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Saturday, August 04, 2007

"This Much Daily Hysteria"

Why: This team looks lost. The series against the depleted Tigers notwithstanding, they haven't looked good against much of anybody in a while. At the rate they're going, all the bluster trying to dispel references to 1995 won't change the fact that they're playing like a club that's going to be watching October baseball on TV.

Update: Adjusted Kotchman's at-bat list to make it chronological by game to emphasize when he appeared rather than who he appeared against.

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Comments:
One bad night from Shields and now "This team looks lost." Damn, you're fragile.

I'll remind you that Vlad just hit four HRs in two days, and we've finally replaced crap on a stick with at least one back-of-the-rotation pitcher that can win games, and a fifth no worse than the dark magic that preceded him.

I bet if we just lost the game outright you wouldn't be ascending into these Bjork-like hysterics. Look, it was a disappointing loss, but only because of the surprise of Vlad's second longball. I'm a diabetic too. I know how these moods go. Can I suggest some lean red meat and spinach?
 
I didn't take the Tigers series very seriously. It didn't deserve to be, considering how beat up they were by the time the Angels got to them. The Angels haven't played any better than a .500 team in over a month now. That just has to stop.
 
Ervin Santana turned into a AAAA pitcher at exactly the wrong time.

Totally true. Meanwhile, defying your predictable pessimism, Santana was sent down, and Saunders has been great, meaning we are now better as a result.

Bartolo Colon gave his last full measure.

And now we're better because he's gone.

making the platoon with Robb Quinlan (.259/.304/.400) of dubious value.

Only if A) you believe Casey's 50 PAs this year against lefties is more indicative than Robb's 400+ for his career, B) are content to have a 1Bman on a powerless team with a .087 ISO while a .141 ISO sits, and C) think bench players should rot.

The usual problems with the bullpen

Scot Shields pitching bad is the "usual problems with the bullpen"? That's literally insane.

Rob, you don't take *any* positive Angels news seriously. Which makes it hard to take your analysis seriously, except as entertainment. Let's hear more about how Vladdy's "just old," and Napoli can't hit major league pitching, and Lackey's hurt, and Jered's just like Jeff, and Shields is terrible, and Saunders has an awful FB/GB ratio in AAA, and god knows what else.

I'll repeat it again -- any time you want to lay down cold hard cash, Angels vs. Mariners, 2007, I'll happily back up a truck to my bank account.
 
i'll basically second what Andrew says:

paraphrasing:

1. "Vlad wasn't right" last Sunday - and now?

2. Shields was nails for 2-3 months - then a bad outing, which basically was a bit of a freak as it was with two out and a Quinlan flub was a chief contributor.

3. "And 2 dubious starters?" - haven't the Angel won something like 16 of 21 when Mighty Joe Young started? Is he one of dubious starters?

4. and no matter what, Santana's back up Aug 31st.

i appreciate your critical analytical even skeptical look - but today's "Daily hysteria" tag is appropriately titled.

as for me, the club's in first and still the best of the division and one of the top 4 in the league - i'm pretty sure i'm be at the Big A in mid October, along with Ervin, Vlad's 30+-hr season, and Shields with a sub 3.00 ERA.
 
Let's see: true about Saunders, the jury's out on Moseley, unless sample size arguments only apply to arguments you make. Vlad's slumps keep getting longer as he ages -- is this some kind of a surprise? As to Quinlan, of course you can't let him rot on the bench. But were there ever any indications that Kotchman couldn't hit lefties in the minors? I don't think so, or if there were, I don't recall reading them... are you arguing that his recent hot streak against lefties (actually better than his numbers against righties for reasons discussed above) is an illusion? If so, why (aside from the sample size issue)?

As to the bullpen, by the way: the Angels have the 9th worst bullpen ERA in the league... Shields has generally done his job, but his reliability is suspect -- or did you miss his 3.00 ERA?

Christ, Matt, they're not even beating the sub-.500 teams.
 
the jury's out on Moseley, unless sample size arguments only apply to arguments you make.

Nice try. Really. But I've never said anything particularly positive about Moseley. It's that just about *any* lump of flesh will be better than what Colon pitched like after April.

Vlad's slumps keep getting longer as he ages -- is this some kind of a surprise?

I'll be happy to see your supporting data. Meanwhile, Vladdy's OPS+ -- just after this terrible "slump" you refer to -- is 158, which would be the third-best of his career and best since 2002. Old old old!

But were there ever any indications that Kotchman couldn't hit lefties in the minors? I don't think so, or if there were, I don't recall reading them... are you arguing that his recent hot streak against lefties (actually better than his numbers against righties for reasons discussed above) is an illusion? If so, why (aside from the sample size issue)?

Your game of move-the-goalposts and same-to-you-but-more-of-it really is charming. However.

