Hitting Woes

August 24, 2015

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Hitting Slump Statistics

Some of these guys, it’s almost as if …”couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a f****** boat”.

Here’s a review of the Dodgers offense, just looking at batting averages.  Each player is shown with their batting averages over the past 28 days, the past 14 days, and the past 7 days:

Grandal .250/.056/.000
Gonzalez .247/.195/.211
Kendrick .396/na/na
Rollins .260/.227/.136
Turner .156/.156/.056
Ethier .364/.391/.333
Pederson .102/.095/.000
Puig .257/.344/.364
Guerrero .167/.125/.000
Hernandez .358/.308/.250
Van Slyke .188/.071/.000
Callaspo .268/.182/na
Ellis .250/.333/.600
Crawford .316/.348/.077
Utley .386/.387/.222

Just by looking through this list, the batters that look really bad are Grandal, Turner, Pederson, Guerrero, and Van Slyke.

 


Dodgers, Astros, Bullpen

August 21, 2015

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Dodgers Bullpen Worst in the NL

As measured by “Wins Above Average” on Baseball Reference, the Dodgers Bullpen is the worst in the National League this year.  St. Louis is tops with 5.2 WAA, Pittsburgh is 2nd with 2.6, Atlanta is 14th with a negative -2.4, and Los Angeles is 15th with a negative -2.5 WAA.  Contributing heavily to that -2.5 is Jim Johnson with -1.1, Chris Hatcher with -0.7, Chin-Hui Tsao with -0.6, and Joel Peralta with-0.4.  Offsetting those negative individual numbers are JP Howell with 0.8, Kenley Jansen at 0.5, and Juan Nicasio at 0.4.


Dodgers A’s

August 18, 2015

Ethier

Personnel Changes

Lots of changes are afoot in the Dodger Franchise.  International scouts are being told that their services are no longer necessary.  Lorenzo Bundy has been asked to concentrate all of his time on positioning the outfielders.  Ron Roenicke has been hired to be the third base coach for the remaining 44 games of the regular season (and the post season if they go that far).  Meanwhile there have been no announcements regarding change in manager.  However, the Dodgers have gone so far as to inquire about the possibility of acquiring Alejandro De Aza from the Boston Red Sox.  Who is Alejandro De Aza?  A left-handed hitting outfielder.

All of this, together with tonight’s lineup, has us asking the perennial question:  Where is Andre Ethier?  What ever happened to “Every Day Dre”?

I don’t suppose it has anything to do with his splits against left-handed pitchers.  Over the course of his career, Ethier’s OPS split is .889 against righties and .637 against lefties.  His split has widened this year to .900 against righties and .487 against lefties, though of course he only has 36 plate appearances against lefties in 2015.

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Bad Bullpen Bites Bums

August 10, 2015

For those of us who though Joel Peralta was bad, meet Jim Johnson. Their statistics as Dodger relievers:

WHIP   ERA   FIP    IP     Name
1.600   5.40   5.60  20   Joel Peralta
3.818 29.45 10.19  3.2  Jim Johnson


Tale of Two Pitchers

August 7, 2015

Kershaw GreinkeOldHossSweeney

Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke combine to be one of the best starting pitcher duos ever.  Many people have referred to them as Ace #1 and Ace #1A.  Of course, another great pitching duo for the Dodgers was Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale.  How do Kershaw and Greinke compare to Koufax and Drysdale?  Are there other historical duos that have put up numbers similar or better than these Dodger Duos?

Look at the following statistics:  Won-Loss record, ERA, FIP (fielding independent pitching), WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched), and total innings pitched for the season.  Kershaw and Greinke’s numbers are shown for the 2015 season so far, obviously less than a full season.  All other duos are shown for a full season.  I researched pitching duos that have low WHIP’s, in other words, both starting pitchers were very good at keeping runners off the base paths.

