Thursday, July 21, 2011

Donovan Moore: What is Jeremy Guthrie’s True Trade Value?

Thanks to Donovan Moore for another guest post!

With the trade deadline coming in just a matter of weeks, talks between potential trade partners will almost certainly heat up quite soon. The Orioles have already pulled the trigger on one small deal. With Hardy newly locked up through 2014, and Luke Scott fatally wounded, it would seem as though the Orioles’ only viable trade chips for 2011 are pitchers. Personally, I am a fan of having a fire sale that would have every Oriole that wouldn’t be a part of the next winning team up on the block. The problem with that however is that the MacPhail regime seemingly isn’t ready to go into full rebuilding mode. Andy’s contract expires at the end of the 2011 season, and it doesn’t bode well for his chances of contract renewal if he admits defeat right at the end of his first tenure.

The Orioles are not having a fire sale in 2011. The Orioles will very likely just make a few low risk/low reward swaps such as the one where they parted with dear old Nick Green (who?) for some guy who throws baseballs with his left hand. With that being said however, let’s take a look at just exactly how much the Orioles should be asking in return if they were to wise up and deal Jeremy Guthrie.

Unless Jeremy Guthrie suddenly turns into a 3-4 WAR pitcher (career average of ~2.2 WAR/year), he will never be more valuable than he is right now. He was more valuable yesterday than he is today, and even more so the day before that—but his arbitration years are almost over. Using a trade value calculator put together by Sky Kalkman of Beyond the Box Score, I have effectively estimated exactly how much value Guthrie has as of today.

The 2011 numbers have obviously been halved, seeing that the 2011 season is roughly halfway through. I estimated that Guthrie will post 1.2 WAR in the second half—because he posted 1.2 WAR in the first half. I used a going rate of $4.8M/WAR for 2011, and given the figures, estimated that Guthrie will have an excess value of ~$2.9M for the remainder of 2011. 2012 is Guthrie’s last arb year, meaning that he should command a raise to roughly 80% of his WAR value. For 2012, I used a going rate of $5.0M/WAR, and used Guthrie’s career WAR average (2.2) to estimate a 2012 salary of $8.8M. Given the going rate of $5.0M/WAR, in 2012 I have estimated that Guthrie will generate ~$2.2M of excess value. Add in the fact that I have estimated that Guthrie will be a Type B free agent (+$2.5M in draft compensation value), and his grand total of excess value through 2012 is ~$7.6M.

Notice the number of times I used the word “estimate” in the preceding paragraph. Without owning a crystal ball, it is not possible to know with any sort of certainty what Guthrie’s true value will be through the 2012 season, but $7.6M is very likely a fairly accurate estimation.

So… what type(s) of prospect(s) would come back in a trade where the excess value on one side is $7.6M? With much thanks to Victor Wang’s extensive research on prospect values it is possible to put a dollar amount on the worth of different types of prospects:

Obviously the only way to truly know the value of a prospect is to see whether he pans out or not…but that defeats the whole purpose of obtaining a player while he is still a prospect. The hope is that you have bought cheap and that you will be rewarded handsomely when the prospect pans out—but not every prospect does, and for that reason, Wang’s research has incorporated the possibility of any given type of prospect busting. The dollar amount put to any given type of prospect is an average of future values of all of the prospects in that category.

So in order to break even any potential trade for Guthrie, the Orioles would need to get back a Grade B hitter ($5.5M) + a Grade C pitcher 22 or younger ($2.1M). Given MacPhail’s affinity for pitching prospects, maybe he would look to get back a Grade B pitcher ($7.3M) + a Grade C hitter 23 or older ($0.5). These would be instances where the Orioles set themselves up to break even on a deal for Guthrie—but if offered anything more than these examples, they should definitely jump right on it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Guest Post: Looking Back, Looking Forward

With work and real life robbing me of my blogging time, a kind reader, Donovan Moore, offered to contribute a piece. I told him it didn't have to be too ambitious but he submitted a mini-thesis looking back and the first half of the Orioles' season and some predictions of things to come. Thanks, Donovan!  Enjoy...

The Orioles have lost the last seven games in a row, 12 of the last 13, and 20 of the last 26.  It almost seems like an eternity ago that the O’s were hovering right around .500 and playing decent ball… because when the wheels fall off like they have in the past few weeks, time really seems to just drag on and on and on.  

