Offseason Happenings

I thought we’d kick the week off with a little recap of last week’s hot stove action, including the signings of Brian McCann, Jhonny Peralta and Dan Haren over the weekend. Things are starting to really pick up now, so we’ll try to stay in the know here at Cove Chatter.

Giants Updates:

The Giants knocked another item off the to-do list last week with a 3-year, $13M deal for Javier Lopez. Again, Brian Sabean took some pretty good heat from callers on KNBR for signing another 35+ year-old pitcher to a multiple year contract (Tim Hudson being the first). Again, though, I think people are failing to understand the significance of this move… and I’ll be the first to admit I was skeptical a couple months ago about giving any kind of money to a lefty specialist in his upper 30’s. But look closely at the numbers; 2013 was Javy’s best season as a big leaguer. A 1.83 ERA… a .156 batting average against vs lefties. You have to have a guy like this in your bullpen, and Lopez is the best there is right now. He’s a stud, and yet another reason why the Pirates are probably done making trades with Sabean (Jason Schmidt, Freddy Sanchez anyone?). As long as Bochy keeps pulling the right strings and the Giants can keep Lopez’ arm fresh for potential postseason runs, I love the deal. Javy’s the man, and I actually thought it would take more money to bring him back.

Pitching:

Breaking news: Veteran pitchers love the California sunshine and spacious NL West outfields… and can you blame them? If there’s one commodity that’s not in short supply this winter, it’s veteran pitching, and the Golden State NL trio is on the case. The Giants pulled the first card with their two-year deal for Hudson, and the Padres and Dodgers responded with one-year reclamation deals last week. Sand Diego inked Josh Johnson for a year at $8M, and LA signed Dan Haren to a 1-year, $10M contract yesterday afternoon. Both Johnson and Haren wanted to be in California, and both were in at least some form of discussion with the Giants as well. All of these short-term deals could turn out to be major bargains, especially when guys like Jason Vargas are getting four years in the AL. To me, Haren would have been the better fit of the two for Sabean, as Johnson is just too much of an injury risk for a team looking for reliable arms. I think Haren could have a very nice season in LA, and I was hoping he’d join Hudson in a Giants uniform. My guess is Sabes isn’t interested in shelling out $10M for another starter at this point.

With the Haren signing, the Dodgers essentially have a full rotation. Are they still planning on going after David Price? What about Masahiro Tanaka, if he’s posted? I’ve got a slight hunch they’ll still be in on the bidding for Tanaka, but I certainly can’t see them pursuing both of these guys anymore. Of course, it’s not a guarantee that Tanaka will even be available this winter anymore, so Haren could turn out to be an underrated move for LA come April.

So, with some of the middle-tier pitching talent starting to drop, where does that leave the Giants? I guess it depends on what Sabean is looking to spend, but I get the feeling he doesn’t want any “5th starters” in his Opening Day rotation. I like that idea, although I’d say Tim Lincecum is about as close as you can get to a 5th starter these days. It doesn’t sound like Bronson Arroyo is going to be a good fit, as he’s looking for at least three years. Jason Hammel’s name has been tossed around a bit, and he might be a good fit on a short-term deal. Personally, I’d like to see Sabes make a push for a guy like Scott Kazmir, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Giants connected to guys like Bartolo Colon or Paul Maholm on a one-year offer when it all boils down.

Quick Take:

Mets sign Chris Young for 1-year, $7.25M – another possible Giants LF platoon option is off the books, and I don’t understand the Mets’ reasoning in paying out that much money, even on a one year deal. Kind of a head scratcher for a team trying to get out of the cellar.

