Joseph's Rangers thoughts: The Orioles series (8/23)

Joseph's Rangers thoughts: The Orioles series (8/23)

Credit: Getty Images

'Anything you can do I can... closely approximate, with more pure joy and head-rubbing!' (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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by JOSEPH URSERY

WFAA Sports Blogger

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 1:59 PM

  • More and more, I'm sad this team didn't find a way to sign Adrian Beltre in 2005 or 2010. I can't readily think of a player that is so joyful to watch and so productive at the same time.
     
  • Scott Feldman seems to have a problem. Once batters have seen him, they start hitting him. A lot. And a lot -- hard. Baseball-reference.com allows you to sort a pitcher's statistics on hitters not having seen him in a game, having seen him once, having seen him twice, and three or more times. When hitters are seeing Feldman (as a starter) the first time, he does pretty ok -- he has an OPS against of 712 (pretty good) and allows a BABiP of 280 (which is pretty average, which is pretty good). 

    On seeing him a second time, his numbers compare pretty fairly- 736 OPS against (not great, but pretty ok), and that increase is largely fueled by more walks (his K/BB ratio drops from 2.21 on the first time through the order to 1.4 the second) and singles, as the SLG against for him is pretty static- 397 on 1st visit, 398 on second.

    Then, on the third time through the order... nightmares. His OPS against jumps to 889, and his BABiP jumps up to 334 -- a sign that teams are hitting the ball with much more authority. This season, his OPS against on the third time through the order is 921 (that's bad), his K/BB drops to 1.86 (not good), and his tOPS+ goes up to 152 (that hurts to type). To give you an idea of how bad a 152 tOPS+ is, you can scale tOPS+ to regular ole' OPS+ and match it to a batter. Some names that held career OPS+'s around 152? Manny Ramirez, Honus Wagner, and Miguel Cabrera. Turning every batter you see into Honus Wagner is not good.

    The issue with stat usage like this is it draws a small sample, and small samples sink ships- probably. But, when a short-sample stat is all you have to draw on, and when it corresponds so closely to the eye test and general scouting reports, there's some value to it.
     
  • Nick Swisher- who I think is a likely target for the Rangers in this winter's free agency- said this week he was looking for a 'Jayson Werth-type' deal. Which, for those less numerically-obsessed than myself, was a 7-year deal for 126 million dollars. 

    Good luck with all that. It only takes one team to offer it, but... half that deal is pretty close to an overpay for Swisher. And I really, really like Nick Swisher.
     
  • Ken Rosenthal proposed a winter trade this week, and it's one that we should all have complicated feelings about: Elvis, Martin Perez, and Cody Buckel for David Price.  Tampa's motivation, in his hypothetical, was getting early and maximum value for Price, who would have three team-controlled seasons left (with arbitration raises- and likely heft arbitration raises- coming). The motivation for Texas is simple, too -- David Price is as Ace as Ace gets.

    Tampa would realize some savings in accepting Andrus for Price -- the 11.25 million dollars he's owed for 2013-14 is probably in the same neighborhood as what Price will command in 2013 alone. 

    The complexity of this deal (or a similar deal, with different peripherals surrounding the principle characters) for Texas really comes in the value the team places on Jurickson Profar over Andrus, and whether Andrus would be approachable about a long-term deal before the expiration of his current, arb-avoidance deal.

    There's no clear right answer for what the team should do with Andrus and Profar, but getting three guaranteed years of David Price for the cost of subbing Profar in for Andrus next season is about as palatable as the options get.
     
  • Ryan Dempster credited having his slider back for his strong performance Monday against the Orioles. Pitch F/X from Fangraphs agrees with him; it shows far tighter range of movement on that pitch in that outing versus his others. Him having that pitch -- or, maybe more accurately, having confidence in that pitch -- will largely determine his success the rest of the season. When working, his slider is fairly debilitating to hitters -- they have squared it up for line drives for only 16.2% of contact made against it, swinging at it outside of the zone 66% of the time. 
     
  • The Orioles only have five former Rangers on their current 25 man roster. This came as a surprise to me, as I was pretty sure they had at least 38.
 
Like Nick Swisher, Joseph Ursery asked WFAA for $126 million dollars. The request is still pending. You can follow him on twitter via @thejoeursery to find out if he gets it or not.

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