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(Columbus Free Press)   Carlos Pena blanks Tampa Bay Rays... or something like that   (sportschump.net) divider line 25
    More: Ironic, Tampa Bay Rays, sports betting  
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1314 clicks; posted to Sports » on 17 Aug 2012 at 10:40 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-17 10:49:30 AM  
Advisory: This comment tally reflects how little Fark cares about baseball. (It ain't just the Rays.)
 
2012-08-17 10:50:42 AM  

Wingchild: Advisory: This comment tally reflects how little Fark cares about baseball. (It ain't just the Rays.)


Aren't you just precious?
 
2012-08-17 10:51:40 AM  
Ok, I give up. Who is the admin who loves Carlos Pena articles so much?

Also, way to copy the headline straight from the article.
 
2012-08-17 11:00:54 AM  
Here, crazy Pena-article-loving-admin, I'll throw you a bone and actually talk about your stupid topic:

Carlos Pena's OBP would be second on the Mariners. 5th, if we count pitchers.
 
2012-08-17 11:28:58 AM  

DeWayne Mann: Ok, I give up. Who is the admin who loves Carlos Pena articles so much?

Also, way to copy the headline straight from the article.


As soon as I saw this link, I assumed you followed through on submitting every baseball article you could find.
 
2012-08-17 11:33:37 AM  

Droog8912: DeWayne Mann: Ok, I give up. Who is the admin who loves Carlos Pena articles so much?

Also, way to copy the headline straight from the article.

As soon as I saw this link, I assumed you followed through on submitting every baseball article you could find.


Even if I did, I wouldn't have submitted a followup to that one. Why would I read a followup?

But now I know that I should've....
 
2012-08-17 11:51:10 AM  
Sweet!

Is that all I need to do to get another piece picked up by Fark? Write an article about Pena.

Note to self.
 
2012-08-17 11:51:16 AM  

DeWayne Mann:
Even if I did, I wouldn't have submitted a followup to that one. Why would I read a followup?
But now I know that I should've....


Just go for, submit Carlos Pena's Baseball-Reference and Baseball Prospectus pages along with a non-sensical headline mentioning his name and see what happens.

Anyone complaining about Carlos "I'm trying to hit it to the moon" Pena at this needs to just stop watching baseball; everyone knows what he is.
 
2012-08-17 11:53:26 AM  
I think Carlos Pena is this year's Adam Dunn
 
2012-08-17 11:55:42 AM  

SportsChump: Sweet!

Is that all I need to do to get another piece picked up by Fark? Write an article about Pena.

Note to self.


Droog8912: DeWayne Mann:
Even if I did, I wouldn't have submitted a followup to that one. Why would I read a followup?
But now I know that I should've....

Just go for, submit Carlos Pena's Baseball-Reference and Baseball Prospectus pages along with a non-sensical headline mentioning his name and see what happens.

Anyone complaining about Carlos "I'm trying to hit it to the moon" Pena at this needs to just stop watching baseball; everyone knows what he is.


Hold on, I've made an incredibly important discovery. I thought about submitting his wikipedia article. Turns out...the Carlos Pena loving admin might just be a 12 year old girl.

Exhibit A: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Pena,_Jr.
 
2012-08-17 11:57:07 AM  
I was surprised to discover that he is 2nd in the AL in walks... I don't get it. He can't hit... why are all these AL pitchers walking him so much?
 
2012-08-17 11:58:43 AM  
Here's the thing people who don't watch the Rays don't realize, every team shifts against him and he lines a sure double into the shift once every game..... Stats can be very deceiving

Btw one of the real nice guys in the league what's with all the Pena hate?
 
2012-08-17 11:59:15 AM  

The Bestest: I think Carlos Pena is this year's Adam Dunn


Except he's having a significantly better season. Not only is he a better hitter than 2011Dunn, but thanks to his defense, I'd say he's a borderline average 1B, value-wise.
 
2012-08-17 12:07:12 PM  

mkarver: I was surprised to discover that he is 2nd in the AL in walks... I don't get it. He can't hit... why are all these AL pitchers walking him so much?


