Effectively Wild Episode 1782: Six Plaque Confabs

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley talk to Adam Darowski, the baseball historian, Hall of Fame scholar, and Head of User Experience at Sports Reference, about working on the Baseball-Reference website, creating the Hall of Stats, the Hall of Stats vs. the Hall of Fame, the appeal of 19th-century baseball, the Hall of Fame elections of Buck O’Neil, Minnie Miñoso, Gil Hodges, Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat, and Bud Fowler, another near miss for Dick Allen, deserving candidates who weren’t on a ballot, the future of Cooperstown committees, ballot math, and more.

Audio intro: Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “Tribal Statistics
Audio outro: Whitney, “Golden Days

Link to the Hall of Stats
Link to Hall of Fame announcement
Link to Jay’s intro to the ballots
Link to Jay Jaffe on the voting results
Link to Adam’s Hall of Fame podcast
Link to Joe Posnanski on ballot math
Link to Posnanski on O’Neil’s election
Link to Shakeia Taylor on O’Neil
Link to Jay on Fowler
Link to Jay on Dahlen and Reynolds
Link to Jay on Kaat
Link to Jay on Hodges
Link to Jay on Oliva
Link to Jay on Allen
Link to Craig Wright on Miñoso
Link to 42 for 21 Committee
Link to John Donaldson EW episode
Link to Doc Adams EW episode
Link to Ben on Baines
Link to Effectively Wild Secret Santa
Link to Stove League teaser video
Link to Stove League review
Link to stream Stove League via Kocowa
Link to stream Stove League via Viki

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JAWS and the 2022 Hall of Fame Ballot: Scott Rolen

The following article is part of Jay Jaffe’s ongoing look at the candidates on the BBWAA 2022 Hall of Fame ballot. Originally written for the 2018 election at SI.com, it has been updated to reflect recent voting results as well as additional research. For a detailed introduction to this year’s ballot, and other candidates in the series, use the tool above; an introduction to JAWS can be found here. For a tentative schedule and a chance to fill out a Hall of Fame ballot for our crowdsourcing project, see here. All WAR figures refer to the Baseball-Reference version unless otherwise indicated.

“A hard-charging third baseman” who “could have played shortstop with more range than Cal Ripken.” “A no-nonsense star.” “The perfect baseball player.” Scott Rolen did not lack for praise, particularly in the pages of Sports Illustrated at the height of his career. A masterful, athletic defender with the physical dimensions of a tight end (listed at 6-foot-4, 245 pounds), Rolen played with an all-out intensity, sacrificing his body in the name of stopping balls from getting through the left side of the infield. Many viewed him as the position’s best for his time, and he more than held his own with the bat as well, routinely accompanying his 25 to 30 homers a year with strong on-base percentages.

There was much to love about Rolen’s game, but particularly in Philadelphia, the city where he began his major league career and the one with a reputation for fraternal fondness, he found no shortage of critics — even in the Phillies organization. Despite winning 1997 NL Rookie of the Year honors and emerging as a foundation-type player, Rolen was blasted publicly by manager Larry Bowa and special assistant to the general manager Dallas Green. While ownership pinched pennies and waited for a new ballpark, fans booed and vilified him. Eventually, Rolen couldn’t wait to skip town, even when offered a deal that could have been worth as much as $140 million. Traded in mid-2002 to the Cardinals, he referred to St. Louis as “baseball heaven,” which only further enraged the Philly faithful. Read the rest of this entry »


Knebel, Melancon Find New Late-Inning Roles

As last week’s free agent frenzy entered its final day in anticipation of a lockout by the owners, a pair of clubs entered the fray by filling clear needs for late-inning relievers.

Beginning with the move that is far more likely to impact the standings in 2022, the Philadelphia Phillies signed right-hander Corey Knebel to a one-year, $10 million deal. Knebel will seemingly replace the recently departed Héctor Neris as the club’s closer, but that makes quite an assumption about Knebel’s availability for a full 162-game schedule.

Knebel’s ability to close has never been in question, at least based on his pure stuff. In 2017, he had one of the most un-hittable seasons out of the ‘pen in recent memory, striking out 126 over 76 innings while allowing just 48 hits en route to 39 saves, a 1.78 ERA and a 2.53 FIP for the Milwaukee Brewers. He saw a minor decline in 2018 as he struggled with knee and hamstring issues, and just hasn’t really pitched that much since. Between Tommy John surgery in 2019 and an extended issue with a lat injury in ’21, Knebel has pitched just 39 innings over 42 games in the last three seasons combined, with mixed results: he fared poorly in 13.1 innings with Milwaukee in 2020, but when he was on the mound for the Dodgers last season, the results were good, posting a 2.45 ERA and a 2.90 FIP. Read the rest of this entry »


2022 ZiPS Projections: Seattle Mariners

After having typically appeared in the hallowed pages of Baseball Think Factory, Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections have now been released at FanGraphs for a decade. The exercise continues this offseason. Below are the projections for the Seattle Mariners.

