Numbers suggest Minor hasn’t been quite as bad as all that

A kick of the leg, a flip of the wrist ... but what's the xFIP? (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

In the light of Mike Minor’s latest strange outing — he yielded five hits in six innings, but four were home runs — I thought I’d pass along some data presented by Red Reporter in its preview of the Reds-Braves series. (Warning: If your eyes glaze over at the mention of sabermetrics, cease and desist reading.) My two favorites:

That Minor has a left-on-base percentage that’s off the charts, and not in a good way.

That Minor, who now carries an ERA of 6.97, has, at least according to one key stat-geek metric, pitched almost as well as Brandon Beachy, whose 1.33 ERA leads the majors.

The metric in question is xFIP, and it stands for expected fielding independent pitching. Here’s the simple definition — actually, it’s not all that simple — from the really useful site FanGraphs: “ Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a player’s ERA should have looked like over a given time period, assuming that performance on balls in play and timing were league average.” (And the “x” for expected adds a mathematical wrinkle that seeks to measure how many home runs a pitcher should have allowed.)

(An aside: Numbers-crunchers insist there are only Three True Outcomes of a given plate appearance — a home run, a strikeout or a walk. Everything else is subject to the vagaries of fielding, positioning and luck. FIP and xFIP are attempts to flatten out the variables. I’d suggest that fielding can never be separated from the concept of pitching, but maybe that’s just me.)

Back to Minor: Before Monday’s start, his xFIP was 3.82; Beachy’s was 3.83. (In xFIP as in golf, the lower the number the better.) This is at odds with what we’ve actually seen — Beachy has been dominant all season, Minor all but helpless of late — but that’s kind of the point of these metrics. They attempt to remove the eyeball test as a measure. I’m not sure you can do that, either, but let’s press on.

Returning to Red Reporter’s reportage: Minor’s  LOB percentage is terrible. With Monday’s start included, Minor has stranded only 42.1 percent of baserunners — the second-worst mark among big-league starting pitchers. (Vance Worley of the Phillies leads the majors, having seen only 10.4 percent of runners score.) And that, I would suggest, actually buttresses the findings relayed by our eyeballs: When Minor gets in trouble, he rarely wriggles free.

And that’s the difference between winning and losing. Minor’s strikeout rate per nine innings is a very good 8.1 — Beachy’s is 6.5 — but only 22.7 percent of baserunners have scored against Beachy. One has managed to control whatever damage is done; the other hasn’t. You wouldn’t have expected that Beachy, who wasn’t drafted, would have mastered this essential technique ahead of Minor, who was taken No. 7 overall in 2009, but that only goes to show: Baseball is a funny game.

Sabermetricians will use those two sets of stats to suggest that Minor really hasn’t been as bad as his record indicates and that Beachy hasn’t been as good, but I’m leery of such conclusions. As much as I enjoy checking the numbers, I’m of the opinion that pitching is a zero-sum game: The more zeroes a pitcher posts — by whatever means — the better.

Bobby Cox

May 22nd, 2012
11:07 am

“He’s a good kid.”

[...] Numbers suggest Mike Minor hasn’t been quite as bad as all that [...]

Bobby Cox

May 22nd, 2012
11:09 am

Let’s switch Minor and Medlen’s roles….

#nopatienceforMinor

May 22nd, 2012
11:18 am

Minor needs to join JJ in AAA!!!!!!!

Willie Mays Hayes

May 22nd, 2012
11:18 am

Why can’t we just have Teheran and Minor switch assignments?

Tom

May 22nd, 2012
11:23 am

Really aren’t using this information right xFIP is just a ERA predictor adding league average HR rate although some pitchers have consistently shown that they allow HRs at a lesser rate. FIP is the better indicator of how a pitcher has pitched so far. Beachy has a FIP of 2.53 so sabermetrics still thinks Beachy has pitched quite well indeed.

Benjamin

May 22nd, 2012
11:25 am

Sabremetrics – much as I hate them – often tell a fuller story than traditional stats. Plus, he’s young and has already tasted some success at the big league level; I think it’d be good for him to get another 2-3 starts in before the Gwinnett crowds had another lefty to watch.

If he’s looking at this in mid-June, though, it might be time to flip him down to AAA for JT.

[...and I don't think we need to switch roles with K-Med, at least in terms of putting Minor in the bullpen, for two reasons: I. It would stunt his development as a starter, which is where his long-term interests lie. II. It'd put another unnecessarily lefty arm in the bullpen, which we've already got three.]

bulldogbubba

May 22nd, 2012
11:30 am

I need a “Clusters” translation on this!

