NL Waiver Wire: Week 4

Real life has a nasty habit of throwing obstacles in our path. While Jeffrey Gross hits the restricted list for personal reasons (law finals), I will be coming off the bench to provide the usual NL waiver wire treats. Let’s get down to business.

Hong-Chih Kuo | Dodgers | RP | 29 percent Yahoo! ownership
Vicente Padilla | Dodgers | RP | Six percent Yahoo! ownership
YTD (Kuo): 3.38 ERA, 1.88 WHIP, 13.5 K/9, 13.5 BB/9
YTD (Padilla): 3.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 3 K/9, 3 BB/9
Oliver Projection (Kuo): 2.94 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 9.6 K/9, 2.9 BB/9
Oliver Projection (Padilla): 4.31 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 6.7 K/9, 2.9 BB/9

The big news of the week came after Jonathan Broxton‘s first blown save of the season. From the bare stats alone, the demotion to committee closer may seem a bit hasty, but Broxton’s been skating on thin ice for awhile now. His struggles last season are well known and he appears to be even worse this season despite generally satisfactory results including a win, five saves, and the aforementioned lone blown save.

However, that glosses over the damage he’s done this season. In his 10.1 innings, his strikeout rate has almost halved from this career rate (6.97 per nine compared to 11.57) while his walk rate has nearly doubled (6.10 per nine compared to 3.72). His average fastball velocity has dropped a second consecutive year as well. Your gut reaction might be to say “small sample” but even the number that is most guaranteed to regress in a positive manner, his 22.2 percent home run to fly ball ration (HR/FB), is at least partially due to the number of cookies he has served up. Until he improves his command and control, he’s going to continue to ignite more rallies than a respectable “closer,” even if some of his peripherals improve.

So who is there to replace him? The long term answer for dynasty leagues might be Kenley Jansen, but it appears a mutating monster composed of Broxton, Kuo, and Padilla will handle ninth inning duties for the bulk of 2011.

Padilla stepped in on Wednesday for an uneventful save. He’s a pretty pedestrian reliever when all is said and done but when your alternative is as combustible as Broxton, pedestrian will do. Padilla the reliever may strike out close to eight per nine innings pitched, walk about three per nine innings, and post ERA and WHIP numbers that will neither help nor harm you—about 3.50 and 1.30 respectively. Keep in mind, those projections depend on Padilla experiencing the typical uptick in talent from the rotation to bullpen transition. If he pitches like he does when he starts, he will not be touching many ninth innings.

Kuo is the most interesting option in Dodgerland, both because he took over for Broxton in 2010 and because he might just be a top 10 reliever on a per inning basis. The Oliver projection system envisions 9.6 strike outs per nine, a stingy 2.5 walks per nine along with a glowing 2.79 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. Given he’s struck out 10.51 batters per nine over his career, he could best those numbers by a small but significant margin.

Of course, the problem with Kuo is well known: He’s more fragile than porcelain. In fact, he’s on the disabled list as we speak, although he is currently on rehab assignment and could rejoin the team as early as today. He got roughed up a bit on Tuesday so the Dodgers may try to get him a couple of strong appearances before activating him. In any case, the time to act is now. Bear in mind that Kuo’s injury history will probably lead the Dodgers to handle him carefully, opening plenty of opportunities for Padilla and Broxton.

Recommendations: Kuo should be owned in any league that counts saves, uses linear weights, or has reliever slots. If you can, toss him on the DL and use Padilla as a handcuff. Speaking of Padilla, he should be owned in NL-only leagues, all 14-team mixed leagues, and any other league where an owner has bench space and is interested in scraping together five or 10 saves. For now, Broxton should be held in NL-only and most 12-team formats.

Ryan Madson | Phillies | RP | 65 percent Yahoo! ownership
Antonio Bastardo | Phillies | RP | seven percent Yahoo! ownership
YTD (Madson): 0.90 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 10.8 K/9, 2.7 BB/9
YTD (Bastardo): 0.87 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 13.94 K/9, 3.48 BB/9
Oliver projection (Madson): 3.39 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 8.6 K/9, 2.5 BB/9
Oliver projection (Bastardo): 4.08 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 8.6 K/9, 3.9 BB/9

On paper, the Phillies closer is Brad Lidge. However, his timetable to return appears to be sometime in July and it’s unclear whether the Phillies will even really want him around by then. Plan B was Jose Contreras, but a five-appearance stretch over six days seems to have contributed to his own trip to the disabled list with a strained elbow, not that Charlie Manuel is having any of that.

