01
Sep 10

5 Reasons NOT to hate Manny Parra

Disappointing.

Stupid.

Just doesn't get it.

A complete and total letdown.

What do these words in common? They aren't words that my parents used to describe me. Those involve much more f-words. No, they are all words and phrases people have used to describe Manny Parra. Last week Manny Parra was removed from the starting rotation and the talk about him, his potential and his future place in Milwaukee reached it's zenith.

Manny Parra is one of the most divisive figures in the Milwaukee Brewers organization and everyone has their own opinion on him. We once said that Manny Parra was the one and only job that Rick Peterson had when he joined this organization. (Fire Rick Peterson!) Whether we like it or not as Brewers fans Manny Parra is deep in our DNA, like herpes.

The thing is and always has been that Manny Parra does have talent, a lot of it. Maybe more than any starter that hasn't been robbed a gunpoint. Everyone knows this. We're at the point now where talking about Manny Parra is bordering on obsession. I spend more time on the internet reading and writing about Manny Parra than I do googling pictures of Christina Hendricks. That's just not right.

Anyways, as with any post about Manny Parra we need to get the required "Manny is actually kinda good" stuff out of the way first. I'm going to let other blogs do the heavy lifting on this one.

From BrewCrewBall:

The Brewers started the 2010 season with Parra in the bullpen. He was moved to the rotation and has started 13 games. He's responded with the best strikeout rate of his career (over 9 per 9) and has dropped his walk rate back down to about 4.3 per 9. His FIP is at 4.6, with a bad rate on home runs: his expected FIP is right at 4. The BABIP is right back up in the .360s, however, and his rates of line drives, fly balls, and ground balls are similar to last year's, and they're pretty much fine. And his ERA is 5.6.

If you're skeptical of FIP and tERA makes more sense to you, look at it this way: in the past three years, Parra's expected ERA based on his amount of line drives, fly balls, groundballs, strikeouts, and walks allowed, have been: 4.67, 4.78, and 4.67 again this year.

Something very strange is going on with Manny Parra. If someone can give me a justifiable reason why Parra is carrying the one of the highest BABIPs in history, I'm willing to listen.

So, Manny Parra is the same pitcher he's always been despite performing noticeably worse the last two years, but that's mostly because he gives up a lot of hits and homeruns. He's just run into some bad luck or something else, something presumably far more sinister. He's not this bad and this should even itself out at some point.  Maybe.

Got it.

Now for Disciples of Uecker:

The problem for Parra is the 6th inning. Parra has made it to the 6th inning in 16 games (including, I believe, one relief appearance). He has recorded 29 outs in these 16 games, allowing 18 earned runs, 25 hits, and 16 walks while striking out 15. I think it’s fair to say that Manny has “lost it” in the sixth inning on multiple (almost every?) occasion in which he’s had the chance.

The previous five innings are pretty good. 79 innings pitched, 40 ER (4.56 ERA), 81 Ks, 36 BBs. The only black spot is 13 HRs, and that’s a number that will likely regress, as Parra’s HR/FB rate is a career high this season. I’m hard pressed to explain why Parra struggles so mightily in the sixth inning. This isn’t an isolated issue for 2010, either – he has a 9.20 ERA in the sixth inning for his career.

So Manny Parra is an average to above average pitcher before the fifth inning then the wheels come off and he totally sucks. Got it.

See? Some times advanced statistics can prove exactly what we thought about people all along. Manny Parra is an underachiever who hasn't improved during his time with the team who gives up too many hits and homeruns despite being really good at striking people out. Also, he sucks after the fifth inning. I wonder if there's an advanced statistic that proves how easy your mom is.

It's hard not to hate him for this. He's talented, he's not working to get better and he's kind of good looking. He's everything I hate! It's like looking in a mirror! A mirror of self hate! He ruined my life!

Still, maybe we shouldn't hate him. I mean, he might figure it out one day and then it would be all weird between us. We should try not to hate him. We don't have to like him, but we should at least try and get along. Like I did with my mom and my new stepdad. Actually, that's a bad example. I still hate that asshole.

Anyway, here's five reasons not to have Manny Parra. Continue reading →


06
Nov 09

Carlos Gomez: What the people are saying

Royals Twins BaseballI 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.

Bernie's Crew

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.

Dave Cameron

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.

Tom Haudriourt

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.

The Hardball Times

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.

Rob Neyer

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.

Doug Melvin

"He's still learning; he has areas to work on,"

Aaron Gleeman

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.

Robert @ Al's Ramblings

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.

Sabernomics

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.

Twins GM Bill Smith

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)
7. Gomez
8. Escobar
9. Pitcher

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?

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