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BCB Mailbag 55: Manny Machado’s leaky toilet

Answering the burning questions from you, the reader.

League Championship Series - Milwaukee Brewers v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Four Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Happy weekend, everyone! I’m set to watch the biggest football game of every year - Army vs. Navy - later today, so let’s dive into those question before it gets too close to kickoff:

Lerch&Brouhard asks:

What is your plan for the Brewers at second base this year? Budget considered or not.

Which high end free agent would you want?

Which medium level free agent?

Who would you trade for?

If an internal option how many starts for each player?

Who would be better at second, Eric Thames or Jesus Aguilar? (Inspired by Ryan Braun’s joking comment at the beginning of last year.)

Martians are also an option but not Jupiterians!

High-end: Marwin Gonzalez
Medium level: DJ LeMahieu
Trade target: Whit Merrifield
Internal Options: Keston Hiura - 75 games
Hernan Perez: 45 games
Tyler Saladino: 27 games
Mauricio Dubon: 15 games
Who would be better?: Aguilar. He can play third, why not second?

Wonderfully Terrific Monds III asks:

Playing the same position, is Jesus Aguilar an ascending player that provides more value to the Brewers than a declining Paul Goldschmidt provides for the Cardinals?

Using DRC+ both players netted the nearly same value in 2018 (134 vs 135) and currently each team features 6 players with a DRC over 100. At the end of the 2019 which player is more valuable to their team outcome and why?

I have a hard time buying into the argument that Paul Goldschmidt is a declining player. His 135 DRC+ - which you mention was still better than Aguilar in 2018 - was his sixth straight season of at least a 130 DRC+. He’s hit 30+ homers in three of the last four seasons, still grades out as a better-than-average defender per FRAA and DRS, He posted a career-high hard contact rate in 2018, after posting a career-high in 2017. In my opinion, it’s a lot easier to side with the guy who has 38.3 WARP under his belt.

That being said, I think the ultimate difference may be marginal. First base isn’t an altogether difficult position to find a useful bat at, which is probably why some seemed surprise at the Diamondbacks return for the Goldy in his final season of club control. The Cards making this deal was less about upgrading at first base - where they already had a highly productive Matt Carpenter - and more about upgrading at third base, where they are now planning on moving Carpenter to.

icelandreliant asks:

Have there been any more insights into any of the new coaches?

I feel like I know very little about them, especially since they were all announced at the same time.

I recently interviewed Brewers pitching prospect Daniel Brown and asked him specifically about Chris Hook and the way that the org delivers and teaches the information from the front office analysts. I’m still working on transcribing the full conversation, but here’s a some of what Brown had to say:

“All the coaches kind of tell you to tunnel your pitches together. Because, as Chris [Hook] says, you know a lot of hitters can tell if you’re not throwing out of the same release window. So if you’re throwing a fastball from one release window, and then your curveball is from a little different arm slot, then the good hitters can pick that up instantly. You feel like the good pitchers in the pros, like Josh Hader is one of them who the fastball and slider is unbelievable. Then you play in with his spin rate and everything, and that’s why nobody can hit him.”

“So with the Brewers, they give you that kind same information about tunneling pitches, different spin rates, and how much movement they have. It’s easier to learn from that and then I can gameplan out that if I want to throw a fastball in this area, then I need to throw a slider into this area, to tunnel it the best way that you can. I think analytics has really opened up a lot of eyes in baseball so you can take your stuff to the next level.”

BMG78 asks:

What inconvenient and unfortunate thing do you think should happen to Manny Machado?

And does that fire in the background of the picture have anything to do with it?

I hope within the giant mansion he’ll surely purchase after signing a mega-deal this offseason, inside one of the seldom-used guest bedrooms in a far corner of the estate, the flapper inside the toilet tank within the accompanying guest bathroom goes bad. That will cause the toilet to run constantly, which no one will notice since the room is never visited. Then, when he gets his next municipal water bill, BAM! He’ll have to pay for his water usage rates shooting through the roof!

Cshwee24 asks:

Unranked prospects that will make an impact in the near future

Nate Griep, Torres-Costa, Weston Wilson…

We can probably start with Tyrone Taylor, who was just added to the 40 man roster in order to prevent him from reaching minor league free agency. He could usurp the Keon Broxton role next season as a center field-capable backup outfielder who often rides the shuttle from San Antonio to Milwaukee and back. You mention Weston Wilson, and I like him quite a bit as well. He’s shown a decent bat and positional versatility in spades, and I think he has a legitimate shot at developing into an MLB bench role in the not-too-distant future. Then, there are plenty of hurlers that I like: starter Thomas Jankins just posted an 85 DRA- as a 23 year old in AA after skipping over the Class A-Advanced entirely; Jon Olczak tore up the Arizona Fall League after dominating the Southern League with a 1.44 ERA as a reliever; Luke Barker throws a splitter and was named Carolina League reliever of the year.

Thanks for the great questions this time around, everyone! Here’s hoping for an active week while all 30 teams are gathered in Sin City next week, and that the Brewers come away with some notable improvements!

Oh, and...


Statistics courtesy of Baseball Prospectus and Fangraphs