Plan C is Ryan Madson, a man who despite being an elite reliever, simply has failed in the ninth inning role. A stroll over to Baseball Reference shows that his numbers in the ninth inning are considerably worse than his other relief innings (he spent some time in 2006 as a starter). This lack of success under pressure—whether the result of nerves, bad luck, or Grand Conspiracy—is at least part of the reason the Phillies opted to go with Contreras as closer.

What can we expect from Madson the closer? If you are willing to lay aside the rough ninth inning history, we are looking at a reliever who will strike out a batter per inning, post an ERA of roughly 3.00 and throw together a WHIP of about 1.00. These are very good things to have when they come packaged with saves. However…

It comes with a caveat, Madson is one of two pitchers Manuel trusts in his bullpen. The other is the left-handed reliever Bastardo. He has some things in common with the aforementioned Kuo: He’s an oft-injured, full-inning lefty with a strikeout rate that will probably be above 10 per nine innings. He’ll walk more guys than Kuo, about four per nine, but otherwise he’s a potentially valuable arm who could scrounge a few saves. Manuel recently complained about Madson asking for a day off last Sunday, so Bastardo may find some favor from ol’ Chuck for being available for the one-pitch save in that game.

Recommendations: Madson is an immediate pick-up in all but the shallowest of leagues. Bastardo should be owned in all NL-only leagues as well as 14-team mixed leagues and most 12-team mixed leagues.

Brett Wallace | Astros | 1B | 12 percent Yahoo! ownership
YTD: .367/.432/.494
Oliver projection: .263/.326/.421

For those few owners out there who stuck with Wallace, his early season success has been a bit of a revelation. Sure, it can’t and won’t continue, a .444 balls in play average (BABIP) is what we in the biz refer to as unsustainable. However, there are some encouraging signs in his early season success that might indicate he’s made an adjustment, and he’s made scant few of those since becoming a professional.

The former Arizona State star has swatted his way to a mean .367/.432/.494 line in the early going with one home run. Regression will catch up to Wallace: That .444 BABIP is supported by a mere .295 expected BABIP (xBABIP). He also boasts a vibrant 25 percent line drive rate. As that does its own dance of regression, the hits will start falling in less frequently. Oliver agrees, projecting a rest of season triple slash around .263/.326./421 with about 18 home runs in full time play.

Before detailing why Wallace is due for negative regression, there was talk of positive signs. Both his strikeout and walk rates have improved considerably compared to last year. He is walking in 9.1 percent of his plate appearances while striking out in a mere 19 percent. Last year, he walked in only five percent of his plate appearances while striking out a brutal 34.7 percent, a number that caused some analysts (including me) to wonder aloud if Wallace could possibly be a major league quality player. He’s never been much of a walker, so expect that rate to drift back near six percent. However, his current strikeout rate is similar to his minor league numbers and could potentially be sustainable. If so, Wallace will be putting a full 15 percent more balls in play, which should help his fantasy numbers across the board.

Given his previous status as a top prospect, it might not be long before other fantasy owners take notice and start buying on Wallace.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all NL-only and 14-team leagues and most deep 12-team leagues. Watch in other formats.

Ryan Ludwick | Padres | OF | Six percent Yahoo! ownership
YTD: .202/.297/.393
Oliver projection: .258/.329/.465

When Ludwick has a “normal” BABIP, he’s a roughly league average outfielder. He’s not someone you’re dying to employ in any fantasy format, but you probably won’t hate yourself if you’re forced into leaning on him as your last outfielder.

Right now, Ludwick is struggling with some balls in play demons. Most of his peripherals are typical, a 10 percent walk rate, 23.6 percent strikeout rate, and .191 ISO. He’s even lifting the ball more frequently, which is a good thing for a guy with Ludwick’s sock, even in Petco Cavern. But that dastardly villain of chance has stuck him with a .219 BABIP. His expected BABIP is still low at .255, but you can thank his temporarily elevated fly ball rate for that and expect something closer to .290 in the future.

That sets him up to hit his Oliver projections, which jibe with what was mentioned in the first paragraph—average, employable, unexciting. He still has 20-home run upside and bats in the heart of the Padres lineup. Yes, it is an impotent lineup, but RBI opportunities will still appear.

Recommendation: Own in all NL-only leagues. Leagues with 60 or more outfielders should be able to find a home for him. Shallow leagues can ignore him entirely.

