Sunday, September 02, 2007

2007 Giants: August PQS

This post has the Giants Pure Quality Start scores for the month of August, as defined in Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster annual book and they published the details here. I wrote on this last season and compiled their stats on a regular basis and I'm continuing it this season for continuity and historical comparison (there is the "PQS" label that you can click to see the old posts on this).

This is the Quality Start with a sabermetric DIPS twist, and it gets really easy to calculate once you get used to it. I don't think it's the end all or be all, but then nothing really is that. It is, as I like to say, another piece of the puzzle. A dominating start is scored a 4 or 5 and a disaster start is scored a 0 or 1. DOM% is the percentage of starts that are dominating, DIS% is the percentage of starts that are disasters (any start under 5.0 IP is automatically a 0, or disaster).

Basically, you want to see a pitcher's DOM% to be over 40% and ideally over 50%, and you want their DIS to be under 20% and ideally under 10%. For example, Johan Santana has a 76% DOM and 3% DIS in 2006 (2.77 ERA), whereas Orlando Hernandez had a 52% DOM and 28% DIS (4.66 ERA), and Adam Eaton had a 31% DOM and 31% DIS (5.12 ERA). See my explanation down below on methodology plus read the link, there's a nice chart there showing the combination of high DOM% and low DIS%, and particularly how low DIS% is so important.

Giants Starters' PQS for 2007 Season (as of August 31, 2007)

Matt Cain - (56% DOM, 19% DIS; 15:5/27): 4, 3, 5, 3, 3, 0, 3, 5, 5, 4, 4, 2, 5, 4, 1, 5, 3, 1, 0, 0, 5, 5, 4, 5, 4, 3, 5

Kevin Correia - (67% DOM, 33% DIS; 2:1/3): 0, 4, 4

Tim Lincecum - (71% DOM, 19% DIS; 15:4/21): 0, 5, 5, 4, 5, 3, 0, 0, 0, 5, 5, 4, 4, 5, 5, 4, 4, 3, 4, 5, 4

Noah Lowry - (31% DOM, 19% DIS; 8:5/26): 5, 3, 4, 2, 2, 5, 3, 3, 3, 0, 3, 2, 4, 0, 2, 5, 4, 1, 4, 4, 2, 0, 2, 2, 3, 0

Pat Misch - (0% DOM, 0% DIS; 0:0/2): 3, 3

Matt Morris - ( 29% DOM, 19% DIS; 6:4/21): 3, 1, 4, 3, 2, 2, 3, 2, 5, 3, 3, 5, 4, 0, 2, 2, 3, 0, 0, 4, 4 (traded)

Russ Ortiz - ( 13% DOM, 25% DIS; 1:2/8): 2, 4, 2, 2, 0, 2, 3, 0 (DL: Tommy John)

Barry Zito - ( 33% DOM, 22% DIS; 9:6/27): 2, 3, 4, 3, 3, 3, 4, 2, 0, 3, 5, 4, 0, 3, 0, 3, 3, 0, 5, 2, 0, 3, 0, 4, 5, 4, 5

Giants season overall - 41% DOM, 20% DIS out of 135 games pitched (56:27/135)
Giants Month of April - 29% DOM, 4% DIS out of 24 games pitched (7:1/24)
Giants Month of May - 43% DOM, 18% DIS out of 28 games pitched (12:5/28)
Giants Month of June - 33% DOM, 30% DIS out of 28 games pitched (9:8/27)
Giants Month of July - 48% DOM, 32% DIS out of 25 games pitched (12:8/25)
Giants Month of August - 52% DOM, 16% DIS out of 25 games pitched (16:5/31)

After doing pretty well in April and May, then declining greatly in June and having a pretty mixed month of July, the Giants pitchers turned things around in August, on a collective level. Lincecum continued to dominate with 5 DOM starts while Cain turned himself around with 5 DOM starts and Zito ended the month with 4 himself, but Lowry continued a downturn that begun in July, having two disaster starts in August, his first poor August in his career. Apparently that injury he suffered affected him more than he thought it would, as he was totally hot until that happened.

Misch, Ortiz, and Correia started as well during the month. Correia had 2 DOM starts out of 3, and if he didn't get an automatic zero PQS for having under 5 IP in his first start - the Giants limited his innings since it was his first start in two years - he would have gotten a DOM for that start as well, it would have rated a 4 PQS had he gotten two more outs. Misch had too nice starts that could have been 4 PQS games had he gone 1 IP more in each start, his only blemish otherwise was giving up too many hits, but his BABIP probably is way over as he struck out a good number in those two games. Ortiz pitched poorly and we found out why: his arm was failing him and he now needs to get Tommy John surgery; I'm not sure what his future with our team is, but he's clearly not pitching until the 2009 season at the earliest now, as the recovery time for that surgery is at least one year, sometimes more.

A DOM at or above the 40% mark is indicative of good pitching; above 50% is great; above 70% is elite. A low DIS is also indicative of good pitching, just look at the table in the link above showing DOM% and DIS% on the axes.

If you had to chose a high DOM% or a low DIS%, pitchers tend to have a lower ERA when you have a low DIS% vs. a high DOM% (obviously if you combine both, you have a much better chance of having an elite pitcher). That's how Lowry was able to pitch well last year, keeping his ERA low while still recovering from his strained oblique and being unable to strike out hitters as much as before, he had very few disaster starts until he had his arm problems and got bombed in September, he had a good ERA, in the high 3's until those starts.

Latest Comments

The Giants was 16-15 in August and should have been way better. With a 52% DOM for the month, and conceivably another 10% in DOM had the pitchers' pitch count (since they were used mainly as relievers before) caused them to be removed, the Giants should have won a lot more games than they did. The offense let them down again, as it has much of this season.

