Posts Tagged ‘Keith Law


OK, One More Item on Steve Phillips’ Talent Evaluation Skills

WrightCruz One of my favorite baseball writers/evaluators is ESPN’s Keith Law who writes extremely well, is smart, witty, snarky and an excellent judge of talent (even if he doesn’t like Anna’s Tacqueria); I trust his eye. During his time as a special assistant to JP Ricciardi in Toronto he witnessed any number of interesting and bizarre choices by his GM, including passing on Troy Tulowitzki in favor of Ricky Romero. Sure, Romero has come on recently and looks to be a good pitcher, but Tulo is a 30 HR Gold Glove shortstop and those simply don’t grow on trees.

Anyhoo, in his chat yesterday on ESPN, Keith Law dropped this little nugget that absolutely FLOORED me:

Eddie (Milwaukee): What was Steve Phillips thinking? Almost trading a 19 year old David Wright for Jose Cruz Jr.? Ridiculous.

Klaw: I’ve been asked about that trade rumor for three years but never answered while Ricciardi was still GM. The offer was made, though; I was there when the call came in. It was the first time I’d heard of Wright, since I wasn’t with Toronto in 2001 nor had I followed the draft when Wright was in it. JP’s reaction was, “I’m not trading a major league player for some guy in the Sally League.” And that was pretty much that. We had a chance to trade Cruz after that for Rafael Soriano, but JP refused to do it unless Seattle included Clint Nageotte, who, at the time, was a pretty hot prospect. It’s weird; I can’t remember some things that happened last week but I remember those conversations (over seven years ago now) like they just took place.

This makes BOTH Phillips and Ricciardi look bad. I can’t believe Stevie-boy offered D-Wright for Jose Cruz Jr. who had his best year as a rookie and then never followed up on it. This is the same Jose Cruz Jr. who is OUT OF THE LEAGUE, and the David Wright who is a regular pre-season MVP pick and one of the best young players in the game (if he ever gets his power stroke back.) Wow. WOW. WOW.



Way to Go BBWAA

I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed this, the Baseball Writers Association of America, the people who get to vote on awards like MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and the Hall of Fame, the people who are supposed to be the most knowledgeable and informed about the game are apparently retarded. That’s the only conclusion I can come to. While looking over the results for yesterday’s NL Rookie of the Year something struck my attention. The order of the final ballot went this way:

  1. Geovany Soto
  2. Joey Votto
  3. Jair Jurrgens
  4. Edinson Volquez

Now 1-3 I have zero compunctions with, it is that fourth place guy that bothers me. You see the rules for eligibility for the RoY award state that a player who has pitched 50 innings in the big leagues previously is no longer considered a rookie and thus, ineligible for the award. So let’s take a trip back in time courtesy of Baseball Reference shall we.

The year was 2005 and Edinson Volquez was still a Texas Ranger, in a late season call-up he pitched in 12 2/3 innings, compiling an 0-4 record and an ERA of 14.21, so OK, he wasn’t ready for the big time yet. In 2006 he received another late season call-up, this time pitching 33 1/3 innings en route to a 1-6 record with an ERA of 7.29. Hey at least he was improving…2007 came and Volquez once more got his taste of the majors with yet another late season call-up. This time he pitched 34 innings with an ERA of 4.50 and a record of 2-1. So let’s do a little math here, stick with me, I know it’s early.

  • 12 2/3
  • 33 1/3
  • 34

Hmm…that equals 80 innings! What was that eligibility requirement? Oh yeah, 50 innings. So again, let me get the ol’ calculator out…Oh, wow, that’s a 30 inning difference! In fact, before he ever threw a pitch for the Cincinnati Reds, Volquez was NOT a rookie. He pitched the entire season as NOT a rookie. He went to the All-Star game, NOT AS A ROOKIE.

Clearly though, the people who are supposed to be responsible to the history of the game, the group of people who don’t think Cal Ripken is a unanimous Hall of Famer, the people who thought Luis Apricio WAS a Hall of Famer, they definitely know what’s going on.

What an embarrassment. Even was ashamed, in their writeup of the awards they made sure to mention, “Volquez’s presence on that list is definitely unique: No longer a rookie, the pitcher was mistakenly placed on the ballot and received three votes for second, thus there was an obligation to include him in the final results.” Continue reading ‘Way to Go BBWAA’

Follow The Slanch Report

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 19 other followers

Sign Our Petition!

The Slanch Report has started an online petition asking the MLB Network to air the Dock Ellis no-hitter he threw on June 12, 1970 against the San Diego Padres. The moment was a seminal piece of baseball history and is certainly worthy of being rerun.

Please join us in this cause and sign the petition below so we can all share in this special and fantastic moment of baseball history. THANKS!

August 2022