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2016 MLB thread. THE CUBS HAVE BROKEN THE CURSE! Chicago Cubs are your 2016 World Series champions. - Page 58

post #1711 of 77344
WOW. Moments after finally getting above .500, too.
post #1712 of 77344
WOW. Moments after finally getting above .500, too.
post #1713 of 77344
not sure why riggleman quit, or why management wouldn't fix any problem especially since the team has been rolling as of late. getting zimmerman back, the pitching actually being decent lately. very strange time to quit.
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post #1714 of 77344
not sure why riggleman quit, or why management wouldn't fix any problem especially since the team has been rolling as of late. getting zimmerman back, the pitching actually being decent lately. very strange time to quit.
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post #1715 of 77344
nationals management are %%@+$#* dirty......got dude working 1 year deals since 09......then wouldn't pick up his 2012 option 30t6p3b.gif .......hope yall bums go back to mlb hell
post #1716 of 77344
nationals management are %%@+$#* dirty......got dude working 1 year deals since 09......then wouldn't pick up his 2012 option 30t6p3b.gif .......hope yall bums go back to mlb hell
post #1717 of 77344
Thread Starter 
I don't blame Riggleman at all.
post #1718 of 77344
Thread Starter 
I don't blame Riggleman at all.
post #1719 of 77344
Quote:
Originally Posted by CP1708

Are Helton's numbers real is my only question.  I don't hear much about his name being connected, but if he is, and playing in Coors, I dunno.  Those 2 years that Dland posted just don't even look right.  30t6p3bsmiley: sicksmiley: eek

i miss that kind of baseball
post #1720 of 77344
Quote:
Originally Posted by CP1708

Are Helton's numbers real is my only question.  I don't hear much about his name being connected, but if he is, and playing in Coors, I dunno.  Those 2 years that Dland posted just don't even look right.  30t6p3bsmiley: sicksmiley: eek

i miss that kind of baseball
post #1721 of 77344
Mariner starters had a .42 ERA and gave up one earned run against the Nats...and they got swept. That's pretty awful.
post #1722 of 77344
Mariner starters had a .42 ERA and gave up one earned run against the Nats...and they got swept. That's pretty awful.
post #1723 of 77344
Not looking good for Oswalt.
post #1724 of 77344
Not looking good for Oswalt.
post #1725 of 77344
Thread Starter 
Riggleman.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler [+]

Before Thursday's chain of events, the first words that I would have used to describe Jim Riggleman -- after covering him for two seasons as manager in 1993 and 1994 and knowing him for almost two decades -- would be Organizational Man.

espn_g_riggleman_sy_200.jpg
Getty ImagesLong considered a company man, Jim Riggleman broke with that rep Thursday.

He has been as old-school as old-school gets, always painting inside the lines prescribed by his employers, rarely straying off the team message, never publicly ripping players or tossing verbal flares like Ozzie Guillen.

Two years after I covered Riggleman, I was working at the Baltimore Sun when Davey Johnson took over as the Orioles' manager. He was brash and political through his Texas grin, taking on Cal Ripken when he wanted to move him to another position, taking on owner Peter Angelos. Sometimes I think Davey caused a stir just because he thought it was fun.

So it felt like we stepped through a looking glass on Thursday; white was black and black was white. Riggleman would have been one of the last managers I would have ever guessed would walk away from his job in midseason over a contract dispute, and yet he's headed to his Florida home. And sources say that it's the impetuous Johnson -- who probably would have been one of the most likely candidates to walk away from a team in an argument over money, as he did in the fall of 1997 -- who will get the first shot to replace Riggleman, if Johnson wants it.

Adding to the Wonderland feel of all this is the fact that the Nationals are playing the best baseball in the short Washington history of their franchise; they are a team on the rise.

Riggleman's ultimatum to Washington general manager Mike Rizzo was delivered at about 12:20 on Thursday afternoon, before the Nationals were set to play the Mariners. Riggleman had wanted his 2012 option picked up and had repeatedly asked Rizzo about that; Rizzo has repeatedly told him that it was something he would address after the season.

Perhaps Riggleman's flare-ups with Jayson Werth and Jason Marquis this season fueled the manager's concern over the impact of his lame-duck contract situation. Riggleman has always believed that it's a lot more difficult to be credible in the eyes of players if you don't have a contract for at least one year beyond the current season; I've had that conversation with him many times in the past.

