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The Tally Ho

Thursday, March 23, 2006

It's that Time of Year Again!

Yes, it is baseball season - but also when baseball tell columnists that they are idiots. In Buster Olney's great post on the Pena-Arroyo trade, he mentions his favorite emails,The You-Must-Hate-My-Favorite-Team-So-You're-An-Idiot e-mails. In it he examines Pena's numbers against the NL Central's best pitchers
The You-Must-Hate-My-Favorite-Team-So-You're-An-Idiot e-mails mentioned that since Pena's batting average is .275 against those pitchers, and the average hitter bats .240 against the pitchers I picked, then in fact Pena is adept at hitting good pitching and of course any suggestion otherwise is only possible if you have a double-digit IQ.

Look at the strikeouts again: 53 in 120 at-bats. Project those numbers over a full season of 600 at-bats against that kind of pitching, and Pena would strike out 265 times. Those are numbers that suggest he's overmatched. Rival scouts and good and experienced pitchers love to see those kind of guys in the lineup in important games, because they can work around the hitters in front of them and go for the strikeout. A hitter who strikes out at that rate is like a potential lifeline for a pitcher struggling to work his way out of a rough inning (see Alfonso Soriano in the 2003 World Series).

This goes on, and I won't bore the non-baseball fans with all this. What I don't get is why fans would think that Bronson Arroyo, Boston's seventh starter this spring, would yield an already great player. Cincinnati is in an entirely different position as Arroyo will probably be the Reds second or third starter. Boston traded a pitcher that they would never get the full potential out of the next two years for a young player with natural power who needs more work. Did you remember when David Ortiz was 24? Didn't think so. Still, Arroyo is my favorite Red. Schilling and Wakefield will be back next year with Wells retiring. Trading Clement won't be easy, and if he has a comeback they won't. Thus there is still not room for both Papelbon and Lester in the rotation for 2007.

Speaking of pitching, I think the AL East looks interesting. While Toronto does have the division's best pitcher in Roy Halladay, I'm not sure they have enough to pass the Yanks or BoSox. However, seeing that the BoSox are unsure about the closer situation and the bottom of the order and the Yankees starting pitching is once again suspect - it could be closer than in previous years. The end result may be the AL East not getting the Wild Card - AL Central looks real tough, especially if Bobby Jenks can't locate the strike zone.


  • Send me an email, yah bum. I have an idea for an Alfonso Soriano post that you might be interested in.


    By Blogger Stockton & Tweed, at 11:25 AM  

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