The Mockingbird

Happy Birthday Lyle

with 4 comments

Dirt Dog

The Red Sox were apparently interested in Reed Johnson if they Jays had not resigned him.

I’m not one to advocate sabotaging the Jays to spite other AL East teams (see DJF re: the O’s refusing to even discuss Bedard with the Jays), but seeing Reed coming into town with the evil empire would have been like that time I dumped my ex that I grew up with and she immediately hooked up with the bully who beat me up every day for my lunch money. If Reed had returned to his 2006 form it would have been like that time she lost 25 pounds, had extensive cosmetic surgery, and took up pole dancing for his birthday. If they had won the World Series again with him as a starting outfielder it would have been like that time I finally lost it, strangled them both with my bare hands, and set his parent’s house on fire in the middle of the night. Too personal? Too personal.

The Legend of Zaurro

It’s gathering as much dust as the rest of us this offseason, but you have to at least admire the production values of Gregg Zaun’s home page. Poke around and there’s a fan club and his workout regimen. I’m guessing this was an investment made sometime after his media career began to blosson but before he was busted by the Mitchell report.

This Just in: Broken Hands May Affect Bat Speed

Yesterday was Lyle Overbay’s 31st birthday. Quite rightly, him feeling pretty good is sending the Blogosphere into paroxysms of excitement. The theory behind Moneyball (the real one, not the bizarro version hacks like to piss on) is to find players that have underrated skill sets. Is that not the definition of Lyle? The only reason we’re paying him relatively nothing for the next three years is that defense and doubles fly under the radar.

Other than having four freaking pins in his hand, two things that didn’t help Lyle any were umps giving pitches half a foot off the plate as strikes, and a propensity to swing at changeups below the knees. I forgot Josh Kalk has already done all this, but here’s a look at the pitches Overbay did not put in play last year.


It looks worse than it was because all lefties get screwed on the outside part of the plate, but seriously- some of those pitches are halfway to the dugout.

Another interesting tidbit (although over a SMALLISH SAMPLE SIZE of 240 and 150 balls in play respectively) is that on pitches under 92 mph (your average fastball), Lyle’s BABIP was .290. For anything over that, it was .236. (See the comments for the numbers for the rest of the league). He also managed to put fewer of them in play. Ouch. That’s hurting.


Written by halejon

January 29, 2008 at 5:54 am

Posted in Seriousness

4 Responses

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  1. The tidbit on ballspeed is interesting, but my gut tells me that for most contact hitters you’re likely to see a similar spread in batting average (albeit not as large perhaps as Lyle’s).

    The other, almost forgotten, lefty that I’m anxious about is BJ Ryan. Word is he’s close to throwing off a mound. A thought of a healthy Ryan, Overbay, and Wells might get me through to April.


    January 29, 2008 at 4:23 pm

  2. Hmm….I can actually answer how much that is with the remnants of my fastball article. Over about 25,000 fastballs put in play, the BABIP for 92mph+ was .334 and for -92mph, it was .330. (Hr’s haven’t been taken out of that so it’s higher than you usually see for BABIP). I’m going to go ahead and call that not significant. That’s not to say that a faster fastball isn’t harder to hit, just that once most players put it in play, they get hits at about same rate. (There’s a chart with BABIP by pitch at THT). Lyle’s splits seem to indicate a bunch of really lame contact (read: weak ground balls) on the faster heat.


    January 29, 2008 at 6:48 pm

  3. Yah, I know…getting those three back to health is like the biggest free agent offseason signings of all time, just they’re flying under the radar. Niggling questions about their health aside, imagine the buzz if your normal 85-86 win team just signed two all-stars and a top 10 1B. (Although you’d have to wonder why they felt the need to improve a top three bullpen with a guy coming off one of the best closer seasons of all time).


    January 29, 2008 at 6:54 pm

  4. […] January 29, 2008, he published “Happy Birthday Lyle“, an article with a strike zone chart for Lyle […]

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