The staff was led by Lincecum and Cain, who had identical 83%DOM/0%DIS. Misch and Correia, as noted, contributed nicely to the rotation. Zito, after having a very poor stretch that had begun in July, suddenly figured things out and had four straight DOM start, doing things that he either hadn't done since he started his career or since early in this career. His walk rate went from unmanageable and too high, to 3 consecutive games with 2 or less, one with zero walks. Lowry and Ortiz were the two strugglers, though as we learned, Ortiz had serious arm problems that were yet to be revealed.

Pitching Rotation Suddenly Overflowing

Cain and Lincecum are clearly our future and Zito is starting to earn his huge contract: if they are all on in 2008, they could be the best 3-some in all of baseball, and could have a nice stretch together from 2008-2011. Lowry had pitched well enough to be in the top 20-29 in ERA in the NL from 2005-2007, which makes him #2 worthy in the NL, and he could be our #4 pitcher in 2008. Misch, Correia, and Sanchez have all put in great starts (Sanchez did his on Sept. 1st) and if they can all continue to hurl good starts, we could have 7 capable starters for 2008 when we only need 5.

This is when the pitching focused strategy starts to pay off, allowing the Giants to consider trading off one or two out of Lowry, Sanchez, Misch, and Correia, to get young position players who could be part of our core from 2008 on. Each year will bring more opportunities to trade off pitchers to get position players. It was rumored that the Mets was willing to trade Carlos Gomez, a young speedster for the Mets, straight up for Sanchez. The emergence of Misch and Correia as viable back of rotation starters, where teams don't really need even journeyman-like performance, makes Lowry and Sanchez expendable for the right price.

And that's what a lot of impatient Giants fans have not been getting, that we need to wait for the right package. We don't want to trade off Lowry or Sanchez just for any old position prospects, they are very good pitchers and we should get the right value for them. Just because the Giants probably won't compete next year mean that you go out and trade off pitching just for the heck of it.

Look at the Brewers, don't you think that they are going to be dying for starting pitching for next season, particularly with Sheets frequently injured (and DLed) again this season. Maybe they'll be willing to trade off one of their good position player (or two) in order to get a great #2 starter like Lowry. Lowry is now an established starter with good to great performances all through his career. That should be worth at least two good position prospects - guys with potential - versus getting a known hitter. So maybe the Mets would give up Gomez and Milledge for Lowry, just for a thought, one who had done well in his limited time up (Gomez) plus one who has great potential, but not capturing it in the majors.

And if no one bites, then we have a great rotation overall, plus the flowover will make the bullpen that much better, and better in 2008 than 2007. Quality pitching will raise the bar for our pitchers, improve how they perform in 2008 versus 2007 collectively. And that will improve the team, even if the offense probably sucks again in 2008.

Rebuilding not only takes time, but it takes patience so that you don't throw away any advantage you have - as the Giants do in starting pitching right now - by just doing a knee jerk reaction just to do something, show something to the impatient fans. You don't build championship teams by always reacting to fan sentiment for action. Stupid trades can hurt more than not making a trade, which is something some fans forget. It is like trying to catch one of the huge fishes of the sea, you don't reel him in immediately when you feel the tug, you have to work it in order to catch the fish, else you risk losing it, you must exercise patience, knowing that it is just part of the process towards your ultimate goal.

23 comments:

  1. You keep talking about "impatient Giants fans", but as I've pointed out a few times here, this season will mark a tie for the longest stretch of losing seasons in the 120+ years of franchise history. If next year's a repeat of this, we'll be marking new frontiers of Giants awfulness. Why exactly does not wanting to turn into the Pirates mark us as "impatient." In real sports towns, it's called "demanding."

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  2. First off, you are like a guy I used to tussle with: throws out "stats" without really checking it. This might tie one of the longest of recent memory, but the Giants were losers from 1974-77, 4 seasons. So, no, it would not tie the worst losing stretch during the Giants 120+ year existence, though it would be close and probably will tie in 2008.

    Plus, they were losers 5 of 6 seasons and 7 of 9, starting 72. Heck, it was 10 of 14, until Roger Craig and Al Rosen turned the team around. And those were not fun years, I started following them in 1971, so I know.

    They were also losers from 1899 to 1902 (4 seasons), since I'm checking, before John McGraw turned things around. I was not around for that one, though my hair might disagree. :^)

    Here's why I called fans like you (especially anonymous ones like you) impatient: clearly the Giants are not one or two players away, and yet you insist on winning, on being "demanding", like that's a badge of honor, that it makes you above us undemanding types. You like to bring on the heat.

    What it is like, though, is that it is more like demanding that the 2 year old shape up and be a man: it's not going to happen, no matter how demanding you are.

    I think anyone can see that the team's offense sucks, this despite getting a much better season out of Bonds than any of us had reason to expect (though given the good reports on his health at the end of last season, we could at least dream about it). So how much better do you think the offense will be without Bonds (possibly), and even if he is here, he'll be one of the oldest players ever, you can only hope now that he has a decent year, let alone a Bondsian-type season.

    Getting A-Rod would do the trick, but even his offense would not turn around the team, we would need Durham and Vizquel to return to form, but players rarely crash so badly like they did, and without a clear injury to blame, and recover to have a career type year, they are normally in a down trend, the only question is whether there is a bounce-back or a free-fall. And A-Rod is a pipedream as far as I'm concerned until he signs the dotted line to become a Giant, and who knows, nobody expected Zito to come here either.

    Plus, the Giants appear ready to start playing younger position players in the mix to see what we got. As we all know, none of them are considered world-beating prospects, the only one considered that thus far is Angel Villalona, and he recently just got promoted to short-season A-ball Salem Keizer. So playing them more don't equate with winning more, if you want to win more, you buy older vets to play regularly and sit the youngsters down.

