Checking in on that young whippersnapper Vidro

DMZ · June 7, 2008 at 8:43 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

In today’s comments TomC reminded me that we haven’t run this feature in a while, so:

Jeff Clement was sent down after hitting .167/.286/.250 in 55 plate appearances, so that he could play every day, the team could get better production out of the DH slot from the reliable veteran Vidro, and so on.

Since May 16th through today, Vidro’s in 71 plate appearances, he’s hit 12 singles, 3 doubles, and one home run… and he’s walked four times. Which, I believe, means he’s hitting ~.258/.294/.354 (I didn’t take out SF/SH there, so that’s a little off) and still providing significantly more production out of the guy he replaced in the lineup. Good job, Vidro!

Sure, Clement’s been having a monster time in Tacoma since being sent down, even though he fouled a ball off his ankle and was out a couple of weeks, which pretty much established that there’s nothing left for him to learn offensively in AAA. But he couldn’t hit in 15 games in the major leagues, so, uhhhh… I’m having trouble maintaining the tone here, so I’ll just stop. But yeah, our DH is terrible.


42 Responses to “Checking in on that young whippersnapper Vidro”

  1. Hooligan on June 7th, 2008 8:53 pm

    The principle of small sample size is lost on Mariners fans.

    “Clement? It’s not like he hit when he was up here. Anyone can hit in the minors.”

    Unfortunately, MLB front offices and managers should be above that thinking.

  2. terry on June 7th, 2008 8:57 pm

    The only way we could see a door kicked down harder (then what Clement is doiing right now) would be to watch an episode of Cops where 5 or 6 officers in riot gear bust into an apartment with one of those steel pipe things.

    Vidro on the other hand has been flotsam and jetsam on the sea of decline.

  3. CaptainPoopy on June 7th, 2008 9:12 pm

    No, what you guys don’t seem to understand is that when you’re a young guy, tearing up AAA and showing that there’s nothing left to learn, well you haven’t learned everything that you can. AAA is perfect for him. In fact, I bet you he can make a solid career down there… well up until the M’s trade him for Vidro 2 and he tears it up for the new club’s MLB team.

  4. dojer47 on June 7th, 2008 9:29 pm

    It seems that Bavasi’s tirades are attenuating in their efficacy. Last time it was 2 games, this time one. If this trend continues, increasing severity will be needed to achieve the same results. Presumably multiple toungelashings and withheld buffets will force Vidro’s retirement, making room for the clearly inferior upstart Clement.

  5. msb on June 7th, 2008 9:36 pm

    well up until the M’s trade him for Vidro 2

    there’s a third Vidro brother??!?

  6. bratman on June 7th, 2008 9:43 pm

    Turbo is young at heart.

  7. TomC on June 7th, 2008 9:45 pm

    When (not if) Bavasi is replaced, the move of booting Vidro and bringing up Clement will be one of those “low hanging fruits” that will make the next guy look good without even trying.

    By the way, I was browsing a Forbes magazine special edition on baseball (or sports generally – I forget) and I noted that they listed Bavasi as the worst GM in baseball. Theo Epstein was at the other end of the spectrum.

    I wonder if Lincoln or Armstrong has a Forbes subscription?

  8. bratman on June 7th, 2008 9:58 pm

    I guess this is just food for thought:

    Lets talk about Bill Bavasi: not only does he have to deal with the spectre of the biggest flop in MLB history (first 100mill/100loss team) but he also has to deal with the death of his father … has it been 1 month? 2 months max since Buzzie passed?

    Just something to think about.

    Publicly ridiculed during the grieving process of losing a parent.

  9. CaptainPoopy on June 7th, 2008 10:04 pm

    Being publicly ridiculed and the loss of his father are two separate issues. He’s not performing… that’s why he’s ridiculed.

  10. TomC on June 7th, 2008 10:16 pm

    Baseball is a tough sport. How many guys has Bavasi cut or traded even though it was tough on the player personally?

    It would be excusable if some of his bad moves were caused by inattention due to personal problems. The solution to that would be to give him a leave of absence while he tends to his personal problems. Most of his mistakes, however, were made months or years ago – before his father passed away.

    It is completely consistent to empathize with Bavasi’s loss, consider him a decent and relatively smart guy, and also advocate for his replacement because he has failed at his current position.

  11. bavasihaspictures on June 7th, 2008 10:24 pm


    The only reason why we know that Bill’s dad passed away is that Buzzy, like Bill, was a public figure. Like it or not, Buzzy’s son signed up for a life of public scrutiny and exposure when he became a GM of a MLB team. If he was an accountant, it would be a different story. This here disaster was more than one or two months on the making.

  12. MedicineHat on June 7th, 2008 10:28 pm

    Chris Snelling was DFA’d today…and is out of options. If he refuses assignment he becomes a F/A…bring back Snelling!


