Not-So-Random Thoughts

Monday Miscellany

Joe Posnanski thinks Rangers manager Ron Washington may have ordered one of the most ill-advised intentional walks of all time yesterday.

Jack Moore has an interesting long-read at The Hardball Times about MLB’s efforts to remove Marge Schott as owner of the Reds and what it shows (or doesn’t show) about Commissioner Bud Selig’s concern for eliminating racism among the MLB ownership group. It’s obviously written in the context of the NBA’s current dealings with Clippers owner Donald Sterling. It concludes: “Throughout the painfully slow and conciliatory process of extricating Schott from the Cincinnati Reds, it was obvious that Selig and MLB would act only in the face of losing that desired peace and quiet. And as racism remains a part of MLB after Schott’s exorcism from the game, it is clear the actions taken only served its restoration.”

Matt Snyder at CBS explains why RISP-success isn’t a skill, it’s an outcome. And it’s the Cardinals’ 2013 and 2014 seasons that prove it. Please fax a copy of this article to the Brennaman household.

According to David Laurila at FanGraphs, Tucker Barnhart’s 380-foot fly ball out in Boston would have been a home run in the other 29 major league parks. He also quotes Walt Jocketty extolling the virtue of patience when it comes to roster construction. I’m working on a post that argues there may be tension between being patient and that new accountability regime the Reds front office has been preaching.

Rick Wiener at Bleacher Reports says that Billy Hamilton’s low pitch/at bat number (second lowest in the league) is a troubling sign of impatience at the plate. While we’d all love to see Hamilton walk more, Wiener ignores the frequency with which Hamilton bunts, shortening his AB. I’d like to see a stat showing Hamilton’s pitch/at bat number in those plate appearances when he doesn’t bunt. The problem isn’t impatience, it’s the inherent nature of bunting that it cuts against the chance to draw a walk. As long as Hamilton’s bunts start to work more often …

Andy Call of MLB.com reports that Bryan Price thinks Devin Mesoraco may make the road trip to Philadelphia on Friday.

Sounds like the Reds won’t send Tony Cingrani on a rehab assignment. In that case, he’d be able to start in Philadelphia on Saturday. Cingrani’s trip to the DL was almost certainly the Reds taking advantage of off-days in the schedule to find a time to rest Cingrani, whose inning-number may be limited this year. That it corresponded with reported arm weakness and gave the young pitcher a chance to rest was a bonus.

In more positive injury-related news, Mat Latos threw a successful bullpen session yesterday. He’s still got a ways to go before taking the mound in a real game for the Reds – like an entire spring training’s worth of building up his arm strength and endurance – but it’s good to hear he’s throwing pain free. The Reds can’t expect Alfredo Simon to continue being a pitcher he really isn’t. They need Mat Latos back.

Dave Pinto built a daily-updated database for a Cy Young Tracker created by Tom Tango. It shows Johnny Ceuto well in the lead for the National League. Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals is second.

The Reds are 26th in runs scored in MLB in the month of May.

25 thoughts on “Monday Miscellany

    • Be careful Kurt, Marty might throw you the ol’ one finger salute like he did the Rockies radio crew the other night during the beat down.
      Yahoo posted that pic this morning, priceless!

  1. Steve- the new feature with your picture is confusing me every time I read your articles. For years I always just chose you believe you actually looked like Homer Bailey

  2. Has it occurred to anybody that baseball is not as random as the stat czars want you to believe? BABIP is a perfect example of a stat that doesn’t have a quarter’s worth of validity.

    Hitting with RISP is not just about outcome, which is partially out of the player’s control; but to be successful in those situations requires the right baseball IQ. When the bases are loaded and the pitcher hasn’t thrown a strike all inning, swinging at the first pitch and failing to get somebody home isn’t just about an outcome.

  3. Anything that generates an average is deceiving. If I guy should throw 4 no hitters in a month (4.0 36 innings pitched and 0.00 ERA with 40Ks and then the rest of the season he pitched 0-16 with a 20.00 ERA 0 Ks and 40 Ws) It would be all well in good that he won us 4 games but his season stunk, Find me a stat that measures month to month performance and you’ll have one that tells the true value of a value. Wins above replacement doesn’t do it either. That is one of the most over hyped stats in recent times. Yes it has a metric value, however, it doesn’t replace wins and losses and the ability to actually drive in runs.

  4. Steve, i often disagree with you, but I do really like your writing and the info you provide. I know I’m a jerk at times but I’m a jerk who thinks you do great work.

    • I also enjoy your work Steve – thanks for providing the info and insight. – this is simply a great site for the true Reds fan !

  5. Absolute beatdown of cardinals by cubs – 17-5 top 9 – takes the sting out of the reds loss to the Rockies in game 2

    • Thanks for the update. Visited the WLB’s website to revel in their misery. Looks like they (the “commenters”) are ready to trade half of their starters and a couple prospects to get Stanton from the Marlins.

  6. Billy’s walk after an extended at bat late in Sunday’s game was a beautiful and encouraging thing. Personally, I wish he’d lay off the fake bunting a little more. Particularly on the first pitch of the game, where he shows bunt and then pulls the bat back almost every time.

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