Mike

May 22nd, 2012
11:33 am

Free Todd Redmond!!!

Greg

May 22nd, 2012
11:38 am

If baseball games were played out on paper with a 20-sided die, and not on a baseball field, this might be useful info.

VolGuy

May 22nd, 2012
11:39 am

xFIP, Sabermetrics – Please deliver baseball from the grasp of stat geeks and fantasy freaks. One guy throws the ball and another guy tries to hit it. Simple. I think the comments made by one of the announcers on ESPN last night – I think it was Rick Sutcliff, a former major league pithcher – were more insightful than all the statistical crap. He said it appears that Minor has lost confidence in his breaking ball and he probably needs to go back to AAA and get his head straight – just as Greg Maddox did when he first came up to the majors.

Yes, Spin Me Another Yarn!

May 22nd, 2012
11:44 am

Yes… I need expert stats and predictors to tell me Minor has sucked recently and has no clue what to do. He’s lost. Rick Sutcliffe said last night that he needs to “find” himself….. in the minor leagues to get himself straightened out.

Yes, Spin Me Another Yarn!

May 22nd, 2012
11:46 am

Sometimes you can say suck here and sometimes you can’t say suck here.

Yes, Spin Me Another Yarn!

May 22nd, 2012
11:47 am

Rick Sutcliffe said Minor is lost and should “find” himself……………….. in the minor leagues until he figures it out. I agree.

braver

May 22nd, 2012
11:47 am

If there’s any stat that suggests Minor has pitched “almost as well as Beachy,” then you’ve just proved sabermetrics are totally worthless. Nice work.

reckingball

May 22nd, 2012
11:52 am

braver, that was a good one.
go braves

West Coast Wreck

May 22nd, 2012
11:53 am

I love the fact that you are giving reference to advanced statistics, but making umbrella statements about their use and not using them correctly can cause people to blow them off as purely stat-geeky. Even the stat geeks know that some players capable of consistently outperforming their FIP, xFIP, and SIERA because they do pitch to weak contact. Delving deeper into Line drive, ground ball, and fly ball percentages can sometimes show why pitchers outperform what’s “expected.” However, strictly looking at Minor, looking at advanced statistics doesn’t tell the whole story. If you take a look at the difference between his WHIP, BA against, OPS, etc… when the bases are empty as opposed to when runners are on, it’s vast. This might indicate that Minor is not pitching the same out of the stretch as he is in the wind-up. Maybe he is tipping his pitches, not getting as much break, not throwing as hard, or something else that a coaching staff needs to try and figure out.

As far as Beachy goes, he has done very well outpitching his peripheral stats, but a 1.7% HR/FB is clearly unsustainable. I still believe Beachy is a very good pitcher, but I do not believe a 1.33 ERA is his true talent level.

Gene

May 22nd, 2012
11:54 am

The only statistic that matters is the one when a runner touches home plate, and Minor has been allowing that to happen at an unacceptable rate. I was at the game last night, and Minor might as well have been pitching batting practice or homerun derby. Francisco is awful. The Braves must find a decent backup at third, or trot out the Henry Grady statue as earlier suggested.

SR

May 22nd, 2012
12:06 pm

Stop it Bradley, this is nuts. The kid is simply inconsistent as he can possibly be and you do not need one freakin statistic to illustrate that point, rather, you simply need a set of eyes to watch him pitch.

Minor Point

May 22nd, 2012
12:07 pm

West Coast: I agree with you for the most part, but Minor’s 4 solo home runs last night made it pretty glaring that he can’t pitch from the wind up either (right now, anyway…)

SR

May 22nd, 2012
12:08 pm

Yes, Spin Me, I agree with you and with Sutcliffe. Excellent point.

eastbound and down

May 22nd, 2012
12:12 pm

This is the problem with sabermetrics and why Bill James isn’t a manager someplace and although Lisa Simpson did have some success, it was short lived. Like West Coast Wreck stated, something is happening to Minor when he is pitching from the stretch or with runners on base. Whether he is tipping his pitches, trying to hard to “aim” his pitches or something else, the coaching staff needs to figure it out.

bvillebaron

May 22nd, 2012
12:13 pm

I acknowledge that there is a place for sabermetrics in baseball, but let’s not get carried away here. Based on what I have observed, Minor is pitching like a typical young pitcher who is “on the learnign curve”. What I saw last night was someone who constantly fell behind hitters (as evidenced in part by his having thrown almost 100 pitches in a little over 4 IPs) and then threw a couple of batting practice pitches. He also pitched with no confidence. The best thing that happened last night was that Gonzalez kept him out for the 5th and 6th innings and didn’t let him “off the hook” by replacing him when he looked like he wanted out of the game.

