Pittsburgh Pirates v Philadelphia Phillies

Phillies front office: “Sabermetrics? We don’t need no stinkin’ sabermetrics!”

35 Comments

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.

Report: Rockies want a “front-of-rotation-type pitcher” through trade

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 29:  Chris Archer #22 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at U.S. Cellular Field on September 29, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
Jon Durr/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Rockies are looking for a “front-of-rotation-type pitcher,” per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. He notes that the club is also in on free agent slugger Mark Trumbo.

Starting pitching has not been the Rockies’ strong suit in recent years. The club had baseball’s fifth-worst rotation ERA in baseball this past season at 4.79. It’s tough to entice big-name free agent pitchers to pitch given how their stats are adversely affected by the hitter-friendly nature of Coors Field. Trading would be one way around that.

Though Chris Sale is off the board, the Rockies could still try to pry Chris Archer from the Rays or Jose Quintana from the White Sox.

As presently constructed, the Rockies’ rotation includes Chad Bettis, Tyler Chatwood, Jon Gray, Tyler Anderson, and German Marquez.

Matt Holliday’s contract with Yankees allows him to block a trade to one team

ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 10:  Matt Holliday #7 of the St. Louis Cardinals follows through on a swing during a baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the St. Louis Cardinals at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 10, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 8-1.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
3 Comments

SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo passes along an interesting piece of information. New Yankees OF/DH Matt Holliday has a no-trade clause in his contract that allows him to block a trade to exactly one team: the Athletics.

Holliday was briefly a member of the A’s back in 2009. He had a decent two months in Oakland, so it isn’t as if he feels he couldn’t produce there. However, the A’s do play their home games at Oakland Alameda Coliseum, which is the fifth-oldest stadium in baseball, having opened in 1966. You may recall that the Coliseum has had some issues recently. Three years ago, the coaches’ bathroom overflowed with sewage and sewage also came out of faucets. Earlier this year, there were more plumbing issues as the Yankees’ clubhouse toilet was backed up and water overflowed into the dugout. It’s understandable why Holliday might not want to play half his games there.