Hit and Run, September 16, 2009
**Someone asked me for my opinion on Homer Bailey, pointing out some recent good starts. It is true that his ERA is lower in September (3.63 compared to 5.06 in August and 6.28 in July), but his WHIPS have actually gotten worse (1.79 this month, 1.50 in August, 1.36 in July) so it is hard for me to say that he's actually pitching better. I don't see any reason to change my opinion of him: he's got great stuff but is still more thrower than pitcher. Maybe he'll develop, maybe he won't, no one knows how he will pan out and anyone who says they do is delusional.
**Someone asked me what is the "state of Sickels" in terms of how I analyze things. I'm increasingly aware of how little any of us really know. Fangraphs and Pitch FX is fascinating stuff but can't be applied to the minor leagues and prospects yet since we lack data from minor league stadiums. I continue to believe that there are no magic bullets in prospect analysis, and that it is critical to look at both statistical and traditional approaches. Nothing new there. I've grown increasingly skeptical about guys with great scouting reports who haven't played yet. At the same time I'm well-aware of "stathead failures" too. I've grown increasingly willing to say "I don't know" when asked questions. Because frankly, a lot of times I don't. We can give estimates or probabilities.
**Right now I'm very busy with childcare and family matters. I'll start on the 2010 book soon as well. Look for more frequent but briefer posts here as I have to manage my time very carefully.