Diaspora Returns! Tell your friends.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

 

Mind the Mean

Derrek Lee was 0-4 today. I know it's just one game, but regressing to mean can be a, well, mean thing. (Had to say it.) The guy's a career .275 hitter. To say that hitting .380s is a statistical oddity is a an understatment. You heard it here first folks, Lee will regress to the mean, certainly in batting average. As promised, I wanted to take a minute to try and shoot down the Derrek Lee triple crown talk. It ain't easy. He's having a killer year, in the post-juice era. The first and most obvious thing is that his year thus far is way, way above average for the guy. As mentioned above, he's a career .275 hitter who is hitting .385. Hmmmmm... My prediction is that he'll tank as the season progresses, maybe not tank, but I just can't believe this pace will keep up. Let's take a look. Last year, 2004, Lee was much better pre-All Star than post. Overall 2004: .278/.356/.504, 32 HR, 98 RBI Pre: .304/.375/.516 Post: .249/.334/.491 Ah ha! Check out the month to month. June: .385/.444/.673 July: .280/.339/.630 Aug: .270/.325/.514 Sep: .226/.333/.377 Note the drop in average as the months went by, without Lee experiencing any significant time out for injury. Of course, when I looked back at 03 and 02, the pre and post All Star theory didn't expose itself. He was fairly consistent. But, hey, he's a Cub now, and the inevitability of a choke is hanging over his head, like Steve Bartman's glove. Cynicism aside, I'll admit Lee's a good player, and he's obviously having a career year. However, I just don't see this trend, particularly the batting average, continuing. Statisics are a crazy thing, but there's always a lot of truth wrapped up in them (and I wouldn't necessarily call myself a sabermetrician). Anyone else out there of similar mind? There's a curious lack of debate on this subject on the net, mostly just mainstream media hyping the triple crown story or the Pujols/Lee All Star balloting (for the record, I say let Lee have it, he is having a great year, so far). Pujols is just average this year, at .338, jeez, if we could all be so average. I still say there's a better chance of yours truly pulling off the number one at Busch Stadium's last number pulling off ceremony. (I am available, though). BTW: Mustering five hits and being shut out by the Rockies (top of the 9th as I write this) is embarassing. Wow, maybe it's just some stupid marketing tie-in for the bad news bears remake.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

 

Battin' Two

Interesting to see Edmonds in the number two slot of the batting order, Sanders at clean-up and Walker at 5th... very interesting. I know La Russa really likes to put power guys in the number two position, and this really isn't that suprising. I don't remember JEd there at all though, but my memory isn't super reliable nor are people prone to remember things like that unless something really unusual happens as a result. Go Matty Mo!
 

One foot, in front of the other

If there are any frequent readers left that still venture by the Diaspora, in spite of the splotchy posting lately, you might notice that we can be a little negative sometimes and even a little hard on players. Mark Mulder has taken a lot of flak lately in Cards nation, but last night he pulled out a win, heck, at this point we might have settled for a quality start. I'm not going to rush and declare problem solved, but I will say it's a step in the right direction. These kind of outings aren't what you expected from your new marquee pitcher; however, in rebuilding the frail pitcher psyche and reconstituting his abilities this was a good outing. He did manage 5Ks. I wouldn't have expected that, even if he did have the win in him. It's progress though, progress. In fact, if this were taking place in a cheesy 80s movie, last night's game and subsequent ones heading into the fall would be montaged together with lots of positive snyth music dubbed in over the visuals. With last night's win under his belt, Mulder's SNVA is up to -0.2. One more, and the liability status is lifted. Besides, our internet was down last night. You want to talk about a real crisis! That puts Mulder's problems in perspective for me. Someone told me that it may have been because of the Prez-nit's speech last night and the DC internet lines getting flooded. Sounds a little far fetched to me, but it does confirm one thing, this town has LOTS of nerds.