But Rizzo told Riggleman he wasn't going to talk about 2012, and he wasn't going to meet about it in Chicago. That's when Riggleman told him that if it wasn't addressed, at least in a substantive conversation, then he wasn't getting on the team bus to begin Washington's road trip.

For virtually every executive in the majors, them's fighting words. For Riggleman, there was principle at stake -- he felt he deserved to have his contract option for 2012 picked up because of the performance of the team. For Rizzo, there was principle at stake -- there was no way he was going to be strong-armed in a contract situation by threat of resignation. You're saying you will resign? Then go ahead and resign.

After the game, Rizzo returned to Riggleman's office and asked him if he felt the same way; Riggleman said yes. And Rizzo replied, "Then we accept your resignation." And Rizzo immediately convened a meeting of the players and informed them of Riggleman's decision to walk away; within a few minutes, the scene in the clubhouse was surreal, with Riggleman talking to a crowd of reporters while the players prepared for their road trip.

Having known Riggleman for so long, I can write with confidence that this was a decision he had thought about -- a decision that had gnawed at him -- for weeks. He didn't wake up Thursday morning and suddenly choose that day to draw a line in the sand; this was burbling within him for a long time. He would not have quit unless he was sure it was the right thing to do.

But his choice has already hurt his reputation in a big way, with many rival executives saying privately that what he did -- walking away in midseason over a contract dispute -- is unacceptable. One high-ranked executive went so far as to say he would never hire Riggleman as a minor league manager, let alone a big league manager, because his choice showed a total lack of judgment. "I don't know if it's much different than what Manny Ramirez did," said a GM, referring to the events of 2008, when Ramirez forced his way out of Boston by basically quitting on the field.

The irony, of course, is that the Nationals' managerial job is increasingly looked at as a plum, as a position you want, because the team is loaded with talent and continues to get better. Washington is developing anchors to its rotation with Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg; it has a young, powerful closer in Drew Storen; and its everyday lineup could include Ryan Zimmerman, Werth, Danny Espinosa, Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper within a couple of years.

I don't know if it's much different than what Manny Ramirez did.

post #1726 of 77344
Thread Starter 
Riggleman.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler [+]

Before Thursday's chain of events, the first words that I would have used to describe Jim Riggleman -- after covering him for two seasons as manager in 1993 and 1994 and knowing him for almost two decades -- would be Organizational Man.

espn_g_riggleman_sy_200.jpg
Getty ImagesLong considered a company man, Jim Riggleman broke with that rep Thursday.

He has been as old-school as old-school gets, always painting inside the lines prescribed by his employers, rarely straying off the team message, never publicly ripping players or tossing verbal flares like Ozzie Guillen.

Two years after I covered Riggleman, I was working at the Baltimore Sun when Davey Johnson took over as the Orioles' manager. He was brash and political through his Texas grin, taking on Cal Ripken when he wanted to move him to another position, taking on owner Peter Angelos. Sometimes I think Davey caused a stir just because he thought it was fun.

So it felt like we stepped through a looking glass on Thursday; white was black and black was white. Riggleman would have been one of the last managers I would have ever guessed would walk away from his job in midseason over a contract dispute, and yet he's headed to his Florida home. And sources say that it's the impetuous Johnson -- who probably would have been one of the most likely candidates to walk away from a team in an argument over money, as he did in the fall of 1997 -- who will get the first shot to replace Riggleman, if Johnson wants it.

Adding to the Wonderland feel of all this is the fact that the Nationals are playing the best baseball in the short Washington history of their franchise; they are a team on the rise.

Riggleman's ultimatum to Washington general manager Mike Rizzo was delivered at about 12:20 on Thursday afternoon, before the Nationals were set to play the Mariners. Riggleman had wanted his 2012 option picked up and had repeatedly asked Rizzo about that; Rizzo has repeatedly told him that it was something he would address after the season.

Perhaps Riggleman's flare-ups with Jayson Werth and Jason Marquis this season fueled the manager's concern over the impact of his lame-duck contract situation. Riggleman has always believed that it's a lot more difficult to be credible in the eyes of players if you don't have a contract for at least one year beyond the current season; I've had that conversation with him many times in the past.

But Rizzo told Riggleman he wasn't going to talk about 2012, and he wasn't going to meet about it in Chicago. That's when Riggleman told him that if it wasn't addressed, at least in a substantive conversation, then he wasn't getting on the team bus to begin Washington's road trip.

