A few articles to pass the time until the next titanic struggle between your Reds and the stupid Cubs.
It must be Cincinnati Reds day at FanGraphs:
Here’s a Q&A with Bryan Price by David Laurila from spring training where he discusses his philosophies as a pitching coach.
Price: “When you look at our success last year, we had one of the lowest walks-per-nine-innings in baseball. We had one of the highest percentage of first-batter efficiency — getting the first batter of an inning out. Those are things we encourage, but having a philosophy doesn’t mean you’re going to execute something. What it comes down to is having good athletes who are good competitors.”
Here’s a piece by Jeff Zimmerman on your favorite contract-extension candidate, Shin-Soo Choo, and his tendencies to get in the way of baseballs. His conclusion? Choo stands close to the plate, but this mini-surge in HBP is unlikely to be sustained.
As for his hit-by-pitch total in 2013? He hasn’t changed his approach, so the expectation is that he’ll end up back to normal from here on out. Choo isn’t doing anything to make himself more hittable, so he’s not going to sustain a record-breaking pace. This is early-season noise, like Justin Upton‘s nine dingers in 18 games. It’s one part signal and one part noise, or something along those lines.
And Dave Cameron dissects Dusty Baker’s comment about RBI vs. OBP in the context of Brandon Phillips’ fast RBI start.
To get back to Baker’s quote specifically, RBIs are essentially a function of on base percentage. It’s like saying cake is better than flour, butter, and sugar, or a building’s penthouse is better than it’s foundation. The latter is only made possible by the former. RBIs follow on base percentage. It is hard to act superior to something you rely on for your existence.
On a lighter note, as a Reds’ fan, I’d make this proposed trade in a heartbeat, but I suspect the Tampa Bay Rays wouldn’t.
It would fill five key positions for the Rays at the cost of one ace, and for the Reds the acquisition of Price would provide a front-end playoff rotation of Price, Cueto and Latos through 2015. Talk about trading Price has already started, but the Reds might be able to fly beneath the radar once again and jerk the carpet out from underneath the baseball world once again.