23 Comments

The Blue Jays have another struggling (and expensive) veteran in George Springer, hitting.198 with a .582 OPS

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Hey Molly! Long-time fan here, thanks for putting out this newsletter. I literally paid for a subscription solely so I could comment here and let you know that, as a White Sox fan, I am familiar with one player who has 100+ ABs and a lower OPS+ than Chris Taylor's: Martín Maldonado, who is batting .078/.130/.118 with a -28 (!!!) OPS+. (I know it's boring and pedantic to storm into a comments section with a minor correction that wouldn't even be true if Maldonado had 3 fewer ABs, but I think it's very important that everyone know how bad the White Sox are at being a baseball team.)

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Until reading you and Molly, I didn't even know you could have a negative OPS+

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Yes you can. Very counterintuitive, but interesting to understand. Here is the explanation from Perplexity (an AI like ChatGPT), which explains it better than I could.

It is possible to have a negative OPS+ (On-Base Plus Slugging Plus) value, which is a sabermetric baseball statistic that adjusts OPS to account for park effects and league averages. Here's how it can happen mathematically:

OPS+ is calculated as (OBP/lgOBP + SLG/lgSLG - 1) * 100, where OBP is the player's on-base percentage, SLG is their slugging percentage, and lgOBP and lgSLG are the league averages for those stats.

If a player's OBP and SLG are both significantly lower than the league averages, the calculation can result in a negative value for OPS+. For example, if a player has an OBP of 0.050 and a SLG of 0.050, while the league averages are 0.320 for OBP and 0.420 for SLG, their OPS+ would be:

OPS+ = (0.050/0.320 + 0.050/0.420 - 1) * 100 = -84.4

So an OPS+ of -84.4 means the player's overall offensive production was 84.4% below the league average, adjusted for park factors.

Negative OPS+ values typically occur for pitchers or position players with extremely poor offensive numbers in a given season or over their careers. For instance, Sandy Koufax had an OPS+ of -100 in 1955 when he went 0-for-12 with 12 strikeouts, and a career OPS+ of -26.

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I think I may have first paid for my subscription to comment about Vin Scully. Be careful, the next thing you know you'll be attending meetups.

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Was there only one newsletter this week? Paid subscribers usually receive 2+ right?

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You are right - most of the city connect stuff is terrible. The Padres' reminds me of a Baskin Robbins flavor from the mid-1980s - Miami Ice. That Twins cap, though, is pretty great.

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Thanks for the tip about Trade Rumors, I was unaware of its existence. Also, I’m heartened to read of somebody of note quitting Twitter, as my observation from reading and listening indicates the place is still as chatty as ever, though I, too, quit in 2022 when Elon the Terrible crashed the party.

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Oof! I would bet that even Timmy Lupus had a positive OPS+.

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The Guardians beat the rush by cutting Ramon Laureano at the end of May (.143 / .265 / .229, OPS+ of 45). So the everyday players are probably OK. Sadly, Cookie Carrasco had better find it soon, or his spot is going to be in jeopardy.

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The Nationals have pretty cool City Connect unis, gray with cherry blossoms. They are the best City Connect I've seen.

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Watch out, Mitch Garver! Another veteran under .200, along with Jorge Polanco, currently injured.

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I'm not sure if this is the same thing, because Garrett Cooper wasn't tearing the cover off the ball, but th5Red Sox dumped him and kept Bobby Dalbac when Takahashi Yoshida came off the IL, and Dalbac sometimes looks like he couldn't hit off a tee. Is there stuff going on that we just don't know about? Gambling problems again? 😁

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The White Sox were criticized for not resigning José Abreu, who was a franchise icon, but that may have been the only good (and justifiable) move they made that season.

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founding

"I’m not kidding when I say that the highlight of the past five years of South Side baseball was in not re-signing Abreu after the 2022 season."

Ha! But in typical White Sox fashion, they obscure the highlight of not signing Abreu by inking Andrew Benintendi to a five-year, $75-million contract in the winter of 2023.***

On the bright side, while Abreu leaves Houston (and maybe the MLB) with a 4 OPS+, our man Andrew weighs in with a heftier 47 OPS+.

*** as everyone probably knows by now, the Benintendi signing made for the largest free agent contract in White Sox history.

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Didn't see Jose Abreu aging out so quickly. (He hit .304 in 2022.)

Have to think more than one team will see if they can fix him. Hard to ignore a ROY, MVP, career .283 hitter....even if he's abysmal at the plate this year and hit .237 last year.

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What's with the tasing of the back flipping kid in Cincy?!?

That's waaaaayyyy overboard

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Whit Merrifield has been a disappointment for the Phillies, and I wonder if he’s not the odd man out if they pick up another bat. The production from the outfield is a big concern, with them really only getting any production at all from Brandon Marsh, and that only against righthanders. And while I don’t think they will cut him, at some point they are going to have to think long and hard about what to do about Nick Castellanos.

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This doesn't reflect well on me, but when I saw Harold Ramirez' line (.268/.284/.305, with an OPS of .589), my first thought was to calculate .589/.268 (it's 2.198). And next, "when did a player last have 150 plate appearances with that ratio under 2.2?

It was 2000, Juan Pierre in his rookie year: he went .310/.353/.320 in 219 plate appearances. Playing in Coors Field in 2000, he managed zero home runs. And zero triples. And only two doubles. It says here he was 6th in the Rookie of the Year voting: this actually means one vote but still, that's what hitting over .300 will do for you.

The difference between Juan Pierre and Harold Ramirez is that Pierre had a long and successful career ahead of him.

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