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 Post subject: Mercer's D
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:33 pm 
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Seems Mercer is swinging the stick pretty well, but has anyone heard how he has been on defense?


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 Post subject: Re: Mercer's D
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:07 am 
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Dr. Phibes wrote:
Seems Mercer is swinging the stick pretty well, but has anyone heard how he has been on defense?


Heard nothing. Just hope it's better than last year. The Bucs win games with shifts and great defense, not an extra 40 points in average from the 8 hole.


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 Post subject: Re: Mercer's D
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:23 am 
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Exactly why Barmes was brought back. I want Mercer to succeed but if his defense lacks we'll see Barmes getting the majority of the starts from the 8 hole.


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 Post subject: Re: Mercer's D
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:52 pm 
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rellimie wrote:
Heard nothing. Just hope it's better than last year. The Bucs win games with shifts and great defense, not an extra 40 points in average from the 8 hole.


What one calls a non-factor 8-hole hitter, one can also call the guy who had the 4th best OPS on the Pirates last year. Doesn't matter where he hits in the line-up, he was one of the better offensive shortstops in the league. Not to mention I think his power will also assuredly improve next year as well. No question that he plays a defense-first position on a team where infield defense is vital. But let's not be dismissive of a 118 OPS+ like it's nothing or doesn't also "help win games". Of course, I also think his defense will be fine and most fans wouldn't actually have the perception that he's a poor fielder if it wasn't for one error as a rookie last year.


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 Post subject: Re: Mercer's D
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:24 pm 
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rellimie wrote:
Heard nothing. Just hope it's better than last year. The Bucs win games with shifts and great defense, not an extra 40 points in average from the 8 hole.

Except it was 75 points....


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 Post subject: Re: Mercer's D
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:51 pm 
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rellimie wrote:
Heard nothing. Just hope it's better than last year. The Bucs win games with shifts and great defense, not an extra 40 points in average from the 8 hole.

Oliver projects Mercer's defense for 2014 at 0.7 - above replacement level. Further, minor league defensive evaluations have shown Mercer's defense to be quite good some years.

His defense is not as bad as you seem to think.


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 Post subject: Re: Mercer's D
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:33 pm 
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The added offense, hopefully, from SS & RF will be welcome.


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 Post subject: Re: Mercer's D
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:54 pm 
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TheShark wrote:
rellimie wrote:
Heard nothing. Just hope it's better than last year. The Bucs win games with shifts and great defense, not an extra 40 points in average from the 8 hole.


What one calls a non-factor 8-hole hitter, one can also call the guy who had the 4th best OPS on the Pirates last year. Doesn't matter where he hits in the line-up, he was one of the better offensive shortstops in the league. Not to mention I think his power will also assuredly improve next year as well. No question that he plays a defense-first position on a team where infield defense is vital. But let's not be dismissive of a 118 OPS+ like it's nothing or doesn't also "help win games". Of course, I also think his defense will be fine and most fans wouldn't actually have the perception that he's a poor fielder if it wasn't for one error as a rookie last year.


247/297/357/654 against righties. Yeah, that's worth taking a hit in defense. Good thing he way over performed against lefties to skew the real numbers 410/460/692/1152


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 Post subject: Re: Mercer's D
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:01 pm 
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I'm more worried about the yips that he showed in late in the year. When you throw the ball into the stands on, arguably, the most important routine play of the season, that's cause for concern. And I have a vague notion that there were one or more other times late in the season that he let the team down defensively at critical moments, although I can't recall the specifics.


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 Post subject: Re: Mercer's D
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:56 pm 
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burghermeister wrote:
I can't recall the specifics.


Best if he doesn't either…. 8-) 8-)


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 Post subject: Re: Mercer's D
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:38 am 
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rellimie wrote:
247/297/357/654 against righties. Yeah, that's worth taking a hit in defense. Good thing he way over performed against lefties to skew the real numbers 410/460/692/1152


Even that OPS against RHP is about 100 points higher than Barmes's final statline, so yes if Mercer can provide league average defense (and I think that's completely realistic) then I do think it's worth the replacement. I have no problem with Barmes and the emphasis on infield defense, but now is the time to see what you have with Mercer over a full season. Otherwise, what is the plan, riding out another cheap one-year Barmes deal at age 37? He's not a long term answer, Hanson is years away, d'Arnaud is no longer a prospect, and it's pretty clear with the playtime Mercer was allotted last year that even Hurdle finally decided that Barmes's bat falling into historical levels of irrelevance and aging, he's no longer a regular.

Give Mercer more than half a season as a rookie before you completely write off his defense.


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 Post subject: Re: Mercer's D
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:01 am 
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.654 right on right out of a rookie shortstop in a pitcher's park? Not bad at all.

I think Mercer is capable on both sides of the ball and will be a real asset to the club.


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 Post subject: Re: Mercer's D
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:50 am 
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rellimie wrote:
TheShark wrote:
rellimie wrote:
Heard nothing. Just hope it's better than last year. The Bucs win games with shifts and great defense, not an extra 40 points in average from the 8 hole.


