Heyman On Reds, Swisher, Astros

SI's Jon Heyman leads his latest column with his MVP picks: Curtis Granderson and Ryan Braun.  His hot stove info:

  • Heyman's sources suggest that "there has been some difference of opinion over playing time between Reds GM Walt Jocketty and manager Dusty Baker."   It was Jocketty, however, who chose not to trade veteran catcher Ramon Hernandez.
  • Heyman wonders if the next Orioles GM will have ties to manager Buck Showalter, suggesting former Rangers GM John Hart as one possibility.
  • The Yankees "will surely pick up" Nick Swisher's club option for 2012.  The 30-year-old right fielder rebounded from a rough first two months and now owns a .267/.384/.459 line in 534 plate appearances. 
  • Astros owner Drayton McLane "is said by other owners to be nervous about the sale and also the state of the money that's in escrow at a time the stock market is tanking," as MLB continues to review the candidacy of expected new owner Jim Crane.  Something has clearly changed in the last few weeks, wrote Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle yesterday.

31 Responses to Heyman On Reds, Swisher, Astros Leave a Reply

  1. I’m sorry but Braun is hitting in front of Fielder while Kemp has Loney or Juan Rivera for protection.

    It’s not even close, Kemp is the MVP by a mile.  The Dodgers would have a worse record the Astros if it weren’t for Kemp (and Kershaw – but he only plays in 20% of the games).

    • colavita36 4 years ago

      to win mvp on a low-level team a player needs to play head and shoulders above the other top players…and Kemp is great, but not above Braun. Braun is better overall player than Prince

    • JD 4 years ago

      It’s a ridiculous argument. 

      Do you know how bad the Reds would be without Votto? Or how bad the Rockies would be without Tulo? Nobody is making the argument for either of those guys for MVP even though statistically they are on par or better than Kemp has been this year.

      If I had a vote it’d be Justin Upton. He’s right up there statistically with everybody else but should be getting the nice media story that he’s playing for a team that literally nobody picked to make the playoffs this season. 

    • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

      I think Justin Upton can win any argument you choose to make regarding the NL MVP.

      Best overall stats argument:

      Look past the X number vs x +2 thinking and Upton is near the top in every meaningful category. Top 10 in HRS, OPS, ISO and wOBA, top 5 overall among all position players in UZR (+10.3 UZR). He plays a more challenging position than Fielder and Votto and is a far better defensive OF than Braun (-8.5 UZR) and Kemp (-5.8). He doesn’t have as many SB as Kemp and Braun but his 19 ranks him 3rd among the group of contenders.

      Best player on a winning team argument:

      Braun and Fielder have each other. Upton don’t have anyone nearly as good as those two. Braun is worth 6 WAR and Fielder a 4.1. Upton is worth 6.1 and his teammate Chris Young is worth 3.8 but much of his value stems from his defensive ability as opposed to his offense (.236/.323/.424).

      Most valuable player on his team argument:

      Dbacks are in 1st place and the Dodgers are second to last. You take away Kemp from the Dodgers and they are in last place as opposed to 2nd from last….big deal. Braun and Fielder have each other. Votto and the Reds are 13 games out of it so the difference is being mediocre with them or bad w/o them. Upton and his 6.1 WAR mean more to the Dbacks who are 4 games up over the Giants than Braun’s 6 WAR or Fielders 4.1 mean to the Brewers who are 10.5 up. If either Braun or Fielder are out then the Brewers still have a shot. The Dbacks w/o Upton simply aren’t in 1st place. 

      Upton wins.

  2. timmytwoshoezzz 4 years ago

    1) Dusty Baker writes out the daily lineup card for the Reds
    2) Dusty Baker is an idiot

    Wow, that was easy to figure out.  Fred Lewis and Migual Cairo should be on the bench (I would argue Fred Lewis should not even be on the team) but Dusty marches them out there daily like its so important to play veterans in meaningless August contests.

  3. start_wearing_purple
    start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

    Ummm, why isn’t Votto in the discussion? 3rd in NL BA, 1st in OBP by .031 points, 5th in SLG, and 1st in NL WAR. And all that doesn’t even get him in the top 10?

    Both MVP races are up for grabs. In the AL, Granderson does seem like the most likely winner since it’s hard to figure out who’s Boston’s MVP, Verlander’s candidacy won’t be taken too seriously in the end, and Bautista despite being the best hitter isn’t necesaarily the best player. In the NL, it really should be between Kemp and Votto.

    • slasher016 4 years ago

      I agree completely.  Heyman is completely overlooking Votto, who has been way better than Berkman and Pujols.  Kimbrel?  Come on a closer more valuable than (probably) the best hitter in the NL?  Votto is 2nd in the NL in OPS in addition to the stats listed above.  Votto gets pitched around so much yet is still having a superb year.

