Mar 282013
 

It’s the podcast you have all been waiting for…ok, maybe not, but give it a listen and hold Jasen and I accountable for our picks when they are all dead wrong at season’s end.

I don’t want to spoil it, but you’ll never believe who we pick to win the 2013 World Series.

Baseball Do Episode 27: 2013 Predictions and Dear Baseball Do...
“Hello JD, it’s Jasen with BaseballDo.com, will you marry me?”

Special thanks to all on Twitter who submitted questions.  Listen for the “marry one, kill one, naked spoon one” question regarding Wash, Nolan and JD and then let us know below how you would answer that question.

If you want to play along with your prediction, post them in the comments section below:

We picked:

  • Divisional Champs
  • Wildcard winners
  • League Champs
  • World Series Champ
  • MVPs
  • Cy Young Award winners
  • Rookies of the Year
  • Managers of the Year

Good luck, and don’t be intimidated by the fact that we are professionals.

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Mar 272013
 

Weekly preview of each of the Rangers’ American League West rivals for the 2013 season – from the bottom up.

  1. Oakland Athletics
  2. Seattle Mariners
  3. Houston Astros

Breaking down the West   Oakland cant do it again in 2013...can they?The Oakland Athletics won the American League West last year in dramatic fashion, snatching the division title away from the Rangers on the final day of the season.  If you are reading this, I’m betting that you haven’t forgotten.

With a hodge-podge of contributing veterans, break-out players, timely performances and a Cuban who is slugging his way towards stardom, the A’s won the division when the consensus going into 2012 was that they would finish a distant third to the Rangers and Angels.

So, who would dare pick them to finish third again?  Who would challenge Moneyball?  Who would give the A’s their bulletin board material in 2013?  Me…and Dan Szymborski of ESPN.com…and others for that matter…but most importantly ME.

Bottom line (oddly near the top of the article), I’m not a believer.  The Rangers helped the A’s to the West title last year more than any other team in baseball could have.  The A’s don’t have what it takes to win the AL West without another collapse from the Rangers and Angels.  

The Bats & Gloves

This is still a lineup made up of guys (with the exception of a few) that are relative no-names.  No offense to those guys, but these just aren’t names that the average baseball fans is familiar with.  That doesn’t mean they aren’t good…

Projected Line-up

  1. Coco Crisp, CF
  2. Jed Lowrie, SS
  3. Josh Reddick, RF
  4. Yoenis Cespedes, LF
  5. Brandon Moss, 1B
  6. Seth Smith, DH
  7. Josh Donaldson, 3B
  8. John Jaso, C
  9. Scott Sizemore or Eric Sogard, 2B

There are some projections out there that have Jaso batting higher in the order and even 2nd, but Lowrie is leading candidate.  Former Diamondback outfielder Chris Young will also probably get plenty of ABs as the fourth outfielder on the team.

Three bats that peak my interest:

  • Breaking down the West   Oakland cant do it again in 2013...can they?Brandon Moss…solid player who far exceeded expectations in 2012 – or – late blooming journeyman who just needed a chance to prove he is a middle of the order talent?  The 29 year-old Moss, with his fourth team in Oakland, broke out like no other in 2013, and while I’m inclined to call it a “one-hit wonder”, I’m not quite ready to completely dismiss Moss.  In 265 crucial at-bats last year, he hit 21 bombs with a .954 OPS.  Projected over a full season, he would have been a 40+ HR, 100+ RBI MVP candidate.  The only other season in his career in which he had as many plate appearances was in 2009 when he hit 7 dingers with a .236 batting average with 120 more at-bats than what he had last year.  So, will the real Brandon Moss please stand up?  Like I said, I’m intrigued.
  • John Jaso was once trusted to lead off by the great Joe Maddon (he with the sweet black-rimmed specks).  Jaso flies under the radar (just like the A’s like ‘em), but is an extremely productive player when you take into account he is a catcher (thin position).  Last year with the Mariners, he hit 10 HRs with 50 RBIs over just 294 at-bats, while putting together an impressive slash – .276/.394/.456.  While it’s quite possible that Jaso too played above his head a bit in 2012, this dude can hit and he is a perfect fit for this line-up.  Derek Norris will still get time behind the plate, but Jaso’s bat will find away in to the line-up more often than not.
  • Breaking down the West   Oakland cant do it again in 2013...can they?Yoenis Cespedes scares me and he should scare you too.  As stated earlier, this team is made up of a bunch of second-chancers and no names with the exception of a few….and Cespedes is part of the few.  Wanna dark horse for 2013 AL MVP?  Look no further.  Cespedes put together an impressive rookie campaign in 2012 with a .292/.365/.505 slash, but when you look at the splits, you see that he really figured it out in the second half of the season with an OPS of 119 points higher than the first half.  He doesn’t care if the pitcher is a rightie or a leftie, and get’s even better when runners are in scoring position (.345/.430/.540 slash with RISP).