Randy Wolf | Brewers | SP | 37 percent Yahoo! ownership
YTD: 2.64 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 8.51 K/9, 2.35 BB/9
Oliver projection: 4.09 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 6.5 K/9, 3.1 BB/9

2011 is looking like it might be one of those good Randy Wolf years, the kind where he pitches well enough to give his team a chance to win him 15 games if it deigns to support him with runs. Theoretically, the Brewers should have plenty of pop to help bolster Wolf’s win totals, but Wolf has always seemed to be on the short end when it comes to run support.

By all means, Wolf is not much more than a temporary patch for an owner with rotation troubles. He’s another guy who falls into that won’t help or hurt you category. He’s been exactly the same pitcher since 2005, so there is not much scope for change in his skill set. What we have is a pitcher who can throw together something like a 4.00 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and seven strikeouts per nine while giving his potent offense a chance to win ballgames for him.

The big thing people are seeing right now with Wolf is a shiny 2.64 ERA and his 29 strikeouts in 30.2 innings. Don’t buy into the glitter expecting those rates to hold up. However, given that some fantasy owners still remember his successful 2009, a savvy owner might be able to claim him off the wire now and sell him a few weeks down the line if Wolf’s luck holds.

Recommendation Own in NL-only leagues and all 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in about half of 12-team mixed roto leagues and can be streamed in 10-12 team head-to-head.

Gerardo Parra | Diamondbacks | OF | one percent Yahoo! ownership
YTD: .309/.333/.400
Oliver projections: .282/.328/.401

Here’s something for those deep leaguers out there. Thanks to a few injured Diamondbacks, Parra has pushed his way into a fairly regular role. He has started the team’s last seven games and has performed well in the short span.

Parra will never set the world on fire. It might be best to think of him as the most recent version of Ben Francisco. He shouldn’t help or hurt you in any category, but he’s a respectable patch to use while searching for a better alternative. His future role with the club is uncertain, so you might find that this is a short term investment.

Currently, Parra’s compiled a respectable .309/.333/.400 triple slash that is partially propped up by a .364 BABIP. He walks infrequently, only two times in his 57 plate appearances this season, but he couples that with a roughly league average strikeout rate so he’s putting the ball in play very frequently. His roughly .100 isolated slugging percentage makes him a bit of an anti-three true outcomes hitter, but he does have the pop and the home park to swat about 10 home runs in a full season of at bats. He’ll even steal a few bases to boot.

Oliver isn’t crazy about him. His projected slash of .282/.328/.401 is unimpressive, but it’s certainly employable in a deep league.

Recommendation: Own in 12-team NL-only leagues. Mixed leagues that use more than 70 outfielders should have a home for Parra. Owners with outfield troubles in deep roster 12-team leagues might also want to take a peek.

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Comments

  1. Dude said...

    “If he pitches like he does when he starts, he will not be touching many ninth innings.”
    Brad, did you even notice how amazing Padilla was as a starter last year and at the end of the year before? He was an ace. If he pitches anywhere near as well as he did last year, he’ll thrive.

  2. Jeffrey Gross said...

    Padilla ain’t no ace. He pitched as a league average at best starter on the Dodgers who was helped by luck last year (80% LOB%, .200 BABIP) and a small sample in 2009 (.250 BABIP, 95 IP, still a plus-4 ERA)

  3. Dude said...

    Yeah, good call, Jeffrey. Look at his season numbers and cherrypick some stats of dubious value. Or look at what he actually did in real life when he was fully healthy. Click on the link above and, as Mike Axisa wrote last August, “for all intents and purposes, Padilla’s been a fantasy ace since the end of June.” League avg. at best? Sure Jeffrey. That’s why they named him the opening day starter last year—his mediocrity. Anyone who delved deeper into his performance the year before (deeper than, say, Jeffrey) was rewarded last year. I know I was.

  4. Kevin Wilson said...

    It always surprises me when people of the more “traditional” persuasion end up on sites like this. What makes you come to a site that utilizes advanced stats heavily if you refer to them as “of dubious value”.

    Dude, what stats are of honest value to you? Wins? Further, there is a difference between fantasy ace and talent. A player can experience great luck and produce fantasy ace statistics but still be just league average. It depends on whether the writer is posting analysis based on what has already happened or what they expect going forward.

