To evaluate the effectiveness of a baseball player, statistics have evolved into much more than wins and losses or home runs and RBI. Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu is the perfect example as to why perception isn’t necessarily reality with regard to offensive production.
On Monday, FanGraphs published a piece detailing how the White Sox could run this offseason depending on which direction the front office wanted to take the organization. In that article, Dave Cameron said this about Abreu:
“Abreu has lost some value by going the wrong way offensively the last few years, but he finished the second half on a big upswing, and remains vastly underpriced relative to what it will cost to sign an inferior player like Mark Trumbo.”
As important as traditional stats are, we all know they’re not the be-all, end-all in today’s game. Actually, they probably don’t mean a whole lot to quite a few executives and talent evaluators.
The Chicago White Sox posted a 78-84 record and really lost pace after the All-Star break, finishing 16 games behind the division-winning Cleveland Indians. This was a poorly constructed team that had serious flaws on the roster.
Chicago’s logic for doing this was nuanced in the belief they’d extract more value by pairing Eaton with a replacement-level center fielder instead of the other way around. Fair enough, but what did it do to Eaton as a player?
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Daily Matchups for 7/3/2016
The Chicago White Sox started the year as one of the hottest teams in baseball, but they are sharply declining. In their last 10 games, they are 3-7 and they now find themselves in third place in the American League Central. If the White Sox want to compete in this very tough division, they are going to need to add an impact bat near the trade deadline.
The White Sox are currently ranked 21st overall in run production, and a big part of that is because of their lack of power production. They have hit 49 home runs this year, which ranks as the 24th overall team in Major League Baseball. For that reason, they must trade for a power bat near the deadline to stay afloat in the American League Central.
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Drew Pomeranz, 27 years old, has been a very pleasant surprise in 2016. After being traded to the San Diego Padres in the offseason, the Padres decided to transfer Pomeranz back to the starting rotation after three years of work in the bullpen with the Oakland A’s and Colorado Rockies.
Through his first 10 starts in 2016, he has a 4-5 record, 2.48 ERA, 35 hits against, 69 strikeouts, and 29 walks in 58 innings pitched.
Unfortunately, this left-hander’s talents are being put the waste on the last place San Diego Padres. It is no secret that the Padres will look to sell their talent at the deadline to continue their rebuilding process. Pomeranz will be at the top of everyone’s wish list when they look at the assets the Padres are offering.
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Many baseball fans are wondering where Tim Lincecum will sign. He threw a bullpen for upwards of 20 Major League Baseball organizations about a week ago, but he has yet to commit to a team. Many teams were impressed with his fastball velocity, which sat in the low-90 MPH range, and his sharp breaking ball. It is only a matter of time before he signs with an organization.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner could greatly improve multiple rotations of competing organizations. The two that come to mind are the Chicago White Sox and the Texas Rangers. Both teams are playing exceptional baseball, but the addition of Lincecum could push them over the top.
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Tim Lincecum will pitch in front of upwards of 15 to 20 teams on Friday. He has been sidelined since last season due to arthroscopic hip surgery. He has been rehabbing for the last few months, and it looks as if he is finally ready to showcase his talents in front of scouts. There are reports that he is already throwing in the low 90’s, which is great news for the right-handed pitcher. As of right now, some of the reported teams who will be in attendance on Friday include the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, Oakland A’s, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, Miami Marlins, Washington Nationals, and the Baltimore Orioles.
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The Nationals asserted themselves on this leaderboard thanks to a quick start. They were my 2nd best bet last week at +1100. Now the odd at +650 is not worth any money at all.
Since Washington was able to play so well, this has created the perfect storm to put some more cash on the Mets. At +1300, New York is just begging for a wager.
The strength of schedule to which the Nats have played has definitely factored in. 2 series versus the Braves and Marlins and one against the Phillies already, Dusty Baker‘s club has had about a ‘cupcake itinerary’ as you possibly could find.
It gets better for the District’s squad, as they go home for another series with Philadelphia – that comes on the heels of a weekend Interleague series versus the Twins.
If Washington wins those 2 series, they should be about 15 or 16 wins after 22 games. They should cement themselves in the playoffs with an easy NL East opponents schedule all year. I just want to see them play some tougher clubs.
While Washington is leading the Division, they have yet to face the NL reigning pennant winners. The division win could come down to the 19 contests between the two clubs.
Terry Collins‘ team has 16 straight games versus squads with losing records. While the Giants are capable of contending all year, New York should be able to match them well for pitching. Read the rest of this entry
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Disclaimer: We based these rankings on best strength to win the World Series. Therefore some teams that have an easier division to play in, with the least path of resistance to the postseason overall may be ranked a lot higher than a club who is equally talented, yet may play in a juggernaut of a division.
The Cubs will top our list for a second straight week despite losing 2 out of 3 games to the Rockies at Wrigley Field this weekend. The biggest reason is the pitching.
The bats are too solid not to come around and gel as the season moves along. They are playing .750 baseball after a 4 – 2 week still.
Bryce Harper is the best player on the planet, and has homered in 6 straight contests at Citizens Bank Ball Park (4 overall in a row for the MLB this year.)
Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg. Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy are their top players – and all performing like it, the rest of the club is following through in their secondary roles. This team is scary.
I have the Royals as the top American League club. This squad is 8 – 1 in games that are not started by back end of the rotation man Chris Young.
The reigning 2 time pennant winners have company on the top of the Division to make it interesting, however this team has the better pedigree the last few years.
Some may say with a weekend series win – that the Dodgers should be put in front of the Giants, yet they are still only one game ahead of San Francisco.
With the Giants – there is no real weakness, while with the Los Angeles team, the Bullpen is not giving everyone confidence in the back half of games.
The Dodger Blue is still in the top 5, so I am high on them. Kenta Maeda could be the steal of the winter with how this guy is throwing so far. Reinforcements are starting to come back. Read the rest of this entry
The journey toward fielding a competitive baseball team can happen in a multitude of ways, but as long as winning is the result, the other details will take care of themselves.
A perfect example of this is what’s going on in Chicago right now with the Cubs and White Sox.
Based on their young roster and improvements made over the winter, the Cubs are a popular pick to win this year’s World Series. Predictions be damned, they still have to go out and prove it. Even though the season is barely two weeks old, the results have been excellent. Chicago’s National League squad is entering Friday’s game against the Colorado Rockies with an MLB-best 8-1 record.
Meanwhile, the White Sox have seemingly flown under the radar in their own city with an equally impressive 7-2 record. At the moment, they’re tied for first place in the competitive AL Central with the Kansas City Royals.
The schedule is 162 games long for a reason and what happens over the first couple weeks brings no guarantee for the remainder of the year. Still, it’s interesting to see how these two Chicago teams have taken completely different routes with regard to roster construction and on-field play before seeing similar results through nine games.