More Randomness

Dave · August 18, 2006 at 7:14 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Lots of short stuff to get to today, none of it deserving of its own post, so back to the notebook we go.

1. Doyle!

Let’s be honest – the M’s haven’t been any fun to watch lately, but getting to see Chris Snelling take some hacks in the 9th inning last night was legitimately enjoyable. Yea, he struck out on a swing with far too much of an uppercut, and his recent performance in Tacoma doesn’t do much to support our cries for him to get regular playing time earlier in the season, but the kid’s been through hell the past four years, and the fact that he’s a major leaguer again makes my day a little brighter. I know we won’t see him much, but I’m glad he’s in Seattle.

2. Shut down Raffy. Please.

It’s not too often that you’ll see a guy strike out the side and cause pain and consternation at the same time. But that’s what Rafael Soriano did last night. The results were terrific, but he’s clearly not healthy. His fastball was 90-92, he threw a ton of sliders, and he’s been complaining of soreness for weeks now. The M’s season is over, and the guy missed two seasons because the M’s tried to let him pitch through arm problems back in 2004. Don’t make that mistake again. Shut him down.

3. How do you pronounce Nageotte? “Dun.”

After last nights performance, Clint Nageotte has thrown 16 2/3 innings in four August starts, facing 86 batters. He’s given up 23 hits, walked 14, hit 2 guys, and struck out all of 4 batters. He’s not even getting groundballs anymore. He’s throwing 87-89 and his slider doesn’t even resemble the pitch it used to be. At this point, the only chance his career has is a move back to the bullpen and a prayer that some velocity returns in shorter stints. But even that’s a longshot. Yet another cautionary tale of the attrition of young pitchers – Clint Nageotte isn’t even really a prospect anymore. I’m not sure he’ll still be on the next version of the Future Forty.

4. Hello Curve Ball.

How do you post gaudy strikeout numbers in the low minors? Feature a big breaking ball with all kinds of movement. Guys in short season ball just haven’t seen that many true 12-6 curves that start at their heads and end at their toes, and they often look foolish when they face a kid who can break off an Uncle Charley. So, meet the M’s newest low-level strikeout master, 2nd round pick Chris Tillman. Here’s his line from last night:

6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 10 K

In two starts, he’s struck out 15 of the 37 batters he’s faced in the Northwest League. His command still needs all kinds of work (7 walks and a hit batter in 8 2/3 IP), and he’s got a ton of growing up to do, but he’s going to post some ridiculous strikeout numbers. That breaking ball is just going to outclass low level hiters.


187 Responses to “More Randomness”

  1. Xteve X on August 18th, 2006 4:24 pm

    145 – 2001 Pythagorean W/L was 109-53, it’s not as if they were an 85 win team that got lucky. They were already a pretty good squad that got an MVP caliber year out of Boone, 3 other offensive players that hit 20 or more HRs, a 20 win season out of Moyer, and excellent performances out of the entire bullpen. Any team that has all those elements come together should be expected to win 90 games at least.

  2. Beniitec on August 18th, 2006 4:25 pm

    Wow… of all the statistics I’ve seen on here the last couple of weeks…I didn’t expect that. I expected to read about different theories…etc. GM’s, Managers, a Bud Selig vacation… SOMETHING… But not luck.

    Team effort I’ll believe. Careers were winding down…they left it on the field. They gave it all up for the manager. The 9/11 thing. Sentimental for Buhner…as it was his last year? Maybe that’s what the team needs? A reason to win other than a reason to NOT lose. I mean I see these guys playing to win a game because they don’t want to lose. Does anyone else see that? I mean it’s worse now because of their losing streak to the AL west…

  3. Beniitec on August 18th, 2006 4:28 pm

    Al Martin… LOVE IT. That was good.

  4. Mat on August 18th, 2006 4:29 pm

    Stay the hell away from Barry Zito.

    I’ve seen this sentiment around before, and I don’t quite get it. Zito’s going to be overpriced, sure, but at least in part overpriced in the same way that all free agent pitchers are.

    I can certainly see why teams would be wary of Zito, given his relatively weak peripheral numbers, but I seem to remember a lot of commotion after his 2003 season that his peripherals were way out of wack from his ERA and such, and then over the last two and a half seasons since then, he’s posted about a 4.00-ish ERA in a league with a 4.50ish league ERA. The Al Davis Reconfigurable Hole is something of a pitcher’s park, but I don’t think it’s out of line to expect Zito to be an above league average pitcher going forward. And Zito’s managed to stay pretty healthy, and doesn’t seem to have mechanics that would suggest an injury going forward.

