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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

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  1. Bizrow says:

    @KeninKentucky

    Where do you live in KY?

  2. Drew71 says:

    I finished up some stuff in the last thread but I’m too lethargic to repeat them here.

    Moving on to new issues…or at least changing the discussion a bit since this is certainly not a new topic:

    In the chat, Dejan answered one Q re: what PBC should try to obtain by trade with the following:
    “In all seriousness, I’d stick within the parameter of a power-hitting first baseman that comes for little more than taking on salary. But I’m aware the pickings are slim.”

    Leaving qualitative issues out of it, which 1B candidates (DON’T say Hunter Pence!) fit that mold?
    - Plays 1B;
    - Power;
    - Won’t take “real” prospects to obtain if PBC swallows a bloated salary for the rest of the year.

    I know Carlos Pena probably fits, and that’s fine. I’m just trying to generate the list. Please let me know who ELSE fits? And remember…no one who is gonna take Brad Lincoln or thereabouts to pry loose.

  3. Robert says:

    I just read the blog and saw someone try to bust Nutting (pun not intended) for failing to sign Miguel Sano (who signed with the Twins). I get why people were disappointed, but….

    Sano is hitting .255 in rookie ball this year and has a fielding percentage at both SS and 3B that is under .900 (under .800 at SS). It’s early in his career but those aren’t good indicators, especially the defense.

  4. Drew71 says:

    Sounds like he could play 3B for the Pirates right now.

  5. Lawnbeaver says:

    I read on MLBTR that Buster Olney hears the Bucs are looking for an outfielder!? I really like what Presley brings to the lineup, I’d hate for him not to get a chance to show what he can do. With the black hole at 1b, I’ll be really disappointed if they add an OF without adding a 1B. I would consider that Littlefieldesque.

  6. Robert says:

    Pedro Alvarez has nearly a .940 fielding %.

    Josh Harrison .934 (.940 in the minors) at 3B.

    Chase d’Arnaud hadn’t played there since college.

    And Brandon Wood hasn’t made an error anywhere at the ML level in 2011.

    Strictly in terms of defense. You’re just a little off-base. Also, in doing research of the top fielding third baseman (active), most showed improved fielding percentage numbers over time. Some performing worse than the players I’ve already mentioned in their first year or two.

  7. Naje says:

    Adding an outfielder could help the PBC make a move from a position of really solid strength. If that outfielder happened to be a top tier player, then that would ease the letting go of a player like Tabata (God forbid), Presley or Marte (God forbid, again).

    XPaul may be the odd man out and very soon. Pearce coming back gives them a bit more of a bat at 3B before (or if/when) Alvarez returns. But adding a significant outfield bat would give the team some flexibility in looking for other returns like a starting pitcher or a veteran, proven reliever.

    These rumors and acquisitions often have hidden motives….please, keep that in mind when scrolling through rumor and innuendo postings.

  8. Robert says:

    As far as looking for an OF, I don’t have any problem with that. Perhaps the Pirates are looking at 1B in the broad scope and realizing that Garret Jones has proven that he has 20+ HR 85+ RBI capabilities and is an above average defensive first basebam (.993 fielding percentage). Couple those numbers with McCutchen’s 24 HR 95 RBI pace and Alvarez’s potential (based on last season’s 16 HR and 59 RBI from July 1 on) and all you need is one more bat.

    Metrics and splits are nice and everything but at some point you have to take some bad with the good for the sake of a better team.

  9. Lawnbeaver says:

    I know that most of the rumors don’t come to fruition, and I would definitely not be against adding a top tier player at any position. I guess I have been focusing so much on what is going to happen at 1B, I didn’t consider adding an OF. I can live with Tabata, McCutchen, and Presley across the outfield (especially defensively, but Overbay has been terrible offensively and not nearly as good as advertised defensively. I actually would be satisfied now with a Jones/Pearce platoon at 1B.

  10. Naje says:

    @ Robert — be careful of that fielding percentage you site for Jones… that’s a pretty limited sample to just this season. Check his fielding numbers at 1B from last year…. they were pretty bad. Not saying that he couldn’t handle it (like you mentioned, take some bad for the overall good… in this case, Jones’ fielding), but he has had some major problems throwing the ball to second on double-play balls… and his running the bases in the past month has shown he is prone to serious mental lapses.

    But, if the guy gets moved to 1B, I suspect he’ll do the job… if he doesn’t, well, we’ve seen Hurdle bench guys all year for lackluster play/effort.

  11. Robert says:

    His fielding percentage this year at first base is 1.000. That fielding percentage number I gave (.993) is a career statistic over 156 games. Look it up.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/j/jonesga02.shtml

    As far as his base running, as Hurdle said about Jones and others getting doubled up on line drives to the outfield. They were bad reads and not mental mistakes. The players need to learn to look at the outfield positioning when reading the a batted ball in play. Misjudging a line drive is not throwing to the wrong base or getting thrown out at third base for the final out of an inning. The latter two are mental lapses.

  12. Naje says:

    Robert – Understood… but advanced metrics showed that Jones was pretty bad last year at 1B. Didn’t have much range and his throws to 2B were pretty bad on a consistent basis. Also, his ability to scoop the ball didn’t inspire much good will from his infield mates. All that said, he has improved a bit this season. Glad he hasn’t started many games there, but in his limited action he has been ok. Like you said, take some bad for the overall good.

  13. Robert says:

    I would like to see the source of your ‘advanced metrics’. Would be interesting.

  14. Naje says:

    Robert -

    Here’s the link: http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=2714&position=1B/OF

    scroll down for defensive stats… he started 106 games at 1B last year and had 5 fielding errors and 4 throwing errors… and several instances where he couldn’t pull the trigger on a 3-6-3 or 3-6-1 double play.

    His TZ rating was -11 and UZR rating -8.4… both of these are well below average for a fielder.

  15. Naje says:

    Jones rated 18th out of 22 1B in fielding last year…

  16. Naje says:

    @DK – great chat… fun read!

  17. Robert says:

    UZR is fine if fielders always play in the same zone and in the same location within that zone. There’s no indication of shifts, double play depth, no doubles alignment, bunt alignment, weather conditions, etc… Did the fielder slip? Did the base runner screen the fielder? Did the fielder play with a bad ankle for 6 weeks? It is only park adjusted.

    Example: If a first baseman is playing tight to the first base line (no doubles) and the batter hits the ball between he and the second baseman just out of his range. It’s highly likely that the batted ball in his zone, out of his range based on his position, would normally be fielded by him.

    The same can be said if he is charging a bunt and the batter pulls back, ripping one by him because he has much less time to react. It negatively affects his UZR but is not indicative of his overall fielding ability.

    There’s no way to quantify those variables and strongly discredits the statistic unless those situations are excluded.

  18. Naje says:

    Ok, Robert… that’s what everyone goes by in the big leagues.

    But watch Jones play first base. Clumsy is a good description. Inaccurate arm is a good description, too. He’s athletic enough to make a diving stab at a ball, but his glove isn’t very trustworthy.

 
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