Fish Bites


Linking time after a nice 2-of-3 versus the Yankees.

Daily Stadium Update! The Marlins are set, barring the injunction by local citizens working, to break ground next month on the stadium that’s been a million years in the making. I’ll be happy when this is all over and I don’t have to hear too much about the stadium until 2012, when Opening Day is there.

– The Marlins and FOX Sports Florida have the 2009 FOX Sports Fantasy Auction this Tuesday live on the TV broadcast of the Marlins versus the Orioles. Proceeds go to the Florida Marlins Community Foundation and donations are tax deductible, so if you’ve got something you like, bid and help out the community.

– Michael North of the Miami New Times blogs that Leo Nunez should close over Matt Lindstrom for the Marlins. He mentions how Chris Coghlan has been infinitely better at the leadoff spot because he has a superior OBP to Emilio Bonifacio, the Out Machine. But then he applies a similar “questioning traditional viewpoint” argument to get Nunez as the closer over Lindstrom.

This may have been a bit of an overreaction to Lindstrom’s terrible outing yesterday if anything. Now, I hate the idea of the closer as your best pen guy, as many save situations aren’t actually high leverage (witness yesterday up until Lindstrom made it high leverage with his work). But if you did want to name the best candidate of the two, the truth of the matter is that the Marlins wouldn’t be all that better off with either one. Check out the peripheral lines and FIP compared to their ERA.

Matt Lindstrom: 8.25 K/9, 6.35 BB/9, 0.50 HR/9, 5.72 ERA, 4.37 FIP
Leo Nunez: 7.99 K/9, 4.13 BB/9, 1.10 HR/9, 3.58 ERA, 4.26 FIP

Not a whole lot of difference between the two. Lindstrom walks a ton more hitters, but Nunez is more succeptible to the long ball. And Nunez’s 10% HR/FB this year is indicative of his career totals, much more so than his flukier 3% last year, so this is likely to be around his correct home run rate. It’s much more likely that Nunez is getting a little lucky (.241 BABIP) and Lindstrom is getting a little unlucky (.350 BABIP), though those numbers could also be a matter of location. Regardless, I doubt either pitcher is as clear a better choice as North makes Nunez out to be.

– David Laurilla with Fredi Gonzalez on the DH. It was a typical NL manager’s viewpoint. I personally like seeing some pitchers hit, but the DH does improve the quality of viewing because you don’t have to see someone who hits 80 times a year flail at three pitches and sit down.

– The sabre-world is abuzz about this piece by Harold Reynolds about OPS’s weakness as a player value measurement. I read it, and to be honest it was a bit incoherent. And it wasn’t really all about Reynolds’ writing, though it wasn’t very structurally sound I suppose (I’m not an amazing writer myself). But his argument, which really turned into more of a rant, was not particularly sound after the first few sentences, and that’s where most people knocked him, myself included. A heavy emphasis was placed on “big power hitters do no good getting on base and having high OBP’s when his team is not good behind him,” which is true-ish, but explained in a rambling, roundabout fashion.

The great, immortal Joe Posnanski (love his work) got on him for the piece, and it prompted Sky Kalkman of Beyond the Box Score to tell everyone to give it a rest, because Reynolds was right, to some degree. JoePo’s piece made me laugh and was somewhat accurate in its summary of Reynold’s writing, but I agreed with Kalkman’s take. As saberists, we often do look very critically at the traditionalist view, and even though Reynolds made his point in a ridiculous fashion, he did make a valid point in that OPS is flawed in it’s inability to see contextually. We shouldn’t rag on him for writing on a fundamental saber-principle: “Context matters.”

– Finally, R.J. Anderson on BtB tells us never to pay attention to catcher’s ERA. I agree completely. Backup catchers are backups typically for a reason, and it’s not their defensive prowess usually.