2:56 pm July 5, 2012, by David O'Brien
July 5th, 201210:19 pm
Well, except for the Mets and Nats winning, it’s a good night.
July 5th, 201210:20 pm
Insider- Risers and Fallers
According to most sources, the start of the season’s second half is still more than a week away, but technically it’s already upon us. All but two teams have played at least half the games on their schedules. That means that most players have already accrued about half the counting stats they’ll have at the end of the season, enough to give us some sense of whether their seasons are shaping up to be disappointments or successes.
Of course, some players have already left the bulk of their hitting behind them, while others are about to break out. Last season, Dan Uggla went into the All-Star break batting .185. After action resumed, he upped his average considerably, hitting .296 in the second half. Dexter Fowler played so poorly in the first half of 2011 that he was forced to spend a remedial month at Colorado Springs. After returning in mid-July, he hit .288 AVG/.381 OBP/.498 SLG, swatting all five of his homers and swiping 10 of his 12 stolen bases.
On the other end of the spectrum, Jose Bautista hit 31 of his AL-leading 43 home runs before the break, and his teammate Adam Lind completely collapsed after June, following up a .300/.349/.515 first half with a .197/.233/.356 second-half showing.
It’s not always easy to see such second-half swoons and upswings coming, but it is possible to pick out some players who appear poised for progression or regression. The following six players could be on the verge of a comeback or correction in the coming months:
Max Scherzer, RHP, Detroit Tigers
This season, no non-Strasburg starter has struck out batters at a higher rate than Scherzer, and no starter has allowed a higher average on balls in play. Both of those rates should regress, but the batting average on balls in play likely has further to fall. Some of Scherzer’s struggles can be traced to Detroit’s league-worst defense, but the Tigers’ staff as a whole has a .316 BABIP, a full 50 points below Scherzer’s. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him shave a run off his ERA without any improvement in his peripherals.
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Washington Nationals
Before this season, Zimmerman had been a model of consistency, contributing above-average offense in every season since his debut at 20 years old in 2005. Zimmerman, now 27, should be providing peak production, but instead he has had his worst year yet. The right-handed hitter has been hampered all season by a sore shoulder that probably won’t completely recover until he has offseason surgery. However, in 10 games since receiving a cortisone shot on June 24, Zimmerman has hit .370/.408/.739 with four home runs, more than doubling his dinger total. If he can continue to manage the inflammation in his AC joint, much more offense lies ahead. It’s already a bit late to buy low.
Brian McCann, C, Atlanta Braves
Barring an undisclosed injury, McCann is simply too good to be this bad. Catchers tend to get old early, but at 28, McCann still seems too young for a dramatic decline in true talent. Defensive shifts have been blamed for McCann’s precipitous BABIP drop, but his batting average on grounders is down far less than his average on line drives, which is among the lowest in the league. The shift can’t have claimed too many liners, so it’s likely that McCann’s hard-hit balls have happened to be poorly placed so far. The same goes for Eric Hosmer, another early underperformer
Melky Cabrera, OF, San Francisco Giants
No player has a bigger difference between his season-to-date WARP and his projected rest-of-season WARP than Cabrera. With more than 3.5 wins worth of value this season, Cabrera has already surpassed his previous season high by a win and a half, but PECOTA projects him to tack just a half-win onto his total before the end of the year. Despite his impressive superficial statistics, Cabrera has made only modest improvements to his underlying game. His success has stemmed almost entirely from his prolific singles hitting. Thanks to a .392 BABIP, Cabrera has singled in a league-leading 23.9 percent of his plate appearances, a higher rate than any player recorded in as many PA last season. That BABIP will likely be a lot lower after the break, and once his singles pace slows down Cabrera will go back to being pretty good, not great.
Carlos Ruiz, C, Philadelphia Phillies
There are exceptions to almost every rule in baseball, but you won’t lose much money betting the under on a backstop batting .350. Mike Piazza is the only catcher who has exceeded that average in the past 75 years (and played at least 80 percent of his games behind the plate). When Piazza did it in 1997, he was 28, and he entered the season with a .326 lifetime average. Ruiz is 33 and started the season with a .265 career mark. He has adopted a more aggressive approach, seeing fewer pitches, swinging at more of them and striking out twice as often as he has walked after four seasons of walking at least as often as he whiffed, but the extra aggressiveness won’t prop up his average all season. Expect his current .357 figure to fall far.