  5. Brad Johnson said...

    I can’t tell you how many innings of Vicente Padilla I’ve watched in my lifetime. He is an average if semi-unpredictable pitcher. And he is what he is, he was the virtually the same pitcher last year as he was in 2009 and 2007 and 2003. His peripherals support this conclusion of mediocrity (as Jeff points out), but honestly I didn’t need to consult them.

    Also, unless you’re in a 20 team league, I can’t imagine how Padilla rewarded you last year. Was it the low win total, the crappy ERA, the slightly above average k rate? Seriously I’m confused what good he did for you.

  6. Dude said...

    Guy pulls off a 1.08 WHIP last year despite several starts in which he bombed due to playing hurt. And some lazy blogger (apparently looking only at overall season ERA—talk about a dumb stat) characterizes him as mediocre? And then boys like Kevin and Jeffrey come in and pick on little things, like my use of the word dubious, to defend the initial wrong. Guys like you are why it pays to take most of the self-styled roto-punditry with a shaker or two of salt. Some of it is credible, and most of it is just ego self-massage—witness Jeffrey’s nauseating little blog.

  7. Dude said...

    And no, he wasn’t at all the same pitcher. Huge changes in ratio, K’s, you name it. And anyone researching the guy would know how his velocity and curveball changed toward the end of 2009. Brad, good of you to acknowledge not consulting any facts before giving your advice.

  8. Brad Johnson said...

    Padilla’s had a 12 year career where hardly a damn thing has changed about him since Kerrigan taught him his sinker. Yes, he had some strong outings last year, I watched a fair share of them, but I also saw his blow ups too. If you tell me you believe you can predict when Padilla is going to struggle, you’re lying to yourself. So, the full season stats are the appropriate ones to reference.

    If he pitches 200 innings in the NL, he will give up roughly 4 runs per 9. That is a mediocre talent level in real life and especially so in fantasy.

    None of the above from me is laziness, I would argue that using roughly 70% of a 95 inning sample from 2010 is far more lazy than anything I’ve done.

    My final conclusion is fairly simple. He needs the “reliever boost” to be a fireman.

  9. Brad Johnson said...

    Ahem…

    http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=964&position=P#pitchtype

    Please explain what you are talking about. There is no statistically significant difference between 91.8 and 92.4. That’s the same velocity.

    Scroll up and tell me where his k rate improved? Given the 95 inning sample, it’s tough to conclude there was a significant change in his usually wandering strike out rate. It just looks like a good year on the spreadsheet.

  10. Dude said...

    I guess it’s better for you to be consistent than right. Why trouble yourself with information:
    http://www.aolnews.com/2009/10/11/padilla-flashes-raw-stuff-of-ace/
    When the Dodgers told reporters in the preseason that Padilla was their backup plan to Broxton, none of them saw fit to question that wisdom, despite other high-caliber possibilities like Kuo and Kenley Jansen. That should tell readers what they need to know about the “reliever boost” analysis.

  11. Dude said...

    As far as velocity, I’m talking about in-season change. Not year to year as you seem to be doing. K rate clearly changed year to year… but I’m sure you’ll give me a sabermetric reason why when respected sportswriters were saying he was throwing like an ace, he actually blew chow.

  12. Brad Johnson said...

    At this point I think you’ve done a terrific job at undermining 4/5 of your argument. I’ll let you finish that up on your own.

    In any case, Padilla’s a sort of Ryan Franlin (circa 2009) or Brandon League type of option as closer. He’s going to blow some saves, but you can be fairly certain that he’s not going to immolate the way Broxton has. As a fragile lefty, Kuo isn’t someone you can rely on day in and day out and Jansen’s having his own early season struggles even though practically every out he records is via K.

  13. Brad Johnson said...

    First off, someone else’s opinion does not qualify as evidence. Secondly, Padilla’s flashed “raw stuff of ace” his ENTIRE career. His raw stuff can be very good at times but I’ve never seen a more mull headed pitcher when it comes to using it. When a 22 year old flashes ace stuff, you can get excited hoping that those flashes will turn into a regular thing. When a 32-33 year old is still flashing the same great raw stuff he was showing 11 years earlier, there’s not much cause left for hope.

    Also, let’s clear up what you’re talking about with your use of “ace”. I was under the impression you meant fantasy ace, which means top 12-15 pitcher. It seems now perhaps you meant real life ace which is more like top 25. And the articles you linked suggest that he has the raw skills of a top 25 pitcher but ISN’T one.