For virtually every executive in the majors, them's fighting words. For Riggleman, there was principle at stake -- he felt he deserved to have his contract option for 2012 picked up because of the performance of the team. For Rizzo, there was principle at stake -- there was no way he was going to be strong-armed in a contract situation by threat of resignation. You're saying you will resign? Then go ahead and resign.

After the game, Rizzo returned to Riggleman's office and asked him if he felt the same way; Riggleman said yes. And Rizzo replied, "Then we accept your resignation." And Rizzo immediately convened a meeting of the players and informed them of Riggleman's decision to walk away; within a few minutes, the scene in the clubhouse was surreal, with Riggleman talking to a crowd of reporters while the players prepared for their road trip.

Having known Riggleman for so long, I can write with confidence that this was a decision he had thought about -- a decision that had gnawed at him -- for weeks. He didn't wake up Thursday morning and suddenly choose that day to draw a line in the sand; this was burbling within him for a long time. He would not have quit unless he was sure it was the right thing to do.

But his choice has already hurt his reputation in a big way, with many rival executives saying privately that what he did -- walking away in midseason over a contract dispute -- is unacceptable. One high-ranked executive went so far as to say he would never hire Riggleman as a minor league manager, let alone a big league manager, because his choice showed a total lack of judgment. "I don't know if it's much different than what Manny Ramirez did," said a GM, referring to the events of 2008, when Ramirez forced his way out of Boston by basically quitting on the field.

The irony, of course, is that the Nationals' managerial job is increasingly looked at as a plum, as a position you want, because the team is loaded with talent and continues to get better. Washington is developing anchors to its rotation with Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg; it has a young, powerful closer in Drew Storen; and its everyday lineup could include Ryan Zimmerman, Werth, Danny Espinosa, Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper within a couple of years.

I don't know if it's much different than what Manny Ramirez did.

post #1727 of 77344
No point in the Reds renting Jose Reyes.. still need money to get BP signed long term.
post #1728 of 77344
No point in the Reds renting Jose Reyes.. still need money to get BP signed long term.
post #1729 of 77344
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaComeUP

No point in the Reds renting Jose Reyes.. still need money to get BP signed long term.


We HAVE to do something at short though. 
Between Janish and Edgar... .231 BA, .280 OBP, .681 OBPS, 0 hr's and 14 errors.
Janish might be the worst player in baseball right now, and Edgar a close second.
I wouldn't mind JJ Hardy. 
REDS/WILDCATS/BENGALS
NTWT
Reply
REDS/WILDCATS/BENGALS
NTWT
Reply
post #1730 of 77344
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaComeUP

No point in the Reds renting Jose Reyes.. still need money to get BP signed long term.


We HAVE to do something at short though. 
Between Janish and Edgar... .231 BA, .280 OBP, .681 OBPS, 0 hr's and 14 errors.
Janish might be the worst player in baseball right now, and Edgar a close second.
I wouldn't mind JJ Hardy. 
REDS/WILDCATS/BENGALS
NTWT
Reply
REDS/WILDCATS/BENGALS
NTWT
Reply
post #1731 of 77344
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdcurt2

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaComeUP

No point in the Reds renting Jose Reyes.. still need money to get BP signed long term.


We HAVE to do something at short though. 
Between Janish and Edgar... .231 BA, .280 OBP, .681 OBPS, 0 hr's and 14 errors.
Janish might be the worst player in baseball right now, and Edgar a close second.
I wouldn't mind JJ Hardy. 



Cozart is tearing it up right now I'd rather bring him up than send all of our top prospects away for a rental.
post #1732 of 77344
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdcurt2

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaComeUP

No point in the Reds renting Jose Reyes.. still need money to get BP signed long term.


We HAVE to do something at short though. 
Between Janish and Edgar... .231 BA, .280 OBP, .681 OBPS, 0 hr's and 14 errors.
Janish might be the worst player in baseball right now, and Edgar a close second.
I wouldn't mind JJ Hardy. 



Cozart is tearing it up right now I'd rather bring him up than send all of our top prospects away for a rental.
post #1733 of 77344
Thread Starter 
Blue-eyed players hit just fine in daylight.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler [+]

Josh Hamilton thinks his eye color is the cause of his problems hitting during day games, and at least one optometrist agrees with him. After initially thinking it was just talk, the idea that there could be some scientific explanation that explained his problems made this story more interesting. So, the next natural step was to look at some data.