Quinlan mashes lefties for his career much better than we have any expectation that Kotchman will at this stage of his career. If I was Scioscia, I'd let Casey hit against everyone when he's smokin' hot, then platoon with Q when he cools off, and find spots for Q against lefties elsewhere.

As for Shields' "suspect" reliability, I'm pretty confident 90% of baseball would love to exchange the "reliability" of their set-up man for Shields'. A 3.00 ERA -- which, of course, he has after the worst game of his season -- is not bad at all.

Christ, Matt, they're not even beating the sub-.500 teams.

Baseball is a game of failure. We have the second-best record in baseball, four good starters, and Napoli & Kendrick coming back.
 
Your game of move-the-goalposts and same-to-you-but-more-of-it really is charming.

It must hurt when you get called on your doublethink.
 
You have never, to my knowledge, called me successfully on double-think. I've got all day for your examples.

And I'm more than happy to admit when I'm wrong, instead of forever changing the subject then whining about being called names. When the point of the discussion is truth, then truth can never hurt.
 
Shields has generally done his job, but his reliability is suspect -- or did you miss his 3.00 ERA?

I'm not going to call you names, Rob, but that's a tad opportunistic, given Shields had an ERA of 2.24 coming into yesterday's game. No thinking man is going to assess Shields' reliability on his ERA, so give your (brighter than average) loyal audience here the benefit of honest argumentation, lest this become some teen scream pissing coliseum a la the MLB forums. Any metric that can swing 33% in the course of a single appearance ain't terribly descriptive.

Scot Shields ranks first in the AL in holds, and he's on pace for the most in any season for him thusfar. His WHIP and BAA are below career norms, and in 50 appearances this season, he's not given up ERs in 42 of them.

While reading us the obituaries, at least throw in the headlines as well. Gracias.
 
You have never, to my knowledge, called me successfully on double-think. I've got all day for your examples.

Implying that Kotchman can't hit lefties, for one.
 
Go ahead and quote me that implication. I'll wait.
 
Since that's all you've got, let's do a chronology, shall we?

1) You say that the Quinlan platoon is of "dubious value" because of this year's sample size of their performance against lefties.

2) I point out that this can only be "dubious" if you value Casey's 50 PAs this year over Robb's 400+ over his career -- which have produced a .310/.352/.510 line -- and then point out that even within your favorable-to-Casey sample size, Quinlan has much more isolated power, a commodity this team needs in spades.

3) You ask me whether I am "arguing" that Kotchman's "recent hot streak against lefties" is "an illusion," and "if so, why (aside from the sample size issue)?"

4) I decline your efforts to move the goalposts -- i.e., changing the parameters of what we were talking about -- and instead reinforce my point, which is "Quinlan mashes lefties for his career much better than we have any expectation that Kotchman will at this stage of his career."

5) You accuse me, falsely, and as your only evidence of my purported "double-think," of "Implying that Kotchman can't hit lefties."

Seriously, Rob, read that chronology slowly, then ask yourself why the very same people who enjoy your website are genuinely puzzled by your behavior.
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
Whatever, Matt. Hoo-ray, you win. Me, I'd rather see what a young player with more upside who's shown signs of figuring out how to hit lefties get more opportunities to do so. As for Quinlan, he's 30 and hitting .252, with an sOPS+ of 77 against lefties. Meantime, Kotchman has a 117 sOPS+ against lefties this year. Time's running out on the platoon argument, especially with the defensive bonus you get with Casey at first.
 
Me, I'd rather see what a young player with more upside who's shown signs of figuring out how to hit lefties get more opportunities to do so.

See how easy it is to make an utterly valid point without making shit up about people and acting like an ass?
 
Kotchman has exactly 114 plate appearances against lefties in his career. He's barely had an opportunity in the majors to show that he can or can't hit lefties.
 
Quinlan's had exactly 433 plate appearances against lefties in his career. He's had ample opportunity in the majors to show that he can beat lefties like a gong. Unless you think that he fell off the cliff at age 30, based on 93 PAs.
 
He may or may not have fallen off a cliff; he's been up and down over a full season, as you'd expect a bench player with a relatively large role to be. That's immaterial to my larger point that Kotchman's the better deal here, or likely to be if given the chance. Q's better ISO isn't much help if, as seems to be the case this year, he's not hitting for enough average to make a difference. Finally, I brought up Kotchman's 117 PA because it goes directly to your assertion that he can or can't hit left-handed pitching; the real answer is that we just don't know. While I realize that trumps some of my argument, too, at the same time Kotchman's upside is a powerful draw.

Honestly, what I suspect happens is that the Angels take some middle ground, giving Kotch more chances against lefties, but continuing to leave Quinlan in for most circumstances. They very well might let him go at the end of the season depending on what Kotchman shows himself capable of doing, unless they're still thinking about using McPherson at third base. The Angels have better, younger options in the outfield, and they're probably thinking about Aybar as the team's backup to Izturis in the infield though his bat leaves a lot to be desired, no matter the handedness of the pitcher.
 

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