GT71

May 22nd, 2012
12:14 pm

He’s not going to get consistent against big league batters in AAA. Leave him in rotation and find out what he’s made of. By All-star break we’ll know and if we’re a good team otherwise – and we are – it wont hurt that much. If we blast his confidence by sending him down, we’ve lost him and he’ll return with another team in a year or so and hand us our b-u-t-t-s.

Bulldawg

May 22nd, 2012
12:19 pm

I don’t think the Braves pay Mike Minor for having good sabermetric stats. They pay him to win ballgames and he is not doing that.

SimpleDawg

May 22nd, 2012
12:20 pm

I thought a fan in the outfield was going to be seriously injured last night, with all of those rockets leaving the park.

Eisendawg

May 22nd, 2012
12:21 pm

Genius move by the Braves. They cannot win on Mondays, and they cannot win with Minor, so it was pretty smart to double up and only take one loss yesterday.

West Coast Wreck

May 22nd, 2012
12:22 pm

Even though my point about Minor suggests I don’t believe in Sabermetrics, I think they are extremely valuable in Mike Minor’s case. He is a far better pitcher than his results indicate thus far. I believe that advanced statistics are a much better indicator of someone’s true talent level as opposed to ERA and W/L records. When there is a big discrepancy between what’s expected and what is occurring, that’s when a coaching staff needs to figure out “why” the discrepancy exist.

Steve

May 22nd, 2012
12:23 pm

Best quote from Fredi last night, “Minor ONLY give up 4 solo home runs.” Only 4 huh?

yeah yeah

May 22nd, 2012
12:24 pm

Favorite quote from Fredi’s postgame…”He only gave up four solo home runs!”

cobby box

May 22nd, 2012
12:41 pm

get medlan in the rotation ASAP…

Matt

May 22nd, 2012
12:42 pm

It seems like now they’re just making stats up.

iTiSi

May 22nd, 2012
12:43 pm

Fredi simplifies things so much they become very complicated. He almost makes Yogi Berra look intelligent.

iTiSi

May 22nd, 2012
12:45 pm

SimpleDog, do you see on ESPN later that one fan caught two of those homeruns. They were hit to the exact same spot. He was holding one ball in his hand and caught the second one with his other hand. Never seen that before!

iTiSi

May 22nd, 2012
12:47 pm

I’m a doofus! It’s “did” not “do” in my last post. What is wrong with me? I’ve got Bravitis!

dawg tired

May 22nd, 2012
12:52 pm

If Minor is “lost”, he should start looking for himself… on the mound at Cool Ray Field in Gwinnett.

Uncle Tom

May 22nd, 2012
12:52 pm

The current organization is just like the old one. They usually end up doing the obvious (and right) thing eventually, but they’re very slow about it. Get MEDLEN in the rotation where he has proven he belongs!!!!!!

go-BRAVOS

May 22nd, 2012
12:58 pm

People need to stop with the “Medlen needs to start” stuff. He is not going to be a starter this year and is too valuable out of the bullpen this year, next year hopefully he is a starter. Medlen is coming off TJ surgery and would be on an innings limit and plus he has never thrown more than 120 innings in a season (majors or minors). Plus if Meds were starting and had a few bad outings you same “experts” would be calling him a bum and saying we should trade him for a bag of balls.
When Minor does settle in and figure his problems out you “experts” will be saying how awesome he is and that you just knew he was going to be a great pitcher. Just chill and let him have more than30+ starts before we throw him under the bus.

Go Braves!

Gerry Whiteman

May 22nd, 2012
1:05 pm

After all the numbers are crunched it really becomes a “Minor” issue. Just ask the Lemmer.

Durrtydogg

May 22nd, 2012
1:10 pm

Its simply confidence. He doesn’t have that mean, Im about to strike your butt out look on his face like he did earlier in the season. He needs to get his edge back.

