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Playoffs/Awards Roundtable Part II

Here is the second part of the playoffs and awards roundtable featuring myself, Dan Scotto, Sal B, and Dan Lucero of Up in the Rockies. Enjoy!

Marc Normandin: Who do we like for NL MVP?

Sal B: Pujols.

Dan Lucero: Pujols.

Marc Normandin: Pujols over Lee hmm?

Dan Scotto: I've still got lee, but that gap is closing fast

Marc Normandin: According to NRAA Derrek Lee is still a minor deity this year, and since I helped create it, I should probably agree with it. Richard Wade had said something about Lee at over 50 NRAA and Pujols over 40, and no one else close.

Dan Lucero: Cubbies could have finished fifth without D-Lee. Pujols is a monster - he wasn't going to win one with Bonds around although he's been deserving every year of his career. Now Bonds is out of the way, and Pujols is still a monster. He wins.

Dan Scotto: I think they could've finished 6th. I'd have no problem with Pujols winning it or voting for Pujols.

Sal B: Ha ha. Well, I guess Value-wise Lee wins it...I just don't see the voters going with Derrek Lee over Pujols.

Marc Normandin: I think Dan's idea of the Oscars will come into play for Pujols. By the way, 11.6 WARP3 for Lee, Pujols is only at 9.6 WARP3.

Dan Scotto: Yeah, I do too

Sal B: Imagine that: pujols getting a lifetime acheivement award at the ender age of 25. Getting back to the AL West real quick...hate to be be Devil's advocate, but is anyone concerned about Harden's injury?

Dan Lucero: very - I think he's the difference for that team, but I'm hearing that he'll be fine so it may not be a huge deal

Dan Scotto: Not all that much for the season... one of the reasons I liked the A's so much going into this season was how deep they were in terms of guys who could slot into the rotation, bullpen and DH/1B. Saarloos, Johnson, Cruz...

Sal B: That's true, I suppose. I'm just waiting for Joe Kennedy to turn into a pumpkin

Marc Normandin: Sal my friend

Sal B: Uh oh. Gonna get a lecture

Marc Normandin: Joe Kennedy is a very good pitcher

Dan Scotto: Somehow, Kennedy had something like a 158 ERA+ last year.... I don't know how the hell he did it, but he did.

Dan Lucero: you'll never convince me, Marc. I watched Kennedy stink it up the first half of this year - I think he's a lot closer to THAT guy than he is to the guy he was in 04. He's just got no consistency in his mechanics - which, by the way, are horrendous. If he can stay away from the one big inning, he's a capable starter, but he's not somebody I want to hand the ball to in the playoffs.

Marc Normandin:
Kennedy is capable of being a pretty good pitcher, and with all that foul ground in Oakland you have to like his chances even more. His mechanics are supposedly back on track... its him or Seth Etherton

Sal B: I guess we'll find out, won't we? But w/o Harden, I've got to give the Angels the upperhnad. Even though the A's have a better offense. They are still liable to be shutout in any given game.  They have been shutout 11 times this year!

Marc Normandin: NL Jackie Robinson Award

Sal B: Can we just give ROY to the Braves and ask them to split it up nicely?

Marc Normandin: I wrote an article about the Braves approach with rookies for Minor League News, but alas it has not yet been published

Dan Scotto: I'm going to bring up surprise pitcher Robinson Tejeda, just to throw the name around. Tejeda's had a really good year as the Phils' spot starter... Francoeur has been great... but I don't know about giving the award to someone who didn't play at least half a season. I don't know why that bothers me

Dan Lucero: Atkins is having a nice year (if you don't look at the road splits), but Francouer is a modern-day Hurricane Hazle.

Marc Normandin: After Francouer its still Barmes second in VORP among hitters, then Ryan Church and Rickie Weeks. 23.4 VORP in 175 PA is hard to ignore though

Dan Lucero: I'm with you, Dan.

Dan Scotto: Yeah, he's been fantastic...if he does it again in September, as well as he's played I think it's got to go to him. But if he slips a bit...

Dan Lucero: Francouer has been spectacular but he's only done it for two months, I'm with you on this.