W-L   ERA   FIP   WHIP    IP     Year   Name                     Team

9-6    2.37  2.12  0.912  148   2015  Clayton Kershaw   Dodgers
11-2  1.71  2.62  0.853  152   2015  Zack Greinke         Dodgers

 
26-8  2.04  1.93  0.855  335  1965  Sandy Koufax        Dodgers
23-12 2.77  3.18  1.090  308  1965  Don Drysdale        Dodgers

 
17-8  2.40  2.60  1.027  232  2011  Cliff Lee                  Phillies
14-9  2.79  3.05  0.986  216  2011  Cole Hamels          Phillies

 
20-4  2.26  2.24  0.923  199  2002  Pedro Martinez      Red Sox
21-8  2.58  2.34  0.974  219  2002  Derek Lowe           Red Sox

 
18-9  2.22  2.81  0.980  251  1998  Greg Maddux         Braves
20-9  2.47  3.50  1.203  229  1998  Tom Glavine           Braves

 
22-9  1.12  1.77  0.853  304   1968  Bob Gibson           Cardinals
14-8  2.26  2.45  1.105  215   1968  Ray Washburn      Cardinals

 
31-6  1.96  2.53  0.905  336   1968  Denny McLain       Tigers
17-9  3.19  2.99  1.105  220   1968  Mickey Lolich         Tigers

 
29-9  1.47  1.87  0.842  312   1908  Mordecai Brown     Cubs
12-10 2.00  2.19 1.087  252   1908  Jack Pfiester           Cubs

 
39-24 1.74  2.10  0.918  595   1880  John Ward            Grays
13-8   1.38  2.21  0.837  196   1880  George Bradley    Grays

 
59-12 1.38  2.75  0.922  678  1884  Old Hoss Radbourn  Grays
17-8   1.55  2.59  0.824  221  1884  Charlie Sweeney      Grays

 

So, here are the rankings based on the straight average of each duo’s WHIP:

  1.  Radbourn/Sweeney 0.873
  2. Ward/Bradley  0.878
  3. Kershaw/Greinke 0.883
  4. Martinez/Lowe 0.948
  5. Brown/Pfiester 0.965
  6. Koufax/Drysdale 0.973
  7. Gibson/Washburn 0.979
  8. McLain/Lolich 1.005
  9. Lee/Hamels 1.007  [note:  Halladay was at 1.040]
  10. Maddux/Glavine 1.092

 

I may have missed some that should be in the top ten.  I don’t think that I missed any that would beat the top three, however.  Kershaw and Greinke, should they keep it up throughout the end of the season, will be in some rare company.

Story Time

Who were Old Hoss and Charlie?  Why did Charlie Sweeney have much fewer innings pitched than did Old Hoss Radbourn?  How in the world did Old Hoss amass a record of 59-12?  What happened to Charlie?

Not that I was there, but here’s the story.  Old Hoss was 29 years old in 1884 and had already been pitching for the Providence Grays since 1881, starting when he was an “old” 26 years of age.  In 1884, he would proclaim “Old Hoss is ready”, after he warmed up for each game.  Charlie Sweeney was just a 21 year old whippersnapper, and he had gotten his start with the Grays in the previous year, pitching in just 20 games.  Back in the 1880’s, professional baseball teams would usually have a starting rotation of just two pitchers, as teams would play anywhere from 80 to 110 games per season.

So Old Hoss and Charlie were the starting rotation for Providence.  Early in the 1884 season, Charlie was pitching better than Old Hoss.  In fact, on June 7, 1884, Charlie struck out nineteen batters, which set a major league record.  [That record would stand for 102 years until Roger Clemens struck out twenty batters in one game.]  Old Hoss was not a happy camper.

On July 21, 1884, Charlie got really drunk the night before one of his starts.  He showed up too late for practice, but in time to start his game.  The manager wanted to take him out after five innings.  Charlie refused to yield, then finally quit the team after the manager insisted on removing him after the seventh inning.

Old Hoss told the manager that he would take on Charlie’s duties for the remainder of the season, if he was paid both his salary and Charlie’s salary.  The manager agreed, Old Hoss wound up winning a major league record 59 games, and Providence won the pennant.  Old Hoss went on to pitch every inning of a three game exhibition series against the American Association pennant winner, New York Metropolitans.

What about Charlie?  Charlie moved to St Louis and the Union Association league, and finished the season with a 24-7 Win-Loss record for the Maroons.  What a Maroon!


