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Sven Draconian

MotownSports Fan
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About Sven Draconian

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  • Birthday 02/16/1987


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  1. I think there is a very simple solution to this problem and all similar problems in the future. In the CBA, award an arbitrator the right to grant a player FA after 5 years if his service time has been manipulated in order to gain an unintended financial advantage. So when a player goes to arbitration after 5 years of service time he can make a case that "Team X" held me down in order to gain an extra year of service despite the fact that I was the best available option. Just like all other arbitration cases, its his job to make the argument and prove his point. Having that threat on the books will end this practice and it will likely be rarely used (like arbitration itself, the threat/option forces people to the negotiating table).
  2. I think (havent looked it up) he is just being passive, rather than recognition.
  3. There is 0 reason to think that any "post concussion impairment" has any bearing on his ability. He has an ugly swing. It's a fairly significant uppercut and it seems choppy. It actually reminds me of Prince's swing in a lot of ways. Severe pull, severe fly ball - except Prince had a lot more power and to keep that average high (30+ homers, 30+ doubles). In fact, a cursory glance at baBIP shows them both to be right around .310 over their last 3 seasons played. There is good news and bad news in that. To improve he needs to cut down on his strikeouts (mainly pitch recognition... to many called strike 3's) and / or hit with more power. Those are "old man" skills. The unfortunate part is that he is (seemingly) regressing in those areas... I suppose option 3 would be to re-tool his swing "flatter" so he makes more contact and goes the other way more... but I don't know how realistic that is for a batter with over 2,000 PA, especially one who's primary job is defensive.
  4. Nothing about Ray looks special... other than results. Fastball looks like Smyly's to me. Low 90s with some action. The twinkies were behind on it all day and it ran in on a lot of hands and lead to weak fly balls the opposite way. Maybe he has some deception in his delivery that was helping him out. Location was inconsistent (whereas Smyly has very good location). He threw 3 or 4 nice breaking balls, but threw most of them high and to the left or in the dirt. Action wise it reminds of be Duane Below.... which means it's generally to slow and loopy to be effective as his #2 pitch. I'm not sure what the pitch he throws at 84 mph is (I assume a change, but maybe some sort of slider. Hard to tell on the TV angle). It was decent enough at keeping guys off balance, but pretty inconsistent as well. Approach wise he seemed pretty good. Lots of inside fastballs and wasn't afraid to work up a little bit. Could also be a contributing factor as to why he has been generating weak contact against pretty blah stuff.
  5. I realize this was probably sarcastic, but I l want to get on a soapbox anyway... Why do people (constantly) say this. Speed is one of the most fickle skills in all of sports and especially baseball. There is no mental element to speed, there is no technique to it. Its a raw physical skill entirely dependent on the health of the player. Tender hamstring = Speed in a slump. Tweaked ankle = speed in a slump. Tight back = speed in a slump. Since one of the cruel ironies of athletics is the faster people are subject to more injuries than the average joe (in large part because of opportunity, but there are also some physical reasons). Yet... that is a cliche that holds tight and is seldom challenged. Probably because speed is much more important at the lower levels of baseball (where weak defense allows for speed to be used more profitably).
  6. Swapping Fielder / Infante for Kinsler / Castellanos will be a net upgrade (IMHO). Fielder was a pretty poor player last year. Over 700 PA he only hit 25 HR (slugged under .500) and put up a solid .367 OBP. The offense is alright, but since he is a horrific defender and horrific on the bases his total contributions were pretty meh. Since his place on the roster also meant Cabrera was playing 3B it was even worse. That is why he was moved. He very well could rebound and have a monster year in Texas, but that doesn't change his poor production from last season. If we swapped Davis production from last year with Dirks... I don't think it changes the Tigers season one bit. There is no reason to think that 6 weeks of Rajai Davis / Kelly (or whomever he splits with) will be appreciably different than 6 weeks of Dirks / Kelly from last year. There's a hit going from Peralta to Romine for sure. At best Romine looks like a 1 WAR player, Peralta was a solid 3 WAR guy. There's a hit from the Fister trade (I think Smyly can be a solid enough stand-in for Fister, but we lose it in the pen). Some of this may be off-set by having Nathan rather than the Coke / Valverde combo we used last year. Not all it will though, there's some loss there. However, the nature of bullpens in general means I'm not going to chalk up a loss yet... for all we know Al Al is unhittable again, Kroll does a Zumaya impression and Phil Coke and Joba regain their peaks. It happens. The pen is ugly, but no worse than last year at this time. All told, I think this team is in about the same shape as last year. Great rotation, questions at SS (lest we forget Peralta was bad in 2012) and LF with a bad bullpen and a bench nobody likes. I actually like our bench a little more this year (once Dirks comes back in May). We are going to put a very good SP on the mound every night. We have the best hitter in baseball. Jackson, Hunter, Vmart, Kinsler are all good starters. Avila is pretty average. Castellanos is a question. LF and SS are weaknesses. Big deal. If you're only concerns are SS (guess what, most teams don't like their SS) and LF for 6 weeks... you're in great shape.
  7. Not sure why the reaction to this move is so negative. The Fangraphs projections have him as a replacement level to a little above. He had a wRC+ of 103 in the minor over 400 ABs with plus defense. He had a 10% walk rate, good for a 367 OBP. In the majors he had a .307 OBP and was worth .4 WAR in 123 ABs. Worth had a whopping 76 wRC+ for the Muddy Muds last year. They have seen him in Spring Training and the minors for multiple years and have deemed him a sub-major league level player. Not that I think Romine will light the world on fire, but I think he's a decent stop gap. Meh, if he can manage to be a bit above replacement level (possibly with a platoon partner). Since Igleasias was likely to be our worst starter... I really don't think this hurt us too bad. If you view this team as a 90+ win team, I don't think swapping Igleasias for Romine should really damage that prediction.