    And it was you who said -

    “When the Dodgers told reporters in the preseason that Padilla was their backup plan to Broxton, none of them saw fit to question that wisdom, despite other high-caliber possibilities like Kuo and Kenley Jansen. That should tell readers what they need to know about the “reliever boost” analysis.”

    If you’re willing to buy into that, what does that tell you about Padilla the ace?
    _______
    For a pitcher as young as Jansen, he’s going to need more than 3 good appearances to convince his manager that he’s a viable option. He’ll grow into the role either after the Dodgers are eliminated this season or early next season.

  14. Dude said...

    p.s. I’d bow out at this point if I were you, too, Brad. Setting aside how bad your take was on Padilla, I would note that when more respected rotopundits were writing off Kuo as having a case of the yips (not the greatest credential for a closer) you were recommending people pick him up—even predicting (wrongly) he was about to come off the DL. Lazy is the word for your analysis, Brad. Try google sometime, it’s free.

  15. Dude said...

    Sorry, read that previous post by you as signing off. If the guy has ace stuff, as you now (finally) acknowledge, then it shows that your Ryan Franklin/“reliever boost” analysis is ridiculous. Whenever Padilla was healthy last year and the year before, he pitched like an ace and had the results of an ace—that’s what those links I provided say. If healthy, and handed the job, he’ll be a great closer.

  16. Brad Johnson said...

    Yips are when a pitcher loses complete command of the strike zone. Yips are not when a pitcher has one very bad outing on a 3 appearance rehab stint. He since had a very nice 2 K appearance on Friday and is back on track for a return early next week.

  17. Brad Johnson said...

    What I acknowledged is that Padilla flashes ace stuff. That’s incredibly different than having it. He does not in fact have ace stuff nor is he a particularly good pitcher. He’s always turned into a thrower at the first sign of adversity.

  18. Will Hatheway said...

    Brad -

    I’m in a 100 outfielder league (20 team mixed, 5 OFs), so I looked with interest at your bit on Parra. I’m with you, though, that he doesn’t exactly set my world on fire. I’d say he even pisses on the flames a bit on looking at him more closely. I find it hard to believe that he’ll maintain a walk rate nearly double what he had in his previous stints at the two highest levels (AAA and majors), and likewise his 3 steals so far this year seems an unlikely pace given the 9 he had in about 900 PAs during that same prior time span (versus the 25 or so he bagged his three years at lower levels). Likewise, in those one and a half seasons of at bats, he had only 9 dingers.

    His pitch values seem to tell the story: he is a career negative versus every pitch type in his major league career.

    That said, I need a fill-in for Tabata and Xavier Paul may just be a tad lucky (.538 babip anyone?) in appearing viable. And I’m at the point where I’m using a pinch runner (Jarrod Dyson) because at least I get something from him (7 SB despite just 16 AB), so at the end of the day I’m thinking I owe you some thanks for pointing out a better warm body for my depleted roster!

    (Wait, scratch that, he’s not available … Austin Kearns leads the pack of available guys in terms of who has had the most AB so far!)

    Oh, and nice run you’re on in our league, by the way (not that I’m happy about it…)

    -Will

  19. Brad Johnson said...

    In that kind of format, I think you have to roster any guy getting steady playing time regardless of skill level. With that kind of scarcity, the leader in games played will probably win the hitting stats.

    If my pitchers ever wake up I might go on a real run. They’re supposed to be putting up 10 points per inning, only Halladay is remotely close to that pace.

  20. Will Hatheway said...

    I just gambled on an overhaul, dumping my bench hitters for SPs so I can max point-getting potential, and that trade of A.Gon for two SPs may hurt, but as you know I have either Butler or Dunn currently warming the bench (and Dunn has got to heat up some day), so it shouldn’t kill my offense too badly while giving me Kershaw and Hamels. We’ll see, but I gotta do something here.

    Speaking of which: I think Bud Norris and his crazy slider is legit. You? I also gambled on what looks like some decent skill sets in Stauffer and a newly-revamped Garza… they don’t appear too lucky w/ their results, but who knows. Is that all just a hope and a prayer?

  21. Brad Johnson said...

    Norris and Stauffer are tentatively slotted for this week’s WW article. Jeff might steal Norris from me, or he might just get picked up in too many leagues by then. The thing with Norris that I have noticed is that when he fails it’s usually against good lineups and when he dominates it’s against very bad lineups. When he has an average night – the lineup he faces is average. His performance has always been very predictable based on his opponent. There is value in that – although it’s worth pointing out that this sense I have could be entirely imagined. I know that over the last two years, when I played match ups with Norris, I’ve been rewarded. But as soon as I think he can play up against the big boys, he lets me down.

