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 Post subject: Liriano - Why Bucfan likes the deal
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:56 pm 
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Pirates signed Liriano to a 2-year deal. I like the deal for several reasons:

(1) The Pirates needed somebody for more than a year. AJ's deal is done at the end of this season.
(2) Liriano's velocity increased from 91 mph to 93 mph 2011-2012.
(3) Liriano has an elite K rate. His K rate and good HR ratio led to an xFIP of 4.14 last year, despite the significant number of walks.
(4) PNC is more forgiving in terms of giving up HR's than was Target Field last year. PNC ranked 27th in HR ratio, while Target ranked 14th.
(5) PNC's HR rate is even lower for right-handed batters, and Liriano dominated lefties last year.
(6) Moving from the AL to the NL increases K rate and lower BB totals given the fact that pitcher is hitting #9.
(7) If Liriano posts a K rate north of 9 per 9 IP, as he has done the past two years, and decreases his BB rate, then his ERA is going to be solid.

The pending rotation of Burnett, Liriano, McDonald, Rodriguez and the best of Locke, McPherson, Wilson will be competitive.

And around late July or early August, I like the rotation of Burnett, Liriano, McDonald, Rodriguez and Cole. A ton high K pitchers and two lefties in the rotation.


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 Post subject: Re: Liriano - Why Bucfan likes the deal
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:02 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
Pirates signed Liriano to a 2-year deal. I like the deal for several reasons:

(1) The Pirates needed somebody for more than a year. AJ's deal is done at the end of this season.
(2) Liriano's velocity increased from 91 mph to 93 mph 2011-2012.
(3) Liriano has an elite K rate. His K rate and good HR ratio led to an xFIP of 4.14 last year, despite the significant number of walks.
(4) PNC is more forgiving in terms of giving up HR's than was Target Field last year. PNC ranked 27th in HR ratio, while Target ranked 14th.
(5) PNC's HR rate is even lower for right-handed batters, and Liriano dominated lefties last year.
(6) Moving from the AL to the NL increases K rate and lower BB totals given the fact that pitcher is hitting #9.
(7) If Liriano posts a K rate north of 9 per 9 IP, as he has done the past two years, and decreases his BB rate, then his ERA is going to be solid.

The pending rotation of Burnett, Liriano, McDonald, Rodriguez and the best of Locke, McPherson, Wilson will be competitive.

And around late July or early August, I like the rotation of Burnett, Liriano, McDonald, Rodriguez and Cole. A ton high K pitchers and two lefties in the rotation.


That's provided that these guys pitch to their potential and or to their talent level AND don't fade at the end of season in August and September.

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 Post subject: Re: Liriano - Why Bucfan likes the deal
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:47 pm 
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bassoondirector wrote:
That's provided that these guys pitch to their potential and or to their talent level AND don't fade at the end of season in August and September.

If they simply pitch to their norm, the rotation is going to be pretty good. Relative to recent production, here is a reasonable assessment as to their likely output in 2013:

AJ Burnett 15 W's, 3.50 ERA, 210 IP, 180 K's
W. Rodriguez 12 W's, 3.60 ERA, 200 IP, 170 K's
J. McDonald 12 W's, 4.00 ERA, 175 IP, 150 K's
F. Liriano 10 W's, 3.90 ERA, 180 IP, 190 K's
K. McPherson 8 W's, 4.25 ERA, 160 IP, 130 K's


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 Post subject: Re: Liriano - Why Bucfan likes the deal
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:24 pm 
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I feel like I'm the only one here who doesn't much care for our rotation. I guess I'm a pessimist by nature, but the counterpoint to Bucfan's projections would be that AJ is only getting older, it will be difficult for him to replicate last year. Wandy's K rate is in decline- hell, if it drops any more it might be lower than Liriano's BB rate. And James McDonald, well, who knows. So this strikes me as a rotation that could have some upside, but is also a high risk of collapse).

I actually like the Liriano signing (though I would have much rather NH gone after McCarthy than Liriano- who knows, maybe he did). I just am not completely trusting of the rotation. Maybe between Uncle Ray working with him, and pitch-framer extraordinaire Russell Martin catching him, Liriano can get the BB rate under 4/9ip. Dunno. But he is, to me, another shaky link in a shaky rotation.