Monday, June 27, 2005

 

Ace of Carpenter

On Sunday, I got up with the full intention of making a post here as to just how great Chris Carpenter is this season (wouldn't have been the first). You know, the kind with some meaty stats and even a comparison of his performance versus Jake Peavy. However, the good people over at Beyond the Box Score have done that for me; check it out here. (By the way, if you don't read BTBS, what the Hell are you waiting for?) Peavy has Carp beat in the power department. He's a real strikeout pitcher, and the numbers, while there's not a huge gulf, lean Peavy's way. His K/BB ratio is almost a full two points higher than Carpenters (3.86 to 5.50) and averages about one more strike out per 9 innings than the Redbird's ace. Carp's got him beat where it counts though (unless you need Peavy for Ks on your fantasy team). His ERA is 2.77 to Peavy's 2.88, he's good for more innings per game than Peavy (Peavy was sick recently), and Carp gives up fewer dingers than Jake the Snake (whose team plays at spacious Petco Park where he's given up 8 HRs vs 2 on the road). Carpenter's VORP is 34.6, good enough for 5th in the NL and 8th overall. That also might be a little different if the team he played for weren't just so bloody good. Besides having the uncontested title of staff ace, Carpenter is putting up Cy Young numbers. That's right, you may have heard it here first, Chris Carpenter for 2005 NL Cy Young.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

 

A bloody sock to call our own!

PR is a tit-for-tat game. Curt Schilling's incredibly obnoxious promotional gimmick from last year's post-season, the bloody sock, will be forever talked about and be held forth as a symbol directly associated with the Red Sox championship. God only knows how long the press will still be talking about the event and the guidon carried by the 2004 Red Sox. (For what it's worth, the Sox are equally as loathsome as the Yankees in my mind). Alas, not to be outdone, Randy Flores produced his own bloody sox in Thursday's loss to the Pi-rats. Was this the rallying point for the Cards in last night's win that halted a three game skid? Did someone hold the sock up and deliver some wrenching soliloquy that stirred the boys into a froth, releasing them onto the field to devour a happless horde of second-rate swashbucklers with catapult shots from the Edmonds the Mighty and Taguchi the Able? Well, go forthe ye mighty band of brothers to vanquish thy foes in the name of the fallen ones we loved so dear. Well, at any rate, I'm glad the bloody sock can be seen in some context now. And now there's a Redbird bloody sock. Are the stars aligning?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

 

Hey, man. You got the stuff?

Mostly, I'm making this post because it's been a bad week and I wanted to make a Cheech and Chong reference out of the need to laugh. To do this, I am using another interesting stat covering Cards' nation subject du jour, Mark Mulder. That stat is "Stuff" (STF), and it's essentially the measure of a pitcher's overall dominance, based on strikeout rates, walk rates, home run rates, runs allowed, and innings per game. "10" is the league average, while "0" is replacement player level. [here's the formula] Mulder's STF: 2005: 6 2004: 6 2003: 17 2002: 18 Obviously, Mulder's never been a big strike out pitcher (Carpenter's 2005 STF is 31), so we would never anticipate a huge number in that category. However, the significant drop does point to his recent decline and the mechanical failures that have buggered him since last season. Reiterating the point, "Dave's not here, man!" ... and niether is Mark.
 