Defensively…well, you’ve probably seen Moneyball…so you know how Billy Beane does it.  Outfielders are good, infielders are average…again, breaking down defense is boring.  Not dismissing it’s importance, but c’mon…

The Arms

The A’s have an impressive stable of young starters who, while none of which are Ace material, combine to make a strong rotation – that’s synergy…maybe.

Projected Rotation

  1. Brett Anderson, LHP
  2. Jarrod Parker, RHP
  3. Tommy Milone, LHP
  4. A.J. Griffin, RHP
  5. Bartolo Colon, RHP

Dan Straily will be the 5th starter for at least the first time through the rotation, but it’s really Colon’s spot to lose.

  • 2nd in the American League in team ERA at 3.48
  • 2nd in the American League in team WHIP at 1.239
  • Last in American League with just 1 Complete Game – they rely on their pen.
  • In the bottom 3 of the AL in strikeouts while in the bottom 5 in the AL in walks – they don’t blow you away, but they also don’t give free passes.

They will definitely miss Brandon McCarthy, but Brett Anderson and Jarrod Parker make up a pretty salty 1-2 punch at the top of the order.  Parker has the potential to be something special for the A’s long-term at the tender age of 24 and under the team’s control through 2017.

The Bullpen

Given the stat above of only one complete game last year, the A’s are a team that leverages their bullpen regularly….exactly 161 times in 2012.  Grant Balfour will be the closer once again.  The bullpen, like the rest of this team, underwhelms you by name but gets the job done.

The Manager

Bob Melvin is a healthy 6’4″, 205 pounds and has a career managerial record of 634 – 628, so….there’s that.

The Bottom Line

Look, the Athletics are a dangerous team, as proven by last year’s dominance down the stretch, but…I don’t think they are better than the Rangers or the Angels…on paper…which is why they play the games.

Could the A’s surprise us all again?  Of course, but this team is not a playoff team without help, in the form of a collapse, from the Rangers and/or Angels unless both wild card teams happen to come from the American League West (which was the prediction from ESPN The Magazine).

  • Best Case: 94-68, same as last year.  While the Astros will help them out in the win column, I see more consistent and improved play from the Rangers and Angels stopping the Athletics from improving upon last year’s mark.
  • Worst Case: 82-80, this team is better than .500, barring any major injuries.

Down to the top 2 now…stay tuned.


Side note – we are less than two weeks away from the 2nd Annual Baseball Do Field Trip.  We still have tickets available.  If you want to go and your want your shirt to be ready for the Field Trip,  you need to order your tickets tomorrow.  Looking forward to it!

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Mar 212013
 

Weekly preview of each of the Rangers’ American League West rivals for the 2013 season – from the bottom up.

  1. Seattle Mariners
  2. Houston Astros

Breaking Down the West   Seattle Mariners   Moving the fences in...The Mariners look forward to the arrival of the Astros in the American League West with the hope of getting out of last place for the first time in the last three years.  The Mariners took some positive steps during the offseason, including securing one of the best pitchers in the game to a long-term contract, but it won’t be enough to overcome Oakland, Anaheim or Texas.