    And that's another reason I call you and your ilk impatient: demanding that the team be winning again NOW means going out and buying whoever is the best free agent on the market. That's what got us on this merry-go-round of the past 5 seasons, just spending it all on the best guy available, even if we are not sure if he's THE guy. I understood that when Bonds was THE man and we got to do all that we can to win one with him, you have to go all in when you have Bonds on the team.

    But he's not that player anymore. He is still a very good hitter, but his offense is off and he only plays 120-140 games per season, depending on his mood and old body. That's fine in combination with, say, A-Rod or Vlad in the lineup too, but when your best hitter after him is Bengie Molina, and lately Rajai Davis, a nondescript 4th OF, who was probably 5th or 6th OF with the Pirates who desperately need OF, then your lineup is kind of bad.

    So we need to bite the bullet next year. Jettison the old guys that we can where we have prospects in AA or AAA (or even Advanced A) who can field at major league level or better, or at least hit at major league levels, even if he can't field much.

    The only free agents we sign should be no-brainers in the history of mankind. Vlad was one of those no-brainers. A-Rod would be another if he goes free agent (and it appears he will). Great hitters are welcome, OK hitters are not. Let them know 2008 will suck, but we are saving the rest of the money unspent in 2008 to buy better guys in 2009 and beyond.

    Shoot for being competitive in 2009, let 2008 be a learning year for our young pitchers, as hopefully more prospects come up (Wilson?) to boost our bullpen to competitive status, and Lincecum gets further development - he will probably still have bumps much like Cain did this season, so hopefully Cain and Lincecum will be ready to be world-beaters in 2009-2011 and hopefully lead us to World Series victory. Use Cain and Lincecum as the lure to get great players joining up.

    Demanding to win in 2008 would just condemn us to another 1972-1986 period of mediocrity, always trying, just not succeeding nor really sucking. We need to suck in 2008, just to clear the palate, keep the youngsters worth keeping, and acquire the vets worth keeping long-term, else just play youngsters and if we win, then great, but if not, well, we knew what the deal was.

    I think most of the vets can go, but unfortunately Durham is so bad that we can only do a Alfonzo/Finley type of stinker trade and hope for the best. I think I would rather keep Durham right now.

    Vizquel, just a one year because we have nobody in the farm system ready yet.

    Winn's no-trade clause will be over and we should try to trade him before the 2008 season, while his value is relatively high, and get some sort of prospect or two. Klesko has been nice, but just play our youngsters at 1B, Klesko is not the future unless he's teaching our young hitters how to hit better. Plus he's platoon lefty and we have plenty of those types of players in our farm system.

    Roberts and Molina I keep, Roberts to teach all the speedsters in our farm system the Maury Wills way, Molina because we have no catcher ready to take over and our pitching is our future.

    Assuming Durham is still around, I would just start Frandsen at 3B, with Aurilia as rover utility guy and backup at 3B if Frandsen sucks big time - but as long as Frandsen hits, I would just keep him there at 3B, even if he costs us defensively: we need to see if he can hit for us at 2B in 2009.

    OF, hopefully it is Roberts plus Davis, Lewis, Ortmeier (also at 1B), and Schierholtz. I suspect that Bonds will come back at below market cost (finally, as the Giants have no reason to sign him in a rebuilding year), because he wants 3000 hits as a Giant. I would do it if he agrees to retire, no matter what, after the 2008 season, and be the Giants hitting instructor coach. It seems like he sees so much as a player that he should be invaluable as a coach.

    Go Giants!

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  3. I consider the '75 team to be a .500 team (80-81). Technically inaccurate, I know, but not unsupportable for a team with a .49689 winning percentage. I did however, totally forget about the 1899-1902 stretch. I somehow had them winning in '02.

    The thing that separates this from the teams of the 70s and 80s is, however, exactly that those badly managed clubs did cause periodic changes, firings, and other tacit admissions of failures. In the 70s, sadly, not soon enough the one that badly needed to be made (owner), but they did hew to the time honored tradition of killing the cook. Rather than the "trust us, we know what we're doing line" I'm seeing now.

    And I disagree firmly with a couple of your statements. 1) Go out and buy the best available guy on the market is what got us where we are now. Very, very seldom has that been Sabean and Macgowans' M.O. It was (and well done) with Bonds. And I think you could say it was with Benitez, though that was a panic move born of a series of horrible strategic blunders involving the closer (trusting that Nen would come back from serious shoulder surgery, trusting that a series of journeymen could fill the position, trading a guy who could fill the position, letting Worrell go with no one to replace him).

    No, what has gotten us to this point is a preponderance of poor personnel evaluations. No philosophy is inherently bad or good. It's the singular judgements involved in implementing them that makes them good or bad. Surrounding Bonds with vets wasn't necessarily a bad strategy. Surrounding Bonds with a large group of people who's careers essentially ended once they got to SF was. It's the details, not the strategy that matter. Nor is "going young" (something I don't believe for a second the team is seriously considering doing next year) a good or bad strategy. For us, specifically, it's probably bad because we don't, as you note, have much youth of value. As I have said over at McCC, we have to dig our way out of this mess one good personnel decision at a time, (with of course a good helping of fortune), just as we got into it one bad personnel decision at a time.

    I entirely agree that it will take some extraordinary good fortune and a few strokes of inspired genius (very difficult to imagine from this vantage point) to make us competitive in '08. As I was saying really from ST on in '06 (that if we didn't move what pieces of value we had at that time, we were going to run headlong into a serious talent shortage from the top of the organization on down that would make it nearly impossible to be competitive).

    Rather, by demanding I mean demanding the heads of the people who've done this to us and a fresh approach, because I flatly don't believe the current administration has the wherewithal to pull us out of it.

