Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Peave-a-tron

Jake Peavy has been pretty consistent lately. Here are his last seven starts (since August 13):

You have to like that. Last night the Giants couldn't get much going offensively and just barely squeaked out a win. If they want to make some noise in their final eleven games and in the post-season they better find those bats again. And they need to hook Tim Hudson up to the Peave-a-tron and see if he can find that mojo he had going earlier in the year.

So, you think the Giants ought to go after Peavy for 2015? He's a free agent. My two cents? Yes.

MadBum this afternoon.




Ron said...

It is somewhat of a no-brainer to go after Peavy. Vogelsong is not reliable, Lincecum is an enigma, & his future role is uncertain, Cain is returning from (relatively minor) surgery, Petit has been hot & cold, Hudson is getting older. Plus, Peavy loves Bochy, so, if not a hometown discount, he would certainly be pre-disposed to stick around for the right price. I think that they'll try to make a deal soon.

Go MadBum!
Go Giants!!!!

Zo said...

We have Hudson signed through 2015, also Yusmeiro. Peavy is still a reasonable age - 33, so should have some good years left in him. Plus, he has looked great lately.

I have a philosophical question: How much difference does there need to be between a player's batting average when batting left-handed and when batting right-handed for that player to quit switching to his weaker side against a pitcher throwing to his weaker side (such as batting right handed against a lefty)?

Ron said...

Making someone quit switch-hitting is no guarantee of better results (i.e. just because Angel Pagan currently hits worse right-handed & Sandoval doesn't hit HR's right-handed doesn't mean that they would hit better than that hitting lefty against lefties).

There have been a few examples of guys quitting switch-hitting (J. T. Snow being the nearest & dearest to our hearts), but no great success stories that I know of. Also, a lot of guys have lopsided stats one year, only to follow up with more even stats the next year.

Generally, I like switch-hitters a lot, especially because they cause the other Manager problems. I would be reluctant to screw that advantage up.

Zo said...

Sandoval's average is over 120 points different left vs. right, and his slugging percentage difference is 150 points. You raise a good point, though. In 2013 his slugging was 100 points difference but his batting average was nearly the same, and in 2012, his batting average was also similar and the difference in slugging was about 60 points.

M.C. O'Connor said...

He has twice as many PAs vs. RH (hitting as a lefty). Could just be a small sample and not a clear indication of declining skills. Most switchers are stronger from one side. Maybe it's just a "bad year" thing. Which brings me to a more important question--should the Giants re-sign the Panda?

ogc obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Peavy: I've been beating the drums for a while now that he should be resigned, so I agree with you. He's buddy with Bochy, and who don't like battling for championships yearly, I don't expect a discount, per se, but I don't expect to have to battle free agency to get him, if we keep him, it'll probably be done in the exclusive period after the season ends.

Yeah, no-brainer, even if the other guys were going well, Peavy has been that good, but with his Boston experience on his ledger, his market value is down, so we might be able to get him for a Hudson special, plus maybe another year or two, depending on what he wants.

Bumgarner, Peavy, Cain (no reason not to expect him back as good as ever, perhaps better since he won't be having to deal with the chip pains) is great 1 to 3, and Hudson is adequate at #4, the way he is now.

Vogelsong is probably still worth the money, but 1) he won't sign if he's not starting, I don't think and 2) even if he does, do the Giants want to pay that much for a 6th starter? Especially if they are shelling out extra (meaning a bigger contract but fair vs. a premium) for Peavy.

I have to think that Lincecum will be our #5 starter next season with Petit as long man again. I don't think they would make him battle Petit for it, but definitely think that he's got a shorter leash, especially since it's his last year of his contract, they might start experimenting with him as a reliever then.

Personally, I've been agitating for a 6 man rotation, maybe 2015?

Petit has been hot and cold to some extent, but who wouldn't, not knowing when you get to start? What I would point out is that when he's in the rotation, like late last year, and recently, he turns out quality starts a significant percentage of the time, with the occasional blowout, which is great to have at any spot in the rotation.

I think of Big Daddy Reuschel when I think of Petit: a lot of great quality starts with the occasional BABIP start where he gets hit all over the place and you wonder why he's a starter.

ogc obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

I sympathize about Sandoval's switch-hitting. The way I try to look at it is how poorly he hits when batting against LHP. He has a career .715 OPS vs. LHP as a RHB, but that is boosted by his great first full season. He has a .652 OPS otherwise, which is pretty bad for a regular except for those batting 8th.

But I don't know if batting him LH vs. LHP would fix that either, as Ron notes. Plus, it seems to mess some managers up, basically the ones that don't realize that he hits RHP better might decide to test the fates and keep the RHP going with Posey before him and Pence/Morse after. They might think about bringing in their Lopez at that point instead of he's batting LH exclusively.

Why he might be the exception to the rule is two factors. First is that he's a natural left-hander, so LHP ABs are much more rarer, roughly 30% of the time, meaning his disadvantage is not as huge. Second is that him making contact on non-strikes has never been much of a problem for him, he's a bad ball hitter and so batting left should work for him OK, maybe better.

Look at Pence, a similar bad-ball hitter. He's not that great a hitter vs. LHP, mid-800 OPS, but he still has a .800 OPS vs. RHP, meaning his spot is never dead at key points in the game, whereas Sandoval is, the way he is right now.

But I agree with Ron that it is an advantage I would not give up, particularly since managers probably would not Lopez Pablo if he still SH, while if he only batted LH, they at least would think about it more often. You take your advantages where you can.

But does that make up for his poor .650 hitting in the clean-up spot?

Not really, in my view. I think him batting 3rd is the ideal position for him, because most saber analysis of batting order finds that spot yields the least runs for OBP and SLG, so him hitting poorly as LHB there don't hurt as much as it does right now with him batting 4th.

But Bochy is probably doing this to mix up RLRLR because Panik bats LH and other managers would switch to LHP to face Panik/Sandoval, but not so much to face Panik/Posey/Pablo. Part of the compromises you have to make as manager that is not always appreciated by the general fans.

He is probably best batting 6th for us.