Devil Rays (off day)


  • This just in…Evan Longoria is good. Longoria plays third base. Akinori Iwamura plays third base. Aki ranked 23rd (out of 35, min. 250 PA) of major league third basemen in OPS. Aki has a weak arm. Aki may need to move to a new position in 2008. The writers that cover the Rays must be praying for Elijah Dukes to do something stupid. 3…2…1…. [Devil Rays]
  • Rays of Light makes an argument that Carlos Pena has been more valuable to the Rays than Alex Rodriguez has been to the Yankees. Scott takes a look at the WARP values (number of wins a player is worth) for each player. While A-Rod has a higher WARP (10.5 to 9), El Gato’s WARP represents a higher percentage of the Devil Rays wins and hence he is “More Valuable”. It is an interesting argument and not necessarily “wrong”. We don’t pretend to know all the math behind these numbers, but the problem with using WARP for this argument is that in theory it is team independent. Therefore, if A-Rod was playing for the Rays (and posted the same numbers) he would still have a WARP of 10.5 and if Pena was on the Yankees, his would still be 9.0. In essence, to use WARP as a percentage of team wins, penalizes a player on a good team and gives a HUGE advantage to a player on a team that has very few wins. In an absolute sense, A-Rod is worth more wins and in the end W’s are the only stat that really matters. [Rays of Light]
  • Why does John Donovan of think that the Devil Rays deserve to be ranked last in his latest “Power Rankings”? Is it because they have the worst record in baseball? Nope. Worst pitching? Nah. They are the worst team in the league because “Boston’s Dustin Pedroia is the AL’s Rookie of the Year. It shouldn’t be all that close.” []
  • John Sickels takes a look at the crash-and-burn that was Dewon Brazelton and tries to answer the question ” What the hell happened here?” [Minor League Ball]
  • Roger Clemens will make his scheduled start tonight, despite speculation to the contrary. If we are lucky, Clemens will talk to reporters and support Carlos Pena Comeback Player of the Year. And of course that will be Rocket’s secret code for wanting to pitch for the Rays in 2008. [TBO]


  1. Scott says:

    Thanks for the shout-out. 🙂

    I know the argument's a stretch (and I say as much in the post), but I thought it was at least worst investigating.

  2. Clayton says:

    I say good job to Scott. Everyone is looking for something to talk about and at least Scott offered some food for thought with some statistical backup. I also agree with Cork's analysis. It's nice to be able to make even a tenuous argument that we had an MVP-worthy player on the squad this year. Particularly when we picked him off the scrap pile.

    Cork, what is your ideal realistic lineup next year? That's a good column. Navarro, Pena, Aki, ???, Longoria, Carl, Delmon and BJ? Do you think Jorge Posada would be as excited about being a Devil Ray as Schilling is?

  3. The Professor says:

    Scott, here is the funny part about it all...when I read the first few sentences of your post, I didnt realize that you had actually looked at WARP...before reading the rest I ran over to BP and grabbed the numbers and did EXACTLY what you did to see if the numbers stood up to your argument...Then I read the rest of the post and felt a little silly cuz I just assumed that you had not done that...So as soon as you laid down the main point I thought exactly the same way you were thinking. But then I got to wondering wy BP had never come up with that stat and i think my argument is why. BUT I can still see the otherside. I really think it is just a matter of which angle you are looking at it from. IN the end Pena IS more valuable to the team. But my argument is that is more a reflection on how bad the rest of the team is compared to the rest of the Yankees...a point you do bring up...In the end I think we were agreeing with each other from two different sides...and Clayton, YES. it is amazing to think that we are even considering the argument. I hadnt realized just how close the WARP values were until Scott brought it up. I knew Pena was having a good year. but damnnnnnn.

  4. The Professor says:

    ps. I will start doing the 25-man and 40-man projections as soon as the season ends, so look for that some time next week...part of me thinks the lineup is nearly set, if you believe Aki is going to second and Upton is in center with Rocco splitting time at DH with Gomes OR riding the DL with another organization. That would leave third and short. Short is a crapshoot. Third is obviously the property of Longoria, but it may not be until June-July. That means a stop-gap at third unless Longoria forces their hand in Spring. They wont put Aki at third just to move him later. If Aki is going to second, it will be in the spring no matter if Longoria is ready. Maybe Harris at third for a couple of months? I could see that. But they may decide to keep Harris at short for one more season as they await Brignac. I would say that is not likely though, so maybe Harris at third where his limited range wont be as much a penalty. Maybe Guzman? I could see the team giving Guzman 50 games at third to see what they got while they are waiting for Longoria. If Guzman plays big, then they will have to figure something out. If he falls on his face, no big deal, move him aside for the Dirtbag and find another team for Guzman.

  5. Scott says:

    Not to steal the question away from Cork, but Clayton - I don't see ANY situation in which Jorge Posada is wearing our new Royals-blue next season.

  6. The Professor says:

    I'm with Scott on this one. Posada will be a Yankee next year. On they will regret it. He will probably demand (complete guess) 3 yr / 12-14 million per year. jorgie is 36. What is more likely...(ignore the possibility that he might be "not quite as good next year)
    A. He maintains that production for next two years or
    B. He starts to take a big step back.

    Much better chance of B. The yankees are going to overpay for his production, but they have to, bc of what he means to those fans.

  7. Jordi says:

    Guaranteed Aki moves. I was at a Baseball Prospectus event at the Trop and Rays leadership pretty much made that clear.


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