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Hello, Everybody! (Hi, Dr. Nick!) As y’all have probably noticed, a lot has happened since I last stopped by, one short week ago. Jay got a belly button ring, 17 more pitchers had Tommy John surgery, Guru bedazzled his turban, Aroldis Chapman was drilled in the face with a line drive and will probably be out until June, and Grey shaved his mustache. Although I can’t vouch for all of those things, I know one of those things (I think) didn’t happen… all you ladies can relax now, Grey didn’t shave his mustache. I’m sorry, I know I scared you. Shizz, I, myself, panicked just thinking of the possibility of Grey without it. Anywho, something else happened in the last week. Our fine Razzball Podcast host, Nick, announced the launch of Razzball Radio. Along with Razzball Radio, Nick is in the process of coordinating Razzball’s inaugural #32in32in32.

Now, I can’t speak for my cohorts, wait, yes I can, and we couldn’t be more excited about it. I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it! I’m about to lose control and I think I like it! Yes, I’m that excited… I’m more excited about this than Katy Perry is when she sees her cat, Kitty Purry (yep, a real thing). Don’t ask me how I know about this… I’m more pumped about this than Billy Butler is when someone touches his moobs. Like for realz guys, I am more aroused about the announcement than Grey is when his cougar throws on her Yordano Ventura jersey. Too far? Maybe… Don’t mean it isn’t true. But seriously though, it’s gonna be a hoot. Literally, Sky will be hootin’ and hollering’. You probably don’t wanna miss that. By the way, what exactly are you wearing in that picture, Sky?

You know what else is a hoot? Hitting in Rangers Ballpark. You know what isn’t a hoot? Hitting in Comerica Park. You know who is making a move from Rangers Park to Comerica Park? Ian Kinsler. I guess Kinsler wasn’t thrilled with the deal that sent him to Detroit, referring to his former GM as a sleazeball. I mean if I had to go from hitting in one of the best hitter’s park in baseball to one not so great, I’d probably call my former GM some pretty mean things as well. “Grey, you are a big fat meanie head!” That’ll show him… But I digress, or is it regress? Digress, I think. But wait, I think Kinsler will regress this year and it may not be pretty.

First, let’s just look at this guy’s injury history. He has only played in 140 or more games just 3 times in his 7 year career. That’s less than half of his career. See, Rudy’s math and stuff ain’t got nothin’ on me. As you can see, Kinsler hasn’t exactly been the picture of health. When you add in the fact that he isn’t a spring chicken anymore, almost 32, his ability to stay healthy is a concern. However, the major concern I have with Ian going forward is his career home/road splits. At home, in the cozy confines of Rangers Ballpark, Kinsler has slashed 304/.387/.511 over the course of his career. To go with his slash line, he has a home ISO of .201, a BB% higher than K% (10.8:10.5), and a wRC+ of 132. Those are some fantastic offense numbers. But…. Kinsler’s career numbers away from Arlington are vastly different, with him owning a career .242/.312/.399 line on the road; along with an ISO of .157, 8.4:13.2 BB%/K%, and a wRC+ of 91. These are some startling numbers. If Rangers Ballpark wasn’t such a hitter’s paradise, I would be less concerned. However, I can’t help but wonder how much of an impact it had on his numbers. To go one step further, if you look at his career numbers (albeit small sample size) in Comerica Park, they are even more disturbing. His BA in Detroit is a paltry .193 with only 3 HR in 162 ABs. I completely understand that Kinsler is just 2 years removed from a 32/30 season coming from 2B, but given his health questions and concerning home/road splits, I don’t feel comfortable drafting Kinsler in the top 75, let alone to 40 of any draft (current ADP of 36 at ESPN). In fact, there are at least seven 2B I would consider drafting ahead of Kinsler. I think it’s safe to say, given his current price, that I won’t own him on any of my teams this year.