The Orioles opened the 2011 season with a three game sweep against the defending AL East champion Tampa Bay Rays.  Afterwards, the O’s came home and took two out of three from the Detroit Tigers, and then handed the 2010 AL Champion Texas Rangers their first loss of the season.  The energy in Baltimore was palpable, and for one week fans knew what it felt like to cheer for a winner. The overwhelming success was short-lived however, as the Yankees, Indians, and Twins handed our beloved Orioles six straight losses—and everything was back to normal.

The Orioles went on to go 12-13 in April, 12-16 in May, 11-14 in June, and are currently 1-9 in July.  That makes for a total of 36-52—16 games under .500. 

The 2011 season has certainly been a story of a quirky cast of characters that I feel like I have gotten to know personally during their time with the team.  In order to properly review the first half of the season, it is necessary to look at each player individually and assess what they have done this season for the Orioles.  

Pitchers (Graph of values)

Here you can see the value measured in fWAR of every oriole pitcher to take the hill this season.  Guthrie and Britton are in the lead for starters, and Johnson and Uehara are the only relievers to post positive fWAR values besides Simon (0.2fWAR) and Hendrickson (0.1fWAR) in his one appearance so far.

Jeremy Guthrie
As a starter 3-11 114IP 4.26ERA 4.12FIP 4.11xFIP 5.84K/9 2.37BB/9 2.47K/BB 1.33WHIP
As a reliever 0-1 4.1IP 2.08ERA 3.19FIP 4.54xFIP 8.31K/9 4.15BB/9 2K/BB 1.15WHIP
Overall 1.5fWAR

Guthrie’s numbers in 2011 so far are pretty in line with his career numbers.  He is throwing a ton of innings, and at this rate will hit the 200IP plateau for the third straight year.  The only curious thing about his numbers so far this year is that for the first time in his big league career, Guthrie is not out-performing his peripherals.  The fact that Guthrie is able to consistently do this is a rarity that has been written on time and again, but just as there is no clear reason as to why he has been able to do it repeatedly, there is no clear reason as to why he is not doing it so far in 2011.
ZiPS for the second half:  5-6 92IP 4.50ERA 4.37FIP 5.58K/9 2.45BB/9 2.28K/BB 1.32WHIP

Chris Tillman
2-3 48IP 4.69ERA 3.60FIP 4.86xFIP 6K/9 3.75BB/9 1.6K/BB 1.60WHIP
Overall 0.9fWAR

Tillman pitched in the Major League rotation until May 30 when he was optioned to AAA Norfolk.  He had his ups and downs up in the bigs in 2011, but in the end he still couldn’t cut it. It’s hard to believe that it’s only been about two years since Tillman was down in Norfolk posting a 9.92K/9 with a 2.70ERA to boot.  He’s got a lot of work to do if he ever wants to reclaim the status of elite prospect, and he’s certainly not on the way to doing so--posting a subpar line of 3-2 4.30ERA 5.35FIP and only 5.2K/9 since being banished to Norfolk this year.

Zach Britton
6-7 104.1IP 4.05ERA 3.97FIP 3.88xFIP 5.52K/9 3.36BB/9 1.64K/BB 1.36WHIP
Overall 1.5fWAR

Rookie Zach Britton burst onto the scene early in 2011, getting the call to the Major League rotation when Matusz hit the DL before the season was ever underway.  In his first couple of months, Britton turned even his harshest critics into his biggest fans--posting a 2.84ERA in May and a 3.00ERA in June.  Britton, however has come crashing back down to earth, not earning a victory in a start since June 8th and before that May 1st.  After allowing 7ER without even getting out of the first inning in his only start in July, Britton was optioned down to AA Bowie.  Expect to see the spry lefty back up in the bigs after about 20 days—or the amount of time that it takes to cut his service time enough to put off his first year of free agency.
ZiPS for the second half:  3-5 69IP 5.09ERA 4.38FIP 5.61K/9 4.04BB/9 1.39K/BB 1.61WHIP

Jake Arietta
9-6 97.1IP 4.90ERA 4.92FIP 4.33xFIP 7.12K/9 4.44BB/9 1.6K/BB 1.4WHIP
Overall 0.4fWAR

