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 Post subject: "Mr. No. 9, we are preparing your table."
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:59 pm 
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I can't say that the table is fully prepared or that I've reached the appropriate level of hunger, but I am certainly getting ready for a big plate of crow if Andy LaRoche continues to hit like he has. After his first hit, he looks a ton more comfortable; he's hitting pitches where they are thrown and - as someone else noted (Argentum?) - he's playing smart baseball by trying to hit behind runners and having productive ABs.

As with Nyjer, I'm not ready to proclaim Andy LaRoche "fixed" or a "staple" at third but he has certainly caused me to revisit my previously held opinions about whether he was going to be a solid day in/day out contributor.

As good as he has looked at the plate, his defense has probably impressed me more. As ZM and I discussed last night, imagine how good it feels for Maholm, Snell, Duke, Ohlendorf and Karstens to look around that infield as they rub up the ball . . . . most ground balls will be gobbled up.

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 Post subject: Re: "Mr. No. 9, we are preparing your table."
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:02 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
As good as he has looked at the plate, his defense has probably impressed me more. As ZM and I discussed last night, imagine how good it feels for Maholm, Snell, Duke, Ohlendorf and Karstens to look around that infield as they rub up the ball . . . . most ground balls will be gobbled up.

Laroche and Wilson, in particular, on the left side have been extremely good. Perry Hill deserves some credit, but as is always the case, the players who are doing the job merit the lion's share of credit.


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 Post subject: Re: "Mr. No. 9, we are preparing your table."
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:00 pm 
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Freddy has been very good as well. While he does not have Rennie Stennett range, he has a very quick first step and catches what he gets to. That is all you can ask for.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: "Mr. No. 9, we are preparing your table."
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:08 pm 
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It's amazing what quality coaches can do for a baseball team.


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 Post subject: Re: "Mr. No. 9, we are preparing your table."
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:14 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
Freddy has been very good as well. While he does not have Rennie Stennett range, he has a very quick first step and catches what he gets to. That is all you can ask for.

ZM

He is doing a fine job of handling everything he gets to, but the vast majority of ground balls seem to be to the left side of the infield. I am thinking that is has something to do with two lefties who feature the 2-seam. Andy Laroche is a busy man on defense.

And by the way, Laroche made a backhanded grab of a sharply hit ball by Uggla with a runner on 2nd and two outs, and turned it into the third out. The Florida announcers did not make a big deal out of the play, but when Uggla hit the ball, I feared it was going down the line into the corner. Laroche made the play look easy.


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 Post subject: Re: "Mr. No. 9, we are preparing your table."
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:25 pm 
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There were certainly a lot of people ready to oust both LaRoche's. I'm happy to say that I believed they both had value but I was beginning to doubt Adam because of his history of weak starts.

Both have very good defensive skill sets plus Adam has good power and Andy is just developing. This is great for both to have such good starts and very possible that they may continue. Andy has such a sweet swing and while Adam will always strike out too much, his has some real pop and as it warms up and the ball carries, could have a great year.

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 Post subject: Re: "Mr. No. 9, we are preparing your table."
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:30 pm 
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Substitute2 wrote:
Andy has such a sweet swing and while Adam will always strike out too much, his has some real pop and as it warms up and the ball carries, could have a great year.

Adam's first inning double landed right in the "notch," 405' from home plate, when it was still freezing and the sun had not come out.

In later months, that ball is two rows deep.


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 Post subject: Re: "Mr. No. 9, we are preparing your table."
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:46 am 
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I'm with you No. 9. I'll also take a pile of crow with Jason Jaramillo too. His bat has been good and his defense/control of pitchers has been spot-on. I know it's been a small sample size but this kid is playing some good catcher. Today's off-day came at a perfect time. He could probably play all three at San Diego.

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 Post subject: Re: "Mr. No. 9, we are preparing your table."
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:50 am 
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IA Pirate wrote:
I'll also take a pile of crow with Jason Jaramillo too. His bat has been good and his defense/control of pitchers has been spot-on. I know it's been a small sample size but this kid is playing some good catcher. Today's off-day came at a perfect time. He could probably play all three at San Diego.


He has an absolute hose for an arm. ZM and my eyes just about came out of our heads on the strike out/throw out double play on Tuesday night. Jaramillo's throw was a laser. As the game progressed, I kept suggesting that the Marlins might try to start running in an effort to kick start their offense; ZM disagreed and was dead-on right. I'm pretty sure that the Marlins didn't want to risk going against Jaramillo's arm.

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Reflexively, obsessively and tastelessly submitted,
No. 9
Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: "Mr. No. 9, we are preparing your table."
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:05 am 
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That throw to second was eye-popping. I mean the pitch was in the dirt, bounced out to the left forcing "jerry" to get the ball with the runner past the 1/2 way mark to second. He didn't rush. He didn't panic. He just set and fired... and the ball EASILY beat the runner to 2nd. Freddy (or Jack?) didn't have to move an inch. Just clutch and let the runner slide into the tag.

Simply amazing.

Rocco DeMaro did a post-game response on Doumit's VORP, which from what I understand translates to about 2 wins per year over replacement.

I read an article in SI the other week detailing how defensive sabremetrics have been tuned and can be used to figure out runs saved to a great degree and can be used as an offset of runs produced. The end result is that "good" defense in this measure offsets "good" run production by about 1/2 the total and is a significant contribution to any analysis of a player's worth.

Using that logic, and assuming JJ is at least equal to replacement value (or in combo with Diaz's offense) then we can hope that the loss of Doumit is worth only 1 game per year, or maybe no real loss over a couple months.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: "Mr. No. 9, we are preparing your table."
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:12 am 
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I was thinking along the same lines, without actually quantifying anything.

While Doumit is a very good hitter, he is just one player, and we do improve our defense. We are better with him, but we can still be good without him.

By the way, Doumit does look vastly improved compared to this time last year. He looks more comfortable, is not stabbing at the ball, and was doing a better job with balls in the dirt.


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