Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Random Numbers on the 2011 Season

Last week, I watched Brennan Boesch smoke a pitch off of a left hander and thought to myself, “This kid doesn’t seem to be bothered by lefties. Why doesn’t Leyland let him start against them?”

Obviously, the answer is because Jim Leyland is “old school” with his thoughts about lefty-lefty matchups and/or a friggin’ moron, depending on your personal opinion. I meant to look up Boesch’s numbers against southpaws, but ended up forgetting about it. You see, I have the attention span of a coked up infant and something distracting probably happened like my cat yawning or Lauren the FSD girl coming on the TV.

Scott Warheit at Mlive must have noticed Boesch's success, though, and put up this piece on the subject. This year, BB is hitting .393 with a homer and 7 RBI against lefties in his 28 at bats. Against righties, he’s faced them 84 times with a .274 mark, one homer, and 9 RBI. Small sample size, sure, but last year the kid hit .337 against lefties and only .233 against righties. Why not give him a shot more often? Higgy knows, we need the offense.

Well, this all led me to spend some time checking out more numbers concerning the Tigers on the young season. These are the ones that caught my attention. Keep in mind, I’m just your friendly neighborhood wiseass and not a sabermetrics genius like Lee at Tiger Tales. Still though, these numbers interested me.


Everyone is making a mess in their pants over the Indians’ hot 22-11 start. However, they’re only 9-7 against teams with a winning record and seven of those games were against the over-their-head Royals. Six were against LA and 3 were against Oakland. These guys simply haven’t played anyone yet. Meanwhile, we’ve been playing teams like the Yankees and Rangers and only getting better. We’re only 5.5 games behind the Tribe right now and their schedule is about to start getting tougher. I’m not worried about the Indians in the big picture. I don’t think the Tigers should be, either.

/conveniently ignores being swept by Cleveland


100 is the OPS+ of the average big leaguer. Miguel Cabrera’s is currently at 176. That’s awesome. Will Rhymes had one of 60 before being sent to Toledo. That’s terrible. Magglio Ordonez has an OPS+ of 35. Wow. Even the pathetic looking Brandon Inge has one of 58. I’m hoping Maggs' ankle owie or whatever is causing this ridiculously slow start is quick to improve or this team isn’t going to make it in the long run. A month or two from now, if Magglio is still looking like this, I volunteer to be the one to put the bullet in his head. The boy in the famous story loved his Old Yeller, but he knew what needed to be done. So will I, I guess.

5/15, 4/14

Only 5 of the 15 non-pitchers to play for us this year are over the age of 30: Maggs (37), Inge (34), V-Mart (32), Ramon (31), and Kelly (31). As for the pitchers, only 4 of the 14 to see action are north of 30: Penny (33), Valverde (33), Benoit (33), Thomas (33). Point is, this team is much younger than I realized at the beginning of the year. Maybe we are building on something afterall.


That would be Al Alburquerque’s strikeouts per nine innings so far. Sure, it’s only 12.1 innings pitched, but Wrong Turn is turning some heads. Give Dombrowski some credit for seeing something in the kid in the offseason and signing the Double A pitcher as a free agent. In comparison, during his amazing 2006 rookie season, Joel Zumaya K’d 10.5 per 9. AlAl has been a beast so far.

.323, 3, 17

That would be the batting average, home runs, and RBI total for Timo Perez in 105 plate appearances in Toledo so far. He also has 6 doubles and 4 steals. Just sayin’.

ERA: 2.97 vs 3.19

SO: 41 vs 38

CG: 2 vs 0

H/9: 5.4 vs 7.9

WHIP: 0.900 vs 1.282

The other night, Rod and Mario were singing the praises of Andy Oliver’s performances in Toledo this year. And yeah, the kid has done well. In fact, his numbers are on the right in the above examples. But as you see, the numbers on the left are better. Those numbers belong to Oliver’s Toledo teammate, Charlie Furbush. If Phil Coke struggles as a starter or Brad Penny’s arm explodes, I’d like to see Charlie get a call up over Oliver just to see how he does. Plus, I want to see the name “Furbush” on a Tiger uniform so I can giggle like an 8 year old for 20 minutes or so.


That’s the number of earned runs Joaquin Benoit has given up already this year, tied with Brad Thomas for the bullpen’s team lead. In 60.1 innings with Tampa last year, Benoit only gave up 9. Dave Dombrowski gave this man $5.5 million for each of the next three years based off of that. Benoit needs to turn this around or Mike Ilitch may use this in his arguments against renewing DD’s contract after this year.


Jhonny Peralta has only made one error in 123 chances thus far. In comparison, supposed fielding wizard Brandon Inge has made 5 in 96 chances. I continue to believe that Jhonny isn’t getting the recognition he has deserved thus far in 2011. He’s hitting .288 with 2 homers, 16 RBI, a 112 OPS+, and is only striking out 13.9% of the time compared to 20.9% over his career. In a season where so many of our guys have underperformed, I think it’s time that Peralta is given some props for his steady play.


Opposing #3 hitters are hitting .400 against Justin Verlander this year with 4 home runs. Cleanup hitters are hitting .304 with 1 dinger. No other lineup slot is hitting over .238 against him. Leadoff hitters are only hitting .192. Point is, imagine if JV can quit letting the #3 guy beat him. Yikes.

As always, baseball-reference.com is amazing in the amount of material you can find there. And as fun as all of this is (at least for Your geeky Party Host), wins are the numbers that matter. With the struggling Twins next on the schedule, hopefully we can rack up a couple more of them.


Julian said...

I think if Maggs would quit swinging at every first pitch he saw his numbers would improve. At the beginning of the season everything he hit was a weak grounder but after the last week or so he's hitting with some authority, even if they fly into an outfielder's glove. At this point in his career, opposing pitchers know he's looking for a first pitch fastball so they're feeding him a too high, too outside or too low ball that won't travel far. Going into an 0-1 count is much better than GIDP that he did tonight with the bases loaded.

Jay Hathaway said...

Oh, Timo, the ever-forgotten Mudhen. I agree with you about Peralta not getting enough props. He has been steady as hell since checking out of Cleveland. Furthermore, kudos for bringing up BB's numbers against lefties. Kind of mind-boggling. Despite his second half slump last year, I remain a fan.

Carrie Marchand said...

LOVE TIMO!!! Would love to see him back  w/ the big boys