Category Archives: GoodEnough

GoodEnough: One Up and One Over

docgoodensmall.jpgGoodEnough for Me is an on-going analysis of the rookie pitchers during the 2007 baseball season. The series was inspired by, and serves as companion piece to, The Extrapolater’s Smells Like Pujols series, which is taking a look at some of the top rookie position players. You can find Smells Like Pujols HERE.

I’ve tweaked the formulas on the chart just a bit, and as a result, I lowered all the scores a couple of rungs.  Putting that in perspective, a guy like Daisuke Matsuzaka had a phenomenal week.  Following last week’s abysmal outing on May 3rd, The Monster rebounded by allowing only 8 baserunners in 7 innings, and striking out 8, for his best performance since mid-April. 

Making an outstanding debut this week is 24-year-old Justin Germano, for San Diego.  His numbers are, amazingly, even better than  they are on the chart, because after a second start, Germano’s ERA is a miniscule 0.69.  If you look Germano up on his ESPN card, you’ll notice an interesting thing about him: yes, that’s a Phillies’ hat.  Adam Eaton has a 7.43 ERA.  The Phillies’ released him.  I’m not bitter.  Germano’s a groundball guy who hasn’t actually generated that many grounders this year.  Of course, he gets a nice buffer on those flyballs from playing in expansive PETCO Park.  He’s not striking anyone out so far, but not walking anyone either, and his defense is making plays behind him.  It’ll be interesting to see if he’s the real deal or if he’s just lucky. 

Washington is moving Levale Speigner from the ‘pen to the rotation.  Speigner’s ERA is above league average, but his other stats indicate bad things in the future.  Speigner’s K/BB ratio is 1/2.  That’s not a typo.  He’s got 12 walks in 14 1/3 innings, and only 6 strikeouts.  With a WHIP of nearly 2, being unfamiliar with Speigner on our leaderboard is not surprising, because, well, he’s not on it.  He’s going to have to really turn things around to give his team a chance to win.  If they even have a chance, anyway. 

One last item.  Added another stat to the chart, called FIPruns.  As well as I can understand it, FIPruns indicates how many runs above league average a pitcher has saved his team, based only his pitching and not on his defense.  Gooden saved his team 51 runs in 1984, so it’s unlikely that anyone is going to catch him, but it’ll be interesting to see who can approach him. 

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GoodEnough for Me: Regression

Our season-long leader, Boston’s Daisuke Matsuzaka, was brutal in his last start.  5 innings pitched, but 5 walks, 5 hits, and only 1 strikeout.  Needless to say, he took a big hit.  His past performances kept him in the lead, in addition to the rest of the starters having less than stellar weeks, but the gap is narrowing.  Phil Hughes had a fabulous, no hit outing, before getting injured.  He’ll miss the next month, but in the meanwhile, he’ll sit in second place.

Tim Lincecum debuted for the Giants on Sunday, and struck out 5 in 5 innings, but he walked 5 as well, and the Phillies capitalized on his mistakes.   The top seven rookie starters are all around league average.  Everyone else has been a significant detriment to their team.

All the relievers have been good for their teams.  Hideki Okajima’s no-look delivery is getting plenty of attention, but Joe Smith has been every bit his equal, and hasn’t allowed an earned run yet in 15 1/3 innings pitched.  Smith has been a bit lucky, but his numbers so far indicate a superb performance.  Smith is walking a few too many, but striking out a ton of guys, and has been paltry with the hits.  Of concern, however, is that Smith is on pace for nearly 100 appearances.  This is hard on anyone’s arm, but especially a player so young and fresh, I have to assume the Mets are going to scale back Smith’s appearances in the near future.

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GoodEnough: Tim the Enchanter

“There are some who call me…Tim.”

The San Francisco Giants are, apparently, calling up a rookie pitcher, Timothy LeRoy Lincecum. For those of you who aren’t familiar, the kid is a STUD. He’s ranks as part of the Big 3 for this year’s pitching prospects (alongside Phil Hughes and the Reds’ Homer Bailey). What’s unusual–and exciting–about Lincecum is his heavily unorthodox delivery. He’s only 5’10” tall, and throws high 90s heat. Baseball Think Factory does a fantastic analysis of his delivery here.

The only downside of this call-up, of course, is that he’ll be pitching against my Phillies. Lucky for you, however, he debuts on Sunday Night Baseball, so no matter where you are, you can watch him toss. Here’s hoping Joe Morgan doesn’t have something stupid to say about him. In either case, I’m rooting for a rough debut, and then the pleasure of watching The Enchanter fly up the leaderboard. Be gone John Danks! You shall sully my Top 5 no longer with your incredible WHIP!

Lincecum has been absolutely incredible through just about every phase of his career thus far. He doesn’t give up home runs; he strikes out EVERYBODY; people can’t hit him. The only problem? Fella can get a little wild. Through three years of college, his BB/9 ran: 6.57, 6.12. 4.57, and last year in the minors (high and low A ball) it sank even a bit further to 3.46. It’s still a bit higher than you’d like, and, especially with against patient major leaguers, he could run into some trouble with the free passes. To his credit, the walks are trending downward, and Randy Johnson was a pretty good pitcher, even when he was walking 5 batters per 27 outs. If The Enchanter can get them to float around 3BB/9IP, he could be devastating. A patient team, however, could give him a lot of trouble.