    I don’t know. Zito’s going to be overpaid, but he’s been pitching successfully with fairly weak peripherals for some time now, so I think it’s at least a little silly to think he’d just turn into a pumpkin overnight.

  5. Frozenropers on August 18th, 2006 4:36 pm

    Since its the day of randomness I’ll go with it……

    A couple thoughts on the roster makeup. Considerable money will be cleared up with Piniero, Meche and Moyer coming off the payroll. Enough to pay a Schmidt or Matsuzaka, as needed.

    What to do with the lineup? Beltre is pretty much entrenched unless you want to try and send him back to the original LA or to the Padres, possibly. Don’t have an inhouse replacement and not sure you could get a decent replacement in return. Basically a salary dump. Best thought, probably remain status quo there.

    First Base. Other place where big dollars are tied up. Options included trading Sexson to Gnats? They maybe would be interested if Barroid doesn’t come back next season? Could use a Broussard/Perez platoon then spend the money saved on more starting pitching? Hard to give up Sexon’s production in middle of lineup if he resorts back to 2005 form, as is likely. Better idea? Waiver wire deal for Broussard to contender right now? Opens up the LH DH role for Doyle the rest of the season. Should be able to get a solid position prospect or arm in return for Broussard at this point given his contract status and team control. I’d probably go with that option first, as it allows you to play Doyle in LF and move Ibanez back to DH. Doesn’t look like front office would consider moving Ibanez in trade as he’s become the quiet clubhous leader/role model for the youngin’s.

    In the offseason gotta decide what to do with Reed. Is Jones ready for fulltime CF by next year? Doesn’t look like it now, so maybe start 2007 with Reed in MLB CF and Jones back at AAA CF getting experience then trade Reed for piece needed two months into season? Or would it just reduce Reed’s value even more if he starts off 2007 slow? Possibly teams still interested in him now and could blame wrist problems for bad performance? Yeah, reaching there but ya never know?

    Bullpen pretty set. Agree, Shut down Soriano now and get him ready for 2007. Does no good to hurt him more now.

    Basically, offseason focus on rotation, rotation, rotation!

  6. Nati on August 18th, 2006 4:39 pm

    #152 Regarding team effort, you have a point. Maybe having a new manager to play for would be what ends their losing streak. Another reason among many to fire Grover and move up Dan Rohn TODAY: to stop the losing, to get a new face in the clubhouse that will motivate the team to play for team pride.

  7. Thingray on August 18th, 2006 4:46 pm

    It’s not often you get to throw a good Al Martin joke out there, I wasn’t going to miss my chance!

  8. mln on August 18th, 2006 5:04 pm

    For what it’s worth, Jim Callis of Baseball America didn’t like the Mariners’ recent player moves , putting them in the same class as the Pirates:

    Guileless In Seattle

    The Mariners haven’t been more than two games over .500 all season, yet that has been enough to remain in contention in the American League West–which led to the pair of regretful trades with the Indians. Cabrera and Choo will soon be more cost-effective options than the starters Seattle currently employs, and discarding both for a DH platoon made the Mariners system take baseball’s biggest step back.

    While Seattle overpaid, the Pirates didn’t extract nearly enough value in their deals either.

  9. Dave Clapper on August 18th, 2006 5:10 pm

    Regarding Cabrera, I’d have liked to have seen them get more, but I’m not sure I agree that he’ll be a more cost-effective option than what we currently have while still giving the same productivity. Regarding Choo? I think he’s completely off-base, ESPECIALLY if we wind up moving Sexson. The cost-effectiveness of that is an enormous change.

  10. windknot on August 18th, 2006 5:13 pm

    Small sample size theater caveat applies of course, but it’s hard to argue that Choo hasn’t done better than Broussard since the trade:

    Broussard in 46 AB: .174 .204 .435 .639
    Choo in 57 AB: .333 .397 .544 .941

  11. The Ancient Mariner on August 18th, 2006 5:15 pm

    Re #152: Anyone who doesn’t understand the importance of “luck” — for lack of a better word; if you find one you prefer, go with it — in baseball doesn’t understand the game. The difference between hitting the ball on the screws and just getting under it is too fine for conscious control; the difference between atmospheric conditions which carry the ball over the fence and those which hang it up for a long flyout is beyond human control; the slight variations in grip, motion, and release which make the difference between snapping off a curveball and hanging it are beyond a pitcher’s ability to completely control; and the accumulation of such matters, too fine for human beings to really control but critical to the outcome of the batter-pitcher matchup, over the course of a game, a series, a season, constitutes “luck.” It’s why we have fluke seasons, and it’s a major reason why the game isn’t as predictable as a computer program.

