4:03 pm December 4, 2012, by David O'Brien
December 7th, 20125:08 pm
December 7th, 20125:09 pm
Fielder and Sandoval suck because they are over weight also.
The A Bomb
Fat and out of shape — more outs than thin and in shape.
December 7th, 20125:10 pm
even if he said that it does not mean he will take less money to do so, that is a huge jump on your part re Greinke
Francisco — more tradable thin than fat. End of story.
December 7th, 20125:12 pm
You watch Fielder as he gets older. He will be hurt. Knees and hips.
Fat and out of shape — more outs than thin and in shape
. tell it to Babe Ruth and Prince Fielder. just more of the stupid thinking that weight has anything to do with hitting. There have been thousands of thin, in shape players who can’t hit worth a tinkers damn
December 7th, 20125:13 pm
Sandoval slimmed down, it didn’t make him any better. Started eating again and started hitting again. Focus has to be on hitting and matching up with pitchers, not whether or not you are going to meet the weight limit set by someone else. Francisco has shown that he wants to improve. He has done what has been asked of him, he lost weight, got in better shape and has changed his approach with hitting. The results are showing and he deserves the chance to show the Braves what he can do.
December 7th, 20125:14 pm
Greinke telling his friends (and counting on them leaking said info) that he would prefer to play in ATL is most likely just a marketing strategy. From what’s been said at Winter Meetings, Greinke sounds like a guy who thinks a lot. So. he’s probably aware that by creating fictitious signing scenarios, he drives up his own price. College football coaches do it all the time and get huge raises in response. IMO, that’s all this talk is.
OMG… I dont understand. How many years for what?
we are not talking about when he gets older, . yes extreme fat could shorten his productive years, but I don’t wanna keep him til hes 35
December 7th, 20125:15 pm
Although he will be on a shorter leash than most because of the immediate needs. That is why they will look at him in the DR and probably a lot closer in spring training.
December 7th, 20125:17 pm
Tony Gwynn was fat and as far as I know, he wasn’t all that bad, was he?
Tony Gwynn certainly fell into the “out of shape” but “sure could hit” category.
bring back blauser
white sox shopping vicieda and de aza
TOBF, if he was to sign with us, how many years would he sign for at $18m per year?
December 7th, 20125:18 pm
Re: Francisco’s weight. I’m a bit “tubby” myself. It’s never been an issue when it comes to my yearly evaluation at work, and I’ve always gotten raises. But then again, I’m not trying to hit 95 mph fastballs outta ballparks with 30,000 people watching.
Nice comment JC Brave
December 7th, 20125:19 pm
I’m talking about TRADABILITY. Nothing else.
No one wants to trade for a mass of blubber.
December 7th, 20125:20 pm
In your mind you really believe Grienke would leave 10’s of millions on the table to pitch in Atlanta?
Think for a minute before you type
December 7th, 20125:22 pm
The point of my 5:18 post is this: As long as you do your job, go ahead and have the cake if you want it. Hit a HR that night? Go ahead, supersize that order of fries, Big Juan. Go on with your big, bad self.
December 7th, 20125:23 pm
With all those free agency $$, a mass of blubber might just get a contract.
December 7th, 20125:24 pm
Players with weight problems tend always to have weight problems.
Sell high on this guy so when he puts it back on it’s someone else’s issue. Potential is there right now. Even in a package. Yankees would be a great fit for him with the bandbox there. We need a speed guy so work it out for Gardner. And when he puts it on again at least the vertical pinstripes would be flattering.
December 7th, 20125:29 pm
A Bomb, you are making way too much out of the weight issue. He was out of shape with a questionable attitude and approach. He has addressed all of the issues the Braves approached him about. The biggest question is whethe or not he is motivated to keep up all of the hard work.
December 7th, 20125:33 pm
Players with weight problems tend always to have weight problems.
Yup. And obsessive fans tend to always obsess. Dude, Babe Ruth used to show up hung over and scarf down hot dogs during games. Think he did ok for himself. Francisco’s problems the last few years, I’d bet, are not likely weight-related. But are prob more of the mental preparation and approach variety.
Prado is going to play 3B. So all I am saying is before he goes Kirstie Alley you maximize the profit by flipping him for max value.
Just read a headline on lonestarball.com discussing a rumored trade of R.A. Dickey for Olt. Evidently, if the Rangers do not get Greinke, this deal might be possible.
December 7th, 20125:34 pm
We have all these Babe Ruth stories. Didn’t realize some of you are 100-105 years old. Sorry.
December 7th, 20125:35 pm
could be reading too much into his thoughts, but he did pass on WAS back in 09 where he would have gotten a big extension…. if he wanted money, he’d likely have signed by now. And it’s only really the Rangers left looking at him. We’ll see.
December 7th, 20125:38 pm
TOBF if we offered 5@90M and they offered 5@110M you really think he would pick us?
