Robbie Ray, Kevin Newman, Brian Reynolds discussed on Effectively Wild: A FanGraphs Baseball Podcast


That's like up there or down there with the worst offensive full seasons in recent memory and i was casting my mind back to when we did our pirates preview episode this spring because remember. Kevin newman had an incredible spring training. Kevin newman hit six zero six. Six forty one seven eighty eight in spring training. Do remember that because it's not really all that important to remember. But he just like he wouldn't make it. He didn't strike out a single time in his thirty. Three at bats in spring trading like just could not get the guy out it was the highest spring training batting average on record with a minimum of thirty at bats. There some talk about how he adjusted his stance and he'd lowered his hands. Adam frazier evidently did something similar. He had a good spring and he had a good start to the season. Newman not so much. But in the spring fourteen twenty nine yes and he has gone straight from that to hitting two twenty two fifty nine three. Oh to which. I say just to remind everyone that spring training stats are meaningless. Because sometimes there is some meaning to them especially at the extremes and there have been people who've done studies have shown that if you really outperformer underperformed expectation spring training. It can be a good sign for your chances of underperforming or overperforming your projection heading into the regular season. But this is not a case that has been true so rail whiplash going from spring two regular-season for poor kevin newman. I'm just glad that. Pirates fans have brian reynolds. Because you know when you when you look at the leaderboards and you filter down to pittsburgh and you leave the qualified. Pa filter on. So you know that's part of this too. But it's brian reynolds. Who's having a great season for point. Three wins and he's got one thirty nine. Wnyc plus and then. There's adam frazier who is no longer a pirate. And then there's kevin newman at a pressure has done much better in san diego and fortunately for them. But i was just reading this. Pittsburgh post gazette article from march thirtieth about newman definitely a fun spring. Probably the hottest streak. I've ever had which is a lot of fun but excited for the regular season. Definitely a new slate so looking to carry it into here narrator. He did not carry it into here. Sometimes the clinton slate can be bad. You want to keep the old slate. When you're betting six six so another thing. You may have missed while you are away. Is i think a fun fact. I saw it shared widely. And i did say or at least think. Wow when i initially saw it. Which is robbie ray. He hit the thousand inning mark in yet another strong start against the orioles in this case and he has the most strikeouts ever by a pitcher who reaches the thousand inning mark. And so if you look at the baseball reference career leaderboard for strikeouts per nine innings which has a one thousand career innings pitched minimum. He is now on. Top is all time leader in strikeouts per nine according to baseball reference. Which kind of blew my mind for a moment. And i thought about it a little more and obviously you have the era effect so right below robbie ray you have chris. Sale yu darvish jacob. Degrom max scherzer sherry johnson stephen strasburg garrett cole. Almost all of those guys are active and all of them are recent so clearly it's context and the environment in which he's pitching and also i guess in robbie race case this maybe shows the difference between cape or nine and k percentage strikeouts per nine as opposed to just the percentage of hitters. You strike out. Because he'll have some long innings where he walks a lot of guys or at least he used to when he used to walk is and so that may be helped him rack up more strikeouts per inning whereas he perhaps could not quite compared to some of those other luminaries in strikeouts per plate appearance or based but still. it's pretty impressive. And i would not have expected robbie ray to top leaderboard. So he's topping the leaderboard in a season when he has leveled up as have discussed recently and he has found the strike zone and is still striking out a lot better so he has set himself up to really cashing in free agency. But that's just a sign of the times. I guess that robbie ray would be on such a leaderboard. 'cause you look at his you know if you look at his player page. You wouldn't think it's particularly remarkable alex kipper. Nine numbers are not bad. But you wouldn't be like is is machine is because this pants were so tight is this. Is this a tape pant phenomenon is it about the tight pants hurting him clearly. I mean we don't know that. Ben you don't know what the state of his gut is. Isn't that nice that we don't know. Maybe he's pitching through pain. And that is what motivates him to strike out so many better so he can get back to the dugout in race in the pencil. But yeah i mean you see all those double digit k per nine numbers there when you look at page and usually not black ink like one year of black ink weeding in case per nine but he has consistently been. They're striking out eleven. Twelve batters per nine. And when you do that long enough and you get two thousand endings. That gets you to the top of leaderboard but yeah like prior to this season. He hasn't even consistently been a good pitcher or even like last year a close to average pitcher. He's been decent some years and he had the one excellent year in twenty seventeen with arizona but hadn't totally put it together until this year. I guess he has the same era plus this season that he had that season but just with even better control so robbie ray who knew because last year his problem was that he walked a bunch of guys but it was fine because he was also giving up a lot of home runs. Now one thing. I imagine you have not missed his news that the mariners have promoted our old pal. Jerry dipoto from general manager to president of baseball operations an extended him and also extended manager scott service which was not news. I was expecting to wake up to necessarily. I don't know how surprising it is or was to you as thinking about this just because i think the last time we talked about dipoto was a month ago right the trade deadline where he made the divisive particularly cattle grave trade trading the mariners closer to the astros the mariners had just beat the astros the previous night in agreement had pitched that game and he was revered by the clubhouse seemingly and then before anyone knew it he was sent over to the enemy and a lot of people in the clubhouse. Were not pleased about that. And jerry said hey just weighed in. Gimme a chance here. And i'll make some subsequent moves. And i guess he did and i guess that's died down a bit. And the mariners are still improbably in contention which i guess is what earned him this extension but just thinking of that in terms of great men. And abraham toro one of the players graffman was traded for. Because i guess this is just a classic case of you can't predict baseball. Because abraham toro on tuesday won a game mariners over the astros by hitting a grand slam off of kendall graffman yup which supplied all of seattle's runs came abraham. Toro has just been unstoppable. Basically that blend he is hit like wonder front co- he has a one forty plus over. That's been so he has outward can graffman pretty handily not that great. That's been bad for houston. Like his luck has normalized somewhat. He has a higher. Era his peripherals are still strong earners. Bullpen hasn't been bad in crave absence. It hasn't been as good as it was with him. I don't know whether it would have been anyway. They were tenth in bullpen war in august eleventh in bullpen win probability added although the bullpen pitched four scoreless innings after logan gilbert's five scoreless innings in shutout against the astros on wednesday. That pen was probably a bit over. Its head but you never know like that. Seemed like a long term play. Like hey toro seems like a semi promising player you know. He is under team control for years here. Sell high on the reliever who.

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