That may not be an exact quote. And really isn’t anything close to what the Phillies people said in the article. I just like “Treasure of the Sierra Madre” and try to use that construction whenever possible.
But Bob Brookover of the Philly Inquirer does write today about how Ruben Amaro and his team aren’t as taken with statheaddy concerns as a lot of other teams:
WAR – wins above replacement. What is it good for?
The Phillies will not tell you “absolutely nothing,” but when it comes to evaluating talent, they are much more inclined to rely on human eyes than sabermetric calculations.
“We do utilize some of the information,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said during a recent workout at the Carpenter Complex. “There are times when I think maybe we should use it some more, but, frankly, I have a great deal of confidence in the people that we have hired to help us make some of the scouting and personnel decisions. I err on that side probably because I believe in our people.”
Brookover goes on to quote the Phillies’ analytics people who say that they use some stuff and not others and that their biggest use for some of the advanced metrics is to try to figure out how other teams — who do use them a lot — might value a given player.
Interesting enough, but the whole “stats or no stats” thing is so very ten years ago. Every team uses stats in some capacity and every team relies on traditional or more advanced eye-witness scouting techniques too. Indeed, you can read the quotes from Amaro and the other people to mean “we don’t use WAR because, dude, we have our own proprietary analytics that are way better than that.” Which most teams do.
The binary stats vs. scouts thing in front offices basically doesn’t exist anymore. Teams have different ways to skin the player development cat, but none of them take some stubborn position that certain types of knives shouldn’t be used.
The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reports that Athletics’ right-hander Sonny Gray will not pitch in the World Baseball Classic after failing to meet the necessary criteria for insurance coverage. He missed 70 days on the disabled list with forearm tightness and a back strain in 2016.
According to Oakland GM David Forst, Major League Baseball tried to persuade the insurance carrier to waive the requirements for Gray to pitch for Team USA, but the request was ultimately refused. Without coverage, Gray will be unable to participate in the competition, though Forst adds that the 27-year-old is still in perfect health as Opening Day approaches and should benefit from a slower spring training schedule without the added commitment on his plate.
Injuries complicated a down year for Gray, who pitched to a career-worst 5.69 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 7.2 SO/9 rate through 117 innings in 2016. His 1.4 HR/9 and 17.8% HR/FB rates suggested that he felt the effects of the home run spike more than most, capping a disappointing follow-up to his All-Star campaign during 2015.
While Gray works up to a healthy and productive start to the 2017 season, the Athletics will still see two players on WBC rosters next month: right-handed reliever Santiago Casilla, who is scheduled to pitch for the Dominican Republic, and fellow righty John Axford, for Team Canada.
Rangers’ outfielder Josh Hamilton is scheduled for another knee exam on Monday, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Hamilton left camp last week after feeling some pain in his left knee and received a PRP injection to alleviate the symptoms. Wilson notes that both Dr. Walt Lowe and Rangers’ assistant general manager Mike Daly noticed little improvement in the days following the injection.
More drastic measures could be necessary if the 35-year-old intends to return to the field this year. MLB.com’s TR Sullivan adds that the Rangers are considering arthroscopic surgery for Hamilton, which would set him back at least 4-6 weeks and eliminate any real chance of his making the Opening Day roster in April. Until they see the results of the surgery, however, the Rangers won’t rule out Hamilton’s potential return to the big leagues in 2017.
Hamilton is looking at his third major procedure since the end of the 2015 season. He missed all of the Rangers’ 2016 campaign after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery last spring and has not seen a full workload in the majors since his 2013 run with the Angels. Should he make a full recovery this season, he figures to see some time at first base/DH or the corner outfield.