This is a team with young talented players at some key positions in “King” Felix Hernandez (SP), Dustin Ackley (2B), Jesus Montero (C/DH), Kyle Seager (3B), Michael Saunders (RF) and the freshly drafted Mike Zunino (C).  Couple the young talent with some veterans sprinkled in and we should see the Mariners improve upon their 77-85 mark from 2012.  By how much is the question…

The Bats & Gloves

This lineup has some holes in it, but if a few of these guys can take a step in the right direction, it’s a lineup that could greatly improve over last year’s performance.

Projected Lineup

  1. Dustin Ackley, 2B
  2. Franklin Gutierrez, CF
  3. Kyle Seager, 3B
  4. Michael Morse, LF
  5. Kendrys Morales, DH
  6. Jesus Montero, C
  7. Justin Smoak, 1B
  8. Michael Saunders, RF
  9. Brendan Ryan, SS

I don’t think Manager Eric Wedge has unveiled his official Opening Day lineup, but it should look similar to what’s above, barring injury.  There are three bats in this lineup that peak my interest:

  • Breaking Down the West   Seattle Mariners   Moving the fences in...Dustin Ackley was less than impressive last year (.226/.294/.328) and MUST take a major step in 2013 for this lineup to have success.  Keep in mind that he is still only 25 years old, but as the table-setter, the Mariners will be depending on him to get on base at a higher rate than .294.
  • Kyle Seager is an impressive young player (also only 25) who I secretly admire.  In his first full season last year, Seager put up a pretty respectable line (.259/.316/.423) with many of his metrics improving in the second half.  I think Seager will improve further in 2013 and be an important part of this lineup’s run production.
  • In mid-December, the Mariners shipped the frustrating Jason Vargas to the Angels for Kendrys Morales who just didn’t have a spot in the Angel’s stacked lineup.  It was one of those rare intra-division trades that addressed a need for both teams at the major league level.  I loved this trade for the Mariners.  Morales has has been hindered by injury and lack of playing time over the last two seasons, but it wasn’t that long ago (2009) that he finished 5th in the AL MVP voting (.306/.355/.569) and was the centerpiece of the Angel’s lineup.  Can he return to that form?  He’s only 29 years old, and I could see the change of scenery and opportunity to play ever day get him close.

Defensively, the Mariners are good, as the mantra of “pitching and defense” is still part of their identity.  They only committed 72 errors in 2012 (2nd best in AL) and had the second highest Defensive Efficiency rating in the American League.

The middle of the lineup may get some help from the fences moving in, but remember…that works both ways.

The Arms

The Mariners have something that we Ranger fans have coveted for a long, long time…a true Ace.  Perhaps one of the more upsetting off-season occurrences that didn’t directly involve the Rangers was the contract extension between the Mariners and King Felix which will keep Hernandez in Seattle through 2019.

Quick – who were the other four starters for Seattle last year?

I gave you Vargas, so that doesn’t count, and you probably thought of former-Ranger prospect Blake Beavan.  Do either of those guys do much for you?  Me neither, but the Mainers pitching staff was pretty good in 2012 when compared to the rest of the American League:

  • 4th in team ERA in AL at 3.76
  • 3rd in team WHIP in AL at 1.241

So, this is what a pitcher’s park and King Felix will get you.

Projected Rotation

  1. Felix Hernandez
  2. Hisashi Iwakuma
  3. Joe Saunders
  4. Blake Beavan
  5. Brandon Mauer – this spot is still an open competition, but Mauer’s got my vote. Erasmo Ramirez was probably the favorite to win the spot (ala Martin Perez) and could still win the spot (ala not Martin Perez).

Breaking Down the West   Seattle Mariners   Moving the fences in...Can Hisashi Iwakuma be a legit #2?  There is no doubt in my mind that he can if he isn’t already.  Last year’s performance was good, but take a closer look – he was great at the end of the season.  Keep in mind 2012 was his first season in MLB, so the inconsistencies near the beginning of the season can be dismissed as part of his “adjustment period”.  In August and September, Iwakuma posted a 7-3 record with an ERA in the low 2′s.  I think he’s adjusted and gives the Mariners a nice 1-2 punch at the top of their rotation.

The Pen

The bullpen is fair, anchored by Tom Wilhelmson who assumed the closing duties last year and converted 29 saves on 24 opportunities.  Bullpens are generally boring.

