Monday, August 03, 2020

Pitching Uber Alles

As a prior post reiterated, on a point I've made over the years and codified into my business plan, it is pitching differentiated teams that can go deeper into the playoffs, and maximize their chances not only to get to the World Series, but to win it.  

ogc thoughts

That's why I'm not as enamored with Zaidi as others seem to be, so far, because of his lack of interest in pitching talent.  He focused more on hitting in his first season with the Giants, though perhaps that was by design, since he appeared to have punted the season by not signing anyone of significance.  And because most of the pitching staff was under guaranteed contracts.  

I wasn't too happy, either, that he dismissed D-Rod and Suarez so easily once he joined the Giants, I believe that screwed them up mentally and led to their poor 2019 season, they had good quality pitches in 2018 per some analysts. I can see that his comment might have caused both to change what made them successful, in an effort to impress him for 2019, and screwed them both up.

And I really hated his decision not to pursue Bumgarner, and especially to let him sign with the D-backs.  Giants management should have stepped in at that point and pushed to offer more to Bum to get him to sign back with the Giants.  That's just embarrassing.

Ecstatic About His Pitching Development Additions

But I am happy with him overall, mainly because I'm ecstatic about this pitching development additions.  I'm very happy he hired Matt Daniels to run his pitching analytics, that is the major thing that got me the most excited about the Zaidi era.  Daniels focuses on what a pitcher does best at, and when, which should improve all pitchers across the system.  He is newly named this season as Coordinator of Pitching Sciences.  

Plus he got a good shout out recently, when Caleb Baragar reported that Matt Daniels helped him out, and Caleb made the 2020 opening day roster, even though he was not a highly touted (not even lightly touted, neither BA nor MLB list him on their Top 30, Fangraphs did not list him on their Top 37, nor in MiLB Baseball Analyst's book, which covers all the prospects they believe to be significant, though he did make DrB's Top 50 list at 23rd, to DrB's credit) prospect for the 2020 season.  

Plus I was excited that Brian Bannister was hired, as Director of Pitching. He was very sabermetric minded as a player, and was applying it to himself. Which leads me to believe that he is a great addition to the team, as then he has professional experience with implementing sabermetrics in a way pitchers understand.  

He's had positive results with top pitchers on the club. One is Logan Webb, who noted, “Bannister came in and he said with my arm slot, I have the perfect arm slot for this kind of two-seam and the cutter will work right off of that. So I started messing around with it on flat grounds and it’s going really well.”  Tyler Beede also made "significant changes" to his approach, with Bannister's coaching.  I also had him on my multi-season rotisserie league, so there's that too, as reasons for me to like him.  :^)

As I noted in my 7th Inning Stretch post, I'm not happy with some of his choices so far, in particular, letting Bumgarner go.  When you have a bulldog type of pitcher who can do just as well in the playoffs as he does in the regular season, instead of shrinking in the playoffs, then you need to hold onto him.  Those types are invaluable in the playoffs, as Lincecum, Cain, and Bumgarner showed, as Wilson, Romo, Affeldt, Casilla, and Lopez showed. But it's still early in his tenure, and still time for him to change my mind and show me more of what I want to see. 

Plus, I'm excited about Zaidi adding all the coaching up and down the system.  This is something I've been wanting for a long time, and have written on from time to time.  The reward/cost ratio is phenomenal, as illustrated by the payback, already, of seeing Baragar making the team.  A player producing 1.0 WAR represents a $12M payback, so if you have MILB coaches each making under $100K who help to develop a player to produce just that little in one season, that's a huge return, and a way to invest in the minors to get more major league ready players.  And these players are valuable too if they can be used in trade to get the Giants a player they need.

But Where's the Pitching Talent?

I have not seen one pitching addition that moves the bar on showing that pitching talent is a huge concern for Zaidi.  While he has not signed, or traded for, anyone of significance, I've liked his signings of Pomeranz, Gausman, and Smyly, they are smart bets on them recovering from recent issues to return to prior goodness.  Those can make great trading chips, or better, prove to be a good long-term addition.  

As I noted, I have no idea how good these guys could be in the playoffs, but I admit that it will be 2-3 years before they will be playoff ready again.  So Zaidi has time to find the pitchers he will need to get back to the playoffs.  But so far, very underwhelming.  And still, a lot of time to course correct, via first round drafted pitchers, or later draft pick ups like Harrison, or through trades or development, so we'll see what happens.

