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 Post subject: Re: Hypothetical
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:23 pm 
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Overreaction of the thread goes to Substitute2...did you even read what I wrote? I fully realize that there are prospects the Pirates got that haven't played yet. THAT'S WHY I SAID IT'S TOO EARLY TO COMMENT ON THE QUALITY OF THE TRADES.

jaybee24 wrote:
It's still too early to decide whether the Pirates got the raw end of the deal in either trade...


See that?

Also, regarding your suggestion to "stop crying and be a Pirate fan," it is actually possible to be a fan of a team and not agree with every move the management makes. It's called "thinking critically."

Willton, sorry man, still have that nagging feeling. I understand that the Pirates did not contend last year with Bay and Nady, but that was last year. That doesn't automatically mean the team was doomed to repeat the same poor performance this year. I'm speaking specifically about the starting pitching, which was absolutely awful in 2008. So far this year it's been stellar. That's a significant difference.

And yes, we wouldn't have Ohlendorf or Karstens as our 4/5 guys, but those guys have respective ERA+ of 90 and 65. The latter is worse than replacement level -- BP shows Karstens's pitching VORP to be negative. So we wouldn't be losing a whole lot by throwing in random minor leaguers for them so far this year. And that goes doubly for little LaRoche, whose VORP is now just embarrassingly negative instead of horrifyingly negative due to his performance over the past two days.

I partially agree with Henry Clay regarding Bay. However, I don't miss him because of his leadership, I miss him because he is destroying the ball this year, and he'd have faced much weaker pitching were he still on the Pirates. I also don't suspect the trade was a salary dump. (Aside: It absolutely kills me that most people are subscribing to this black and white view of the trade...people either scream "IT WAS A DUMP!" or "IT WAS A GREAT TRADE!" It's possible that it was neither. It might just have been a bad trade. We'll know a lot more either way by season's end -- not so with Nady's trade, since Tabata won't be used meaningfully for at least two more years.)

Also, for everyone talking about the future, I am only wondering about this year. I recognize that keeping Bay might have been good in the short term but harmful in the long term. But for this season, you cannot dismiss out of hand the chance of a playoff run with two stud starting pitchers (Maholm and Duke, of course assuming that their performance continues) and an absoluter masher (Bay). Milwaukee made the playoffs last year with about as much.

Before anyone responds, and let me put this in caps so no one misses it, I UNDERSTAND IT'S EARLY IN THE SEASON and that these trends might not continue...I'm referring specifically to stellar performances from guys we already had last year and sub-replacement level performance from the guys we got in the trade. It's entirely possible that the starting pitching will regress and the team will be ten games under .500 by the break. But you can't look back at last year and just say "oh, we sucked when Bay and Nady were here, we'd suck again with them this year," because in so doing, you're completely ignoring the totally different start that the pitching is off to in 2009.


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 Post subject: Re: Hypothetical
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:34 pm 
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Not clear on how keeping Bay would have helped the Pirates "learn" how to win, since they did not win with Bay in the line-up. The problem is not "learning how to win"; the problem is that the Pirates do not have the talent to compete.


Ok, perhaps "learning to win" is a poor expression of my basic idea, considering we haven't won. Perhaps we should say, growing into Major Leaguers or something. My point is that total youth movements often fail miserably because of a lack of veteran stability. Bay, although he had never known a winning season here, would have been an anchor to ease these guys into the fold.

Quote:
The Bay trade was meant to address that. The Buccos received a very high-ceiling 3B'man, a starting OF'er, a reliever who can be unhittable if he harnesses his talent, and a starter who is a potential top of the rotation guy. Three extremely "high ceiling" players.


...or an injury prone, overrated prospect who was already falling in the Dodgers' esteem, Boston's fifth outfielder, an unhittable pitcher because he rarely finds the plate and who was the fourth guy again??????

Quote:
I believe that Moss and Laroche hit 35 HR's combined this year.
Also, McCutchen is the type of talent that will make the Pirates a contender for the divsion, and not a contender for 80 wins. His power, speed, defense, plate discipline are a combination that is extremely rare.


You do realize I am talking about ANDY Laroche right? 35 HR between those two? I would feel most comfortable putting a steak dinner on that one.