    I’d also call your attention to H. L. Mencken’s comment that “for every question there is an answer which is simple, easy to understand, and wrong.” Was team effort involved in the M’s 116-win ride in ’01? Of course. Is it an explanation for 116 wins? Not by any rational standard. Team effort isn’t the reason everyone played well, it isn’t the reason we had a half-dozen players turn in career years at the same time with no significant underperformers, it isn’t the reason we didn’t have any season-killing injuries . . . it isn’t the reason a team that might reasonably have been expected to top out at 94 wins racked up 116.

    As for 151, Xteve, you have too narrow a definition of luck. Luck doesn’t only go into outperforming your Pythagorean W/L, it also goes into the totals of runs scored and allowed that produce it. Yes, that was a team that should have been expected to win at least 90; it doesn’t change the fact that they were wildly lucky to win 116.

  12. Nati on August 18th, 2006 5:43 pm

    #161 – I’m all for luck, and with a little luck, we might see Hargrove fired, let’s say on Monday, after the team has been swept by the Angels! If that’s what it takes.

  13. Matthew Carruth on August 18th, 2006 5:49 pm

    The 2001 Ms had both incredibly good hitting, pitching, and defense across the team level. Maybe nobody on the pitching staff wowed you, but, much like the 05 ChiSox, they were incledibly deep, pitching like a staff full of 2s and 3s. The fielding was great, and the hitting, top to bottom was unstoppable for the same reason the 06 version is stoppable, OBP.

  14. Gilgameche on August 18th, 2006 5:56 pm

    Let’s suppose the M’s had gone, oh, 5 and 6 on this road trip. And, at the end of it, they were about 8 games out. Grover would continue to put on the brave (if flustered) face; the recent demotion (and let us hope the final departure) of Jo-el would not have happened, O’Flaherty and Doyle would likely not be here, and our interest (rather than being morbidly focused) would be far more dissipated. I really hate to root against the M’s (and I cannot root against the King), but consider: if they go 0 and 11, it is possible that Hargrove will be gone. (Well, I can dream, can’t I?). And that Rohn will be in, and PERHAPS he will use Doyle and Jones (why wouldn’t you?? Pissed off (and, dare I say, pissed) as DMZ was last night, can you imaagine this page the day they DFA Doyle next year HAVING NEVER EVEN GIVEN HIM A CHANCE THIS YEAR??? ….

    Anyway, every silver lining has a touch of . . . silver, doesn’t it??

  15. Matthew Carruth on August 18th, 2006 6:00 pm

    “[Barry Zito has] posted about a 4.00-ish ERA in a league with a 4.50ish league ERA.”

    Please see any previous post here that explains how ERA is a poor predictive stat.

    Barry Zito, FIPs, 2004-6: 4.57, 4.37, 5.00
    Barry Zito, xFIPs, 2004-6: 5.04, 4.61, 5.33
    Barry Zito, K/BB, 2004-6: 2.01, 1.92, 1.57

    For Reference

    Washburn, FIPs, 2004-6: 4.60, 4.37, 4.65
    Washburn, xFIPs, 2004-6: 5.06, 5.01, 5.33
    Washburn, K/BB, 2004-6: 2.15, 1.84, 1.81

    They both generate GBs at about the same 35-40% rate.