Finding un Petit or Mo' Romo

The Sabean era has been very good in finding good contributing pitchers outside of the first round (and the first round, of course, are where the best draft bullets lie). On top of which my draft studies have shown that the first round has not even been that good, even the first pick overall fails to become a good player over half the time, so it is really difficult to find even useful pitchers beyond the first round.  

We know about the first round hits of Cain, Lincecum, and Bumgarner, and the nice pick ups like Lowry, but the Giants with Sabean at the head found a lot of pitching in the latter rounds of the draft, as well as via waiver wire pick ups, minor league free agents, and minor trade pick ups.  

Below are such pick ups (I tried to limit to solely 1.0+ bWAR or multi-year usage):
  • Felix Rodriguez
  • Chad Zerbe
  • Joe Nathan
  • Scott Eyre
  • Kevin Correia
  • Tyler Walker
  • Jeremy Accardo
  • Jonathan Sanchez
  • Brian Wilson
  • Sergio Romo
  • Santiago Casilla
  • George Kontos
  • Dan Otero
  • Yusmeiro Petit
  • Jean Machi
  • Heath Hembree
  • Hunter Strickland
  • Chris Heston
  • Cory Gearrin
  • Ty Blach
  • Derek Law
  • Sam Dyson
  • Kyle Crick
  • Reyes Moronta
  • Dereck Rodriguez
  • Logan Webb (projecting)
  • Tyler Rogers
Not too shabby: 26 pitching contributors of at least 1.0 bWAR over 22 seasons.  And perhaps Seth Corry might join the list some day, Sean Hjelle as well, and I feel like I should include Shaun Anderson if he pans out, as well, since he was a minor pickup for a major league veteran who was about to become a free agent.  And I still have hopes for Andrew Suarez finding his pitch again.  And Connor Menez is in the game as well, for making the list.

Zaidi Still at Starter's Block

Zaidi has an okay start himself, so that is encouraging, but it is still very early.  Although I would note that Sabean and Tidrow are still around and advising on things, so there is a mix here, and that this is way too early to assert who is and isn't good additions.  
  • Trevor Gott was a good find, though he hasn't produced 1.0 bWAR yet, he looks like he can be productive for the Giants
  • Jandel Gustave also seems like a good find, though he didn't make the 2020 roster, so we'll see
  • Tyler Rogers I would count as a find for both regimes, Sabean for acquiring him, Zaidi for actually using him.  Though his 2020 has been horrible so far, so we'll see with him too.  
Maybe Caleb Baragar (since he was not a prospect until he worked with Mattt Daniels), maybe Wandy Peralta. And we'll see if he gets anything out of Dany Jimenez.  

But I would add Dereck Rodriguez and Andrew Suarez as negatives for Zaidi's ledger, because they had good debuts in 2018, and he could not get anything much out of them since.  True, Chris Heston was a one-year wonder as well, and perhaps they were as well, but his creating doubt for the two of them, while good for PR as the new Giants hire, that he wants higher quality pitching, I'm sure it put that doubt into their heads, and maybe they tried new stuff, getting away from what worked, in order to try to get on his good side.  In any case, his pitching coaches aren't able to get much out of them so far.  

Drafty M.O.

And whereas the Sabean team had always drafted more pitchers than hitters, both in terms of their best bullets (top draft picks) and overall, Zaidi has been much more conservative, going for college hitters, the category of amateurs who have the greatest odds of paying off, and contributing in the majors, but less odds of becoming a good or better player.

In 2019, it was really bad: didn't draft a pitcher until the 8th round, only 13 pitchers out of 29 signed prospects.  Another way to indicate how lopsided he was with hitters is by total of bonuses paid out:  in 2019, Zaidi paid out $8,604,500 in bonuses for position players, only $1,780,000 in bonuses for pitchers.  So Zaidi paid out 83% of his bonuses for hitters, 17% for pitchers, the stark difference in focus is highlighted by this disparity in spending.  If you rank the bonuses by size, the highest ranking pitcher was Trevor McDonald, tied for 3rd most, Caleb Killian 8th, and Chris Wright and Nick Morreale, tied for 10th.  Or 4 of the top 13 bonuses.  

In 2020, it was much better, maybe because it was so short.  And he did select 4 pitchers vs. 3 hitters.  However, the spending on hitters was again a strong percentage, 59% for hitters, 41% for pitchers, so he's still devoting more investment in hitters over pitchers.  The good news was his selection of Kyle Harrison in the third round.  Based on bonus size, he's a back of the first round type of potential, so it was like getting two first round picks. 

