The future isn’t always tomorrow. 165 comments


Jesse Chavez’s 22.2 inning scoreless string came to a halt yesterday when he walked in the losing run against the Red Sox in the bottom of the ninth inning.

 

The Red Sox won the World Series last year and its front office mistakenly believed it just had to run players out there in Boston uniforms and they would win it again.

It doesn’t work that way. Winning it all isn’t necessarily the result of having the best players. It’s having a number of players who have extraordinary seasons all at the same time. (Like Gallo, Pence, Santana, Choo.)

Those same players are just as capable of having subpar seasons. Or, more likely, key players get injured. When that happens to more than one player, the team that was unstoppable one year is very beatable the next. Factor in the fact that pitching is so unpredictable, especially out of the bullpen, and you realize why it’s so hard to repeat.

Players are human. And humans are extremely human.

The last team to repeat was the New York Yankees in 1998, 1999, and 2000. Before that, it was the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992 and 1993. No team repeated in the 80s.

It’s rare. Especially in the free-agency, wild-card era.

Jon Daniels has a huge decision to make about this season. How much does he believe in the team he thought at the beginning of the year was just a placeholder for the future?

In typical GM speak, he addressed that with MLB.com’s Jessica Camerato: “We said at the beginning of the season that we weren’t going to place limits on this club. Overall we know which direction we’re going in. I don’t think it’s going to change all that dramatically.”

So there you have it. What “it” is isn’t exactly clear.

But Daniels said the Rangers will pursue pitching if it’s controllable for more than the rest of the year. That’s smart. Why not make the team stronger now and in the future? If you recall, one of his best trades he ever made was in 2015 when he picked up Cole Hamels. Immediately the Rangers went from a fourth-place club sinking fast to overtake the Angels and Astros and win the West. In the process he won the Manager of the Year award but they gave it to the manager.

One trade can make a huge difference. And Hamels wasn’t a rental. He was a keeper.

The Rangers need to do that again. The challenge is, as always, not to get fleeced in the deal. But that hasn’t been a fair characterization of recent Daniels deals. Yes, he have given away too many prospects that were considered high end, but in reality most didn’t pan out. Lewis Brinson, where are you? Mike Olt, where are you? Nick Williams, where are you?

So, instead of agonizing over the prospects Daniels would have to give up for that one huge arm—and it would have to be a lot of prospects—realize, prospects rarely pan out. Go with the proven over the speculative.

Even if it doesn’t catapult you into a playoff position, it does something as important. It gives you hope.

Fans buy hope. Fans don’t buy Drew Smyly.

*****
TODAY’S GAME:

Adrian Sampson (5-3, 3.27) vs. David Price (4-2, 2.70)
Game time: 6:10

  • FatEddy Period, That’s it

    Taking a break, see you in a couple weeks …… maybe.

    • JacobMcCandles

      Hope pray all is well

    • RR3

      Sorry to see you go. You add so much to this site. Hope to see you back again.

    • Mr.C

      Hasta pronto amigo!

      Come back soon. We enjoy your postings and will be missed in here.

    • elkaba

      Hurry back! Take care.

    • Nate Whitten

      I enjoy your posts. Take care and I hope to see your posts again.

    • GoRangers23

      Thanks for letting us know! I hope you come back sooner rather than later. We enjoy your updates and posts. 😄

  • Mr.C

    Awesome piece Kevin.

    I’ve been cheering for a Trevor Bauer trade. Do you have someone in mind?

    • RR3

      Some in mind meaning to trade for Bauer or someone in mind other than Bauer to trade for?

      • Mr.C

        Someone in mind other than Bauer to trade for

        • RR3

          Without looking as far into it as I should:

          Zach Wheeler of the Mets
          Matthew Boyd of Detroit
          Marcus Stroman of Toronto

          • Mr.C

            I like Stroman; but it could be a very expensive trade.

  • elkaba

    Go Roaches!!!

    • WhoKnowscs

      Just hope Boston doesn’t bring the RAID out.

  • Mr.C

    Tough game today vs. David Price

    …… but we have Sampson in the mound. Young arm has proven totally capable of keeping us in the game.

    Expect another low scoring game!

    • RR3

      I hope he isn’t actually in the mound. I hope he’s on it.

      • Mr.C

        I stand corrected !

        Don’t you love my Puertorican English?

        ((( will Edit ….Thanks )))

        • RR3

          Just messing with you, my friend.

          • Mr.C

            LOLA

  • Nate Whitten

    It has been said that a pitcher’s record is no longer indicative of his value. Look at the records of these two good pitchers well past 1/3 of the season.
    Also, for the Rangers, look at the records for Lynn and Minor. Their records certainly do not indicate their value.
    What is the best way to measure a pitcher’s value? For a starter, maybe ERA works, but it does not measure a reliever’s value very well at all.
    So, someone help me out here.