Indians sign David Murphy for 2-years, $12M – Definitely not on the Sabes winter shopping list, but this deal could impact Cleveland outfielder Drew Stubbs, who looks to be the odd man out. If Stubbs is non-tendered, maybe the Giants look to him on the cheap as a right-handed partner to Gregor Blanco in left. Stubbs strikes out in bunches, but he’s a solid defender with wheels who sports a career .796 OPS vs LHP. Just a thought…

Royals sign Jason Vargas for 4-year, $32M – the AAV isn’t bad at $8M, but I’ll take Hudson and Lincecum and hope for Kyle Crick and Edwin Escobar in 2 years rather than giving 4 years to a soft-tossing lefty with a career 4.30 ERA. Don’t get me wrong, Vargas is consistent when healthy, but my gut says Kansas City fans will be fed up with that contract in less than two years.

Yankees sign Brian McCann for 5-year, $85M – The Yankees had Chris Stewart behind the dish for a good chunk of 2013. They’ll also likely be getting a compensation draft pick when Curtis Granderson leaves, so losing their first round pick for McCann shouldn’t have much of an effect. Comparing the McCann deal to the 5-year, $90M whopper the Giants gave Hunter Pence, I’d take Pence over McCann (for the Giants) every time. McCann’s lefty bat should play well in Yankee Stadium. The back end of that contract might look rough, but back ends of contracts usually do.

Cardinals trade David Freese for to the Angels for Peter Bourjos, sign Jhonny Peralta for 4-years, $53M – Freese is a solid but not elite 3B who’s had one great offensive season in his career. Bourjos is a fairly young outfielder with plus defense and injury issues. Considering everything the Cardinals touch these days turns to gold, I’m sure Bourjos will be a star in St. Louis. I guess I’m a little unmoved by this trade, but the Cards did just replace Freese’s production with the Peralta signing. I don’t say this kind of thing very often, but I hope Peralta just tanks for the next four years, or gets suspended for using PED’s again. This is getting to be a little ridiculous, and I’m not exactly seeing the downside for players who use these days. If MLB is serious about getting rid of the problem, they need to step it up… and they need to start by getting rid of A-Rod… for good.

Tigers trade Prince Fielder to Texas for Ian Kinsler – Wow, I didn’t see this trade coming at all. The Tigers get a solid all-around player in Kinsler. The Rangers get a big slugger to make the women swoon in Arlington. Everything’s bigger in Texas. How long was Prince in Detroit? Two years! He played all 162 both seasons, and was a huge bust in the playoffs. Now his $214M contract is headed for Texas, who seems to be in desperation mode after falling short the past couple years. Don’t get me wrong: I’d take Fielder’s bat in the Giants lineup any day. But that much money for a one-dimensional player? Maybe Uncle Sabes isn’t as crazy as we thought for staying away from these major free agent contracts.

Final thoughts:

A trade for a LF or a minor league contract is looking more and more likely for the Giants at this point, as I’d imagine the rest of the offseason money will be going to a pitcher. This shouldn’t surprise a lot of people, but it will certainly upset them. Yes, it would be ideal to start the season with Blanco as the 4th outfielder, but the (realistic) options just aren’t out there right now.

**Update** Here’s your minor league signing, but it’s not an OF. The Giants signed IF Brandon Hicks this morning. Hicks is a 28 year-old journeyman whose most recent MLB action was in 2012 with Oakland. He’s a former 3rd round pick, has 90 big league at-bats to his name, and is a career .247 hitter in the minors. He did hit 3 HR in 22 games with Oakland, though.

Keep your eyes open in the next couple weeks as we get ready to unveil a major project dedicated to the Giants farm system. I’ve been working on it for a couple months now, and can’t wait to go live with it. Exciting times here at Cove Chatter, folks. As always, thanks for reading.

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25 thoughts on “Offseason Happenings”

  1. Really nice wrap-up of the week’s events. I’m with you: I was hoping the Giants might sign Haren on a one-year deal. I’d love to see them go one year on Bartolo Colon, but given how skittish they are about PEDs ex-cons, I don’t think they’ll do that. Maholm or Kazmir would be my next options, and they could use another lefty in the rotation, anyway.

