September 3rd, 2013

Today's slate.

The Big Hurst - Hiroki Kuroda

skoormit - Edwin Jackson

La Osa Rosa - Madison Bumgarner

skoormit: Trout is on pace for 9.75 WAR. Something I just noticed: his 10.9 WAR last year he achieved in just 139 games. An absolutely otherworldly performance. This year, his triple slash numbers are all up (.326/.399/.564 vs .335/.432/.576). He's actually a better offensive player this year, but his defense has gone from really really good (2.1 dWAR) to decidedly sub-par (-0.7). I'm not an expert on the defensive metrics, but his apparent decline might be a result of playing more often this year in LF rather than CF.
The Big Hurst:  With no comment on his method, skoormit continues his relentless assault on the Marliners.  I think I have a new favorite team.  About Trout, he's a beast.  But I'm on the record that he's might have a fat guy in him, waiting to get out.  Maybe that explains some defensive troubles?  His basestealing seems down-ish.  We've also talked before about how truly good defense seems to be the almost exclusive property of younger players.  There seems to be some sort of natural pattern for fielders to quickly become average on defense, even if they retain hitting skill or other things.  Regarding Trout, I wonder whether the really good hitters feel like they can get lazy on defense because they just don't care.  He's not worried about staying in the majors.  I have a hunch that it's very physically and mentally tough to maintain defensive skill and, if you've got mad hitting skills like Mike Trout (or plenty of other guys that might follow this pattern), why bother?  I don't know what's going through his head, but I'd wonder: (1) Is this a pattern?  And, (2) Is he following it?  Here are the best dWARs of 2013 right now, listed with ages:
  • Simmons, 23, 4.9
  • Machado, 20, 3.7
  • Arenado, 22, 3.5
  • Gomez, 27, 3.3
  • Lagares, 24, 2.8
  • Parra, 26, 2.8
  • Cain, 27, 2.6
  • Castillo, 26, 2.5
  • Florimon, 26, 2.5
  • Victorino, 32, 2.4
  • Pedroia, 29, 2.2
  • Martin, 30, 2.1
  • Ellsbury, 29, 2.1
I could've cut this chart off at Florimon, but I'm a fair and honest kind of guy.  Victorino and Ellsbury are having outlier seasons on defense.  Pedroia and Martin have always been excellent.  I still think the pattern holds and we've seen fielders regularly come into the league, make a splash with good defense, and then struggle to ever get back to the level they had when they were in their mid or early 20s.  The reputation often continues quite a while after the skills have receded.
The Big Hurst: Just a random FYI, "Old Man Petticoat" is still a running joke around my house.


The Big Hurst: What cold-hearted bastard wouldn't be rooting at least a little for the Pirates this year?  (And maybe the A's?)


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