Of course, the data is skewed by the fact that the first rounder is paid so much more, so let's see how the numbers work with the first rounder removed.  In 2019, that changes the percentages to a still very lopsided 72% for hitters vs. 28% for pitchers.  For 2020, pitchers then claim the majority, but with only seven picks in total, six after taking out the first rounder, I don't think the percentage is worth mentioning other than it's over half.  However, we can look at both years in sum, there we see some leveling of resources (52% vs. 48% for pitchers).

Though, of course, the two first rounders were hitters, and the sum of the two of them is roughly 40% LARGER than the TOTAL bonuses for pitchers over the two drafts, even if you ignored all the other hitters' bonuses.  This just greatly illustrates the huge imbalance between the types of players, in terms of bonuses paid.  

And shows how much Zaidi has emphasized hitters with his precious draft capital, even though the farm system is swimming with position prospects, and not so much with pitching prospects, and only Corry looks like he has the potential to be a top of the rotation starter.  He needs to draft the Giants version of Walker Buehler, in one of these drafts, to make up for the imbalance he has shown so far.  

Hitting, Hitting, and more Hitting

So it has been a mixed bag as far as I've been concerned, with how Zaidi has focused on pitching.  I'm very excited over the coaching side of the player development equation.  I'm very underwhelmed by the two drafts so far.  Coaching can only go so far. There is a reason why certain skills are coveted by scouts for pitchers, and not every drafted pitcher has the best skills for getting hitters out with strikeouts.

Though I'm at least hopeful about the Harrison pick.  Perhaps he can make up for Zaidi/Holmes passing on Alek Manoah, who seems to be equally good relative to Bishop (Manoah is ranked the 31st best RHP prospect, while Bishop is not even ranked by BA in Prospect Book among OFs; meanwhile MLB Pipeline has Bishop #70 but Manoah is not ranked), or Mick Abel, a pitcher I had my eye on for the 2020 draft, when they drafted Bailey, another good hitting, good fielding catcher.  

Big Trade Coming?

I also wonder if the Bailey pick is a precursor to Zaidi trading off Bart for a big package of prospects, given that the star prospect expected to lead the NextGen Giants is Marco Luciano, and he's not expected in the majors at least until 2021 and more likely 2022-2023.  By then Bart would be nearly in arbitration, whereas Bailey looks to reach the majors around the same time, assuming he's a good pick (remember, even the #13 pick overall in the draft is no slam dunk, only roughly 16% of them have become a good player, so the odds are greatly against Bailey being good, historically, though also 6% odds of being useful, and 28% of providing okay, positive bWAR value).  

Maybe Zaidi trades Bart for a bundle of top pitching prospects (not sure what team would do that though; perhaps use to get a good young pitcher?) once Bailey looks good enough to start in the majors, but if Bailey falters, then Zaidi would trade Bailey for other questionable prospects, swapping with another team.  Lots of options now, and that is one thing Zaidi learned academically, about having options.  

Giants Farm System Hitter Imbalance

In any case, there's a huge imbalance in the farm system in terms of hitters vs. pitchers:  where are the options for the top of the rotation.  Just like the 2019 draft, in the Giants farm system, pitchers come low on the list, with the first top pitching prospect at #7 for BA (Seth Corry), and only 2 of the Top 10 are pitchers, 4 of top 15. Then there is a bunch of them to equal out in total (13 pitchers in total, vs. 17 hitters), but not in quality (only 2 of Top 10, none of the Top 5).  And yet there has been a total imbalance of hitters in the past two drafts, to build upon the preponderance of hitters that were already ahead in the farm system when Zaidi was hired.

And maybe that's been the problem during the Barr era, as well: his skill in finding position players.  That was the major reason he was hired from the Dodgers, to balance out the scouting skill set that was predominantly skilled in identifying pitchers during the Tidrow era (found Cain, Lincecum, Bumgarner, Wilson, Romo, Lowry). And to the complaints of many (well, mainly the Sabean Naysayers), we have not found a good pitcher at the major league level since Bumgarner (last big pick of Tidrow era).  But Barr found good hitters like Crawford, Belt, Duffy, and probably Ramos, Luciano, and Bart, plus maybe Canario, Pomares, Toribio, and there are still others, they have not all been purged out of the system. 

