By Michael Jong
Not much going on in the world of baseball today, you know, other than the World Series. It’s the first World Series that I’ve been excited about for some time. Despite the fact that I don’t like either team, you can’t deny that this was probably the most compelling matchup we were going to get this year.
– Game 1 starts tonight, and the matchup is a doozy: Cliff Lee will take the mound for the defending champion Philadelphia Phillies, going up against marquee free agent signing C.C. Sabathia for the New York Yankees. These are two of the best pitchers on the planet, folks; make sure you catch a glimpse of this matchup. Unless you’re a Cleveland Indians fan, you might want to sleep early tonight.
– Now of course, as a Marlins fan, I think the last thing we want to hear about is Phillies news, so let’s move on to some Marlins-related business. The big news around here is that Randy St. Claire will be our new pitching coach. St. Claire was fired in midseason after seven-plus years as pitching coach for the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals organization. He hasn’t had a lot of talent to work with before, but now is his chance to show us his stuff, presumably. I think it’s a non-move, though I hope he doesn’t end ruining any arms.
– In case you missed it, the players voted for Phillies starter J.A. Happ instead of the Marlins’ Chris Coghlan for Rookie of the Year. I don’t agree with that particular selection, but it figures that the players would pass up better players in smaller markets. Happ is a fine pitcher, he just isn’t as good as he appeared this year; he had a lot of help from a pretty good defense in Philly.
– Joe Capozzi reports that prospect Mike Staton’s Arizona Fall League season is over. He’s got a sore back and won’t be competing any longer. If anyone has an ESPN Insider account, Keith Law apparently talked about him in the first week of the AFL. I’m sure words were good.
– Lynn Henning from the Detroit News site says that that Marlins fans still feel hosed by the Detroit trade, which sent Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to the Detroit Tigers for a bevy of players highlighted by lefty Andrew Miller and center fielder Cameron Maybin. I won’t argue that too much, as I imagine most fans still miss Miggy, despite his poor defense. What I contend to is this comment:
"Burke Badenhop is a journeyman right-hander who would be considered “replacement level” to use the popular label."
Burke Badenhop had a 3.46 FIP this year, and according to FanGraphs, that translates into a 1.0 Win Above Replacement (WAR) for the season. If you prefer ERA, the Hopper had an ERA of 3.78. If we take his balls in play and pro-rate the Marlins defensive runs based on the ones used in the Beyond the Box Score Power Rankings (-23 runs), you get a value of 1.1 WAR as a reliever, 1.0 WAR overall. I suggest you, Mr. Henning, to not use terms that are supposed to mean something when you don’t know what they mean.
– Finally, I’ll pimp something else I wrote. Over at Intro to Sabermetrics 101, I discuss two things that are almost elemental in the game of baseball, runs and outs. Those are the two fundamental factors in the game, so I figured it would be important for everyone to understand them before we got into run estimators or defense-independent pitching and such. Anyway, take a look.