    We need to be doing some creative looking for talent such as Rule 5 (I don't believe Sabean has ever engaged in this talent pool), people who are blocked or have fallen out of favor in their home orgs but still have upside like the fabled Chris Young/A. Gonzalex trade (would Jeremy Hermida fall into this? Matt Murton?). I wouldn't even mind a stretch blockbuster trade if it came relatively cheaply (how much does Baltimore want to be rid of Tejada?). Japanese relievers seem to do well. What's going on in Australia or China or hell Vietnam? But Sabean has shown himself nearly addicted to "undervalued" vets with locker room presence and post-season experience. Low to no upside players. I remember reading a write up from a national magazine some 8-9 years ago that said "Brian Sabean knows what he likes, and he likes veterans." At the time I wasn't sure it was fair, but time has certainly proved that it was. True, he once was involved in the Yanks drafting Derek Jeter. But it's hard to imagine he wouldn't have been one of the voices in the Yanks organization (and there were plenty) who insisted that they needed to trade for a veteran SS when Tony Fernandez got hurt rather than let Jeter start.

    And that's where demanding comes in. Demand that business as usual stop because we could very well be looking at 3-4-5 last place finishes and that's a carousel that is very hard to get off of.

    I don't believe the whole "everything's on course" line that you keep espousing, and I still have trouble getting over it when you say "anyone can see this is a bad offense" when from ST right through the first couple of months of the season you insisted it wasn't. I'd rather wear "demanding" as a badge of honor than "optimist" any day. Because blithely expecting base case scenarios to manifest themselves is a great way to create a mess.

    And finally, I don't feel like creating a sign in. What's the dif? It's the internet. Everybody's anonymous.
    Sorry for the rant. I too say Go Giants (and I've been saying it since '58).

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  4. Amen, Anon. I've been saying these same things for months. There are many of us out there that feel that the extension of Sabean's contract was, not only the wrong thing to do, but also completely undeserved. His administration has dug us this hole that we are in and I have zero confidence that he will ba able to reverse the treds that he has exhibited these many years. But waht do we know? We're just part of the lunatic fringe.

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  5. Anon, techically, of course, you are correct, this is the third consecutive losing season. But to blame Sabean is not really logical. '05 went down the toilet the moment Bonds' surgery developed an infection, hardly Sabean's doing. '06 not only had a reduced productivi9ty from Bonds, but also the in juries to Benitez and Alou, again not Sabean's fault. To look only at the W-L record or to look back with 20-20 hindsight and say that Sabean should have known Benitez and/or Alou were going to be hurt is pretty weak in terms of recognizing cause and effect.
    Even for '07 Sabean is not entirely blamewrothy, and I don't think that '07 demonstrates that the strategy for '07 was idiotic. This has been a weird year and for us in the stands, we are too far away to really know what the hell happened. And, yes, I do not think the team is nearly as bad as its record. I don't think anyone could rationally conclude that 4-5 players (Aurilia, Durham, Omar, Feliz + Sweeney, Linden) wojuld have such precipitously bad years. One? sure. Two? OK. But 4? the odds of that have to be extremely high. The rest of the team is producing about as expected, but 1/2 of the starting lineup has just disappeared offensively. Still, the team has scored something like 25 fewer runs than the Dodgers and Padres - and more runs, if I recall right, than Az. So, 1/2 your offense does nothing and your team still is in most games and is seldom blown out (in fact, they have won as many blow outs -8- as they have lost).
    The guy (Sabean) had more home grown prospects on the roster in mid season than almost any other team in baseball. They have one of the better pitching staffs in baseball, and one of the youngest, too. Altho I can't tell you who will be in which slot, the pitching staff is pretty well set - for '08. For '09. For '10 and into the future.
    It is definitely true that there are going to be lots of changes coming in the next 2 years. With the possible exception of Molina, I don't think a single regular from the '07 team will be a regular in '09.
    People are screaming "the sky is falling, the sky is falling" because we do not have plug in replacements in the minors. We have some useful players, but not enough to field a division champ. So, it is clear Sabean will completely rebuild this team over the next two years - with at least 7 new regulars. Just because the solutions are not evident to you does not mean they are not evident to Sabean. Fortunately, he has a lot of trade fodder - the only sure things are Zito, Cain, Lincecum, maybe Wilson. All these guys coming up for Sep are auditioning not only for us, but for the other 31 MLB teams - and quite a few of them will be moved to bring in 1 or 2 or 3 new regulars.
    The difficulty is predicting what impact these new regulars will have because we do not know what will be done with Bonds. If you kept our OF now (Bonds, Roberts, Winn, DAvis, Shierholtz or Lewis) and could upgrade SS, 2b and either 3b or 1b, this team would absolutely compete in the NL West next year and have a good and reasonable chance to win the west.

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  6. First, in retort to Boof, the hole was not dug by Sabean ineptitude, but, I believe, by his success in keeping the Giants competitive for so many years.

    As I showed with my study of draft picks, teams who regularly win have a much tougher time drafting good players who would seed the next generation of success. On average, it would take 9 drafts to find one good player in the late first round. I haven't worked out the numbers for later rounds, but I think that it is around one every 5 drafts or so, on average. I think we can agree that a team needs more reinforcements from the draft than the sum of those two.

    To Anon, I will answer in full, perhaps tomorrow, but want to note a few things. First, again, you need to get your "facts" straight. Your disagreement with my "statements", well, it reads like you've had a few too many to drink. Please, if you are going to debate with me, please get my opinions correct. That would makes things much easier.

    Second, I don't really care what your real name is, but at least Boof goes by the same name everywhere he goes. So I know where he stands. Your position is ephemeral as far as I'm concerned, you can take one stance here in this particular post, then move on to another and state something totally different, or maybe you just like to post just to create some sturm und drang. You can be fan since 1958 here, newbie 2002 in MCC, the Thriller 1987 at ELM. This could be a game to you. That's all, I just prefer to debate with someone whose position I can understand over time, and not have to figure out the elephant each time I debate with Anon.