Also, if I'm NH, I'm still holding on to Hammer unless I get a SP that I want. Perrotto said the shift now was towards lousy SS prospects like Dee Gordon and Jose Iglesias- NO. SP is the coin of the realm, and you can never have too much of it.


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 Post subject: Re: Liriano - Why Bucfan likes the deal
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:03 pm 
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BBF wrote:
I feel like I'm the only one here who doesn't much care for our rotation. I guess I'm a pessimist by nature, but the counterpoint to Bucfan's projections would be that AJ is only getting older, it will be difficult for him to replicate last year. Wandy's K rate is in decline- hell, if it drops any more it might be lower than Liriano's BB rate. And James McDonald, well, who knows. So this strikes me as a rotation that could have some upside, but is also a high risk of collapse).

I actually like the Liriano signing (though I would have much rather NH gone after McCarthy than Liriano- who knows, maybe he did). I just am not completely trusting of the rotation. Maybe between Uncle Ray working with him, and pitch-framer extraordinaire Russell Martin catching him, Liriano can get the BB rate under 4/9ip. Dunno. But he is, to me, another shaky link in a shaky rotation.

Also, if I'm NH, I'm still holding on to Hammer unless I get a SP that I want. Perrotto said the shift now was towards lousy SS prospects like Dee Gordon and Jose Iglesias- NO. SP is the coin of the realm, and you can never have too much of it.

Agree on all counts. I too am a pessimist by nature.

1. I've echoed all of your doubts about the pitchers in other threads. Throw in the fact that our fifth starter will need to prove they belong. Like you said, high upside with a ton of potential problems.
2. Don't get me started on pitch framing. I can't believe we've gotten to the point of trying to Quantify that. While he's busy working on framing pitches I hope he squeezes in some batting practice. .211 won't cut it.
3. Agree on keeping Hammer. It's a risk I know, but if he pitches well to start his value goes up.
4. Dee Gordon intrigues me a little. Don't like the reports I read on him, but if he could figure things out that speed would look nice at the top of the order. He is young so I would think there might be potential for improvement.


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 Post subject: Re: Liriano - Why Bucfan likes the deal
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:00 pm 
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Pitch framing is an important skill. And .211 is good enough, if his OPS is .713 and he plays good defense.


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 Post subject: Re: Liriano - Why Bucfan likes the deal
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:13 pm 
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Ralphie wrote:
Pitch framing is an important skill. And .211 is good enough, if his OPS is .713 and he plays good defense.

Didn't say it wasn't an important skill, but I think it is a stretch to start quantifying it. You can see which guys are good at it, and which aren't.

And .211 is NOT good enough. That's barely above the Barajas line. His OBP has slipped over the last 3 years to just above .300 as well. I hope he hits 20 HR's again, but I'm not counting on it since he isn't playing 81 games in Yankee Stadium. I won't question the defense since I haven't watched enough of him. The reports sound good. Now the question will become, can any catcher throw out base runners with a pitching staff that doesn't focus on holding runners.


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 Post subject: Re: Liriano - Why Bucfan likes the deal
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:32 pm 
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FWIW, that .211 was pulled down by an absolutely atrocious first half. In the second half last year he hit .242/.341/.456. with the same number of HRs as Cutch. His BABIP was also an atrocious .222. He's probably more talented than any catcher the Pirates have had since Kendall.


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 Post subject: Re: Liriano - Why Bucfan likes the deal
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:03 pm 
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PirateParrot wrote:
BBF wrote:
I feel like I'm the only one here who doesn't much care for our rotation. I guess I'm a pessimist by nature, but the counterpoint to Bucfan's projections would be that AJ is only getting older, it will be difficult for him to replicate last year. Wandy's K rate is in decline- hell, if it drops any more it might be lower than Liriano's BB rate. And James McDonald, well, who knows. So this strikes me as a rotation that could have some upside, but is also a high risk of collapse).

I actually like the Liriano signing (though I would have much rather NH gone after McCarthy than Liriano- who knows, maybe he did). I just am not completely trusting of the rotation. Maybe between Uncle Ray working with him, and pitch-framer extraordinaire Russell Martin catching him, Liriano can get the BB rate under 4/9ip. Dunno. But he is, to me, another shaky link in a shaky rotation.

