Last question of the night. The decision was relatively simple and easy. Based on my marginal win projection for Renteria, it was determined that he would be too expensive given his projected value. My general rule is that 2 mil or less per marginal win is a good deal. 3 mil is marginal and 4 mil or more is a rip-off. It is not that simple, but that is a good rule of thumb.RC21 wrote:Mitchel-
Thank you for taking our questions. We all appreciate you taking the time to chat with us.
-What was the thought process that went into the Eckstein acquisition following Edgar Renteria's departure? Did any of your metrics allay concerns within the front office about a potential dropoff, defensively, from Renteria to Eckstein?
Eckstein was a steal at the time, given my projection for his marginal run/win value. It didn't matter whether he was projected to be better or worse than Renteria. That is not how you run a team successfully (at least as far as making money is concerned). You only compare one player to another in terms of dollars per marginal win, given a certain amount of money you can/want to spend overall or per marginal win.
Bascially, Renteria was overrated by most teams (and I'm sure by his agent) because he had a career year in 03 (for a SS at least). Also, he was on the downside of his career in 04, at 28/29 years of age. His defense was in fact excellent perennially (although it tanked in 05 for some reason, at least according to UZR and other advanced metrics), but his hitting was really not all that great. He was also well-known for having the series winning base hit versus Jose Mesa in the 97 WS.
For some reason Eckstein was very underrated. His defense was underrated because, although his range, as reflected in the advanced defensive metrics, was above average, he was known to have a "weak arm" and was not considered very rangy by the scouts for some reason. His offense was underrated because he was an OBP guy rather than a power hitter. And finally, he was underrated in general because he looks like your little brother playing on a high school JV team. Scouts don't like players like that.
Both he and Grud were steals when we signed them and I think that they lived up to our expectations of them and more.
Unfortunately we could not find similar steals this year at 2B and at the corner outfield positions. There simply were not any available. The team did not want to resign Grud for some reason, although I am unaware why.
Not a conscious decision on my part - and it shouldn't be. Obviously, if you happen to have a better infield than OF (defensively), you would prefer a groundball staff if you can help it, and vice versa. Other than that, it does not matter if a pitcher is GB or FB (sure, on the average, GB pitchers are better pitchers than FB pitchers) pitcher, once you have a projection on that pitcher. I compute very good projections on pitchers that incorporate the type of batted balls they give up. That's all you need to know.-How do you view pitchers with high groundball ratios? Your affiliation with the team coincided pretty strongly with a switch from pitchers with mild to heavy flyball tendencies (Garret Stephenson, Brett Tomko, Jeff Fassero) to pitchers with mild to heavy groundball tendencies (Suppan, Marquis, Tavarez, Mulder). Can you explain some of the in-depth logic on your end that went into that thought process, if indeed it was a conscious decision to chase groundball pitchers?
Keep in mind that the value of a GB is about the same as the value of a FB, even including the GDP. It is just that on the average FB pitchers tend to give up more HR's than GB pitchers. Not always true - just on the average. In general, what is important for a pitcher is a good K rate, a low BB rate, and a low HR rate. If you have 2 of those 3 things, you are generally a good pitcher. If you have 3 of 3, you are generally a great pitcher. If you have only 1 of 3, you generally are mediocre at best. It does not really matter whether you are a FB or GB pitcher. Of the three fly ball pitchers you mentioned, they were all simply mediocre to bad pitchers, regardless of their FB/GB tendencies.
Of the ground ball pitchers you mentioned, Suppan is OK, Marquis is mediocre to bad (both immensely helped by excellent infield defense and of course good run support from an excellent lineup), Mulder is good, but nor nearly as good as he used to be (for whatever reason), and Tavarez was excellent versus righties but useless versus lefties (and great when you needed a ground ball), like Looper. Carp is really the only excellent pitcher we have now (and he is indeed top-notch), at least in the rotation.
We have a very good, but nor nearly as good as the last 2 years, team because we still have a very good lineup (again, not nearly as good as last year and the year before) with good defense, and a good, but not great (or even very good) pitching staff (starters and bullpen). Our future is a big concern (to me at least), especially when Jimmy is gone, which appears to be soon I would imagine.