    But no apology necessary for the rant, I rant too, so I can understand the need. Just get the facts right next time.

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  7. You keep missing the boat with your argument about Sabean's ineptitude. Yes, a lot of draft picks don't make it. That doesn't mean that you punt them away for no reason (Tucker) or totally become so one position oriented (pitcher) in your quality prospects that you end up with a dearth or offensive talent while, at the same time, get very very old at the ML level at the offensive positions. It is poor management of organization resources. A good GM would've recognized the problem and done something about it. After mismanaging the farm system for so long, what gives anyone any confidence that he can now do an about face and fix it? It's an absurd concept to buy into.

    Additionally, he is also responsible for not moving valuable pieces (Schmidt, Alou, others) over the last couple of years for prospects to fill the void that they have on offensive talent. Instead he only got some draft picks, the very same thing that you espouse that are hard to turn into players. Seems to me that when you have a glaring need that you should addrress it, not dig a hole and put your head in the sand and do nothing like Sabean has done.

    Sorry, it is solely attributable to Sabean's blunders that the organization is in the state is in. He earned a firing, not a contract extension.

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  8. OK, this should be good. OK Boof, I'll bite, when was the perfect time to trade off Schmidt? When was the perfect time to trade off Alou?

    You are the one missing the boat Boof. Teams are rarely rebuilt so easily and quickly, particularly when a team is both: 1) trying to win and 2) winning. Again, I challenge you to show me a team who has rebuilt quickly while trying to win and winning in recent memory. You, thus far, have failed!

    Demanding a GM rebuild quickly while trying to win and winning ignorantly sidesteps the steep odds against doing that. It would be like demanding that Dave Kingman come out of retirement and hit a homer for us pinch-hitting: it could happen but the odds are greatly against it. You also ignore the fact that the Giants are on the verge of having one of the best pitching staff in the majors, even with Lowry's injury problems, particularly with the late season emergence of Correia, Sanchez, Misch, and Wilson.

    Someone does not blunder into rebuilding half the team with homegrown talent, and produce above average talent like Lowry, Cain, and Lincecum, and good players like Correia and Hennessey. Plus he got two years to prove that what he has done will continue to work, it is not like he got a 5 year mandate.

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  9. Where did I say that the rebuild has to happen quickly while winning? You seem to read into things and ascribe thoughts that are not being expressed as a way of trying to discredit a point being made. It would be nice if you didn't assign ideas to me that I did not espouse.

    When was the time to trade Schmidt? How about mid-season last year when it was clear that they had no intention of re-signing him in the off season? I am certain they could've gotten at least one very decent position prospect. Anf before you try to argue that the Giants were still in the race, please save that argument for people who don't really know any better.

    Befofe you start annointing the Giants pitching staff as one of the best in the league, perhaps you ought to wait until some of the ones you named have some success in consistenly getting out batters. None of the ones you named (Correia, Sanchez, etc.) have shown that ability yet. I'm not convinced that yet that any of that group are going to be more than journeymen.

    Most everyone seems to recognize that the rebuilding of this team is going to take a long time. It's a process that should've started in earnest after the 2002 season. Sabean is aready 5 years behind that timeline.......but we should trust him, after all, he knows what he's doing, right?


    Yeah, that's why we're in the postion we're in now.

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  10. Boof, where did I get it wrong? You are unhappy with what Sabean has done in rebuilding the Giants thus far. You think he should have been let go. It has been 3 years since their last winning season.

    Schmidt in a mid-season trade, bah. The Giants were 2 games back on June 30th, game 79, and on July 1st, game 81. Then they took the lead on July 22nd, albeit briefly.

    Apparently you don't know what it means to be in a pennant race. If you want to be known as the idiot GM who traded your best pitcher away for prospects when you are only 2 games back, that's your choice. That's what the ChiSox was called when they did the same thing in 1997.

    Do you know anything about pitching staffs? Look up the stats in The Hardball Times that I linked to many times before, #4 and #5 starters do not pitch that well in general. I think Correia and Sanchez has done well enough in relief thus far plus their limited starts to show that they can be adequate #4 and #5 starters. Certainly as good as the retreads who get millions for doing the same, like Ponson, Jeff Weaver, heck Jamey Wright.

    Pair them up with Lincecum, Cain, and Zito, and we have a pretty good starting staff.

    Among the relievers, Hennessey has done well in whatever role we have placed him in, and as El Lefty Malo noted, his WRXL has been pretty good this season. I have never said that they were great, only that they have been adequate. But combined with Lincecum, Cain, Zito, Lowry et al, we have a pretty good pitching staff.

    Rebuild after 2002? You've lost all credibility here, Boof! Shows how "smart" you are, you would actually go and rebuild the team right after going to the World Series? Who is the optimist here? The fans would have had your head soon afterward!

    Thus, one year after signing Bonds to a $90M, 5 year contract, you would have started rebuilding, either paying him $20M per year to be a high priced car ornament as the team sucks while rebuilding or be known as the GM who traded Bonds away from the Giants after two of the best seasons EVER by a player. Sounds like a lose/lose situation here, I can't believe I've been actually debating with you on this, I'm wasting my time if that's what you really believe! You aren't a real Giants fan if you wanted to blow up the team after the World Series season, that's asinine!

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  11. Maybe, Martin, you're starting to figure out that boof is a troll, a guy who just says outrageous things to piss you off and get you riled up, someone that never offers any reasoned opinions or researched ideas. In two years I have never seen him say a single positive thing about the Giants or any member of the Giants. I have stopped responding to him. He only brings negativism and insults to the party. Who needs it?

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  12. You still don't get it. The rebuilding process should've been started in earnest after the 2002 season. That's what I said. I didn't say the team should've been broken down. You said that.