    I just don’t see them signing Arroyo or Garza or Nolasco at this point because I figure all of those guys are likely to get three years or more (and certainly none would sign on a one-year deal). They have four starters locked up for at least the next two years and all those young arms on the way. I can’t imagine they’d want NO rotation spots available until 2016; what if Escobar or Crick or someone else is ready before then?

    I’m with you on Stubbs as a RH bat for the outfield. Really good career splits against lefties, good (enough) defensively, really good speed. Actually sounds like a pretty good fit if nothing more exciting comes along. People dump on Blanco way too much. He’s actually been a valuable contributor. If we want to point fingers for the 2013 offensive collapse, we should be thinking about Sandoval’s underwhelming season, Angel’s major injury (and Scutaro’s nagging ones), and, yes, a good but not great year from our MVP catcher.

    1. Thanks for the comment! I have to admit, I forgot about Colon and the PED’s. You’re right, the Giants likely won’t have anything to do with him… and it doesn’t hurt my feelings. I’d like an upside guy like Kazmir for the final rotation spot, but you’re spot on about them not wanting to block spots beyond next year. So a 1 year deal for a Maholm (or even Vogey) is looking more and more likely. Maybe they’ll surprise us?

      Blanco was certainly not part of the problem, but I don’t think he’s part of the solution either. Overall, he’s not bad against righties, but he can be so streaky (like a lot of his teammates). I love his defense, but if the job is his going into the season, I’d really like to see him get back to his 2012 game where he was putting the ball on the ground, doing whatever it took to get on base. It seemed to me that he got away from that mentality last year. Maybe I’m the only one who felt that way.

      1. Agreed–Blanco seemed always to be hacking and trying to hit balls in the air. He also forgot how to run the bases after a really good year in 2012. Not sure if he was pressing because Angel was out and trying too hard, but I agree–the 2012 Blanco was overall a more appealing package than the 2013 Blanco.

    2. The offensive collapse was really due to the rash of injuries that happened mid-season, starting with Pagan.

      Frankly, Angel wasn’t that good to begin with (lucky others were hitting), and Blanco was even an improvement for about a month plus. However, Torres was not that good at all in LF, so that is where the decline began, really.

      Then soon after, in quick succession, Scutaro had his pinky injury, Crawford jammed his two fingers into the bag sliding into second (people forget that he was hitting around 800 OPS at that time, then stunk for the rest of the season for the most part), then Sandoval injured first one thing then another thing. And when he’s injured the Panda never returns to the majors ready to hit, it then takes him another 2-3 weeks of playing to find his power stroke and start hitting again. Throw in a second injury one month or so later, plus DL’s, and he’s out of commission for roughly 3+ months offensively. Right there, that’s half the lineup not producing as much as before, plus the pitcher.

      Then Pence hits a mid-season lull (his one really bad month from what I recall), Blanco hits his mid-season panic attack where he loses his ability to hit (seems to happen every year), and Posey hit his second half lack of power (for whatever reason), and that leaves Belt as your only steady hitter and an offensive collapse of immense proportion.

  2. Lincecum is nowhere close to a #5 starter right now. A 4.37 ERA is far beyond most team’s fifth (i.e. worse) starter. Look at every team’s 5th starter, most would be glad to have that in their #5 spot for 32 starts, and that’s partly because most #5 starters aren’t even good enough to get 32 starts, and even if they are, they are not going to have a 4.37 ERA. Heck, that’s true for a lot of team’s #4 starter as well. That ability to last a full season is very valuable when you are OK or better.

    Among qualified starters, Lincecum was 38th in the NL, 6th worse in the NL. However, that means he around a middle of rotation guy in the majors, as there are 15 NL teams, and if you assigned each pitcher to one team and move to the next, he would be the 8th best 3rd starter in the majors, almost exactly in the middle. Durability has a lot of value, which is not recognized by sabers yet.

    And that is assuming he is as good as he was last season and doesn’t improve at all.

    Or put another way, if he ends up being our 5th worse starter, we are in great shape for a nice long run in the 2014 playoffs.