Jake Arietta started the season in the Major League rotation for the first time in his career—and has stuck there so far.  Arietta has shown flashes of his potential this season, and has been the most consistent starter for the O’s other than Guthrie.  His walk totals are still entirely too high for him to have any sort of overwhelming success in the Majors, however it is nice to see that so far in 2011, his strikeout numbers are more in line with what he did in the minors –because last year they just weren’t anywhere close (4.66K/9 in 2010 versus 7.12K/9 in 2011 so far).  And, of course this wouldn’t be a blurb about Arietta without bringing up a guarded concern for those annoying bone chips in his elbow that flare up once in a while—only for him to claim adamantly that he can deal with them by simply stiffening his upper lip.
 ZiPS for the second half: 4-6 71IP 5.20ERA 4.73FIP 6.46K/9 4.69BB/9 1.38K/BB 1.59K/BB

Brad Bergesen
As a starter- 1-6 48.1IP 5.59ERA 3.89FIP 4.58xFIP 5.4K/9 2.79BB/9 1.93WHIP
As a reliever- 0-0 17IP 5.82ERA 4.72FIP 3.60xFIP 6.35K/9 2.65BB/9 2.4K/BB 1.18 WHIP
Overall 0.7fWAR

Bergesen too cracked the starting rotation at the onset of the 2011 season, however he didn’t stick there.  Beregsen struggled as a starter and was optioned back and forth from AAA Norfolk every five minutes until he was recalled for the last time on June 18th to serve as a member of the bullpen.   Since joining the relief corps, Bergesen has been pretty much the same exact pitcher he was when he was starting—not good.
ZiPS (these are clearly for him as a starter—which he very likely will not ever be again unless as an emergency/spot starter) for the second half:  3-5 68 IP 5.03ERA 4.50FIP 4.79K/9 2.65 BB/9 1.8 K/BB 1.46WHIP

Brian Matusz
1-4 25.2IP 8.77ERA 7.4FIP 5.07xFIP 6.31K/9 3.86BB/9 1.64K/BB 1.99WHIP
overall -0.5fWAR

Brian Matusz started the season on the DL with an intercostal strain, and now his velocity has almost completely left him.  Matusz used to put on pitching performances that mainstream media outlets used to hail as “Masterful,” however recently the only thing Matusz has been a master of is breaking my heart into little tiny pieces.  I had the misfortune of watching him rehab at A+ Frederick on his way back from injury, and you had to be blind not to see red flags everywhere.  Instead of missing bats, he was consistently missing the strike zone.  When he was getting hit (which was often) he was getting hit HARD.  Luckily for him, most of the hard hits went right at people, and he escaped with only allowing 1ER in 4IP.  Once back in the majors, his fastball that used to break into the low 90s on occasion was sitting at 86-87—and he was paying dearly for it.  Since being optioned to AAA Norfolk on July 1st, Matusz has allowed 6ER in 11IP.

Chris Jakubauskas
As a starter – 2-2 27.1IP 6.91ERA 4.93FIP 4.53xFIP 6.59K/9 3.95K/9 1.67K/BB 1.72WHIP
As a reliever– 0-0 15.2IP 5.74ERA 6.6FIP 4.84xFIP 4.6K/9 4.02BB/9 1.14K/BB 1.79WHIP
Overall -0.1fWAR

What is there to really say about Chris “Jabberwalky” Jakubauskas?  He was brought in to add pitching depth to the team, and he’s provided just-under replacement level production thus far in the bigs.  It’s a pretty sad state of affairs in Baltimore though when a guy like Jakubauskas is called on for a spot start, and sticks in the rotation for 6 starts.
ZiPS for the second half:  1-3 30IP 5.40ERA 5.09WHIP 5.1K/9 3.3BB/9 1.55K/BB

Mitch Atkins
0-0 7.2IP 8.22ERA 7.39FIP 4.44xFIP 4.7K/9 1.17BB/9 4K/BB 2.09WHIP
Overall -0.2fWAR