Beat on the Brat

Remember the episode of the Simpsons a few years back, where a girl of, how shall we say, greater ability moves to Springfield, becomes Lisa’s rival and makes Lisa generally feel average? Well, aside from the rival, Mark Mulder seems to have become average, or maybe a little less than in his past couple of starts. Okay, let’s go to the tape (or the stats in this case). Batting Avg Balls In Play (BABIP): 0.311 VORP (Value Over Replacement Player, readers of the Diaspora may notice that we’re HUGE fans of the VORP): 2005: 8.1 (Comparables: Jason Marquis, 8.1; Gill Meche SEA, 8.2; David Wells BOS, 8.2) 2004: 37.2 2003: 60.2 Expected Wins and Losses, 2005E(W) 4.5 – E(L) 6.3 What does it all mean? Right now, we’re not getting the performance out of our new left handed started that we need. June has been Mulder’s unmaking. His ERA for the month is 7.31, coming off a 3.72 May and a 3.50 April. Opponents are hitting .292 off of him this month, as opposed to .263 and .264 for April and May (still probably about 10 points to high for comfort). Now, when I started this post yesterday, I was asking myself questions about what’s happened to Mulder. Is this a streak or a trend? Clearly it’s a trend that dates back to his much publicized slide after the All-Star break last year. And in today’s PD game write up, Duncan acknowledges a mechanical flaw in Mulder’s delivery. So now my question is whether or not this can be fixed? For the record, I was never a critic of the trade for Mulder. I thought it was a good idea, and I thought his poor second half last season was just a slump, an off year. I post this only for comparison, and maybe to stir the pot a little bit. Dan Haren 2005 VORP: 9.6 Looking through the Cards blogs today, it seems the Diaspora is not the only one beating up on Mulder today. VEB also notes that he’s clearly not a front line pitcher anymore, hitting the nail square on the head as to the central problem with Mulder the field. Suppan is a fifth starter (see post below), a guy who’s going to give up runs but give the team a chance to win at any rate. Mulder’s supposed to be the pitcher that can steal a few games from the jaws of defeat, whether it’s a cold night for the bats (and we have seen a few this year) or a poor night in the field. Yesterday’s game against the Reds highlights was the complete opposite, a game that we lost because of the pitcher. Here’s a nice little stat (you'll find the other stats referenced herein on BP as well) that kind of reflects this, SNVA (Support Neutral Value Added). It calculates the wins above average added by a pitchers performance. Mark Mulder, 2005 SNVA: -0.5 Yeah, that’s a negative number, not a dash. Thus my whole point summed up in a single stat. Mulder, right now, is a liability for the Cards; he needs to remove the negative in front of that stat, as well as in the minds of fans, teammates, etc., and probably needs to make that and other stat numbers a larger positive to justify the personnel expense incurred by the organization to aquire him. This will also be a pretty big factor in giving the Cards a true shot at the championship this year.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

 

Live update, STL @ CIN, 6/22/05

You know, normally Mulder's performance through two would bother me all that much. But Mulder's done little lately to assure the fan's concerns about his pitching ability. What's wrong? Is there anything wrong at all, or is it just a overreacting to the fact that he's given up 14 earned runs in his last four starts, including today's? Obviously, that post was made earlier in the 2nd. I would now like to say, what the Hell is Mulder's problem? All the speculation about the Cards making a move for relief pitchers or young outfielders, forget it, we may need to worry about getting another starter is Marquis and Mulder are going to be erratic, or just plan crappy. Yeah, I'm down on Mulder, but who wouldn't be, he was the great hope for the team this year. I want him to succeed and am not gunning for the front office to pull the plug on him, but his performance is unacceptable. Maybe it's just a slump and he and Dunc can work through it. God, I hope.

Monday, June 20, 2005

 

He only did what he had to do.

You would think that I might have saved a "Pancho and Lefty" reference for another post, like maybe say one about a Left-handed pitcher... But instead, I've used it for a note about Jeff Suppan, aka the Cards' least exciting starting pitcher. At first, looking at his line from Sunday's game, I cringed. Five earned runs on seven hits and three walks issued...ughh. But you know, that's what a fifth starter does. He goes out gives a decent enough performance 6 or so innings and keeps it close enough so that the offense (when it's an offense like ours) can win the game. And looking at his numbers, he's pretty consistent to what he turned in for the Cards last year. Check it out here. Supe would be more than a fifth starter on lots of other teams, any NL Central team as of today would make him number two or three. The point here, Supe's 4.xx ERA is pretty much on par. Now, Mulder's 4.xx ERA...that's a problem. --- Tonight the Redbirds are in the town of Cincinnati, home of Pure Prairie League, and the scene for some memorable episodes of Cops (I'll never forget a crack/prostitution bust that occurred in an abandoned car on an episode in that city). Some quick stats, courtesy of Yahoo! sports. Col. Reggie Sanders vs tonight's Reds' pitcher, Aaron Harang. 3 HR, 8 RBI, .333 BA in 15 at-bats. Carpenter vs. the Reds 0.84 WHIP, 2.20 ERA, 8.50 k/gm in 28.2 innings pitched. Carpenter is dominant this year. I really thought he would be good, but this is way more than I expected.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