    1. Ok, maybe calling him a 5th starter was a bit drastic considering his 2013 season… the 2012 season, though, those aren’t numbers I want in my rotation, regardless of how many starts he makes or his k/9. Speaking of sabers (which I am not), I’ll use the most heavily criticized pitching category in my argument against Lincecum as a mid-rotation starter: W-L. Timmy is 20-29 in the last two seasons, and regardless of run support, his inconsistency certainly earned him most of those 29 losses. If he loses 15 games again next season, things really won’t be looking good. Yes, he had his bright spots this year, and the no-hitter proved to everyone (hopefully Timmy included) that he certainly has the ability to be an above average pitcher…. but as it stands right now, his mean numbers from the past two seasons look more to me like a back-end pitcher than a frontline pitcher. I still understand the signing, and I’m not complaining about it, but Lincecum’s inconsistencies should definitely have some weight in Sabean’s search for the final pitcher in the rotation.

      1. I put this below but it belongs here too:

        About Lincecum, I just realized a problem with the inherited runners numbers: I count only 18 inherited runners in Lincecum starts in 2013, per baseball-reference.com, not the 20 quoted by the Giants. So that brings to question what exactly was the situation.

        Out of the 18 runners that bb-ref reports, I went in and count 10 of them scoring, and what really hurt Lincecum’s second half improvement, that resulted from him finally working with his catchers to understand the opposing hitters strengths and weaknesses, was that 8 of his last 8 runners left to relievers scored. In his last 12 starts, his ERA was 3.82, but had only 28% scored (league avg per Giants), his ERA would have been 3.16. In his last 6 starts, his ERA was 3.66, but at 28%, his ERA would have been 2.84 instead.

        Now that’s not a 5th starter performance, that’s a $17.5M performance.

        And of course 2012 isn’t what you want, but you need to take everything into context. For one, DrB made the great observation that his conditioning really hurt him in 2012, he yo-yo dieted, eating his In-N-Out diet in 2011 to gain a lot of weight, then slimming down in 2012, but that ruined his conditioning as well as his mechanics. That led to his issues early season, then once he was rested and in better condition after the ASB, he pitched well until he hit the wall in his last starts, which led him to the bullpen in the playoffs.

        In 2013, he was still trying to be what he was before, using his stuff to fool hitters, but hitters weren’t fooled, and he struggled for most of the first half until he started to study the hitters before games with Posey. As the numbers I provided shows, he was vastly improved in the second half, and the Giants are making the bet that he can continue that into 2014-15. I would bet that too.

        And win-loss does not require sabers to denigrate. It clearly hasn’t been working for years before sabermetrics starting really moving in the past 20 years. Was Walter Johnson and Bert Blylevin bad pitchers because their teams couldn’t score them enough to win a lot more games? No.

        I think sabers go to far in dismissing tools though. I think a pitcher’s win-loss in context of the team is important to some extent, and could be part of the puzzle in putting together an overall picture of a pitcher, depending on the circumstances. For example, I would count for Stewart the fact that when he faced Clemens in match-ups, he won a lot of them (and against Clemens). Shows a lot of intangibles, something sabers are uncomfortable with. And I think Steve Carlton’s W/L illustrates how great he was that season he won 27 games, when juxtaposed against his team’s record in the other games.

        Let’s put it this way, by your reasoning, Cain was not that good for the Giants in his early career, as his W/L wasn’t that good. That was the reasoning a lot of fans used back then to justify trading him (in their logic) or just plain letting him go, much like you are saying here about Lincecum. Whether saber or not, you need to take a look at the bigger picture, touching on one thing or another is just finding stats to fit what your gut thinks.