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 Post subject: Re: Hypothetical
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:29 pm 
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Willton wrote:
Further, .500 is a pretty weak goal. No one's going to throw a parade for the Pirates if they suddenly win 81 games.


No, but they'll probably at least have fireworks!
:lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Hypothetical
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:54 pm 
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Henry Clay Sr. wrote:
Quote:
The Bay trade was meant to address that. The Buccos received a very high-ceiling 3B'man, a starting OF'er, a reliever who can be unhittable if he harnesses his talent, and a starter who is a potential top of the rotation guy. Three extremely "high ceiling" players.


...or an injury prone, overrated prospect who was already falling in the Dodgers' esteem, Boston's fifth outfielder, an unhittable pitcher because he rarely finds the plate and who was the fourth guy again??????

It is fair to judge the trade based on the "ceiling" for the players acquired. Laroche is a very high ceiling guy.

Between 2006 and 2008, he hit 42 HR's, with 142 walks and just 120 K's in 824 plate appearances in the high minors. That type of hitting is incredibly rare. The players who have hit that well in AA and AAA read like a list of all-stars - Chase Utley, Pujols, etc.

I of course do not suggest that Andy Laroche will hit like Utley or Pujols. However, you cannot simply ignore his minor league performance. His productivity makes him a genuine major leage prospect. His top-end is 30 HR's, 30 2B's, 100 walks, .400 OBP, .500 slugging. Will he reach that level? Probably not, but he has the potential to do that.

Do you know what other prospects in the Pirates system had that potential at the time of the trade? Nobody. No one. Nada. Zip. Zero. Nichts. Bupkus.

When you are re-building a team, and trying to make a squad that can win the division, you need to acquire players like Laroche. Very high potential guys, guys who have proven they can hit with wooden bats, but who are available for some reason. Laroche was available because he has struggled in limited opportunities with the Dodgers.

And living here, I can tell you that Dodger fans hated the decision to acquire and play a scrub like Blake over Laroche. Even in his incredibly limited and choppy opportunities with the Dodgers, Laroche drew walks and got on base. His OBP, in his worst years, is better than Blake's in his best.

And Morris is hurt, which is really a shame for the Pirates. The player that the Dodgers were hesitant to trade, to acquire MANNY RAMIREZ, was Bryan Morris. He is a top-end starter candidate, a guy who throws mid-90's with a wicked breaking ball.

Hansen? All he has done so far this year is get batters out. His physical talent is there, and he is becoming a pitcher. "Oh, who cares, he is a middle reliever." Yeah, that's right, and look who good teams run out in the 6th or 7th inning of close games. It is NOT Marc Wilkins. Hansen also has the "stuff" to be an 8th or 9th inning pitcher.

Finally, Moss was the Sox' 4th outfielder. And given the age and declining play of some of their older hitters, the Sox would take him back right now if they could. JD Drew has a spot on the DL already picked out.

Henry Clay Sr. wrote:
You do realize I am talking about ANDY Laroche right? 35 HR between those two? I would feel most comfortable putting a steak dinner on that one.


Internet bets are pretty worthless, Henry. We will check back in at the all-star break and see where it stands. Moss and Laroche have power and will hit HR's. They will hit more when the weather warms up, and for Andy, when he gets out of PNC Park.


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 Post subject: Re: Hypothetical
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:23 pm 
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jaybee24 wrote:
Willton, sorry man, still have that nagging feeling. I understand that the Pirates did not contend last year with Bay and Nady, but that was last year. That doesn't automatically mean the team was doomed to repeat the same poor performance this year.

No, but it does mean that the team was likely to repeat that same poor performance this year. Teams don't typically get better by maintaining the status quo.

jaybee24 wrote:
I'm speaking specifically about the starting pitching, which was absolutely awful in 2008. So far this year it's been stellar. That's a significant difference.

So you are going to presume that based on the good results of 11 games (most of which being against unspectacular opposing offenses), the Pirates pitching staff is suddenly going to be above average? Did something magically happen to the team from 2008 to 2009 that would cause such a change?

