Here's Friday's edition of Saber-LInks:
Jeffery Gross of the Hardball Times argues that maybe Alfonso Soriano isn't overpaid: Alfonso Soriano is not overpaid--THT
Factoring in the value of free agency-purchased wins to a playoff contender, we see that Soriano has actually produced slightly positive value for the team. By these calculations, Soriano has been worth a little over $5 million in surplus value to the Cubs to date.
Eric Seidman of FanGraphs takes a deeper look into Ubaldo Jimenez' decline: What’s the Deal With Ubaldo? | FanGraphs Baseball
Jimenez also has the 5th-lowest SwStr% in the league and the lowest rate of throwing first strikes. He isn’t just below average in these areas. He’s essentially the very worst in the American League. And it isn’t as cut-and-dried as assuming his struggles are related to the league switch, because his numbers (K%, BB%, GB%, SIERA) over 11 starts with the 2011 Indians were almost identical to those before the trade.
Max Marchi of Baseball Prospectus discussions some strategic questions for the stretch run, and interesting proposal is catching defensive replacement who is good at framing: Baseball Prospectus | The Stats Go Marching In: Four Questions for the Stretch Run
That particular play made me wonder what we should expect from a good framer entering the game in the ninth. Will he fool the umpire even more because the man in blue has not had the time to catch on to his tricks? Or does framing involve a long process of earning the umpire’s trust as the game goes on?
John Dewan of Bill James Online looks into some of best baserunners of the last decade: The Decade's Best Baserunners | Articles | Bill James Online
Among active players with a minimum of 1,000 games played, Ichiro Suzuki leads the way with +371 Net Gain, which is the cumulative total of all gains minus penalties in his career. As a frame of reference, think of it this way: a baserunner gets one "gain point" for each extra base taken, and loses about three "gain points" for each out on the basepaths.
Saber-Links will return on Monday. Everyone enjoy this weekend's slate of baseball