      2. The formatting is definitely not ideal, and I apologize for that. Thank you for your comments. The point that I wanted to drive home with Lincecum is that his performance over the past 2 seasons has gone a long way in earning that record. Yes, he had much improved portions of 2013, but he also had his “blow up” starts too, where he had little control, and even walked the opposing pitcher a time or two. Maybe he was unlucky with his inherited runners, but he’s the one who put those runners there. In 2011, his performance was stifled by a poor offense, much like Cain’s in the early days. Hence the term, “Cain’d.” It was almost a regular occurrence to see Matt toss a quality start and get a ND or even a loss, and it seemed to continue for many years. With Lincecum, I never really felt like he was getting the short end of the stick with run support (in 2012 and 13). That’s the big difference, to me.

        For the record, the Timmy contract isn’t an issue for me at all. I’m happy to have him back. I’d just like to see some more consistency going forward. I’d like him to pitch better than the 5th best starter on the team, as I’m sure every other Giants fan would. Has he turned a corner from 2012? I really don’t know, and I don’t think anyone else does either.

  3. Nice little thing you’ve got going here. Another great post. This is becoming a spot to check in for your thorough and thoughtful posts. And I find myself agreeing with you on most points.

    Haren at the back end was intriguing to me because he was available on one year and he knows how to pitch. He knows how to get ground balls and he has a very effective splitter. I like looking at how guys did in the second half. Haren was pretty strong after a mid season DL stint. Folks seem to be in the dark about Lincecum’s second half because they are told he really turned things around. I was astonished to see that virtually all his second half splits were below his first half #’s. The OPS against was a big one for me. Here’s hoping he continues to figure it out.

    I like the Kazmir option and unfortunately there don’t seem to be any rumblings. A lefty like Kaz would be a nice way of breaking up the rotation. Had Haren been signed, it would’ve been too much of the same look for opposing batters: upper 80’s with splitters.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. The bad news good new on Lincecum was that he had a great second half in 2012 as well (bad news) but we know for the second half surge of 2013, he changed from not utilizing pre-game prep meetings with the catcher (good news, whereas before he would just wing it and not know any hitter’s strengths or weaknesses).

      Unfortunately, given that they are looking for a SP, there are no rumors that I’m aware of, that they are pursuing anyone, besides Vogelsong, so it could be one of those Sabean specials where the signing comes out of the blue.

  4. I’m with you completely. Scott Kazmir, send the guitar pickin’ longhair somewhere else like Minny. Kazmir has upside, youth, strikeout ability. Phil Hughes is another yoot worth looking at. Not much noise from any team on him so far.

    1. Hughes is still a very interesting option too. Haven’t heard much about his market, but I would think he and Kazmir both will probably be looking for multiple-year deals. How much leverage do they have though? Hughes didn’t have a good season at all, and Kazmir has one good season since 2009. There’s definitely risks with both guys. If I’m Sabes, I’m making a take it or leave it offer ASAP. 2-18 for Kazmir, 1-8 for Hughes. Will both guys spit at those offers?

      1. Just checked, and MLBTR predicted Kaz to the Twins at 2-$16M. If that’s an accurate prediction of his market/value, I think he can be had.

  5. I wanted to leave you good people some notes on Scott Kazmir (and Tim Lincecum), cut and pasted from GE:

    Sabes, go sign Scott Kazmir. He had a pretty darn good second half:

    72 IP, 3.38 ERA, 10.25 K/9, 2.13 BB/9, 1.216 WHIP, 2.42 FIP, .298 wOBA against.

    pretty good. compare to Lincecum’s second half:

    81.1 IP, 4.54 ERA, 7.52 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, 1.29 WHIP, 4.31 FIP, .322 wOBA against.

    Yes, the guy that just got the 35 mil contract has an impeccable track record of good health and logging innings.

    Let’s glance at their fastball velocity charts:

    Kaz:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/pitch

    Timmy;

    http://www.fangraphs.com/pitch

    Kaz had considerable variance within starts and from start to start. There also seems to have been some days when Pitch f/x was not working. Perhaps the variance is a little red flag. Maybe not. The numbers above make him look like a very good risk to take.

