Sunday, April 11, 2010

Room for Improvement Watch: 4/11

I thought I'd go ahead and keep tabs on the 8 players I identified in the pre-season "Room for Improvement" series to see if the predictions I made are making any sense.

Grady Sizemore (+42 VORP): .273/.304/.455

The good news: 6 hits include 2 doubles and a triple.  1 SB to 0 CS.  5 RBI leads team.
The bad news: 8 Ks and 0 BB in 23 PA.
The odd news: Extrapolating, he has been in scoring position at least 4 times and has not scored.
Verdict: Obviously too early to say, but Sizemore's improvement was always more about health than talent.  How serious is the "mid-back strain" that kept him out of Sunday's game?

Fausto Carmona (+30 VORP): 4.50 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 6 IP, 1 H, 6 BB, 1 K, 3 R

The good news: The man gave up one hit.
The bad news: The man walked six guys.
The odd news: Carmona's BABIP is .000 because the only hit was a homer.
Verdict: Most advanced stats hate Carmona more than I do (6 BB and 1 K will do that), but I went into why I think he's improved and will be a good bet to post positive VORP if nothing else.

Raffy Perez (+25 VORP): 9.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP

The good news: His first outing was good, with 4 outs, 2 Ks, and 0 R.
The bad news: HIs second outing was really, really, really, really bad.
The odd news: Thus far, his GB:FB ratio is infinite.
Verdict: This sure looked smarter when I thought about writing it Friday or Saturday.  Perez imploded Sunday, which set him apart in no way whatsoever from the rest of the pen.  The thing that makes me have hope is that all 5 hits he's allowed have been singles and his BABIP is an astonishing .714 with a line drive percentage of only 13%.  That suggests more than his fair share of bad luck and seeing-eye singles, and he may yet be very effective.

Matt LaPorta (+17 VORP): .278/.350/.389

The good news: 2 multi-hit games, 2 doubles, a 2:2 BB:K ratio
The bad news: Currently 6th on team in SLG.  Same number of RBI (1) as Mike Redmond and Andy Marte.
The odd news: Hitting .500/.556/.750 at night, .100/.182/.100 in day games.
Verdict: He looks pretty good.  What can I say?

Jhonny Peralta (+16 VORP): .200/.360/.450

The good news: Has drawn a walk in 5 of 6 games.  Leads team with 1 HR.
The bad news: He's hitting .200.  Leads team with 1 HR.  Egregious three-run error.
The odd news: Leads team in OPS.  Stole a base.
Verdict: I would take either a .360 OBP or a .450 SLG from Peralta.  So far, so good.  Defense outside of The Worst Play in the World has been perfectly acceptible.

Justin Masterson (+15 VORP): 1.80 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 9.00 K/9

The good news: 5 Ks and 5:2 K:BB are both fine in 5 IP.  All 4 hits allowed were singles.  Opponents have .529 OPS.
The bad news: The White Sox don't have left-handed hitters.  Only went 5 innings.
The odd news: GB:FB ratio is currently 1.00, lower than expected from his stuff.
Verdict: It was a solid first start for Masterson, with only brevity really against it.

Andy Marte (+14 VORP): .000/.250/.000 (4 PA)

The good news: Um ... nice stab at the end of the first win as a defensive replacement.
The bad news: Part of The Worst Play in the World.
The odd news: Um ... er ... has scored in every game he's started.
Verdict: Looking like a blown pick, especially when Branyan returns.  Mike Brantley currently looks more valuable, and may have these +14 instead.

David Huff (+13 VORP): 1.50 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 6.00 RA

The good news: Higher velocity than expected, only 1 ER in 6 IP.  Opponents hitting .240/.296/.280 against him (1 XBH, a double).
The bad news: Still doesn't impress advanced metrics: 2 K (against 2 BB and 6 H), Detroit's radar gun is a fraud.
The odd news: Huff is now owned in 0.2% of ESPN Fantasy Leagues, doubling after a Quality Start.  This brings Huff up to the same level as Tofu Lou Marson, who sports a .220 OPS.
Verdict: This is a case in which I thought Huff LOOKED better than his numbers.  We'll see where it goes from here.

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