Minor Proof Positive

May 22nd, 2012
1:14 pm

Minor & Delgado & Jurrjens performance thus far this year is PROOF POSITIVE that Roger McDowell and Fredi Gonzalez are outmatched and over classed and have absolutely no idea what they are doing or managing – and ought to be run out of town faster than MARTA leaves the station – What a bunch of CLOWNS!!!!!

Jeffrey

May 22nd, 2012
1:16 pm

I love medlin and would love to see him start again. I was at the game we he blew his elbow. But we need at least one lefty and while I am a big vandy/minor fan I think we need to give it time and if it doesn’t work out make a trade. Cheers!!!

Chris

May 22nd, 2012
1:26 pm

Minor has a FIP 5.28 while Beachy has a FIP of 2.53 so sabermetrics is telling us there has been a huge gap on how they have pitched so far. I think Mark just doesn’t know what to use and what not to. xFIP is not a indication of how a pitcher has pitched to date.

blue

May 22nd, 2012
1:27 pm

dude…I trust my eyes…and every time I see him pitch, he leaves WAY to many pitches in the sweet spot. Target is on the corner, and he is throwing it center-cut of the plate. OFTEN

Losersville U.S.A.

May 22nd, 2012
1:28 pm

Going to be another LOSING season before it’s all over… AGAIN !!!!

Why can’t this town have winners and Hockey stay ? I’ll be happy if the hawks move too !!!!

Ted M

May 22nd, 2012
1:34 pm

I haven’t read Moneyball and I’m not a sabermetrics guy but this article was interesting. You can keep these sabermetrics blogs coming.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 22nd, 2012
1:35 pm

If I am not mistaken FIP and BABIP assume that all balls in play are equal. If one pitcher is consistently inducing weak ground balls and the other one is throwing hanging curves that get blasted, the second one is obviously going to have a higher ERA regardless of what his FIP is.

Let's Go

May 22nd, 2012
1:37 pm

I don’t care what stats you use Minor has not looked good. He doesn’t pass the eye test but the only stat that really matters is are the Braves winning when he pitches and overall they are 5 and 4 when he starts. He can’t continue at his rate so either he starts pitching better or he goes to the bullpen. This is his 3rd try at starting and he has had a few good games in 3 years but overall he has stunk so I’m not sure AAA is an option at this point.

Brandon

May 22nd, 2012
1:38 pm

The main problem is this:

Minor COULD quite possibly be the second coming of Tom Glavine,,, HOWEVER,,, this Braves team cannot afford to trot Mike Minor out there every 4th day trying to become a great pitcher while ALSO doing the same thing with Delgado.

Either the Braves are a first-place team looking to put the pedal down and win in the toughest division in baseball by winning every game they can,, or they’re trying to develop young talent to the point that they put a “watchable” product on the field every year without really “going for it.” Either way, they need to decide because you cannot have it both ways.

We trotted Lowe out every 5th day last year and it cost us the division (that and the inability of Freddie G. to save his pen early in the year with 4+ run leads). We can take our time with either Delgado, Teheran, or Minor,,, but NOT all 3 at once. The Braves NEED solid starts 1-4 and a 5th day guy that will do the job on most days.

Right now we have Beachy on lock-down\beast mode, we have Huddy throwing very well like a 1-2 as always, we have Hanson starting to fill out his spot nicely as a solid 2-3, Delgado is a mixed bag 5 guy (as he should be right now at his young age), and Minor is pitching like a 5 guy just up from AAA. That just isn’t going to cut it.

I’m not here to destroy Minor because the fact is that he IS a good pitcher who just isn’t quick to adjust. I’m also not going to destroy Delgado because he’s a young kid who obviously can pitch VERY well when he’s on. The fact, however, is that Minor and Delgado CANNOT exist in the same rotation at this point in their respective careers at the same time! If Freddie G., F.W., and Roger McDowell can’t see that then they NEED to be excused from their position because they are morons. This isn’t 1989 where the Braves can let a young guy develop. This is 2012 where we actually have a chance to go to,, (and dare I say it),, WIN the World Series and EVERY GAME THEY PLAY MATTERS AND EVERY LOSS MATTERS HUGE! Heyward needs to start hitting again or be sent down. Period. Minor needs to quit giving up homers every time he lets the ball go or he needs to figure it out in the minors. Period.

Kris Medlen is in the pen right now ready to throw 7 shutout innings every time he touches the ball and I, for one, would VERY MUCH welcome seeing him and Minor switch places. Minor is good for 3 innings at a time so he should be allowed to expand that ability out of the pen for the next 4 months while he attempts to earn his spot back in the rotation with some solid long relief every 5th day that Delgado pitches.