December 7th, 20125:40 pm
Nah, not old…just sticking up for my fellow fatties.
December 7th, 20125:43 pm
TJ: Cliff Lee left, what, 30+mil to go to Philly… he wanted them, they gave him a good enough offer, though it wasnt the highest. If Greinke wants to go somewhere where he can win and be comfortable, and he wants Atlanta, he’d probably leave money on the table as well. 18mil is very competitive for us, given our constraints. He apparently doesnt want LA, and hasnt signed with TEX yet… if he wanted money, he could already have signed and gotten it.
OMG: Id give him 6 years, 7th year team option if necessary.
The old source close to a source close to a source…
December 7th, 20125:48 pm
TOBF makes some valid points. Sh!t I’m on board…Grienke is gonna be an Atlanta Brave! It’s true. Why hasn’t he signed yet? Rangers have offered him $ and are the only ones left so what’s he waiting for? And after that Hamilton will take an I.O.U. on a napkin telling him the Braves will pay him 22 mill next year when Mac leaves and Hudson’s $ comes off the books.
It has long been known that the Atl is one of Greinke’s preferred destinations. I don’t think the Knobler source is a stretch at all in that regard.
December 7th, 20125:50 pm
De Aza is an interesting option. He’s not as big a stolen base threat at Bonifacio, but the Braves could do worse. I still prefer Bonifacio, who I think is on the upswing of his career.
I still can’t believe what the Phillies gave up for Revere. My guess is Minnesota had no intention of trading Revere until Amaro called up the Twins and blew them away.
Give up on Greinke, not gonna happen folks.
First Cliff Lee did not leave $30+ mil on the table
Second, do you know why he chose Philly?
December 7th, 20125:51 pm
Neil Young, still walking like a giant, and shredding guitar with his Crazy Horse mates like it’s nobody’s business. (Listen all the way through, or at least get to the 7-8 minute part….)
December 7th, 20125:52 pm
Greinke is pretty good in regular season, but very shaky in postseason (granted, 3 starts is a very small sample size). That really something you want to pay $18 million a year for?
December 7th, 20125:54 pm
They= Dodgers…. absolutely he picks us. They= Rangers, I think he still might, but we’d probably need to up to 19… Greinke likely is studying the organizations that are wooing him very well, he did back in 2009 when he was traded. Hes a thinker. The Rangers farm is better than ours, and they are better set up for longterm success, but we look pretty good for the next 6-8 years at least… that would take him through much of the peak of his career. Great chance to win here. Plus, he likes to hit… can’t do that much in the AL.
COULD be reading too much into his thoughts? Could be? Dude, this obsession is starting to get to creeped out levels.
December 7th, 20125:59 pm
I’m gonna start passing the hat so we can get an ample supply of Kleenex for TOBF when his boy signs elsewhere
he said he never wanted to leave…
December 7th, 20126:00 pm
kleenex? Maybe Welbutrin would be better.
December 7th, 20126:01 pm
December 7th, 20126:03 pm
As far as I know, Atlanta has always been his top choice. They train minutes from his house, and I may be wrong, but he said he’s always been a Braves fan, wanted to play for Bobby and with Chipper before they retired…
anyway, we can just let it lie, he’s probably going to sign with the Rangers, since the Braves won’t make an offer. I can live with that, I like the Rangers too
I’ve got it, he’s performing a Vulcan mind meld – LOL
I’m thinking the Braves would have to make Greinke some kind of offer in order for him to play here. As far as any of us know, that has not and will not happen.
December 7th, 20126:05 pm
Trader Jack – I’d tell him to live long and prosper, but only if he changes his rant.
Did you have a rather bizarre conversation with someone using my moniker on Monday night?
December 7th, 20126:06 pm
Possibly. That was a long time ago
Nolan Ryan and the rest of the Rangers front office blew Greinke away, Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio reports (on Twitter). Greinke apparently loves the team’s chances of winning the World Series.
An already great rotation, good lineup, probably the best farm system in the league. He’d do well there. He wants to win, they are a winner. Probably more inviting from a personnel standpoint than Atlanta…
December 7th, 20126:09 pm
From what I can determine it had to do with Giancarlo Stanton
BMac (Brandon McCarthy) to the Diamondbacks, 2yrs 15.5mil
December 7th, 20126:12 pm
I believe you are correct
December 7th, 20126:14 pm
I never saw so many people make such a big deal about a few pounds of fat as happens here.
December 7th, 20126:16 pm
Without getting into all the details, I had house guests over for the weekend, who have 2 teenage sons, who jumped on my laptop, after I retired to watch the football game and left them alone in the Great room. Nuff said.
My apology for anything they might have said
December 7th, 20126:20 pm
Without getting into all the details…Jack
better watch out, that can get you banned…….