Also, if I'm NH, I'm still holding on to Hammer unless I get a SP that I want. Perrotto said the shift now was towards lousy SS prospects like Dee Gordon and Jose Iglesias- NO. SP is the coin of the realm, and you can never have too much of it.

Agree on all counts. I too am a pessimist by nature.

1. I've echoed all of your doubts about the pitchers in other threads. Throw in the fact that our fifth starter will need to prove they belong. Like you said, high upside with a ton of potential problems.
2. Don't get me started on pitch framing. I can't believe we've gotten to the point of trying to Quantify that. While he's busy working on framing pitches I hope he squeezes in some batting practice. .211 won't cut it.
3. Agree on keeping Hammer. It's a risk I know, but if he pitches well to start his value goes up.
4. Dee Gordon intrigues me a little. Don't like the reports I read on him, but if he could figure things out that speed would look nice at the top of the order. He is young so I would think there might be potential for improvement.


1. Being overly pessimistic is just as silly as being overly optimistic. Wandy and AJ will be fine, JMac will be good for a while and bad for a while, as will Liriano. Locke and KMac are more than capable of filling a spot for two months before Cole arrives.

2. Martin's batting average is irrelevant. His babip was .222 last year, per fangraphs he was the 2nd most unlucky hitter in MLB in 2012. His OBP has remained steady 11-12% walk rate and +90 points over his BA. All he needs is a return to normal babip and he hits .240/.340 easy. Even as is his wRC+ has been 95 the last three years, just below average.

3. Hammer cannot build value with pending free agency. a two month rental and no compensation pick means no value in July. Its now or never. I'd still target Porcello, no reason to not have more depth.

4. Dee Gordon should never hit leadoff, he can't hit at all. His wRC+ was 58 last year, below Barmes and he can't field well either.

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 Post subject: Re: Liriano - Why Bucfan likes the deal
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:13 pm 
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Barrys Dopers wrote:
PirateParrot wrote:
BBF wrote:
I feel like I'm the only one here who doesn't much care for our rotation. I guess I'm a pessimist by nature, but the counterpoint to Bucfan's projections would be that AJ is only getting older, it will be difficult for him to replicate last year. Wandy's K rate is in decline- hell, if it drops any more it might be lower than Liriano's BB rate. And James McDonald, well, who knows. So this strikes me as a rotation that could have some upside, but is also a high risk of collapse).

I actually like the Liriano signing (though I would have much rather NH gone after McCarthy than Liriano- who knows, maybe he did). I just am not completely trusting of the rotation. Maybe between Uncle Ray working with him, and pitch-framer extraordinaire Russell Martin catching him, Liriano can get the BB rate under 4/9ip. Dunno. But he is, to me, another shaky link in a shaky rotation.

Also, if I'm NH, I'm still holding on to Hammer unless I get a SP that I want. Perrotto said the shift now was towards lousy SS prospects like Dee Gordon and Jose Iglesias- NO. SP is the coin of the realm, and you can never have too much of it.

Agree on all counts. I too am a pessimist by nature.

1. I've echoed all of your doubts about the pitchers in other threads. Throw in the fact that our fifth starter will need to prove they belong. Like you said, high upside with a ton of potential problems.
2. Don't get me started on pitch framing. I can't believe we've gotten to the point of trying to Quantify that. While he's busy working on framing pitches I hope he squeezes in some batting practice. .211 won't cut it.
3. Agree on keeping Hammer. It's a risk I know, but if he pitches well to start his value goes up.
4. Dee Gordon intrigues me a little. Don't like the reports I read on him, but if he could figure things out that speed would look nice at the top of the order. He is young so I would think there might be potential for improvement.


1. Being overly pessimistic is just as silly as being overly optimistic. Wandy and AJ will be fine, JMac will be good for a while and bad for a while, as will Liriano. Locke and KMac are more than capable of filling a spot for two months before Cole arrives.

