Leading off, as always (or usual), it’s today’s edition of the Getting Blanked Podcast– which for the duration of the season will be coming at you daily! We’re not double posting this year, but I’ll be sure to include the link in the first Daily Duce or Game Threat that follows the post going up over at Getting Blanked. Otherwise, you can find the podcast at Getting Blanked on iTunes, get it via the RSS feed we have setup, or like Getting Blanked on Facebook in order to get each day’s podcast straight into your news feed (if we remember to post it). While you’re at it, go ahead and like DJF on Facebook, too.
J.P. Arencibia is not short on confidence, and does some sabermetric cherry picking, “defiantly” telling Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star that “no one cares about strikeouts other than people that aren’t in the game. People who understand baseball understand that strikeouts, for myself, really don’t mean as much.” And he’s absolutely right that strikeouts alone aren’t as big a deal as they often get made out to be, it’s just… the astronomical K-rate combined with the absolute lack of anything resembling an ability to walk does not a productive offensive player make.
Arencibia is on pace for 38 home runs; a number topped by catchers just six times in Major League history, and by catchers not named Piazza, Bench or Campanella only twice. By that very imperfect measure, it would seem to me there’s a pretty decent chance his power doesn’t continue at even these levels (just nine qualified hitters in baseball posted a higher ISO last year than the .245 J.P. currently sits on), and yet that power has only “carried” him to 16th of 25 catchers with 100 plate appearances in terms of wRC+. Despite the flashy shows of power, and despite being right (sort of) about strikeouts, he’s just not a productive offensive player, even for the low bar at his position. Last year, too, he was 18th of 25 catchers with 350 PA in terms of wRC+ (Josh Thole, for those about to ask, was dead last with a mark of 60). Steve Slowinski wrote an interesting piece at FanGraphs back in 2011 about why, though the sabermetric argument is still essentially correct, strikeouts are still kinda bad.
More from Brendan Kennedy of the Star, as he looks at R.A. Dickey’s honorary doctorate from the U of T’s Wycliffe College, which he received yesterday. He also looks at MLB’s new home run derby app, which stars former derby participants, including Jose Bautista.
Elsewhere at the Star, Richard Griffin chatted with readers today, including one whose name you might recognize (though I can assure you it wasn’t really him).
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