The Rays' organizational approach is to be as patient as possible and rely on capitalizing on the opposing pitcher having iffy control to generate baserunners via the walk. They do this because they can't afford actual good hitters, so a good approach is necessary. The result being they lead the majors in unintentional walks while having the 2nd fewest hits (913 to the A's 911).

/The other result being that they turn into helpless kittens against good pitchers with control as happened on Wednesday.
 
2012-08-17 12:08:25 PM  

zac1722: Here's the thing people who don't watch the Rays don't realize, every team shifts against him and he lines a sure double into the shift once every game..... Stats can be very deceiving

Btw one of the real nice guys in the league what's with all the Pena hate?


I don't think anyone on fark hates him; two pointless Pena articles were greenlit within 24 hours. Idiot sportscasters are trying to turn him into the cause of the Rays not winning the division. A quick glance at his stats would probably indicate to anyone that he is a swing-for-the-fences pull hitter who strikes out alot and can't adjust to the subsequent shift. He gets alot of walks because pitchers try to pitch around him and not leave a meatball over the plate. That's been his MO as far back as I remember.
 
2012-08-17 12:09:15 PM  

mkarver: I was surprised to discover that he is 2nd in the AL in walks... I don't get it. He can't hit... why are all these AL pitchers walking him so much?


Pena has some of the weirdest plate discipline I've ever seen, so I imagine the scouting reports on him are kinda insane. He doesn't swing at balls...but in the rare case he does, he doesn't make contact. And he demolishes fastballs in the zone.

So there's an argument that you should throw him a lot of borderline off-speed pitches, but, well...that can go wrong very easily.

zac1722: Here's the thing people who don't watch the Rays don't realize, every team shifts against him and he lines a sure double into the shift once every game..... Stats can be very deceiving


Yeah, he's actually hitting more LDs this season than he has in the last decade or so.

Some stats can be deceiving...others, less so.
 
2012-08-17 12:12:09 PM  
Pena's currently hitting .192, a minor step down from his 2010 numbers in Tampa when he hit .196.

Mario Mendoza would be proud.http://www.fark.com/comments/7273248/78776999#b
 
2012-08-17 01:03:27 PM  
It wasn't long ago I sorta-jokingly brought up how Ben Zobrist is the most faceless, ignored "good player" in all of baseball.

In one week, we've now had multiple threads on his teammate, Carlos Pena. Carlos. Pena.
 
2012-08-17 01:28:51 PM  

Killer Cars: It wasn't long ago I sorta-jokingly brought up how Ben Zobrist is the most faceless, ignored "good player" in all of baseball.

In one week, we've now had multiple threads on his teammate, Carlos Pena. Carlos. Pena.


Ben Zobrist isn't just good, he's great.

fWar Leaderboard since 2009:

1. Pujols 24.2
2. Mi. Cabrera 23.9
3. Votto 23.7
4. Zobrist 23.1
5. Braun 22.7
6. Longoria 22.1
7. Holliday 21.9
8. Cano 21.8
9. A. Gonzalez 20.8
10. Bautista 20.4

Not bad for a throw-in to the Mitch Talbot-Aubrey Huff trade.
 
2012-08-17 01:29:17 PM  
Good point, KC.

Zobrist is probably their most consistent offensive player, a healthy Longoria excluded.
 
2012-08-17 02:11:29 PM  

mkarver: I was surprised to discover that he is 2nd in the AL in walks... I don't get it. He can't hit... why are all these AL pitchers walking him so much?


He has pretty good plate discipline and very good pitch recognition. Pitchers aren't necessarily walking him, he's just not swinging at their outside pitches. He's not all that great at making contact with pitches in the strike zone, though, even if they're basically the only ones at which he swings. But when he makes contact, he often has quite a lot of power, so he also sees fewer strikes than many of his teammates. In other words, he walks a lot for a few reasons.

zac1722: Here's the thing people who don't watch the Rays don't realize, every team shifts against him and he lines a sure double into the shift once every game..... Stats can be very deceiving


While I think I agree with you in principle, I disagree in this specific (if I'm reading you right-- I read your comment as a defense of him, but I suppose it could as easily be a denouncement... Anyway, I'm using this positive reading of your comment to argue against an idea that I freely realise you might not hold, but have heard expressed in other fora; in other words, don't take this personally): it doesn't count as a sure double if he hits it into a shift and fails to get on base. Successful hitters learn to hit the ball through, over, or against the shifts they face. You can tell when, for example, David Ortiz is hitting well because he looks out at the shift between second and first and then drops the ball into left field. Or he bunts down the 3B line, in extreme cases. Good players adapt.