    The rebuilding process takes a number of years and vision to see what is needed and planning for your shortcomings by stocking your farm system with the things that you will be needing over the next 4 years or so. After the 2002 season, the Giants were already a very old team with the players that they were putting out in the field every day. A GM with just a modicum of foresight could've seen that this collection of veterans are going to break down in the very near future, so he should've been stocking the farm system with a number of position players that might be ready to be taking over about now WHILE THE VETERANS ARE STILL PLAYING and hopefully still competitive. Sabean chose instead to focus solely on pitching in the minors and came up with 2 gems and a few seviceable pitchers and ZERO POSITION PLAYERS. I don't understand what is so hard to see here that Sabean screwed up....big time.

    You are really kidding yourself that the Giants were in any kind of pennant race last year. Yes, the rest of the teams in our division also sucked, but there was no way that the Giants had what it took to win the division. To believe otherwise was just a fantasy. Any person who has any knowledge of baseball and the ability to judge talent could see that the Giants were not serious contenders last year. But you go ahead and believe what you want. I'm just part of the lunatic fringe.

    Yeah, I guess a player like Lastings Milledge or Carlos Gomez would not have been useful to the Giants organization. I guess Sabean was right. It was better to let Schmidt walk and get zippo. How could I not see the genius in that?

    I'm sorry to offend you, Frank. Perhaps you're right. The Giants are on the cusp of contending. And maybe the moon will turn blue, too. Just because I disagree with you doesn't mean that I am throwing out outrageous comments just to piss you off. I really believe them. And guess what? Many more people seem to think that the Giants suck right now and will continue to suck for a number of years in the near future also...courtesy of Sabean's decision making.....many more than agree with your assessment that the Giants are just a plyer away from being a good team. Don't confuse realism for negativism.

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  13. I think you are right Allfrank, 100%.

    If Sabean had done what Boof suggests, the team would have a couple of good position prospects, but no starting pitchers nor a bullpen, and Boof would be crying over the "fact" that Sabean focused on position players and "neglected" the pitching staff.

    The fact, as my research has shown, is that when you are winning, you have to make a choice in what you chose to concentrate on, whether it be position players, pitchers, high school, college, etc., because you cannot supply your whole team from a farm system. That's the fallacy that Boof and others have thus far not understood.

    I'll quote Boof now, because he did sort of grasp my point in his post: "Sabean chose instead to focus solely on pitching in the minors and came up with 2 gems and a few seviceable pitchers and ZERO POSITION PLAYERS." That's been my whole point about the draft and the difficulties of drafting, after this amount of time, that's about ALL you can EXPECT to get from the draft when you are winning.

    It don't matter if it was pitching he was focused on, position players, or even a mix, you cannot expect to get much more than that over that time period beyond a couple of gems and a bunch of useful players.

    And again, he ignores how well Lowry has done in his career thus far. That's three gems in Lincecum, Cain, and Lowry, plus potential gems in Sanchez and Villalona, and serviceable players in Correia, Hennessey, Wilson, Lewis, Schierholtz, Ortmeier. So Sabean is actually ahead of the game thus far.

    Yes, you have vast baseball knowledge and "knew" that the Giants didn't have what it took to win the division when they were only 2 games out. Just like you wanted to rebuild the Giants after the 2002 season. A rebuild, as any person who has any knowledge of baseball knows, means that you focus on development and not on winning in particular. Thus you would have traded off both Bonds and Schmidt one year after coming within a few outs of winning the World Series OR they would be expensive parts to a team not dedicated to winning. Yeah, fans would have loved either of those scenarios.

    Boof, what I want to believe in is stats and research and logic, and not, like you, just come to an opinion and then gather info that supports it and then come up with ZERO when facts that disagrees with your "reality" comes up. You claim to know exactly how a rebuild should be done and yet you cannot bring up one example of your "strategy" working in real life. Why should we just accept your word that your plan really works, when you cannot give any examples and you cannot bring anything new to the discussion?

    We've reached an impasse long ago and I'm tired of your tactics and I'm sure you are tired of my repeated attempts to show you my scenario of events.

    Unlike you, I've not come to a conclusion on Sabean's worthiness to lead the Giants future. I've tolerated you thus far because I can understand where you are coming from, I used to be there too. But you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.

    If you have nothing more to add to the discussion, nothing NEW other than your same spiel, please don't bother to post anything. You can spew your same stance elsewhere where you have your buddies and stick needles into your personal Sabean voodoo dolls.

    If you have something NEW to add, new research, new insights, please feel free to post, but you have posted the same thing over and over again and we are getting nowhere. What's particularly galling is that I would challenge you to give examples and you, with your vast baseball knowledge, cannot even do that.

    If you (or anyone else reading) are unwilling to complete a discussion, as you have numerous times over the past few months, Boof, don't bother posting, as I thought by your silence that you were conceding my points, but we just end up with you saying the same thing over and over again, clearly showing that you held your stance but couldn't come up with a good response to my previous attempts at a discussion.

    And the only reason I'm repeating what I'm saying over and over again is because I'm responding to you over and over again. I'm ready to move on to other subjects, unless you have something new and interesting to add (which thus far you have not) or if you finally have an answer to all the challenges and questions I had for you previously (which thus far you have not).

    I would agree, though, that it is new for you to assert now that a rebuild should have begun after the 2002 season. Dig that hole a little deeper for your credibility, I think that one could be the last nail in the coffin for you.

    You would have been lynched mobbed by the fans had you been the GM. Now THAT's something any person who has any knowledge of baseball should know, you don't dismantle a team right after the World Series, you don't rebuild when you have Bonds and Schmidt on your team.