Wade Miley, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Miley is the Melky of the mound: No pitcher has a greater projected drop-off between his first- and second-half WARPs than the Arizona left-hander. The southpaw’s minor league stats don’t indicate a total collapse is coming, but his modest strikeout rate and .261 BABIP (on a staff that has averaged .307) suggest that his sub-3.00 ERA is about to be a fond memory. Miley allowed as many runs (eight) in his last start as he had in his previous five, so the best of times might already be behind him.
Ben Lindbergh is the managing editor of Baseball Prospectus.
You are right though.
His will surely be the lowest this year – Except a few pitchers but not all.
I hate the Nats…. they’re looking pretty damn good though.
July 5th, 201210:21 pm
thanks for that article nolie
Never thought I’d see Francisco with a higher batting avg. than Uggla.
McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:
July 5th, 201210:22 pm
Haha! “Thanks for noticin’!…” And yes—it did make me happy. Was a very nice-looking homer…will prolly watch it once more before I go to bed…
Night, <strong.BravesQueen! Sorry we didn’t chat… You’re in my prayers!…
“that might matter, if batting avg mattered”
who cares if it matters or not, I just want to know where he ranks
Enter your comments here
July 5th, 201210:23 pm
July 5th, 201210:24 pm
Aw, shucks! Messed up the format, again…
Capt Mudd, jeffrey d — Always grateful for your prayers, can never have too many! You make my heart warm. Thanks!
Sometimes a good young team, like the Nats, gets a chance to catch their breath at the break, reflect on everything, and then when they come back the mojo is gone. Yeah, that’s the ticket. They’ll lose their mojo in the second half…
July 5th, 201210:25 pm
McFann — I’m sorry we didn’t get the chance to chat either. There’s always tomorrow. Prayers appreciated. See you soon!
Bravesgrl4life — Great to be able to talk to you tonight! <3
They have to lose that starting pitching before they lose anything. But doesn’t hurt to hope
July 5th, 201210:26 pm
I guess it’s just too tough for some of y’all to figger out, the the majority of Uggla’s votes were amassed B4 his slump when he was leading the league second basemen in just about everything. Almost like rocket surgery to some it seems…..
July 5th, 201210:29 pm
NL pitching will be tough on the AL I reckon, prolly 2 for Dickey, 2 for Cain, one for Kershaw , One for Strasburg, then Chapman ,Hanrahan and Kimbrel
Barring an undisclosed injury, McCann is simply too good to be this bad. Catchers tend to get old early, but at 28, McCann still seems too young for a dramatic decline in true talent.
Couldn’t agree more. BMac is NOT declining. I absolutely refuse to believe that. (I think when he’s in his upper 30’s, I’ll still refuse the possibility…) I don’t like how he’s been working/flexing his shoulder from time to time and how he seems to be doing more stretching behind the plate between pitches, but I’m trying not to get wrapped up in the phantom injury thing. Either way, I think he comes out strong in the second half, and since that technically started tonight……
July 5th, 201210:30 pm
Yep! I’ll be gone till, prolly about 3ish, maybe closer to 4, but hopefully we cann at least say Hi!
July 5th, 201210:32 pm
Take care, BQ! Nice seeing you around today.
July 5th, 201210:33 pm
Oh well, time to hit the sack. Is it 10:30 already? Snap…
Keep up the good work in Filly, boys! Let’s go into the ASB with guns a-blazin’!…Er…whatever…
July 5th, 201210:36 pm
night Queenie, take care
July 5th, 201210:39 pm
“Eric Karabell @karabellespn
Amaro says Ryan Howard will start for Phillies Friday against Braves. “
G’night, folks. Enjoyed it, and we’ll be back in the AM…
July 5th, 201210:41 pm
We’ve got to Sweep the Philthy PHillies this weekend to eliminate them from contention. We need them to sell now! Statement Series!!!!!!!
(not my best T-Hawkin impression, but it’ll do for now)
July 5th, 201210:42 pm
Here come the Phils…….
Barring an undisclosed injury, McCann is simply too good to be this bad.
Braves have been good at disclosing injuries lately…..
July 5th, 201210:49 pm
missed the game but thrilled to see that Minor looked good and BMAC looked like BMAC.
It’s true. Time for UGGLA to step up.
July 5th, 201210:50 pm
i evidently was so thrilled that I needed to post it twice
July 5th, 201210:51 pm
July 5th, 201210:52 pm
TheOnlyBravesFan.. hah.. that’ll do.