The stats here say that Pena is hitting .192 this year, which is down from previous years (only slightly, in the case of 2010, but still down), and his SLG has been in decline. He's never been a high-average hitter (lifetime .235), but 2 years below the Mendoza line (2012 and 2010, each for the Rays) would be pushing his luck, even if he is known as a high-leverage hitter. He's also 34 years old, near the common age of decline. If the shift is really what's killing him on the field, then his future in the Majors is in doubt unless he can work around it.

If a slugger can't hit curveballs, so every pitcher only uses the curveball as his out-pitch, then that's not a case of deceptive stats ("But he hits fastballs so well!"), it's a case of teams adapting to a good player's weaknesses better than he can adapt to their adaptations.  The same goes for a pull-hitting lefty who can't work around a shift.
 
2012-08-17 03:21:34 PM  
You know, I've seen so many shifts over these last two years. It seems like it's become more and more common, perhaps due to the advances in computer analysis (e.g. spray charts). I sometimes wonder if guys who were considered awesome hitters 15 years ago would end up being Adam Dunn if put in today's MLB. How much would, say, Jim Thome's average have suffered if shifts were employed as frequently as they are today?
 
2012-08-17 04:03:59 PM  

lacydog: You know, I've seen so many shifts over these last two years. It seems like it's become more and more common, perhaps due to the advances in computer analysis (e.g. spray charts). I sometimes wonder if guys who were considered awesome hitters 15 years ago would end up being Adam Dunn if put in today's MLB. How much would, say, Jim Thome's average have suffered if shifts were employed as frequently as they are today?


Consider that the baseball infield is basically already shifted against right-handed hitters-- the traditional "shift" basically takes the third baseman and moves him to shortstop while pushing the other infielders closer to the RF foul line than they'd normally play. Or teams just move their shortstop to 2B and their second baseman to a spot partway between first and second, pulling the 3B only slightly away from his foul line. Either way, the shift essentially creates a right-field shortstop.

In other words, every right-handed hitter already hits into a defensive alignment equivalent to a shift. For years (though not many, given that the first shift was used against Cy Williams in the '20s), lefties had an advantage because they pulled balls into the right side of the field, where there are fewer fielders. Shifts try to offset that. So while pondering how many players have been robbed by shifts, remember that: a) shifts have been used, off and on, for 90-odd years; b) they only level the playing field, so to speak, for lefties; and c) Lou Boudreau, who instituted the first well-known modern shift against Ted Williams in 1946 (which was picked up by Eddie Dyer in the WS that year), considered it more of a psychological advantage than a tactical one-- he basically figured that lefties believed they had a natural advantage, so visibly negating that advantage might make them less cocky.

Again, good hitters can adapt to shifts, so overuse is as bad as underuse. As Barry Bonds showed, no shift can help when a batter can hit over or around it.
 
2012-08-17 04:25:20 PM  

xpisblack: Consider that the baseball infield is basically already shifted against right-handed hitters


Joe Maddon disagrees
 
2012-08-17 05:32:07 PM  

DeWayne Mann: Joe Maddon disagrees


No, Joe Maddon is just more of an extremist. Why only kill when you can overkill?

Again, shifting gives a psychological advantage, so ridiculous shifts are meant to get into opposing players' heads and distract them from their games. He positioned his defense in order best to replace NYA hits with outs. He used every advantage he could imagine, including overemphasising the existing advantage of the shortstop when facing some RHHs.

That article agrees with me and I with Maddon-- the defense should be positioned in the best positions possible based on each batter's tendencies against that sort of pitcher (assuming that sort of information is available). He took an existing RH "shift" (SS between 2B and 3B) and made it more pronounced. That's good strategy and good psychological warfare. And it worked in that series-- over time, its efficacy may wane.
 
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