  8. Leshoure is a competent 3rd back in the NFL. Considering the injury rate / career expectancy of an NFL runningback you better have a good 3rd option. He's safer than a 4th / 5th round rookie because of the advancement in pass pro / receiving at the NFL level. If he fits in the locker room and is ok with his role there is no reason not to keep him. If you draft a guy late or pick up a UDFA and he gets beat out... so be it. There is no reason to release him though. I thought Wendling was a solid special teams guy? Maybe that is an out-dated opinion of him.
  9. 1. Kinsler 2. Hunter 3. Cabby 4. Vmart 5. Ajax 6. Avila 7. Castellanos 8. Igleasias 9. Dirks / Daivs
  10. The Lions have a pretty strong roster. We can go position by position. QB - Stafford is an easy top 15 QB, fringe top 10 with potential to be an easy top 10. He hasn't progressed, but he is still young. He is, without question, a legit NFL starting QB who can take a team to the playoffs. Finding that guy is steps 1-5 in the modern NFL. RB - Bush / Bell is a great combo. Solidly top 10 in the league. WR / TE - Calvin Johnson is the best WR in the league. Pettigrew is solid. Beyond those two this unit needs some work. OL - Not sure exactly where they finished the season, but they are top half of the league. Reif and Waterford are solid young players and based on PFF stats they are somewhere in the top 10 the past two seasons. Based on the eyeball test this year's unit was the best I ever remember seeing. DL - Probably the best in the NFL. Young, deep and incredibly talented. Even if you don't think they are #1, they are solidly top 5. LB - Top half of the league or better. Levy and Tulloch are very good and the NFL is a 2 linebacker league at this point. DB - Weaker than the other 2 units on defense, but still not bad. Delmas and Quinn are solid. Slay still has potential. It's the NFL so you need 5 / 6 DB's to succeed, but this unit isn't awful. They are either average or better at every position group - on the lower fringes of average for WR and DB, but hard to say they are bad. They have a top 5 front 7, they have a top 10 RB unit and a top 10 OL. They have a good QB. They finished the year with a positive point differential, but will still get a top 10 pick. I would really like to see what team is in a better situation that fired it's coach.
  11. SP 10 / 10 RP 6 / 5 F 7 / 7 B 4 / 5 Losing Fister for Smyly does not drop the rotation enough to register any change. Losing Smyly in the pen is a little hit, but I hope/ think/ want to believe that Ausmus using them better will offset the little talent bump (IE, the Valverde and Coke experiments). Fielder wasn't "great" last year. We lose some power, make up for it with significantly improved defense and speed. Any drop we might suffer will be relatively indistinguishable at the end of the year. I think adding Lombo and Davis help the bench. I think Ausmus will help the bench as well (less Don Kelly... taking better advantage of platoon advantages). Overall team confidence (that we will make the playoffs). 9 / 9
  12. That doesn't change the fact that the return on value here is pretty low. Even if they needed to dump Fister, they should have been able to land atleast a pair of top 100 prospects, or, at the least a back end reliever + top prospect. Kroll and Lombardozi are decent guys to pickup. Despite what the prevailing opinion seems to be, utility IF don't grow on trees and Kroll is a solid MR. They would be nice pieces to get if this trade also included a closer... or a top 20 prospect ... or a platoon LF ....
  13. This was a great trade. Ian Kinsler's contract is, more or less, right on market for a free agent. Since the Tigers do not have a 2B, they were going to have to sign one. Is it an overpay? Yes, about a year longer than it should be... but it's more or less right on the market value. Kinsler is right on par with Infante and better than Peralta as a player, and I expect both to get deals around 3/45. That means the Tigers more or less dumped Fielder for free (and ate some salary) to do so. That's good. They got Fielder for his age 28 and 29 seasons, where he was a quality starter.... but not a bonafide superstar, which is what that salary range means. He's a solid hitter, but an atrocious fielder and he can't run at all. This will let Cabrera move over to play 1st, where he is around league average. Kinsler (at this age) is around league average at 2nd. Iggy is a gold glover to be. Obviously 3rd is still in flux. I also think, without any true evidence, that Prince had lost some support in the clubhouse last season. No hard evidence, just my interpretation of things that were said.
  14. I think JV changed his approach this season in an effort to converse his arm (both for the playoffs and his career). 1) He changed from a fastball / curveball pitcher into a fastball / changeup pitcher. He also used his slider just as much, if not more, than his curveball. 2) He dialed back his velocity. His early game approach in 11 / 12 was to start throwing 92 MPH 2-seamers and dial up to 97+. This year he started in the upper 80s at times and only worked up to the mid 90s. I think this also explains some of his mechanics issues - He threw a lot more changeups, sliders and 2- seamers and fewer 4 seamers and curves. I think long-term he'll find a balance between his new "softer" approach and his previous approach. But against Oakland... that was the aggressive approach. Start with higher velocity, more aggressive with the curve.
  15. The Hernandez over Scherzer argument, as presented, is silly. At some point, the actual results have to be what matters. Scherzer was 21-3. Does that arguementn alone make him the Cy Young winner? No, but his job is to win games and he was good at it. His BABIP was .259, is that a sustainable level.... no, he'll probably regress next season, but that is an evaluation of how you view him as future commodity rather than an evaluation of his performance. His ERA was lower, he gave up fewer runs. I have no issues picking Trout over Cabrera this year. Cabrera might have ran away with it if he played 162 games healthy, he might have won back to back triple crowns. But, he didn't.
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