December 7th, 20126:22 pm
too bad Young turned down the Phils, I think he is getting pretty much toasty
December 7th, 20126:24 pm
Nothing offensive was said at all. Don’t even worry about it. I did, however, wonder why you suddenly seemed…well, let’s just say I felt I was explaining myself over and over and “you” just didn’t seem to understand
December 7th, 20126:30 pm
I think he still might, but we’d probably need to up to 19…
Braves have no business handing 20% of payroll to any pitcher, especially one who’s makeup is questionable, and who’s results have very seldom matched his impressive peripherals. IMO.
December 7th, 20126:33 pm
DOB thanks for the Neil Young clip. Dude is so good.
Before the Phillies acquired Ben Revere from the Twins, they attempted to also get Josh Willingham in either the same trade package or in a separate deal
December 7th, 20126:34 pm
Some folks just make up whatever they want to see happen I guess. 18 million in this case, 19 million in that case.hmmmm
December 7th, 20126:36 pm
they attempted to also get Josh Willingham in either the same trade package or in a separate deal @TOBF
can’t blame them there. The way things are going Willingham would be a steal as far as salary
December 7th, 20126:42 pm
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December 7th, 20126:43 pm
Just read Ben Revere’s numbers—Phils gave up TOO much for him. They can have him.
looks like it was available a whole number of times old man
December 7th, 20126:44 pm
I agree. Revere has about as little pop as anybody in baseball. Even at leadoff some doubles and triples are a real good thing
December 7th, 20126:46 pm
Looks like old man is out to set a new record
December 7th, 20126:47 pm
old man could use a hug
heck we all could use a hug
December 7th, 20126:48 pm
Beat your record old man… that’s a 13-peat! See ya when the blog finally lets you get back on. Your ‘net must be really slow to multipost that many times, I’ve only triple-posted before
December 7th, 20126:49 pm
get that message at least 13 times a day though…. this site has turned to crap
December 7th, 20126:50 pm
I’ve never even seen it on my computer…
this site really does act like crap frequently. I guess I don’t have it too bad, noles and a few others have been whining about it for years it seems.
December 7th, 20126:51 pm
look at cab rubbing it in. Must be that California clean living.
December 7th, 20126:52 pm
It must be
(It does take a while to load sometimes, especially on the iPad)
December 7th, 20126:55 pm
Nothing personal against Greinke, but if we give him what this blog is recommending then we have absolutely nothing left for LF/3B or the remainder of the bench. So, we’d be banking on Francisco to be an impact bat. Anyone really want to take that bet? No thanks.
December 7th, 20126:57 pm
Is it me, or is the blog totally F-ed up?
December 7th, 20126:58 pm
In 2009, Zack Greinke was probably the best baseball player on the planet. He went 16-8 with a 2.16 ERA, held opponents to a .230 batting average and .276 on-base percentage, finished second in the league in strikeouts and allowed zero runs or one run in 18 of his 33 starts. Basically, he had a Justin Verlander year before Justin Verlander — the only starting pitcher with a lower ERA in the past decade was Roger Clemens of the Astros in 2005 — and while Greinke won the Cy Young Award, the Royals being the Royals he finished just 17th in the MVP voting.
In three seasons since, he’s played for the Royals, Brewers and Angels and gone 41-25 with a 3.83 ERA — an ERA that ranks 33rd among starting pitchers with at least 500 innings over those years. So, of course, the rumors are he’ll receive $150 to $160 million to sign most likely with the Dodgers or Rangers.
OK, that’s a little unfair. Nobody really considers Greinke the 35th-best starting pitcher in baseball, but it is fair to ask exactly how good this guy is. And that’s where it gets complicated. Here are a bunch of numbers and stats from the past four years. If you don’t like numbers and stats, the basic premise is this: Over the past three seasons, his results (ERA) haven’t matched his peripherals.
Year ERA FIP BB% SO% HR/FB% BABIP LOB% fWAR bWAR
2009 2.16 2.33 5.6% 26.5% 4.5% .303 79.3% 9.3 10.1
2010 4.17 3.34 6.0% 19.7% 7.5% .305 65.3% 5.1 3.2
2011 3.83 2.98 6.3% 28.1% 13.6% .318 69.8% 4.0 1.4
2012 3.48 3.10 6.2% 23.0% 10.2% .306 74.5% 5.1 3.3
OK, a few notes here:
1. You’ll note the difference in valuation between FanGraphs WAR (fWAR) and Baseball-Reference WAR (bWAR). Without getting into a detailed comparison, the basic reason for this is FanGraphs focuses on peripherals (strikeouts, walks, home runs allowed) while B-R focuses on runs allowed.
Where would you rank Zack Greinke among MLB starters?
