Court Offers his Thoughts on a Variety of Topics in this week’s Holding Court.
I love the Fister deal. I wrote a bunch of words about how Rick Porcello was a great cost effective target but Rizzo when out and got a better pitcher for less than I suggested. This deal was really about Robby Ray for the Tigers so ultimately his career will provide the final answer as to who “wins” this trade, but Ray’s going to have to be pretty damn good for the Tigers to justify giving away a top-20 pitcher with two years of control. Fister is also a great candidate for a qualifying offer which will either give the Nats a third year, a draft pick, or hamper his market so much that the Nats have an advantage in negotiating a longer term contract. All good things.
Plus Fister is will improve his numbers, or at least get his ERA in line with his FIP by moving to the National League and playing in front of a better infield defense. Fister’s BABIP (.332) and LOB (73.5%) were high and low respectively – both key indicators of bad luck or bad circumstance. WAR recognizes these things which is why Fister had a higher WAR (4.6) than any National Starting Pitcher. Fister’s 2013 season was better than Jordan Zimmermann’s 2013 (3.6) and almost as good as Gio Gonzalez’s 2012 (5.1) just for reference.
Unlike last year, the Nats now have a surplus of starting pitching to help out if and when anyone goes down. As an added bonus, the fifth and final spot in the rotation will sport a full scale Battle Royale this spring as Detwiler, Jordan, Roark and Ohlendorf fight to the death. (Read On). Continue reading →
The Nats101 Website was created to introduce new fans to baseball-particularly in a city relatively new to the idea of having a team. As such, we’ve directed much of our commentary towards trying to make smarter, more inclusive and congenial baseball fans.
A few years later though, and many of you who started this journey with us are kind of “caught up” if you will. Combined with the folks who already liked baseball, the demand for “explain this to me!” has dwindled a bit. While we’ll still focus on that plenty (and there is always something to learn) it’s clear we need to up our game a bit.
As such, it’s time to go on the offensive a bit. Rather than wait for folks to come to us, it’s time we took the message of baseball to them-and what better place than to start in the MASN Comments section on Facebook. While all of Twitter was rejoicing in the stunningly good trade the Nationals made with the Detroit Tigers for starting pitcher Doug Fister, the relative backwater township (that is probably any comment section, actually) of the Facebook MASN post on the trade was enraged. Unjustly so.
And so, with the help of MASNCommenter (A genius idea that is only funny because of how truly out there some people are) and some paraphrasing here and there, I am going to explain the trade for Doug Fister in a way even a commenter can understand. (I hope).
“My favorite stat right now and always has been the stat of hitting with runners in scoring position… [B]atting average and on-base percentage and all of those things are great, but who is doing damage and how can they hit with guys in scoring position? I don’t know if I can help guys with that, but that’s the stat that I’m most concerned with, that I like the most. So do, I care whether a guy’s hitting .250 as opposed to .280? No, I care whether he can drive a run in.” Matt Williams
Oh Faux Pas! In the course of two sentences quotes Matt Williams just used the wrong soup spoon at the table of the advanced statistics crowd. If this were other walks of life, Matt Williams might have essentially just said:
That the Star Wars movies are his favorite movies of all time…particularly Episode One… where Vader is a kid.
The he is a total foodie, and the Big Mac is his favorite sandwich
He loves craft beers. Especially anything made by Miller or Budweiser.
Comes off a little snobby? Probably. But still, he did just walk into a room of hipsters wearing a Nickelback shirt… un-ironically. So let’s take a look at just what folks find so objectionable about Batting Average with Runners in Scoring Position.
The Nationals enter this offseason with two holes at the bottom of their rotation. In year’s past, short term free agent fixes have had mixed results and relying on young players to build on the previous year’s success is what got the bench in trouble last year. I hope the Nats don’t make the same mistake with the rotation this year. So far it sounds like they aren’t. The Nats are reportedly looking into trade scenarios and since everyone else is tossing out their two cents, I figure I would too. There could be a couple big fish to had, headlined by the Rays’ David Price and Max Scherzer (although I don’t believe Scherzer is actually available, but I’ll get to that shortly). Both would fit nicely between Strasburg, Zimmermann and Gonzalez and would give the Nats’ a rotation to rival any in the game. But what would that luxury cost?
WARNING: The following post goes against conventional fan logic and feelings, asking readers to consider a viewpoint they likely do not agree with. The post espouses an opinion on what you, the reader, may care to adopt as an attitude, or feeling, toward the sport of baseball and, in particular, the Washington Nationals. It is not, however, an attempt at fan police or making you do something you don’t want to do.
It’s just an opinion piece. It’s meant to be agreed and disagreed with. I’m not sure why I feel I need to explain that, but I do.
So, for your consideration…
With the World Series over, and Boston victorious it’s time we had a talk.
It’s time to let go of the Cardinals. It’s time let go of Pete F. Kozma. It’s time to move on, and move up and move forward. It’s time for a little self reflection and a lot of honesty. While I understand the instinct to root against the Cardinals (The enemy of my enemy…) it is time to accept the the St. Louis Cardinals didn’t do anything to you, they were just there when it happened.
In today’s world where there’s a stat for everything, the role of the field manager (I love it when they call it that) can never fully be measured. You can dissect every pitching change or lineup construction but so much of the job is managing people-and that’s tough to measure.
With the Nationals Season over, Frank and Susan invite Stuart (@TClippardsSpecs), Luigi (@ouij), Jared (@SCviaDC) and Court (@RcourtSwift) over to talk about the 2013 season that was. Topics include The New Nationals (likely) Manager, Matt Williams (what makes a good manager, are they important, What about Matt himself?), What went wrong in 2013, how to fix it, The Dan Haren Replacement, Other guys the Nationals might think about targeting or letting go, and a little injury wrap up on some surgeries that happened this week. TECHINCAL NOTE: My mike was the only one that was really buzzy, so I apologize for that-but everyone else sounds awesome (and is worth listening too anyway) so don’t let my buzzy mic mess ya up! Enjoy our 2013 wrap up/ 2014 Preview!