The Manager

Eric Wedge.  Enough said.  Nothing special.  Career 703-755 managerial record with Indians and Mariners.

The Bottom Line

In my opinion, the Mariners could push for 3rd place in the American League West, but I think a 4th place finish is more likely.

IF…the the lineup can get consistency from some of the youngsters (Ackley, Montero, Smoak).  IF…the back-end of the rotation can be average.  IF…they can stay healthy.  Three big IF’s, but it could happen.

  • Best case: 84-78 record behind the emergence of Dustin Ackley and Jesus Montero as legit major league all-star caliber players.
  • Worst case: 77-85…again…hey, they have King Felix.

Up next…you can probably figure it out from here.


Side note – we are close to two weeks away from the 2nd Annual Baseball Do Field Trip.  We still have tickets available.  If you want to go and your want your shirt to be ready for the Field Trip,  you need to order your tickets by next Wednesday at the latest.

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Mar 192013
 

Jasen and I got a chance to hangout (no pun) with Patrick and Eddie from ShutDownInning.com tonight.  We talked about Mitch Moreland, getting in bed with Elvis Andrus and Bob Bland.

Enjoy!

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Mar 192013
 

Nothing is more fun than wild speculation. With less than 2 weeks before the first meaningful game of what I think will be a magical Texas Rangers season, I give you my 2013 25-man Roster.

Starting Pitchers

Yu Darvish
Matt Harrison
Derek Holland
Alexi Ogando
Robbie Ross

No real surprises here. The 5th spot in the rotation was the only question mark going into Spring Training. The leading candidate Martin Perez was injured by a line drive knocking him from contention and paving the way for last year’s breakout bullpen star Robbie Ross to join the rotation.

Relief Pitchers

Michael Kirkman
Joe Nathan
Joe Ortiz
Jason Frasor
Derek Lowe
Nick Tepesch
Tanner Scheppers

This is by far the hardest group of players to predict. I would not be surprised at all if the Rangers make a move for bullpen help before the season starts. I think the Rangers will keep two lefties in the bullpen with Kirkman and Joe Ortiz. My biggest question marks are Tanner Scheppers (who has struggled this Spring) and Nick Tepesch who before this year was relatively unknown but has had a great Spring and has been reportedly been considered for the 5th starter spot.

Catchers

A.J. Pierzynski
Geovany Soto

A.J. could prove to be a nice upgrade over the catcher position last year and having Geovany Soto as your backup catcher aint half bad.

Infielders

Elvis Andrus
Adrian Beltre
Lance Berkman – DH
Ian Kinsler
Mitch Moreland
Jeff Baker
Leury Garcia

Veteran Jeff Baker has had a terrific spring and with Mike Olt being sent to the minor leagues today I think he has earned a spot on the bench. We know how Wash feels about veterans. My biggest surprise here is that the Rangers would carry Garcia and Baker. This is a long shot but I think the Rangers love the speed Garcia offers and would like to have a shortstop on the bench to avoid tired players like last year.

Outfielders

Nelson Cruz
David Murphy
Craig Gentry
Leonys Martin

Having the ability to play Leonys (L-R) or Gentry (R-R) in CF is a nice option. Both guys have had great moments in Spring Training and I can’t see them sending either down. David Murphy is going to have his shot to play LF full-time.

There you go, there is a 100% chance that this won’t be the roster come March 31st but if it is, you all owe me 100 bucks.

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section, who’d I leave off? Who’s Jeff Baker?

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Mar 132013
 

Texas Rangers Spring Training Questions, Answered! (Sort of)Well, the 2013 Major League Baseball season is just about upon us.

How close you ask?
Consider that in just over three weeks, the 2nd Annual Baseball Do Field Trip will become a reality! And by that time, the Rangers will be four games deep into the 2013 regular season.

And, since the lowly Houston Astros represent three of those first four games, the Rangers should be sitting pretty at 4-0.  But talk of the 2013 Rangers season, and even Astros-bashing, seems a tad premature since there are still so many Spring Training questions left unanswered.

Can Alexi Ogando hold down the fourth spot in the rotation?  Can Lance Berkman’s body make it back from Surprise in one piece? Who will be the Rangers’ fifth starter, and when will the butcher and candle maker join Jeff Baker?