Atkins was another off-season depth signing.  Does anyone want to guess what organization he spent his entire career playing for pre-2011?  I’ll give you a hint:  think “who is the Oriole’s GM?”  Atkins is very likely a career minor leaguer, and if he is given the ball every five days in the bigs, he will very likely continue to pitch like one.
ZiPS for the second half: 2-4 43IP 6.49ERA 5.89FIP 6.07K/9 3.77BB/9 1.61K/BB 1.63WHIP

Alfredo Simon
As a starter – 0-1 4.2IP 5.79ERA 4.46FIP 5.71xFIP 1.93K/9 5.79BB/9 0.33K/BB 2.36WHIP
As a reliever – 1-2 21.1IP 4.64ERA 3.57FIP 3.94xFIP 7.17K/9 2.95BB/9 2.43K/BB 1.50WHIP
As an outlaw – 1.0ASM (Arrests on Suspicion of Murder)
Overall 0.2fWAR

I’m fairly certain that the Orioles didn’t plan on having Simon available to pitch this season--but as it turns out he was--and they needed the warm body desperately.  It didn’t take long after his return, for the Orioles to add Simon to their repertoire of roughly replacement level nobodies that they call the bullpen.  Hey! He even made a start, too! Cool!
ZiPS for the second half:  1-1 19IP 4.74ERA 4.06FIP 6.16K/9 3.32BB/9 1.86K/BB 1.42WHIP

Jason Berken
1-2 29.1IP 5.83ERA 5.41FIP 3.98xFIP 8.9K/9 3.63BB/9 2.42K/BB 1.60WHIP
Overall -0.3fWAR

These are highly disappointing overall numbers for a guy that last year looked like he would be a force to be reckoned with in the bullpen for the O’s.  Berken won a vacation to Norfolk, VA on May 21st and he pitched well enough (3.86ERA, 3.63FIP) to be recalled on June 15th.  Since being recalled, Berken has pitched to roughly a 3.00ERA.
ZiPS for the second half:  1-2 30IP 4.80ERA 4.19FIP 7.2K/9 3.3BB/9 2.18K/BB 1.47WHIP

Mike Gonzalez
1-1 31.1IP 5.46ERA 5.57FIP 4.12xFIP 8.62K/9 4.31BB/9 2K/BB 1.69WHIP
Overall -0.4fWAR

Gonzalez was um…   not exactly a fan favorite after he pitched to a 7.89ERA in April and May combined, all the while enjoying the second year of a lucrative contact to be the shut-down closer for this Baltimore club.  I remember back in May when calls for Gonzalez’s head on a platter were commonplace.  Gonzalez however pitched to a 1.64ERA in June, and he has been all but banished to exclusively low leverage situations. Every time I eye with envy Gonzalez’s numbers from 2004 with Pittsburg (3-1 43.1IP 1.25ERA 1.60FIP 11.42K/9 1.29BB/9), I can hardly bring myself to believe that our Gonzalez is even the same human being.
ZiPS for the second half: 1-1 23IP 4.70ERA 4.31FIP 9.39

Kevin Gregg
0-1 34.1IP 3.41ERA 4.68FIP 4.73xFIP 7.34K/9 5.5BB/9 1.33K/BB 1.49WHIP
Overall -0.2fWAR

Introducing Kevin Gregg, the below-replacement-level closer of your 2011 Baltimore Orioles!!  I am pretty sure Gregg made good on his entire stupid contract when he tried to punch out David Ortiz.  Gregg’s ERA has been serviceable in the first half—but don’t expect to see the same result in the second half without some serious luck.  With a FIP and xFIP both nearing 5, a sky-high walk rate, and a 1.49WHIP, Gregg is bound to crash back down to earth soon.  Despite what the television announcers for the Orioles say, there is no such thing as a closer that works better under pressure by giving up hits and walks before he finally escapes in a jaw dropping tightrope act—there are just bad pitchers, and Kevin Gregg is one of them.
ZiPS for the second half:  2-2 28IP 4.50ERA 4.03FIP 6.75K/9 3.54BB/9 1.91K/BB 1.46WHIP

Jim Johnson
5-2 52.1IP 2.75ERA 2.94FIP 3.11xFIP 6.02K/9 1.72BB/9 3.5K/BB 1.18WHIP
Overall 1.0fWAR