Good pitching is lacking, however.  Webb and Corry look like the best of the bunch, among pitchers, maybe Beede or Menez or Hjelle can also contribute at the major league level.  It's not a good look that Reyes Moronta is the best of the bunch.  And nothing against Moronta, as he's a very good reliever, but you want to see a SP as the best examples of a decade of player development, and the best SP is who, Stratton?  Heston?  Beede?  That's an embarrassment after Cain, Lincecum, Bumgarner. 

What's the Plan for Pitching?

So what's the plan for pitching?  Sure, like Sabean did, you can round out the rotation or bullpen with a number of finds off the waiver wire or through minor trades, but to win, and especially to win deep into the playoffs, you need rotation stalwarts like Cain, Lincecum, and Bumgarner.  

Not reinventions like Caleb Baragar (and no disrespect to him, I'm rooting for him to contribute, and it sounds like they found a way to help him be productive as a major leaguer, but there is no reason to believe that he'll be as good as, say, Romo or Casilla in the bullpen).  They need to find exponential improvements like the Astros did with Charliie Morton and then Gerrit Cole.  Who will be those unwanted gems that Zaidi finds?

Dereck Rodriguez and Andrew Suarez type of progress, like they did in 2018, that's what we need to see out of Zaidi's experiments.  But so far, there hasn't been anything close to that, though the season is young, maybe someone will come out of the chutes and impress by mid-season (which is really only a month long, and with all these teams having to shut down due to the virus, who knows how long this season will actually last?).  And whatever D-Rod and Andy had in 2018, Dr. Zaidi was not able to get them to repeat their success again, either in 2019 or 2020, so far.  They regressed under him, instead of progressing.

We need to see a Charlie Morton or Gerrit Cole type of transformation from the likes of Kevin Gausman and Drew Smyly. Or Santiago Casilla type of transformation from Caleb Baragar or someone else in the bullpen. Else, Zaidi is just planning to win the regular season, like the A's, and not for the playoffs, again, just like the A's. Though, frankly, if either Gausman or Smyly prove to be good, they are likely traded like Pomeranz last season, as they will provide little value being on the roster in 2021, which is likely another rebuilding season. The Charlie Morton type timing would have to be around when Luciano reaches the majors, staying for good, else they are trade fodder to add to the farm system.

Crystal Ball and Tea Leaves

However, if he's planning on trading off Bart and starting the rebuild once Luciano matriculates to the majors, though, I guess he can work towards finding that ace over the next couple of seasons.  It does appear that he hasn't been looking to improve the team short-term, except incrementally and on the edges, based on his free agent signings.  And perhaps he is hoping that a poor season in 2020 will lead to a good early pick in the 2021 draft.  

I hope to see some progress this off-season in terms of pickups, since Samardzija would be gone, as his contract will expire (so I hope he is tradeable this season), and I expect him to trade off Cueto for some prospects, once he has a good month's worth of starts, he'll be very valuable in this short season if he shows he's back to his former self.  Opening up the rotation like that in 2021would give our SP prospects - Webb, Menez, Anderson, Hjelle, Beede, D-Rod, Suarez, among others - a lot of opportunities to start in the majors, as well as give Zaidi at least a couple of spots to sign SP who is looking to build their free agent portfolio of good performances.  2022 is likely the season we can expect more of an upswing, with Luciano likely to be reaching the majors by then.  Meanwhile, Bart and Ramos are likely to be fully in the majors in 2021.

Bart is an interesting conundrum.  If it was a regular season, he would be brought up soon and playing regularly.  But with the virus, and the possibility that the season could be shut down if the virus spreads, the Giants would be risking that bringing him up would result in his percentage reaching high enough that it counts as a full major league season, and for what, a few days of playing?  The players union did not think this out thoroughly, or maybe was hoping to force teams to take risks, but teams have been very conservative in handling player's service time, so I don't see them bringing up young guys until at least 2 weeks of the season is pass, and perhaps as long as a month.  

And speaking of options, apparently both Bart and Bailey have been taking 1B fielding practice to expand the options of using them.  I had not thought of that, but after Posey's contract is over, they could have Bart and Bailey sharing the starting duties of C and 1B, with the manager starting the healthier player at C, depending on the usual hazards of being a catcher, and giving the other guy a relative blow at 1B.  So maybe a trade is an option, but so is this. 

Ultimately, there is still some chance that Bart fizzles out in the majors, as even #1 overall prospects (Sean Burroughs, for example) fail to be good major leaguers.  Thus, getting Bailey can make some sense in that he greatly improves the odds that the Giants will have a very good defensive catcher behind the mask during the 2020 decade. And that's in spite of good odds that Bailey might fizzle out as well, as well.  

