April 14, 2010

Notes on Terry Evans, Milton Bradley and Joe Saunders

So many topics, so little time. I guess I have some ground to make up on this blog. There have been a few things that have happened over the last couple days that warrant some comments… So, I’ll just get right into it. Now, remember this blog isn’t necessarily about box scores, so bear with me.

Terry Evans was sent to Salt Lake City today to make room for Scott Kazmir. It was one of several moves the Angels made this week. This move is very disappointing on several levels.

The move enables Reggie Willits (who was also activated off the DL) to assume the role of the "fourth outfielder."

I had really hoped that Evans would stick as the fourth outfielder and while I realize the fan appeal of someone like Reggie Willits, it’s my opinion that Evans has more upside and just as much versatility as Willits.

On a personal level, I like both players – but Evans is 28 years old and this could be the end of the road for him. He’s now in that place where it’s time to look in the mirror and decide what would be in his and his family’s best interest. In other words, is it time to give up the baseball dream?

The move wouldn’t have been so hard to take had Evans been picked up by another team; however, much to my surprise he cleared waivers. Even then, had he been picked up by another team, there was still a chance he would have ended up in their minor league system.

I feel for Terry Evans. He really doesn’t have anything else to prove at Salt Lake City and now has to sit and wait for an opportunity. Time is running out for him and waiting for a shot is probably the last thing he wants to do.

Evans is one of the good guys we’ve come to know a little bit through our visits to spring training. He’s not just a name and number in a program any more; he’s a real person and one that Cheryl and I have come to root for. What’s a fan to do?

In a league where people like Milton Bradley are given multiples chances, it’s a shame to see Evans’ dream start to fade. Granted, Bradley has more talent, but it still seems as though things are somewhat out of whack.

Speaking of Bradley, he’s at it again; don’t you know?

The Mariners and more specifically their manager Don Wakamatsu had a little talk with him after yet another incident with fans; this time during last week’s road trip. Apparently, the self proclaimed bad boy of baseball has been putting pressure on himself.

Really? Pressure? That’s what’s behind all this? I ain’t buying it. Now had he said his body was occupied by an alien I might have found that more believable. If Bradley can’t handle the pressure; perhaps he should find another occupation. I'm just saying.

You know, I received a little bit of flack back in March from one Mariner fan who took exception to my “Men behaving Bradley” post. Well, I stand by the statements I made back in March. If Bradley stopped playing baseball today; we’d forget all about him tomorrow. He wouldn’t be missed at all.

I’m betting I’ll be posting about him again and it won’t be because he’s won some sort of sportsmanship award.

On to other, more interesting things…

I love all the blogs that are surfacing around the web. It’s great to see so many different people talking and writing about Angels' baseball. Each is different and offers a unique perspective. I try to check them out regularly.

One of the newer blogs out there is from the folks at Fan Sided. Halo Hangout is written by Nate Proctor, who is a very knowledgeable baseball guy. He’s started a series of player previews on his site and recently did one on Joe Saunders.

Now, if you read this blog regularly, you know that my wife and I are huge Saunders fans and anything written about Joe is bound to get my attention.

Nate basically makes it a point to tell his audience that Joe Saunders is over-rated, and how he should basically be the poster boy as to why “wins are over-rated.”

Nate goes into a lot of detail about Saunders’ 2009 season, citing a number of sabermetric points along the way. Nate doesn’t project a very good season for Saunders and is basing his analysis on what he sees statistically from Saunders.

One problem. In the course of his analysis Nate totally ignored the fact that Saunders pitched hurt for most of 2009. He didn’t mention it once and when I commented on his blog about that omission; he disagrees that it had any role in his performance.

That doesn’t make any sense to me.

This is the problem I have sometimes with the sabermetric types. They often look at the numbers and only the numbers. They don’t necessarily factor anything else into their analysis. While I would agree that wins as a stand alone statistic is somewhat pointless; simply looking at the numbers doesn’t tell the whole story. That being said, a pitcher's job is to pitch well enough to give his team a chance to win and Saunders does that.

I’m sure my statement isn’t new to Nate or any other sabermetrically inclined baseball fans; however, time after time those "other" factors are ignored.

I’m betting that when all is said and done, Joe Saunders will have a season more like the one in 2008 than the one in 2009. We saw a glimpse of what Saunders is capable of when he came off the DL last year and pitched well down the stretch. How will he do this year? Time will tell.

Oh by the way, you don't need me to tell you the Angels beat the Yankees today. I'm sure you know that by now. Let's hope this is the start of something good.

BallHype: hype it up!

No comments:

Post a Comment