Results tagged ‘ Neal Huntingdon ’
Today, I’ll take a look at Paul Maholm, his past performance, and how we can expect Paul to fare in 2009.
The Pirates attempted to sign Maholm, Nate McLouth, and Ryan Doumit to long term contracts this winter. To date, only Doumit has signed a multi-year deal, with McLouth and Maholm being far from agreeing to terms with the Pirates. Paul made $424,500 last year, and is due a big raise in his first year of arbitration eligibility. Even if the Pirates can’t hammer out a deal with Paul’s agent, they will still control his rights for the next 3 seasons.
Favorite Vacation Spot: Hawaii (maybe he hangs out with Yates there)
Favorite Musical Artist: Brad Paisley
Athlete Most Admired Growing Up:Tom Glavine
Athlete He’d Like To Meet : Tiger Woods
First Job : Golf Bag Boy at a Country Club
Favorite TV Show : Entourage
Famous Person He’d Like to Meet : Jack Nicklaus
Paul put together a fine year in 2008, although the win total wasn’t where he’d like it to be.
According to Bill James, Paul will have an average season in 2009, and produce a losing record, which may be a direct result of lack of run support. James has Maholm throwing roughly the same number of innings, giving up slightly more hits, walking 6 more batters, and striking out 5 less batters than in 2008. In short, James thinks Maholm will not be able to duplicate his breakout 2008 season, but will come close.
Marcel’s ratings feature Paul with a losing record at 9-10, a respectable ERA at 4.20. However, Marcel has Paul’s innings down a bit, possibly predicting an injury in 2009.
I think that Bill James’ 2009 predictions in regards to Paul are fairly spot on, except I think that he’ll post a slightly higher ERA than in 2008 (but lower than what James/Marcel are predicting). I also think that Paul will finally post that first winning record since his rookie season, despite a dismal offense by the Pirates.
On most teams, Paul would be a solid #3 starter, but on the Pirates in 2009, he’ll be looked upon to be the ace of the staff. After falty seasons by Snell and Gorzelanny, GM Neal Huntindon said himself on his radio show near the end of 2008 that there would be no guaranteed spots in the rotation. Except for Paul Maholm. When the Pirates began Spring Training in 2008, the rotation was already determined. Some in the Pirates brass feel that this may have created some complacency on the part of the Pirates pitchers, leading to the worst starting rotation in Major League Baseball in 2008. (Maholm was the lone bright spot).
If Paul can build upon his success in 2008, the Pirates may have found their ace. (When is the last time we actually had a true “ace” …. Drabek?)
Pitchers and Catchers Report: 44 days
Pirates First 2009 Game: 95 days
Pirates Home Opener: 102 days
I’ve decided that since Spring Training is fast approaching, I would take a look at the 2009 Pittsburgh Pirates and offer up some personal thoughts and opinions on each player. I will also examine the player’s history and try to predict the type of season they will have in 2009.
1) Ryan Doumit
Date of Birth: 4/3/1981
Height: 6’1″ Weight: 210 lbs
Ryan Doumit joins a short list of players that Neal Huntingdon has inked to long term deals. Doumit’s contract is for three guaranteed years and two option years, which will take him through 2013. According to the Post-Gazette, the contract break down is as follows: $2.05 million in 2009, $3.55 million in 2010 and $5.1 million in 2011.
The club option for both years will have to be exercised or rejected
after 2011. If picked up, Doumit would get $7.25 million in 2012 and
$8.25 million in 2013. If declined, Doumit would receive a $500,000
buyout and become a free agent. Who got the better end of this deal? I would say the Pirates did. Although Doumit has been injury prone in the past, finding a catcher who can put up offensive numbers like Doumit is capable of doing is rare.
Favorite Vacation Spot: Jamaica
Favorite Musical Artist: Pearl Jam
Athlete Most Admired When Growing Up: Will “The Thrill” Clark
Athlete He’d Like to Meet: Muhammed Ali
First Job: Stockboy at a Grocery Store
Favorite TV Show: That 70′s Show
Famous Person He’d Like to meet (Dead or Alive): John F. Kennedy
Batting – wRAA (Runs Above Average) with a park adjustment.
Fielding – The sum of a player’s UZR.
Replacement – The replacement level adjustment set at 20 Runs / 600 PA.