THAT is how the Braves SHOULD manage this situation. Teheran, Delgado and Minor should NOT be in the rotation at the same time RIGHT NOW. All of these guys NEED an opportunity to pitch without feeling like the world is going to fall apart if the ball leaves the yard. Unfortunately, Freddie G. is going to send Minor out every 5th day like a lamb to slaughter and we all get to watch as Delgado “comes along nicely” with a 4.50 ERA and Minor slowly gets beaten down and gets destroyed this season with a 6.50 ERA to end the year with the Braves missing the playoffs by 1-2 games yet again because Freddie Gonzalez refuses to make the hard call and just put Medlen in the rotation and move Minor to the pen or AAA and either leave Teheran in AAA or call him up to the pen.

Bam! Problem solved.

Brandon

May 22nd, 2012
1:38 pm

that was waaayyyy too long… Sorry bout’ that everyone!

Yogi Berra

May 22nd, 2012
1:48 pm

One word. Long Term Capital Management.

West Coast Wreck

May 22nd, 2012
1:49 pm

Minor’s HRs allowed last night are a good case study in which both Advanced Stats and the Eyeball test can come together well to tell a better story than either by themselves. Minor certainly did not put the ball in good locations on 3 of the 4 HRs allowed. However, most of the time a batter doesn’t hit mistakes THAT well, but there is certainly a higher probability of it happening. However, the distances on the 4 HR balls were 377, 389, 391, and 418. The first 3 HRs were largely a product of Cincinnati’s ballpark. Those first 3 HRs would not have even cleared the fence in 14, 14, and 16 other major league ball parks respectively. That is unlucky. However, even being unlucky, the probability of the balls being hit that hard are because the pitches were very hittable pitches.

P Rose

May 22nd, 2012
1:52 pm

“…and they give you cash, which is just as good as money.” –HUH??

Supes

May 22nd, 2012
1:56 pm

The Braves can’t afford to have both DELGADO and MINOR “learning” and “taking their beatings” up here in the big leagues while CONTENDING for the NL EAST.

That’s the bottom line. They can ENDURE 1 of those “learning up here” as a 5th starter but NOT both. Something MUST BE DONE very soon, we are in a VERY competitive division. Every game counts, even the ones in April and May! There must be more urgency from WREN, he needs to remove the ability of Fredi to use one of the two by demoting to AAA, and or making a trade or bringing up JJ (at some point if he’s found himself back or close to his form)

what of it?

May 22nd, 2012
1:57 pm

In other words, Minor doesn’t have composure or mental discipline. Glad they found a statistical way to represent what anyone who watches the game understands.

Lewis Grizzard

May 22nd, 2012
2:02 pm

They should come up with some sort of sabermetrics that reveal the level of idiocy on internet forums. This one, with its plastic experts and bumbling blowhards would most definitely be off the charts….and not in a good way. The ONLY way for a young pitcher to get better is to pitch against major league competition. Minor has already proven he can pitch, nothing any of the baseball challenged wahoos can say will change that….you can’t push the panic button every time a young pitcher gets into a few weeks of below par results. Medlen is fine in his role. This isn’t fantasy baseball….stop treating it like it is.

fireRicht

May 22nd, 2012
2:02 pm

Brandon, totally agreed. i am tired of seeing mediocrity in this town’s sports scene

JWOOD

May 22nd, 2012
2:05 pm

I think Minor looked better last night. I know he gave up 4 home runs, but he pitched out of trouble when he had men on base, and he came back from those homers to throw some better baseball. I think he will turn the corner very soon.

Durrtydogg

May 22nd, 2012
2:06 pm

I think the comparisons to Glavine, Smoltz and Maddux are a little unfair. The Braves are in first place and are contenders. During Glavine and Smoltz early years the Braves were horrible and they didnt have the ceiling they have now. This is Chippers last year. The Braves are winning and putting two pitchers out there to take there lumps is maybe asking a little too much. Minor should be doing better. Its just as simple as that. And the more we hark on Fredi, the more Roger gets a pass. Fredi didnt bring Roger in. He was already here. I dont think Fredi is the best manager in the world, thats for sure, but I think Roger needs to step up and be more assertive with these guys. Either that or trade JJ to free up some money and sign a veteran to step in and take one of those spots. We are not in a position to wait on two pitchers to get it together.