Dodgers at Phillies

August 4, 2015

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 20: A sellout crowd watches the Boston Red Sox defeat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-1 in a MLB interleague baseball game on May 20, 2012 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

What to do with Joc Pederson?  His bat skills have fallen off a cliff.  We hear that the pitchers have adjusted to him, or they have found a hole in his swing.  He is trying to adjust back, aka fix the hole.  Whatever it is, he has had little success.  His hitting numbers (BA/OBP/SLG/OPS):

April  .298/.461/.596/1.057  out of this world

May  .236/.341/.519/.860  very good

June  .222/.379/.495/.874  still good because of the walks

July  .169/.229/.258/.488  awful

last 14 days  .182/.206/.333/.539

last 7 days  .000/.000/.000/.000

What about his defense?  Do the numbers show that he is a stellar center fielder?  Do we have anyone who has similar or better numbers in center field?  We’ll look at errors (fielding percentage), range (number of putouts and assists per nine innings played), and assists.  The career numbers shown below reflect only what each player has done as a center fielder in the major leagues.

Pederson  98.1% fielding pct, 2.04 range, 5 assists in 112 games

Ethier  98.9% fielding pct, 2.02 range, 5 assists in 144 games

Puig  97.6% fielding pct, 2.22 range, 8 assists in 63 games

Hernandez  96.7% fielding pct, 2.78 range, 0 assists in 24 games

Van Slyke  100.0% fielding pct, 2.07 range, 0 assists in 21 games

Tabata  96.0% fielding pct, 1.91 range, 0 assists in 16 games

If the Dodgers sent Pederson back to AAA for a month, who would cover center field?  Based on the above statistics, Yasiel Puig or Andre Ethier could do the job, with Enrique Hernandez filling in once in a while.  The outfield in August could look like:  Crawford/Van Slyke in left field, Puig in center field, and Ethier in right field.

 

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Dodgers, Trades, Angels

July 31, 2015

Kershaw

Who’s In?  Who’s Out?

Most of the Dodgers trading activity at or near the deadline involved pitching.  Trade away the youngsters who are still in development.  Receive some seasoned staff who have already proven themselves in the major leagues.  Pay millions and millions for bad contracts on worn-out players who will never play for the Dodgers.  Note that “#Years” is number of contract years the players will be under control.

WHIP    FIP    Age    #Years    Level    Position     Name

1.267    3.17   24      4 years   MLB     St LHP       Alex Wood

1.175    3.40   27    2 months  MLB    St RHP        Mat Latos

1.309    3.67   32    2 months  MLB    RL RHP       Jim Johnson

1.165    3.43   25     4 years    MLB    RL LHP       Luis Avilan

.303/.344/.388  21    6+yrs     AAA     SS/2B       Jose Peraza  ++speed

.275/.336/377   27     1 yr       MLB     RF/LF     Jose Tabata  DFA’d–>AAA

really old  38     2 mo    MLB     was RHP   Bronson Arroyo won’t pitch

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And those being sent away:

WHIP    FIP    Age   #Years   Level   Position    Name

.323/.407/.504  30    5 years  Cuba   3B          Hector Olivera

0.996   2.98     24     4 years  MLB    RL LHP   Paco Rodriquez

1.456   4.74era  20    6 yrs      A+       RHP       Zachary Bird

1.294   3.36era  20     6 yrs     A          RHP      Kevin Guzman

1.551   4.93era   23    6 yrs     A+        RHP      Jeff Brigham

1.187   4.30era   22    6 yrs     A+        RHP      Victor Araujo

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No, the Dodgers did not get Cole Hamels AND David Price to lock down a Kershaw/Greinke/Hamels/Price rotation in the playoffs.  However, they did solidify their rotation by adding a solid #3 Alex Wood and a good #4 Mat Latos.  That will send “I can’t pitch into the sixth inning” Mike Bolsinger to AAA.  Also notice that Alex Wood is not a rental and will be a solid piece in the rotation up through 2019.

The bullpen is also improved with the addition of Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan.  I will miss Paco Rodriquez, however, he was out a lot of the past couple of years with injuries.  The addition of two starters also allows Carlos Frias to be used in the bullpen, where he is arguably more effective.

Meanwhile, we never got to see Hector Olivera perform as a Dodger.  Hopefully, Justin Turner will get healthy and stay healthy and the Dodgers won’t miss Hector.  Next year or later this year, Jose Peraza can be added to the infield and potentially be used as a true leadoff hitter.