Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Greetings from Puerto Rico

It may be late December, but we should remember that they do play baseball year round. In the Puerto Rican League, Gavin Floyd is 1-1 with a 3.89 ERA, 32 H and 21/17 K/BB in 34 2/3 IP for Arecibo. Apparently those numbers have been put up in eight starts - which just so happens to be the Phillies limit on the number of games Floyd can throw in. So...what do Gavin Floyd's PR Winter League stats mean and are they important? There are no easy answers to that. The numbers aren't pretty - the K/BB ratio (control has been a big issue for Floyd in his various big league appearances) is still bad. Looking at the numbers alone, Floyd has had a below average winter. Luckily, the numbers do not tell the whole story. The quality of play of the league is unknown (to me anyway), the sample size available is very small, and for all we know Floyd could be down there working on a new pitch or ironing out some kinks in his mechanics.

When Floyd struggles next year, we can look back at this and claim we knew it all along and that the numbers were a good indication that he would struggle in 2006. When Floyd excels next year and surpasses all expectations, well then he was clearly working on specific things that have bothered him on the mound in the winter league to correct problems that have plagued him in '04 and '05. I think we've covered our bases pretty nicely here.


Anonymous Braveswin said...

Your right, Floyd's control will make or break him. He'll probably be trade bait if nothing positive comes out next season. Who is he up against in the spring for a spot in the 5 man?

Also O.T. What were your thoughts on Marlon Byrd? I thought last year he would break thru then he was traded.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Chinpo said...

I still think Marlon can be a productive hitter. I didn't get a chance to see much of him this past season, but when he was on the Phils I saw the makings, he just lacked consistency. Unfortunately, I can also see Marlon ending up as a journeyman type player unless he breaks out in the next season or two. XXX will give you a real analysis hopefully.

6:49 PM  
Blogger XXX said...

Gavin Floyd - if the Phillies don't add anybody else before spring training, his competition for the job as fifth starter should include Rob Tejeda, Eude Brito, Cole Hamels and maybe even newly added Ricardo Rodriguez. It's early of course, but I'd say Tejeda is the favorite with Brito and Rodriguez to the bullpen, Floyd to AAA, and Hamels to AA. I am still holding out hope that Floyd can be a productive big league starter, but it hasn't looked too good thus far for him and he'll really need to make some adjustments to be the player many thought he could be. I suppose my belief that he will break through in 2006 in AAA and then with the Phils is based on more of a feeling than anything else, but I really think the guy will turn it around - he is too talented not to. Only time will tell...

Marlon Byrd - I could not have been more wrong about Marlon Byrd as a player. I watched him play in 2001 in Reading and he looked like a young Kirby Puckett - similar body type and similar approach to hitting. 2001 was his break out year in AA (.316 average with a .555 slugging and a 935 OPS plus 28 homers, 32 steals, and 8 triples) and baseball people around the league began to take notice.

My personal question about Byrd is simple. What happened to his power? I realize he never was a power hitter and his 2001 numbers were out of line with the rest of his career, but Marlon has never had more than 7 homers in any one big league season. Byrd looked like a potential 30-30 guy at one point, but now it appears he will settle into a nice career of 4th OF work with maybe a potential platoon opportunity out there to jump start his career.

Byrd has a lot going for him. He'll be 28 this year, has plus speed, he is versatile enough to play all the OF spots well (I've only seen him play LF and CF, but I think he can play right if given the chance), and still has good power to the gaps.

Giving up on Byrd last year and only getting Endy Chavez in return was a damn joke. Byrd is a far more talented and useful big league player; it is very hard to argue otherwise. I am probably far too much invested in Phillies players (especially younger guys that have come up through the system) that I can not really say what I think the future will hold for Marlon. He could be 38 and not 28 and I'd still think he has "potential." So consider that when I say that I believe he can be a useful player somewhere. Time is running out on Byrd, but if the right opportunity comes up within in the next year or two, I think he can begin to establish himself as one of those real solid journeymen outfielder types.

For the record, Marlon Anderson and Marlon Byrd are the only two Marlon's in baseball history. They were teammates in Philly and are teammates in DC again this year. Strange game. Anyway, hope that helps some and always glad to talk a little extra baseball. 2 comments on one post - new record.

10:35 PM  

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