    1. MLB Trade Rumors predicted Kazmir to the Twins at 2-$16M. It’s just a guess, I know, but if that’s his market, I think he can be had. There hasn’t been a lot of talk about him so far, and I’m not sure why. There’s not a ton of lefty talent on the market (especially with his FB velocity). If I’m Sabean, I’m giving him a 2-$18M take it or leave it, and I’m not wasting a ton of time before I do. Kazmir’s no guarantee, but his September #’s were pretty impressive… 28 IP, 2.57, 43 K, 4 BB… In a playoff race no less. Sign me up.

      1. I have to think that Kazmir is asking for something closer to Hudson money because of how well he did at the end of the year, but teams are leery of a pitcher who has not been able to put together healthy seasons regularly like him.

        But those September numbers are pretty impressive, I have to think that is why there has not been a lot of talk about him, he wants multiple years for that but few teams will be willing to do that for him, he needs to get through a season without being on the DL to convince a team that he deserves more than one year. $18M for what he did in 2010-2011 would not be a good deal.

        So perhaps he realizes that and thus is waiting out the process to find a team with money willing to throw him a big one year deal.

        I think Haren’s $10M is a ceiling for him, he was better in 2013 than Haren had been in recent years, but Haren has been relatively healthy, while Kazmir has not. At $8M, given what he did in September, would be a nice risk/reward situation, especially since he’ll be our 5th starter, so the Giants could sit him in the bullpen for most of April then go to the 5-man rotation. That would save on his arm.

    2. About Lincecum, I just realized a problem with the inherited runners numbers: I count only 18 inherited runners in Lincecum starts in 2013, per baseball-reference.com, not the 20 quoted by the Giants. So that brings to question what exactly was the situation.

      Out of the 18 runners that bb-ref reports, I went in and count 10 of them scoring, and what really hurt Lincecum’s second half improvement was that 8 of his last 8 runners left to relievers scored. In his last 12 starts, his ERA was 3.82, but had only 28% scored (league avg per Giants), his ERA would have been 3.16. In his last 6 starts, his ERA was 3.66, but at 28%, his ERA would have been 2.84 instead.

      Now that’s worth $17.5M per season.

  6. The inherited runners issue with Lincecum is VERY relevant. Something like 62% of his inherited runners scored, compared with league average around 29%. (I actually was in Yankee Stadium with the Finnerty’s group when Kontos served up that grand slam to A-Rod with three of Timmy’s runners on board.) Obviously those numbers affect his bottom-line ERA.

    Even with that in mind, I think LIncecum’s 2013 deserves a closer look. He was pretty bad in April and May, but he started righting the ship in June (about when Gaudin allegedly got through to him about pre-game preparation, and he started cramming with Buster before starts). From June 1 to the end of season, he made 21 starts. He pitched 119 innings in those 21 starts (that’s an average of 5.2 innings per start). He was 7-9 with a 4.00 ERA (but again, the inherited runners factor into that).

    Looking even more closely at those 21 starts, in 14 of them, he went six innings or more. In 15 of them, he gave up 3 ERs or fewer (which again doesn’t exclude runs the bullpen allowed to score). He had several stinkers in there, most notably the July 22 start after his no-hitter where he gave up 8 runs in 3.2 innings. But I’m guessing most teams would take a 3rd/4th starter who goes 6-9 innings 2/3 of the time and gives up 3 ERs or fewer 75% of the time. That’s a solid starter who keeps his team in the game. Not to mention he still averages about a strikeout per inning, suggesting there’s still plenty of good stuff there for him to throw.

    Finally–and full disclosure here, I’m a HUGE Lincecum fan–I watched nearly every pitch he threw this year (and have for years), and the eyeball test also said that starting around June, he was a different guy than he’d been in 2012 and earlier in 2013–mixing his pitches differently, throwing his curveball, commanding his fastball better. I’m no expert, but if I could see it, I’m sure the Giants could, too–and thus, the $35 million.

