What in the hell are “OPSBIs”?

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Fact: two Major League Baseball teams gave Jim Bowden the keys to the entirety of their baseball operations.  Just thought you should remember that when you read one of the ways in which he likes to evaluate players:

I get asked all the time which two or three common statistics I would pick to evaluate a team or players. My quick answer would be the following:

1. For a team: Run differential
2. For a hitter: OPS + RBIs, or OPSBIs
3. For a pitcher: ERA, WHIP, SO

Yeah, it’s number two that stands out.  He says “OPS + RBIs gives me a general feel for the level of player.”  Setting aside why, from a hardcore statistical point of view, combining those stats makes no sense (it’s beyond apples and oranges; it’s in the realm of apples and nickel-metal hydride batteries), I’m struggling to thing what such a metric would even tell Bowden.  Yes, when you add up those numbers you get a list of good players.  But there are a lot of numbers that will do that for you while telling yourself something else useful too, which this does not.

And, thinking more broadly, if a man with decades of player development experience needs some complicated number to give him “a general feel for the level of player,” than there are much bigger problems afoot.

Yankees re-sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

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The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.

Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.

Orioles acquire Alec Asher from the Phillies

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The Phillies announced on Tuesday that the club traded pitcher Alec Asher to the Orioles for a player to be named later.

Asher, 25, was the victim of a roster crunch. He was not going to make the 25-man roster and the starting rotation at Triple-A Lehigh Valley was already full. The Phillies acquired him from the Rangers in the July 2015 Cole Hamels trade.

Asher had good results in 27 2/3 innings in the big leagues last year, posting a 2.28 ERA with a 13/4 K/BB ratio. While it didn’t show in those stats, the right-hander sometimes struggles with command and he doesn’t miss bats often enough to make up for it. The Orioles, however, are happy to add some pitching depth.