    Stauffer’s a lovely guy to use, especially if you own a Craig Kimbrel type to pump up the K/9. The lower the innings ceiling, the less useful he is. You’ll be getting the long version of that on Friday.

  22. Will Hatheway said...

    The thing I noticed watching Norris this year is confirmed in pitch fx: his slider is moving nearly five inches, getting both swinging strikes at a stupid rate; on the other hand, a cursory glance says your hunch regarding matchups is right. Ok by me, though: I’ve stockpiled enough SPs to be patient with my remaining IP. At any rate, will look forward to your piece on Stauffer (whom I’ve never actually watched)

  23. Brad Johnson said...

    Watching Stauffer is exactly like looking at his stats line – underwhelming but effective. I imagine he’s one of those guys where a hitter will have a quiet 0-4 night and feel really good about his at bats.

    The key to his success is to maintain a firm grip on his walk rate. He doesn’t have the tools to get out of self imposed jams, but his defense is good enough to keep him out of them in the first place.

    I think I might have spoiled my analysis by now, there’s not much more to say about him.

  24. Josh Shepardson said...

    @ The Dude,

    Ok, got it.  So whenever Padilla struggled, he wasn’t healthy.  Correct?  That’s the argument you’re turning to right?  Or was it the argument that the Dodgers opted to trot him out on Opening Day last season?  I mean clearly Barry Zito was the ace of the Giants staff in 2008, and Mark Beuhrle has started 9 of the last 10 Opening Days for the White Sox so it’s safe to annoint him a fantasy ace as well right?

    Let us all bow down to anecdotal, “evidence,” of Tony Jackson (who?) and an AOL anonymous scouting report of one game.  You know who else flashed ace stuff in random various starts?  Daniel Cabrera, how’s he doing these days? 

    Now, to the meat and potatoes.  Yes, Padilla’s k-rate was up last year, and a slight uptick upon moving to the pen makes logical sense.  His xFIP last year was 3.74, certainly respectable, but not, “ace,” good, fantasy or otherwise.  No cherry picking using xFIP, as if he was fortunate in one statistic such as strand rate, but unfortunate in another, such as HR/FB rate, they are each normalized to show what his ERA would have been should he had normal luck. 

    So what has changed for Padilla?  Well, his average fastball velocity is right in line with his career norms and he still uses it just under three-quarters of the time.  He still throws a slider and a curveball predominantly as his secondary offerings.  Oh it must be the splitter he’s using as a show me pitch now instead of his changeup!  No, that can’t be it, as it has a negative run value since he has implemented it.  Also working against Padilla is that his swinging strike rate was lower than league average last year (Padilla’s was 6.8% in 2010 versus an 8.5% league average, and his rate was actually lower than his years in Texas).  In addition to getting less swinging strikes, hitters contact rates were higher than league average by about 5%.  Obviously he racked up a higher strikeout rate last year than he had his previous seasons, so something he was doing was right.  That said, forgive us for questioning his sustainable success given his body of work over a decade.

    Padilla has a chance to be useful as a committee closer (though the Dodgers opted to turn to Broxton tonight, so we’ll see how many chances that amounts to).  But expecting him to be an elite reliever is wishful thinking based on the flowery writing of a few authors and some quotes from coaches.  It’s the equivalent of expecting a breakout from every player that reports to camp in the best shape of their life.  I actually own Padilla in a few leagues based on his dual eligibility.  I’m expecting an ERA that sits somewhere in the mid-to-high 3’s, anything better than that is gravy.  Last year he ditched inducing groundballs and hitters took to the air against him.  How long is his leash going to be if his HR/FB luck just so happens to ditch him in back-to-back games, certainly a plausible question given his less than elite strikeout rate and the volume of flyballs he was giving up last year? 

    Thanks for reading the article, and commenting.  I’d suggest if you’re going to be dismissive of the authors here, you debate using more than snark backed Tony Jackson article.  I believe we’d all be a little more receptive if the author of the article discussing changes to Padilla’s stuff were named Jim Callis, John Sickels, Kevin Goldstein or someone else paid for their scouting exploits.

  25. jeffrey gross said...