      • start_wearing_purple
        start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

        Yeah, I left out the fact that he’s virtually neck and neck with Braun in OPS.

        It’s kinda crazy. Heyman makes this big long argument about the AL and in the NL his argument is basically that he thinks Braun is best and his OPS proves it. I think Braun is in the running but I think the argument for him to win MVP is just as strong as several other candidates. I think he basically made up his mind and then tried to find reasons to prove it.

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          braun’s having a significantly better year with the bat than votto and doing so for a contender. i’m a votto fan and he’s routinely underrated, but he’s not outperforming ryan. votto’s played 10 more games tha braun and still trails him by 13 points of wOBA and 13 in wRC+. braun in turn trails bautista by only 17 and 10 points respectively

          btw, the 4TH best hitter in baseball right now by wOBA? david ortiz – 4 points ahead of granderson

          • slasher016 4 years ago

            I’m a big fan of the saber stats, but saying Braun is having a “significantly” better offensive year than Votto based on wOBA is foolish.  wOBA factors things like errors and only non-intentional walks.  When is Braun EVER walked to face Fielder?  So Braun is a better hitter because he gets walked intentionally….less?  Braun and Votto’s numbers are extremely similar except for the SBs (where Braun has the obvious edge.)  But to say Braun is having that much better a year, is simply not true.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            “So Braun is a better hitter”

            careful. i may have invited this way of thinking by terming his season as “better” than votto’s, but wOBA isn’t making claims about who the better hitter is; it’s describing the value of their performances

            it’s not votto’s fault teams feel they can get away with walking him
            intentionally, but it’s not something he should get much credit for either. intentional walks are much less valuable than non-intentional walks

            you’re a big fan of the saber stats, so you understand why that is, right?

          • bringbackericthered 4 years ago

            If you want to talk subjective value, then yes they are more valuable I suppose (not a big saber guy here, eyeball test kinda guy).

            But IBB are more of an indication of being a more feared and talented hitter than another player.

            How much of Braun’s success is due to Fielder batting behind him? How many more times would he have walked, intentionally or otherwise, with Jonny Gomes or Scott Rolen behind him? Would he have seen nearly as many strikes? I doubt it but again its all speculation.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            If you want to talk subjective value

            close! objective value, actually – which is why we’re using linear weights (wOBA) rather than the massively less precise tools that are are the components of OPS

            But IBB are more of an indication of being a more feared and talented hitter than another player


            it’s funny because you implied i was using subjective standards, then you talked about “fear”

            “fear” (preferring to pitch to the next guy) is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for an IBB. i trust you know what that means. IBB’s have everything to do with who that next guy is, which is not a credit to the hitter that is intentionally walked, because he’s got no control over it

            How much of Braun’s success is due to Fielder batting behind him?

            probably not very much. lineup protection influences inputs, but not output. that is, it will dictate how often a great hitter is walked (as we’ve been saying), but will not much change his total offensive output. for some of the research establishing this fact, see:

            link to hardballtimes.com

          • slasher016 4 years ago

            “Braun’s having a significantly better year with the bat than votto” is the part I had a problem with.  It’s not true.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            better is beyond question, so i’m guessing it’s just the word “significantly” that sparked your disagreement. i made the bautista comparison to qualify the meaning of that word as i used it, since the gap between braun and bautista is about the same as the gap between votto and braun

            you didn’t touch the question of IBBs, which was the meat of your original objection. in case you don’t actually know and for anyone else who doesn’t, intentional walks are much (signiciantly, i wanted to say) less valuable than non-intentional walks. and that’s why your objection doesn’t pack much punch


            link to hardballtimes.com

            link to hardballtimes.com

            link to hardballtimes.com

          • slasher016 4 years ago

            This is going to be my final comment on the matter, as you and I clearly don’t agree on what is significant.  In regards to IBB, Braun has the higher wOBA due to Votto’s intentional walks (Braun has RoE two more times than Votto, so that’s a factor as well).  Votto has the signficantly higher overall OBP.  Votto and Braun have identical OPS+.  Votto is #1 in WPA, REW, RE24.  Braun is #1 in WPA/LI (which is based on a per AB basis).  Braun is having a slightly better year, mostly due to SB.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            In regards to IBB, Braun has the higher wOBA due to Votto’s intentional walks

            as he should, because as we’ve established IBB are much less valuable than non-IBB. like the SBs and RoE’s, this difference matters. wOBA is telling you about the value of what happened and it is correct

            Votto and Braun have identical OPS+

            there’s no reason to ever use OPS+ and referring to it instead of linear weights makes me feel like it was a mistake to assume you knew what you were talking about before. sadface

            link to insidethebook.com

            votto’s still aweshome though and i’d pick him instead of braun erry time

          • slasher016 4 years ago

            Bad reply, wrong spot.

