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.

Tigers sign Josh Thole to minors deal

Josh Thole
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The Tigers signed catcher Josh Thole to a minor league deal, per an announcement from the Double-A Erie SeaWolves on Friday. Thole is expected to report to Double-A Erie, where he’ll split time with starting catcher Jake Rogers.

Thole, 31, has not appeared in a major or minor league game since 2016. He signed a minors deal with the Diamondbacks back in 2017, but was sidelined through most of the season after undergoing hamstring surgery in April. He was released by the team during spring training and failed to catch on with another major league club through the first two months of the 2018 season.

While the veteran backstop hasn’t tested his skills in pro ball for several years now, he held his own during a short-lived run with the independent New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League. Over 17 games in 2018, Thole batted .317/.425/.367 with three extra-base hits and a .791 OPS in 75 plate appearances. He’s expected to serve as catching depth within the Tigers’ organization, but may yet work his way back to the majors if he can get his average back over the Mendoza Line again — a feat he hasn’t managed since 2015.