Batters

This is one case where just taking a glance at the depth chart graphic could lend the wrong impression. In the below graphic, two of the four most valuable ZiPS-projected hitters have their contributions split among multiple positions, with lesser players bringing down their overall numbers, and a third isn’t even on the depth chart. What’s more, the Mariners have reasonably good depth, especially offensively, and while the ceiling on most of the lineup isn’t exceptionally high, I do think they have a pretty high floor. I also don’t believe that Evan White has anywhere near enough remaining rope to get 300 plate appearances in 2022 if he matches his projection below. Read the rest of this entry »


The New New FanGraphs Mug Is Now Available for Pre-order!

New for the holidays is the FanGraphs Mug in white!

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The Current State of 2022 Team Payrolls

With last week’s lockout of the players by ownership, the league has frozen all transactions for the foreseeable future. That’s bad news — but it also makes this a good time to take a snapshot of team payrolls, because there are no new deals coming down the pipe to mess up the analysis midway through. As such, the following is an update on each team’s payroll as it stood at the start of the lockout. Here are our team-by-team RosterResource projections:

A few notes, some of which will likely be familiar to you if you followed past versions of this exercise written by former FanGraphs writer Craig Edwards. The above data counts salaries for 2022, not average annual values. It includes estimates for arbitration, as well as estimated minimum salaries paid throughout the season; our payroll pages currently use the 2021 league minimum, but that number could change in the upcoming CBA. The numbers don’t include incentive bonuses, or a few specific CBA wrinkles, such as the approximately $2 million that teams pay to players who aren’t in the majors but are on the 40-man roster or the roughly $16 million per team spent on player benefits. They also don’t include as-yet-unsigned free agents, naturally.

The Mets’ recent signing spree, combined with the Dodgers’ losses in free agency, has seen the two teams change places at the top of the payroll standings (somewhat surprisingly, the Mets finished as the second-highest spenders in 2021). All told, there are three teams (the Mets, Dodgers and Yankees) that are currently projected for more than $200 million in player salaries in 2022, the same number (and the same teams) as last year. Meanwhile, there are two teams (the Pirates and the Guardians) with projected payrolls below $50 million, one more than last year, and neither of those teams is likely to make meaningful free agent signings when transactions resume. Read the rest of this entry »


Effectively Wild Episode 1781: Hidden Balls Trick

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about listener responses to their earlier conversation about the proper pluralization of “hit by pitch,” then (11:41) bring on Bradford William Davis and Dr. Meredith Wills to discuss the reporting and research that revealed that two types of baseballs were used during the 2021 MLB regular season, as well as the differences between balls, players’ and teams’ reactions to the news, whether MLB’s ball problems stem from incompetence or conspiracy, how the league could improve its messaging and production process, the outlook for offense next year, the ball’s impact on gambling and the labor situation, and more.

Audio intro: Sparks, “Balls
Audio outro: Roy Orbison, “Two of a Kind

Link to SABR style guide
Link to Bradford’s report
Link to thread about Bradford’s report
Link to SI report about 2020 balls
Link to study about the Yankees
Link to Alonso’s comments
Link to Ben’s first piece about the HR rate
Link to Ben’s first piece about the ball
Link to Manfred’s 2019 comments
Link to Meredith’s 2019 analysis
Link to Ben on 2019 postseason balls
Link to article about Wilson basketballs
Link to Sporting News on three-pointers
Link to NPR on three-pointers
Link to Effectively Wild Secret Santa
Link to Stove League teaser video
Link to Stove League review
Link to stream Stove League via Kocowa
Link to stream Stove League via Viki

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 Sponsor Us on Patreon
 Facebook Group
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 Twitter Account
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 Email Us: podcast@fangraphs.com


Ben Clemens FanGraphs Chat – 12/6/21

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Kevin Goldstein FanGraphs Chat – 12/6/2021

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International Prospect Update and Signing Period Preview

The International Players tab on The Board has once again enjoyed a sweeping update, the second such update since the pandemic shifted the international signing calendar back about six months. Rankings and reports for the current class of amateur players set to sign in January 2022 (though that date could be delayed due to the lockout) have been expanded on The Board with help from Kevin Goldstein, while updates and additions to the notable pro players in other markets have been completed with help from Tess Taruskin and Brendan Gawlowski.

CBA/COVID Complications

There are a few factors that could potentially complicate the upcoming signing period. Remember that fallout from the pandemic has already pushed this signing period back six months. When most of the international amateur players on The Board agreed to their deals with teams, they assumed that they’d have put pen to paper by now and perhaps have spent the fall in Florida or Arizona for instructional league. Instead, they haven’t yet signed, and now a lockout may further delay or complicate their coronation. Read the rest of this entry »