Cup o’ coffee tidbits.

  • Eric Byrnes may be fun to watch…But he was never
    worth that huge contract.  And now he is hurt.  I dont want to place
    the organization at fault for the injury, but I do place them at fault
    for doling out the contract to begin with.  In 2007, Byrnes had a
    career year, a year in which he was most likely to never have again. 
    Then, a somewhat financially constricted team, with a surplus of
    outfielders, chose to ink a deal for three years, $30 million.  And
    they are regretting it.  Granted, the “surplus” of young outfielders
    turned into other players, as they chose to trade a few of them.  But
    this is exactly what teams with financial constraints should avoid,
    dishing out contracts to players that aren’t worthy.  Especially
    contracts that are given to a player that has never done much, then all
    of a sudden comes out and does something.  That, my friends, we would
    call a career year.  Since Byrnes can play center field, he isn’t a
    terrible player.  But with the crop of players the Diamondbacks had on
    the farm, it just didn’t make sense for them to lock him up for a bunch
    of money.
  • Kevin Millwood isn’t good: Once upon a
    time, Millwood led the league in ERA.  I give credit to “league
    adjustment” for that occurrence.  Right now, his ERA sits at 2.62, in a
    hitters park.  But here’s the thing: Millwood is striking out fewer
    batters per nine, and walking just as many as in previous seasons.  His
    FIP is pretty high for that ERA, at 4.47.  And his BABIP is very low,
    at .263.  The reason for the low ERA?  Improved defense.  The Rangers
    finished dead last in “Defensive Efficiency” last season.  Well, this
    season they are currently fifth.  That is why Millwood looks good. 
    That, and luck.
  • The Angels apparently made a good decision: On the
    offensive side of the ball.  Which is crazy, I know.  But Juan Rivera
    is batting .306/.351/.504.  And not only that, but according to UZR,
    Rivera is valuable defensively too.  Which may or may not mean much. 
    Let the season play out before we establish whether or not Rivera is
    all of a sudden a great defensive left fielder.  For that matter, I
    need more time on the offensive side of the ball too.  And those
    offensive numbers, for a corner, are nothing special anyway.  Yet,
    still pretty good.  Rivera isn’t expensive, so right now he looks like
    a bargain.  But there are still two years+ left on the contract.
  • JD Drew playing great in June?: Seriously? 
    Really?  I wasn’t aware that he was playing so well this month. 
    Adequately?  Yes, I can see that.  But .291/.466/.509 with a .438 wOBA
    (which is 10th in baseball).  This is why this guy is
    under-appreciated.  Sure, the numbers are not everything, but he just
    goes about his business and does his job.  I watch almost every game,
    and I didn’t realize he was hitting so well in the month of June.  Not this well
    anyway.  It isn’t like last years June, as I have seen very few
    stretches comparable to that.  But Drew is quietly having a nice little
    season, again, albeit it is not spectacular, just nice.
  • The Green Monster: Dave Allen over at The Baseball Analysts
    attempts to explain whether or not the Red Sox utilize the Monster
    enough for that to explain their dominance at home.  But his conclusion
    presents this interesting tidbit: No.  It seems that opposing teams
    change their swing more than the Red Sox do to try to get the most out
    of that giant wall in left field.  Odd, I know.

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