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Triston Casas Boston Red Sox
Alex Patton Alex
MacKenzie Gore San Diego Padres

Soon, I hope.

Alex Patton Alex

Surprising that Rutschman dropped to 6th.

Alex Patton Alex

The game OOTP 22 (released in March 2021) is now on sale for 75% off ($10) on Steam.

For those who have played before, they have greatly improved the ability to hire coaches.

Kent Ostby Seadogs

@prospects1500 is doing a 600 player minor league draft (mixed league) right now if you'd like to watch. They are 10 rounds in so I've mostly just read through the first five rounds or so. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1EysloxL4oFIDGYZyqHr_FQPkcA2M0cCyTb_JjKCC6QM/edit#gid=0

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Logan Webb San Francisco Giants
Alex Patton Alex
Max Scherzer Los Angeles Dodgers

There is a book called "Thinking in Bets" that also would advocate to follow the numbers. It's an interesting read, written by a poker player on making decisions the way poker players do.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
MacKenzie Gore San Diego Padres

When do we get 2021 minor league stats?

Howard Lynch LynchMob

The AFL started today ... and Gore was among the Opening Day starters ...

Gore's fastball sat in the mid-90s and touched as high as 98.2 mph in the third inning on the Statcast radar gun, giving him the hardest-thrown pitch of the game. A fifth-inning 97.8 mph heater was second-highest among all Peoria and Salt River pitchers. Perhaps it was no coincidence that both offerings came against Spencer Torkelson, the 2020 first overall Draft pick and the highest-ranked overall prospect in this year’s AFL.

Howard Lynch LynchMob
Byron Buxton Minnesota Twins

From "A Toast to the Fallen" by Steven Goldman at BP:

Minnesota Twins (73-89): Virtually every decision the law firm of Falvey & Levine made failed to pay off. It’s something we’ve come to expect from the Mets, but this is a team that won 101 games the last time conditions permitted a full season. Their next decision—to extend center fielder Byron Buxton or trade him—is delicious in that there is no good answer. The Twins can gamble on Buxton staying healthy and be wrong; they can gamble on his continuing to break down and be admirably prudent but deprive themselves of his talents before the next injury does the same. A healthier center field almost certainly wouldn’t be as good, but in the absence of having two players for one position Twins non-Buxton center fielders hit .204 with nine home runs. Back in 2004, Theo Epstein faced a similar dilemma with an increasingly frangible Nomar Garciaparra and replaced him with Orlando Cabrera, figuring that stolidity was better than feast-or-famine. On the other hand, a Twins team with 80 games of Buxton will be more fun to look at than one with 162 games of someone else, and given the state of the starting rotation their pennant-chances are unlikely be damaged by 80 games of those someones. They’ll just be cheaper, which is an ownership value, not a fan value.

Alex Patton Alex
Patrick Wisdom Chicago Cubs

From "A Toast to the Fallen" by Steven Goldman at BP:

Chicago Cubs (71-91): What an insult to the public. By then end of the season the Cubs had transmogrified from a club with an active legacy to the functional equivalent of a 1930s Phillies team that had traded everything ambulatory for cash relief and got by on journeymen and hot-dog money. That’s not to say that watching scrappy understudies like Patrick Wisdom, Rafael Ortega, Frank Schwindel, Matt Duffy, and Trace Thompson try to put on a show like a reunion of superannuated Vaudeville performers was without its pleasures. Still, this is Chicago, and whereas it was not unreasonable to conclude that the core that won the 2016 World Series had little more to give, replacing it with a glimpse not of the future but some kind of Quadruple-A purgatory was less forgivable. At least Ian Happ (.288/.363/.581 in August-September) finished strong, but the rest will apparently be revealed via a series of teaser trailers that may or may not culminate in a finished film. Brennan Davis as “The Outfielder?” My, that does sound fun!