July 5th, 201210:54 pm
Waiting to see if DOB asks Fredi about Venters?
asks him what?
July 5th, 201210:59 pm
Something that won’t be “hard” enough so ACE can keep complaining.
July 5th, 201211:00 pm
July 5th, 201211:06 pm
10 Crazy Things You’ll See at a Zombie Shoot
July 5th, 201211:24 pm
…Ryan Howard could very well be in the line up Friday vs.Huddy……he has 63 AB’s and 6 hrs. vs. Tim and .327/.427/.712……the question: Will he be batting 4th? Some fans seem to be clamoring for him to start in the 7 hole….I don’t think so.
July 5th, 201211:25 pm
6 homers…..I got to be up in 6hrs.
Updated game account with quotage
July 5th, 201211:26 pm
Jamie Moyer gets released yet again.
July 5th, 201211:29 pm
Will teams give up on him this time?
July 5th, 201211:38 pm
Waiting to see if DOB asks Fredi about Venters? — ACE
Hey, ACE buddy, we talked to Fredi about Venters BEFORE the game. These are the postgame quotes.
July 5th, 201211:40 pm
Funny Zombie stuff. Don’t see that on the Walking Dead
July 5th, 201211:53 pm
Sometimes this team looks so good, and other times it looks pretty bad. I hope they will get better some the second half.
Pass on Garza. We have pitchers who can pitch like he did tonight or better
i would rather talk about the replalcments.
July 5th, 201211:56 pm
music wise. i always thought TIM was was the best.
July 5th, 201211:57 pm
The Replacements? The movie or the band?
July 5th, 201211:58 pm
paul westeberg could sling it.
July 5th, 201211:59 pm
half Empty either you get it or not.
July 6th, 201212:00 am
Westerberg? yes he could. They were never real big, but I liked their music and was disappointed when they broke up in the early 90s
July 6th, 201212:01 am
either I get what or not? There are any number of replacements you could be talking about
July 6th, 201212:02 am
kinda like if you get the Smiths. either you get it or not.
the replacements are a acquired taste.
July 6th, 201212:04 am
did I not just say that I liked them? I thought sure I did.
July 6th, 201212:06 am
the mighty replacements live were as a good of band live you will ever see. awesome stuff.
saw them several times live. raw rock n roll.
July 6th, 201212:14 am
There are two things that I just can’t stand. A sober man when I’m drunk, and a drunk man when I’m sober.
July 6th, 201212:15 am
Thanks for thoes insightful comments. We will take a 5-5 homestand and a .500 season. When you talked to Fredi before the game did he share with you when he knew Venters was injured.
July 6th, 201212:16 am
Don’t tell him DOB, make him ask nice
July 6th, 201212:18 am
half empty is educated. good for you.
July 6th, 201212:29 am
we sell front month calls against so many of your bets.
From the Chicago Tribune:
The inning ended with a 16-pitch at-bat by Juan Francisco, who also had a 12-pitch at-bat in the fourth.
“Francisco killed the whole outing really,” Sveum said, adding Garza has fallen into a pattern of getting two strikes and not being able to put batters away.
Garza downplayed the long at-bats by Francisco.
“It was just an at-bat, that’s all it is,” Garza said. “He battled, I battled. I won the first one. He won the second one.”
July 6th, 201212:36 am
always someone that buys those front month way out of the money options?
July 6th, 20121:14 am
“There was a loud, exasperated sound in #Braves clubhouse, with a few words that can’t be printed, when DP got botched in Nats-Giants game”
I don’t get this why do they care what the Nats are doing right now? It’s pointless considering how things can change when there’s 1 month left in the season … but with there still being 3 months left? Pointless
July 6th, 20121:34 am
when its sleepy time down south…
July 6th, 20121:42 am
it looks like Uggla’s about to break out of it, long flyball to the opposite field that may have been a HR without the wind hurting it, last year when he broke his much longer slump, he started driving the ball the other way, before you knew it, boom, he was a freaking HR machine
July 6th, 20122:32 am
yeah I hope Dan is about ready to start poppin’ them again
July 6th, 20125:40 am
DOB – Wow. Someone needs to ask the “tough” questions…
[Tim Sullivan] wrote about the Angels’ outfielder Mike Trout, a 20-year-old who’s hitting over .300 with power and “covers ground as if he were being chased by a cheetah.” The most fascinating piece of reporting in the column was that the Padres’ general manager passed over the chance to draft Trout – not once, twice – and told Sullivan how he’d missed on the phenom.