The Walrus

May 22nd, 2012
2:06 pm

“An aside: Numbers-crunchers insist there are only Three True Outcomes of a given plate appearance — a home run, a strikeout or a walk. Everything else is subject to the vagaries of fielding, positioning and luck.”

Aren’t strikeouts and walks somewhat dependent upon luck as well, considering that each umpire tends to have his own strike zone?

bfred

May 22nd, 2012
2:24 pm

Unless xFIP takes into account groundball / line drive / fly ball stats, I don’t see how it’s much use. As Minor so capably demonstrated, fly balls can clear the fence. Ground balls cannot. That’s why everybody loves Hudson and his ultra-heavy sinker – he was 4th in the NL (behind Derek Lowe!) in ground ball / fly ball ratio last year. Minor is currently 68th.

FWIW, Beach is only 49th so some correction is likely to take place.

stevie zero

May 22nd, 2012
2:30 pm

we ABSOLUTELY need medlin in the rotation. how many times do we have to get destroyed every 5th day until FG figures that out. mercy

Delbert D.

May 22nd, 2012
2:51 pm

Heisenberg

May 22nd, 2012
3:08 pm

So maybe Minor should never pitch from stretch. Let them steal. Focus on getting hitters out and have fewer innings with crooked numbers.

Tucker

May 22nd, 2012
3:29 pm

Someone call the Gwinnett outlet for Welcome Wagon.

space monkey

May 22nd, 2012
3:34 pm

I like Minor. But this is why stats are usually full of half truths. The way Minor pitched last night, he’s lucky he didn’t lose 14-1. Reds were all over the bases. He just got lucky a lot. Terrible pitch selection (Is that McCann?) and terrible execution. He was so good earlier this year. Now he just has to learn to keep the ball down and not throw such fat pitches when he has two strikes. More breaking pitches would be a really good idea.

bruce

May 22nd, 2012
3:36 pm

so is he tipping pitches from the stretch?

Old Dog

May 22nd, 2012
3:49 pm

Mark: You have convinced me – Just go ahead and dump Beachy and sign Minor to a long contract. Yeah, right.

Maybe we should extend McDumb, I mean McDowell’s contract, he’s doing such a good job. I wonder what he says to the pitchers when he visits the mound. Maybe, “come on guys, you’re making me look bad” or the famous quote, “you’re flying open and draggin’ your arm.”

reckingball

May 22nd, 2012
3:58 pm

You know, other than 4 of the 5 hits that Minor gave up, being solo HRs, the 4 walks, and the high pitch count of 113 after 6 innings,
Minor did fairly good. At least, he didn’t walk the runners and then give up the HRs. haha.
go braves

Jim Pierce

May 22nd, 2012
3:59 pm

Here are my sabermetrics:

Minor: 2-4 , given up 12 HRs and a team leading 43 runs in 53 innings, with an era of 6.96.

Conclusion: No other numbers matter.

May 22nd, 2012
4:02 pm

I wonder how many more “Gopher Balls” and losses by a guy that only impersonates a pitcher will it take for the organization to realize that HE IS NO GOOD!!!! Give Medlin the ball and give Minor his ticket to AAA. I don’t thin the outcome could be any worse!!!

TheFalcon

May 22nd, 2012
4:12 pm

Mike Minor is the man! However, pitching is very clutch and you have to be able to do it in clutch situations. As Chip and Joe mentioned the last time he pitched that he is having problems pitching out of the stretch (with runners on base). The hitters seem to be seeing the ball well out of his hand. This is just an adjustment. If he makes the adjustment I think he’ll be fine. Last night was a fluke when he gave up 4 home runs. The good news is they were all solo shots? Bad news is..he was not in the stretch.

crackbaby

May 22nd, 2012
4:14 pm

Mike Minor should be alright in the long run. Braves lost yesterday because they only scored 1 run. Stop blaming Minor. Sending him to AAA is not going to help his mental makeup.

He is the ONLY left handed starter. He was brilliant earlier in the year. Just chill and re-evaluate after another 4 starts. One thing that should be thoroughly evaluated is his health. Is he hiding an injury?

Go Braves.

Tom G (Independent - Viet Vet)

May 22nd, 2012
4:16 pm

I guess we could always ship him to Cleveland, where D Lowe is 6-2 and a 2.15 ERA! How can Lowe make such a turnaround?

crackbaby

May 22nd, 2012
4:19 pm

In my opinion, Venters recent performance should be of greater concern than Minor’s. Johnny V has lost his mechanics or something.

