Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Kimbrel vs. Chapman

Who is the top reliever in the game?  If your answer was either Craig Kimbrel or Aroldis Chapman, it would be difficult to call you incorrect.  Kimbrel is helping the Braves to the playoffs as a Wild Card and Champman is shutting the door on wins for the NL Central leading Reds.  Each are having phenomenal seasons.  Who is the best?  Lets take a look at the numbers...

Kimbrel - 48
Chapman - 60

Kimbrel - 48
Chapman - 64

Kimbrel - 86
Chapman - 113

Kimbrel - 32
Chapman - 33

Kimbrel - 1.13
Chapman - 1.27

Kimbrel - 0.65
Chapman - 0.72

Kimbrel - 0
Chapman - 5

Kimbrel - 0
Chapman - 6

K per 9 IP:
Kimbrel - 16.1
Chapman - 15.9

Kimbrel - .117
Chapman - .135

Kimbrel - .339
Chapman - .422

Kimbrel - 2.4
Chapman - 3.5

Blown Saves:
Kimbrel - 2
Chapman - 4

Kimbrel - 1
Chapman - 4

The Cuban Missile gets my votes for best reliever in baseball, but Kimbrel has got quite the resume too.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Under the Radar Batters

The following is a 13-man offense built with has-beens and surprises.  Some are ex-prospects that stocks plummeted, but have found their groove again.  With their performances they're likely playing themselves into a future role with their club in 2013 or priming themselves for free agency. Think the Houston Astros, Oakland Athletics, and Seattle Mariners would like this lineup better than their current one?

*Minimum 100 plate appearances.

*Stats through games played on Monday, August 27th.

Starting Lineup:
1. Scott Podsednik/CF/BOS - .375/845
2. Josh Rutledge/SS/COL - .344/.944
3. Justin Ruggiano/RF/MIA - .314/.959
4. Andy Dirks/LF/DET - .337/.905
5. Matt Carpenter/1B/STL - .310/.875
6. Todd Frazier/3B/CIN- .293/.902
7. Pedro Ciriaco/2B/BOS - .353/.855
8. Chris Carter/DH/OAK - .259/.916
9. John Jaso/C/SEA - .283/.875

Roger Bernadina/OF/WSH - .308/.800
Eric Young Jr./OF/COL - .316/.825
Kevin Frandsen/UTL/PHI - .351/.827
AJ Ellis/C/LAD - .282/.812

*This is an extremely versatile team too, with many players equipped to man multiple positions.  Ruggiano and Bernadina can play all 3 spots in the OF.  Ciriaco can play SS and 3rd.  Carter can play 1st.  Carpenter can play 3rd.  Frazier can play 1st. This would allow the manager to mix-and-match a lot.

Honorable Mentions:
Craig Gentry/OF/TEX, Michael McKenry/C/PIT, Greg Dobbs/3B/MIA, Jordan Pacheco/UTL/COL, Brandon Moss/OF/OAK, Luis Cruz/UTL/LAD, and Bryan LaHair/UTL/CHC.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Leading the Majors in Screw Ups

The Colorado Rockies are suffering through a terrible season.  Pitching staff sucks.  Defense sucks.  The offense isn't as potent as it needs to be.  They're just bad.

They lead all of Major League Baseball in screw ups- errors and wild pitches.  Giving up that many extra outs and extra bases is not a good thing in that stadium.  96 errors, 69 wild pitches, and 53 unearned runs allowed.  Ouch!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pittsburgh Pirates- Holy Unbelievable Stat!

Like any baseball geek, I enjoy perusing the stats.  Today I came across something that nearly shocked the pants right off me.  The Pittsburgh Pirates catchers have only thrown out 9% of would be base thieves  Holy crap that's bad! 

There has been 97 successful stolen base attempts against the Buccos.  Out of the 107 attempts, the catchers have only nabbed 10 of them.  Somebody go rustle Ivan Rodriguez out of retirement and get them some real defense behind the plate. Michael McKenry at least is carrying his weight by hitting. Rod Barajas, on the other hand, just sucks. Gotta imagine if the Pirates had component backstops that they'd have a couple more wins this season.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ending the Season with a Zero ERA

Here at More Hardball we love the minutiae of baseball and one of our favorite "stats" to track is pitchers carrying a 0.00 Earned Run Average.  At the beginning of the season, Mariners' rookie Lucas Luetge, carried that distinction into the middle June.  Now the final month and a half of the season is upon us and a new crop of pitchers are making their 2012 debuts and are in contention for ending the year with a 0.00 ERA.  Lets check out the candidates...

*Stats through games played on August 18th.  Only pitchers on 25-man rosters are included.

Zero ERA Club:
Cody Allen/CLE - 11 G, 13 IP, 9 K, 1.15 WHIP
Chad Jenkins/TOR - 5 G, 7 IP, 3 K, 0.29 WHIP
Jeremy Jeffress/KCR - 6 G, 5 IP, 5 K, 2.00 WHIP
Donnie Veal/CHW - 4 G, 4 IP, 7 K, 0.25 WHIP
Tom Layne/SDP - 4 G, 3.1 IP, 7 K, 0.60 WHIP
Andrew Bailey/BOS - 3 G, 1.1 IP, 3 K, 1.50 WHIP

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Resurrection of Eric Chavez

At one time Eric Chavez was a premier third baseman, but then injuries curtailed his production and time spent on the field and he was basically left for dead.  He was so good at so young of an age that it's hard to believe he's in his 15th MLB season at the age of 34.  He began his career as a 20 year old with the Oakland Athletics back in 1998.  In 2002 he had a breakout season, batting .277/.850 with 26 HR and 86 RBI.  From that point onward, he went on a string of 6 solid seasons at the plate and win the field.  He had a power bat that was good for knocking in runs and his defense was highly regarded as he won 6 straight Gold Glove awards while manning the hot corner.  However, things started falling apart in 2007, and by the time his contract (6 YR/$66M) expired with the A's after the 2010 season , nobody wanted him.  He had to settle for a minor league contract with the Yankees and while helping them make the playoffs, still only produced a .676 OPS.  He was only a shell of his former self.  Chavez was considering retirement this past offseason.  The Yankees coaxed him into returning and thank goodness for them he did.