One pitcher that concerns me going into the year is Reds’ southpaw, Tony Cingrani. Yes, I realize that he came up last year and thoroughly dominated the competition. And yes, I realize that if he pitched enough innings to qualify, he would have been 2nd among MLB starters in K/9. I mean, the K’s are fantastic, and everything else (ERA, WHIP, W’s) were just fine. So what’s not to like? For one, Cingrani, almost literally, is a one-pitch pitcher. Aside from the crazy knuckleballers, only one pitcher threw a higher % of any pitch than Cingrani threw his fastball last year (81.5%). It would be one thing if his fastball was overpowering, but that isn’t the case, averaging 91.8 MPH on the heater. I seriously doubt he can have long term success in a starting role without developing another pitch or two in order to give hitters a different look and keep them off balance. In addition to being a one-pitch pitcher, Cingrani’s peripherals show he was actually pretty lucky last year. Going by FIP, Cingrani’s ERA should have been nearly a run higher than what it was (2.92 vs. 3.78). When looking deeper into the numbers, two other stats really pop out. His BABIP was a ridiculously low .241. League average BABIP is right around .300 and, given the role luck plays in this statistic, most pitchers typically gravitate toward league average over time. We should expect some regression here. Along with a rather low BABIP, Cingrani also produced an insanely high LOB% of 82.1%, meaning he stranded 82.1% of the base runners he allowed last season. To put that number into perspective, his LOB% would have 2nd among all MLB SP last year. Pitchers tend to regress toward league average (70%-72%) with this statistic to some degree, as well. While Cingrani was borderline excellent for fantasy owners last year, with regression likely coming it may be foolish to think he will do the same this year. I do think Cingrani will have success this year, but I don’t think he will live up to his draft position as the 36th SP off the boards, ahead of guys like Jeff Samardzija, Sonny Gray, and previous points league spotlight CJ Wilson.

As always with these points leagues posts, remember that the information mentioned here should be of use to you not only in points leagues, but in other leagues as well, because a great player in points leagues will probably be a great player in other leagues and vice versa.

 

You can also follow Josh O. on twitter.

    • Josh O.

      Josh O. says:
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      @aethomp1: ya know, I had heard that. I would like to see if he has the confidence to throw it at any time in any game and see if he can command it and what it looks like at that point But if that is truly the case, and he can command it consistently, I would bump him back up. Still, only having 2 pitches is worrisome for most starting pitchers in the long term, although some have had success with only two in the past.

    • bfadds says:
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      @aethomp1: I read that, too. Kind of concerned me a little because that pitch apparently puts the most strain on a pitcher’s elbow. Since everyone’s having TJ surgery these days, I didn’t really like Cingrani’s incorporation of the slider.

      • Josh O.

        Josh O. says:
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        @bfadds: That doesn’t add much more concern for me on top of what is already there for pitchers.

  1. Dead Head says:
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    I agree on CIngrani in the need for a 2nd pitch. His fastball isn’t overpowering velocity wise but man does it have some nasty movement for a fastball. He gets great deception with it also. Apparently he’s not only mixing in a slider, but working on a changeup as well. If he could even get an average changeup and an average slider with that fastball he could be really good. But a couple weeks isn’t enough to get confidence with those pitches so I think next year or two years will be when he’s a guy to really break out in a big way.

    As for Kinsler, I kinda like him this year. Yes his career home road splits aren’t that great, but last year he only hit 4 of his HRs at home. Some say the draft is dying down in Arlington and his home HR rate would attest to that. Also, he’s said in a lot of interviews how the coaches and front office were pressuring him to be someone he wasn’t, and the locker room environment was pretty toxic which messed with his head. He seems really hungry to prove people wrong, and said he’s going to really focus on Stolen Bases this year, so that could be a plus. 15 HRs and 25 SB is still really valuable. Also, his BA in Detroit is a little misleading, since going up against Detroit’s SP lineup is pretty abnormal compared to most rotations. Just throwing that out there, but I agree I don’t see him getting back to his 30/30 days (and he’s said he isn’t trying to do that either) but a larger focus on SB could up his value quite a bit, if he stays healthy of course.