[...] Numbers suggest Minor hasn’t been quite as bad as all that [...]

Home of the Braves

May 22nd, 2012
4:28 pm

How can you possibly put a positive spin on Minor when his ERA is 6.97?

rc35

May 22nd, 2012
4:29 pm

Arguing that the Braves need Minor is like arguing that the world’s electrical grid needs Chernobyl.

BravesWin

May 22nd, 2012
4:29 pm

Note to Bradley: Minor HAS been that bad. Typical column from you, Mark. You’re that bad, too.

Tom G (Independent - Viet Vet)

May 22nd, 2012
4:38 pm

crackbaby – Unfortunately, I have to agree with you 100%!!!!!!!!

West Coast Wreck

May 22nd, 2012
4:41 pm

Derek Lowe is nothing more than the one of the luckiest pitcher in baseball this season. If you chart the league ERA leaders, then look at their respective WHIPs, Lowe’s 1.41 is by far the worst of the bunch. Lowe has been insanely lucky so far this year and is due for massive regression and a increase in ERA. you can’t allow nearly 1 and half batters to reach base per inning and continue to have an ERA of 2.15. Luck manifests itself much more frequently given a small sample size and that’s all Lowe has been this year. Lucky

Randall

May 22nd, 2012
4:57 pm

Greg Maddux and Mike Minor have almost the same ERA after their first 30 games. Minor does have a lot of promise.

May 22nd, 2012
5:23 pm

90% of pitching is mental, the other half is in your head.

b casey

May 22nd, 2012
5:27 pm

The Braves problem is Management when they make out the lineup. They DON’T have a 4th place cleanup hitter. Also, if they think that guy playing 3rd will replace chipper, they are crazy. The back up shortstop is a joke.

Nerdville

May 22nd, 2012
5:33 pm

Minor has become a MAJOR problem.

Stinger 2

May 22nd, 2012
5:42 pm

The MAJOR problem. is fans who have MINOR brains and know nothing except how to complain after a loss when their team is in first place in its division.

mrb

May 22nd, 2012
5:44 pm

Chief Noc-A-Homa

May 22nd, 2012
5:45 pm

I kept coming out of my teepee all night only to find it was the wrong team hitting the home runs. I heard Fredi Gonzalez say after the game that he saw growth in Moinor. The only growth I see in Minor is his ERA. The Braves can’t afford for Minor to learn how to pitch in the big leagues. Send him to Gwinnett to work on his curve ball and change up. Put Medlen back in the rotation and bring up Redmond or Gearin to work out of the pen.

Devildog

May 22nd, 2012
6:00 pm

It’s ONLY May. Patience.

Brandon W

May 22nd, 2012
6:02 pm

@ Brandon…pretty good analysis …Minor being left handed is the one saving grace he has right now and one good start could turn it around. He is slow to adjust and Bobby Cox’s treatment 2 yrs ago was justified. I say give him a little bit longer leash. Give him a few more starts before the pen. Livan or Medlin could start

drew

May 22nd, 2012
6:11 pm

Pay me what you pay Minor and I’ll pitch equally as poor!
It’s his JOB to pitch well and win games.
God I wish ballplayers understood what it’s like in the “real” world….

nobody

May 22nd, 2012
6:14 pm

Sorry but this is a dumb article. Ya sure if he didn’t give up home runs he would be a nice pitcher. But he DOES give up home runs. Sooooo. Ya. No bueno. I look at W-L. not xFIPXQYZHFJ

Steverino

May 22nd, 2012
6:14 pm

It is not unreasonable to predict that, left as a starter, Minor will end the season just above .500 with an ERA in the mid 4’s. There will be a stretch that intersects the All Star break when Minor will be dominant…arguably our most reliable starter. This trend will be followed by more “hard luck” month of May style performances, culminating in a clutch win in the last series of the season to help sew up the NL East title. At least that’s what it “says here”.

Chief Noc-A-Homa

May 22nd, 2012
6:21 pm

I kept coming out of my teepee last night to celebrate the home runs only to find it was the Reds hitting them. After the game, Fredi Gonzalez remarked that he saw a lot of growth in Minor. The only growth I see is in Minor’s ERA. The big leagues is not the place to learn how to pitch. The Braves need to send him to Gwinnett to work on his curve ball and change up. Move Medlen back to the starting rotation and call up Redmond or Gearin to work ut of the pen. Let Minor, Jurrjens and Tehren compete head-to-head in Gwinnett for the next opportunity in the bigs.

