Bolstering Piazza’s primary JAWS case are his secondary numbers, which confirm the oft-repeated claim that he’s the best-hitting catcher of all time. Piazza’s .311 EqA [Equivalent Average] is the all-time high for the position. No Hall of Fame catcher has an EqA above .300, though there are several in the .295-.299 range and the positional average is a robust .289. The highest EqA for a catcher not in the Hall of Fame is sabermetric hero Gene Tenace at .308 (ayyy Gino!), while the highest active marks coming into 2008 were held by Joe Mauer (.305) and Jorge Posada (.300).Piazza also holds the record for home runs as a catcher, hitting 396 of his shots while playing that position. His fielding is another story; at -149 runs, he's the worst-fielding catcher ever, which prevents him from topping the JAWS list at his position. Had he taken the time to learn first base in his later years, he might have had a shot at 500 homers, but as it is, he's still got enough of the good stuff for the Hall of Fame.
Furthermore, Piazza’s 472 Batting Runs Above Average is light years ahead of the rest of the backstop pack. No Hall of Fame catcher has more than Johnny Bench’s 325 BRAA. Joe Torre, at 396, is the only hitter between Bench and Piazza, and while he played a plurality of his games at catcher (893) and this is classified as such in our system, the majority of his time was actually split between the infield corners (793 at first base, 515 at third). Torre’s got a lifetime .298 EqA as well.
scareduck (Still closer to Angel Stadium than Chavez Ravine): Three questions: 1) For my Cubs lovin' wife, are the Northsiders for real? They've done well so far, but what are their big questions down the stretch? 2) Is there any light at the end of the Andruw Jones tunnel, or is that the sound of a diesel locomotive? 3) Joe Torre: great manager, or *greatest* manager? Seriously, look at Friday's Dodgers lineup: how could he expect to win?That's Rob McMillan in the top spot above, operator of the Dodgers- and Angels-themed 6-4-2 blog, which is one of my daily reads, incidentally. Anyway, I had some great chat questions left over, enough that I may repurpose some of them into my next Hit and Run column. Like a good chef, I do my best use the whole part of the beast.
JJ: Cubs: for real. Their run differential is the best in all of baseball by a wide margin, and I don't see any of the other NL Central teams being able to hang with them. I think the big questions are whether Rich Hill rediscovers his control and returns to the rotation, and whether Kerry Wood can hold up as the team's closer. Barring injuries, I think they'll be OK, and even with those injuries, they have a bit of depth to either cover from within or make a trade to help themselves out.
Andruw: lots of questions about him today. The upside of his injury is that it may explain some of his struggles, it may force him to get back in shape as he rehabs, and it will give Dodger fans a bit of relief when it comes to the daily drama of the outfield lineup.
Torre: Furcal being hurt certainly takes a bite out of that lineup. But really, Torre's going to have to get over this Russell Martin-at-3B fetish, even though it's only been a total of 37 innings he's played there. It's fine to give him a breather now and then, but when you're stealing at-bats from DeWitt or LaRoche to give them to Gary Bennett, something is definitely wrong.
jlebeck66 (WI): Dodgers. DeWitt. LaRoche. How's this gonna end? Did LaRoche anger a deity or something?
JJ: Sticking with this topic for a moment, I'm as big a LaRoche booster as you'll find, but DeWitt is knocking the stuffing out of the ball. I don't expect that to continue unabated, but there's no sense in sitting him down right now.
From a long-term standpoint, it's a nice problem to have. I'd hate to see them trade LaRoche, but I don't think they necessarily have to. I wonder whether the Dodgers would consider revisiting the DeWitt-to-second experiment that they tried in 2006, when the kid was at Vero Beach. With Jeff Kent clearly showing his age and Tony Abreu apparently joining the Federal Witness Protection program, that may be a palatable option.
Joe (Tewksbury, MA): Why do I keep reading about how much trouble the Yankees are in? Hasn't this been the story for three years running now? Slow start, fast finish. Do you see anything to make you think this year will be different from 2005-2007?
JJ: Yes. Everybody in the lineup, including Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada is a year older, and with the exception of Melky Cabrera and Robinson Cano, they're a year further away from their statistical primes, to say nothing about the fact that Cano looks pretty lost right now. The bench is weak even for a team that's done poorly in that area in the recent past. Seriously, I'd take Chili Davis, Darryl Strawberry, Luis Sojo and Ron Coomer circa 2008 over some of the stiffs they have lying around.
There's that, plus a weak pitching staff where the back of the rotation has been a thorough disaster thus far and the bullpen situation is considered so fragile that there's actually a question about whether they'll move Joba Chamberlain to a starting role this year. Add to that the fact that the AL East has gotten tougher and I think there's no longer any guarantee that the Yankees will contend, let alone win the division.
The other thing in play is the new manager. Through the early season debacles of the last few years, Torre was able to absorb the front office's slings and arrows and still give off a sense of calm confidence that things would eventually turn around. Girardi is protected from the barbs of Hank Steinbrenner at the moment -- his focus appears to be on forcing Brian Cashman out -- but Little Joe is the kind of guy who seems more likely to go Billy Martin bonkers as things get worse, and I don't think that's going to help.
June 2001 July 2001 August 2001 September 2001 October 2001 November 2001 December 2001 January 2002 February 2002 March 2002 April 2002 May 2002 June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002 January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]