Central Notes: Greinke, Cardinals, Garza, Royals

Here is the latest from baseball's two Central divisions, which house two of three worst teams in baseball (Cubs and Astros) by winning percentage…


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27 Comments on "Central Notes: Greinke, Cardinals, Garza, Royals"


Brv Rocks
3 years 29 days ago

Who would give up a lot for Matt Garza? He’s an expensive #3 starter. 

cubs223425
3 years 29 days ago

31st in MLB in WAR since 2008 (his first full season). How is being what would classify as the best #2 starter being a #3 starter?

cyberboo
3 years 29 days ago

Nobody cares about WAR or the other artificial statistics that don’t mean anything.  Anyone can create things on paper, but it means nothing on the field. Scoring runs and preventing runs win games, nothing else.  Garza has a 4.35 ERA and a 4 – 7 record on the year, and he has been blown off the mound now in 7 of his 14 starts.  Today, same story with a 4 run first inning, allowing 2 home runs.  A 1 or 2 starter doesn’t get shelled every other game like Garza does, which makes him a 3 or 4th starter at best. 

Ratings are based on quality starts.  An ace will give you 8 innings consistantly, with an ERA hovering from 1 – 3.  A two gives you 7 innings consistantly, with an ERA hovering from 2 – 3.5.  A three gives you 6 innings consistantly with an ERA of 3.5 – 4.  A four gives you 5 innings with an ERA over 4.0  A fifth pitcher gives you whatever he can and anything over 5 innings is a bonus, regardless of ERA.  Since Garza falls in the 3 – 4 status, no one is going to pay a pitcher more than 5 – 8 M for that and in a trade, you are looking at a mid to low prospect as compensation, nothing more.

Fans can hype a pitcher through artificial numbers all they like, but the bottom line is what happens on the field, not what people can dream up on a calculator or on paper.

Andy_B
3 years 29 days ago

“scoring runs and preventing runs wins games”.  I think everyone would agree with you, in fact so would sabrmatricians, be guess what?  WAR is a stat that takes into account how many runs you create and how many runs you prevent.  

Kev
3 years 29 days ago

ERA is at least as artificial as WAR, if we’re talking about a statistic’s ability to measure a pitcher’s true performance. I agree with you that Garza is just a pricey #3, but there’s nothing wrong with WAR here – it’s how it’s being used.

For one, using cumulative WAR from four years out to rank a starting pitcher is disingenuous, as it does not take into account younger, better pitchers that entered the league after Garza. His career WAR is also inflated from one all-star year (2011), where he notched a very respectable 2.95 FIP. His three years in Tampa Bay were okay and this year he’s okay. Only once in five years has he posted a FIP under 4. I wouldn’t call that a #1 or 2 either.

Brv Rocks
3 years 29 days ago

Very well said.  His FIP is exactly why I classified him as an expensive #3 starter. 

I really hope that the Braves don’t do something stupid and trade one of the top young starters for Garza.

MaineSox
3 years 29 days ago

That’s not at all how it works.  First of all, just because a pitcher has a higher WAR over a number of years doesn’t mean he’s a better pitcher, it could mean that he threw more innings.  Second of all #1, #2 (and so on) pitcher isn’t defined anything like that; there aren’t 30 #1 pitchers, 30 #2 pitchers etc. it’s a scouting term, and it’s used to define the quality of the pitcher (there are usually <10 #1 pitchers), it's a pitcher who would be a #1 on any staff, a guy who has at least 2 plus pitches (plus other at least average pitches) with plus command and control, and is consistently 'on.'  A #2 is usually a guy with #1 stuff but lacks the consistent domination to really be a #1 (a guy like Lester, he's pitched like a #1 at times, but he's also prone to falling apart).  A #3 can even go out and look like a #1 at times, but they don't have the 2 or more plus pitches and/or the average or better pitches to back them up, and/or their command/control is spotty.

3 years 29 days ago

Garza just got shelled by the braves, braves have been a good offensive team this year but they certainly are not a Yankee type offense 

But i agree Garza is an expensive #2/#3 starter

1980CHAMPS
3 years 29 days ago

I don’t know.  Give the Braves a DH and put them in that tiny park in the Bronx and their offense might be as good.

1980CHAMPS
3 years 29 days ago

Garza is having his worst season of his career.  