 

A lesson, young grasshopper

An off day today, slightly different from the off days taken by the Birds yesterday and Monday. Hopefully, they'll be using this for some additional learning opportunities on the subject of hitting left handed pitchers. Mulder and Marquis will be in remedial pitching class with Dunc. How could one really be thinking much about the Cards today though, a day in which we've received sage advice from Mr. Carl Everett, of the Chicago White Sox? Now, I'll admit, I typically really hate it when celebrities dole out their wisdom on subjects such as politics, art, culture, etc. However, sometimes I wonder, maybe they've got a point, or at the very least, some great wisdom to impart gleaned from their worldly experiences. So, I've decided to reconsider, and to do that, I'm going to give old Carl a listen. After all, he's somekind of martial arts expert, judging by his headbutting techniques. Carl, as you may remember, began imparting wisdom some time ago. Like the Bhudda himself, though, it will be many years until the masses embrace his enlightened teachings. Here's one of his most famous gems, about Dinosaurs. "The Bible never says anything about dinosaurs. You can't say there were dinosaurs when you never saw them. No one ever saw a Tyrannosaurus rex. I feel it's far-fetched." So, if a tree falls in the woods, then it doesn't really fall because...Yep, you guessed it, nobody saw it. That was 2000. Today's Chicago Tribune has the highlights from his interview with Maxim Magazine (the 200 page condom advert for Sig Eps, KAs and other frat boys with articles written by seventh grade boys). Let's review what our sensei has to say. "Wrigley Field should be imploded." Sound wisdom to me. On Jose Canseco: "a bitter, ignorant individual." I know, Carl, I can't stand people who make outlandish statements just to make a buck or have the spotlight point in their direction for a few extra minutes. On the people that pay his salary ($4 million): "Fan is short for fanatic—he's crazy about something he really doesn't know about. And it's proven that 99 percent of baseball fans have no idea what they're watching." Oh, absolutely. I'll be the first to agree with that, after all, he knows a lot more about the origins of life on Earth and biology (quote below). Much more than I could have learned in six alcohol fueled years in college. Now before I reveal the money quote, here's the other bit from the Tribune, it's in response to a question about the Congressional steroid hearings (or St. Louis fans know them, The Day Mark McGwire's respect took a shot in the keister along with his Hall of Fame bid). "We have a war going on - —I have family in that war - —yet we're talking about steroids. If everybody in the world got on steroids, we'll still lose more kids to a war than we will from steroids." Now in all honesty, even Carl Everett can make some capable utterance, something about the blind squirrel. Honestly, how does that stack up for the President's war propagandizing, when Carl Everett, Carl Everett!, doesn't buy it. And here's the money shot. Carl, as you may have guessed, is a bit of an old fashioned guy, and he probably didn't watch the Queer Eye makeover of the Boston Red Sox. "Gays being gay is wrong. Two women can't produce a baby, two men can't produce a baby, so it's not how it's supposed to be. … I don't believe in gay marriages. I don't believe in being gay." No Carl, a DH that hits .235 against right handed pitchers is wrong.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

 

Cup of the Carp

After seeing (watching) that performance on the mound last night, I thought it was another Carpenter up there, because only Hey-zeus or Bob Gibson could have pitched such a miraculous and dominant game. Number 29 turned water into wine with 9 innings of pure brilliance, and while I won't recap the whole thing for you, it was my duty to post my reaction. When I flipped through ESPN as the game was in progress to check the score, I saw it what was happening. Not wanting to break tradition, I made no mention of the hittless performance, only telling my wife that we should listen to the game because something big was happening. Imagine my dissapointment in not hearing Mike Shannon's voice calling the game. Man that was exciting, even via middling quality internet radio. Also, I owe someone an apology. Larry, I just want you to know that I never gave up on you, just had some concerns (and complained about them).

