Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Beimel in, Hill Out

I called for the Nationals to sign Joe Beimel last week. The deal makes perfect sense. We need a lefty out of the 'pen. Mike Hinckley, Mike O'Connor, and Wil Ledezma weren't going to cut it. No, you don't want to overpay for a relief pitcher, but for one year and $2 million, the price is right. And going into the season with five of seven bullpen slots filled by dumpster diving trash and unproven rooks is just a little bit much.

Here's what I wrote about Beimel last week:
Over the last two seasons, Beimel has given the Dodgers 116.3 innings in the 3.3s FIP, good for 1.6 wins above replacement and $2.8 million total. At 32, Beimel isn't old, and he's been effective enough against righties to be used as more than a LOOGY. He's given up just one homer over the last two years and racked up groundball rates near or over 50% since breaking through in the Dodgers' bullpen in 2006. PECOTA and CHONE both expect his ERA to regress back to around 4.00-4.10 in 2009. He should be available for one year, around $2 million, or maybe a bit less.
One other thing to note: this is now three pitchers in the Rizz regime, all with groundball rates over 50% (Kip Wells and Julian Tavarez the others). I think we know Mike's type. Don't be shocked if he finds a way to get Alberto Gonzalez onto the 25-man to take advantage of all these groundballers he's piling up.

Regarding Hill. Sad. Bummed. Disappointed. I'm going to assume that the team's doctors see something that none of us do. If he shows up throwing strikes and getting 55% groundballs anytime in the next 16 months, I'll be fit to be tied, but otherwise we'll assume the team thinks he's just broken and wish him luck.

One wonders what changed between when Bowden decided to tender him a contract last winter and now. Is it Hill's health or is it that Rizz differed with Jim on this and is just eating a portion of his $750k salary for the pleasure of overruling his old boss.
  • Update: To be precise, as per NFA Brian, they only have to pay 1/6th of Hill's salary since they cut him now. Still in benefit of the doubt mode, I'm going to assume this was entirely a medical decision. If it was the money, this is a near Aaron Crow-level abomination. But I'm in benefit of the doubt mode.
  • Update 2: I would be remiss not to give a shout out to FJB commenter NY Stat Guy who had the Hill news hours before hit broke publicly. He broke the news in a comment here.


JayB said...

The Ladder I am sure....I think if they could trade Guzman and that big (in today' terms) salary they would do it. Gonzalez would be a great all defense SS...Like I said a while back...if he walks more his D would make it a wash for Guz and his Avg=OBS + Limited Range SS

Sasskuash said...

Since it's safe to call Beimel our best relief pitcher, will we try him as a closer? Is there a reason why we shouldn't? Look forward to feedback on this.

Steven said...

I'd actually like to see Manny play with some non-traditional relief roles. There's no reason that Hanrahan or Rivera for instance should be limited to 1-inning roles. He should play matchups and use relievers to optimize value without dumb 7th, 8th, 9th inning roles that have nothing to do with optimizing match-ups or maximizing leverage.

Steve Shoup said...

I don't know if I'd say this was on the Crow level if this was about money. I don't have a problem saving 600K on a guy if we couldn't count on him. Why pay him to be on the DL?? I'd love to see them resign him to a minor league deal in the hopes that he could rebound but in the mean time we can find a better use of a 40 man roster spot and that $600 K.

NY Stat Guy said...

I feel for Hill as he hasn't been able to stay healthy and show what a good pitcher he can be. Hopefully he will be scooped up by a team that will let him throw some innings. I dont think he will have a hard time finding a team that will give him a chance. I guess for some players that were Expos, the good thing about having Jim as the GM is that there are plenty of front office types littered all over MLB that used to work for this organization.

Steven said...

Steve--the money is peanuts. Our 40-man is littered with talentless slag. And we toss aside our most talented starter because why? To save space for Tyler Clippard?

If our docs decided that he's just gotta go to the glue factory, fine. If we couldn't stand the "risk" of $750,000 to find out if our most talented pitcher can throw the 50-60 innings taht would be needed to redeem his value, that's obscene.