Saturday, May 25, 2024

Newsletter Excerpt, May 25, 2024 -- "Thinking Inside the Box"

 This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $79.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

--
 
Giants 8, Mets 7

E: Luciano 2 (4, fielding, throw)

I am pretty sure I have never cited fielding percentage in the Newsletter, which should give you an idea of how notable Marco Luciano’s .886 mark is. Luciano booted a tailor-made double-play ball Tuesday that should have ended the game and instead set up a Pirates comeback win. Last night, he did the same thing on what should have been a game-ending double play ball by Pete Alonso, setting up first and third with just one out and the Giants clinging to an 8-7 lead. It’s the Mets, though, so the Giants still won.

Luciano is off to a miserable defensive start, highlighting the question of whether he’s going to stick at shortstop. Keith Law, over at The Athletic, has had his doubts about Luciano’s defense for years. Again, we don’t talk about errors much, but Luciano’s error rates have been notable at each stop along the way, and even this year he made seven in 103 chances at Triple-A before his call-up. Range matters, arm matters, but if you’re booting a ball twice a week, you can’t keep the job. That’s who Luciano is right now.

The challenge for the Giants is that Luciano is also off to a .409/.480/.591 start at the plate, with just five strikeouts against three walks. He has almost no experience anywhere else on the diamond -- 46 innings at second base in the minors last year is all of it -- and the Giants have him blocked at second, third, and DH anyway. They even have young outfielders now, in Heliot Ramos and Luis Matos, earning looks. It would be hard to bump one of them to stick a completely untrained Luciano out there.

Luciano has to play shortstop to contribute to the 2024 Giants, and it’s very possible that his defense makes him unplayable there. It’s just odd to point that out with the oldest number in the book.
 
 

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Newsletter Excerpt, May 23, 2024 -- "Noll Hypothesis"

 This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $79.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

--
 
If Steinbrenner wants to make a real point, though, it’s in that $100 million he’s having to light on fire each year. That, and not the money he’s spending on baseball players, is his problem. His business partners have set rules that take $100 million a year out of his pockets so that they can be guaranteed profits without trying to win baseball games. His business partners have made it so that every dollar he spends at the trade deadline this year costs him a dollar in penalties. If Steinbrenner is looking to complain about something being unsustainable, that’s where he should start.
 
 

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Newsletter Excerpt, May 21, 2024 -- "Shortstops, Redux"

 This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $79.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

--
 
I am certain that trading Jackson Holliday is a better idea than moving him to center field midseason, and it may be a better idea even than going forward with him as a second baseman. There are not many good fits, though, and a deal like this requires a level of risk that has mostly been bred out of baseball executives over the last couple of generations. I doubt it will happen, but were I Mike Elias, I’d make the calls.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Newsletter Excerpt, May 20, 2024 -- "Phil., Harmonic"

 

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $79.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

--
 
Suarez, Bohm, Stott...all homegrown Phillies who were contributors to good teams and who are now much better. Add Sanchez (a Rays signee acquired back in 2019) and Orion Kerkering, and a pattern starts to reveal itself. For all the deserved focus on the team’s frontline stars, on big free-agent signings like Wheeler and Bryce Harper and Trea Turner, the Phillies have become a modern organization that develops its own talent and then makes that talent better in the major leagues. Throw in what pitching coach Caleb Cotham has done with scrap-heap reliever Jeff Hoffman (5.68 ERA before Phillies, 1.99 with Phillies) and Matt Strahm (30/1 K/BB, 0.15 FIP this year), and you have to start thinking of the Phillies the way we do the Dodgers and Rays and Braves, a top-tier baseball machine.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Newsletter Excerpt, May 17, 2024 -- "Mariners at Orioles"

 

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $79.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

--
 
I wrote it many times over the winter: The Orioles have too many position players to fit on the field at once. They have to pick the ones they’re going forward with, and use the rest to shape a championship roster. We know Mike Elias can develop talent and build a highly-rated farm system, but we don’t yet know whether he can take that next step. The Corbin Burnes trade was a good start, but there’s more to be done. James McCann and Ramon Urias can’t be taking high-leverage at-bats in August, much less October.
 
 

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Newsletter Excerpt, May 15, 2024 -- "Thinking Inside the Box"

 

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $79.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

--
 
There’s not much in Chourio’s profile to hang your hat on. His 38/8 K/BB is bad. He’s got a lot of swing-and-miss in his game right now. When he makes contact, not much is happening: His expected stats on batted balls are a match for his actual ones. He has a 50% groundball rate and doesn’t even have a sub-split, say mashing breaking stuff or something, you can point to as a good sign.

As we’ve seen with some other rookies, there comes a point when having them work things out in the majors is counterproductive. Complicating matters for the Brewers is their early success, which means they have to value performance over development. If Chourio isn’t going to play every day in Milwaukee, then he’s better off in Nashville.