Some stuff on things I saw in the comment thread on the Drew Storen/Ben Revere's
Ben Revere doesn't just single - he steals bases!
and we had a little back and forth in the comments about it. Some think
we should try to incorporate his SB into his SLG. I prefer to just take
his hitting as is and add a "speed" adjustment during discussions. Why?
Doing the former ignores a big chunk of why SLG is important. It drives
in runners from non-scoring position. My guess is that WAR (at least
the offensive part) does a pretty good job of factoring in SBs.
for example here is Nick Markakis' 2015 line
.296 / .370 / .376
and Ben Revere
.306 / .342 / .377
walked more and had a tiny bit more pop (might I add "Ha ha Braves").
So Nick should probably have more offensive value despite the small
disadvantage in average. However, according to fangraphs Nick's
offensive stat was 4.2. Revere's was 6.2. Baseball Reference's difference isn't that
big (2.5 to 2.7) but also shows an advantage for Revere. That
difference is all about the speed.
Of course our question is more about Revere vs MAT. So what was MATs offensive contribution last year? Both Fangraphs and BRef had
him in the negative values. So the short of it is Revere should be a
nice line-up improvement over 2015 MAT. The questions that linger are
does the defensive difference (Great vs surprisngly bleh) combined with
the potential improvement of MAT (and probably very slight age-related
drop for Revere) make MAT the better bet for 2016? Also there's the
question of "disruptive baserunning" but I can't answer that.
MAT can't possibly match Revere offensively!
said upping his average to ~.240 and taking some more walks should make
them a wash offensively. Let's see how right that may be.
he were to hit let's say .243 - his OBP would be up to let's say .295.
If he takes a few more walks - 5 to 10 - let's say 8 more. His OBP is around
.308. That's not that close to where Revere should be in the .330-.335
range.* But he doesn't have to match Revere's OBP because he slugs a lot
better. So let's say he also hits a couple more doubles and homers.
Fair, right? Hits 3 more 2B, another 3B, and 2 more homers... his SLG is
around .395. Revere should be around .365 in my guess. What's a .243 /
.308 / .395 line worth? My best guess is that it put him around the 0
line for offensive contribution. So Revere, even though he's expected to
be a little worse overall than he was in 2015, should be a step better.
so looks like I was wrong. Very minor improvements across the board
will not make it a wash. However any single major step up assuming very
minor improvements elsewhere probably would. If MAT can hit .260, that
probably does it. If he can take 20+ more walks, that probaby would do
it. If he can hit 25 doubles and 20 homers, that definitely does it. And if he can make a step up across the board - forget about it - Revere is in the dust.
gamble the Nats could be taking is against the chance that MAT won't
just simply have a very slightly better "used to it now" season, but
will actively improve.
How about the move to contact hitting. It did wonders for the Royals!
the Royals led the league in contact (81.9%) and they were dead last in
K% (15.9%) But they didn't exactly dominate offensively (6th in RS in AL) and
there isn't much evidence that over a season this matters much. Who was
2nd best in both? The A's, a decidedly mediocre offensive team. Who was also up
there? The Braves the worst team offensively in baseball. Who swung and
missed the most? The Cubs and Astros. You might have seen them in the
So if it doesn't translate into regular
season success more than any other method, could contact hitting give
you and advantage in the playoffs? Perhaps. It might. But the difference would be slight and just getting better hitters of any type is probably more impactful.
The Nats didn't "screw over" Drew Storen
is about impressions, not facts. It's true other teams often add
bullpen arms and displace guys who do perfectly well to strengthen the
overall pen. It's also true that it doesn't seem like we hear about guys
getting "screwed over" in those situations (though trust me - it is
being said about Andrew Miller) For me I say it because I never bought
into the Nats talk about "well this is how we can make our team better
so we are doing it" To me it's always felt like "we don't trust you
despite the fact that you probably earned some level of trust based on
your performance". They could have dealt for a non-closers (Clippard,
Soria, Jepsen and Lowe were all traded). They didn't. You might not feel this way. That's fine. Both are valid. But if I feel it, I can totally get Drew feeling it. Though again - he needs to work past that and he didn't.
What about Tyler Clippard?
In theory it could happen. It seems like Tyler wants to go back to the Mets and the Mets want him but Sandy only wants to guarantee a year and Tyler is waiting him out to try to get two. If the Nats were to sweep in with a deal he likes for two then he probably goes. He does fit into the Nats pen nicely giving them that proven set-up arm. However, the Nats have already spent more than they ever have in FA for RP and Clippard isn't cheap. I don't see it.
What happens to Tyler Moore?
He's got a paid contract. He's sitting on the bench unless he's traded. denDekker is the odd man out here.
Could this be a set-up for another trade?
Sure it could be. I think the Nats would love to get a cost-controlled catcher or another cost-controlled starting pitcher. A cost controlled OF, while probably helpful in the playing field, is less a concern because they now have 4 paid OF through 2017. Not that I think the Nats only think of cost control, but I do think it's a big deal for them as they like to work from a place of "can if we want to" rather than "have to", which is where they might be with Strasburg leaving, and where they definitely will be with Ramos coming to his FA year.
So in other words - I don't see a Cargo here. Maybe a Norris or a Matt Moore. But hey - I could be wrong.
*MAT was 6th worst in qualifying batters in OBP. So he's got a lot of ground to make up. 10th worst was Desmond. Worst was Ramos. But Nats overall looked ok because Bryce was first and the difference between him and 7th best was the same as the difference between Ramos and 70th worst. Bryce is awesome.