For Goodness Saker, What’s a Jeff Baker?

Last year in Surprise, Robbie Ross was the feel-good story of the spring.  Considered a long-shot to make the roster, Ross not only made the squad, but became a crucial part of the big league bullpen.

So far this spring, major league journeyman Jeff Baker has been all the talk.  The Baker Hype has been much deserved as he has put up a triple-slash line of .529/.568/.735 over 34 ABs thus far.

As of right now, it looks as if Baker has the inside track on being the Rangers’ go-to utility infielder, an area of concern since Andres Blanco departed prior to the 2012 season.

Mitch Moreland

Mitch Moreland has never really had a chance to prove his value to the team.  He has had some injury issues (2011 his wrist bothered him, and last season it was a hamstring) and when he has been healthy he was either trumped to make room for Mike Napoli/Michael Young, or was flat-out benched against lefties.

Hitting against left-handers had proved to be difficult for the big man from Mississippi. However, not so this spring.  Moreland has been thumping southpaws to the tune of: .500/.600/1.00 with one long ball and four RBI thus far…If Moreland can stay healthy, look for him to have a big season in 2013.

The OTHER Martin

I’ve decided to be upbeat.  So let’s not talk about the Martin Perez broken arm thing. Whoops, I guess I just did.  That is the last time I will mention that Martin Perez may miss up to two months. Promise.  Okay, anyhoo, let’s move on to the other Martin. Leonys Martin.

All indications are that Leonys Martin may be ready to become the Rangers’ full-time center fielder.  Martin has had some issues defensively, but it is hard even for Ron Washington to ignore Martin’s .394/.447/.576 slash line.  Now is the time for the Rangers to see if their $15 million investment in the Cuban defector was worth the, um, investment.

The only negative I can see with Martin getting the nod to start every day in center is that it moves Baseball Do-fave Craig Gentry back to the bench.  Gentry is having one sweet spring too and has proved that he can hit right-handers to boot, thanks to his .294/.455/.529 thus far.

Although I’d love to see Gentry start on a regular basis, he is a nifty security blanket just in case Martin should falter.  Look for Gentry to be a late-innings defensive replacement this season much like last season.

Lance Berkman Not Yet Broken

So far Lance Berkman has not been injured.  However, he has been sporting a full-on beard. How does this matter in terms of injury? Well, should Berkman decide to ditch the face-do, do not be surprised if he blows out a wheel in the process.

Seriously, if you can tear an ACL playing first base, what makes you think you are safe in the shower?

What do I Think-o about Starter Numero Cinco?

It is a good thing that right-hander Alexi Ogando has looked solid over his recent outings. There is already a mini-controversy surrounding the Rangers’ future fifth starter, and you certainly don’t want any questions marks surrounding the fourth spot thrown in the mix too.

And therein lays the problem with the Martin Perez situation.  Whoops, I mentioned him again.  The aforementioned Robbie Ross has been quite sharp in his starts, but should he make the rotation, who would take over the role of left-handed go-to reliever?

Fellow southpaw Michael Kirkman, should he not make the rotation, is a likely candidate to replace Ross in the ‘pen.  Free Agent pickup Kyle McClellan is a possibility in the fifth spot as is Justin Grimm.  Grimm has struggled mightily this spring as his north-of-twelve ERA can attest.

Ross is in a similar situation to CJ Wilson three years ago, minus the whole being an incredible d-bag thing.

Essentially Ross will have to be so good as a starter that it is worth it to the club to create a lefty deficit in the pen.  This is one of those roster decisions that is going to be right down to the wire.

Regardless of the eventual roster shakedown, the 2013 season is just around the corner and I am super-stoked!

@TmurrayHowell

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Mar 122013
 

By: Dustin Dietz

Despite earning a spot on the 2011 American League All-Star team, and having a successful first year as a starting pitcher, the Texas Rangers moved Alexi Ogando back to the bullpen in 2012 to fill the position of seventh inning set-up man. Ogando pitched well the first couple of months of the ’12 season out of the pen, and when the club was decimated with injuries to the starting rotation in early June, Ogando started a game against the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants. After pitching three perfect innings to begin the game, Ogando suffered a strained right groin while beating out a bunt hit in the top of the fourth inning and was placed on the disabled list shortly afterward. Ogando missed a few weeks and pitched exclusively out of the bullpen the rest of the year.