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

 

$12 Million, OBO

Quick, who's the highest paid player on the 2005 Cardinals? Larry Walker. $12 million and some change. Hmmm, what could we get for $12 million next season, besides using a part of that to sign Matty Mo? So, now Edmonds is out for a couple games or so, Walker is probably going to retire... now does anyone out there see he need for another capable outfielder. (Note, no question mark becuase it's more of a rhetorical question, ney, it's a statement.) Clearly, I'm not going to panic because they lost to an unhittable Roy Halladay (are you singing the Madonna song 'Holliday' every time you hear that name too). Nevertheless, my thoughts immediately started thinking about outfielders, how screwed we are if Edmonds, Sanders or both get hurt, and the need for another person to patrol the green grasses of Busch and other parks around the league.

Monday, June 13, 2005

 

MJ or DH?

I had a post all worked up, and was even fixin' to write it. Since then, however, I saw that the Jackson verdict will be announced at 4:45pm EDT, and my energies have shifted to making various crass and inappropriate Michael Jackson jokes, all while hanging on the venerable whims of the 12 angry, bored (and soon to be quite rich) members of the Jackson jury. How is this important? How is this related at all to our beloved Cardinals and their quest for glory? Well, it's about as important and interesting as a series against the Toronto Blue Jays, followed by another one against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, inter-league play is inane, a waste of time, promoted only for the sake of television ratings...much like the Michael Jackson trial. Who will DH for the Birds? What will the verdict be? Will Juror number three be able to fill in for Larry Walker agianst right handed pitching? The Blue Jays sit in the middle of the pack in the AL East, at 31-32, pretty much where you might expect them to be in that division in a year when the Yankees are struggling. According to their expected wins and losses (pythagenport), they should be closer to 33-30. They just got swept by Houston on a road trip where they went 8-5, dropping series' to Seattle and Oakland, while picking up two out of three at Wrigley Field (yeah!). They're 14-12 at home, but the Cards have been a great road team this year going 19-10 so far. In the two weeks ahead, the Cards will face the Jays, Devil Rays, the Reds and then back home for four games against the Pirates. Let's hope this is a period of time for discovery and renewal of old relationships between certain players and their bats, reconnecting, as it were, with more productive days at the plate (Walker, et al, you know who I'm talking about).

Saturday, June 11, 2005

 

Cards vs. Yanks, 6/11/05

They're screwing us out here in the East, showing the Cubs vs. Red Sox game, still hung up on that silly curse vs. curse thing. So, the live blogging thing just isn't going to work that well. I'll give it a shot tomorrow, listening to Mike Shannon. Mulder So far, seems to be as expected, with an edge to Johnson. Three walks for Mulder, though, that a little troubling. His WHIP so far this year is 1.34, the highest since last year's 1.36, which was by far the highest since his rookie season, 2000, when it was 1.69. In the years between, it was below 1.20 each year. Jeez, single to Jeter then a double to Matsui. Get him out of there. Mulder's never had great numbers against the Yankees, so the question is, do you chalk this up to one bad game against a team that has been his nemesis or is this a downward trend given his last performance against Houston on June 5? Whew, out of the 3rd finally.
 