    Dude,

    I don’t think I’ve ever written about Padilla on my nauseating blog or this website. I have better things to do with my life than write about irrelevant players. I also haven’t written about Landon Powell, Jose Molina, or Buck Coats.

    If you come to a stats-oriented site, I don’t feel the writers are legally obligated to slap a EULA popup that says:

    “WARNING: WEBSITE MAY CONTAIN SCARY, CONFUSING STATS PURSUANT TO RECENT SUPREME COURT STANDARD LAID OUT IN THE CASE OF JOE MORGAN V. MONEYBALL. ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER”

  26. jeffrey gross said...

    Update:

    Chase Murray just called me. He wanted me to let you all know that we sabermetricians are a bunch of voodoo demons that make #### up.

  27. Jeffrey Gross said...

    *MURRAY CHASS

    Grrr, I need to put down my SEC statute book. I can’t even insult correctly anymore

  28. Jeffrey Gross said...

    Will,

    I plan to write an article about why Bud Norris is a better version of Brandon Morrow in the coming weeks, when my law finals are done

  29. Dude said...

    OMG you guys are unleashing the mighty Josh Shepardson on me? Well, at least he writes with some logic and real stats, albeit I think his projection is still too bleak. Josh, I’m not *asserting* that VP pitched poorly while hurt—it’s a fact, look it up …  it’s amusing how you guys can find reasons to explain away a stellar while-healthy performance beginning with the end of 2009. Brad, you still need to try google sometime—like how about Kuo and yips, so you can see that what you wrote about one bad outing was wildly inaccurate. His last outing was predictable for people who disregarded your advice. Jeffrey, I’m guessing a potential fill-in Dodgers closer is irrelevant to you because you don’t do NL-only. If so, not sure why you are writing about NL waiver pickups, though it does explain why your writing is superficial and subpar. You are correct that the caliber of your blog has nothing to do with whether you’ve written about Padilla—try re-reading that comment, bright boy. That said, in the end who knows—Broxton could recover and Padilla regress. Regardless, the initial post was, and remains, a subpar piece of analysis; Brad admits he didn’t research Padilla and also by his statements showed he didn’t research the real status of Kuo; reader beware—I’d expect more from THT.

  30. Jeffrey Gross said...

    Dude,

    I will put a cash bet on Padillas value. Obviously he has NL only “value.” But then again, so does pretty much every NL player with a heart beat. Doesnt make them good, however

  31. Jeter2 said...

    I’m far from an expert, but I think Padilla could have some value in leagues with holds and innings limits.

    Being in Yahoo, he has SP eligibility which is handy to insert him into a SP slot whilst having an opportunity for the odd save, but more likely a hold.

    If you have a solid core and can take a minor hit in ERA/WHIP, he could be a decent addition if you are not dropping someone of value to get him.

  32. Brad Johnson said...

    Just to be 100% clear, at no point did I say I did not research Padilla. I spent the same hour on him as I did for everyone else on the list. What I did say was that the stats analysis was ultimately unnecessary, I would have reached the same conclusions based on my amateur scouting assessment.

    Since scouting can and should be considered research, it could be said that I’ve spent hundreds of hours researching Padilla. I’ve probably seen him pitch on more than 100 occasions.

    Admittedly, the majority of those are from the early 2000’s, but I saw enough of his starts last year to recognize him as almost the exact same pitcher. The only difference I saw was that his sinker sank less which allowed him to control it better. Perhaps he’s throwing a 2 seamer now instead of the dry spitter grip that Kerrigan taught him. I forget what the pitch f/x said at this point – it’s been a week since I looked at it.

    And once again, yips means a guy can’t throw strikes, not that he’s getting hit around. One bad rehab outing is not sufficient to change my opinion about a player. It’s the ultimate of small sample sizes. Imagine Mark Teixeira gets injured and in his second rehab game he goes 0-5 with five K’s. Following the logic you have applied, you would then recommend rostering Gaby Sanchez over Tex because he’s lost his hitting eye.

    When it comes to relievers, Kuo is to Tex as Padilla is to Sanchez. Might Kuo still be hurt/not fully recovered. Most certainly. Are two bad outings following injury sufficient to determine that he’s gone from top 10 reliever to unrosterable? Absolutely not.

  33. Tom B said...

    This is quite hilarious, awful nice of you guys to entertain this clueless “Dude”.

    My favorite part is where he disputed your arguement with an AOL sports and and ESPN article. 
    Comedy Gold.

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