Monday, March 21, 2016

Vlog #2 : MC Projections

Here is the second installment of my new RMC contribution. I got relatively positive feedback so I thought it was worth another try.   I figure that branching out into the YouTube universe is a good thing too.  It only works if the comments keep coming in, so you know what to do...


M.C. O'Connor said...

Matt Cain is going to be a TOTAL STUD!!!

Ron said...

Another stunning display, Jon! Based upon the 5 or so pitches I saw him throw in his first Spring start, I'd say that Matt looks pretty good. It's not much, but it's something.

Other Giants' news: suddenly, they're supposedly talking extension w/ Belt. I never understand the timing of stuff like this. You have all off-season to talk when there are no distractions, then you go to the brink on arbitration, a time during which some resentment builds up, then you start to really talk once Spring Training is underway. Wish they would have just gotten a deal done during the Winter.

M.C. O'Connor said...

The Giants like to avoid arb, other than that I don't think they have a set policy about where and when they negotiate. It may be that Belt's agent set the agenda.

Seriously, I think if Matt is healthy he will be more like the old Matt than what we've seen the past two seasons. He's an "oldster" now and we will see his deep reservoir of VSC come to the fore.

Zo said...

Matt will be just fine. I am a bit worried that he may not be just fine to start the season, but I think he'll get there. For that matter, a few other starters may not be in top form either. Pitchers are usually behind, but that can be frustrating.

Maybe this is one of those things where fans looking at box scores think about things differently than pitchers and their coaches do. Maybe a pitcher is working on a certain pitch - a curveball, so he throws it often, rather than a fastball (or mixing them up like he would in a real game) because he feels OK with the fastball. And then the curve gets hammered, but he throws it some more and his box score looks like shit but he gets the practice he wanted throwing a curve. Spring training scores don't count, you know. My guess is that in spring, about the only stat that has any meaning for a pitcher is "number of pitches."

Zo said...

This morning, the Warriors are playing .900 ball. .900!!!! In spite of that, they are all of 4 games up on the Spurs. Can you imagine if the Giants played .900 ball until late into September and were only 4 games up?

M.C. O'Connor said...

I can imagine it quite well. The 1993 Giants won 103 games and missed the playoffs. I remember they were 80-40 (.667 ball) at one point. That's the baseball equivalent of a .900 win percentage!

Ron said...

I don't think that you can equate .667 in baseball w/ .900 in the NBA. The best winning percentage ever in baseball was the 1906 Cubs @ .763. The best NBA winning percentage ever was .878 - perhaps, to be broken this season. So, probably, .667 in baseball is more like .768 in the NBA. That would be a 63-19 season - there have been 28 NBA Teams who have won 63 or more games in a season, 13 of whom didn't win the NBA Championship. On the other hand, this year, that number should go up to 30. I think that .900 in the NBA is more like .782 or a 127 win baseball season.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

I personally think the Giants have been trying to work out a deal with Crawford and Belt for the past couple of years. The Giants seem to try to work out extension deals when players look like they are keepers, it seems to me. But it takes two to tango, as we learned with Lincecum.

The problem for Belt and Crawford has been that they hit well enough to warrant a bigger contract if they put it all together, but each year there's one issue or another to push down their overall numbers, which the Giants are pricing to, because you never know if the player will ever put it together. Crawford finally did last season and thus the Giants were more willing to put the money into the range where Crawford would sign. Of course, they had been close before when arbitration numbers are released, so that made it easier when it came time to extend Crawford, I think.

However, for Belt, as most note, Belt has been very close to going into arbitration twice already, showing the dichotomy between the two sides, where Belt wants what a player who can do what he can gets, while the Giants are offering what he produced, which is less because he misses so much time on the field.

Health is valuable, as well as a talent, as some players are reckless (like Pagan or Sandoval), while other players are conservative (like Bonds) because they know how much it would hurt his team if he were out for an extended period of time. Belt doesn't play reckless, that I've heard, but he's already lost time twice due to HBP on his hands, and lost time twice due to concussions, both of which were unfortunate non-repeating accidents, but as we saw with Matheny, sometimes it don't take much to end a career.

I guess the Giants were not as far away this season, and hence why they felt safe enough to express their interest publicly (don't ever want egg on your face). Got to remember that the offer and ask are part science, part art, because it's stupid to pick a number close to what is fair for a player, each side has incentive to move farther from what is fair because the arbitrator might chose your number, but not too far away, else the other side will win the hearing. Usually negotiations start at these points, and then the two sides start giving in until both sides are happy with the final number. That the final number ended up closer to the Giants number, that shows how aggressive Belt's side has been in asking and negotiating.

Given his multiple concussions and the likelihood that if a two year deal was there, they would have made it already, I can see Belt willing to give up one of his free agent years plus another one via option, to get big money guaranteed. That would take him to his 31 YO season and he'll be a free agent at 32, looking for one final big deal.

Maybe $6.2M for 2016, $12M for 2017, $15M for 2018, with $15M option for 2019, and $1.8M buyout option. That's $35M for 3 years, life changing money (not that his $6.2M this season isn't life-changing, but this is another level of life-changing). And he appears to like it here, and the guys he's with, particularly Crawford, so that helps too.

