Archive for Matt Wieters

Matt Wieters Accepts Qualifying Offer: Now What?

Posted in Free Agency, Offense, Offseason, Pitching with tags , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2015 by oriolesprovingground

Last Friday Matt Wieters surprised many by accepting the qualifying offer the Orioles made him. As a result, he will now be a member of the 2016 Orioles on a one year, $15.8 million contract. That’s not a small amount of money, but it’s surprising he accepted the deal, considering there are no other catchers on the free agent market, leading one to believe that Wieters would have been in line for a large payday had he rejected the qualifying offer. Either he found that the offers he would’ve received were lower than expected, thought he could make even more money on the free agent market after the 2016 season, enjoyed playing in Baltimore (the only organization he’s ever known), or a combination of all three.

The situation of Wieters accepting the qualifying offer has already been covered in excellent fashion (as usual) over at Camden Depot. On Monday, Jon Shepherd provided a very thorough and realistic set of options as to where the Orioles offseason may go as a result of this, while Tuesday saw Matt Perez laid out some reasons (in much more depth than what I have above) as to why Wieters may have accepted the qualifying offer. Since the situation has already been covered so well, I won’t be going over any of that in this piece and I suggest that you head over to Camden Depot and read the articles in their entirety.

If you read Camden Depot on even a semi-regular basis, you already know that the writers recently participated in an exercise outlining their individual plans as to how they thought the Orioles should approach the offseason, with Jon picking what he ultimately thought would be the best course of action. An index of the entire series can be found HERE. What I would like to do is take another look at my personal blueprint for the Orioles 2016 season, and see how Matt Wieters accepting the qualifying offer (which I did offer him in my hypothetical offseason) changes my strategy going forward.

My blueprint can be found HERE (it focused on building major league depth and a minor league system), but below is a quick recap of the free agent signings I would have made.

  • LHP J.A. Happ – 3 years, $24 million ($8 million annually, 3rd year an option)
  • OF Denard Span – 4 years, $56 million ($14 million annually, 4th year an option)
  • OF Gerardo Parra – 3 years, $24 million ($8 million annually)
  • UTIL Steve Pearce – 2 years, $12 million ($6 million annually)
  • 1B/DH Mike Napoli – 1 year, $5.25 million
  • OF/DH Matt Joyce – 1 year, $2 million

The original assumption was that after paying players currently on the roster, providing raises in arbitration (using the numbers provided at MLB Trade Rumors), and paying league minimum to players who have not accrued enough service time, I would have approximately $44.7 million to spend on free agents. Now that Wieters has accepted the qualifying offer I extended him, that number has decreased to $28.9 million. Let’s see what adjustments can be made while following the same set of rules (which includes NO trades). Continue reading

The Camden Highball (Episode 9): Greetings from Norfolk!

Posted in Minor Leagues, Podcast with tags , , , , on May 5, 2015 by oriolesprovingground

This week’s episode of the Camden Highball (Camden Depot’s weekly podcast) comes a week and a day late, but it’s better than no podcast at all!  This week, Pat and I talk with Camden Depot’s Joe Reisel about what he’s seen in the Norfolk Tides during the first month of the minor league season.

Direct Link to Article –> The Camden Highball: Greetings from Norfolk!

Orioles Catching Options to Start the Season

Posted in Offense with tags , , , , , , on March 26, 2015 by oriolesprovingground

Earlier this week, it was reported that Orioles catcher Matt Wieters will start the 2015 season on the disabled list, as he continues to rehab his way back from Tommy John surgery.  Luckily, the Orioles still have four catchers in major league camp, who will be competing for starting and backup duties to begin the season.  Today at the ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog Camden Depot, I take a look at those options.

Direct Link to Article –> Orioles Catching Options to Start the Season

Should the Orioles Trade Matt Wieters?

Posted in Offseason with tags , , , on November 7, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

After an elbow injury (requiring Tommy John surgery) ended Matt Wieters‘ 2014 season in the middle of May, Caleb Joseph filled and provided enough value to potentially make Matt Wieters expendable.  Joseph didn’t hit he ball, but his defensive skills, specifically his pitch framing saved enough runs to more than offset his offensive shortcomings.  Today at ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog Camden Depot, I take a look at whether the Orioles should look into dealing their All-Star catcher to make room for Caleb Joseph, pitch framer extraordinaire.

Direct Link to Article –> Should the Orioles Trade Matt Wieters?

Projecting the 2014 Orioles: Offense

Posted in Offense, Offseason, Projections with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

Following a surprise playoff appearance in 2012, the Baltimore Orioles finished the 2013 season with an 85-77 record, 12 games out of first place in the American League East and 7 games out of the wild card spot.  Despite not making the playoffs, the 2013 team was arguably more talented than the 2012 team, due to reasons that we’ve discussed before. This offseason was relatively quiet until around the start of spring training when the team made several moves to improve roster holes leftover from 2013 (starting rotation and designated hitter). Despite what looks to be an upgraded team, the Zips Projection System at Fangraphs currently sees them finishing the 2014 season at the bottom of the AL East with a record of 78-84. Let’s take a closer look at how Zips came to that conclusion.*  This is more informative than actual analysis, but I think it is still be a worthwhile exercise.

*Note: this post as written before Zips made its final projections for the season, so things will probably change slightly in the next week.

