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Monday, November 12, 2007

Torrealba and Dice-K

Everyday I take a look at and peruse the top baseball stories published on the web. Over the past couple of weeks I've been amused by the numbers of stories, like this one, that focus on Yorvit Torrealba. In this particular case the news is that Torrealba won't sign early with the Rockies before their exclusive negotiating rights run out and will instead take his chances on the open market with teams like the Mets and Marlins.

As far as the Rockies are concerned, not negotiating a deal right now is certainly the smart move. Torrealba's exposure in the post season seems to have driven the market for him well above what he's actually worth. In the end he is still a backup catcher who hit .255/.323/.376 with an EqA of .236. He actually performed better offensively in 2006 because he hit with more power and his bum right shoulder is a liability in an area (throwing out runners) where you typically want your backup to be better than league average. As a backup catcher he is barely adequate and backup catchers are essentially freely available and can be plucked out of the backup catcher Oort cloud at will. Somebody is going to overpay.

Also saw this nice recap of Daisuke Matsuzaka's season. For the record my prediction of Dice-K's season was 17-12, 4.22 ERA, 179 K against an actual of 15-12, 4.40, 201 K. Not too bad considering it was pretty much a stab in the dark. I did take into consideration adjusting to a five-man rotation and thought he might wear down making my prediction one of the worst ones. One thing I was surprised at was given his large repertoire, how frequently he used his fastball.

Update: Oops, forgot to mention this insider blog post by Peter Gammons (hat tip to The Book blog) where Gammons says:

Want to know about winners? Pedroia gave up his scholarship at Arizona State to free up money to sign a much-needed pitcher, so when the Sun Devils reached the College World Series, coaches and players had "DP" on their caps in honor of their leader who never got to Omaha. The sabermetrics guys in their garages never understand these things.

I'm less upset by this than simply confused. The column starts off talking about A-Rod and his announcement during game three of the World Series and then quickly transitions to this non-sequiter. Why? What's the point? Who cares? Perhaps there is a private joke in there somewhere but I've missed it.

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