Positional – The positional adjustment set using Tangotiger’s values (see this link)
Value Runs – The sum of Batting, Fielding, Replacement, and Positional.
Value Wins – Value Runs converted to a wins scale.
Dollars – Value Wins converted to the following dollar scale:
|Year||Team||Bat||Fielding||Replace||Pos||Value R||Value W||Dollars||Salary|
It’s impressive to see that Doumit was worth 17.6 Million Dollars last season based on the runs he created and wins that wouldn’t have happened with out him.
In 1713 Career Minor League AB’s, Doumit put up a .295 batting average, 119 2B’s, 48 HR’s, 290 RBI’s, and .819 OPS . The HR’s may seem a little low, but this is the case with many minor leaguers, they grow into their power.
At the Major League level, Doumit has produced the following statistics: (from baseball reference.com)
Yr Age G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG
'05 24 75 231 25 59 13 1 6 35 2 1 11 48 .255 .324 .398
'06 25 61 149 15 31 9 0 6 17 0 0 15 42 .208 .322 .389
'07 26 83 252 33 69 19 2 9 32 1 2 22 59 .274 .341 .472
'08 27 116 431 71 137 34 0 15 69 2 2 23 55 .318 .357 .501
(4 Yrs)335 1063 144 296 75 3 36 153 5 5 71 204 .278 .341 .456
Albeit a small one, we can see a trend started to develop over the past two years, as a result of Doumit seeing regular playing time. His AB/HR ratio has improved from 35.68 AB/HR in the minors to 28 AB/HR in 2007 and 28.73 AB/HR in 2008.
If Doumit can replicate his performance from 2008 in ’09, the Pirates should be pleased. Since making predictions is fun, and its some people’s job. Let’s take a look at how Doumit is predicted to perform in 2009.
Let’s take a look at how Doumit is predicted to perform in 2009 according to respected guru Bill James, and Marcel Fantasy Baseball:
Looking over these numbers, Bill James is prepared to predict that Doumit will continue to improve in 2009. He allows Doumit will play in 18 or so more games than 2009 and be more productive in every offensive category except for batting average, with a slight dip of 13 points.
Marcel is a bit more pessimistic when calculating Doumit’s numbers. It appears they believe Doumit is apt to become injured and not be as productive as he was in 2008.
I think Doumit will continue to have breakout success. I predict his average will dip just below .300 in the coming season, but his power numbers will improve.
I would be interested to see what you think Doumit’s 2009 numbers will be. Please leave a comment and make your predictions. It will be interesting to log back in when October rolls around and see who was closest on Doumit’s 2009 season.
Pitchers and Catchers Report: 46 days
Pirates First 2009 Game: 97 days
Pirates Home Opener: 104 days
About a week ago, I received an email from the Season Ticket Holder department inviting me to a special season ticket holder event at PNC Park. It read: “As we near the Thanksgiving holiday and the Hot Stove portion of the baseball season, we at the Pittsburgh Pirates hope this letter finds you well. And, although we are several months away from Spring Training and the start of the 2009 Pirates baseball season, we are striving to be more proactive in getting feedback from you, our valued Season Ticket Holders.
With that in mind, we would like to extend a special invitation for you and a guest to join us for a Season Ticket Holder Town Hall Meeting on Monday, November 17 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. inside the Trib Total Media Hall of Fame Club at PNC Park.
During the meeting, you will have an opportunity to meet and talk with fellow Season Ticket Holders and Pirates Season Ticket representatives.
Bob Nutting, Frank Coonelly and Neal Huntington will take your questions.
In addition, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., FSN’s Rob King will moderate a special Question & Answer session with Pirates Chairman Bob Nutting, President Frank Coonelly and General Manager Neal Huntington. During the session, you will have an opportunity to ask any questions you have regarding the Pittsburgh Pirates….”
I decided I would go since I didn’t have much else to do.
As a random side note, we got our first measurable snow fall of the year. It was about maybe a half inch. It was enough to coat the grass and the trees. I took a picture of our backyard:
The Pirates had removed most of the tables from the club, which serves as a restaurant during home games, and made a make shift auditorium with the chairs. There were probably about 200 season ticket holders in attendance. I saw a few faces I recognized from batting practice, most notably Dan. While we were waiting for the question and answer process to begin, I looked over his season ticket benefit packet that he received on Saturday. I still have yet to get mine, which is a bit frustrating. There are some really nice gifts depending on your Tier. There are 3 Tiers. I will probably blog more about the Season Ticket Benefits once I receive my STH packet in the mail sometime this week.
