I don't know what the stats say about [Guzman] but, as much as like numbers for assessing offensive and pitching ability, I still maintain any number that claims to measure defense remains a case of someone trying to justify their own attempt to measure something that drives us nuts because of it's resistance to measurement.Well said, Paul White of USA Today. Was that supposed to say "as much as I like numbers"?
I'm sitting here looking at another team's (very sabermetrically oriented) analysis of every lineup in the majors and they rate Castilla the second-best hitter on the team after Wilkerson.Either that team is full of it or we're in big trouble. Both, most likely. Barring disaster, I don't see how Jose Guillen or Jose Vidro are worse hitters than Castilla. This is a guy who's highest non-Colorado OBP is .310, a guy who slugged a pathetic .348 in 2002. He's going to be 37 this year, and it's very difficult to get better at that age without anabolic assistance.
One thing this team has missed the past couple of seasons is some quality veterans - I mean quality people - because the core of the team is relatively young and it has been difficult to attract any veterans other than castoffs and the disgruntled. So, Castilla is a big step and makes sense as a guy who can bridge a gap.I'm not such a hardcore SABR guy that I dismiss things like this out of hand. Character counts in any workplace, and a major league dugout is no different. However, performance counts, too. I loved the idea of bringing Barry Larkin in to play occasionally and set a good example. I don't like the idea of giving Vinny $6+ million to play every day for two years and get on base less than 30% of the time.
[On Nick Johnson] Second choice would be for him to look good enough - at the plate and healthwise - that he's tradable. He has some value now but the smart move would seem to be to gamble that he can increase his value.Exactly! Don't trade Johnson now, after an injury-plagued and all-around crappy season. Wait until he gets through 140 games, then trade him.
NP: Jose Guillen and Juan Rivera had very similar years last year, with Guillen hitting for more power, but Rivera was better at getting on base. Considering the salary differential and the fact that Guillen is soon a free agent, was this a good trade?*shudder* I hate that trade. Just hate it. Juan Rivera is ready to surprise any team that lets him play. Jose Guillen is ready to fall of a cliff. Jose was a very bad baseball player for six years until he miraculously broke out in 2003. It's been all downhill from there. He declined during the '03 season and, while above average in 2004, he wore down and struggled with injuries and his temper as the year progressed. Even at his best, he's never figured out how to draw a walk (career best: 37). He may well be just fine this year, but I wouldn't bet on him to remain effective much past 30. The guy has the self-control of a puppy, at the plate and elsewhere.
PW: It's a gamble for sure. Guillen says he would like to stay and there have been some discussions about a new contract.
The key for me in that deal was Maicer Izturis. It won't be long before they wish they had him in the middle infield.I haven't heard that often. I'd rather have Rivera and Izturis than Guillen, but it wasn't Maicer I was pissed about losing.
I'm not sure who you're referring to - statheads or press - but I know what the stat analysts for several teams think and here's sort of a consensus of their views: Only Guzman and Schneider are below-average offensive players among the starters and there is some disagreement about where Chavez fits.I don't what numbers or projections the analysts are using here, but Schneider was almost exactly average last year (257/325/395 vs. an NL average for catchers of 258/321/392). Castilla's road numbers were slightly below average.
As for pitching, they perceive Hernandez, Day and Ohka as solid and Rauch as a sleeper.Is Livan Hernandez going to have to pull Peter Gammons from a burning building before he gets some respect? Solid - phooey. Ohka is solid. Hernandez a towering wall of flabby granite. White likes Jon Rauch, and so do I.