On Friday, we asked you guys to come up with blue-eyed players, and you responded with enthusiasm. Over the weekend, I went through that thread and looked at all the nominated players, compiling a list of guys who might make for a useful comparison to Hamilton. I left out players who played a significant part of their career in a dome, for instance, and left out guys who were noted sunglass/tinted contact lens wearers, as we wanted to measure the performance of light eyes in day light with as few compounding factors as possible. Overall, I came up with 25 players who fit the criteria. It doesn’t sound like a huge number, but those guys combined for over 47,000 day-time plate appearances and over 100,000 night time plate appearances in their careers, so sample size shouldn’t be a problem.

The results? Well, you probably won’t be too surprised.

During the evening, these blue-eyed players combined for a career mark of .280/.363/.472. During the day, they hit .282/.364/.475, almost exactly the same as they did when it was dark out. This non-difference matches up with the rest of the population, as there is no consistent historical day/night split for Major League hitters over the years. The sample of blue-eyed players we looked at follow’s the trend established by the rest of Major League Baseball.

The group split right down the middle, with 13 players posting a higher OPS in the evening and 12 players having a higher OPS in the afternoon. The full list of players and the data can be found here.

Of the guys who hit worse during the day, the biggest differences go to Casey Blake (.688 day OPS, .815 night OPS), Tim Salmon (.836/.900), and Chase Utley (.863/.905). On the other side of things, J.D. Drew (.904/.864), Scott Brosius (.771/.729), and Mark Grace (.844/.804) all had the largest positive day/night splits.

Grace is perhaps one of the most interesting cases, as his eyes are very blue and he spent the majority of his career with the Chicago Cubs, who play more day games than any other franchise in baseball. If having light eye colors led to significant struggles during the day time, Grace should have been the most affected player in baseball. Instead, he thrived during day games. I looked to see if there was any kind of obvious career trend that came from perhaps an adjustment later in his career after his eyes got used to all the day games, but no, he was a good hitter in the day time even early in his career.

Now, I don’t mean to suggest that the optometrist is a crackpot or that there’s nothing to what Hamilton is saying. Certainly, medical experts know far more about how eyes react to sun light than anyone writing for FanGraphs, and only Hamilton knows exactly what he sees during the day and at night. However, history does seem to suggest that if there’s a negative impact on blue-eyed players in day games, previous players have found a way to overcome it without it hindering their performance.

And, from a logical standpoint, that makes sense. Nearly every kid on earth grew up playing exclusively day baseball in Little League, and even at the high school level, almost every game for most teams is played in sun light. Practice is always during the day. The batting cages that took all of our money as kids? Only open during the day time.

Night baseball is the exception until a player becomes a professional. Nearly every player in the big leagues was trained to hit a baseball in sunlight, so those whose eye color really does hinder their ability to hit the ball in day light will likely be weeded out long before they ever make it to the big leagues. The structure of amateur baseball would essentially act as a filter, removing players who can’t see the baseball well in day light.

Maybe Hamilton is the outlier here. Maybe his eyes are especially sensitive, and he’ll sustain a large day/night split going forward. It seems more likely, however, that we’re just looking at noise generated by looking at a sample of fewer than 600 career plate appearances, and Hamilton was looking for a reason to explain something that goes beyond randomness.

He’s not the first blue-eyed player in baseball, and history suggests guys who had similar eye colors have done just fine in day games over the years. The Rangers (and Hamilton) would do well to not spend too much time or effort on fixing this problem – smart money says it will probably just go away on its own.



Adam Dunn.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler [+]

Adam Dunn has been one of the most consistent players in baseball during the past eight seasons. King of the three true outcomes, Dunn could be counted on to post high walk and strikeout rates, and regularly knock the ball out of the yard. From 2004 to 2010, his raw home run totals were eerily consistent: 46, 40, 40, 40, 40, 38, 38. Now? Well, that level of consistency is unlikely to be replicated, since he’s mired in an epic slump, the likes of which he’s never experienced in his career.

Through 66 games and 275 plate appearances, Dunn is hitting a measly .173/.308/.316. His walk rate is in line with his career mark — and his OBP is still high relative to his batting average — but the slash line components sandwiching that rate are downright miserable. Given his propensity to strike out, Dunn never has been known for posting high batting averages. But these days, he’s whiffing at an otherworldly level.

