy who just doesn't get it, at all. Sure, he did much better while still just a baby in both Double- and Triple-A, but those seasons are starting to seem like a long time ago.
"He's still learning; he has areas to work on,"
I'm far from convinced that Gomez will develop into an above-average hitter, but combined with his defense even something as modest as .275/.325/.400 would make him All-Star caliber.
It's not just a bad OPS, every indication is that he has a horrible approach at the plate. His terrible OBPs are the result of a terrible approach at the plate. 4:1 K to BB rates tell me that he has no clue what's a strike and what's a ball. Nobody develops really until they stop swinging at balls and start swinging at strikes. Batters like that are just too easy to get out. See Jeff Francoeur. Or Corey Patterson.
The down side is that one injury, and this kid is toast. He can’t move over to a corner. You’ve just got to hope he learns how to hit (unlikely) or stays healthy.
He's still learning to play the game.
Alright, fine. I'll say something. This isn't an outright terrible trade. It saves the Brewers a lot of money and that helps them. My favorite player was expensive. Sorry. He was expensive because he was good. This guy is better than Cameron at defense so he's probably an upgrade, but he's just not good at hitting and unless they go out and get some really awesome pitchers it's going to be pretty hard to sell me that this was a good idea. Why? Look what the bottom part of our lineup might look like:
6. Kendall (or new catcher)
That's not even including the suddenly average Corey Hart or whoever ends up playing third (does McGehee decline? does Gamel stumble?). As of today this lineup leans more on Braun, Fielder and to a lesser extent Weeks/McGehee/Hart than ever before. One wrong move and then what? Our defense will be great, but does that even matter when the team is giving up homeruns? (Which, by the way, gave up more than any other team last year.) Sure we save money, but if we spend it on Jarrod Washburn (Jeff Suppan 2.0) or some other mediocore piece of crap then who gives a rip?
Look, the Yankees and Phillies just played in the World Series. Yes, they both have more money than us, but you know what? They each led their league in homeruns. (The Brewers were third.) What does that tell you? The homerun is king and they've removed 35 homeruns from last year's team for two guys who will play better defense, but will be lucky to hit 10 combined. Can this really be considered a good thing?
As the Phillies gift wrap a World Series for the Yankees, the time for offseason moves is approaching. The Hot Stove League is one of the best times of the year. Lots to think about, lots to talk about, tons of speculation and none of those pesky losses to agonize over. As the days roll on, I become more and more convinced that my favorite player, Mike Cameron, won't be back. Rumors of him signing with the Cubs swirl and all of the sudden I start to feel like this guy:
“It’s like going into church on Sunday and the priest says, `Everybody go home, Jesus has now sided with the devil,”’ [Packers fan Mark Fields, who was wearing a Favre jersey with "JUDAS" written on the back] said.
(It's okay, buddy. Have some milk and cookies then go take a nap. Everything is going to be all right.)
The consensus seems to be that Mike Cameron will not be back and that the Brewers starting center fielder for 2010 will be none other than Jody Gerut. He's cheaper, he's under team control and he could put up roughly the same numbers. To prepare for this seemingly inevitable move I keep looking at Gerut's stats, his projections, his Wikipedia page and I just can't figure him out. He just doesn't make any sense. He's either going to be a great steal and an amazing asset or one of the biggest busts in team history. I haven't been this confused since my middle school thought the best way to teach kids about sex was by watching Degrassi episodes from the 80s. Not that I was complaining. (Hey Shane, if you think you are responsible enough to handle a kid when you are in middle school maybe you shouldn't eat acid and jump off a bridge a couple years later. Just a thought.)
Let's take a quick look at Jody Gerut's career: Continue reading