ESPN, Fox News for Yankees Fans

Last night, we headed to the Nationals game to watch their game with the Mariners. In between the excitment of yelling "juuuice" at Beltre when he came up to bat, we kept looking over at the scoreboard from around the league, and you can imagine our reaction at seeing the early returns from St. Louis, especially when it was 7-0 in the third. The game draws to a close (it was quite good, with a 3-3 tie headed into the eigth when the Nats broke it wide open in the bottom of that inning with a little help from a bullpen that would have made the early-May version of our pen look like champs), we rush out of the stadium, head for the Metro (which allows for a more liberal consumption of libations when one doesn't have to drive), crowd into the train with tens of thousands of other sweaty baseball fans, jump off the train at our stop, rush home, grab the computer, turn on the TV, and eagerly await for the Cards/Yanks highlights. ESPN is curiously tight-lipped about it, not spilling even the pitcher's game stats on the bottom line. Then, I see, on ESPN News, "Ahead: Reaction from Yankee's Jeter." Suddenly it all starts to make sense. The story comes on, and the announcers lead it off with somekind of "what's the matter with the Yankees" line. And there it is. The ridiculous East Coast bias, Yankees bias, in that the entire story is focused on the Yankee melt-down. Melt-down, against the Cardinals! Why? To me, of course, the story is that the Cards drilled the $200 million payroll Yanks. Marquis pitched a good game, the Cards played some magic defense, and Pujols is as dominant as ever, along with the rest of the Redbirds bats hitting right on target. Even the sleeping giant, Larry Walker, has a run, a hit, an RBI, and two walks. However, the focus of the story was decidedly Yanks, save for one highlight of Pujols' homerun. Absurd, totally and completely absurd. Not even one mention about the quality of team the Cards are, their level of play, the place of honor right next to the Yankees in baseball legendry. In my own biased perspective, the Cards are the best team in both leagues right now, and a more rational, unbiased person would certainly put them among the top teams. They've been far more consistent than any other team, including the White Sox. But, hey, I'm just a piddly little blogger. So as not to give you a Fox News like perspective, let's consider the argument the other way, from the media stand point. The Yankees are far and away the most recognizable team in baseball, maybe in all of professional sports, maybe in all the world, and New York is the nation's number one media market. They represent a $200 million dollar payroll (their luxury tax was more than most payrolls), and to buy their team like that and loose represents a major failure, which makes a story in and of itself (and, really, who's not rooting for them to fail). There's also the recent skid, their previous series against the Brew Crew and a sweep by the Royals, this game was the first after Torre made a well-publicized effort to shake them out of their skid. Considering all of that, there is definitely a story there. I think it's a seperate story, maybe something that number one Red Sox fan Peter Gammons can report. I just don't think it can be reported with nothing given to the Cardinals and their high levels of play this season. Eh, voice crying in the wilderness, I guess. Let's hope for a sweep. Will be live blogging the game today, filled with mullet commentary.

Friday, June 10, 2005

 

Sweet Mullet, Dude!

Ah the Yankees are in town. As much as I hate interleague play (thank God we don't have to endure the curse vs. curse crap in Chicago this weekend), this is somewhat exciting. Saturday's game is nationally televised, and since it's already as hot and sticky in DC as it ever got in MO (and it gets bad there), it's going to be a nice weekend to sit inside, bask in the air conditioning and watch the game. Fortunately for me, it's the Mulder versus Johnson match-up. Hence, it's time for a comparison of the two. However, rather than give you the stat by stat breakdown of the two (CardNilly has a good comparison), I'd like to compare a different aspect of the two lefties. Mullet vs. Pretty Boy Platinum Okay, okay, so Johnson doesn't really have a mullet anymore, but man back in the Seattle days the guy looked like Buffalo Bill. Check this out. And here the man is in action. Jeez, look at this one, was the baseball card company trying to sell those things in Oklahoma?! Alright, alright, I'll ease up on the guy, after all I'm sure I've had some sweet haircuts over the years (Confession: I had a rat tail in elementary school, but my mother made me cut if off). Nevertheless, even in Southern Missouri we knew by the early ninties that the Camaro Crash Helment was way out of vogue, for those of us not burning meth. Ah, but check out this gem from 2001, apparently the mullet was gone, but the mulletude was not! Rock on, Randy, classic rock rules! I myself wondered though, when he signed with New York if that weren't all in his past. Nope. As this famous incident recalls, you can take the man out of the mullet but not the mulletude out of the man. Compare that to the Cards' lefty ace, Mark Mulder. Despite the first three letters of his name, Mulder has nothing in common with the Mullet, it's not just the platinum highlighted hair or the classic mid-western square jaw, it's what he doesn't have...mulletude. No matter how caustic the press gets (and NY is the worst, we'll give the Big Unit that) Mulder puts on a good presser, keeps his cool and doesn't mind the occasional photo with a fan. That said, this will be good to watch. A power pitcher like Johnson is always interesting to watch, and I plan on paying particular attention to their deliveries, as I noticed some differences looking through the Google image search for mullet pictures, et al. For more information about the mullet, visit Mullets Galore.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