During the offseason, the Rangers decided to move Ogando back into the starting rotation in 2013, where he is currently projected to be the club’s fourth starter. Many have expressed concern over Ogando’s propensity to wear down in the second half of the season, and his inability to develop an effective third pitch.

Since some have expressed concern in regards to Alexi Ogando, I decided to compare Ogando’s numbers to other projected fourth starters on American League teams perceived to be pennant contenders in 2013. I think the results might be somewhat surprising, and since Ogando is believed to be a pitcher who physically breaks down in the second half of the season, I made the decision to compare both the first and second halves of the pitcher’s seasons.

Note: Brett Anderson, Gavin Floyd, and Jason Hammel are projected to be their team’s third starter. I decided to use them in this particular study because the A’s, White Sox, and Orioles projected fourth starters in 2013 were all rookies last season, which is a very small sample size. I decided to only use players with more than one season of Major League experience. Also, I decided to include the Mariners because they are a division rival. Sorry Astros fans, you did not make the cut.

1st Half

Pitcher Team IP ERA AVG OBP SLG
Alexi Ogando Rangers

155

2.50

.198

.253

.304

Jason Vargas Angels

468.1

4.09

.248

.306

.410

Brett Anderson A’s

201.1

4.02

.263

.322

.396

Blake Beaven Mariners

75.2

5.23

.278

.322

.490

Phil Hughes Yankees

301.2

4.65

.259

.321

.435

Brandon Morrow Blue Jays

374.1

4.11

.230

.325

.368

Gavin Floyd White Sox

627.1

4.81

.252

.326

.425

Doug Fister Tigers

270.1

3.46

.256

.303

.378

Alex Cobb Rays

86

4.40

.252

.320

.366

Jason Hammel Orioles

474.1

4.29

.266

.333

.411

Felix Doubront Red Sox

109.1

4.45

.259

.333

.450

K/9 BB/9 HR/9 WHIP BABIP FIP

7.20

2.03

0.75

0.95

.230

3.35

5.84

2.67

1.21

1.26

.267

4.47

6.57

2.41

0.94

1.31

.300

3.93

4.16

1.55

1.67

1.31

.277

5.36

7.82

2.83

1.28

1.33

.300

4.26

9.64

4.35

0.79

1.35

.298

3.66

6.71

3.30

1.22

1.35

.281

4.61

5.53

1.90

0.67

1.20

.288

3.56

6.17

2.93

0.42

1.31

.296

3.46

6.55

3.11

0.93

1.40

.304

4.09

8.48

3.54

1.32

1.42

.306

4.40

 

While Ogando has thrown less innings than many of the pitchers on the list, his numbers are much better in many categories on the chart, including ERA, OBP, SLG, BABIP, and is the only pitcher on the list with a WHIP under 1.00. When one averaged out the ten pitchers’ numbers other than Ogando on the chart, Ogando’s numbers were superior. Alexi’s first half statistics are better than many top of the rotation pitchers in baseball, including Stephen Strasburg, who is an interesting first half comparison to Ogando if one is so inclined to compare the two.

Alexi’s first half numbers will probably head towards the direction of the mean as he piles up more innings in his career, but at this current juncture, he is one of the better first half fourth starters in the American League. One might think this distinction is rather dubious, but if Ogando is able to come close to duplicating his previous success in the first half of 2013, the Rangers would not have to rush Colby Lewis or Martin Perez back from injury, and trading or signing a 5th starter would not really be that necessary.