Those columns are the stuff that make newspapers and their websites worth reading. Sullivan’s pieces ran on Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday.
Friday, he was fired.
He was at work on the Mike Trout column when a window opened on his computer screen. At 3 p.m. Friday, he had an appointment with the paper’s editor, Jeff Light.
The note was ominous. Six years before, Sullivan had made an enemy. That man was now his newspaper’s president and CEO. He had criticized XX Sports Radio station owner John Lynch for “heavy-handed” editorials in favor of a new stadium for the San Diego Chargers. “The man has all the subtlety of a sledgehammer,” Sullivan wrote of Lynch, and then quoted a Lynch editorial threatening the city attorney: “If you attempt to be an obstructionist in a county or other deal with the Chargers, we will lead a campaign to recall you. That’s a promise and we will spend whatever it takes to remove you from office.”
Then, in November 2011, San Diego hotel magnate Doug Manchester bought the newspaper and installed Lynch as its top executive.
Here’s the rest from Dave Kindred…
July 6th, 20126:26 am
DOB better be careful….
July 6th, 20126:45 am
DOWN ON THE FARM
G-Men win 4-3
RHSP JULIO TEHERAN [4.37 ERA] pulled after two no-hit innings with one walk.
This is troubling. Anybody hear why?
RHSP ERIC JUNGE [W 5-8, 4.76 ERA] 7.0 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO.
1B ERNESTO MEJIA [.302 BA] 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR , 2 RBI , 1 SO.
DH JOSE CONSTANZA [.310 BA] 2-5, 1 RBI , 1 SO.
2B/SS TYLER PASTORNICKY [.265 BA] 0′fer-4
SS/2B JOSH WILSON [.248 BA] 1-4, 1 RBI , 1 E [13, fielding].
G-Men lose 8-0
RHS/RP BUDDY CARLYLE [L 4-3, 2.25 ERA] gets the start and deserved better. He takes the collar though his relief surrendered six of eight runs. He goes 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO.
How do you spell relief? I forget…..since there was none.
SS TYLER PASTORNICKY was not in the line-up.
1B ERNESTO MEJIA [.304 BA] 1-3, 1 SO.
ERNIE continues in his quest for a .300 season with 30 HR, 40 2B, and 100 RBI. He’s slightly behind based on a 144 game season. He’s played 84 so far. 17 HR, 21 2B, 58 RBI. The big [6'5" 245] Venezuelan needs one of his patented 10 game tears to catch up.
July 6th, 20127:01 am
RHSP DAVID HALE [L 6-4, 4.18 ERA[ 5.0 IP, 10 H, 2 HR, 9 R/ER, 1 BB, 7 SO.
RHRP MARK LAMM [2.65 ERA] 1.0 IP, 1 H, zeros, 1 SO.
RF JORDAN PARRAZ [.500 BA] enjoys his first night in MISSISSIPPI after rehabbing three in Gulf Coast. He goes 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B , 2 RBI , 2 SO.
Our other prospects TODD CUNNINGHAM [.310 BA] and JOEY T. [.296 BA] had a hit and an RBI apiece.
C CHRISTIAN BETHANCOURT [.249 BA] on the other hand went 0-4 at the plate as the Bandits dropped this one 4-11
July 6th, 20127:09 am
Teheran has been bothered by a sore back…so maybe…
Possibility they are limiting innings…
July 6th, 20127:23 am
Heard a rumor that the Rays could make James Shields available. I know that they are not generally considered sellers, but do they still have studs in the minors stocked away?
July 6th, 20127:40 am
make him available at this deadline??? Why, aren’t they contenders?
July 6th, 20127:48 am
They have been bit by the injury bug, Longoria had a setback with his hamstring and now I heard that Matt Joyce will not be ready anytime soon…
And like I said, just a speculative rumor.
July 6th, 20127:51 am
TB is in a similar situation as the Braves with the Yankess getting a little separation in the division and being in the middle of the pack for the wild card.
July 6th, 20128:18 am
Fun game last night!
Good to see Minor with a positive outing.
Really enjoyed the Francisco at bats, glad he hit one out. Good call Juan!
Also good to see Mac and FF get the offense going as well.
I watched the end of the Phillies game last night too, Paplebon got taken down a notch!