What one calls a non-factor 8-hole hitter, one can also call the guy who had the 4th best OPS on the Pirates last year. Doesn't matter where he hits in the line-up, he was one of the better offensive shortstops in the league. Not to mention I think his power will also assuredly improve next year as well. No question that he plays a defense-first position on a team where infield defense is vital. But let's not be dismissive of a 118 OPS+ like it's nothing or doesn't also "help win games". Of course, I also think his defense will be fine and most fans wouldn't actually have the perception that he's a poor fielder if it wasn't for one error as a rookie last year.


247/297/357/654 against righties. Yeah, that's worth taking a hit in defense. Good thing he way over performed against lefties to skew the real numbers 410/460/692/1152



EXACTLY. Everyone knows that hits against lefties don't count in MLB games. Only righties, against whom Clint Barmes hit .216, count in the Show.

I don't get why people continue to disparage Mercer and prop up Barmes.

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 Post subject: Re: Mercer's D
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:52 pm 
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I don't see the "disparage" part, just a question if his offense can offset the loss of defensive ability (compared to Barmes). That is wholly legit given the guy ceiling was originally viewed as utility infielder.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: Mercer's D
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:40 pm 
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Hasn't the report always been that Mercer is about average on defense? While last year's UZR numbers are insignificant he was still in the average to below average range.


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 Post subject: Re: Mercer's D
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:58 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
I don't see the "disparage" part, just a question if his offense can offset the loss of defensive ability (compared to Barmes). That is wholly legit given the guy ceiling was originally viewed as utility infielder.

ZM



"Mr. Backup QB" Mercer, in my opinion, has received an inordinate amount of weird message board disrespect - for Clint Barmes, who everybody wanted to basically cut before Mercer showed up. "BARMES YOU SUCK! HARMLESS BARMES! Oh no, they're going to replace Barmes????"

Mercer melted down to the tune of 3 errors last September, while Icewater Barmes only made 3 errors that month. If Mercer doesn't improve at all, which I'm assuming he will and the original post in this thread seems to imply the same, I think his bat is worth the step-down in defense. If it weren't, some other team would have jumped all over FA Barmes.

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 Post subject: Re: Mercer's D
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:22 pm 
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TheShark wrote:
rellimie wrote:
247/297/357/654 against righties. Yeah, that's worth taking a hit in defense. Good thing he way over performed against lefties to skew the real numbers 410/460/692/1152


Even that OPS against RHP is about 100 points higher than Barmes's final statline, so yes if Mercer can provide league average defense (and I think that's completely realistic) then I do think it's worth the replacement. I have no problem with Barmes and the emphasis on infield defense, but now is the time to see what you have with Mercer over a full season. Otherwise, what is the plan, riding out another cheap one-year Barmes deal at age 37? He's not a long term answer, Hanson is years away, d'Arnaud is no longer a prospect, and it's pretty clear with the playtime Mercer was allotted last year that even Hurdle finally decided that Barmes's bat falling into historical levels of irrelevance and aging, he's no longer a regular.

Give Mercer more than half a season as a rookie before you completely write off his defense.


I'm not saying start Barmes over Mercer. I hope he succeeds, I just think we have all seen this so many times with players like Mercer, good half season then back to earth when giving a full year. His numbers against righties are about what I expect. I do not expect his numbers against lefties to stay at that level though.

At that point, then his offense does not counter his average to possibly below average defense (he doesn't have the range Barmes has) which means we are right back to SS being a huge need as it has been for years.


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 Post subject: Re: Mercer's D
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:24 pm 
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SUPERCHARGED APE wrote:
EXACTLY. Everyone knows that hits against lefties don't count in MLB games. Only righties, against whom Clint Barmes hit .216, count in the Show.

I don't get why people continue to disparage Mercer and prop up Barmes.


My comments are valid.

1. 75% of the hitters he will face will be righties.
2. Do you really expect his numbers against lefties to stay like that for an entire season?

I like the guy, and for the Pirates sake I hope he succeeds....I am just being realistic.


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 Post subject: Re: Mercer's D
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:26 pm 
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rellimie wrote:
My comments are valid.

1. 75% of the pitchers he will face will be righties.

True.

rellimie wrote:
2. Do you really expect his numbers against lefties to stay like that for an entire season?

Probably not.

But you presume that his hitting vs. right-handers does not improve significantly. The minor league numbers show that Mercer can hit righties. He has not struggled vs. right-handers.

Further, one regular contributor on another site (*cough*BD) points out that right-handed hitters almost invariably regress and wind up hitting righty pitchers to nearly league average.

This topic has been the subject of some amazingly informative discussions/debates. Basically, the data show that righty hitters who struggle one year tend to hit righty pitchers much better the next - unlike their lefty compatriots vs. left-handed pitchers.


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 Post subject: Re: Mercer's D
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:33 am 
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I think we can all agree, Mercer may or may not turn out to be a solid major league shortstop.

He has earned his chance and he is getting it.


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