Here’s hoping for that. Ya know, just for one night.

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GoodEnough for Me: Noooo!

Phil Hughes was much, much better in his second start, pitching 6 1/3 innings of no-hit ball against the Texas Rangers.  After 19 stellar outs, though, he left the game… due to injury.  Haven’t been able to find any info on the injury, but here’s hoping it’s not serious.

We’ll update as soon as possible about this.

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GoodEnough for Me: A Couple of Noobs

docgoodensmall.jpgGoodEnough for Me is an on-going analysis of the rookie pitchers during the 2007 baseball season. The series was inspired by, and serves as companion piece to, The Extrapolater’s Smells Like Pujols series, which is taking a look at some of the top rookie position players. You can find Smells Like Pujols HERE.

Just a quick one today. 

ESPN fixed their HTML, and finally I can sort for the proper rookie stats.  The leaderboard has been updated, and you can look at it right here.  As we can see, a lot of pitchers made their debuts this week.  The biggest name, of course, was Phil Hughes for the Yankees, who was certainly a bit rough–more likely a product of nerves than a lack of talent or polish.  Hughes has been lauded for his excellent control, but it’s only natural that he will need a little adjustment learned just how good that control has to be in The Show. 

For Oakland, lefty Dallas Braden made his debut on the Tuesday, and, for his part, pitched very well–giving up only 1 run in 6 innings, with 6 strikeouts to boot–against Baltimore.  His second start, however, came against the Tampa Bay offensive juggernaut, and Braden never made it out of the 5.  He pitched 4 1/3, and gave up 5 runs on 6 hits, including 3 home runs.  He did, however, strike out 5 in that time.  So far, Braden’s got solid numbers–the walks are slightly higher than ideal, and there’s definitely too many home runs allowed, but, thankfully, most offenses aren’t quite as good as the Devil Rays can be.  Braden was a strikeout pitcher in the minors (249 strikeouts in 217IP), and it looks like he can continue to be effective in the majors if he can keep those fly balls in the park. 

The only other debut starter on our chart is Brian Bannisterfor Kansas City–formerly of the Mets’ organization.  He was a good but not overwhelming pitcher in the minors, and so far, as a major leaguer, has had significant control problems.  He has 22 walks and 19 strikeouts in a call-up with New York last year, and he’s got 4 walks and 5 strikeouts so far this year.  That does not bode well for him.  If he can’t find the strike zone, he won’t last long beyond this rookie year. 

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GoodEnough for Me: Damn You, ESPN

docgoodensmall.jpgAnd damn you, Comcast, too.

I have OnDemand’s Extra Innings Package.  I shell out the 175 bucks for it in the summer because I would like to watch baseball from 6PM, when I get home from work, until whenever I go to bed (anywhere from 11-2AM). 

Last week, we had the debut of Phil Hughes for the Yankees.  Baseball’s most heralded minor league pitching prospect making his debut for baseball’s biggest team.  Naturally, Comcast decided not to include the game for Extra Innings (which is baffling to me as I was under the impression that I was getting EVERY game).  So I was forced to watch the first few innings of Hughes’ debut on my 15 inch laptop.  Boo. 

As for ESPN.  I don’t play fantasy baseball anymore, and I wouldn’t be using ESPN if I still did, despite that absurd commercials, but I’ve heard all about the serious problems you’ve been having ESPN.  And I’m really disappointed to see that that’s beginning to really creep over into those of us who just want to look at regular stats. 

See, we’ve been using ESPN for our stat-keeping thus far because they’ve got one really stellar advantage over other, better sites, like Baseball Reference and Baseball Prospectus.  ESPN lets you filter so you only look at the rookies.  This would be exceptionally handy, if it worked.  But, lately, it hasn’t. 

Normally, I update the GoodEnough chartson Sunday afternoons.  However, ESPN was mangled yesterday.  I’d go to the stats, select rookies, and select “Non-Qualified” so I could look at relievers and recent callups, too, and I’d still only get the pitchers with enough innings to qualify for the ERA title–Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jason Hirsh, and Kei Igawa.  Trying it again earlier this morning, I could expand it to Non-Qualified, but only look at some of the stats I needed.  Resolving myself to just take what I could get, and I could look the rest up manually, I started looking up various pitchers.  This is when I noticed that the chart I was looking at on ESPN.com had Hideki Okajima with 8 2/3 IP.  Which would mean the Japanese lefty pitched 1/3 of an inning this week.  That’s just not true.  As a result, I don’t trust the entire chart. 

So, for the moment, GoodEnough is not updated.  As soon as ESPN corrects their stats, I’ll set about to calculate my stats.  If anyone else knows another good place for finding stats that has an option to filter for rookies, I’d love to hear about it.  Either leave a comment or send me an e-mail. 

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GoodEnough: Phil Hughes

 

Philip Hughes, the Yankees summon you!  Welcome to the bigs, and remember: We’ll be watching!

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