    Barry Zito is Jarrod Washburn (maybe even worse) and he will cost 150% times as much as Washburn. STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM BARRY ZITO

    J Schmidt, FIPs, 2004-6: 2.78, 3.77, 3.48
    J Schmidt, xFIPs, 2004-6: 3.35, 4.40, 4.43
    J Schmidt, K/BB, 2004-6: 3.26, 1.94, 2.41

    Jason Schmidt is, by far, the better pitcher. He also WANTS to pitch in Seattle which in turn means the Ms have a better shot at getting him to a shorter (maybe 3yr instead of 5 to Zito) and/or cheaper (9-10M instead of 12-14M to Zito)

  16. JAS on August 18th, 2006 6:08 pm

    I don’t have a lot of time, but the Ancient Mariner’s take on “luck” belongs in the artifact heap… (if I missed my following point made elsewhere in the post, sorry…)

    The difference between hitting a ball square and missing with a popup or grounder may be miniscule, but isn’t attributable to luck – even if luck comes into play frequently. It just isn’t frequent enough to matter…

    If such difference (include the pitcher points as well) were indeed luck, then the difference between a hall of fame career and a brief cup of joe is simply chance, which is complete BS.

    Pitchers & hitters DO have control over timing, even if that timing is beyond the ken of direct conscience control…

    It isn’t luck, it isn’t chance: it’s control ahead of time so that the action yields a predictable result…

  17. Steve T on August 18th, 2006 6:12 pm

    They may not have “dominated”, whatever that means, but they had the best offense and the second-best defense in baseball that year. Chemistry? No, it’s about scoring runs and preventing runs. Collectively they CLUBBED league pitching to death — 5.72 runs a game in an extreme pitcher’s park. And even considering that park their 3.87 runs allowed is freaking insane. They were a team with no weak spots, no easy outs in the lineup, no soft spots in the rotation, no gaps in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings, and outstanding defense at every position. Even little Danny Wilson hit that year.

    Luck? Sure. It’s impossible to win 116 games without luck. The AL All-Stars probably coudn’t do it. But they were an outstanding team.

    Chemistry? Meh.

  18. joser on August 18th, 2006 6:14 pm

    There certainly was an element of luck to the 2001 season. Aside from players having career years (and alternating good nights, so they never all got cold at the same time) there was the “2 outs so what” thing — a lot of those hits just missed gloves, but could easily have been caught if any one of huge number of variables were slightly different. It’s not like they were knocking balls into seats on a regular basis; this wasn’t a team that won with overpowering offense or a couple of lights-out aces. Which was precisely why they had problems in the postseason, where aces and home runs can win you 3 games in a short series.

    Anyway, I like to think the M’s saved up all their bad luck and used it in that one jaw-dropping game vs Cleveland. Perhaps they had a kind of baseball Maxwell’s Demon that allowed the bad luck to flow into that game and kept the good luck in all the others.

  19. Steve T on August 18th, 2006 6:21 pm

    Luck means that Ichiro is a die that comes up “hit” 30% of the time, “walk” 7%, and “out” 63% of the time.

  20. Steve T on August 18th, 2006 6:25 pm

    They DID win with overpowering offense. They scored more runs than anyone else, in an extreme pitcher’s park. They may not have led the league in homers, but they were fourth in the AL in Slugging, IN AN EXTREME PITCHERS PARK. They were an offensive machine, beating people’s brains in all year long.

  21. msb on August 18th, 2006 6:27 pm

    #167–Jason Schmidt is, by far, the better pitcher. He also WANTS to pitch in Seattle which in turn means the Ms have a better shot at getting him to a shorter (maybe 3yr instead of 5 to Zito) and/or cheaper (9-10M instead of 12-14M to Zito)

    I don’t know that Schmidt WANTS to pitch in Seattle — he is willing to pitch in Seattle.

    As he put it in SF later: “When I was in Seattle this time, a lot was said and a lot of things got blown out of proportion,” Schmidt said last week. “(Reporters) really grilled me about it, and I reacted like an 8-year-old instead of like a grown man. I tried to be honest and said it would be exciting if I did ever play there, and that there was a lull here. But after I left, I felt kind of bad about how it was portrayed — like I really didn’t appreciate what I’d done here, and I really do.”

    and to quote the APs Janie McCauley at the trade deadline: “The Giants are interested in re-signing Schmidt, who has told Sabean in the past he would be interested in discussing staying in San Francisco. The Mets and Yankees are expected to pursue Schmidt this winter. Arizona and Seattle also would be logical fits for the right-hander, who is from Washington and now lives in the Phoenix area. “He has enjoyed his time here,” Sabean said. “But that remains to be seen. The season is not over and he certainly has the off-season to look forward to.”

    and just a reminder– he didn’t go for the hometown discount the last time, or the hometown bonus — from Eric Gilmore on June 12th: “Schmidt nearly signed as a free agent with the Seattle Mariners, his home-state team and the team he had grown up rooting for. The Mariners offered Schmidt a four-year deal believed to be worth $32 million. He turned them down and signed with the Giants for less money, a four-year, $30-million deal that included a $10 million team option for 2006.”

