Game 103, Mariners at Blue Jays

Dave · July 26, 2008 at 9:52 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Dickey vs Purcey, 10:05 am.

Ichiro RF
Bloomquist CF
Ibanez LF
Beltre 3B
Lopez 2B
Vidro DH
Cairo 1B
Burke C
Betancourt SS

In a season where the entire point is now to build for the future, the Mariners are starting players who won’t be with the organization next year in CF, LF, DH, 1B, and likely C.

In better news, the Dodgers acquired Casey Blake from the Indians today, so if the Mets are going to make a deal for a hitter, Ibanez is the last guy left. Let’s hope for a classic Minaya freakout overpay.


56 Responses to “Game 103, Mariners at Blue Jays”

  1. itea on July 26th, 2008 2:59 pm

    Lopez is having “yet another poor offensive season”? By what metric?

    You’re also ignoring the difference in their ages, which has a huge effect on what we can expect from the two players over the next three seasons.

    My “for the season” is not an aside, or a paranthetical, it’s a very clear qualifier for the first part of the sentence. OF COURSE Ichiro has been far better over the last 8 years. Everyone knows that, everyone takes that for granted.

    That’s not the debate. We’re talking about what is to be expected moving forward. I really haven’t seen a clear reason to expect Ichiro to be better offensively than Lopez next year. 34-year-olds tend to get worse, and 24-year-olds tend to get better.

    I suppose we shall have to wait and see.

  2. itea on July 26th, 2008 3:15 pm

    I don’t mean to ignore the defense. If Lopez’s actual defensive ability is to be -25 RSAA per year, that’s a big problem. It seems awfully early to give up on his defense; his RZR was .839 last year which isn’t spectacular but is servicable.

    Here are a few questions for you:

    – How much money would Ichiro have to be making before you would consider him a less valuable piece of the roster (baseball-wise) than Lopez?

    – How long would Ichiro have to hit in the .300 to .310 range with his usual walk rate and power before you would consider it to be his typical performance as opposed to an aberration?

    – Do you expect Lopez to have a better 2009 than 2008?

  3. Colm on July 26th, 2008 4:04 pm

    1. I wasn’t considering value for salary – Ichiro, even with his 2008 production, makes it more likely for the team to win; Lopez does not – or barely. $17M for what Ichiro is giving this year, is not good value, but paying Lopez anything for sweet FA is scarcely good value either.
    2. Ichiro has had fairly prolonged “slumps” before where the papers have been full of stories that “the league has figured him out”. If he’s still hitting like this in a year I’d be both disappointed and very surprised.
    3. Based on Lopez’s lack of offensive progress since he came up and his deteriorating defense – no. I hope he will be able to improve. I expect he will not.

  4. Jeff Nye on July 26th, 2008 4:10 pm

    Whee, it’s the “Ichiro is in a decline phase based solely on the fact that I think all players follow the same aging curve” discussion again.

  5. Matt the Dragon on July 26th, 2008 6:03 pm


    I think most of the problem stems from your use of results-based analysis.

    Ichiro’s underlying figures are as good or better than last season’s with a small decrease in non-repeatable skill areas, such as BABIP and IFH%.

    There is absolutely no reason to think that Ichiro is in any sort of decline. He’s simply not getting the same results from the same skills. (see Beltre, Adrian)

    There is no aberration, no slump in his hitting. He is simply more susceptible to large swings in his results as a high singles hitter.

    Lopez does appear to have improved, cutting his K% and increasing his LD% and whilst his BABIP is a touch above his career figure that’s probably made up for in his unusually low HR/FB and IFH%.

    Assuming what he’s done over the past 100 games represents a true shift in his talent level then his offensive ability has improved but still several levels below Ichiro’s.

    Once you factor defense – even with the defensive spectrum adjustment favouring Lopez (with Ichiro in RF) – it’s not that close.

    Lopez can be a useful player if he improves his fielding but there’s not really any reasonable comparison between him and Ichiro that can be made.

  6. Steve T on July 26th, 2008 9:16 pm

    1983 was my first Bill James annual too. I don’t think James’s analysis holds up very well in 2008; it’s better than the kind of garbage that preceded it (and which is still the norm most places, like newspapers). What James did that was revolutionary is his method, not his analysis. He asked questions, and he asked “how can we find the answer”. Modern analysis, much of which is beyond me in a way that Jamesian (and Palmerian) never was. But Dave’s your man there. I’m not saying he’s infallible, but he’s familiar enough with the tools that he doesn’t have to think about them anymore, which is what everyone’s goal should be.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.