Joba Chamberlain is the most overrated player, say other players

14 Comments

Sports Illustrated conducted a poll of 187 major leaguers. I presume they asked more than just this one question and will be publishing it soon, but for now they’re releasing the results of the “who is the most overrated player in baseball” question. The top five:

  • Joba Chamberlain 12%
  • Alex Rodriguez 5%
  • Gary Matthews Jr. 5%
  • Nick Swisher 4%
  • J.D. Drew 3%

Kind of weird results if you ask me. The fact that hardly anyone broke 5% leads you to believe that there is nothing approaching agreement on a question like this.

To the extent Joba Chamberlain has been overrated by anyone recently it was probably by people like me who thought that he maybe should have beaten out Phil Hughes for the rotation slot. But (a) we were probably wrong; and (b) it’s not like a lot of players read people like me anyway.  Most mainstream people have been questioning Chamberlain for a long time now.

A-Rod is also an interesting answer. I can see it, though between him and Chamberlain and even Nick Swisher appearing here, I wonder if the players were interpreting the question as “who gets more media coverage than they really warrant” as opposed to how overrated their skills are. A-Rod and Swisher are both good, but probably get too much attention. I don’t know that anyone really overrates their value as players.

Surprised to see both Matthews and Drew in the top five too. If anything I think Drew is underrated, with people slamming him (wrongfully, I think) for his perceived lack of effort or malingering while underselling his contributions on the field. You’d think that, if anything, Drew would fare better when other players rated him than media people and fans, but I guess not.  As for Matthews: does anyone actually consider him decent at all to justify a claim that he’s overrated?

Eh, just a poll so who cares, but kind of curious anyway.

Rougned Odor didn’t technically steal home, but he basically did

MLB.com
1 Comment

Just saw this from last night’s Tigers-Rangers game. It was pretty wild.

Rougned Odor walked in the seventh inning. He broke for second on a steal and was safe due to the throw going wild, allowing him to reach third base. The Tigers called on reliever Daniel Stumpf and he was effective in retiring the next two batters, leaving Odor on third with two out.

Stumpf, a lefty, was paying no attention whatsoever to Odor, so Odor just took off for home, attempting a straight steal. Stumpf was so surprised that he tried to throw home to nail Odor, and in so doing, he balked. That technically means that Odor scored on the balk, but I think it’s safe to say he would’ve scored on the strait steal regardless. Watch:

 

He definitely gets points for style.

 

Aroldis Chapman is pitching himself out of a job

Getty Images
7 Comments

Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman looked shaky again last night, coming in to the game with a three-run lead before allowing a two-run homer to the Mets’ Amed Rosario. He would nail down the save eventually, giving Sonny Gray his first win as a Yankee, but Chapman’s struggles were the talk of the game afterward.

It was the third appearance in a row in which Chapman has given up at least one run, allowing five runs on three hits — two of them homers — and walking four in his last three and a third innings pitched. He’s also hit a batter. That’s just the most acute portion of a long slide, however. He posted a 0.79 ERA in his first 12 appearances this year, before getting shelled twice and then going on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, missing over a month. Since returning he’s allowed 12 runs — ten earned — in 23 appearances, breaking out to a 4.09 ERA. He’s also walked ten batters in that time. At present, his strikeout rate is the worst he’s featured since 2010. His walk rate is up and he’s allowing more hits per nine innings than he ever has.

It’s possible that he’s still suffering from shoulder problems. Whether or not that’s an issue, he looks to have a new health concern as he appeared to tweak his hamstring on the game’s final play last night when he ran over to cover first base. Chapman told reporters after the game that “it’s nothing to worry about,” and Joe Girardi said that Chapman would not undergo an MRI or anything, but he was clearly grimacing as he came off the mound and it’s something worth watching.

Also worth watching: Dellin Betances and David Robertson, Chapman’s setup men who have each shined as Yankees closers in the past and who may very soon find themselves closing once again if Chapman can’t figure it out. And Chapman seems to know it. He was asked if he still deserves to be the closer after the game. His answer:

“My job is to be ready to pitch everyday. As far as where I pitch, that’s not up to me. If at some point they need to remove me from the closer’s position, I’m always going to be ready to pitch.”

That’s a team-first answer, and for that Chapman should be lauded. But it’s also one that suggests Chapman himself knows he’s going to be out of a closer’s job soon if he doesn’t turn things around.