While his batting average on balls in play is low at .262, this isn’t a case of a putrid success rate suppressing otherwise decent numbers. He’s struggling to make contact, and he’s not faring all that well when he does connect.

Entering the season, there were three or four sure things in baseball. Dunn posting a .240+ ISO was one of them.* At .143, though, he’s 122 points below his .265 career average. And while 275 plate appearances is still a small sample, we’re deep enough into the season to start wondering whether he’ll go back to the old Adam Dunn.

While my colleagues have attempted to determine the root cause of his issues, I’m more curious as to how frequently someone has cratered in this fashion.

* – The others would be Jeff Francoeur performing well enough early on to make some wonder if he’d turned the corner (I even did a study on it!); a very good pitcher having his talent questioned due to a fluky BABIP (Matt Garza, Cliff Lee); and someone potentially getting overrated due to a very high UZR in a very small sample (Brett Gardner).

Given his level of consistency and the depths to which his numbers have fallen this year, there are two main questions that spring to mind:

1. How frequently do batters experience such a sharp ISO decline from an established level?
2. How frequently do batters strike out more than 40 percent of the time in a full year?

To attack the first question I pooled together all four-year spans since 1950, and I used the first three years of the span to determine the true-talent-level isolated power mark. The fourth year then was compared to the average. This way I could avoid using a one-year sample to make determinations. The players had to tally at least 1,500 plate appearances during the first three years, though there was no yearly minimum. I figured 1,500 PAs was a sizable enough number that, no matter how the amount was reached, the true-talent-level could be estimated.

Of the 21,640 four-year spans in the sample, only 5,251 met the 1,500 plate appearances minimum. Of the remaining spans in the sample, only 526 involved a player averaging a .240+ ISO during the first three seasons. And of those spans, only 34 saw a player drop more than 100 points in the fourth season. The largest decline belongs to Jim Thome, who was injured during the 2005 season with the Phillies. That dropoff can be explained in his case.

Next on the list is Andruw Jones, whose decline likely came to mind when considering other Dunn-like implosions. Jones averaged a .258 ISO from 2005 to 2007–and then followed that up with a .091 in 2008. That’s a whopping 167-point drop.

Most of the players at the top of the list saw their power decline at the end of their careers. Phil Nevin was mostly done after 2002, and the same can be said of Mark McGwire. Jim Edmonds had little left in the tank after the 2007 campaign, and Sammy Sosa had seen his best days by the time the 2005 season ended. If Dunn remains in the regular lineup without improving his numbers, he’ld be set to enter some rarified air.

One of the major reasons for his struggles is a ghastly strikeout rate. Dunn has struck out in 42.3 percent of his at bats — way above his career average of 33%. Since 1950, only two players (in three seasons) have struck out more than 40 percent of the time while amassing 500 or more plate appearances: Mark Reynolds 2010 (42.3), Jack Cust 2007 (41.5) and Jack Cust 2008 (41.0). Dunn’s contemporaries in the ISO category struck out more in the year of their decline, but their strikeout rates weren’t really starting from a rate as high as Dunn’s had been in the past several seasons.

Dunn might not be totally done: Travis Hafner was at the top of the first leaderboard before his recent bounce-back. It’s just disconcerting in situations like this because of how rare the situation is in the first place.



Roy Oswalt's back scare.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler [+]

After only throwing 37 pitches through two innings, Roy Oswalt left his start last night due to back soreness. This is definitely disappointing news for the Phillies’ starter, considering he’s already had one DL stint this year as a result of back pain, but I have to say, I wasn’t expecting this sort of a quote from him after the game:

“I’m going to do what’s best for the team, if I can’t pitch, I can’t pitch,

post #1734 of 77344
Thread Starter 
Blue-eyed players hit just fine in daylight.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler [+]

Josh Hamilton thinks his eye color is the cause of his problems hitting during day games, and at least one optometrist agrees with him. After initially thinking it was just talk, the idea that there could be some scientific explanation that explained his problems made this story more interesting. So, the next natural step was to look at some data.

