Saturday, January 19, 2008

Alas: D'gers not interested in Feliz

This will be a short post to note that the D'gers are not interested in Feliz, read this in an article on mlb.com about Colletti talking at their mini-camp. Apparently they are happy with Nomar competing with Andy LaRoche for the starting spot. I guess Colletti was just "kicking the tires" with Feliz, probably to see if he would be amenable to a one year plus option contract with the D'gers. :^)

Other news on the evil empire from the article is that apparently Juan Pierre, he of the 5 year, $44M contract with 4 more years to go, is in competition for a spot in the outfield, with Andre Ethier (hey, think Beane and the A's could use him now?). I wonder how he feels about that one, though I suppose he'll be laughing all the way to the bank. Of course, new acquisition Andruw Jones will be starting in CF and Matt Kemp in RF.

Andruw Jones: Beginning of the End?

Speaking of Andruw Jones, most forecasts of his performance has him doing well but under the high levels he had previously reached. Looking at his stats, he actually increased his FB% in 2007, but his HR/FB% fell drastically: he has ranged from 18.7% to 25.2% but only had 13.4% in 2007. That makes it look like he actively tried lofting the ball more in order to make up for his HR shortfall, which probably hurt his batting line even more, particularly since it came out of his line drives percentage. And that is a power outage of nearly 20% in terms of HR/FB% with no injury to explain it, suggesting that age is taking over (or, given recent steroids scandal and PED crackdown, there could be other explanations...).

I wonder if any of the forecasts took into account his change in address from Atlanta to LA. In Atlanta's Turner Field, right-handed hitters got a boost to their homer total, with a 103 park index in 2007, 102 for 2005-7. The park is pretty neutral, some slightly above, some below, at least over the past 3 years, because 2007 had some extremes to it.

In LA, right-handed hitters over the past 3 years got a nice boost with a park index of 106, but in 2007 had a deflated amount with a park index of 96 (it really pays to be a lefty HR hitter for the D-gers, park index of 118). The park has been mostly neutral, but like Atlanta, had odd jumps and drops in 2007.

From this, it looks like even if they did account for the park, there would only be minor changes to his projections (data from Bill James 2008 Handbook; hopefully they are correct this year, I was using his numbers last year when I found out, totally by accident, that the park indices, among other sections, were all wrong. I don't know if I can buy the book again if there is huge errors again.). He might gain a little in HR but if the 2007 park index continues, he would lose a little.

In any case, the projections are that he will be right around his career numbers, which is a conclusion I have to question. He appears to be on the downside of his career based on what I see in his career numbers, which is not impossible since he will be 31 for the 2008 season and once a player reach his 30's you have to keep an eye out for the signs.

To me, it is significant that his BABIP was down to his career lows again, just as low as it was in 2005 and, more significantly, it is lower than even when he started, though marginally so: .250 BABIP in his first season, .244 in 2005 and .248 in 2007. Still, two of his lowest BABIP of his career have been in the last three seasons. That's not a good trend.

At least, if you are a D-ger fan; if you are a Giants fan, they have what appears to be a declining Andruw Jones who will suck up $18M per year for two years, plus a Juan Pierre who wasn't much of an offensive weapon to begin with and could find himself a $9M bench player in 2008, depending on how he competes for the LF position with Ethier. They were both players that could have ended up with the Giants, depending on the alternative universe scenarios - Pierre was bid on by the Giants and there was a lot of talk among Giants fans about getting Jones over Rowand - and I'm glad it's the D-gers who have to worry if Jones is done or not, to the tune of $18M per year, plus are saddled with Pierre, whether he plays or not, that's money they cannot spend elsewhere on their roster.

1 comment:

  1. The obvious bad news tied into this piece is that with the Brewers, Phillies, Cardinals & Dodgers out of the Pedro Feliz business, the only other bidder appears to be........Brian Sabean. Let's just see how much idiot-boy overpays Feliz on the 2 year contract he can't resist giving him.

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