BillB325
3 years 29 days ago

In ERA yes. His Whip has been pretty good actually, don’t get me wrong I understand Garza is no ace. However, his salary shouldn’t increase to much so a 11 million dollar salary isn’t to expensive, which makes him valuable, not to mention the extra year of control which will allow the team aquiring him to get 2 draft picks. For all those who talk down on draft picks I’d like to let you know that Mike Trout and Tyler Skaggs were both picks given to the Angels for offering Texeria a qualifying offer.

Garza is a reasonable 2 starter, who flashes the potential of an ace, but on a good team he’s a great 3 who brings playoff experience and leadership to a team. Do I think the Cubs will get three young impact players plus for him? Of course not. However, a deal with two young impact prospects would not suprise me.

Guest
3 years 29 days ago

Tyler Skaggs was actually aquired from the D-Backs trade for Dan Haren two summers ago.

BillB325
3 years 28 days ago

Actually he was traded from the Angels and was one of the two picks that they recived from Texeria

Guest
3 years 23 days ago

Go on Google, type in “Tyler Skaggs”, and you should find his name on Wikipedia. If you read you would know that he was actually acquired by the Diamondbacks for Dan Haren.

BillB325
3 years 23 days ago

Okay let me rephrase this. He was drafted by the Angels with a comp pick. I am 100% aware he was aquired by the Diamondbacks. The point was that Comp picks do matter when it comes to value.

Ken Roucka
3 years 29 days ago

If Garza is a #3 I wouldn’t want to face that pitching staff in the post season. Garza’s WHIP is well below league average (in fact it’s the best of his career right now) 1.196. His K/BB rate is the second best of his career. His ERA is above league average because he is getting plaugued by the long ball. Garza right now would greatly benefit going to the right park (Comerica?). The Tigers would not be making a bad move getting him and they can get the draft picks to help replace whomever they decide to give in the deal.

lefty177
3 years 27 days ago

I feel like Hosmer & Moustakas are opposites, Hosmer had an awesome rookie year & now this year he’s slumping whereas Moustakas had a slump last year & is playing like an All-Star this year

LazerTown
3 years 29 days ago

Draft picks are definetely worth something, some dont turn out, but an extra first round pick definetely helps.  There have been many decent picks from late first round/sandwich picks.

cubs223425
3 years 29 days ago

He’s had a decent handful of starts in the playoff (5 starts with an ERA of 3.48), something Greinke hasn’t done. You can call picks overrated, but they’re still two players you can get back when you lose Garza, but you can’t get them with the other two. You also get Garza for two playoff runs.

Oh, and Garza can’t turn down aribtration this offseason. It’s goign to be his final year of guaranteed team control. So you get a guy with playoff success for 2 postseason appearances, then you get the chance at 2 draft picks.

3 years 29 days ago

How many starts has greinke made in the playoffs, last year was the first time he has went so maybe 3 or 4? Not much to base it off really. 

MaineSox
3 years 29 days ago

Miniscule sample sizes and context based performances are ridiculous ways to try to compare pitchers.  Garza isn’t even in the same building as Greinke, let alone on the same level.

cubs223425
3 years 29 days ago

3, to a 7.12 ERA, I think it is. It’s just that we have seen Garza succeed in the playoffs, and sample size or not, that counts for something. Few pitchers get a LOT of playoff experience (such as Hamels, who has 13 career playoff starts), but Garza’s shown he can pitch well under pressure.

cubs223425
3 years 29 days ago

Then you get 2.5 years of Garza. Even at his worst, he’s something like a #3 starter. He’s more of a mid-range #2 right now (though he’s struggled of late). Obviously, it depends on the varying asking prices to find out who we’d really rather have, but if the package is equal, I’d probably take Garza myself as well.

I’m sure I’ll get called a biased Cubs fan for that view, and that’s whatever.

Brv Rocks
3 years 29 days ago

 He’s also shown that he is a terrible pitcher in away games.  Compare his stats from home games to away games.

MaineSox
3 years 29 days ago

Garza has had exactly one season where he was anything more than a #3 pitcher.

MaineSox
3 years 28 days ago

He has one plus pitch and two average to above average pitches.  Plus doesn’t mean positive value, it mean at least a 60 on the 20-80 scouting scale.

aaronanderson16
3 years 28 days ago

Nothing helps the cubs… Be honest.