Yulieski Gurriel agrees to 5/$47M deal with the Astros

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by rocketpower2, Jul 15, 2016.

  1. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Contributing Member

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    Slogan is describing plate discipline for a different island, but has some merit...."You don't walk off the island."
     
  2. Astrofan59

    Astrofan59 Member

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    The problem with that line of thinking is that while he does not walk much, he also does not strike out much. And I guess pitchers would prefer to throw him strikes than put him on base and then have to pitch to Springer, Reddick, Altuve, and Correa.
     
  3. Major

    Major Member

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    Agree on all counts. My thinking is simply this - what pitchers are doing right now is not working, given that he's destroying the ball. If you throw further out of the zone, one of three things will happen: he will strikeout more; he will make weak contact; he will be more patient and walk. Given the current results, I would try that and see what happens. Worst case, you give up a walk - but he's in the middle of the order, so at least you're facing the bottom of the order guys at that point (who are still very good, but not at the MVP level of the top of the lineup).
     
  4. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Contributing Member

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    Umm....it looks like pitchers have been trying that lately. It has lead to less strikeouts, less walks, less swings early in counts, a lot of hitter's counts, and a lot of hard hit balls in hitter's counts. By throwing further outside, pitchers are just making it easier for Yuli to tell balls from strikes.

    Edit: On the less walks, pitchers don't want to walk Yuli and end up challenging Yuli trying to get back into the count.
     
    #764 Joe Joe, Jul 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  5. Major

    Major Member

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    Sure - but that means they are giving up before the process completes. You have to commit to the idea - if he walks, he walks. I'm certainly not advocating not to challenge him early and then throw strikes late. I'm saying don't give him strikes at all. See if he'll take the walk or if he'll swing away at crap once he gets to 3-0 or 3-1. The fact that he hasn't been walked in 6 weeks is sort of ridiculous. It would be fine if he had a 0.700 OPS and you're winning the battle most of the time - but he's at a 0.950 OPS during those 6 weeks. A walk is not much worse than that.
     
  6. Major

    Major Member

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    As an example, in today's lineup, if you walk Yuli, you get to face Beltran and his sub-0.700 OPS, and then McCann, who's been pretty bad the last few weeks. There's just no reason to give him anything to hit until he proves he'll take a walk.
     
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  7. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Contributing Member

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    OPS is not a good measure of the value of a walk as it walks, hits, doubles, homers are not worth the same on a per base or per plate appearance basis. It is a great measure for non-extreme cases, but that is not Yuli nor the way you want him pitched. Weighted OBA (wOBA) weights walks, doubles, homers, etc to their actual value in generating runs and then normalizes to a OBP scale as OBP is worth more than slugging. Judge has a wOBA of 0.448. A walk is worth 0.7. So your worst case scenario is asking a pitcher to basically make Yuli worth 50% more batting than the best hitter so far this season.

    Yuli is incredibly hot and still his wOBA is "only" 0.423 versus the alternative of 0.7 if he starts taking walks every time. Pitchers are going to challenge Yuli on 3-0, 3-1 as long as he is hitting a wOBA significantly less than 0.7 provided it isn't a high leverage situation where a walk doesn't hurt.
     
  8. Major

    Major Member

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    But you're making the assumption that Yuli will walk if they don't pitch to him. I'm saying Yuli hasn't taken a single ball on a 3-ball count in 6 weeks. If I'm a pitcher, I want to find out if he'll take a walk or will swing at a ridiculous pitch and give me a free out, rather than throwing him a reasonable pitch to try to hit.
     
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  9. SS0101

    SS0101 Member

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    Yuli is a really good bad ball hitter. He ain't walking and he will still hit the ball hard. Best plate coverage on the team.
     
  10. Major

    Major Member

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    At some point, though, one of these assumptions has to break down. You keep giving him worse balls to hit - at some point, he either swings at total crap that he can't hit well or he walks. If he will swing at balls 6 inches off the plate, throw it 8 inches off. If he swings at that, throw it 10 inches off, etc. All I'm arguing is that pitchers should try to figure what that breaking point is, and what will happen in that scenario - because they are losing the battle right now.
     
  11. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Contributing Member

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    So what you are saying is that you don't believe Yuli can't tell the difference between a pitch way outside the zone in 3-0, 3-1 counts despite him getting into 3-0, 3-1 counts and despite that in last 30 days he's chasing pitches outside the zone at less than the average MLB rate? The no walks is weird, but I just can't see a team throwing away the gift of him swinging on 3-0, 3-1 counts to test your theory after it has failed earlier in the count.
     
  12. SS0101

    SS0101 Member

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    A lot of this has to with he is coming up with runners on a lot lately. There is nowhere to put him so they have to at least stay in the neighborhood.
     
  13. Major

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    Sure, it could be the case. Or he could get antsy and really wants to swing and get hits, so he's over-aggressive on 3-0, 3-1, and 3-2 counts. I have no idea the reason for it, but I know that he hasn't taken even ONE ball in those situations in 6 weeks. Pitchers should always test limits of players who do ridiculous things. Pitchers should find out how far they can push him. Honestly, they might already be doing that and he's swinging at that stuff and getting out, but based on his overall numbers, I assume that's not the case. If he's swinging at balls and still getting hits, then pitchers need to push him a little farther out of the zone and see what he does. It's similar to that Cubs catcher that was 0-30 throwing people out. At that point, every base runner should run on him - even the slow dudes, until they find out who he actually CAN throw out. Same also as a a speedster who's 40-for-40 in steals. He *should* be failing here and there. A 100% success rate just means he's not running enough and is probably missing out on a lot of potential steals he could have had. You always test limits of players in those kinds of situations - otherwise, you're just missing out on opportunities.
     
  14. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Contributing Member

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    Those situations breaking perfection is a good thing. Walking Yuli is not. You would need to win 3 times for every walk to win this strategy. You would also need Hinch and Astros data crunchers to not notice. I can't imagine it working more than twice if at all before. Also, it is very difficult to do if runners are on.
     
  15. jim1961

    jim1961 Member

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    body slam and raining threes like this.
  16. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Contributing Member

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    Looking at his heat map for July, Yuli is continuing not to swing at pitches way out of the zone that often (<10% in most spots way out of zone), though swinging at a lot of balls near the zone. His contact rate is a donut of 100% in July as he's hitting everything he swings at except he's around 70-80% in middle middle, middle lower third, and middle outer third.
     
    #776 Joe Joe, Jul 22, 2017 at 1:02 PM
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017 at 1:09 PM
  17. tmacfor35

    tmacfor35 Contributing Member

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    I've said it before.

    He's the second best hitter on this team.

    He squares up hittable pitches better than anyone on the team.
     
  18. desihooper

    desihooper Contributing Member

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    He certainly thought he drew ball 4 a couple of times against Britton in the ninth yesterday!
     
  19. awc713

    awc713 Member

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    Yuli is a hell of a vet for this team. Producing in spades doesn't hurt either. What a great contract by the FO!
     
  20. Malaya

    Malaya Member

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    He drew a walk this game.

    Think he's getting a comfort level with walks. Probably had a hitter's mentality throughout his career before this year.
     
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