  13. Swungonandbelted on June 7th, 2008 10:56 pm

    I think there’s something to the M’s using a ~15 game performance snapshot to determine a young players future…. WFB – Hits ~.400 for a couple of weeks in Sept, and now he’s an indispensable fixture on the team…..

  14. jsa on June 7th, 2008 11:10 pm

    Why was Snelling DFA’ed?

    Why should the M’s rush (yet again) to pick up someone else’s cast off?

    Was the team he was with so fortunate that he is the least useful player on the bench and they DFA’d him knowing he was out of options?

    Are we so sure that all the promise he showed while here is still present?

    I’m not trying to be a smartass here, I really want to know?

  15. RallyFried on June 7th, 2008 11:17 pm

    #11 I sense sarcasm, but you know given a chance to DH everyday, I’m sure Snelling would put up better numbers then Vidro. (I guess that isn’t saying much)

    You know the real story behind the Vidro signing? Bill was reviewing FA stats one morning when his phone rang. He reached for the phone and knocked over his coffee. The spill smudged the last 0 in Vidro’s 2000 stat sheet making it look like a 6. Bill was amazed that such a productive bat had yet to be snapped up! He immediately contacted Vidro’s agent and closed the deal.

    The story gets a bit stranger in that once Bill discovered his mistake, it has been rumored that he has been actively seeking the De Lorean from the movie Back to the Future on Ebay. An anonymous source reported, Bill believes he can go back to the year 2000 and kidnapp that Vidro and bring him back to present day to play for the Mariners.

  16. CaptainPoopy on June 7th, 2008 11:37 pm


    If only Vidro were a free agent signing instead of a trade…

  17. JMHawkins on June 7th, 2008 11:46 pm

    Vidro on the other hand has been flotsam and jetsam on the sea of decline.

    Technically, Vidro is flotsam, as he is “the floating wreckage of a ship or its cargo”. Norton and Baek are jetsam, being “the part of a ship, its equipment, or its cargo that is cast overboard to lighten the load in time of distress and that sinks or is washed ashore.” (It would appear both have washed ashore).

  18. JMHawkins on June 8th, 2008 12:00 am

    Oh, and I should add, the Mariner’s playoff hopes are, as we all know, lagan at this point.

  19. terry on June 8th, 2008 4:59 am

    Why should the M’s rush (yet again) to pick up someone else’s cast off?

    Well because the Ms current RFer is hitting .100/-.200/.146 and sending him to Tacoma buys the Ms another year of control when it might actually be useful.

  20. martin026 on June 8th, 2008 8:38 am

    I think it would be irresponsible for the M’s to allow a young player to learn on the job in the middle of a pennant race. How is that fair to the vets? Okay, that sarcasm felt good.

    Any way, do you think Ichiro at all regrets signing his deal now? I seem to recall that he was concerned about the team’s ability to win before he signed. Correct me if I am wrong.

    And sorry for bothering Lauren.

  21. msb on June 8th, 2008 8:51 am
    jsa annoyed Lauren by saying:

    Why was Snelling DFA’ed?

    shouldn’t that be:

    “jsa annoyed Lauren and DMZ by saying” ?

  22. Breadbaker on June 9th, 2008 1:36 am

    There’s probably someone in the M’s organization who thinks they did the right thing playing two years of Jim Presley instead of Edgar, allowing him to win two PCL batting titles. They figure Clement will be the next Edgar and so they’re treating him like Edgar.

  23. SBG on June 9th, 2008 11:08 am is your friend. By going to their game log feature on a particular player, you can select a span of games and it calculates their stats over that time period.

    Vidro from May 16 through June 7: .270/.309/.365

  24. Bremerton guy on June 10th, 2008 10:34 am

    I feel fine posting this on this thread because by this time not too many people pay attention to it. Otherwise, everyone would go crazy. Here’s kind of an overlooked point: the Mariners are anemic at the plate this year and have a hard time scoring runs. Vidro has 32 RBIs in and is second on the team (tied with Lopez, who has 73 more ABs) to Raul’s 39 (in 54 more ABs). He averages an RBI every 4.7 ABs, while Raul averages one every 6.2 ABs (Beltre’s at 8.5 and Sexson is at 7.7). Sure, Vidro doesn’t seem to be hitting for average or for power, but how can you justify DFA’ing or sitting down arguably the most run productive guy on the team?

  25. Graham on June 10th, 2008 10:38 am

    Do you know what it’s overlooked? Because it’s irrelevant.

  26. DMZ on June 10th, 2008 10:38 am

    Because he sucks.

  27. Bremerton guy on June 10th, 2008 10:46 am

    25: Right, scoring runs is irrelevant. I think most people disagree.