Alex Patton Alex
Ryan Yarbrough Tampa Bay Rays

Interesting observation by Eno Sarris at The Athletic: 

The one place where the Red Sox were superior, before and during this series, was with their starting pitching depth. Not depth as in how far they can go into a game, but depth as in how many starters they have to begin with. Boston got incredibly important contributions from Houck and Pivetta, both starters that didn’t start a game, while the Rays chose to leave Ryan Yarbrough off the playoff roster and also traded away Rich Hill midseason, leaving them with basically three starting pitchers for the postseason.

theathletic.com

Alex Patton Alex
James Karinchak Cleveland Indians

Robert Arthur ar BP: 

... Even accounting for all those factors, spin rates have recovered drastically since July. Over half of the net reduction from May 15 (when spin began to fall fastest) has come back.

This trajectory is visible on the charts of individual players like James Karinchak. The Cleveland reliever was one of the pitchers hit hardest by the sticky stuff crackdown, losing about three inches of vertical movement on his fastball. In his most recent appearance, however, that trio of inches has reappeared even more suddenly than it evaporated.

A first and very reasonable thought is that players may have found ways to conceal the very substances that MLB outlawed in June. The inspections the league instituted—with umps checking belt buckles and hat brims—were sufficiently formulaic that a clever thrower might have been able to simply put their glob of sticky substance in a different spot to avoid detection...

In part, the crackdown was more theatrical than anything else, a not-so-subtle message to the players like Cole to cut it out. For a brief moment, it looked like the league’s pitchers heard it loud and clear, but now, we’re well on our way back to the high-spin league we had through the first few months of 2021...

Without another aggressive push to limit substances, there’s every reason to believe pitchers will simply find more and better ways to skirt the rules, rather than actually abandoning the miracle goops that make them much better pitchers.

baseballprospectus.com

Alex Patton Alex
Dusty Baker Houston Astros

I so hope that Dusty Baker gets a WS ring. Not sure who else could have handled things as effectively as he has. The Astros have made it to the ALCS FIVE TIMES in a row. They have a fantastic team. If people want to keep calling them names they lack creativity and are at a loss with reality. This ball club is championship worthy. The horse has been beaten, cremated and had the ashes stomped on. McCullers getting hurt will probably be there downfall this year, if there is one. Move to Wisconsin folks, there's plenty of cheese to accompany your whine.

Jack Edward Penfold cubfever7
Pat Corbin Washington Nationals

5.50 ERA since winning Game 7 of the 2019 WS. When he retires will he have the worst career post winning the 7th game of a WS ERA of all time? 

van wilhoite LVW
Phil Bickford Los Angeles Dodgers

And so, Thursday night in San Francisco. The way it should be.

Alex Patton Alex
Garrett Whitlock Boston Red Sox

Excellent narrative here. Going into the death spiral baseball is doing just fine. Or as we used to say on the playground, Let's play!

Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Max Scherzer Los Angeles Dodgers

It's an interesting problem. The nerds have numbers to support their decisions, so maybe they know for sure that if you pinch-hit for Scherzer 1000 times maybe you win 550 times and lose 450 times, which makes pinch hitting the smart decision. 

But the games played are a small sample, and part of the value of them is the narrative, which defies piling fairly small advantages onto small sample sizes and prefers juicy emotional stories of redemption and fulfillment. So pulling Scherzer can be the nerd's right decision, but a bad decision for all folks watching on the big screen in the hometown bar, and both will be validated/invalidated by something just a little more edgy than a coin flip.

Do hearts beat nerds? Is that the question we're actually asking? 

Get on the wrong side of that and the general manager (or whatever they're called now) will be fired.

Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Buster Posey San Francisco Giants

But if it's just WS appearances that are considered, it's Yogi's, not Posey's, that are cheapened. Two of 16 teams played in the World Series back then.

Alex Patton Alex
Max Scherzer Los Angeles Dodgers

In Fangraphs, Ben Clemens basically argues that Roberts made a bad decision in leaving Scherzer in rather than pulling him for a PH.

That's a nerd argument.

Ask Craig Counsell how pulling your dominant starter early for a PH worked out. 

It's like managers everywhere saw Cash pull Blake Snell last year and nodded vigorously in agreement.  It's a disease, the overmanaging in the playoffs, though my good friend thinks the nerds upstairs are actually making the decisions.

Could it be so?

Mike Landau ML-

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