Durbin missed? Oasis Hillbillies and a job opening

Chad Durbin.

The Post-Gazette scooped Chad Durbin signing with the Phillies and suggested the Pittsburgh Pirates finished second again in trying to sign a free agent.  But did the Pirates really even want Durbin?

Doubtful.

On paper, Durbin looked strong as a reliever – a 4.18 ERA over 28 innings, 1.29 WHIP, and a 2-0 record. As a starter, he was 6-7, had a 4.88 ERA, and a tad higher WHIP at 1.48.

But what you don’t see is the 26 bequested runners he had and the fact only 38% of them scored, so his ERA could have been higher. In other words, he was kind of lucky overall. You also don’t see that he tossed 2/3rd’s of his innings in the first half and then got rocked in the second (5.71 ERA in 42 IP and 18 appearances). Nor do you see his xERA of 5.35 for the season which is a good indicator of where he really was at in Detroit.

Fans think because he was in the AL he’ll do a lot better in the NL, and especially in the NLCD. Don’t be too sure in Durbin’s case. The reason I say that is that 44% of all the runs in the ALED were scored by two teams – the Indians and the Tigers – and there were only two very good pitching staffs – the Twins and the Indians.

For the most part, he was mauled by good hitting teams and he was able to sneak by clubs that typically don’t feature good scouting staffs or didn’t have good hitting clubs. Leyland got the best out of him.

All that being said, sure, Durbin might be better than some of the youngsters Huntington has picked up – no question about it. But at what cost? His K/9 hoovers around 5.5 so he isn’t going to come in and blow anybody away, his walk rate has been fairly high just like the kids, and he regressed badly in the second half. Is he even healthy?

I never liked the potential signing from the first day I heard the Pirates were talking to the Tigers before he was released. It just didn’t make sense for us – we’re rebuilding. Right? Let one of the kids step up if we don’t sign someone like a Vizciano. Even Chacon is a stretch.

I see Michael Barrett agreed to a $3.5M deal today avoiding arb. Sounds to me like he is on the move somewhere to be finishing business so quick. Let’s see if Huntington doesn’t make a move now.

How about the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s "research" article on the statistical analysis of player performance of those named in the Mitchell Report? They claim more than one-third of the ballplayers improved over their career averages the year after they obtained their roids.

Puh-lease. Is that new wave research, or what? If only one-third improved, then two-thirds didn’t. How diverse a population is that? I mean, how many of the ninety implicated would have improved over their career averages anyway?

For instance, take four 25-man rosters and tell me how many per roster are typically above their average in any given year. Twelve? That’s about 50% Nine? That’s 36%. See what I mean? So let’s toss that out the door as pretty much a worthless statement because they just proved those who used steroids hurt their stats the next year for the most part, not improved them.

The best read was when they said eight of the thirty-three all-stars named were selected "only in seasons after they reportedly began using performance-enhancing drugs." Huh? I’m not sure I understand why this is even mentioned because how many of them would have been selected anyway? Right – most of them. Plus, how random is that anyway?

I’m sure some of the players in the report benefited statistically and financially from using drugs. But by the report’s own admission, they didn’t even try to measure this group against others outside the group.

The things newspapers will allow to be published amazes me at times.

The Pirates posted a shameful job listing today:

"Senior Programmer/Analyst – Job Summary: This position is primarily responsible for the development and operation of a unified player management and scouting system. Works closely with the General Manager and Baseball Operations staff to define, develop, and implement a system that will support the Pirates player evaluation, selection and development efforts. The system will integrate multiple sources of information and video, both internal and external to the Pirates organization, into a single, centralized view of ballplayers. The incumbent is responsible for the full life-cycle of the player management and scouting system."

Why shameful?

Because sitting less than five miles away from the executive offices of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization is one of the most dynamic complex engineering centers in the world at Carnegie Mellon. It would seem they could build a model that would make Diamondview seem like a toy.

Or is this another case of the Pirates refusing to open their doors to locals?

In any case, I’m guessing Huntington didn’t jump in and upgrade the Lotus Notes garbage he inherited by buying into ScoutAdvisor. I suppose that wasn’t good enough. Maybe he has a friend with the Indians he wants to hire?

This organization sure is getting top heavy. I mean, here we are buying broken down Ford Falcons for the roster but we want to hire a Cadillac to run a computer.

We just keep getting smarter and smarter it seems.

But this is one smart teenager.

I checked in to see how John Setzler was doing and I see he has stepped up his photography some. Take a look at the Oasis Hillbillies float thing shot he captured at the Cat Square Christmas Parade. We miss ya John!

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