  22. Steve T on August 18th, 2006 6:33 pm

    In 2001 the Mariners accumulated almost a hundred more EQR than any other team — 978.6. They had five players in the top twenty in RARP. Everybody was great — even our backup catcher (Tom Lampkin) was hitting the snot out of the ball (compared to other backup catchers at least). Even Al Martin was useful. There were no Willie Boom-Booms on that team.

    This comes up all the time. I don’t know why. The 2001 M’s had an absolutely outstanding offense in every possible way. The pitchers, too. It’s not a mystery why they won.

  23. Matthew Carruth on August 18th, 2006 6:35 pm

    Yeah, he signed with the Giants last time because he said he thought they were closer to a WS than Seattle at the time. I would say though, that now that he’s already cashed in once, he’d be more likely to take a discount to pitch where he wants.

    I’m not saying he only wants to pitch in Seattle, but Seattle is a preferred place for him, made moreso by the fact that we pursued him highly last time around.

    Unless he’s stupid, and I don’t think he is, there’s no way he re-signs with SF if he cares at all about winning and it seems like he does based on his comments about signing w/SF previously.

  24. CSG on August 18th, 2006 6:41 pm

    The Mariners won in 2001 because of their on base skills throughout the lineup, and historically good defense. They turned 73.5% of balls in play into outs. The pitching was good, but not great, and benefited from the defense, especially the outfield. Ichiro, Cameron, and McLemore/Javier ran down everything. With the exception of David Bell and Dan Wilson, every regular had at least a .329 OBP. Ichiro, Ibanez, and Johjima are the only starters this year above that mark.

  25. Mat on August 18th, 2006 6:48 pm

    Please see any previous post here that explains how ERA is a poor predictive stat.

    I’ve seen them. When a pitcher beats his xFIP for 1300 innings though, I’m inclined to note the fact that no one metric is perfect or applicable in every situation.


    Shouting doesn’t make your point any more (or less) valid.

    Like I said, I see the warning signs with Zito, but I think Zito’s definitely worth a longer look than Washburn.

  26. BelaXadux on August 18th, 2006 7:43 pm

    With the dissipation of his slider, Clint Nageotte isn’t any kind of prospect, no. But it sounds to me as if his elbow’s about gone, given first a steady and sustained drop in velocity, then a flattening of that big sweeper leading to Vanishing K Disease, then a spike in his H/9, then all FB which means he’s not following through enough to get the pitch down anymore, which is exactly the future one might have inferred from him throwing that big slurvy thang for years. Supposing that he is in fact damaged, I don’t know if he’s not being honest about an injury, or if the Ms are having him try to keep going despite a chronic but non-catastrophic situation in his arm. I suspect he’s a good candidate for TJ surgery by now. If he gets it, maybe he comes back to some kind of career, but to me that’s what it’s going to take: his numbers have ‘arm injury’ written all over them. Too bad.

  27. Gomez on August 18th, 2006 7:44 pm

    Zito, granted his track record and good curveball, is an average hurler at best, and will come far more overrated and at a far higher price than Washburn. Avoid, plz, and let someone else make that fiscal mistake. Personnel mistake? Certainly not. Zito is a strong asset. But fiscally, signing him at the price Boras will want is a HUGE mistake.

  28. Mr. Egaas on August 18th, 2006 7:51 pm

    …and Doyle is the only guy in the lineup to reach base thus far.

  29. LB on August 18th, 2006 7:55 pm

    How about the luck of keeping the entire lineup healthy for almost the whole season (until Carlos Guillen was unlucky enough to come down with TB)?

  30. Matthew Carruth on August 18th, 2006 7:58 pm

    “I’ve seen them. When a pitcher beats his xFIP for 1300 innings though, I’m inclined to note the fact that no one metric is perfect or applicable in every situation.”

    Or that, perhaps, he pitches in a park favorable to pitchers.

    But, ok, you want to ignore xFIP? fine. What about FIP? K rate? BB rate? HR rate? Oh, you want to ignore those too?

    Way to focus on one part of the post and completely ignore the rest. If you’d like to present some sort of evidence beyond ERA that Barry Zito is significantly better than Jarrod Washburn, I’m all ears.

