Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Game 9: Quentin's Grand Slam and the Pierre-Pods Rivalry

Ah, Ozzie Ball! Back again. Carlos Quentin hit a grand slam today, and Andruw Jones homered to account for less than half of the Sox’ runs. “7th inning stretch and the Sox are up by 10.” Now that’s a sound for sore ears! Of course, it wasn’t all homers. With 15 hits and 4 walks, plus one hit-by-pitch, no wonder the Sox and Jays had such a vast difference in scores. On top of that, Danks had a no-hitter going into the 5th. He held the Jays to one run over 7 innings.

The chance of the Sox winning wasn’t bad. Morrow was a 4.09 career pitcher and his ERA this season is around 12. John Danks, on the other hand, is rocking a 1.38 ERA. He has control problems every now and then, but I have to agree with Hawk- and you know how much that hurts me- that the guy can really battle.

But I think the real purpose of my post today isn’t going to be about praising the Sox. I’ll save that for when they are on a winning streak- heck, even two games in a row will do. No, what I’ve really been inspired by is to start a new rivalry. Last year (or was it two years ago?), it was Josh Fields vs. Joe Crede. They both lost that one. This year, it’s Juan Pierre vs. Scotty Pods.

And it’s only one week into the season. I’ve often wondered, “Why the stubbornness? Why not sign him again?” The fans love Scotty. In fact, he and Gordon Beckham were the lone sparks in a season of tears and frustration.

Scotty Pods

Juan Pierre




2010 Salary



2010 Batting Average

.456 (16 for 35)

.176 (6 for 36)

2010 Stolen Bases



2010 RBI



2009 Batting Average



2009 Stolen Bases



2009 RBI



I will update this chart as the season goes on and the numbers will have to speak for themselves. But other than .004% better in batting average and a year and a half in the age department, why?


Anonymous said...

Why Pierre over Pods? Well, lots of reasons.

For starters, last year's numbers from Pods were pretty meaningless. He's hot right now, which makes it very easy to second guess, but last year he benefitted from a very high BABIP compared to his career numbers. It's happened in the past- he'll have a good year, but Pods is not exception from the tendency of such outliers to regress to the mean. Pierre also had a high BABIP last year, and they are similar guys, so we can assume a similar OBP.

RBIs I'll ignore, since they really just measure how well the guys in front of you are getting on base, and Pods isn't even leading off.

SBs: Pierre had a better rate last year, but barely. He does steal more regularly than Pods, and is a better baserunner, but stolen bases are only really beneficial if you can steal with about 90% success, which neither guy can. I'd rather neither steal, but historically Pierre has been less damaging when he does.

Pierre is much better than Pods defensively, with his 3 year UZR averages being a bit above average, while Pods is below average.

In the end, it's probably easiest to look at WAR. Pierre has been above replacement level every year he's played, while before his abnormally good year last year Pods hasn't been a positive WAR player since 2005.

Pods has certainly be better than Pierre so far this season, but it's been 8 games, less than 5% of the season, a very small sample size.

Chip Ramsey said...

Wait until Pods goes on the DL in the middle of June. Then check the numbers.

The White Sox Blog said...

You're right, anonymous, whoever you are! (Juan Pierre in disguise, perhaps? Joe Cowley maybe? Was this his inspiration for his bloop about this in April 15's article. Just kidding, I appreciate comments from anyone who will leave them, even if they disagree with my opinion. I think I like those even more because they make me a little less biased, and a little more determined to do research! Sorry about the tangent.) I didn't really take defense into consideration, but I feel like, in the outfield, defense isn't that big of an issue. I made a pretty big deal out of it when Griffey was with the team because he just seemed rickety in the field and painfully slow, but since the White Sox outfield has never really been the most prolific, it's not something I took into consideration much.

I have a question for you, though. What do you make of the whole "NL" factor? As in, should Pierre's numbers be scaled to better match what his performance would have been in what us American Leaguers like to call the better of the two leagues?