Splash Hits: NLCS Edition

I’ve got nothing for you this morning but links…

An argument for Andres Torres – McCovey Chronicles
An argument for Andres Torres

Giants Catcher Hector Sanchez Forces His Way Into San Francisco’s Plans : Scouting the Sally
A nice profile on Hector Sanchez, who has rapidly become one of the Giants’ best prospects.

10th anniversary: No. 71 | The Hardball Times
The anniversary of Barry Bonds‘ 71st home run of the 2001 season.

Kevin Towers and the Bullpen Redemption | FanGraphs Baseball
The DBacks’ bullpen saw an improvement of 5.5 WAR from 2010 to 2011.

The Platoon Advantage: How Much Is a GM Worth?
Over at TPA, with all the speculation about Red Sox GM Theo Epstein and a possible trade to the Cubs, Mark Smith offers up some thoughts on the value of a GM.

OHHHHH WRITTEN IN THE CARDS | You Can’t Predict Baseball
A fantastic lengthy write-up on the Cardinals’ unpredictable season.

Washington Nationals 2012: Hope – Beyond the Box Score
An article I wrote for BtB on the Nationals, who look to be contenders in the near future after years of rebuilding.

The Theoretical Grade A+ Prospect – Minor League Ball
The Theoretical Grade A+ Prospect

Splash Hits: Brandon Belt, Aubrey Huff, Prospects

Giants

Brandon Belt and Summer School – McCovey Chronicles
On Brandon Belt playing winter ball.

Shopping list (and predictions) for next year’s team « Bay City Ball | Giants Baseball with a Side of STATS!
BCB’s offseason shopping list.

Mike Krukow Says Giants Clubhouse Turned On Aubrey Huff – Frisco Fastball – A San Francisco Giants Blog
On the Murph & Mac Show (KNBR), Mike Krukow recently said that Aubrey Huff lost a lot of credibility in the clubhouse this season for his offseason conditioning.

The Five Longest Giants Home Runs of the Season – McCovey Chronicles
Along with video, a list of the five longest Giants home runs of 2011. Spoiler alert: Pablo Sandoval is good.

Four Giants Among Cal League Top Prospects | San Jose Giants News
Four San Jose Giants were recognized among the top 20 prospects in the California League by Baseball America last week. Gary Brown was rated the third-best prospect in the league by the publication while Zack Wheeler (#4), Tommy Joseph (#11) and Chris Dominguez (#17) also received mention on the list.

The time I was Brian Wilson’s stand-in » Bay Area Sports Guy
Another interesting story from BASG.

15,000 days since a rare Marichal feat | The Hardball Times
A look back at Marichal’s 200th win.

MLB

When You Should Ignore the Data | FanGraphs Baseball
The meaninglessness of batter v. pitcher splits.

Introducing Weighted Pythagorean Winning Percentage | Getting Blanked | Blogs | theScore.com
The Giants had a weighted Pythagorean record of 73-89 in 2011. Yikes.

Joe Blogs: Verlander and Narratives
Another fantastic Joe Posnanski post.

Baseball Prospectus | Manufactured Runs: The O-Swing of Things
Rolling out new PITCHf/x stats as a taste of things to come

How to Scout First-baseman – Beyond the Box Score
Dave Gershman continues his excellent series on scouting players.

Jon Heyman’s Airline Tweets | NotGraphs Baseball
Jon Heyman’s airline complaints.

Splash Hits: Giants hold end-of-season press conference

I’m a little pressed for time, so I can’t get out a full post; which is a shame, because today was quite a busy day — the Giants held a press conference in which Bruce Bochy and Brian Sabean discussed many important news items relating to the organization. In any event, there’s no need for me to really write much about it…BASG and McC have it covered.

Links…

Giants/NL West

Matt Cain, Destroyer of DIPS | FanGraphs Baseball
Owner of a career .265 BABIP in over 1300 career innings, Matt Cain breaks this rule.

San Francisco Giants 2011-12 Offseason | MLB Depth Charts
A useful preview of the Giants’ offseason — including organizational depth chart.

15 takeaways from the Brian Sabean (and Bruce Bochy) press conference » Bay Area Sports Guy
BASG with a recap of today’s press conference.

