Orioles Think Tank

Orioles Coverage for the Information Age


Posted by Mike on February 22, 2006


  • In my last post, I detailed David Gassko‘s DIPS 3.0. I downloaded the spreadsheet at the bottom of his article and added a few columns into it. First I imported RA/9 for all the pitchers and then I entered a column that calculates the difference between a pitcher’s DIPS 3.0 and RA/9. The greater the number in the Difference column, the more that pitcher’s results exceeded his performance ($38 million for Jarrod Washburn, anyone?). The greater the number is negative, the more that pitcher’s results failed to live up to his actual performance. It’s a handy way to look at which pitchers got ripped off the most and vice versa. Feel free to download it here (EDIT: The download wasn’t working earlier, but it should be fine now). There are all sorts of fun ways to play around with this if you’re handy with Excel. And again, thanks to David for the great work and for allowing me to distribute this.
  • Melvin Mora wants to stay in Baltimore. This is the type of story that makes it tough to be both objective and a fan. On the one hand, I think that Melvin is a throwback to the kind of classy player that used to epitomize the Orioles organization. He’s always smiling and has been my favorite Oriole to watch since 2003. And it’s always fun to root for a player that seemingly came out of nowhere (think David Newhan circa 2004). On the other hand, the types of numbers that have been getting thrown out are around 3 years and $24 million and frankly, I doubt that Mora will be an effective major leaguer in 2009. PECOTA has the chances of him being completely out of baseball at 5%, 14%, and 30% for the years 2007-2009 and, although it wouldn’t factor into this contract, 52% for 2010. From 2006 to 2009, PECOTA also projects his plate appearances dropping from 613 to 464. Since I have been preaching a “build towards 2008” approach, it would make little sense to keep $8 million on the payroll for decreasing production when it is likely the Orioles could get a nice prospect or two for him in July.
  • I ran into this nice little puff piece about Javy Lopez. This time, Javy really wants to end his career in Baltimore and is more worried about getting an extension than anything else. To his credit, I should mention that by all accounts, he is spending a lot of time training hard for two positions this spring.
  • Scroll down in this article, and you’ll see that Luis Matos is taking the opportunity to represent Puerto Rico in the WBC. I certainly can’t blame him, but I doubt this bodes well for what seemed like an open competetion in CF with Corey Patterson.
  • It looks like one of my favorites, Aaron Rakers, is on the shelf for 2006. He has a torn labrum and the chances that we will ever see how his outstanding minor league numbers translate to a full-time role in the major leagues have grown pretty slim. I haven’t been this disappointed since I snuck onto my friend’s instant messenger screen name and asked his girlfriend to rate me on a scale of 1 to 10.
  • An anonymous commenter pointed something out to me that I have been meaning to mention. Ted Cook is doing a series of Ground Ball Effects articles over at Orioles Hangout. I’ve conversed with Ted a few times and, as if you couldn’t tell from the articles, he knows his stuff. Luckily for us, this isn’t one of the things that OH charges for, although it is defintely some of their best stuff. I urge you to check out Part 1 and Part 2. Read in conjunction with the several DIPS related materials I’ve linked to in the past, it makes a nice primer for understanding the often misunderstood art of inducing ground balls.
  • As the season approaches, I will be making an effort to update this blog more regularly. I am pleased with the way this site is growing, and I thank all of you that keep checking back. I look forward to blogging my first season of Orioles baseball in 2006.

7 Responses to “Quickies”

  1. Greg said

    Man, I’m bummed about Rakers too. He definitely earned a shot at the bullpen this year. Any reports on how Sendy Rleal looks so far?

  2. No Speakz said

    No Sleepz,
    I have recently learned that there is a good chance I will be in Ft. Lauderdale from March 11 to 18 and would like to offer my services as O’s think tank spring training correspondant. All I will require is an official think tank shirt, cap, and fake microphone. I promise to ask the tough questions and will make it a top priority to put an end to the age old debate… is Javy Lopez the most handsome man in baseball. I will also look into an exclusive sit down with fan favorite Geronimo Gil… but can only assume that this will be impossible to get, even with the fake microphone. Let me know what you think.

  3. Mike said

    You’re hired. Seriously, I’d love to have a spring training report. We’ll talk.

    Also, Windy City Heat was on Comedy Central last night at 2am. I almost called you. My favorite line is:

    Perry: Back in the day, I used to make my left eye go like this (makes evil eye) and it meant that you were dead.

    Mole: You killed people?

    Perry: No, no, no, no, I just hurt them really bad.

  4. No speakz said

    Ill keep you posted on the Lauderdale plans… also Ive read a couple reports that Majewski is taking some balls at first because of the prospect logjam in the OF and lack there of at first. Do you know any details… More specifically, are they doing this for the sake of doing it (since he used to play there), or is there some kind of plan in the works?

  5. Mike said

    I hadn’t heard this, but I’ll try to confirm it later. I wrote this in my Player Profile of Val Majewski:

    His injury could also cause a host of problems. Formerly thought of as a plus in RF, he could be shifted to LF if his arm strength doesn’t come all the way back. It might even behoove the Orioles to shift him back to 1B. Think about it- it would save his arm, there is nobody blocking him there, and an optimist would tell you it avoids a potential OF logjam in the future. Of course, his bat won’t play nearly as well if he can no longer handle CF or even RF.

    He played a lot of 1B in college, but it will probably make it easier for him to work into the bigs as a corner OF/1B super-sub.

  6. Local Yokelson said

    So when is the 2006 Super Friends Showdown Spectacular?

  7. Mike said

    2 weeks from Tuesday, to the best of my knowledge.

    It should prove to be quite a show, especially if NoSpeakz’s entire routine is as disturbing as the snippet he made public last weekend.

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