Marc Normandin: Has anyone seen his defense either? 110 Rate2 in the OF. We'd be talking MVP if this were a full season, because he'd be better or as good as Lee. He does need to walk more, but I don't think its going to be as detrimental as some believe. I'll take a .319 EqA with a 110 Rate2 anyday.

Dan Lucero: We're looking at the birth of, at least, a very good player

Dan Scotto: I don't know how good he'll be, but Francoeur is the reason why, sometimes, tools are worthwhile, because for a guy with a .322 OBP in AA to do this now is unthinkable.

Marc Normandin: I'm not sure if he is Vlad version 2.0, but he is definitely going to be a fixture in that lienup. He might have a tough 2006 but I expect 2007 and beyond to be very good. A tough 2006 is just a feeling I'm having, but now I sound like Grady Little

Dan Scotto: I don't to me in a month about Francoeur. it's tough to imagine a guy who doesn't walk at all not having any holes. That can be exploited initially.

Marc Normandin: Which is why I expect a tough 2006 with adjustments by young Jeffrey in 2007.

Marc Normandin: Now for the big one, NL Cy Young Award. This is a 3 man discussion:  Clemens, Carpenter or Willis.

Dan Scotto: I've been wrestling with this one a lot. A couple of things...Clemens won last year mainly because of his W/L, right? As opposed to Johnson, whose record was inferior.

Dan Scotto: I hate the fact that this award is usually determined by wins. You wouldn't have found a bigger Randy Johnson supporter for this award last year than me. That being said... Chris Carpenter is 20-4. that's remarkable.

Marc Normandin: read that comment Scotto. We have our reasoning. Which effectively knocks Willis out from the discussion, and leaves it at Carpenter and Clemens. Wins versus peripherals...except Carp not as far behind as Clemens seems to be behind Carpenter.

Dan Scotto: Huh, that makes sense. Carpenter hasn't just won games.

Dan Lucero: I'm not willing to dismiss Willis just yet - if he pitches FLA into the playoffs he's going to get a lot of consideration. But still... Chris Carpenter is the clear-cut ace on the league's best team. he's 20-4, and those aren't a flukey 20 wins either - he's been dominant. What Clemens has done at his age is awe-inspiring, but Carpenter is the Cy Young

Marc Normandin: I'm not dismissing him, but as of this morning it looked like he was immediately behind in 0.1 WARP behind. Clemens is ahead in VORP.

Dan Scotto: Quality starts: Carpenter: 93% QS; Clemens is at 86%

Marc Normandin: Clemens is ahead in PRAR and PRAA though, and he has even less decisions. Carpenter actually looks like the better pitcher, and Clemens appears to be aided by BABIP.

Dan Lucero: The gap in periphs is much closer than we all would have thought

Dan Scotto: Carpenter's thrown 24.2 more innings in the same amount of starts. Clemens is better in DIPS ERA, but it's really close.

Sal B: Doesn't VORP supposedly accounts for fewer innings pitched by replacing them with a "replacement pitcher." Whatever innings Clemens doesn't pitch are replaced by a 4A journeyman pitcher.

Dan Scotto: I think that there are other stats for pitchers which are just as good. The only time I use pitching VORP is when someone has a higher pitching VORP than any hitters.  Johan Santana - 88.8 VORP in 2004. Vlad Guerrero was at 88.6. To me, that's worth looking at, but there are other stats for pitchers.

Marc Normandin: So this is an unanswerable question until October 1st?

Dan Lucero: I don't think so. I think Carpenter is the guy.

Marc 32155: I feel like Carpenter is the guy as well, but I can't shake the WARP difference between him and Clemens, even if it is partially Carpenter's paltry offense that is to blame for it. He's 1.7 behind, and that cannot all be because of his poor hitting.

Dan Scotto: If Carpenter keeps this up, I think that he is the guy. The IP are the sway for me. 73 extra outs. That's a LOT more outs, and outs are the currency. If clemens had gone 73 more outs, maybe his record is a bit better...

Sal B: I would go with Carpenter.  I really value innings as a measure for a good pitcher... Well put Dan.

Marc Normandin: I think that is going to do it for me as well. He could finish at/over 230. We have a winner.