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 Post subject: First base thoughts
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:54 pm 
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Question: What is the best season turned in by a full time Pirate first baseman since Jason Thompson hit .284 with 31 HRs, 101 RBIs, while achieving a .902 OPS?

Answer: Adam LaRoche's 2008 campaign, when he hit .270 with 25 HRs and 85 RBIs, a .341 OBP and .841 OPS. And no one else has ever been close, other than his own 2007 season, and Garrett Jones's 2012 season, which he split equally between RF and 1B.

Analysis- the Pirates as an organization have just not been getting offensive production from a position where it is vitally necessary.

And once again this year, we getting little production from that position. Some people favor Ike over Pedro because of one number- OPS. His is quite a bit higher than Pedro's due to his penchant for drawing walks, although he does little else. I think Davis should be the poster child for the inaccuracy of that stat. How many times has he come up in an RBI situation this year, only to draw a walk, put another runner on, and pass the baton on to the next hitter? I think he needs to be more aggressive, especially early in the count. He actually did a nice job last night in a key situation working the count, getting a pitch to hit, and lining it...right to the shortstop. Not his fault- but it has been the exception.


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 Post subject: Re: First base thoughts
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:55 pm 
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I mean, if a high OPS is what you want, then go out and get Chris Carter from the Astros for first base. His is .818. But I don't want to hear people complain about the 129 strikeouts that come along with him.


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 Post subject: Re: First base thoughts
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:01 pm 
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doug frobel wrote:
I mean, if a high OPS is what you want, then go out and get Chris Carter from the Astros for first base. His is .818. But I don't want to hear people complain about the 129 strikeouts that come along with him.


Chris Carter roughly translated to Spanish is 'Pedro Alvarez'.

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 Post subject: Re: First base thoughts
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:06 pm 
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Didn't Kevin Young have one lone good season in black and gold? 100+ RBI's.

*looking it up*

1999: 103 R, 26 HR, 106 RBI, .298/.387/.522/.909 OPS (5.6 WAR!).

His run from 97-99 was solid on the whole (.861 OPS/9.7 WAR). Then he hit that magic Bill James 'past his prime' age of 31 and it was all downhill.

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Last edited by NSMaster56 on Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: First base thoughts
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:38 pm 
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Oh, yes. I stand corrected. :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: First base thoughts
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:22 pm 
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OPS is completely overrated for a middle of lineup hitter. All that matters is RBIs. Yes "old" stats.. sorry. Look at Adam Laroche the other night. He was sitting on a "dead red" fastball middle in. He got it and hit it out. The pitch was even in off the plate a little bit. Ike Davis takes that pitch and maybe draws a walk.... who cares. That's the difference between LaRoche and Ike. Big difference.


Last edited by urbman21 on Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: First base thoughts
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:30 pm 
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urbman21 wrote:
OPS is completed overrated for a middle of lineup hitter. All that matters is RBIs. Yes "old" stats.. sorry. Look at Adam Laroche the other night. He was sitting on a "dead red" fastball middle in. He got it and hit it out. The pitch was even in off the plate a little bit. Ike Davis takes that pitch and maybe draws a walk.... who cares. That's the difference between LaRoche and Ike. Big difference.


I agree completely.


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 Post subject: Re: First base thoughts
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:26 pm 
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doug frobel wrote:
Question: What is the best season turned in by a full time Pirate first baseman since Jason Thompson hit .284 with 31 HRs, 101 RBIs, while achieving a .902 OPS?

Answer: Adam LaRoche's 2008 campaign, when he hit .270 with 25 HRs and 85 RBIs, a .341 OBP and .841 OPS. And no one else has ever been close, other than his own 2007 season, and Garrett Jones's 2012 season, which he split equally between RF and 1B.

Analysis- the Pirates as an organization have just not been getting offensive production from a position where it is vitally necessary.

And once again this year, we getting little production from that position. Some people favor Ike over Pedro because of one number- OPS. His is quite a bit higher than Pedro's due to his penchant for drawing walks, although he does little else. I think Davis should be the poster child for the inaccuracy of that stat. How many times has he come up in an RBI situation this year, only to draw a walk, put another runner on, and pass the baton on to the next hitter? I think he needs to be more aggressive, especially early in the count. He actually did a nice job last night in a key situation working the count, getting a pitch to hit, and lining it...right to the shortstop. Not his fault- but it has been the exception.