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  14. You're right. I'm done beating my head against the wall here. You continue to attribute things to me that I didn't say in a disengenuous attempt to mischaracterize my points. That's what people do when they refuse to consider that perhaps their opinion is not right on target. It's what's known as an O'Reilley-ism at work

    You & Frank can continue your man-love with each other and talk amongst yourselves about how great a job the Giants are doing in managing their organization. Please feel free to continue drink from the Sabean Kool-Aid. You both will be very happy.

    I'll go back to joining the lunatic fringe and wait for the inevitable failure of Sabean to dig us out of the hole he got us into thorugh his poor management. Hopefully, sometime in the next 2 years, the Giants ownership will wake up to the fact that a different direction needs to be taken and then we will really be on the road to turing this organization around.

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  15. Where did I mischaracterize you? You sound just like another guy I used to tussle with who when he was losing the argument, starts throwing out claims of "mischaracterization" when there was no basis for it.

    What you said was that the Giants should have rebuilt after the 2002 season. I quoted that liberally and so you have no leg to stand on that I "mischaracterized" your position.

    What you and others have done is not realize what the consequences of your statement is. That has consequences that you ignorantly did not consider when you made your statement. Perhaps what I noted is not what you intended: then perhaps next time you will think through the results of your statements before you state them.

    I'll spell it out for you, so you can understand the logic, step by step:

    * Giants rebuild after 2002 as you said they should

    * as any person with any baseball knowledge knows, a rebuild means putting the team through losing seasons in order to get good draft picks (and thus good prospects) for the future, plus perhaps trade off your older players for good prospects, and also play your prospects and see who develops.

    * Schmidt and Bonds were signed to 2006

    * This means that you need to rebuild in two seasons or less, else you relegate 3 or 4 of Schmidt's and Bonds's final 4 years of contract to losing years, OR you trade Schmidt or Bonds.

    * I know of no team that has rebuilt in two seasons or less, so either you have 3 or 4 losing seasons while paying Bonds and Schmidt big money, or you trade them, either proposition would have been ridiculous after 2002.

    Perhaps I screwed up the logic here, show me where I went wrong.

    And that's one thing a person who refuse to consider that perhaps their opinion is wrong wouldn't do, ask where I went wrong, as any frequent reader of my blog knows I do. Also, a person who refuse to consider that perhaps their opinion is not right would not post on their website that they are not perfect, as I did at the top of my blog. They also would not bother allowing any Tom, Dick, or Harry to post comments either, they would just shut down the comment function and just blow their horn in their own righteous correctness.

    However, a person who refuses to consider that their position is not right would not answer every question thrown their way (as you have done). They would also leave the discussion when I've already responded to your last post(as you have done).

    Show me where my logic above is wrong.

    Show me a team that has successfully rebuilt in a few years without a number of losing seasons preceding it.

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  16. Yes, you did screw up the logic. I don't know why I am wasting my time trying to explain this to you, but here goes.

    I said that the rebuild process should've begun in earnest after the 2002 season when it was very evident that the team was already very old at every position. The first step of beginning a rebuild process is to determine where your needs are going to be in the near future, assess what you have coming up in the minor leagues, and start acquiring the types of players that you are going to need 4 to 5 years ahead of time, so that they have time to develop in the minors while the veteran players play out the string. You then ease those players into the lineup when they are ready to go. Unfortunately, the Giants did not plan very well as is evidenced by the fact that we need 7 new starting position players right now and don't have a single one in the organization that is not at least 4 years away right now. Someone (Sabean) did not plan very well. You just can't spin it any other way. Our minor league system is a wasteland as far as position prospects are concerned.

    You make the very wrong assumption that you just jump into a rebuild and toss everyone out and start over. That was your idea, not mine. That's not what I ever espoused. You jumped to very wrong conclusions. A rebuild cannot take place if you don't put the building blocks in place well ahead of time. To augment that process, you try to acquire prospects in different manners, but mainly by drafting them and developing them or by trading for them after some of their deveopment has already occurred in other organizations. We did not do either of those things as far as our position players are concerned during the Sabean regime.

    Bonds was never a tradeable chip (for many reasons), but Schmidt should certainly have been traded in his last contract year instead of being allowed to walk and have nothing to show for it when they knew damn well that they were not going to re-sign him. To not turn Schmidt into something valuable was just an outright blunder.

    You keep asking about a team that has rebuilt while still being competitive and I pointed to the Atlanta Braves who have done exactly that over a number of years. You seem to pooh-pooh that for some reason. But the facts are that they have consistently brought up young players and plugged them into their team and remained relatively competitive for a number of years. They've augmented there youngsters with key free-agent signings, some of which worked and some that didn't. However, if you look at their lineup right now, they have considerable youth and have also had the luxury of trading some of their youth to plug holes.

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  17. "You & Frank can continue your man-love with each other and talk amongst yourselves about how great a job the Giants are doing in managing their organization."

    Also, speaking of mischaracterization, I've never said the Giants are doing a great job in managing their organization. What I've said is that focusing on pitching is a great strategy to utilize in building an organization and that there are numerous benefits to following such a strategy. I've said that Sabean has done a good job of building up the pitching staff in the midst of trying to win the past three seasons and that gives me encouragement that he will continue to build up the organization over the next two years. But if he doesn't deliver in the next two years, then I think he should be gone.

    You're also ignoring my long history of disagreeing with management. For example, I've made a point of writing when I was Biased Giants Fanatic that the Giants should have aimed for greatness by pursuing and signing Vlad, and not signing more players and settling for mediocre players, as I complained here (and campaigned hard for the Giants to sign Vlad too): http://sfgiants.scout.com/2/238046.html. The Giants had the money - they were willing to spend it on Greg Maddux that same season - so I've always laid that failure on Giants ownership. I've also pointed them out other times for blown moves: http://biasedgiantsfanatic.blogspot.com/2005/10/autopsy-of-2005-season-part-i-owners.html; http://obsessivegiantscompulsive.blogspot.com/2006/10/magowan-dont-blow-it.html.