    • isittime

      Yeah ERA is just 1 component and with relievers it can be deceiving, like in Chavez’s case how well they’ve been pitching (up until yesterday). He had gotten blown up a few times in April and then reeled off 27 or so scoreless innings. They’ll look at their holds, blown saves, and how many inherited runners they let score to determine value, pecking order, and best situations to use them in.

      • Nate Whitten

        That’s exactly what I meant. One bad outing for a reliever blows that ERA sky high because they don’t pitch many innings each time out.

    • elkaba

      WHIP

      • elkaba

        WHIP is the great equalizer. Starter, reliever, veteran, rookie, doesn’t matter. It’s how many walks and hits you give up per inning pitched. The best pitchers have the lowest WHIP.

        • isittime

          So true. And walks are the great killer like we saw yesterday. Lynn’s only walk scored and we saw what happened with Chavez

        • Rowdy Yates

          Yep. Sometimes basic, simple math is the best indicator. And WHIP is that.

          • Nate Whitten

            I am a simple man. So I always look for the simplest explanation first. If that does not work, then we bring out some more advanced tools. That is a good life lesson.

    • Mr.C

      For any pitcher SP or RP, I like to see the opposing Ave and the WHIP.

      Additionally, I like to see Average IP per 9 innings on SP combined with Earned Runs per IP.
      This combination gives you an idea of how many Quality Starts to expect from a Starter.

    • RR3

      I think ERA and WHIP are two of the more important barometers of a pitcher’s success.

      • JacobMcCandles

        Yup…the only thing WHIP doesn’t factor is like a Colby Lewis…..on other teams he could’ve been taken out and his whip and other metrics been better…..but he stayed in for us and ate innings which is a value.

        • elkaba

          Well that’s true, but looking at stats is just a first step, and WHIP is the best place to start ranking pitchers IMO. Then if you have anomalies, like a guy with a so-so WHIP but a high win to loss ratio, you look a little deeper. There are stats for everything these days, so it’s usually easy to sus out why those don’t match, as in Colby’s case. WHIP is not the only thing that matters, it’s just the purest, most accurate place to start when ranking pitchers.

    • Mr.C

      For any pitcher SP or RP, I like to see the opposing Ave and the WHIP.
      Additionally, I like to see Average IP per games on SP combined with Earned Runs per games.
      This combination gives you an idea of how many Quality Starts to expect from a Starter.

      Starters:
      Minor averages 6.4 innings/game, and allows 1.8 runs in those 6.4 innings (QUALITY)
      Lynn averages 6.1 innings/game, and allows 3 runs in those 6.1 innings (QUALITY)
      Sampson averages 4.8 innings/game, and allows 2 runs in those 4.8 innings
      Jurado averages 4.6 innings/game, and allows 2 runs in those 4.6 innings
      Smyly averages 4.1 innings/game, and allows 3.8 runs in those 4.1 innings

      Relievers (AVG/WHIP):
      Fairbanks, .100/0.67
      Bird, .167/2.10
      Leclerc, .220/1.34
      Kelley, .247/1.10
      B Martin, .250/1.20
      C Martin, .257/1.10
      Chavez, .262/1.42
      Springs, .284/1.70
      Dowdy, K .295/1.97
      Huang, W .308/2.29
      Carpenter, .333/4.50
      Gomez, J .359/1.89

      • Nate Whitten

        Been out shooting pool or I would have thanked you earlier. As you say, IP matters for SP. But that number has no meaning for a reliever. WHIP measures any pitcher’s effectiveness–to a degree. Being a ground ball inducing-pitcher can produce more DPs which, in turn, erases base runners. So it’s not perfect. That’s why one of these brilliant baseball/stat minds on this website will come up with the perfect metric for SP and another for relievers. Throw down. A challenge. Something new. Someone here can do it. It will make national news and we will all be famous since any ideas will be influenced by all of the fine folks of RR3rd.

        • Mr.C

          Notice I don’t use ERA as a pitching stat.

          Lynn ERA is about 4.40 compared to Jurado’s close to 3.00 and Sampson is about 3.50

          Lynn is a Quality pitcher in my analysis and although Jurado and Sampson are trending in that direction, they are not Quality Pitchers yet even with much better ERA.

          • Nate Whitten

            Those are interesting stats. You’ve been doing your homework. Is MLB.com the best source for stats, or do you know of a better one?

  • isittime
    • elkaba

      Thanks. That was awesome! Now if we could just clone that brain and insert it into Odor we might really have something!

    • RR3

      Great article. Thanks for posting.

  • GoRangers23
  • TD30
  • RR3

    Rangers usually beat Price like a drum. One more time, please.