The most important thing a hitter can do is avoid making an out. Hitters with high OBP are accomplishing the most important thing a hitter can do. Outs are gold, you only get 27 of them.

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 Post subject: Re: First base thoughts
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:19 pm 
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You think of outs as gold. One hoards gold. It does nothing except sit and appreciate.

No, I posit a much better way to think of this is chess, and outs are the pawns. Pawns can be and are sacrificed for strategic gain.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: First base thoughts
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:28 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
You think of outs as gold. One hoards gold. It does nothing except sit and appreciate.

No, I posit a much better way to think of this is chess, and outs are the pawns. Pawns can be and are sacrificed for strategic gain.

ZM


Good analogy.

I propose the Pirates sacrifice Martinez, Morel and Nix. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: First base thoughts
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:34 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
You think of outs as gold. One hoards gold. It does nothing except sit and appreciate.

No, I posit a much better way to think of this is chess, and outs are the pawns. Pawns can be and are sacrificed for strategic gain.

ZM

I don't want to get into the whole bunting issue, but that really doesn't change my point. In almost every situation, making an out reduces your chances of winning. Getting on base, however you do it, ALWAYS increases your chances of winning. Between those two facts, it's obvious that OBP is the most important offensive statistic.

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 Post subject: Re: First base thoughts
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:39 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
I don't want to get into the whole bunting issue, but that really doesn't change my point. In almost every situation, making an out reduces your chances of winning. Getting on base, however you do it, ALWAYS increases your chances of winning. Between those two facts, it's obvious that OBP is the most important offensive statistic.


If hoarding bases is your goal.

If your goal is to score runs, or maybe just to score one more run than the other guy, then a pawn or two can be sacrificed for that gain. Because even the best base-hoarders fail 6 of 10 times.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: First base thoughts
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:45 pm 
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Second and third one out, the hitter needs to be trying to hit the ball to the outfield. Yet Davis is ALWAYS looking for the walk. Yeah it makes his OPS look reasonable, but I'd much rather see him hacking in that situation.


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 Post subject: Re: First base thoughts
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:50 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
sisyphus wrote:
I don't want to get into the whole bunting issue, but that really doesn't change my point. In almost every situation, making an out reduces your chances of winning. Getting on base, however you do it, ALWAYS increases your chances of winning. Between those two facts, it's obvious that OBP is the most important offensive statistic.


If hoarding bases is your goal.

If your goal is to score runs, or maybe just to score one more run than the other guy, then a pawn or two can be sacrificed for that gain. Because even the best base-hoarders fail 6 of 10 times.

ZM

Scoring runs is my goal, but I think you're missing something here. You can't sacrifice an out without somebody getting on base first. The value of moving a guy up one base (aside from home plate, of course), is far outweighed by the value of getting on base in the first place. As you said, even the best only succeed 40% of the time.

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 Post subject: Re: First base thoughts
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:52 pm 
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Ralphie wrote:
Second and third one out, the hitter needs to be trying to hit the ball to the outfield. Yet Davis is ALWAYS looking for the walk. Yeah it makes his OPS look reasonable, but I'd much rather see him hacking in that situation.

Davis never looks for walks. He looks for strikes that he can hit. If he doesn't get one, then he takes the walk instead of chasing after a pitch in a location that is probably going to end up producing an out.

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 Post subject: Re: First base thoughts
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:15 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
Ralphie wrote:
Second and third one out, the hitter needs to be trying to hit the ball to the outfield. Yet Davis is ALWAYS looking for the walk. Yeah it makes his OPS look reasonable, but I'd much rather see him hacking in that situation.

Davis never looks for walks. He looks for strikes that he can hit. If he doesn't get one, then he takes the walk instead of chasing after a pitch in a location that is probably going to end up producing an out.

You continue to be wrong about this. If he can't handle fastballs over the heart of the plate then he better go home. He takes far too many GOOD pitches. I think he has slipped in to that phase of hoping to draw a walk. Can't prove it, but it sure looks that way. He also said on an IPB episode that a walk is as good as a hit. Nobody wants him to swing at bad pitches, but he needs to start taking hacks at the good ones.