Rob King was the host of this Q and A session which featured Neal Huntingdon (the Pirates GM), Frank Coonelly (President), and Bob Nutting (owner). Neal and Frank did almost all of the talking. Their answers were very long winded.
When asked about bringing back Barry Bonds, as a treat for the fans, Frank Coonelly stated that the Pirates had been contacted by Bonds’ agent at the beginning, middle and end of the 2008 season. He gave the impression that the Pirates could have taken Bonds for the minimum salary, but it was a path that they and 29 other teams chose not to follow. They felt Bonds wasn’t a good fit for the culture they were trying to build. Neal Huntingdon interestingly said that he would choose to avoid the Bonds question all together.
When asked about Jeff Andrews, in his most candid moment of the night, Neal Huntindon said that Andrews was a great person, but the wrong hire. He stated that if he had the opportunity to re-do that hiring, he almost assuredly would not make the same choice in hiring Andrews as his General Manager. He drove this point home several times, demonstrating his displeasure in Andrews and his frustration with the awful starting pitching. He pointed to Joe Kerrigan’s (the new pitching coach) success with a scrawny reliever named Pedro Martinez in Montreal.
The mention of Pedro Martinez brought another question if the Pirates would sign him or a similar “name” free-agent. Coonelly expressed the notion that the Pirates would not sign someone that was “34 or 35 and had a good season three years ago.” He seemed to hint at the awful Matt Morris debacle from last year. Huntingdon danced around the question saying that he would look at all free agents, hinted at letting the market play itself out, and then make the best possible signings for the team.
The three executives thanked the season ticket holders for their patience and over and over again pledged their allegiance to making Pittsburgh a winner in the near future.
Bob Nutting at one point said that the Pirates had to trade Ramirez because he had trade value at the time of the deal. This brought several eye rolls from the loyal fans. In case you’ve forgotten: The trade: Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton to the Cubs for infielder Jose Hernandez and two minor leaguers. Lofton went on to finish his successful career with the Cubs and a couple other teams while Ramirez has had HR totals of 36, 31, 38, 26, 27 since the deal. Jose Hernandez, better known to the Bucco Faithful as Jose K (for his strikeout prowess), batted .223 for the Buccos and was gone the next year. Nutting said that he’d like to keep players like a Ramirez or a Kendall, but that the Pirates can’t keep everyone. Huntingdon added that the Twins let Johan Santana and Torii Hunter go, but locked up Justin Morneau, Michal Cuddyer, and Joe Mauer to long term deals.
When asked about the replacement of long time Bucco broadcaster Lanny Frattare, Coonelly stated that it is an exhaustive search of 200 or so candidates that will be completed by opening day. He didn’t give a hint as to any names or possible candidates, just that they will choose the best possible candidate.
Some old lady complained about how awful it is that the Pirates do not acknowledge the crowd after a victory.
Another old lady was upset at the possible dealings of Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez. Huntingdon explained that in the long term, they will have to make deals that involve popular players being dealt in order to build a team that can compete every year. The old woman responded, “Hurry up, because I don’t have much time left!”
I did not ask a question because at the end of the session, there were still many hands left in the air, with their questions unanswered. My biggest concern was the gate opening time issue. The Pirates open their gates at 5PM, and batting practice ends at 6PM. I would argue that they should open the gates at 4:30, especially so STH can see the Pirates take batting practice in its entirety, rather than the last 10 minutes when we get to see Raul Chavez, Chris Gomez, Doug Mientkiewicz, and Luis Rivas bat. *******. There’s nothing more exciting that watching a bunch of weak ground balls through the infield during BP.
I also snuck a peek at PNC Park while I was there. The outfield surface was totally white. Not sure if it was snow, or something else, as the Pirates are replacing their entire field (re-sodding). Here’s the picture:
It’s tough to see because the field was completed dark, with no lights on.
I also had my wife take my picture outside of the Home Plate entrance just for kicks