Twice the games, twice the meaninglessness!

The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: Boxscore

Split squad losses to the Astros and the Reds. Joseph Reyes (I am officially calling him this because “Jo-Jo” is a stupid name unless you are a five year old girl or a monkey) walked five men in two innings against the Stros but only allowed one run, largely because he also struck out four. Blaine Boyer pitched the next two innings, and is yet to allow a run this spring, but he’s definitely on my wait-and-see list.

Hey, a couple of points of interest from the Bill James Gold Mine, his new annual… Last year, Edgar Renteria was great defensively going towards second base (+18 runs) but terrible going towards third (-19). Looking back, that seems pretty accurate to me. Anybody got a different take?

All of Hudson’s wins last year (I should have noticed this) were in games in which he threw a quality start. He was 16-4 with five no-decisions when he had quality starts, 0-6 with three no-decisions when he didn’t.

And the Braves were 20-38 when they did not hit a home run. I don’t know what the standards are, but losing nearly two-thirds of the time seems extreme. The Braves have — I’ve noted in the past — a lot of trouble scoring runs when they don’t hit homers. Joe Simpson or Morgan would say that this is because they don’t steal bases and move runners along. I’d say that it’s because they’re weaker at OBP than SLG.

38 thoughts on “Twice the games, twice the meaninglessness!”

  1. I’d say that it’s because they’re weaker at OBP than SLG.


    Edgar Renteria was great defensively going towards second base (+18 runs) but terrible going towards third (-19). Looking back, that seems pretty accurate to me. Anybody got a different take?

    Agree with the summary. The number themselves seem a little extreme. For the way he hit the ball, he was a fine shortstop. We are going to miss him more than we think.

  2. As with all defensive stats, you have to wonder about context — i.e. did Renteria have a higher number of difficult plays to his right due to Chipper’s lack of lateral range?

  3. I mentioned the same thing about Renteria’s defense multiple times during the year. People loved to bitch about his range (or lack thereof), but by my eyes he was very good on balls hit up the middle. Conversely, he was simple putrid going to his right. Just did not have the range or the arm strength to make those plays. All in all, I think Yunel is a wash on defense.

  4. i didnt pay much attention to edgars defense until i started reading the complaints here. i noticed the same thing. ctually he was pretty good at backhanding balls hit to his right but he had trouble getting anything on his throws from the hole. of course, thats a VERY hard thing to do.

  5. but it’s been noted that he’s losing arm strength as he goes. that’s pretty normal for a SS his age.

  6. I was at “Joseph”‘s game today…his curve and slider were something else–he only threw them when absolutely necessary–but almost every single fastball was off the mark. He even fell down once trying to throw it.

    Escobar had some pretty good ABs. The highlight of the game would have to be Chipper, who, while caught in a rundown after a baserunning gaffe, tried to give the time out sign to the ump before finally getting tagged. The whole stadium laughed.

    Probably most disconcerting was the defense. Every infielder had or should’ve been charged with an error…maybe they just don’t care right now, but you’d think at least KJ and Yunel have something to prove out there.

  7. I’m not worried about Moss making the team. I won’t mind if he starts in AA or AAA though. I’m sure he’s out of options, but I would be surprised if anyone else wants him. Who knows, he may be good for one decent start for Atlanta this year, but that’s about all. In other words, I think he’ll be about as useful as Hampton, but he won’t cost $15 million.

  8. I dont think that one ST start can keep someone from getting knocked out of the question, but 5 BB in 2IP will get you on the outside looking in. JO JO Joseph needs a little time in AAA

  9. But Damian Moss has some sick sideburns man. Not as good as Kerry Ligtenberg’s, but still. Awesome

  10. lay off jo jo until he starts pulling down $15M a year for nothing. he got thrown in to things way before he should have. i dare say he has better stuff than most of us…with the exception of smitty who has been threatening for years.

  11. I call one of my cats Joe-Joe. :P

    I can’t say I recall any specifics about Renteria going to his right, but I’m not going to dispute it.

    I will agree with the OBP thing too, since it’s pretty obvious the Braves haven’t put any high-OBP people up in the leadoff spots frequently until this decade. Since Furcal left, it seems as if the Braves want to put people in the leadoff areas with little plate discipline. I say that because I get the impression that Cox doesn’t really want to put Kelly Johnson in the leadoff spot as of this moment.