On Friday, we asked you guys to come up with blue-eyed players, and you responded with enthusiasm. Over the weekend, I went through that thread and looked at all the nominated players, compiling a list of guys who might make for a useful comparison to Hamilton. I left out players who played a significant part of their career in a dome, for instance, and left out guys who were noted sunglass/tinted contact lens wearers, as we wanted to measure the performance of light eyes in day light with as few compounding factors as possible. Overall, I came up with 25 players who fit the criteria. It doesn’t sound like a huge number, but those guys combined for over 47,000 day-time plate appearances and over 100,000 night time plate appearances in their careers, so sample size shouldn’t be a problem.

The results? Well, you probably won’t be too surprised.

During the evening, these blue-eyed players combined for a career mark of .280/.363/.472. During the day, they hit .282/.364/.475, almost exactly the same as they did when it was dark out. This non-difference matches up with the rest of the population, as there is no consistent historical day/night split for Major League hitters over the years. The sample of blue-eyed players we looked at follow’s the trend established by the rest of Major League Baseball.

The group split right down the middle, with 13 players posting a higher OPS in the evening and 12 players having a higher OPS in the afternoon. The full list of players and the data can be found here.

Of the guys who hit worse during the day, the biggest differences go to Casey Blake (.688 day OPS, .815 night OPS), Tim Salmon (.836/.900), and Chase Utley (.863/.905). On the other side of things, J.D. Drew (.904/.864), Scott Brosius (.771/.729), and Mark Grace (.844/.804) all had the largest positive day/night splits.

Grace is perhaps one of the most interesting cases, as his eyes are very blue and he spent the majority of his career with the Chicago Cubs, who play more day games than any other franchise in baseball. If having light eye colors led to significant struggles during the day time, Grace should have been the most affected player in baseball. Instead, he thrived during day games. I looked to see if there was any kind of obvious career trend that came from perhaps an adjustment later in his career after his eyes got used to all the day games, but no, he was a good hitter in the day time even early in his career.

Now, I don’t mean to suggest that the optometrist is a crackpot or that there’s nothing to what Hamilton is saying. Certainly, medical experts know far more about how eyes react to sun light than anyone writing for FanGraphs, and only Hamilton knows exactly what he sees during the day and at night. However, history does seem to suggest that if there’s a negative impact on blue-eyed players in day games, previous players have found a way to overcome it without it hindering their performance.

And, from a logical standpoint, that makes sense. Nearly every kid on earth grew up playing exclusively day baseball in Little League, and even at the high school level, almost every game for most teams is played in sun light. Practice is always during the day. The batting cages that took all of our money as kids? Only open during the day time.

Night baseball is the exception until a player becomes a professional. Nearly every player in the big leagues was trained to hit a baseball in sunlight, so those whose eye color really does hinder their ability to hit the ball in day light will likely be weeded out long before they ever make it to the big leagues. The structure of amateur baseball would essentially act as a filter, removing players who can’t see the baseball well in day light.

Maybe Hamilton is the outlier here. Maybe his eyes are especially sensitive, and he’ll sustain a large day/night split going forward. It seems more likely, however, that we’re just looking at noise generated by looking at a sample of fewer than 600 career plate appearances, and Hamilton was looking for a reason to explain something that goes beyond randomness.

He’s not the first blue-eyed player in baseball, and history suggests guys who had similar eye colors have done just fine in day games over the years. The Rangers (and Hamilton) would do well to not spend too much time or effort on fixing this problem – smart money says it will probably just go away on its own.



Adam Dunn.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler [+]

Adam Dunn has been one of the most consistent players in baseball during the past eight seasons. King of the three true outcomes, Dunn could be counted on to post high walk and strikeout rates, and regularly knock the ball out of the yard. From 2004 to 2010, his raw home run totals were eerily consistent: 46, 40, 40, 40, 40, 38, 38. Now? Well, that level of consistency is unlikely to be replicated, since he’s mired in an epic slump, the likes of which he’s never experienced in his career.

Through 66 games and 275 plate appearances, Dunn is hitting a measly .173/.308/.316. His walk rate is in line with his career mark — and his OBP is still high relative to his batting average — but the slash line components sandwiching that rate are downright miserable. Given his propensity to strike out, Dunn never has been known for posting high batting averages. But these days, he’s whiffing at an otherworldly level.

While his batting average on balls in play is low at .262, this isn’t a case of a putrid success rate suppressing otherwise decent numbers. He’s struggling to make contact, and he’s not faring all that well when he does connect.