    1. I’ll admit that I’ve been incredibly frustrated with Lincecum during the past couple years, as I’m sure many others have. But there were those starts this season where he reminded me of his 08-09 seasons, and not just during the no-hitter. The fastball velocity might not be top notch anymore, but the curve and change can still make hitters look foolish at times. I want to see more of that next year, and less “close your eyes and let it fly” from Timmy. At this point, it’s all about command and consistency, two things he’s been lacking big time since 2011. Do I think he can do it? Of course, but he’ll need to prove it before I really jump all in.

      I am a big Timmy fan too, and am happy to have him back for a couple more years. Watching Lincecum dominate would be the only reason I’d go back to the 2008-09 seasons (slim Panda might be enticing too, I guess). What a feat that was to watch.

    2. You sound familiar and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Lincecum may have done some things differently as the season progressed, namely walking and striking out fewer batters, yet how much more effective was he really? ERA and stranded runners isn’t really the best way to evaluate his performance. Look at the other numbers I listed. Opponents had a wOBA above league average against him in the second half – OPS wise, it was .740ish. He was giving up hard contact and still walking too many hitters. That’s not good. I’m a bit worried by this and hope he can string together more quality starts. Time will tell about the moolah.

      1. That is what I’ve been trying to get at too… Some of his numbers were improved this year, but his overall body of work still doesn’t pass the eyeball test. He was still too easy to chase in the 6th inning for most of the season. And the inherited runners were there because Timmy allowed them. Had Boch not pulled him in those situations, I’ll bet a good portion of them would have still scored… maybe even more than what the bullpen allowed. The talent is in there, and he did show flashes of the nasty curve and change on occasion, but he needs to start putting together quality starts on a regular basis before I will give him my full endorsement. The expectations are just too high for him to be a middling starter, but that’s what he’s been… and he’ll have to work hard to change that going into his 30’s.

      2. Can I copy what you just wrote to a clipboard for later use? That’s the story and I’m also sticking to it. I’m sure Lincecum doesn’t brood over the runners that other relievers cashed in. He knows darn well he created those jams. It’s a lot easier for a reliever to get out of a runner on first, one out situation then runners on second and third and nobody out.

        They signed him up for his legacy, but I’d also like to think that they see something from at-bat to at-bat and believe he will improve and become a more consistent pitcher that can work 6-7 innings yielding 2-3 runs on average.

  7. Good Timmy Talk here. Commanding the fastball, mixing his pitches, pitching to contact – those things could really help. Sabean has talked about him becoming a different pitcher for a couple of years. Taking the scouting process seriously, instead of just blowing the ball by guys. He has good stuff, ironically its the fastball that is the weak point that he has to protect now. And the pen didn’t do any favors. I just doublechecked the game logs, it looks like there were indeed only 18 inherited runners. How did Mijares allow 19 to score then?

    When you look at all the FAs, you see pretty quickly that Timmy would be near the top of the lists, because he’s younger, has the track record, eats innings and has some of the best stats. He would have got 3 year offers easily. Would he have taken them? We don’t have to find out.

    I’ve been frustrated by Timmy as well, I think he has to work on fielding his position better. He’ll never hold runners well, but he could improve that marginally maybe. The pitching from the stretch seemed to be a big deal at the start of the year, but he didn’t have terrible stats with that: 239/308/401 with the bases empty, 250/352/332 with runners in scoring position, 260/340/372 with runners on. Only 5 HRs with runners on, but 16 solo. The last two years his HR/9 has jumped above 1 for the first time in his career. Somehow he has to avoid bleeding innings and getting hit hard.

    I think Hudson’s MO will help a bit. Don’t waste as many pitches? We’ll see.

    I’d like to see one more small pitcher added with Kazmir. I could live with that. or give MadBum a right handed twin at 6’6 with Hammel.

    1. Timmy just needs to be consistently confident with the fastball. That could just be a function of getting command of it. He pitches afraid too often, throwing changeups in the dirt when he should be hitting corners with the 2 seamer.

      Less K’s, less walks and more groundballs and he’ll start pitching like a Hudson protege.

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