    • Dead Head says:
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      @Dead Head: But good stuff either way, enjoyed the write up! And can’t wait for Razzball Radio as well. Really awesome opportunity for you guys and I hope it blows up around here, you guys deserve it. Great quality content, my favorite place for fantasy analysis !

      • Josh O.

        Josh O. says:
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        @Dead Head: You make great points on both guys, really. I don’t have a ton of confidence in Cingrani this year, as it takes time to deveolp and get comfortable with new pitches. However, he is someone that could make me eat my words. His deception is definitely a big key to his success and I worry that it is something that hitters will eventually be able to figure out.

        As far as Kinsler, he also has the potential to make me eat my words come the end of the season. I know he should come in hungry with something to prove this year and maybe getting out of Texas will be good for him. However, those splits really scare me. You can’t be sure which Kinsler you are getting and that’s why I’m staying away. We all, I think, can agree that his 30-30 days are behind him. With 2nd base the way it is right now, is 15/25 with a .270 avg worth a top 3-4 round pick when you can get a guy like Gyorko or Altuve a few rounds later? I don’t know that it is. Too much risk too early for me.

        And thanks for the kind words. Razzball Radio is going to be a great opportunity for Razzball to grow its brand. I think I speak for all of us when I say that we certainly appreciate the support. And we hope to see you (and all your friends) at at least one (if not many) of the tour stops this summer!

  2. de nachos says:
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    Nice work. Although I do a bunch of roto leagues my heart is with my one points team. Do you like Desmond Jennings as a “set it and forget it” 3rd OF-type in points for 15-20 a week or prefer an upside gamble like Kole Calhoun or Billy Hamilton?

    • Josh O.

      Josh O. says:
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      @de nachos: I really like Billy Hamilton, moreso in roto leagues this year. If things go right, he can single-handedly win a category for you. Jennings is interesting. I think he should put up around 15/25 with about a .250 avg and .330 OBP (coming from various projections). That’s not terrible but not much of an improvement over last year’s numbers. I, person think I would go with the high upside gambles of Hamilton or Calhoun, depending on when you can get them. Calhoun isn’t coming off the boards until around pick 200 on avg, according to FantasyPros draft data. That’s good value.

  3. Shiv says:
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    Kinsler is a mental midget and a little bitch.

    • Josh O.

      Josh O. says:
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      @Shiv: Real talk

  4. Dominic says:
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    Kinsler might not be hitting bombs in Detroit but with all that room in the outfield and his speed he will be hitting doubles all day. I have Kinsler everywhere so I’m hoping he comes through for me.

    • Josh O.

      Josh O. says:
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      @Dominic: Is Kinsler really all that fast anymore though? His SB% has been trending downward over the past few years.

  5. costaricanchata says:
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    i realize that you’re liking your gravatar icon ,
    but your penchant for statistics suggests to me
    that you probably look more like the guy in the hat and glasses
    in this picture : wired.com/images_blogs/underwire/2013/01/mf_ddp_large.jpg

    enjoyed the read .

    • Josh O.

      Josh O. says:
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      @costaricanchata: At least I don’t look like Kenny Chesney, like our friend Rudy

  6. Greg says:
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    Is my pitching in trouble? Here is my current pitching staff
    SP: Hamels, Minor, Weaver, Salazar, Fister, Lynn, Haren, Lohse, Gallardo, Hughes, Bradley
    RP–N. Jones, T. Hunter
    Should I trade for a better pitcher? Can I compete with this group of pitchers? Best available SP on waivers are Cueto, Burnett, Kuroda, Garza, and Tillman…should I swap for any of these?

    • Josh O.

      Josh O. says:
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      @Greg: I like all/most of those guys over Haren, Lohse, Gallardo, and Hughers. Rank them: Cueto, Kuroda, Tillman, Burnett, Garza.

      As far as a trade goes, Idk what your hitting looks like to make a recommendation. Your staff overall looks okay. Hopefully your offense is in great shape, though.

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