 

It must have been cold there in RF

I don't mean to harsh on the guy too much, after all, I've enjoyed watching Larry Walker play baseball since my college days just up the road from Coors Field. However, his performance is, well, a little dissapointing. The month is young still, but Walker is hitting .158, with a .273 OBP, and a really abysmal .263 slugging percentage. Granted this only represents 19 at-bats, but this, to me, is as much cause for concern as the bullpen was earlier this season. The difference here, though, is that has been in a full on slump since the season began (and spring training, if memory serves me correctly). These June numbers don't just represent some blip on the radar in the past few weeks. I don't know what's the matter with Walker; it's hard to tell, especially when you don't get to see a ton of games (thanks to last night's rain delay the game was nixed on ESPN, not that Larry played anyway). I know he's had slumps before, the last major one being in 2003 when he hit .284 and had his lowest SLG since 1993 with a .476 mark. He's also not exactly known for having 600 at-bats in a season, but he can typically hit the ball a little better than his current .245 average on the season. Is he playing through an injury? I'm not ready to begin any "dump the chump" talk just yet, but I do wonder if Walt will shop him around, even casually. I doubt it gets too serious, since he's got a pretty hefty salary, etc. We'll wait and see where those stats go in the rest of this month.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

 

Larry, Larry, Larry...

Okay readers, (all two of you) I have returned from vacation. And after a trip to Colorado what could be a better time to reflect on our favorite former Rocky, Larry Walker. Some may disagree, but it seems Walker is in a bit of a slump so far this year. I was looking at his stats in the paper today, trying to convince myself that if the Cards make any moves at all, they get an outfielder. I wasn't disappointed with Larry's games played, but his stats line was something else. So far this year: .245 BA/.347 OBP/.417 SLG/.764 OPS His average line for 02-05: .309/.422/.551/.973 What's the matter? I don't know really. The guy is almost 40, so he's obviously not going to be putting up numbers similar to those of his earlier career in the mid-90s in Colorado. However, this really seems like more of a slump, and hopefully, he'll move back toward the mean as the season progresses. The holes are across the board, but there's a couple that really stand out this season. Walker's Batting Average has always been better against lefties than righties, but he's been able to hit the right handers for a little more power. 02-05 numbers (BA/OBP/SLG/OPS) vs LHP- .327/.414/.505/.919 vs RHP- .300/.426/.574/1.ooo Now, take a peak at his 05 numbers against LHP & RHP: vs LHP (26 at-bats)- .269/.406/.731/.1.137 vs RHP (135 at-bats)- .244/.331/.363/.694 So, his batting average is low versus both, but in line with the trend. However, his power numbers against the RHP are way, way lower. Walker has 3 HR, 1 double and 1 triple vs LHP and 2 HR, 10 doubles and 0 triples vs RHP. Larry's a lefty, so logic would seem to tell us that he'll pick it up against the right handers. Let's hope. Now, there's one huge hole in the overall low numbers for Larry. Look at his performance on the road this year, .188/.241/.338/.579. At home, he's .309/.434/.506/.940. For his 02-05 averages for home versus road, it's more like this (now remember, this includes a lot of games at Coors Field): Home: .342/.454/.600/.1.054 Left: .274/.388/.499/.889 The road numbers are quite a bit below the away numbers (remember the whole Coors Field thing has something to do with that), but still the low numbers he's got for 2005 are far, far, far below the mean for the 38 year old outfielder who makes $12 million this season. Of course, the optimist in me says that this is just one more reason to be more at ease with the Cards lot in the NL this year, once Rolen returns and Walker starts moving back toward the mean against right handed pitching, etc. ... look out, this team could really run away with it all. But, I also need to state that I really think the Cards need to keep an eye out for a solid, young outfielder that can be a team staple for a few years, probably more important, even for a run at the title this year, than a high priced rental for the bullpen.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

 

Note

Man, Carpenter is good. Out of town for a couple more days, we are not offline, yet. Hang in there Diaspora, even the best teams can split a series with the Rockies when you're playing at Coors Field.

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