    I've also supported getting new ownership, someone with billionaire pockets, like Larry Ellison, to buy the team from Magowan, if they weren't able to compete with billionaires owners like the Angels for the services of Vlad: http://sfgiants.scout.com/2/309436.html

    So I've never said that the Giants management has been great, I've had my problems with them over the years. But just because they have made mistakes in the past doesn't mean that they could not be doing well now or that their strategy is not right. That would just be throwing the baby out with the bath water.

    That's why I went to the trouble of hand compiling all the draft picks, nearly 2000 picks individually considered and analyzed, because I was one of those who believed that Sabean was screwing up the drafts and thus screwing up the farm system, so I was going to use my analytic abilities to expose Sabean, that was my hypothesis, that the draft was good and he should be doing better. And I changed my opinion because the data did not support that assertion anymore.

    Here is my first article, discussing my criticism of Sabean: http://sfgiants.scout.com/2/266404.html

    For those who were not aware of my draft study, here is a link to that: http://sfgiants.scout.com/2/343576.html

    So while I might not have liked certain moves that the Giants have done in the past, I don't just dismiss whatever strategy they might be employing now just because of my distaste for past moves. I try to figure out what they are trying to do and whether that strategy makes sense. Then I decide on what I believe is best for the Giants, not Sabean, Magowan, or whoever.

    I was following the Giants long before Magowan or Sabean became part of the Giants management, and I'll be following them long after they leave Giants management, and I'm hoping to live a very long time. And if I think what they are doing stinks, I will write it, period.

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  18. Oh, and here are the articles where I was campaigning for the Giants to get Vlad:

    http://sfgiants.scout.com/2/110813.html

    http://sfgiants.scout.com/2/111804.html

    http://sfgiants.scout.com/2/117602.html

    For some reason, some of the articles at scout.com get cut off at the bottom when you go to the link. Click the printer friendly icon and that should get you the whole article.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Well, now it looks like we are in agreement on a couple of items.

    #1 - Totally agree that the Giants missed the boat when they let Vlad get away from them. This inaction led to a series of poor personnel decisions (signing many mediocre players) as well as probably costing us, at a minimum, one World Series. This ws one of their worst decisions that they are still paying the price for.

    #2 - I am also in agreement that, if there was some way to do so, replacing Magowan as the owner would be a godsend. His hands are dirty with a number of bad moves and non-moves that were probably dictated to Sabean. In that respect, all the blame can't be laid on him. Unfortunately, we can't get rid of Magowan, as much as many of us out there would really want it. Therefore, in order to get a new direction for this organization, our only hope is to replace Sabean and some of his regime...someone who would be vested with the power to tell Magowan to back off and shut up and stay out of personnel decisions. Until that happens, it appears that we will be getting much mopre of what we've witnessed over the last few years.....mediocrity at best.

    I care very much about the Giants who I have followed ever since they've moved here from NY. My perceived negativism is deeply rooted in extreme frustration with the way the current administration (owner & GM) is running this organization into the ground. There was no need to be in the position we are in today and will be in for quite a few years to come. I am very skeptical that these guys will be able to deliver a complete change in management style, which is what is needed at this point to turn this organization around.

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  20. BTW, do you guys think that it is time to shut Lincecum down?

    AS big a fan as I am and as much as I'd like to see him finish the season well, he just got his ERA under 4.00. Pitchers are weird cats, and a 3.99 ERA is much better than a 4.00 in our minds..just sayin

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  21. I go back and forth on that. I wouldn't mind, say, sitting him down and starting Misch, for example, and see how Misch can do.

    But as you noted, pitchers are weird cats and I think most are gunslingers, they want to die with their boots on and not wuss out and skip a start to save his arm. I think Lincecum would feel the need to prove that he can last a season and would want to start.

    ESPN has him listed at 2,286 pitches this season or 99.4 pitches per game or 16.3 pitches per inning. He pitched 30 IP in the minors for a total of 170 IP thus far. Assuming his pitch count was 100 in AAA, his 5 starts there this season is around 500 pitches, for a total of around 2,800 pitches total.

    In 2006, he threw 31.2 IP in the pros (assume approximately 500 pitches there) and threw 125.1 IP in college, for a total of 157 IP.

    But in college, pitchers are known to be abused more, pitching way beyond the 120 that Baseball Prospectus says is the point at which wear and tear starts setting into pitchers. If I recall right, there were games where he pitched around 160 pitches. Assuming an average of 120 pitches per start (plus ignoring the 5 relief appearances), that works out to approximately 2,000 pitches in college, for a total of 2,500 pitches in 2006.

    However, again, those were high abuse pitches so the effect on his arm should be more than that. Thus at 2,800 pitches thus far in 2007, it does not appear that Lincecum has increased the load on his arm that greatly between 2006, where he threw approximately 2,500 pitches and 2007, where he threw around 2,800, particularly when taking into account the high abuse he took in 2006.

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  22. The fallacy in your logic Boof is that were Sabean replaced, the new GM would probably have even less power than Sabean, and the team would be controlled by Magowan that much more, because the organizational structure that was built by Sabean would probably disintegrate under his successor as his successor brings in his people over the next few years, putting the organization into turmoil that would set it back at least a couple of years.

    I'll get back to you on Atlanta when I get the time, been busy getting ready for the interview world after 15 years. And I haven't forgotten Anon, I've already written my response down, but outplacement takes a priority, plus Boof and I were getting along so well. :^)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh, so on Lincecum, I would just start him and let him "man up" and play out the rest of the season. The pitch count isn't that much more this season over last, and while it would be nice to keep him under 4.00, I think his personality is similar to Ted Williams in that he would rather play than to sit out and get a certain statistic.

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