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 Post subject: Re: First base thoughts
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:07 am 
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PirateParrot wrote:
sisyphus wrote:
Ralphie wrote:
Second and third one out, the hitter needs to be trying to hit the ball to the outfield. Yet Davis is ALWAYS looking for the walk. Yeah it makes his OPS look reasonable, but I'd much rather see him hacking in that situation.

Davis never looks for walks. He looks for strikes that he can hit. If he doesn't get one, then he takes the walk instead of chasing after a pitch in a location that is probably going to end up producing an out.

You continue to be wrong about this. If he can't handle fastballs over the heart of the plate then he better go home. He takes far too many GOOD pitches. I think he has slipped in to that phase of hoping to draw a walk. Can't prove it, but it sure looks that way. He also said on an IPB episode that a walk is as good as a hit. Nobody wants him to swing at bad pitches, but he needs to start taking hacks at the good ones.

No, I continue to be right about it. Maybe it does look that way to you, but as you say, there is no evidence you can give to support your argument.

I don't know about you, but I've been hearing, "A walk is as good as a hit" since I was in Little League. It happens to be true in most situations. That's why people say it. If you come up with an instance of Davis saying that about getting a walk with a man on third and less than two outs in the ninth inning of a tie game, I'll agree with you. But he's not talking about any specific situation, he's clearly speaking generally.

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 Post subject: Re: First base thoughts
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:29 am 
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sisyphus wrote:
No, I continue to be right about it. Maybe it does look that way to you, but as you say, there is no evidence you can give to support your argument.

I don't know about you, but I've been hearing, "A walk is as good as a hit" since I was in Little League. It happens to be true in most situations. That's why people say it. If you come up with an instance of Davis saying that about getting a walk with a man on third and less than two outs in the ninth inning of a tie game, I'll agree with you. But he's not talking about any specific situation, he's clearly speaking generally.


Never has a cliche been more over used and and more wrong. And you'll never hear a good coach utter that. That is the kind of stuff Little League dads with no real baseball chops say. A walk is as good as a single, and only if the bases are empty. However, I do agree with you that OBP is the most important offensive stat. But I don't want middle of the order hitters forgoing opportunities to drive the ball to take walks. Not that I think Ike does that. I think Ike is as painfully aware of the holes in his swing as we are.


Last edited by mjdouble on Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: First base thoughts
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:49 am 
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sisyphus wrote:
No, I continue to be right about it. Maybe it does look that way to you, but as you say, there is no evidence you can give to support your argument.

I don't know about you, but I've been hearing, "A walk is as good as a hit" since I was in Little League. It happens to be true in most situations. That's why people say it. If you come up with an instance of Davis saying that about getting a walk with a man on third and less than two outs in the ninth inning of a tie game, I'll agree with you. But he's not talking about any specific situation, he's clearly speaking generally.

I don't know that that is true.

You say that outs are the gold standard, but I think runs are the gold standard, if we're going to value outcomes. Obviously, walks are a means to that end and avoiding outs is paramount. And as you say, there are but 27 of them. But unless first base is occupied, a common enough occurrence, I grant you, no runners advance. No one gets extra bases, no pressure is exerted on the defense, no errors forced.

Now, I have no idea whether batters go up and "look for walks" as some here have asserted that Davis does. But players can, and do, successfully hit pitches outside the strike zone, and maybe we're just looking for a greater aggressiveness from the guy who's batted most of this season at cleanup or 6th.

However, thanks to your assertion, I have learned something today. I was going to say that I didn't think that OBP is the most important stat for looking at a team's success. The Pirates are first in the NL in OBP, yet possess only the 7th best record. Which, you already know is more attributable to the pitching. Only four NL teams have given up more runs, while our high-OBP lineup is second in runs scored. So, thanks for that. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: First base thoughts
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:02 am 
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I also heard, "Keep your elbow up" and "Swing level" in Little League, and neither of those posits are true, either. The fact remains, Ike Davis takes far too many fastballs right over the heart of the plate. It just seems like he's not ready to hit the fastball. And in his role on the team, you have to be. If Marte had that same approach, you wouldn't hear one word of complaint from me. He can run.


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