Disgusted

May 22nd, 2012
7:27 pm

Minor is a born loser like Jo Jo Reyes.

Jo Jo had a nice arm and stuff too and he could not get guys out, you can throw all the advanced stats out there but in the end, the team that gives you good old fashoned wins is the one that is in a position to win a championship.

Is the W-L record the end and be all for pitchers of course not, but when a guys gives up runs like this, he is not good enough.

Hillbilly D

May 22nd, 2012
9:30 pm

Please deliver baseball from the grasp of stat geeks and fantasy freaks.

Preach on, Brother.

KomaGawa

May 23rd, 2012
12:07 am

Mark, I don’t claim any superior knowledge on statistical analysis, but just as you are trying to leaven this half chawed loaf of Minor’s, I suggest that the same kinds of stats should be applied to an analysis of the Hawks, but curiously, and maybe I am wrong, but my gut tells me that you don’t go into the statistical detail on Drew, and the Hawks that you do with the Braves. You essentially ask us to cut some slack on Minor, AFTER you yourself fueled the stat-lless speculation in your previous art, “What to do with Minor…” Though I really doubt you will come back with a similar appeal on Drew and the Hawks, (after someone sends you the hypothetical stats for you to cut and paste) because, well, this is more of a baseball town….However perhaps you can explain why in your previous article “What to do with Minor….you didn’t context it with the possibility that he may not need anything done to him or for him that isn’t already being done behind the scenes, which you and I don’t know about.

crackbaby

May 23rd, 2012
10:40 am

So Beachy allowed 4 earned runs to the Reds last night in another loss. Y’all ready to run him off now, too?

urban redneck

May 23rd, 2012
3:21 pm

wow……….useless as teets on a boarhog.

Bob the Blogger

May 23rd, 2012
3:38 pm

In looking at some of Minor’s other stats, his hits allowed per 9 innings is less than last year. His walks per 9 innings is slightly less than last year. His HRs per 9 innings is over twice as high. This is consistant with what I see when he’s pitching – he’ll pitch good for a batter or two, sometimes an inning or two, then things unravel. He’ll get a batter 0-2, then walk him. He’ll get two quick outs, then get in trouble. He has certainly left his share of pitches over the plate, but I think he’s losing confidence at those key moments when he really needs to put someone away. I don’t know if he can learn how to finish off batters at AAA, but the Braves can’t let him squander the chance for a division title.

May 23rd, 2012
5:26 pm

you definitely deserve props for this Very Awesome post congratulations.

Mister Frisky

May 23rd, 2012
11:23 pm

Minor sucks get real.Next article.

FG & RM should be run out of town

May 24th, 2012
1:04 pm

FG & RM ought to be run out of town…..RM has some of the best talent available in in pitchers and he cannot even manage or help them….what a waste………FG is too busy tipping his cap to the opposition to inspire or motivate his players……He cannot even come close to carrying Bobby Cox’s dirty jockstrap……FG is worthless as a MLB manager……Fire him and run him out of town!

Brandon Lee

May 25th, 2012
5:40 pm

Bottom line was the last paragraph… Beachy has the Least {minmal damage} between him an Minor, Thus the Hight LOB % for Beachy,,, It’s the Bottom Line anytime we talk Baseball.. it doesn’t matter if a Pitcher Loads the Bases every Inning, if He Mows down enough of the Potential RBI’ers and has Zero runs against him… it’s more Trauma on the opposing team than the braves.. naybe FG is downing Maalox in the dugout, but When it’s all over, and the opponent’s side is all Goose-eggs.. The Braves have the ball in their favor… unfortunately this doesn’t apply to the Reds Series… No Such Minimal Damage statistics to speak about. It has to be generated, it doesn’t just “Fall right outta the Sky” Sponge Bobbers…

Eric C.

May 26th, 2012
7:47 pm

Minor???

Tomy Fournier

May 26th, 2012
8:06 pm

MINOR…WHO???

Man in Black

May 28th, 2012
12:40 pm

The Braves without Chipper in the lineup are like the Hawks without Horford. They seem like a 3rd rate team. Next year could be a real disaster for the Braves when Chipper is gone for good. The last 7 games is a preview of it.