  • isittime

    Very liberal strike zone on the outside to Righties

  • elkaba

    This is fun, so far. Wish Price could have hung in a bit longer. We like him!

  • elkaba

    This new pitcher is S L O W!

  • WhoKnowscs

    Rangers need someone that can homer that isn’t injured.

  • possumrld

    So I see Odor is batting 8th tonight. That is at least some small progress.
    A message to Odor, I think.

    • elkaba

      Automatic out. Swinging at first pitch.

      • possumrld

        Odor gets a big hit about every 3rd or 4th game. And then he acts like he just conquered the world.

        • GoRangers23

          I can’t stand it when he struts around out there like he just won the gold medal in the Olympics.

          • possumrld

            I know, Go! 🙂 That one time in particular a couple of weeks ago really got under my skin!

    • WhoKnowscs

      I hope he realizes his days up are numbered.

      • possumrld

        He should have already passed his number. But yes, it seems we do have some small progress now.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Buzz, not everyone on the Rangers is playing well

    • elkaba

      That was funny. I just kept waiting for him to mention Odor.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Woohooo!

  • WhoKnowscs

    Elvis. =/

    • elkaba

      All he had to do was not swing. Two guys ahead of him walked.

  • WhoKnowscs

    5 pitch guy out of the bullpen? Gotta get through this pitch then.

  • isittime

    Cash em in cabby

    • elkaba

      But don’t swing if it’s a ball!

  • WhoKnowscs

    Gotta capitalize.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Lets go to the Deli!!!!!

  • GoRangers23

    Aw, man!

  • WhoKnowscs

    swinging early isn’t working this game.

  • GoRangers23

    Ugh.

  • GoRangers23

    Let’s get some more runs this time fellas!

  • GoRangers23

    I didn’t look like he touched Santana before Santana touched the base, to me.

    • possumrld

      That was a “good ol’ boy”, ump, face saving review.

      • GoRangers23

        Or someone in New York who likes the Red Sox.

        • possumrld

          That is a distinct possibility.

  • possumrld

    Mathis takes away the DH advantage, But so does Odor.

  • elkaba

    This will be a tough one to lose. We need to get this done.

  • GoRangers23

    I wonder what the temperature is there? They are all wearing longer shirts and jackets. That’s kind of hard to imagine right now. 😄

    • elkaba

      It was highs in the 50s today, so it’s got to be low 50s at least by now.

      • GoRangers23

        Yow. Too cold for me in June.

        • elkaba

          That’s Boston.

          • GoRangers23

            That’s why I live in Texas. 😄

          • elkaba

            Coldest I’ve ever been in my life was Boston in January. Ladies were running around in dresses and heels. I was bundled up in layers of thermals and was still freezing the whole time, even inside.

          • GoRangers23

            I survived Nebraska for two and a half years. Im done with cold. Ha!

  • RR3

    In Pence we trust.

    • elkaba

      Hard to believe this is his first trip to Fenway!

  • WhoKnowscs

    Cabby having a bad day.

  • GoRangers23

    Shohei Ohtani just hit for the cycle!

    • GoRangers23

      He’s the first Japanese born player to do so.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Beware of homer.

  • Eric Childress

    That pitch has been a strike earlier

  • WhoKnowscs

    Rangers will score now.

  • Eric Childress

    Rugy can’t hit for shit, but his defense is much improved the last couple of years or so.

    • WhoKnowscs

      If he could hit, maybe we wouldn’t need to rely so much on his defense.

    • RR3

      Ha, you and I thought the same thing.

    • Eric Childress

      Great minds

  • RR3

    Odor can’t hit. But he can make a play.

  • Eric Childress

    We need a couple of long balls

    • WhoKnowscs

      Too bad the next 4 haven’t homered in at least 2 weeks.

    • RR3

      We seem to have lost our power without Gallo.

      • Eric Childress

        It’s crazy. I know gallos going to do most of the damage but you’d think the rest could put one out of this park.

  • WhoKnowscs

    20 walks in 30 innings doesn’t seem that high.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Lean into one Rouggie!

  • WhoKnowscs

    OHOTG.

    • WhoKnowscs

      barely.

  • Eric Childress

    Pinch hit Mathis here?

    • RR3

      Nope. Stick with a .145 hitter.

      • Eric Childress

        We have maz on the bench

        • RR3

          I was just joking. Of course they should have pinch hit here. You have to take advantage of your chances.

          • Eric Childress

            Oh. I know. I totally get the sarcasm. I’m just couch coaching

  • WhoKnowscs

    Mathis going to shock the world time.

    • Eric Childress

      We all hope.

    • Eric Childress

      Whah wuh

    • RR3

      He did. I thought he would hit into a double play. Instead, he struck out.