11 to 20
21 to 30
(Total votes: 1,632)
2. You’ll note that Greinke’s FIP — his fielding independent ERA — has been lower than his actual ERA. That’s why he ranks seventh in FanGraphs cumulative WAR from 2010 to 2012, but 31st in Baseball-Reference WAR.
3. His average on balls in play (BABIP) has been consistent — even in his 2009 Cy Young season — and that average is a little higher than the MLB average over that span, which has ranged between .291 and .295. Still, we’re not talking about a ton of extra hits here. In 2012, the difference between Greinke’s .306 BABIP (via FanGraphs) and the MLB average of .293 is eight hits.
OK, a lot of you know this already. That leaves us with this: There’s a huge difference between the seventh-best starting pitcher and baseball and somebody more in the 25 to 30-ish range. We’re talking an ace versus a No. 2. Certainly, at $150 million, Greinke will be paid like one of the best pitchers in baseball.
Greinke’s higher-than-expected hit rate can be attributed, in part, to playing for some poor defensive teams in Kansas City and Milwaukee, but that doesn’t fully explain the difference between his ERA and FIP. But maybe this chart does:
Year Bases empty Runners on Runners in scoring position
2010 .249/.295/.392 .275/.326/.382 .297/.360/.427
2011 .245/.287/.408 .244/.311/.417 .285/.365/.518
2012 .248/.281/.369 .251/.323/.361 .280/.376/.385
We have a three-year pattern where Greinke has pitched as well — or at least achieved the same results — with runners on base, and particularly with runners in scoring position. Now, this be a sample-size fluke, another reflection of the defenses behind him, or maybe a sign that he loses something from the stretch in location or stuff. Certainly, the team giving him this huge contract is gambling that his numbers with runners on will regress closer to those numbers with bases empty — and thus lead to fewer runs allowed.
In digging into the numbers, we can try and isolate what has happened. I noticed a big split on results with his fastball over these three seasons.
Greinke’s fastball location with the bases empty, 2010-2012.
Plate appearances ending in fastball, 2010-2012
Bases empty: .267/.318/.416
Scoring position: .323/.419/.498
With the bases empty, Greinke throws his fastball for a strike 55 percent of the time, but with runners in scoring position that drops to 46 percent. For example, you can look at the two heat maps to the right to see how his location differs against right-handed batters. With the bases empty, he pounds the low outside corner and outer edge of the plate and righties hit just .243 in plate appearances ending with a fastball (403 total PAs). With runners in scoring position, his location drifts more often to the inside part of the plate, resulting in a .302 average allowed in 145 PAs ending in fastballs.
ESPN Stats & Information
Greinke’s fastball location with runners in scoring position, 2010-2012.
Again, with caveats about sample size, there appear to be real factors behind Greinke’s issues with runners on base. The above example is just isolated one pitch. Without fastball command, more bad things happen: You fall behind in counts, you’re forced to throw more pitches down the middle and so on. There could be other issues going on here: Pitch selection, not challenging hitters enough or something else that could be correctable.
But in shelling out $150 million for Greinke, a team is banking on something better than a 3.50 ERA. And that’s aside from the general health risks involved with any pitcher — although Greinke has been clean in that regard in his career — and the perception that maybe he doesn’t have the mentality to be a No. 1. (The Brewers started Yovani Gallardo over Greinke in the opening game of the 2011 playoffs.) Of course, if he does end up with the Dodgers or Rangers, they have staff leaders already in place with Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish.
So just how good is Zack Greinke? Ace? A No. 2 with only five starts of 8+ innings over the past two seasons? A guy who can win another Cy Young Award?
December 7th, 20126:59 pm
iPhone 5 with great 4G coverage takes forever to load,… even the wifi at the local university is slow to the site…. whatever they did to the site isn’t working!
December 7th, 20127:01 pm
He’s a strong #2…
not just you old man…
December 7th, 20127:04 pm
I tend to agree that he is a strong #2, at least as far as actual results over most of his career
December 7th, 20127:08 pm
OK, what was I trying to say when the blog froze up?
Francisco. I’m a fan. You guys know that. But if losing weight makes him better trade bait, wonderful.
He could be the Ruthian, Sandoval type, thriving with extra weight. But I think the weight loss–if there has been any–is more a sign of overall discipline. If he kept his overall mental discipline, he could even gain some weight back perhaps. So I’m pulling for him to get in shape and lose some weight, but not necessarily because chubby people can’t be great athletes. Clearly they can.
Even though he has been crushing the ball in winter ball, he is really only showing glimpses of plate discipline. But for him glimpses are a pretty big deal. A huge deal, in fact. If he plays a game without a K, it’s a big deal.
I repeat: if he progresses to only a below average MLB player regarding K/BB/pitch selection/discipline, he will be a very surprising asset.
Trade him now if the deal is right? Hell, yeah. Give him plenty of ABs this spring? Hell yeah to that too. Some of his splits in ATL last year and this winter have been crazy good.
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