2012 has marked the resurrection of Eric Chavez.  He is currently batting .303/.909 over 79 games, with 13 HR and 31 RBI while filling in for injured stars like Alex Rodriguez at 3rd base and Mark Teixeira at 1st.  He still plays quality defense too!

He's signed to a bargain bin price of $900K, so suffice to say he's in line for a bigger payday when he hits free agency this upcoming offseason  Given his injury riddled past and elderly age, a 2 year contract might be hard to obtain, but somebody might go 2 YR/$6M on him and hope to get lucky.

Career stats: .268/.820, 774 R, 299 DBL, 245 HR, 844 RBI.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Double-A Leaderboard

*Stats for games played through Sunday, August 12th.

AVG - .322 - Brock Holt/Pirates
OPS - .977 - Mike Olt/Rangers
R - 82- Aaron Hicks/Twins
DBL - 37- Hunter Morris/Brewers
TRPL - 16 - Engel Beltre/Rangers
HR - 28 - Mike Olt/Rangers
RBI - 100 - Just Bour/Cubs
SB - 42 - Jeff Kobernus/Nationals

ERA - 2.20 - Chris Heston/Giants
WHIP - 0.90- Edwar Cabrera/Rockies
G - 51 - Josh Sullivan/Rockies
IP - 143.2 - Zeke Spruill/Braves
K - 136 - Matt Magill/Dodgers
W - 13 - Nicholas Struck/Cubs and Barret Loux/Rangers
SV - 23 - Keith Butler/Cardinals
HLD - 14 - Eric Fornataro/Cardinals

Friday, August 10, 2012

Minor League Leader Board (Triple-A)

September is just around the bend, where MLB rosters expand to any player on the 40-man roster. Triple-A baseball is the last stop on the minor league ladder to success, and the players below can probably count on a promotion (many of them already have been called up).

Triple-A Batting:
AVG - .382 - Adam Eaton/Diamondbacks
OPS - 1.093 - Alex Castellanos/Dodgers
R - 110 - Adam Eaton/Diamondbacks
DBL - 39 - Adam Eaton/Diamondbacks
TRPL - 13 - Starling Marte/Pirates
HR - 29 - Mike Hessman/Astros
RBI - 90 - Ryan Wheeler/Diamondbacks
SB - 39 - Luis Duragano/Braves

Triple-A Pitching:
W - 12 - John Ely/Dodgers, Eric Hacker/Giants, Scott O'Sullivan/Blue Jays, Zach Duke/Nationals
ERA - 2.12 - Tyler Cloyd/Phillies
WHIP - 0.90 - Justin Germano/Red Sox
G - 54 - Cory Burns/Padres
IP - 146.1 - Matt Shoemaker/Angels
K - 146 - John Ely/Dodgers
SV - 21 - Josh Wall/Dodgers, Jonathan Albaladejo/Diamondbacks

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Completely Ridiculous- Jered Weaver & Mike Trout

It must be fun to be a Los Angeles Angels fan right now. You have all-world first baseman Albert Pujols, just acquired Zack Greinke for the stretch run, and have the best pitcher and player currently in baseball on your favorite team in the form of Jered Weaver and Mike Trout.

Jered Weaver is now 15-1 on the season.  That's a pretty damn good winning percentage.  His awesomeness doesn't stop there, he also has a 2.13 ERA and 0.92 WHIP.  Imagine the contract he would have signed this offseason had he waited to hit free agency.  His wins, ERA, and WHIP all lead Major League Baseball.  Suffice to say, he's the leading candidate for the AL Cy Young award.

Then there's rookie 21 year old rookie Mike Trout.  He's no normal rookie struggling to find his niche.  Oh no, he's the freakin' man!  He's batting .348/1.009, with 86 R, 21 DBL, 5 TRPL, 19 HR, 59 RBI, and 36 SB in only 87 G...and he plays Gold Glove worthy defense.  Not only is he the hands-down Rookie of the Year, he's likely the AL MVP if the Halos make the playoffs (which they should).

Friday, August 03, 2012

Name to Know- Josh Rutledge

If I asked you to name the stud shortstop of the Colorado Rockies, your answer would mostly likely be the beast that goes by the name of Troy Tulowitzki. However, he's injured, so the Rox have turned to Josh Rutledge. Who? Exactly...

Rutledge is a 23 year old rookie making one hell of an impression- 18 G, .375/1.109, 12 R, 5 HR, 14 RBI, and he's homered in 4 straight games. He was a 3rd round pick in 2010 and has ascended through the minors quickly, making the jump to the Majors from Double-A this season. Career minor league stats: .320/.870, 154 R, 94 XBH, 110 RBI, 31 SB in 211 G. That seems like a nice power/speed combo for a middle infielder. Josh has played predominatly SS, but did see action at 2B this season in the minors (most likely because he path to the Majors is blocked by Tulo at SS).

If Tulo is healthy next year and Rutledge moves to second base, then the Rockies might have one of the best double play duos in the game.