Entering the season, there were three or four sure things in baseball. Dunn posting a .240+ ISO was one of them.* At .143, though, he’s 122 points below his .265 career average. And while 275 plate appearances is still a small sample, we’re deep enough into the season to start wondering whether he’ll go back to the old Adam Dunn.

While my colleagues have attempted to determine the root cause of his issues, I’m more curious as to how frequently someone has cratered in this fashion.

* – The others would be Jeff Francoeur performing well enough early on to make some wonder if he’d turned the corner (I even did a study on it!); a very good pitcher having his talent questioned due to a fluky BABIP (Matt Garza, Cliff Lee); and someone potentially getting overrated due to a very high UZR in a very small sample (Brett Gardner).

Given his level of consistency and the depths to which his numbers have fallen this year, there are two main questions that spring to mind:

1. How frequently do batters experience such a sharp ISO decline from an established level?
2. How frequently do batters strike out more than 40 percent of the time in a full year?

To attack the first question I pooled together all four-year spans since 1950, and I used the first three years of the span to determine the true-talent-level isolated power mark. The fourth year then was compared to the average. This way I could avoid using a one-year sample to make determinations. The players had to tally at least 1,500 plate appearances during the first three years, though there was no yearly minimum. I figured 1,500 PAs was a sizable enough number that, no matter how the amount was reached, the true-talent-level could be estimated.

Of the 21,640 four-year spans in the sample, only 5,251 met the 1,500 plate appearances minimum. Of the remaining spans in the sample, only 526 involved a player averaging a .240+ ISO during the first three seasons. And of those spans, only 34 saw a player drop more than 100 points in the fourth season. The largest decline belongs to Jim Thome, who was injured during the 2005 season with the Phillies. That dropoff can be explained in his case.

Next on the list is Andruw Jones, whose decline likely came to mind when considering other Dunn-like implosions. Jones averaged a .258 ISO from 2005 to 2007–and then followed that up with a .091 in 2008. That’s a whopping 167-point drop.

Most of the players at the top of the list saw their power decline at the end of their careers. Phil Nevin was mostly done after 2002, and the same can be said of Mark McGwire. Jim Edmonds had little left in the tank after the 2007 campaign, and Sammy Sosa had seen his best days by the time the 2005 season ended. If Dunn remains in the regular lineup without improving his numbers, he’ld be set to enter some rarified air.

One of the major reasons for his struggles is a ghastly strikeout rate. Dunn has struck out in 42.3 percent of his at bats — way above his career average of 33%. Since 1950, only two players (in three seasons) have struck out more than 40 percent of the time while amassing 500 or more plate appearances: Mark Reynolds 2010 (42.3), Jack Cust 2007 (41.5) and Jack Cust 2008 (41.0). Dunn’s contemporaries in the ISO category struck out more in the year of their decline, but their strikeout rates weren’t really starting from a rate as high as Dunn’s had been in the past several seasons.

Dunn might not be totally done: Travis Hafner was at the top of the first leaderboard before his recent bounce-back. It’s just disconcerting in situations like this because of how rare the situation is in the first place.



Roy Oswalt's back scare.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler [+]

After only throwing 37 pitches through two innings, Roy Oswalt left his start last night due to back soreness. This is definitely disappointing news for the Phillies’ starter, considering he’s already had one DL stint this year as a result of back pain, but I have to say, I wasn’t expecting this sort of a quote from him after the game:

“I’m going to do what’s best for the team, if I can’t pitch, I can’t pitch,

post #1735 of 77344
pujols injury sucks
post #1736 of 77344
pujols injury sucks
post #1737 of 77344
Orioles' first baseman has an OPS of .670. Good times.


eek.gif @ that Tulowitzki hit from yesterday; I think I've only seen that once before. Hit the ball twice with one swing laugh.gif

http://mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=16259051
post #1738 of 77344
Orioles' first baseman has an OPS of .670. Good times.


eek.gif @ that Tulowitzki hit from yesterday; I think I've only seen that once before. Hit the ball twice with one swing laugh.gif

http://mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=16259051
post #1739 of 77344
girl on baseball tonight?
post #1740 of 77344
girl on baseball tonight?
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NikeTalk › NikeTalk Forums › The Lounge › Sports & Training › 2016 MLB thread. THE CUBS HAVE BROKEN THE CURSE! Chicago Cubs are your 2016 World Series champions.