      • Eric Childress

        Is that considered a productive out

  • RR3

    Here we go.

  • Eric Childress

    Jeez!

  • Eric Childress

    It’s like he made up his mind to swing on that 3-2. Not even close.

  • RR3

    I like how defiant Greive is.

    ‘It’s 3-0, let’s see if he can throw a strike.’

    Strike.

    “Okay, you can do it once. Can you do it again?”

    Strike.

    “That was close (it wasn’t). Let’s see what else he can do.”

    Strike three.

  • Eric Childress

    At least they’re playing some d

  • Eric Childress

    None of his sliders have been breaking

  • RR3

    Five HRs given up.

    • Eric Childress

      That’s more than our last 3 series combined.

    • WhoKnowscs

      and the only 1 the Rangers have this series was one the fielder missed and didn’t go out.

      • Eric Childress

        Pence just missed another in the 1st inning that I’m not so sure wasn’t a home run but we’re hitting like the 85 cardinals right now.

  • WhoKnowscs

    *Rolls eyes*

    A win is a win.

  • Eric Childress

    What would this offense be without hunter right now.

    • WhoKnowscs

      under .500.

    • WhoKnowscs

      Where would they be if Calhoun was healthy and playing instead of Odor?

  • GoRangers23

    Nice hit Hunter!

  • WhoKnowscs

    Come on Cabby, you’re due for some good “luck.”

  • RR3

    Na-Po-Li.

    San-Tan-A.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Sigh.

  • Eric Childress

    Our guys would have swung at that pitch

  • Eric Childress

    We’ve just about seen all the relievers now. Hopefully this is the one we can cash something in on.

  • RR3

    Boston refused to pay Kimbrel.

    Now it’s time to make them regret that.

  • Eric Childress

    Come on rugie

  • WhoKnowscs

    Rouggie doesn’t have timing down to homer.

    • Eric Childress

      He’ll get back foot sliders now

  • RR3

    You have a guy batting .170 and you nibble.

    • WhoKnowscs

      And he makes crappy weak contact.

  • RR3

    Rangers upgrade in speed but downgrade in common sense.

  • Eric Childress

    Pull happy rugie turning over an outside pitch as usual

  • possumrld

    You can’t sit there with the bat on your shoulders in that situation.

    • WhoKnowscs

      Especially when all the walks you’ve been gifted haven’t amounted to anything.

  • Eric Childress

    Rugie might be out

  • GoRangers23

    Rougie! 😡😡😡

  • possumrld

    Odor came within a whisker of blowing it. It may not matter in the end, but you want every chance you can get,

  • Eric Childress

    That was a tough loss there. Blew too many chances

  • elkaba

    Time to pay Odor NOT to play.

  • possumrld

    Tough loss, but a successful series. Just not as good as we had hoped after the two opening wins.

  • possumrld

    I would put this one more on Cabrera. He was up with men in scoring position at every one of his at bats, and he didn’t do anything.

    • JacobMcCandles

      Maz watching strike 3…cardinal sin

      • possumrld

        Agree!

  • possumrld

    Buenos Noches, All!

  • WhoKnowscs

    This game hinged on Cabby having a bad game.

    • WhoKnowscs

      9 Left on base.

    • elkaba

      He had company.

      • possumrld

        Yeah, elk. This was definitely a team loss.

      • elkaba

        Elvis swinging at balls in the dirt when the two men in front of him walked. Pitcher couldn’t throw a strike to save his life and Elvis struck out.

        • possumrld

          DeShields swinging at one cap high at 3 and 2.

          • elkaba

            Yeah, I think they fell apart after they lost a 6-1 lead. Self defeat tonight.

          • possumrld

            True!

          • possumrld

            Tonight they missed Gallo’s presence very badly.

          • elkaba

            Maybe. But they missed themselves just as much. They’ve been winning without Gallo, but they have been scrappy and creative. Tonight they were just cold… literally.

          • possumrld

            Yes, elk but with Gallo in the lineup, you know just his presence changes the pitching for the opposition. “Scrappy” has done well for this team, but they can’t always win playing little ball.
            They are missing Gallo’s power, and especially these last 2 games.

  • JacobMcCandles

    No moral wins…after taking the first two…we should’ve bagged another

    • possumrld

      Yeah, I think we felt like it would happen. This one was a bitter pill though, after knocking Price around, and with Boston’s bullpen about worn out, 6 to 1 felt like a sure win early on.

      • Eric Childress

        Bad day for Sampson not to have his stuff, but the offense tanked the last few innings. They went like 0 for 10 or so down the stretch with runners in scoring position.

        • possumrld

          For sure. We missed the big bases loaded scoring opportunity in the 6th, I think, and then Boston tied the game in their half of that inning. After that, it was all downhill, and not in a good way.