Unfortunately, with no minor leagues right now, the team will not have as good an idea of how good Bailey is offensively, as they would have had the minors been opened.  Still, many college players sit out the season they are drafted, anyway, or don't play many games, and with intra-squad games, the Giants will still have some idea how he is, and it could be better, as they would be seeing how he is handling better pitchers, since he would be facing major league caliber pitchers like Suarez and D-Rod, and others, in the Sacramento camp.  Silver lining amongst all the negatives.

11 comments:

  1. per GPT @giantsprospects
    Rapsodo readings this offseason:

    Baragar's FB spin rate - 2600-2700 range

    2019 -12 MLB P w avg 4-seamer spin rate >2,600

    Just 3 LHP.

    Spin efficiency @ 98% with spin axis = almost LHP perfect

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    1. Whoa, okay, good info to know. No, great info to know! Thanks! Much appreciated!

      Hopefully he can do more with this than what Chris Stratton did with his above average spin rate (was it for his curveball?).

      But gotta start somewhere, and that's a good place to start, having something only 3 other LHP had in 2019.

      What is the deal with him, is he supposed to be just a reliever or any chance he can become a starting pitcher with that kind of stuff? I've been reading NBC's accounts, probably should read The Athletic, since I"m paying for it, but haven't seen much on him.

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  2. Thank you for the analysis. Did I skip the part about Jonathan Sanchez? I did not see it.

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    1. Sorry, missed this comment. What part about Jonthan Sanchez? I don't see where I said I would be highlighting Sanchez.

      But he was a nice pickup, selected in the 27th round, was a good reliever then starter for the Giants, producing 6.0 bWAR over a three season period, which helped the Giants start winning again in 2009 and pushed them into the playoffs in 2010. Adding an average type player with a late draft pick is always a great acquisition.

      People were asking me about trading him off in 2009-10, and that's the thing, we didn't have enough pitching yet to trade him off. Once we got Bumgarner and then Vogelsong, then the Giants could trade him off. A team needs to build that great pitching rotation first, then once the cream is overflowing, then trade off some of that cream to boost the offense.

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  3. Sanchez was an interesting pick-up and was not a highly regarded prospect, but came in and was hard to hit. He had a high swing and miss rate. But like several other giants pitchers, he seemed to fade out at a relatively young age. He also lost his key ability to control the baseball as he got older instead of gaining control and becoming more crafty. One always has to wonder, because we do not have the data, was this due to some injury, was it a psychological or head factor, or was there some other component which yielded his inability to throw the baseball where he wanted to. When he had the ability to control the ball, he certainly had electric stuff. Cain, Lincecum and Sanchez, all had careers that ended prematurely. I am hoping that the same does not happen to Bumgarner, but it means a little bit less to me at this stage as he is no longer a San Francisco Giant.

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    1. I think he screwed himself up.

      He was always a head case, and this is a good example of it: he made the WBC in Spring 2009, and in honor of his idol/hero, Johan Santana, he copied Johan's pitching mechanics.

      The major problem there is that he's using mechanics that works for Johan, not for his body, and he refused to acknowledge that was a problem until the Giants took him out of the rotation in mid-2009, made a couple of relief appearances to get back into his old mechanics, then he had his no-hitter.

      ERA with Johan mechanics: 5.54, 15% PQS
      ERA after taken out of rotation: 3.35, 63% PQS
      ERA in the following season (2010): 3.07

      The Giants were 3-10 in the games that he started while doing the Johan. Using Pythagorean, and working backward to expected RA (3.10), then using Pythag with his ERA after (3.35), that would have been a 6-7 record instead. That would have put the Giants at 91 wins, just a game away from tying Colorado for the playoffs.

      Plus, one could argue that he tired out the last month or so, where he had 5 non-dominant starts. In the 11 starts after he fixed his mechanics, he had a 2.75 ERA/2.88 RA over those starts, which was very close to his 3.07 ERA in 2010.

      Assuming the 2.88 RA instead for the 13 starts, that pushes the Giants to 7-6 instead, which then puts them at 92 wins and tied with Colorado at 92 wins, forcing a WC playoff game, which likely would have been Lincecum starting, or at worse Brad Penny, who had a CG shutout in his last start of the season.