2nd Half

Pitcher Team IP ERA AVG OBP SLG
Alexi Ogando Rangers

121.2

3.92

.247

.314

.398

Jason Vargas Angels

361.1

4.68

.263

.325

.438

Brett Anderson A’s

204.2

3.12

.252

.299

.353

Blake Beaven Mariners

173.2

3.99

.276

  .309

.459

Phil Hughes Yankees

333.1

4.16

.241

.304

.407

Brandon Morrow Blue Jays

273.2

4.08

.225

.314

.384

Gavin Floyd White Sox

499.2

4.03

.261

.324

.413

Doug Fister Tigers

339.2

3.50

.249

.292

.378

Alex Cobb Rays

103

3.41

.244

.314

.362

Jason Hammel Orioles

375.2

5.39

.283

.350

.461

Felix Doubront Red Sox

87

5.38

.261

.353

.437

K/9 BB/9 HR/9 WHIP BABIP FIP

7.92

3.03

1.04

1.30

.292

3.88

5.63

2.89

1.12

1.37

.286

4.49

7.21

1.98

0.62

1.19

.302

3.14

3.83

1.35

1.14

1.23

.283

4.41

7.37

2.92

1.22

1.25

.274

4.26

9.60

4.05

1.12

1.30

.280

4.03

7.38

2.67

1.10

1.31

.302

4.11

6.52

1.70

0.79

1.16

.286

3.47

7.34

2.88

0.87

1.23

.289

3.82

6.61

3.14

1.10

1.49

.321

4.40

9.62

4.76

1.24

1.55

.326

4.40

 

After inspecting the second half statistics, one will notice Ogando’s numbers do begin to move in the wrong direction. So, the theory Ogando begins to tire in the second half does have some credence, but his overall numbers are still very respectable as his ERA is still slightly under 4.00 and he possess the fourth lowest FIP among the pitchers included on this particular chart. When one again averages the ten other pitchers’ numbers and compares the averages to Ogando’s numbers, the only statistic Alexi is worse in is BB/9. Ogando must improve his control in the second half as he walks more than one batter per nine innings more than he does in the first half of the season.

Ogando has not gotten off to a very splendid start in spring training as his ERA is 8.10 in just 3 1/3 innings pitched, but Alexi is working on adding a changeup to expand his limited repertoire, and while his fastball velocity is down, fans should not have anxiety over the slow start because spring training is glorified practice. Plus, when compared to other fourth starters (and third starters) among competitors in the American League, Ogando has actually been better.

The decrease in Ogando’s velocity early in spring training should not be disconcerting because a drop is quite common with pitchers developing another pitch in the spring. Case in point, Tampa Bay Rays flame thrower Jake McGee. McGee averaged 95.7 MPH on his fastball last season (Ogando averaged 96.8), but the speed of his fastball has decreased some early in the spring. However, McGee is experimenting with a changeup and is trying to develop a slider. McGee has already stated he is building up his endurance, and does not want to “waste his bullets.” I have read speculation Alexi might be injured, but he is probably ensuring he is in great shape and ready to pitch well for an entire season.

The Rangers starting rotation is a little deeper than many believe it is, and as previously mentioned, the team might not have to sign a pitcher such as Kyle Lohse, or trade for a Rick Porcello despite the loss of the previously leading candidate for the 5th starter, Martin Perez. If Ogando is able to pitch well the entire season as a fourth starter, the Rangers should be very successful in 2013.

For infinite baseball wisdom, follow me on Twitter @DustinDietz18 , or shoot me an email at ddietz2004@yahoo.com.

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Mar 012013
 
Baseball Do Episode 26   A fireside chat with Evan Grant & Dear Baseball Do...

Evan Grant, Dallas Morning News – Special Guest on the Baseball Do Podcast

Evan Grant from the Dallas Morning News and SportsDayDFW.com joins us to talk about all of the important things in life, including but not limited to:

  • Yu Darvish
  • Sabermetrics vs. Traditional Stats
  • Twitter
  • Ron Washington’s job security
  • Black Bean Chicken Chili

We throw in a brief segment of “Dear Baseball Do…” to finalize what may be the greatest podcast episode ever…like of all times.

Special thanks to Evan Grant (@evan_p_grant) for joining us on the podcast and to @baseballotts, @MoNkeyJeNN71, @theKenAngel, @jjakin, @Tx_Baseball_Fan, @BCasey55 and @c_golden07 for the “Dear Baseball Do…” questions/statements/inquiries.

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