Saturday, June 26, 2010

Random Thoughts About the Week...

Rick Dempsey to be Interviewed for Oriole Manager

This is kind of sad to me. Andy MacPhail does not take Rick seriously for this position. And arguably, he shouldn't. Dempsey hasn't managed in years. But he wants it so bad, he'll put up with this indignity and try to convince the Oriole brass otherwise.

Brad Bergesen and Koji Uehara To Return, Garrett Atkins Likely Roster Casualty

The fragile Uehara is coming back...but for how long is uncertain. He's pretty good when he's on the mound and he will help the bullpen but obviously we can't count on him being healthy.

Bergey...I don't know. I just wish they'd leave him in one spot and let him work things out in Baltimore.

Years ago, Henry Rollins put forth an idea for a performance art piece called "Edie Brickell Still Lives" where he would sit in a chair on a stage covered with cinder blocks, nails and razor wire, a PA announcer would say "Edie Brickell still lives!" at which point, Rollins would hurl himself onto the stage, beating his body against all the bricks and nails and razors until he collapsed into a bloody, sweaty heap on the stage. Then the PA announcer would shout, "But she still lives!", which would cause Rollins to pick himself up off the stage and do it all over again.

Call this piece "Garret Atkins Retains a Roster Spot" and I could do it myself.

Nick Markakis Meets With Peter Angelos

I think Nick has finally figured that he is chained to this team for another 4 and a half years...he'd better do something!

I love that Nick seems to be taking a more active leadership role on the team, even if it is motivated by self-interest. It's clear that he expected better this season and can't bear the thought of the Orioles flailing about for the next fours seasons until he becomes a free agent.

Matt Wieters Bunt!

Juan Samuel does NOT want to stay with the organization. Period.

According to Fangraphs.com, that botched bunt cost the Orioles .114 of WPA...more than any non-run scoring play the Marlins managed. Juan Samuel may as well have been playing for the other team.

Matt Angle is an On Base Machine

All Matt Angle does is get on base and steal second....THAT"S ALL HE DOES!!!

I didn't include Angle in my high-minors review earlier this week but he deserves a mention. The Orioles haven't done him any favors. After playing last season at high-A Frederick, he started the season on the DL, got a total of 14 games in Bowie and was then rushed up to Norfolk due to organizational need.

Angle has held his own, relatively speaking. He's only hitting .264/.338/.282 in Norfolk...but forget the OPS. You heard me, forget the OPS.

Angle does not hit for power and he may never do so...but his career OBP in the minors is .386, his career walk rate is 12.2% and he has stolen 124 bases at an 80.5% clip. There is room for a guy like that as a leadoff hitter in the majors.

As we have seen, having guys with lousy on base skills can sap a struggling offense. A guy like Angle should be seen as a real prospect if he can improve on his numbers in Norfolk. Don't let the fact that he was thrown into the deep end of the pool fool you.

5 comments:

Steve G. said...

Meh - Angle doesn't really have the skill set to stay in the majors, though. Typically, that type of player doesn't have enough power to keep pitchers from just pounding them with fastballs. Go look at Jason Tyner's minor league numbers, which are similar.

Heath said...

Tyner wasn't really the same kind of hitter though. If you look at Tyner, most of his OBP was wrapped up in his batting average; he never had the walk rates in the minors that Angle had. A good eye translates.

I am not arguing that Angle would be a great MLB'er, just that he has a specific set of skills that could translate into him being a good leadoff type...a very specific role.

Steve G. said...

The prognosis gets even worse if you look at players with more normal batting averages, little power and tons of OBP in the minors from walks. Esteban German? Of PECOTA's top 10 comparables, none of them spent significant time in the majors, and his 90-percent projection is 286 / 362 / 380 in the majors.

Heath said...

I'm not sure we are arguing the same things here. IF Angle can produce like he has for his entire career at AAA and IF he can play a major league center field (I don't have a good idea about that...) and IF he could steal bases with that kind of success...he COULD be a contributor on a major league team as a leadoff guy.

The problem with systems like PECOTA is that they don't take the whole player into account. German was not as fast as Angle, nor did he play a premium defensive position...at least not well. Andy Stankiewicz? Not even close to the same skill set. Can't pray to the altar of projection alone.

And that 90 percentile projection? I'll take that from a leadoff hitter with speed.

Perhaps it was my use of the word "prospect". I am in no way saying that Angle has a good shot to be a "very good" player or even a regular...but he could be a useful player, in a specific role, for a few years. Farm systems have to produce guys like that too.

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