I wish they would get this done before as well, but with younger players, you want to see in what shape they are in when spring comes, you don't want give up a big contract only for that guy to start slacking once he gets into spring training or suddenly lost what they had before. Belt is young but not that young anymore, there has unfortunately been players who suddenly lost it in their late 20's.

And really, it is only distracting for fans. The player hopefully is insulated from most of the negotiations, with his agent working hard to get him a fair deal. Then they bring him in at key points and hopefully get to the point of signing a deal.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

I don't have the numbers nor time to search, but a .667 winning percentage works out to a 108 win season.

Not a lot of them over the past 40 years that I can recall. Can't really include any team stat from over 100 years ago, baseball is really a much much different game back then, they also had the Cleveland Spiders on the losing side. Things are a lot more moderate today, particularly once the draft was instituted, to help spread the talent.

I think intuitively, .667 seems about right, maybe a handful of teams with that many during our lifetimes, same for .900 basketball teams.

But yeah, exciting, right!!! Never thought I would ever see that for the Warriors, just like I never thought I would see a player who would hit like Bonds did when setting records annually. I used to create a baseball card for myself with absurd numbers, then Bonds made them real!

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

I'm excited about Matt Cain too! But then again, I was excited last year too and we saw what happened to poor Matty. I'm more encouraged since he noted that he had more things to deal with than expected, but had solved them by season's end, putting in that nice last start.

Plus, the expectations/anxieties are much lower this season. We have Cueto and Samardzija as well as Bumgarner. Last season, we really had a bunch of question marks after Bumgarner (kind of like LA this season, they didn't learn from our lesson), and darn if they all went bad! This year, really, only Cainer is the big question mark, both due to last season and the slow start because of the cyst surgery. And that is fine for a 5th starter, especially when we got good backup depth in Heston and Blackburn, and Stratton is putting his name into the mix as well.

Sure, there was also Bumgarner's aches and pains, plus Cueto's slow start, and Samardzija getting hit hard, as well as Peavy. But as Peavy noted in an interview yesterday, for veterans, they aren't really pitching for winning results, they are pitching to prove to themselves that they can throw certain pitches at certain times, and to practice their pitches and honing in on their command and control. Meanwhile, a game is going on that they are not necessarily invested in winning, except when they finally get to a bad count and have to start really pitching. I try to follow the skipper's lead: if he's not publicly talking about his pitcher's issues, the pitcher is probably mostly on track.

The only pitcher to get much Bochy mention has been Cain, and it has revolved around whether he can get ready in time to make the opening day roster. So far, it seems, so good, in terms of number of pitches Cain has thrown in a game. He might end up short a little, but that's why you carry so many relievers, so that they can absorb the innings the starter can't, particularly a long reliever like Heston.

Speaking of which, I wonder if he's going to end up starting in AAA for a while. Baggarly has been beating the drums for Guerrin, rightfully so, and the only way to keep him is on the 25-man roster, else another team will probably pick him up via waivers. Heston still has options, so maybe the Giants keep him starting and tuned up for a month, then bring him to the 25-man roster after a month. Maybe an injury opens up a spot, maybe they need to get creative.

One beat writer wrote about how Osich hasn't been that sharp in spring. Maybe he's still struggling when it's time to bring up Heston and he gets sent down to right himself. Bochy won't want to be without a LHP for long, but, again, sometimes roster issues work out because things happen.

Jon Parsons said...

Thanks for the comments guys! It seems like there is a very positive expectation for our boy, Matt. His spring has been, like all the starters actually, nothing to get excited about. I learned long ago that spring training performances tell you nothing. You would think that maybe injury/rehab impacted players would bring their best to each spring game but they sure don't always. I guess there is just too much to work on. So we just have to wait and see.

Re: Warriors. Yeah, I guess they are pretty good, huh? I haven't been infected with that fever yet. Since win% is tough to compare, I think it is all about frequency. How often have NBA teams hit .900 as compared to whatever MLB team win% was at a similar frequency. Make sense?

My big excitement is that I GET TO SEE OUR BOYS THIS SPRING!! It has been awhile since I attended and I don't figure on it happening very often in the future. Next Wed I get to see the RiverCats take on the Giants at Raley Field. That was a tricky few seats to get! Four of us faithful will be out in the GA right field grass area. I bet we get there early for the 6pm exhibition. Then, the big event, APRIL 10 at home vs. the doggers. That will be my first time watching a game from the Arcade. There will be a group of EIGHT for that epic occasion. We need a banner or something. Seriously, those are big time TV seats out there in triples alley right? Somebody needs to think of some excellent signs or a cool banner. We have some time to come up with something. How about something special for Denard? Come on, his name is just crying out for something!

BTW I'm on SPRING BREAK!!! WooHoo!!! Ten days off! Time to focus on Giants baseball.

Zo said...

If I am not mistaken, Johnny Cueto should get the start on Sunday, April 10.

M.C. O'Connor said...

That's the way I see it. Bum, Cueto, Shark in Milwaukee. Peavy to start the Home Opener, Cain/Heston for Friday, Bum Saturday, and Cueto Sunday. I'm stoked. I really want to see him pitch.