I'm sure that we could cherry pick 2 starts made by Duke last year that were just as stellar as the ones he's pitched this year. Just because they are in succession does not mean that they will be exemplary of what he will do for the rest of the season.

jaybee24 wrote:
And yes, we wouldn't have Ohlendorf or Karstens as our 4/5 guys, but those guys have respective ERA+ of 90 and 65. The latter is worse than replacement level -- BP shows Karstens's pitching VORP to be negative. So we wouldn't be losing a whole lot by throwing in random minor leaguers for them so far this year.

No, but even you admit that we'd lose something.

jaybee24 wrote:
And that goes doubly for little LaRoche, whose VORP is now just embarrassingly negative instead of horrifyingly negative due to his performance over the past two days.

No, instead we'd have the superstar Jose Bautista, who is currently serving as the Toronto Blue Jays' utility man and hitting worse than he did last year. How does that make us a contender again?

jaybee24 wrote:
Also, for everyone talking about the future, I am only wondering about this year. I recognize that keeping Bay might have been good in the short term but harmful in the long term. But for this season, you cannot dismiss out of hand the chance of a playoff run with two stud starting pitchers (Maholm and Duke, of course assuming that their performance continues) and an absoluter masher (Bay). Milwaukee made the playoffs last year with about as much.

Milwaukee made the playoffs last year with far more. Aside from their two studs (Sheets and Sabathia), they also had average starters in Manny Parra and Dave Bush, along with a good bullpen featuring Salomon Torres, Carlos Villanueva, Brian Shouse and Guillermo Mota. The Pirates do not currently have those supporting players, even assuming Duke continues to be lights out. And while Bay would match Prince Fielder, the current Bucs have no answer for Ryan Braun or JJ Hardy, nor do we have a decent bench like the Brewers had (Ray Durham, Russ Branyan, Gabe Kapler). And that also ignores the Pirates' fielding defense, which was horrid last year and will likely continue to be so. The Brewers' defense was 7th in the majors in defensive efficiency.

jaybee24 wrote:
Before anyone responds, and let me put this in caps so no one misses it, I UNDERSTAND IT'S EARLY IN THE SEASON and that these trends might not continue...I'm referring specifically to stellar performances from guys we already had last year and sub-replacement level performance from the guys we got in the trade. It's entirely possible that the starting pitching will regress and the team will be ten games under .500 by the break. But you can't look back at last year and just say "oh, we sucked when Bay and Nady were here, we'd suck again with them this year," because in so doing, you're completely ignoring the totally different start that the pitching is off to in 2009.

If you understand that these trends may not (and likely will not) continue, then why are you pretending that they will? Why should we presume that these trends will continue? Is it just to support your position that, sans the Bay trade, this team would be a contender? Why should we extrapolate the data of 11 games all the way to 162 games if we know that such an extrapolation is likely to be faulty? More importantly, why does it make sense to think that things would be different this season if we did not change anything from last season?

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 Post subject: Re: Hypothetical
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 2:49 am 
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The Brewers banked on making the playoffs last year and might have hurt their future with the CC trade and killing Sheets' arm...Which would might make a few free agent pitchers think twice about going to the Brewers...

Neither one came back, losing your top 2 stud pitchers and giving up alot to get CC, plus the $10 mill you wasted on Gagne to be your closer...

Maybe the Pirates make the playoffs this year with Nady and Bay, but 2010 will suck ass when they lose 100 games because Nady and Bay and Adam LaRoche all leave for more money somewhere else...

Build for the future not just tomorrow...

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 Post subject: Re: Hypothetical
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:32 pm 
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Willton wrote:
jaybee24 wrote:
Willton, sorry man, still have that nagging feeling. I understand that the Pirates did not contend last year with Bay and Nady, but that was last year. That doesn't automatically mean the team was doomed to repeat the same poor performance this year.

No, but it does mean that the team was likely to repeat that same poor performance this year. Teams don't typically get better by maintaining the status quo.


Fair enough.

Willton wrote:
jaybee24 wrote:
I'm speaking specifically about the starting pitching, which was absolutely awful in 2008. So far this year it's been stellar. That's a significant difference.

So you are going to presume that based on the good results of 11 games (most of which being against unspectacular opposing offenses), the Pirates pitching staff is suddenly going to be above average? Did something magically happen to the team from 2008 to 2009 that would cause such a change?