    26: I don’t necessarily disagree about him sucking.

  28. Jeff Nye on June 10th, 2008 10:49 am

    RBIs? Seriously?

    You realize that RBI have a lot more to do with the situation when you come up to the plate than with any actual skill, right?

  29. Bremerton guy on June 10th, 2008 10:50 am

    28: Gee, no, I’m an idiot and have never seen a game.

  30. Graham on June 10th, 2008 10:54 am

    Since most people know ~nothing about how to reasonably analyse baseball players, I’m not sure why I should care what they think.

  31. Jeff Nye on June 10th, 2008 11:00 am

    I wasn’t stating or implying that you’re an idiot.

    A lot of people simply don’t stop to think about that factor, is all; and quoting Vidro’s RBI totals doesn’t tell us anything useful at all about his skills.

    It just tells us he’s been at the plate with men in scoring position a lot.

  32. Bremerton guy on June 10th, 2008 11:07 am

    I’m trying to locate a site that compiles LOB totals for the current season. That would provide at least a general way to evaluate and compare the worth of the RBI/AB stat. Then I could compare Vidro’s LOB totals vs. those of RI, JL, AB, and RS. I can’t find one; does anyone know of one?

  33. DMZ on June 10th, 2008 11:15 am

    RBI/AB doesn’t tell you anything about a hitter.

    Unless “how often the hitter comes up with men on” counts.

  34. Jeff Nye on June 10th, 2008 11:26 am

    There just isn’t any way to massage the data you’re trying to look at that would make it meaningful.

    Hitting for power is a skill; hitting for average is a skill; plate discipline is a skill.

    Driving in runs isn’t; it’s a RESULT of the application of one or more of those skills, but the fact that the situation is what determines whether a particular plate appearance is an RBI situation or not introduces too much “noise” to make what you’re trying to do useful.

  35. Bremerton guy on June 10th, 2008 11:35 am

    Hold it: Let’s say we are looking at two batters, each with 100 ABs. For Batter A, let’s say that 40% of the time he comes up there are runners in scoring position, and that he has driven in 10% of those runners. For Batter B, 30% of the time he comes up there are runners in scoring position and he has driven in 15% of those runners. There is nothing useful about that comparison? The useful numbers appear to be 10% and 15%, but why not?

  36. DMZ on June 10th, 2008 11:52 am

    There is nothing useful about that comparison.

  37. Jeff Nye on June 10th, 2008 11:53 am

    What skill do you think you’ll be able to evaluate from those numbers, if we even accept that it’s a reasonable premise?

    What would be the skill that player B has that player A doesn’t, or in lesser quantity?

    If you want to talk about results in RBI situations, that’s fine; but you’re trying to tie it back to evaluating a player skill that doesn’t exist.

    RBI totals are about 80% based on the situations you come to the plate at, and 20% based on the application of player skills that are applicable in all hitting situations (ie. there isn’t an “RBI skill”) that you can evaluate in much, much better ways.

  38. Bremerton guy on June 10th, 2008 12:03 pm

    Performing under pressure is a skill. Some people can and others can’t. Other than just to be told “this is not a useful comparison,” there must be a statistical basis for why these numbers are useless in evaluating player productivity. And if there isn’t, then I guess we can just stop talking about it.

  39. Jeff Nye on June 10th, 2008 12:15 pm

    Performing under pressure is a skill. Some people can and others can’t. Other than just to be told “this is not a useful comparison,” there must be a statistical basis for why these numbers are useless in evaluating player productivity. And if there isn’t, then I guess we can just stop talking about it.

    See, this is why people are reacting negatively to your posts.

    Why should people respond positively when you show up, pronounce that “performing under pressure is a skill” (aka clutch hitting, which has been beaten to death on this site and others) and say that if people disagree with you, they need to give you a statistical basis for why?

    If you want people to want to debate things like this with you, it’s incumbent on you to bring the proof of what you’re trying to assert, not the other way around.

    From the USSM Orientation link at the top of the page:

    The burden of proof is on the person who makes the assertion, and the wilder your assertion, the better your evidence should be. If you want to argue that Raul Ibanez is the best defensive left fielder ever, or that clutch hitting exists, or whatever, you need to bring the proof. “You need to disprove my theory” is not an acceptable argument, ever.

    Like it or not, that’s the standard for discussions on this site, so if you choose to ignore that, you shouldn’t be surprised when people are dismissive of your arguments. You’re not playing by the rules.

  40. DMZ on June 10th, 2008 12:21 pm

    That clutch hitting is specifically mentioned in that excerpt is kind of awesome.

  41. Jeff Nye on June 10th, 2008 12:46 pm

    It comes up…every once in a while. 🙂

  42. Bremerton guy on June 10th, 2008 1:12 pm

    See ya’

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