Jim Johnson leads all AL relievers in IP—by a margin of 5.1 innings, too—and is 8th in fWAR for AL relievers (Incidentally, Gonzalez is dead last in this category, and Berken is second-to-dead-last).  J.J. is a bright spot on a team where bright spots are few and far between.  My only worry is that all of those innings will catch up to him, and he’ll either stop being available as much, or won’t be nearly as effective as he keeps his arm from falling off with tape and glue.
ZiPS for the second half:  5-2 29IP 3.72ERA 3.30FIP 6.21K/9 2.48BB/9 2.5K/BB 1.31WHIP

Koji Uehara
1-1 40IP 2.03ERA 2.91FIP 2.45xFIP 11.7K/9 1.8BB/9 6.5K/BB 0.75WHIP
Overall 0.7fWAR

Koji is pretty much awesome, and if I had a party I would totally want him and his sideburns there.  Although sis impressive 6.5K/BB leads all AL relievers— it is not nearly as impressive as 2010’s 11.0K/BB--but I’ll sure as hell take it.  A quick glance at the leaderboards for AL relievers shows that Koji leads in WHIP (0.75), and K/BB (6.50), is 2nd in BAA (.155), 3rd in xFIP (2.45), 5th in BB/9 (1.8), and 6th in K/9 (11.7).  I have not yet ruled out magic as the source of Koji’s awesomeness.  For some mysterious reason, ZiPS for Koji’s second half of 2011 aren’t available… let’s hope this isn’t a bad omen…

Pedro Viola
0-0 3.2IP 9.82ERA 13.05FIP 5.28xFIP 9.82K/9 4.91BB/9 2K/BB 2.18WHIP
Overall -0.2fWAR

Viola has posted decent numbers at AA this year (2.25ERA 3.31FIP), however he just hasn’t been able to have that translate into Major League success.  There are some pretty legitimate concerns such as his control, but we’ll see what the latter half of 2011 has in store for this young lefty.
ZiPS for the second half:  1-2 23IP 6.65ERA 5.44FIP 6.65K/9 5.09BB/9 1.31K/BB 1.83WHIP

Clay Rapada
0-0 12.1IP 7.30ERA 5.47FIP 3.73xFIP 9.49K/9 4.38BB/9 2.17K/BB 1.54WHIP
Overall -0.4fWAR

Rapada really isn’t as bad as his numbers show he has been in 2011.  Rapada should, however never be allowed to toe the rubber against a right-handed batter.  His splits reveal a 1.76ERA and 13K against lefties this year.  With how thin the O’s bullpen has been stretched this year however, Rapada ended up being used against righties on occasion and the result was almost always catastrophic (8ER allowed in 1.2IP).  Through little fault of his own, Rapada was outrighted to AAA Norfolk on July 1st.

Josh Rupe
0-0 14.1IP 5.65ERA 8.19FIP 4.8xFIP 4.4K/9 3.77BB/9 1.17K/BB 1.53WHIP
Overall -0.3fWAR

Rupe was another depth singing in the offseason, and this one just really didn’t work out well.  In 32.1IP since accepting an assignment to AAA Norfolk early on this year, Rupe has posted a 6.40ERA and 4.19FIP.  Don’t expect to see him back in Baltimore orange and black.

Troy Patton
Overall 0.0fWAR
0-0 2.1IP 7.71ERA 7.24FIP 3.67xFIP 11.57K/9 3.86BB/9 3K/BB 1.29WHIP

Patton is a legitimate Minor League talent that just hasn’t been given the proper opportunity to make his mark in the Majors.   That’s more than can be said for half of the clowns in the O’s bullpen, so it’s puzzling as to why Patton hasn’t been given much of a crack at it.  In 42.1IP in AAA in 2011, Patton has posted a dominant 1.91ERA with a 2.87FIP to go along with it.

Jeremy Accardo
3-3 32.1IP 5.29ERA 5.00FIP 4.87xFIP 5.57K/9 4.73BB/9 1.18K/BB 1.67WHIP
Overall -0.2fWAR

Accardo was a reclamation project that Mister MacPhail seems to have abandoned—for good reason.  Accardo was outrighted to AAA Norfolk on June 22nd to make room to recall Brad Bergesen.  Don’t expect to see Accardo back up in Baltimore any time soon—that is unless the Orioles get even more desperate than they were to keep him up here for so long in the first place.

