Friday, April 20, 2007

Fun With Sample Size

Yes, we all know it's early, but still...
  • Alex Rodriguez's first 14 games have been beaten to death by the media, but I can't pass up including his stats with men on and two outs. In 12 at bats in this situation, he has EIGHT home runs and a 3.619 OPS. Even the 6'3" kid on your little league team--the one whose mom had to bring his birth certificate to every game--couldn't do that.
  • Anyone--without looking--know who's leading the majors in K/9, and by a wide margin? If you said Claudio Vargas, you take home today's grand prize, first dibs on Vargas in your fantasy free agent pool. Vargas is currently the proud owner of 15.2 K/9 and a 22/2 K:BB ratio. I ripped the Brewers for their offseason trade with the D-Backs and don't agree with their decision to keep the five man rotation intact rather than give extra starts to Ben Sheets, but if Vargas maintains even 25% of this breakout as skills growth, this may be MLB's best rotation, Suppan or no Suppan.
  • Rich Hill currently sports a 0.41 ERA. He won't end the year under 2.00, but his chances of finishing on the low side of 3.50 might be better than you think. Check out his second-half numbers last year, or his sick AA and AAA peripherals in 2005-06. As a flyball pitcher, Hill is prone to the long ball, but if he keeps the homer total at or below 20 this year, his numbers are absolutely those of a number 1 starter. Hill has a chance to have the career Wood and Prior didn't, even if he got a much later start.
  • Josh Hamilton has five homers in 30 at-bats. I don't buy that he'll be a star this year after so much time off from facing live pitching, but the Reds definitely deserve credit for taking a chance on him, given that their team is going nowhere this year anyway. Wayne Krivsky has gotten a lot of flak for his moves as GM, but besides the train wreck that was the Kearns/Lopez trade, he has come out well ahead, particularly in his trade for Bronson Arroyo. Perhaps he deserves some credit...or maybe he's just gotten lucky. It's hard to separate the two, which we should keep in mind when evaluating any GM's body of work.

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