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Topics I've Started
21 September 2015 - 07:07 PMOn this board, we argue about Ray Searage, because worshipping him is what OBN would do. I don't think there are any Searage haters, but some people point to pitchers he failed with to argue that he's not as good as the rest of the world thinks. It's true that he's not 100%. There's no reasonable argument that he did something to improve, say, Jonathan Sanchez. However, there are four pitchers commonly listed among his failures that I don't think are actually failures on his part:
1. Radhames Liz
Radhames Liz still sucks. That question has been settled. But a couple weeks ago, there was some doubt as to whether he still sucks, or whether he doesn't suck anymore, and the truth is in the middle. Radhames Liz sucks, but quite a bit less than he used to. In 2009, Liz was given half a season's worth of starts and had a 6.72 ERA. Those aren't just bad numbers. Those numbers make a guy a legitimate candidate for worst player in baseball. This year, his BB/9 and K/9 are both significantly improved, and his 4.22 ERA is more like a garden variety AAAA guy than the worst player in baseball. The fact that he was pitching in extra innings during a pennant race is a little disconcerting, but it's also not Searage's fault. Used in his proper role as a guy who gets called up to pitch mop-up innings, he wouldn't be out of place. Obviously, that's a role with negligible value, but negligible value is a hell of a lot better than negative value.
2. Charlie Morton
Charlie Morton also sucks. Morton has actually been a serious candidate for worst player in baseball on two seperate occasions: 2008 in Atlanta and 2010 in Pittsburgh. Morton would have been a better candidate in 2010 if not for a string of serviceable starts at the end of the year, after Searage had been hired as the pitching coach. Since 2010, Morton has been anywhere from a tolerable BOR guy (most years) to a tolerable MOR guy (2013). Making something vaguely valuable out of something with negative value isn't as sexy as turning vaguely valuable pitchers into stars, but it's certainly not failure, either.
3. James McDonald
This is the weakest statistical case so far, because according to ERA and ERA+, McDonald sucked in LA and sucked worse in Pittsburgh. However, most of the peripheral stats say that McDonald sucked in Pittsburgh but sucked worse in LA. McDonald's FIP, WHIP, H/9, BB/9 and K/9 all improved under Searage, with significant improvements in WHIP and walks. Searage had him throwing strikes. And while this didn't make his ERA better, it did improve his overall results. McDonald's total RA/9 in LA was 4.81, against an average expected RA/9 of 4.06, while in Pittsburgh he put up a 4.54 against an expected 4.39--in other words, he started giving up fewer runs overall despite pitching in more difficult conditions. He was still below average, but quite a bit less so. It's hard to classify that as a failure of coaching.
4. Jeff Locke
I'm not sure why Locke is used in these arguments at all. Jeff Locke sucks, but since he's only played in the majors under Searage, we have no idea how bad he would suck without Searage. He might be the same, better, or worse. It's impossible to assess, which means Searage should get an incomplete here, not an F.
09 June 2015 - 06:11 PM3B Harrison
29 May 2015 - 09:14 PMPolanco RF
Let's keep the streak going.
12 July 2014 - 10:36 PMIs there anyone on the planet playing better baseball right now than Andrew McCutchen?
11 July 2014 - 02:36 AMHere's your damned Ufos.
I find it amusing that they're launched from the carrier named for Truman, the president of Roswell and Majestic 12.