Mark Hendrickson
0-0 2.1IP 3.86ERA 2.10FIP 2.10xFIP 3.86K/9 0BB/9 1K/BB 1.29WHIP
Overall 0.1fWAR

I wouldn’t be surprised if Hendrickson ends the season with a negative fWAR, however it’s hilarious to me that in one appearance he has already been more valuable than Brian Matusz, Mitch Atkins, Jason Berken, Mike Gonzalez, Kevin Gregg, Troy Patton, Pedro Viola, Clay Rapada, Jeremy Accardo, and Josh Rupe have been all season long.  If only “professionalism” and “veteran presence” could win ball games.
ZiPS for the second half:  1-2 31IP 4.94ERA 4.07FIP 5.81K/9 2.61BB/9 2.22K/BB 1.45WHIP

Position Players

Here you can see the value measured in wRC+, UZR(FRAA for catchers), and fWAR for the Orioles’ position players in the first half of 2011.  This graph does not overstate how bad Reynolds has been with the glove.

Matt Wieters
78G .264/.322/.406 .728OPS 8HR 34RBI .323wOBA 100wRC+ 5.0FRAA
Overall 2.3fWAR

What is there really to be said about the Switch Hitting Jesus himself?  Well, probably that right now he’s hitting at a league average level according to wRC+, but he is posting a 2.3 fWAR.  That’s right, the guy touted as being “all-bat” that had questions surrounding him concerning whether or not he could even stick at catcher is now among the elites at the position.  In fact, his 5.0 Fielding Runs Above Average in the first half leads all AL catchers. The reality is that if Wieters continues to put up defensive numbers like this, he’ll really never need to hit… but wouldn’t it be cool if he did?
ZiPS for the second half: .270/.337/.411 .728OPS 7HR 33RBI .331wOBA

Craig Tatum
11G .304/.393/.348 .741OPS 0HR 3RBI .336wOBA 109wRC+ 0FRAA
Overall 0.2fWAR

Tatum’s .304AVG is supported by an unreasonably high .389BAIP--hence why ZiPS have him hitting .225 in the latter half of the season.  Overall, Tatum has done a fine job backing up Wieters at the Catcher position, posting average defensive numbers to go along with silly offensive totals.
ZiPS for the second half:  .225/.278/.303 .581OPS 1HR 11RBI .262wOBA

Robert Andino
68G .263/.335/.316 .651OPS 1HR 7RBI .295wOBA 81wRC+ +0.2UZR
Overall 0.6fWAR

Andino has done a nice job filling in where necessary this year—even going on a tear enough to hit leadoff for a bit.  However, since his numbers have come crashing back down to earth, and it’s becoming evident that he will probably never reach what was once thought to be his potential.  In general, if a player is so devoid of power that his SLG is lower than his OPB, he better be a wizard with the glove or a terror on the base paths.  Andino is neither.
ZiPS for the second half:  .247/.296/.364 .660OPS 4HR 17RBI .293wOBA

Blake Davis
11G .259/.375/.333 .708OPS 0HR 2RBI .319wOBA 97wRC+ -0.7UZR
Overall 0.0fWAR

Davis wasn’t exactly knocking down the door to the bigs from Norfolk, but he was called up when Ryan Adams was optioned down.  He has been exactly replacement level in his 11 Games for Baltimore, and he is apparently not significant enough for ZiPS to have a second half projection for him.

J.J. Hardy
61G .278/.338/.498 .836OPS 13HR 33RBI .361wOBA 127wRC+ -2.1UZR
Overall 1.8fWAR

J.J. Hardy has been another one of those rare bright spots on this struggling team.  He seems to have, at least in the first half of 2011, returned to the form that made him one of the top-hitting Short Stops in the game with the Brewers in 2007 and 2008.  UZR+/- has him at -2.1 so far in 2011, which is a bit of a surprise given how solid his defense has looked.  It seems as if his future with the O’s is either extend him or trade him at this point.
ZiPS for the second half:  .269/.323/.443 .776OPS 8HR 26RBI .335wOBA

Derrek Lee
70G .235/.294/.372 .666OPS 9HR 28RBI .294wOBA 80wRC+ +3.2UZR
Overall 0.2fWAR