I'm sure that we could cherry pick 2 starts made by Duke last year that were just as stellar as the ones he's pitched this year. Just because they are in succession does not mean that they will be exemplary of what he will do for the rest of the season.


I'm simply looking at the pitching performance so far and wondering if it would have been worth keeping Bay and Nady if the staff had finally put it together. Is it unlikely that the performance would continue? Maybe. Is it unprecedented in baseball history? I don't know for sure, but my suspicion is that it's not.

Willton wrote:
jaybee24 wrote:
And yes, we wouldn't have Ohlendorf or Karstens as our 4/5 guys, but those guys have respective ERA+ of 90 and 65. The latter is worse than replacement level -- BP shows Karstens's pitching VORP to be negative. So we wouldn't be losing a whole lot by throwing in random minor leaguers for them so far this year.

No, but even you admit that we'd lose something.


If we're going by VORP, even my begrudging admission is wrong. Replacement players would be better than Karstens and LaRoche.

Willton wrote:
jaybee24 wrote:
And that goes doubly for little LaRoche, whose VORP is now just embarrassingly negative instead of horrifyingly negative due to his performance over the past two days.

No, instead we'd have the superstar Jose Bautista, who is currently serving as the Toronto Blue Jays' utility man and hitting worse than he did last year. How does that make us a contender again?


Because in the hypothetical, we'd have Bay back, remember? And he's really, really good. And Andy LaRoche has been really, really bad. VORP through yesterday is still -1.7.

Willton wrote:
jaybee24 wrote:
Also, for everyone talking about the future, I am only wondering about this year. I recognize that keeping Bay might have been good in the short term but harmful in the long term. But for this season, you cannot dismiss out of hand the chance of a playoff run with two stud starting pitchers (Maholm and Duke, of course assuming that their performance continues) and an absoluter masher (Bay). Milwaukee made the playoffs last year with about as much.

Milwaukee made the playoffs last year with far more. Aside from their two studs (Sheets and Sabathia), they also had average starters in Manny Parra and Dave Bush, along with a good bullpen featuring Salomon Torres, Carlos Villanueva, Brian Shouse and Guillermo Mota. The Pirates do not currently have those supporting players, even assuming Duke continues to be lights out. And while Bay would match Prince Fielder, the current Bucs have no answer for Ryan Braun or JJ Hardy, nor do we have a decent bench like the Brewers had (Ray Durham, Russ Branyan, Gabe Kapler). And that also ignores the Pirates' fielding defense, which was horrid last year and will likely continue to be so. The Brewers' defense was 7th in the majors in defensive efficiency.


Again, fair enough...Parra and Bush were way better than I thought, now that I check, with respective VORPs of about 15 and 25.

Willton wrote:
jaybee24 wrote:
Before anyone responds, and let me put this in caps so no one misses it, I UNDERSTAND IT'S EARLY IN THE SEASON and that these trends might not continue...I'm referring specifically to stellar performances from guys we already had last year and sub-replacement level performance from the guys we got in the trade. It's entirely possible that the starting pitching will regress and the team will be ten games under .500 by the break. But you can't look back at last year and just say "oh, we sucked when Bay and Nady were here, we'd suck again with them this year," because in so doing, you're completely ignoring the totally different start that the pitching is off to in 2009.

If you understand that these trends may not (and likely will not) continue, then why are you pretending that they will? Why should we presume that these trends will continue? Is it just to support your position that, sans the Bay trade, this team would be a contender? Why should we extrapolate the data of 11 games all the way to 162 games if we know that such an extrapolation is likely to be faulty? More importantly, why does it make sense to think that things would be different this season if we did not change anything from last season?


I don't know, because it's a hypothetical and I like thought exercises. I'm simply pointing out that the Pirates would have been better off so far this year with Bay and Nady. This is pretty much inarguable given Bay's production, and the fact that the net contribution from the players used in the trade has been below replacement level.

It's a valid rejoinder that the starting pitching won't continue to be this good and that guys like LaRoche won't continue to be this bad for the entire season. In that case, keeping Bay would have been futile. But if the Pirates are within eight to ten games of the wild card by season's end, I'll continue to wonder what might have been this year.


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