        • durock71 4 years ago

          As a Reds fan I would love to see Votto win another MVP.  No one is more valuable to his team as Votto. However, if you look at the history of the trophy, you will see players win that are on a contending team. Votto deserved to win last year, but he simply would not have if the Reds didn’t win the central. Nobody here is really wrong, but the voters will not pick Votto unless he absolutely crushes his competition the rest of the season.

      • I love Kimbrel as much or more than most everybody, but closers don’t win MVP.  It’s like nominating a kicker for NFL MVP.  Even if that kicker nails 65+ yarders and bucketfulls of them (basically A LOT better than other kickers like Kimbrel is racking up stats over other closers).  The two positions just don’t have the amount of impact other positions do, so even legendary ones wouldn’t be as valuable as really good players at positions that get all the playing time.

  4. bringbackericthered 4 years ago

    Votto would need to go on an absolute tear to finish the season as an MVP candidate. Nothing against him, but the team has been abysmal and it is well known that team performance counts for an individual award in baseball….
    I mean it is Joey’s fault the Reds are where they are, 13 out of first. Not Dusty’s stellar line ups, Bronson being worse than bad, Homer being Homer, Edinson Volquez, Wood pitching like crap, the shortstop position outside of the sweet, sweet reprieve Cozart gave for a blink, an over taxed bullpen that is often misused (see, Arrendondo in games we have the lead or tied), injuries to start the year to Cueto. Bruce taking June off, having Scott Rolen bat clean up, having Jonny Gomes bat clean up, having a guy who WANTS to own the single season K record it seems batting lead off….. 
    All of these should clearly count against Votto.

    And even though I am not a Dodgers fan, I dont think youre allowed to make posts long enough to go into detail about that….
    But clearly this mismanaging of teams and personnel should count against a single player for an individual award.

    End sarcasm

    • slasher016 4 years ago

      I don’t think Votto should win the award this year.  The Reds haven’t played well enough.  But to not be in the top 10 of someone’s vote?  That’s an absolute joke.  Kemp and Votto both on teams not going to the postseason are having very similar years. 

      Votto has Kemp on AVG, OBP (by 50 points), BB, Runs, OPS
      Kemp has Votto on SB (by 27), HRs, RBIs, SLG

      RBIs are a result of your team (Votto has 196 ABs with runners on and 112 with RISP, Kemp has 250 ABs with runners on and 130 with RISP).  Is there any debate why Votto has fewer RBIs?  Less chances, plain and simple.  Kemp is hitting .315 with RISP while Votto is hitting .420. 

      In my eyes, Votto and Kemp are as close to a wash as you can get. 

      MVP should go something like this (I excluded pitchers):

      • bringbackericthered 4 years ago

        I was making light at how silly a teams performance weighs on the voting for an individual award. I agree they are about as much of a wash as you can get. If both were on winning teams, it would be one crazy race for MVP.

  5. MadmanTX 4 years ago

    Uncle Drayton is worried about his money. Big surprise.

  6. Wow, Jose Bautista 5th?  That pretty much ended any objective conversation about his picks.  So if the Jays were magically moved to the AL Central and given their Pythag. record, strength of schedule in the AL East and a likely first place club (at least battling the Tigers tooth and nail) Jose Bautista suddenly becomes a legit MVP contender?


    Also, an RP over a SP (Hellickson) for ROY because of 26 saves?

    Good grief.

    • Jose_Bautista 4 years ago

      What a joke.

      Fox didn’t even have Bautista in Top 5. That pretty much explains everything about Fox.


  7. AmericanMovieFan 4 years ago

    Weirdly enough, I don’t want the Yankees to pick up Swish’s option. I’d rather them extend him for 3 years. However, I’m not sure what the right price it. It appears as though nobody can agree on Swish’s worth.

    • nathanalext 4 years ago

      Who said they wouldn’t?

    • paul_oneills_lovechild 4 years ago

      I’ve got to say, I was not a fan when the Yankees initially traded for Swish.  However, now he is one of my favorite current Yankees.  His exuberance and positive energy is contagious within the clubhouse; his philanthropic endeavors off-the-field have been heart-warming.  He has also had two of his best seasons as a Yankee, with his defense being especially strong this year…why not pick up his option for next year and sign him to an extension as well.  He is only 30-years-old.  Luv ya #33!!

      • AmericanMovieFan 4 years ago

        The question is what is he worth? Is he worth $10MM+ a season? That’s highly debatable. A lot of people argue he isn’t worth more than $8MM a season- I disagree with that assessment, but I’m a biased Swisher fan. I think a 3 year/$34.5MM extension would be very reasonable, but a lot of people would feel uncomfortable with even 2 years/$16MM for Swish.

  8. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    i don’t know who you’re talking about, but it isn’t the person i responded to

    separately, i don’t think “valuable” does or ought to mean “valuable to the specific team he happens to play for”

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