Lee has been sort of the anti-Mark Reynolds, being wonderful in the field and awful with the bat.  Not much to be said here.  He is old.  Something stupid about “veteran presence” could be added too.  He has been worth exactly $1M of that $7.25M contract so far.  Oops.  These projections for him are just way too optimistic.
ZiPS for the second half:  .260/.333/.430 .763OPS 9HR 34RBI .335wOBA

Mark Reynolds
87G .227/.346/.493 .839OPS 20HR 49RBI .366wOBA 130wRC+ -17.5UZR
Overall 0.7fWAR

Reynolds’s low BA is not as much of an issue as it might appear at first glance.  He is leading the O’s in OBP, OPS, HR, wOBA, and wRC+.  He is walking more (14.5%) than his career average (11.8%), and is striking out less (27.9%) than his career average (34.3%).  In fact, his 50 walks are good for 8th in the AL.  Now… if only he wasn’t such a disaster in the field.  His 20 errors lead the league, and his FLD% is a disgusting .894%.  His glove takes away almost all of the value created by his bat.
ZiPS for the second half:  .221/.326/.484 .810OPS 17HR 42RBI .353wOBA

Adam Jones
87G .285/.328/.457 .785OPS 13HR 49RBI .344wOBA 114wRC+ -10.1UZR
Overall 1.4fWAR

The Gold Glove Adam Jones won in 2009 is a joke… at least as far as UZR is concerned.  If you include 2011, he has now posted a negative UZR in three consecutive seasons, which for defensive metrics is pretty much enough to make the conclusion that you’re not just seeing small sample size.  Jones has put up decent numbers offensively in the first half, with a .344wOBA.  It’s nice to dream about the offensive force Jones could be if he just had better plate discipline.  Among qualified batters in the AL in 2011, the only player who swings at a higher percent of pitches out of the zone than Jones is…you guessed it:  Guerrero. 
ZiPS for the second half:  .284/.333/.455 .785OPS 10HR 38RBI .344wOBA

Nick Markakis
87G .292/.339/.379 .718OPS 7HR 36RBI .322wOBA 100wRC+ 0.0UZR
Overall 1.3fWAR

Nick Markakis is doing again what he has been doing now for the third year in row…being right about average with the bat.  It seems as if our Nicky is doomed to be perennially mediocre… which is fine; just not at the rate the Orioles are paying him.  Markakis had a .204AVG at the end of April, but bounced back hitting .287 in May and .351 in June.  Markakis is 5th in the AL in hits with 107.
ZiPS for the second half:  .289/.356/.425 .781OPS 7HR 35RBI .345wOBA

Luke Scott
63G .223/.305/.408 .713OPS 9HR 22RBI .313wOBA 93wRC+ -2.0UZR
Overall 0.1fWAR

For much of the season, Scott has either been out with injury or playing with injury.  Here’s hoping that his offensive numbers were just a result of playing hurt, and that he can get healthy as soon as possible.  Season-ending surgery might not be that horrible so long as he can come back healthy in 2012.
ZiPS for the second half:  .250/.335/.462 .797OPS 9HR 27RBI .346wOBA

Felix Pie
67G .223/.248/.273 .521OPS 0HR 5RBI .233wOBA 38wRC+ -5.3UZR
Overall -1.2fWAR

Felix Pie has just been downright awful in 67 games this season.  The fact that he keeps getting any playing time at all is an abomination.  If he had enough plate appearances to qualify, he would have the third worst fWAR total in the Major Leagues.
ZiPS for the second half:  .255/.299/.386 .685OPS 3HR 16RBI .301wOBA

Nolan Reimold
27G .257/.338/.443 .781OPS 4HR 12RBI .335wOBA 109wRC+ -0.6UZR
Overall 0.3fWAR

Nolan Reimold was freed from the Minors on May 20th, but through no doing of his own.  Reimold was posting an awful .237/.329/.410 slash line at AAA.  Since being up in the bigs, his slash line looks a tad healthier.  Really, the only difference between the numbers he was posting in 2009 and so far in 2011 is the difference of a .316BAIP (2009) versus a .275BAIP (2011).  I’ll be the first--but certainly not the last--to say:  GET THIS MAN SOME PLAYING TIME!!
ZiPS for the second half:  .253/.333/.418 .751OPS 7HR 23RBI .336wOBA

