Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring training stats are meaningless

Spring training is usually about getting guys ready for the season and the giving guys competing for jobs at bats. It is also about fans seeing some top prospects either getting at bats or pitch an inning here or there. Sometimes prospects are so impressive they force their way onto the team or get a quick call up soon after the season start.

What Spring Training is also about is overreacting to Short sample Spring training stats. David Wright starts out 0-13 in the spring? Time to be worried no? Wright is hitting around .600 since.There are fans that are suggesting that Bobby Parnell should be sent down because he has a 4+ E.R.A this spring, never mind that he was really good last year. The main reason some want Parnell sent down is because Blaine Boyer and Jason Isringhausen are having really good Springs.

Izzy is a feel good story, but he is 38 years old and recovering from his third Tommy John surgery . Do you really wanna not only wanna send Parnell down, but  lose a guy with an arm like Manny Acosta's? You know  just to keep a guy that likely won't stay healthy or effective? Izzy hasn't been good since '07 or healthy since '08. It would be fun to see him make The Mets and come full circle, but he's already had a issue with his elbow and and with this team in transition there's no reason to keep around a guy at the end of his career over younger higher upside guys at this stage.

Then there's Blaine Boyer whose been career mediocrity and  is likely in the lead  for the last spot in the bullpen due to a his stuff impressing management,and the fact that he has an out in his contract next Thursday. He does get a lot of ground balls , so that's something. I would be more interested in keeping a guy that misses bats like Acosta over him.

Bobby Parnell has have major issues in getting lefties out, because he doesn't have a effective secondary pitch.  That said, he is likely to be the second best pitcher in the bullpen as he does dominate righties. He deserves to make the team on the strength on his '10 season and his potential. You hope he learns a secondary pitch to get lefties out. You do not send him down to keep lesser lights like Boyer and Izzy.

Another example of overrating to spring training is everyone wanting going crazy over short sample stats.This is what was happening in a the competition for the second base job between Emaus and Murphy.  Daniel Murphy was hitting .310-333-424  five days ago, While Brad Emaus battling line was 216-350-270. Those were  not good numbers, for Emaus for sure, but he hadn't played a lot and  again it was a short sample. Murphy meanwhile was hitting , but struggling on the defensive end,as he has at every position except for first base. Emaus while not hitting was drawing walks at least.

The reports  that Emaus was gonna be named the starting second baseman caused an uproar. He is just getting handed the job some screamed, its because he's Riccardi's guy (Riccardi drafted him in '07) well one 4-4 game and Emaus' avg went up nearly 80 points and his slugging went from .270 to .435. That is a strong example of how irrelevant Spring training stats are. Emaus has had a couple other good games and there is no longer an uproar. Which again shows how silly it is to go crazy over spring stats. You can not make decisions purely on Spring stats.

If you really believe Spring stats mean anything you must think Melky Cabrera; .400 average this spring is a sign that he'll actually be a good player after being an average to below average hitter most of his career. I guess if Spring stats mean anything then Jake Fox and John Mayberry Jr. will be our 2011 MVPs.

I remember growing up seeing Darren Reed rake every spring and wondering why he never made the team, well if you look at his non spring training stats you'll see why..Jorge Toca ten years later raked in spring , and he never made anything of himself either.

I am looking forward to Opening day for many reasons among them is being tired of watching meaningless baseball and tired of fans overreacting to short sample stats. No need to worry a week from now fans can overact to short sample at bats , but at least these at bats will actually mean something.


Anonymous said...

agreed fans are so overreactive. I don't get the murphy love. he is a medicore player.

GM-Carson said...

I try not to get worked up about spring stats, but being a crazy fan like I am, that is difficult not to do.