  31. The Ancient Mariner on August 18th, 2006 8:06 pm

    JAS, you missed my point, and then proceeded to read your misinterpretation far too strongly. The greatest factors in player careers, no question, are (in some order) talent, training, and health. Yes, batters and pitchers have control over timing. However, in a situation where fractions of seconds and fractions of inches can make huge differences, they don’t have enough control — no one’s body, no one’s mind, is that precise; even our fine motor skills aren’t that fine, given that what’s primarily in play aren’t fine motor skills, but gross motor skills.

    Therefore, in every pitch, in every swing, conscious control only extends so far. As well, you have atmospheric conditions, etc., which are completely outside any human control. What this means is that in every at-bat, there are elements which are beyond the full conscious control of either participant; they matter to varying degrees at any given point, but they’re always present, and they (or their effects, anyway) are what we refer to as “luck.”

  32. BelaXadux on August 18th, 2006 8:18 pm

    I’m not remotely surprised that Doyle was claimed on a waiver post if true. He can flat hit, and would be a great pick-up for free more or less. If I were in KC or Pittsburgh or anywhere in Florida, I’d put up both hands if his contract popped up. And for the love of God, he can do more for the Ms than Greg Dobbs, Mike Morse, or other random hairballs the Mariners FO seems to treasure so much that they keep buying plane tickets for them to travel around the country. Let’s have Doyle; he can at least play.

  33. BelaXadux on August 18th, 2006 8:40 pm

    Between Lou and Grover, I’ll take Grover: he doesn’t get you any advantages, but he doesn’t break anything whereas Lou lost you at least as many advantages as he got and broke lots of useful things.

  34. BelaXadux on August 18th, 2006 9:14 pm

    Re: #74 on Aybar, yeah, that’s a good description. Aybar is a good, close compt to Jose Reyes. He’ll have a bunch more ISO than Betancourt at every stage. Yuniesky will have better D, but Aybar’s pretty good with room to get better.

    Kendrick is so much more a complete player than Jose Lopez at this point he wins hands down, and he’ll stay a better defender always. If Jose improves his approach at the plate, I say IF, he could end up having more value, as he’s a line drive machine now—but there’s no guarantee that Lopez improves at all. And the League has caught on to him now since he swings at so many non-strikes he’s not getting too many fat pitches in the second half. So Kendrick, as the professional hitter, has the advantage.

    Then there’s Santana for the La-Las. I see Wood more as another Dallas McPfft—but Mike Napoli just zoomed by a couple of other guys, and is already making a significant contribution. The Angels have just done a better job focusing on getting _actual, starting players_ out of their farm system than the Ms have.

  35. BelaXadux on August 18th, 2006 9:19 pm

    I’m far happier having Adam Jones than Brandon Wood, I’ll say that.

  36. Typical Idiot Fan on August 18th, 2006 11:49 pm

    What do you know about Austin Bibens-Dirkx? Could he become a cheap bullpen arm by 2008 or so?

    Upside – Jeff Nelson circa mid-late 90s.
    Downside – Jeff Nelson, anytime else.

    It’s hard not to compare the two when their stuff seems so similar with the same funky sidarm delivery. Bibens-Dirkx is making low-A ballers look like idiots. He’s got 42 strikeouts in 31 professional innings pitched and only 5 walks. Puts the ball in the air too much for my tastes. shows him as having issued up 18 groundballs, 16 linedrives, 28 flyballs, 10 popups, 1 bunt. (19:54 ratio, extreme flyballer, numbers as of August 15).

    Still, there’s something to be said for a guy who has had 46 percent of his outs come via strikeouts (if my numbers are right, he’s struck out 35% of the batters he’s faced).

    I like him.

  37. Bodhizefa on August 19th, 2006 7:24 am

    Matthew Carruth,

    I actually feel you’re the one who’s being a bit shortsighted on Zito. Sure, we can partially attribute him besting his FIP to the Athletics’ defensive prowess these past few seasons. But honestly, Zito does have a lengthy resume of outperforming his peripherals (I’ve read no less than three stat gurus in the last three months mention that very thing to me). I certainly don’t think it’s out of the question to believe that Zito could continue to pitch better than league average for the foreseeable future. Peripheral stats are a fantastic guide, but sometimes you lose sight of the forest for the trees, y’know?

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