Vladimir Guerrero
83G .279/.331/.309 .716OPS 7HR 31RBI .309wOBA 91wRC+
Overall 0.0fWAR

At the All-Star break, former All-Star and future Hall of Famer, Guerrero is showing signs that he could very well be done.  After signing an $8M deal with the Orioles this offseason, he has been worth exactly $0 of that deal at the halfway mark.  Yes, Guerrero is playing at exactly replacement level, with his wRC+ being below average.  His .106ISO is the lowest he has ever posted in a full season.  The second lowest was 2010’s .196ISO.  A .106ISO puts Guerrero in the company of such feared sluggers as Yuniesky Bentancourt, Chase Headley, and Michael Bourn.
ZiPS for the second half:  .287/.322/.340 .662OPS 9HR 33RBI .340wOBA

Brian Roberts
39G .221/.273/.331 .604OPS 3HR 19RBI .276wOBA 68wRC+ -0.7UZR
Overall 0.2fWAR

Did Roberts really play 39 games so far this year?  I guess it really just seems like he hasn’t been on the team almost at all since 2009.  The bottom line for Roberts is that no one can really tell when or if he’ll be back in uniform, and even when he was “healthy” this season, he wasn’t good. 
ZiPS for the second half:  .263/.340/.403 .743OPS 4HR 18RBI .337wOBA

Ryan Adams
9G .217/.280/.217 .497OPS 0HR 1RBI .235wOBA 40wRC+ -1.9UZR
Overall -0.3fWAR

Adams got a short shot at filling in at Second Base after Roberts went down and Andino cooled off.  He didn’t do much with the bat, and considering he is an “all-bat-no-glove” prospect, that didn’t warrant him staying in the bigs. I am surprised, however that he didn’t get more of an extended look in the Majors given his pretty good line of .288/.353/.416 in AAA this season.

Jake Fox
19G .188/.250/.396 .646OPS 2HR 4RBI .284wOBA 73wRC+ -2.4FRAA
Overall -0.4fWAR

Fox hilariously led the entire world in HR in Spring Training this year, and then showed us who he really was once the regular season started, appearing in only 19 games before being jettisoned off to AAA Norfolk.  Fox is currently mashing and always has mashed MiL pitching—this season to the tune of .275/.326/.514.  Don’t expect to see him back in Baltimore any time soon—if ever.

Brandon Snyder
6G .231/.412/.308 .720OPS 0HR 1RBI .345wOBA 115wRC+
Overall -0.4fWAR

Maybe Snyder could do something with a real shot in the Majors, maybe not.  But the Orioles will never know if they never give him a real look.  However, his pedestrian numbers down in Norfolk (.271/.326/.431 .333wOBA 105wRC+) aren’t exactly making a case for him to get any kind of extended playing time in Baltimore.

With a current rotation of Guthrie, Arietta, Jakubauskas, Atkins, and Simon things aren’t looking very bright at all for the Orioles.  With Matsuz struggling down in Norfolk and Britton stashed away at Bowie, it is hard to really find much to be excited about as far as the starting rotation is concerned.

             The Orioles are currently 1-9 in July, and the road leading to August doesn’t get any easier than the road leading from June was.  In the coming weeks, the Orioles play serieses against the Indians, Red Sox, Angels, Blue Jays, and Yankees—all of whom have a combined winning percentage of .554%.  .554% is the exact winning percentage of the Texas Rangers—so for the rest of the month of July the Orioles’ schedule averages out to playing the Texas Rangers…over and over again every day.

             It’s hard to imagine things getting any better at this point.  However, last season at the All-Star break, the 2010 Orioles were sitting at 25-59 and they were somehow able to find a spark under new Manager Buck Showalter to go 41-37 in the second half of the season (34-23 under Showalter).  If last season is anything to go by, there might still be hope for something positive to come out of the latter half of 2011 for the Baltimore Orioles yet.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Programming Note


Some recent changes at work have added a lot of new responsibilities and a much larger work load on me right now. Since I worked on a lot of these posts during my lunch hour (which has become non-existent), my posts have become rare and, indeed, the short-term and possibly long-term future of Dempsey's Army is kind of in doubt.

I'm seeing a bit of light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully by mid-July I should be able to get things cranking again.

Thanks for your patience.