Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Seriously, What Have We Done to Deserve This?
2005-06-10 09:44
by Mark T.R. Donohue

Matt Holliday will miss four to six weeks with a broken pinkie on his right hand. "The last swing I took brought tears to my eyes," Holliday said. Matt joins Clint Barmes, Shawn Chacon, and Todd Greene as the fourth Colorado player to be placed on the disabled list this week. Cruelly, the four are all among the few Rockies playing really well this season. What next, honestly? Is Jeff Francis going to need Tommy John surgery? Forget I said that.

The positive thing about the Holliday injury is that Cory Sullivan, whose defense alone makes him a player worth giving an extended look, will get an extended look. Someone else will have to come up from the Springs, as Preston Wilson can't play every day for $12 million and Dustan Mohr just isn't very good. Sadly, it'll be Choo Freeman, who has already demonstrated his inability to tell the difference between major league balls and strikes.

Tracy Ringolsby has an interesting column up attempting to debunk Moneyball by claiming its research poor, then makes a completely unsubstantiated statement about high school players vs. college picks: "The bottom line is there are no certainties in the draft and anyone who tried to draw absolutes about evaluations is naive." This is a profoundly stupid statement. Did any of these Billy Beane haters read the book? The whole point of Moneyball was that there are no absolutes, only percentages, and the smart teams play the percentages.

Bill James' research of many years ago demonstrated that college players have a much greater chance of proceeding to successful major league careers, for two reasons. First, college stats can be somewhat indicative of future pro performance, in contrast to high school stats, which are practically if not quite entirely useless. Second, and more importantly, college players simply have fewer years between the draft and the big callup to hurt themselves seriously. Still, as Ringolsby points out, the question remains as to why the A's used six of their first nine picks on high school kids this year. Your guess is as good as mine, Tracy. But maybe not as good at ESPN's Rob Neyer, who wrote in a chat on Tuesday (subscription required): "When everybody else zigs, Billy Beane zags. It's the sort of thing he'd do just to mess with our heads. And I think it's working."

After covering the Joe Kennedy rumors yesterday, the Post today claims that Shawn Chacon and Jason Jennings are available as well. Hey, if anyone wants Kennedy or Jennings, that's fine with me. If we can just point a ferula-gemina (warning: geeky reference) at Jennings, or run him through a malfunctioning transporter, split him into his component Jeremy and Jason parts and trade just Jason, so much the better. But I'm not sure about Chacon. He did have a ghastly 2004, but he's pitched really well so far this year when healthy. He's not terribly old (27), and he seems to take perverse enjoyment in the challenge of pitching at Coors Field. Also, I don't think we'd get much for him.

This is kind of interesting (last item): the Rockies' recent stretch of 23 consecutive scheduled games actually broke the collectively bargained rules of the MLB. Twenty games in a row is supposed to be the limit. Colorado's players voted to let it slide figuring an off-day at home later on in the season was of greater value. In this site's humble opinion, it makes absolutely no difference...Matt Anderson: cautionary tale...the Rockies are seven of nine all-time against Detroit.

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