On the season-end press conference … – McCovey Chronicles
Grant looks at what Sabean and Bochy said about the Giants today.

Rod Barajas Is Here to Help | NotGraphs Baseball
Must-see GIF: Rod Barajas…cradling Dee Gordon.

Jarrod Parker’s MLB Debut – Baseball Analytics Blog – MLB Baseball Analytics
Jarrod Parker might not pitch in October for the D-Backs, but he showed why he’s a strong Rookie of the Year candidate in 2012 against the Dodgers on Tuesday.

MLB

Joe Blogs: Baseball Night in America
Joe Posnanski on the most amazing night of regular-season baseball in…the history of the game?

THT’s top 100 prospects, part 1
The Hardball Times’ top 100 prospects. Giants prospects on the list include Joe Panik, Tommy Joseph, and Gary Brown. Here’s part two, three, and four.

Who Should You Root for in the Playoffs? – Beyond the Box Score
Did your favorite MLB team miss the playoffs? Use this formula to figure out who you should root for this October.

Splash Hits: Cody Ross, Brett Pill, Ian Kennedy

After last night’s outing, Clayton Kershaw has now made 11 starts against the Giants in his career (12 total games). He’s also surrendered 11 earned runs to San Francisco over his career (79 innings), posting a stellar 1.25 ERA. The Giants have a collective OPS of .485 against Kershaw in those 79 innings. A few links to ease the pain…

Giants

Free Agent Stock Watch: Cody Ross: MLB Rumors – MLBTradeRumors.com
Cody Ross would have been better off hitting free agency last year, after the Giants won the World Series and Ross hit five postseason home runs on his way to winning the NLCS MVP.

A risk that paid off – McCovey Chronicles
On the Giants taking a huge risk in 2008 that’s paying off now.

Teams With 3+ SP Under Age 30 With 30+ GS & ERA+ > 99 In Same Season » Baseball-Reference Blog » Blog Archive
Since 1901, how many teams had 3+ starters, age 29 or younger, with 30+ Games Started and an ERA+ of 100+ in the same season?

Prospect of the Day: Brett Pill, INF, San Francisco Giants – Minor League Ball
Prospect of the Day: Brett Pill, INF, San Francisco Giants

MLB

Baseball Prospectus | Spinning Yarn: Removing the Mask
Quantifying the heretofore hidden contributions of catchers.

A Discussion About Evaluating Pitchers | FanGraphs Baseball
A conversation about pitchers, pitching metrics, and end-of-season awards.

Kennedy’s fastball-first approach – Baseball Analytics Blog – MLB Baseball Analytics
The 26-year-old righty has increased his fastball usage from 55 percent of his pitches in 2010 to 66 percent in 2011.

Were the Best Closers Just Failed Starters? – Beyond the Box Score
Were the best closers just failed starters? This week, Rob Neyer pointed out that Mariano Rivera never actually did fail as a starter. How about the other elite closers in history?

Splash Hits: Cody Ross, Pablo Sandoval, Larry Baer

Giants

An argument for Cody Ross – McCovey Chronicles
Why the San Francisco Giants should sign Cody Ross.

Panda’s (Historically?) Big Boned Cycle | FanGraphs Baseball
Less than a year ago, Sandoval was getting benched in the playoffs for the likes of Juan Uribe and Zombie Edgar Renteria less than a year ago. Today, he is the most voluptuous guy to hit for the cycle in at least 37 years.

Larry Baer: Giants’ mission won’t change much
This week’s KNBR Conversation was conducted between Brian Murphy, Paul McCaffrey and the Giants’ Larry Baer. It has been edited for length.

Lefty Malo – The Perhaps-Not-So-Difficult Andres Torres Decision
If Torres has indeed reverted back to pumpkinhood — a backup outfielder used almost exclusively for late-game D and pinch-running — he can still earn his keep.

A Suggestion For Dumping Chone Figgins | U.S.S. Mariner
My guess is that’s exactly what the M’s will try to do with Figgins this winter, and in that vein, I’d like to offer up a suggestion on one particular team to call – the San Francisco Giants.

MLB

MLB Looks at Europe as Newest Source of Baseball Talent – MLB Daily Dish
Europe certainly produces premier athletes as we can see on the basketball court and the soccer pitch, but when will we see their athletes make an impact on the baseball diamond?