Catcher

2014 Zips Projection

2014 Zips Projection

In 2013, Baltimore catchers produced a total of 1.9 fWAR, which placed them 18th in all of baseball. The bulk of that production came from Matt Wieters (2.4 fWAR), but the backups added -0.5 wins in only 101 plate appearances.  Offensively, Zips sees Wieters improving on his disappointing 2013 season, while once again playing a lot at the position.*  I personally believe that the projection for Wieters is slightly on the low side, and that he has a decent chance to exceed it.

Continue reading

Who is the Most Clutch Oriole?

Posted in Offense with tags , , , , , , , on August 23, 2013 by oriolesprovingground

The following post was written by Doug Nickerson as a guest post for Orioles Proving Ground.  Nickerson grew up as a Red Sox fan on Cape Cod, MA and is looking forward to writing about the Orioles with his knowledge of the AL East from a non-emotional perspective.  He moved to the DC area last August, and while he loves the city, he hates humidity and traffic.

In watching so many games this year with the purpose of evaluating the players instead of solely enjoying the beauty of the game, many ideas have percolated from the frustrations of watching teams struggle to score, while others seem to score with ease.  Now obviously some matchups are lopsided causing teams to either easily run up the score or look helpless at the dish.  But the real question I ask myself is, what is the relationship between being good and being able to perform under pressure?

On the surface, the Orioles haven’t been able to turn it on when it counts this year compared to last year, especially when considering their record in 1 run games has gone from 29-9 in 2012 to 14-22 this year.  What’s the cause of this? Is it purely luck? Did last year’s team have nerves of steel compared to this year or is it just the law of averages taking its course?

To compare this year and last year, I needed to look at clutch stats.  The easiest to compare is baseball-reference.com’s “clutch” stat, which is based on its win probability stat and average leverage index.  The clutch stat normalizes these numbers so that a player with a clutch rating of 0 is an average player and a positive or negative rating is more or less clutch, respectively.  Let’s take a look at the offensive numbers (I included guys with at least 45 ABs for the season).

2013 Clutch Rating

2012 Clutch Rating

Chris Davis

1.7

Adam Jones

1

Chris Dickerson

1.1

Taylor Teagarden

0.7

Adam Jones

1.1

Nate McLouth

0.6

Nick Markakis

0.7

Jim Thome

0.6

Steve Pearce

0.7

Mark Reynolds

0.4

Brian Roberts

0.6

Steven Tolleson

0.4

Alexi Casilla

0.5

Chris Davis

0.2

Manny Machado

0.4

Manny Machado

0.2

Danny Valencia

0.4

Matt Wieters

0.1

Yamaico Navarro

0.1

Steve Pearce

0.1

Travis Ishikawa

0

Nolan Reimold

0.1

Taylor Teagarden

0

J.J. Hardy

0

Henry Urrutia

0

Nick Markakis

0

Chris Snyder

-0.1

Endy Chavez

0

Nolan Reimold

-0.2

Brian Roberts

0

Nate McLouth

-0.3

Ryan Flaherty

-0.1

Matt Wieters

-0.4

Ronny Paulino

-0.1

J.J. Hardy

-0.5

Xavier Avery

-0.2

Ryan Flaherty

-0.8

Nick Johnson

-0.2

Omar Quintanilla

-0.3

Lew Ford

-0.4

Robert Andino

-0.7

Wilson Betemit

-0.9

Now, as expected, Chris Davis is the most clutch player on the 2013 team and that’s a reason why he is rightfully in the MVP race.  The surprising results of this stat is that 3 regulars are considered the most clutch hitters on the team (Davis, Jones, Markakis) and 3 regulars are considered to wilt during the big moments (McLouth, Wieters, Hardy) for the 2013 season.  When compared to last year’s team, only 2 players that got regular starts (Andino and Betemit with over 350 ABs each) had a negative rating.  This could be a potential reason for the drastic change in their record in 1 run games.  However, now the question arises as to how much are they affected by the big situation?  How much does 0.1 clutch point reflect into a player’s OBP in high leverage situations? Is it substantial, where all hope is lost if there are two outs, man on third, and the game is tied in the late innings? I find the clutch stat to be interesting but it leads me to more questions.

Now let’s take a look at each players OBP in different leverage situations to see if there is anything substantial.  I used OBP as a comparison, to measure the ability to keep the inning alive as critical to increasing your opportunity to score runs.  It is also a clean stat that is taken directly from the field and not manipulated in any way, unlike win probability, runs created, etc.

OBP Clutch Graph

From the chart, it can be seen that Nick Markakis is the most clutch batter on the team in getting on base in high pressure situations this year.  He also has nerves of steel as his OBP rises almost 100 points from his average when he is in a high leverage situation.  Matt Wieters appears to be deserving of his low clutch rating due to his drastically low OBP in high leverage situations.  However, the same can’t be said for J.J. Hardy or Nate McLouth.  Both are roughly the same or above their 2013 OBP average in high leverage situations, making them fairly clutch relative to themselves in low-pressure situations.  Five of six regular Orioles perform better when the pressure is on them to succeed.  This causes me to believe that the clutch rating stat has to be taken with a grain of salt when looking for it to translate onto the field.

With this in mind, I’ll look into the team’s clutch pitching numbers with my next post to see how the 2013 team is comparing to last year’s.

Bounce Back Candidate for the Second Half: Matt Wieters

Posted in Offense with tags , on July 19, 2013 by oriolesprovingground

I’ve got a new post up on the Orioles ESPN Sweetspot Network blog, Camden Depot today.  The article looks at Matt Wieters as a potential candidate to have a much more productive second half of the season compared to his first half.  Head over to Camden Depot and check it out.

Direct link to article –> Bounce Back Candidate for the Second Half: Matt Wieters