  12. When the team has Frenchy and Andruw in the same lineup, the team is hopeless to have a respectable OBP. Nevertheless, I think the Braves have never stressed on OBP much. Taking walks have never been the strength of the team in the past decade.

  13. Does anyone here subscribe to Baseball America either print or online and if so, how is it?

  14. so i cant say a pitcher sucks because he doesn’t make 15 mil per year and throws better than i do?

  15. It’s interesting that Reyes fell down trying to make a pitch yesterday. I seem to remember him doing that a couple times last year, too. What’s going on with that?

  16. Hudson: 1.0IP, 2H 2R, 0ER, 0BB, 0SO

    E: Escobar (3, throw), Jones, C (3, fielding).

    The good defense continues!

  17. From DOB’s blog…

    The music is already going on the stadium P.A. system, and the song changes to Cameo’s “Word Up,” cranked at 8:10 a.m. on Sunday. Hampton is walking along and gives a little shoulder-shimmy of a dance for Eddie and Chino across the way.

    No reenactment will be forthcoming.

  18. I hope KJ starts hitting – I don’t want Bobby getting any ideas on moving Kotsay up to the #1 spot.

  19. Hudson’s line for the day:

    4 innings
    2 runs (both unearned)
    3 hits
    2 walks
    1 strikeout

    Feh. Could have done worse, I guess.

  20. Yeah, could have used a few more K’s, but 4 innings with no earned runs and a 1.25 WHIP at this point of Spring Training is pretty good, methinks.

    Going to the Braves/Phillies ST game this Friday. Skipping a class on “double absence” day to do it. Man I love my Braves.

  21. K’s are definitely nice, but I think Hudson tries to pitch to contact more now. As long as his stuff is down, it seems to work pretty well.

  22. I’d be happy if we could get Soriano/Moylan healthy. The thought of Yates pitching in the 8th/9th inning(especially the way Bobby over-used him last year) truly frightens me.

  23. Our bullpen will definitely look a lot less dominant without either of Moylan or Soriano.

    I changed my name. Hopefully that won’t remove myself as a top-10 poster. I’m putting that on my resume. Just kidding.

  24. Speak of the devil and Bobby uses Yates and he gets bombed! Please tell me this isn’t a Travis Smith sighting:(

  25. I doubt that Hudson is worrying about strikeouts in spring training anyway. You can’t read anything into performances by veterans because they aren’t trying to make the team. At most, you might look at the last week but certainly not this early. I would be concerned with low strikeout totals during the season, just as I was with Hampton (when he actually pitched years ago). Too many balls into play, especially ground balls) are going to translate into hits, especially with the Braves defense. I think pitching to contact is a myth, largely propagated by guys that can’t strike people out or managers/pitching coaches that don’t want to admit the pitcher isn’t that good. Does a pitcher go out there thinking, I want them to hit the ball? Isn’t he trying to get the hitter to miss the ball?

  26. Not always Marc. In fact, Smoltz has said alot recently that his is going to try to get hitters out this way. He doesn’t want to stress himself too much by always trying to strike hitters out (too many pitches and won’t get as deep into the game). It all depends really.

  27. And yes, in alot of ways I think Hudson could care less about whether he was to strike a guy out or have him hit a weak grounder to shortstop – that’s his true forte.

  28. I’m pretty sure Greg Maddux has also talked about pitching to induce certain kinds of contact. I seem to recall Leo mentioning Greg talking to him about it.

  29. You all have good points and I agree that a pitcher shouldn’t try to strike everyone out. That would put too much strain on the arm. But if you have good stuff, you should get a fair number of strikeouts and if you don’t, that’s a cause for concern. Once the ball goes into play, anything can happen. Smoltz and Maddux both strike out a significant number of hitters and so did Glavine in his prime. And I think strikeouts are even more important in the playoffs, especially against AL teams.

  30. There is no doubt that strikeouts are important, or that they are extremely useful in pressure situations. I wasn’t saying that they should never try to strike anyone out; I was just trying to point out that pitchers should, and do, utilize their strengths. Not everyone can be Pedro Martinez (in his prime).

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