2. Martin's batting average is irrelevant. His babip was .222 last year, per fangraphs he was the 2nd most unlucky hitter in MLB in 2012. His OBP has remained steady 11-12% walk rate and +90 points over his BA. All he needs is a return to normal babip and he hits .240/.340 easy. Even as is his wRC+ has been 95 the last three years, just below average.

3. Hammer cannot build value with pending free agency. a two month rental and no compensation pick means no value in July. Its now or never. I'd still target Porcello, no reason to not have more depth.

4. Dee Gordon should never hit leadoff, he can't hit at all. His wRC+ was 58 last year, below Barmes and he can't field well either.

Not being overly pessimistic. It's realistic to expect Burnett to decline at least a bit. Not saying he won't have a solid season, just not as good as last. Wandy is Wandy...but that ain't all that great. Middle of rotation, which is fine if you have a solid top of rotation. I actually likeJMac a lot, but sure is realistic to question how effective he will be. Same for Liriano.

You can throw all of the metrics out there you want. Offensively, Martin has declined for 3 straight seasons...and that's not just his BA. He could hit 20 + HR's, but it isn't likely at PNC.

If a contending team has an injury at the back end of the pen, Hammer(if he starts well) could have added value regardless of his pending FA. I agree that his pending FA hurts his value in most cases. Just hate to see him traded for crap.

I clearly said if Gordon could figure things out. I realize he is NOT currently a good hitter. At his age you would hope he improves. I am in no way advocating a trade for him, simply saying I was semi-intrigued by his speed and potential.


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 Post subject: Re: Liriano - Why Bucfan likes the deal
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:17 pm 
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PirateParrot wrote:
Not being overly pessimistic. It's realistic to expect Burnett to decline at least a bit. Not saying he won't have a solid season, just not as good as last.

I have a legitimate basis for disagreeing - I don't expect Burnett to foul another ball off his face.

That cost him at least 3 starts. 3 more starts add a lot of potential value.


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 Post subject: Re: Liriano - Why Bucfan likes the deal
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:43 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
PirateParrot wrote:
Not being overly pessimistic. It's realistic to expect Burnett to decline at least a bit. Not saying he won't have a solid season, just not as good as last.

I have a legitimate basis for disagreeing - I don't expect Burnett to foul another ball off his face.

That cost him at least 3 starts. 3 more starts add a lot of potential value.


As might his old teammate Martin.

---

As for the Bucs starting rotation, even with the ?'s surrounding JMac and Liriano, is there any doubt that it's better than 2011's opening???:

2011:
Bedard-Karstens-JMac-Correia
2012:
A.J.-Wandy-JMac/Liriano

Add in Locke and KMac (and possibly FA or trade acquisition X, possibly even the return of Karstens himself) and a late-season call-up for Cole and that's a solid bunch.

It's not the Phillies, Dodgers or Rangers in terms of WOW, but it's an upgrade from 2011's surprisingly competitive group.

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 Post subject: Re: Liriano - Why Bucfan likes the deal
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:43 pm 
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Looks like its only $12.5 million for 2 years, not $14 million.

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 Post subject: Re: Liriano - Why Bucfan likes the deal
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:06 am 
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Maybe I'm a low baller, but a better group than I was expecting in April. <shrug>

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 Post subject: Re: Liriano - Why Bucfan likes the deal
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:43 pm 
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NSMaster56 wrote:
Bucfan wrote:
PirateParrot wrote:
Not being overly pessimistic. It's realistic to expect Burnett to decline at least a bit. Not saying he won't have a solid season, just not as good as last.

I have a legitimate basis for disagreeing - I don't expect Burnett to foul another ball off his face.

That cost him at least 3 starts. 3 more starts add a lot of potential value.


As might his old teammate Martin.

---

As for the Bucs starting rotation, even with the ?'s surrounding JMac and Liriano, is there any doubt that it's better than 2011's opening???:

2011:
Bedard-Karstens-JMac-Correia
2012:
A.J.-Wandy-JMac/Liriano

Add in Locke and KMac (and possibly FA or trade acquisition X, possibly even the return of Karstens himself) and a late-season call-up for Cole and that's a solid bunch.

It's not the Phillies, Dodgers or Rangers in terms of WOW, but it's an upgrade from 2011's surprisingly competitive group.


I agree with this.


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