Explaining OFP in scouting – SweetSpot Blog – ESPN
A scout compiles OFP by adding up all five future tool grades (hitting, power, speed, throwing and fielding), and then dividing that total by five. Scouts can then adjust the OFP by ten or so points if they please.

The Platoon Advantage: Naive PLAYOFFS+ MVP awards since 1995
A look at how PLAYOFFS+ correlates with actual MVP voting.

A Quick Look at the Toughest Batters Using Pitch Values – Beyond the Box Score
To that end I took a look at the accrued pitch value numbers for all batters with 1,000 plate appearances or more from 2008 – 11. I decided to focus on how they fared against fastballs, sliders, curve balls, and change ups since these are the major repertoire’s of most big league pitchers.

All-time NL Hispanic greats – SweetSpot Blog – ESPN
Yesterday, in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, we talked about one person’s list — mine alone — for the AL team’s all-time greats of Hispanic heritage, so naturally enough, let’s turn to the senior circuit and look at the best of the National League’s teams.

Splash Hits: Giants hold press conference with Bill Neukom and Larry Baer

I have yet to see the video of the press conference, but here’s what I basically gathered from Twitter:

That’s just a brief overview — there’s more that’s been written up by Tim Kawakami and John Shea (both linked below), but that’s the basic gist of it. There was some speculation from multiple astute fellow bloggers that the Aaron Rowand DFA had something to do with Neukom’s departure (see here and here); if true, that’s beyond absurd.

In the meantime, some links…

Larry Baer on Barry Zito, Bruce Bochy, Brian Sabean — and more of what you didn’t see on the televised news conference : San Francisco Giants: The Splash
John Shea from the ballpark, where a few reporters spoke with new Giants CEO after today’s news conference. . . .

Tim Kawakami: The truth about the San Francisco Giants and Bill Neukom – San Jose Mercury News
No matter how hard the parties tried to spin it Thursday, this organization is not stable.

VIDEO: Understanding ‘The Giants Way’ By Bill Neukom – SB Nation Bay Area
Former San Francisco Giants CEO and Managing Partner Bill Neukom fully understood this, and was in part the reason he decided to create ‘The Giants Way;’ a simple handbook created by Neukom on how “to articulate a successful baseball program and successful business program.”

Tim Lincecum And Another Means Of Defying Baseball Convention – Baseball Nation
Every coach at every level of baseball will talk about the importance of throwing first-pitch strikes. Tim Lincecum doesn’t care. Why would he? He’s Tim Lincecum! He’s weird!

First Pitch Tidbits – Baseball Analytics Blog – MLB Baseball Analytics
Here are some nuggets about what happens on the first pitch of an at-bat:

The Platoon Advantage: Hitter vs. Position Player
During the Common Man’s opening statement, he mentions “hitter” and “position player” interchangeably, and while Bill points out the difference and TCM surely knows the difference (you all know the difference), it’s a common correlation that’s often made.

Narratives From Formulas | FanGraphs Baseball
I won’t repeat the basics, which can be looked up elsewhere. Instead, I want to address the occasional misuse of the formula for building narratives of teams being better or worse.

Splash Hits: Brandon Belt, Jonathan Sanchez, Sergio Romo

After yesterday’s 8-K performance, Madison Bumgarner has raised his K% to 23.1% on the season, which is the eight-best mark in the National League. On a similar note, did you know that Bumgarner has one of the top bat-missing fastballs in the major-leagues? Anyway, some Monday morning links…

Joe Blogs: Wins and WAR and MVPs
More fantastic statistical ramblings from Joe Posnanski.

Breaking Bad: Brandon Belt and curveballs, sliders, and more « Bay City Ball | Giants Baseball with a Side of STATS!
A look at Belt’s struggles with breaking pitches.

The Jonathan Sanchez Decision » Bay Area Sports Guy
Should the Giants tender Jonathan Sanchez a contract this offseason?

Player Profile: Sergio Romo, RHP, San Francisco Giants – Minor League Ball
Player Profile: Sergio Romo, RHP, San Francisco Giants

NL West:  The snakebit Giants
Did you just see that? Did you see that rattler strike that bumbling oaf?