      So given that, I would not be surprised if he decided to do something on his own and screwed up his mechanics again. And it should also be noted that even when he was doing well, he was still totally wild, unlike the Big Unit, he could never corral his wildness, with walk rates of mid-4 and higher (per 9IP). So it is not to surprising that his shelf life was not that long, wild pitchers are like that.

      And basically, most pitchers don't have long shelf life, that's why they came up with TINSTAAPP, the ones who can pitch a long time are the anomalies.

      And one could see that with the Giants pitchers. Cainer had elbow problems at 18 YO that shelved him, and dropped his prospect status below a pitcher who was drafted after him. And it wasn't very clear until later that these bone chip problems was giving him issues for the rest of his career. I would lay the blame on whoever made the decision to give Cain the $100M/5 year contract, given his career long issues with his elbow, he was the one who should have gotten the treatment that Bumgarner got.

      Lincecum, while no injury problems until the hips, had his short stature and unique pitching mechanics that suggested that he would have a short career too, a shooting star. I hoped that all the talk about him having a freak physique would give him a longer career, but it didn't, and again, as much as I loved him as a player, I would not have given him such big contracts without him going on the market first, and testing it out, especially the second one.

      Bumgarner, I still think will have a long effective career when everything is over. He has the body for it. He has never had problems with his body other than freak accidents. The bull steer roping is scary, sure, but I would have been okay with a clause cancelling the contract if he injures his body doing that. Or any other athletic endeavor involving bikes. He was the one who deserved the long-term contract, as I think he's the one who was most likely to do well under it, both Cain and Lincecum were clearly huge risks, given their prior noted issues.

      But pitchers careers end prematurely, it is just the nature of the skill, I believe.

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    2. In the past before the 2020 season, Bumgarner's big issue at times would be his mechanics. When off his fastball could drop almost 5 MPH, and his slider would become less effective. Usually in short order the Giants working with him, would end up fixing his mechanics in short order and he would return to excellent form. But I cannot be sure what the issue was in the shortened season. He just did not seem able to sustain his previous order of success. The Dbacks are optimistic that he will find his mechanics and return to his former excellence. We will have to wait and see.

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  4. any chance Barager a SP?

    Yup
    2019 AA 21 GS

    3.45 ERA
    1.05 WHIP
    120 IP
    107 K
    43 BB
    83 H

    http://tiny.cc/vcyxsz

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    1. Thanks! Much appreciated! Not that great in AA, though, roughly 8 K/9 in AA, will be much worse in majors, and not even 3 K/BB. Relief is probably is best role, unless they can get more out of his pitches.

      But some pitchers' skills play up even as they rise, and Barager has been okay with his peripherals so far in the majors, as being in relief allows him to throw harder in shorter stints.

      But his peripherals look okay, he might be okay as a 4th or 5th starter, if necessary. Hopefully, at minimum, he's a nice find so far, though at 26 YO, not a spring chick, but could be very useful and versatile for a few seasons.

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    2. Baragar had a nice first season, 4.03 ERA, 4.04 FIP, 107 ERA+ (above average ERA), 7.7 K/9 and stellar 2.0 BB/9 for a stellar 3.80 K/BB ratio.

      Even better, after a very shaky welcome to the majors, 11.25 ERA in first 8 appearances, he/they figured out what the problem was, and in his last 16 appearances, 14.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 2.29 FIP, 8.8 K/9, 2.5 K/9, 3.50 K/BB, .422 OPS, though .194 BABIP would be impossible to repeat, but that's why his FIP is at 2.29, to account for that, which would still be a stellar performance.

      Hopefully he gets a chance at starting sometime. He looks like he can be at least a steady middle rotation guy for a few years, like Dirty was, then shift into loogy mode once he's not effective as a starter anymore.

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  5. Baragar had a nice first season, 4.03 ERA, 4.04 FIP, 107 ERA+ (above average ERA), 7.7 K/9 and stellar 2.0 BB/9 for a stellar 3.80 K/BB ratio.

    Even better, after a very shaky welcome to the majors, 11.25 ERA in first 8 appearances, he/they figured out what the problem was, and in his last 16 appearances, 14.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 2.29 FIP, 8.8 K/9, 2.5 K/9, 3.50 K/BB, .422 OPS, though .194 BABIP would be impossible to repeat, but that's why his FIP is at 2.29, to account for that, which would still be a stellar performance.

    Hopefully he gets a chance at starting sometime. He looks like he can be at least a steady middle rotation guy for a few years, like Dirty was, then shift into loogy mode once he's not effective as a starter anymore.

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