Let’s win 3 more before the break. I like the pitching matchups for the Braves.
July 6th, 20128:27 am
July 5th, 2012
Salt potatoes are a regional dish of Syracuse, New York, typically served in the summer when the young potatoes are first harvested. They are a staple food at fairs and barbecues. In the Central New York region where they are the most popular, potatoes specifically intended for salt potatoes can be purchased by the bag along with packages of salt.
As the potatoes cook, the salty water forms a crust on the skin and seals the potatoes so they never taste water-logged like ordinary boiled potatoes often do. The potatoes have a unique texture closer to fluffy baked potatoes, only creamier. The standard recipe calls for one pound of salt for every four pounds of potatoes
great idea. 4 pounds of essentially sugar mixed with a pound of salt.
No wonder our obesity rates are through the roof in this country.
July 6th, 20128:39 am
Salt and potatoes. Diabetes and high blood pressure. MMMMMM.
July 6th, 20128:42 am
How is your eye?
July 6th, 20128:44 am
reminds me of Grandma she’d cook Biscuits mashed potatoes and gravy, Green beans cooked in butter, pork chops… and call it a healthy meal!!! “make sure you eat your biscuit it’s good for ya hun!!”
July 6th, 20128:52 am
Flange – Te overall vision iis improving – down from 20/250 to 20/100 – but all sorts of weird stuff going on – what they call floaters and flashers – things drifting across your vision and periodic flashes of light. Can’t drive at night anymore.
July 6th, 20128:54 am
Crazy – I remember lots of souther moms used to have a can of bacon grease on their stovetops for cooking. We’re finding out it wasn’t so healthy, but for my last meal I’d still want Paula Dean cooking it.
July 6th, 20128:56 am
CraZy, Paula Dean is your Grandma?
July 6th, 20128:58 am
I think Paula Dean is all of our grandma’s!
At least the vision is improving! I’ll bet the floaters and the flashers can make life a bit interesting especially for a an artist.
July 6th, 20128:59 am
Video after last night’s game
I wonder if after last night, Tomahawkinis still “tasting” Garza in our rotation?
July 6th, 20129:03 am
flange – Good thing I have experience with hallucinations?
July 6th, 20129:04 am
Paula Dean is your Grandma?
Paula Dean aint nothing compaired to my Grandma!!!
July 6th, 20129:06 am
phil sure has an obsession with fat…..
July 6th, 20129:09 am
HA! I was going to go there but thought better of it!
July 6th, 20129:11 am
Interesting note from Rosenthal this morning…
By the deadline, the Sox could — repeat, could — be dealing with seven healthy outfielders: Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury and Cody Ross; Daniel Nava, Ryan Sweeney, Scott Podsednik and Ryan Kalish.
If offense is the way to go, perhaps some potential targets in Nava, Sweeney or Kalish?
July 6th, 20129:12 am
Minor was good last night, maybe he’s turning it around. Can’t trade him yet!
July 6th, 20129:14 am
And I think he may have taken Wren off the “hot seat” when taken in context…
Under Wren, the Braves won more games while spending less money from 2009 to ’11 than all but one team — the Rays. The Braves averaged 89 wins and payrolls of $89 million during that period; the Rays averaged 92 wins and payrolls of $59 million.
Something else to consider: As of Thursday, the Braves also had the fifth-youngest roster in the majors, with an average age of 27.5. Only the Nationals, Athletics, Astros and Royals were lower.
July 6th, 20129:18 am
Flange – What are you implying? I have a schizoid friend on medication that hallucinates when he’s off his meds.
Well, actually I do have such a friend,, but I’ve also got some beachfront property in Nevadafor sale.
July 6th, 20129:19 am
I seriously doubt that Wren has ever been on the “hot seat” except in the minds of some crazed bloggers
Man. seeing those at bats by Francisco last night makes one think that dude could be a replacement for Chipper. It’s just all those other weak at bats that he has had that makes me think otherwise. He may be a guy that just needs at bats though. If he were to show us something that made us believe he could handle the position adequately, then we could focus that money on signing Bourn and Greinke…
Just a thought
July 6th, 20129:20 am
nolie, I agree. I am one that thinks Wren has done an excellent job so far…
the data I’ve seen and quoted places them third youngest
July 6th, 20129:21 am
Duke -Careful – I mentioned that Francisco might be a decent thrid baseman if given adequate playing time and was generally reviled and laughed at.
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