A Place to Read and Get Read

Bumgarner Has Been Great, But Nobody Can Touch Curt Schilling’s 2001

In Sports on October 28, 2014 at 2:59 pm

By: Brian Mangan

Nice article by Dave Cameron over at Fangraphs yesterday, saying this about Madison Bumgarner’s 2014 postseason run:

If Bumgarner manages to throw a few more dominant relief innings in Game 7, then there really will be a case that his run this year will have surpassed Curt Schilling’s 2001 season as the best postseason pitching performance in the history of the game. At the very least, though, he’s put himself in the conversation, and has had the kind of October performance that will never be forgotten.

Bumgarner has been incredible, but it would take some serious mental gymnastics to even call it close with Schilling right now.  And even if Bumgarner were to return in relief in Game 7, there would still be no conceivable way for Bumgarner to pull close to Schilling.

Here is a comparison of their postseason stats, courtesy Fangraphs:Comparison

But a simple comparison of the statistics — which already favor Schilling — doesn’t tell the full story.

On A Team Desperate For Somebody Who Can Hit Lefties, Michael Cuddyer Is A Decent Gamble For Mets

In Sports on October 23, 2014 at 10:24 am

By: Brian Mangan

Since everyone in the world has been talking about the chances of Michael Cuddyer coming to the Mets, I figured I would quickly weigh in with my thoughts.  Here’s the latest news, courtesy Metsblog:

The Mets will have interest in free-agent OF Michael Cuddyer, so long as he’ll take a two-year deal, according to people familiar with the team’s thinking (Martino, Oct. 22).

MLB Trade Rumors recently predicted Cuddyer would eventually sign a two-year, $22 million contract (MLBTR, Oct. 17).

Let’s say that’s the deal he gets.  I can probably live with that – so let’s take a quick glance under the hood.

Cuddyer Has Been Merely Okay

Cuddyer is a 13 year major league veteran whose career has taken a huge boost since moving from Minnesota to Colorado.  He spent 11 years in Minnesota as a nicely above-average hitter, compiling a .272/.343/.451 slash line and a 111 OPS+ over that time with 21 HR per 162 games.  However, since sliding over to the hitters haven in Colorado, Cuddyer has batted .307/.362/.525 in his ages 33 through 35 seasons.  He even won the batting title in 2013.

Over the last three seasons, Cuddyer has given back much of that offensive value on the defensive side, being worth a total of only 4.5 fWAR or 3.6 bWAR (depending on your preferred source, Fangraphs or Baseball-Reference) over the last three seasons.  Let’s round up and say he’s been a 1.5 WAR player.

The Read Zone 2014 Baseball Predictions Season in Review

In Sports on October 14, 2014 at 9:50 am

By: Brian Mangan

Nobody likes a guy that toots his own horn too much.  But sometimes, a little horn tooting is justified — hell, it’s necessary.  I mean, what else are horns for?

I write mostly around the Mets here — much to my co-founder’s chagrin — but lately most of my Mets-related content has been going to MetsBlog.com.  It’s a neat opportunity for me to be writing for MetsBlog, the largest team sports-blog out there, but there is less opportunity to have fun on a site which caters to such a broad audience.  Because of this, I’m back to The Read Zone to take a look at 2014 to see how some of my predictions panned out.

There will always be hits and misses and too-early-to-tell’s when it comes to predictions, but 2014 was an overwhelmingly good year for The Read Zone.  We nailed our prediction on Curtis Granderson as one of the only dissenting voices out there against the signing, we nailed our slash line projections for Juan Lagares and Travis D’Arnaud, and we knew that the Mets would be significantly better than the 73.5 wins projected by Las Vegas.  We had one fairly-public miss, but we definitely hit for average and power.

December 6, 2013 – The Granderson Signing Isn’t Jason Bay, But It Ain’t Good Either

This was our most widely read sports post ever, with over ten thousand views.  Suffice to say, most of the Mets fans that read it were not pleased with me.  We made the following overall prediction about Granderson:

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