Batavia Muckdogs Notebook: 2011 Week 11

Newcomer Vance Albitz has been officially anointed as the next in a line of "scrappy" Cardinals infielders.

Current Standings – New York-Penn League, Pinckney Division:

Club  W  L  PCT  GB  ELIM #  Home  Away  L 10  Streak
Auburn 44 29 0.603 - - 25-13 19-16 6-4 W1
Williamsport 42 32 0.568 2.5 1 25-10 17-22 5-5 L2
Mahoning Valley 39 34 0.534 5 E 22-15 17-19 4-6 W2
Batavia 36 37 0.493 8 E 19-17 17-20 5-5 L1
Jamestown 35 38 0.479 9 E 19-17 16-21 4-6 L2
State College 30 43 411 14 E 18-19 12-24 6-4 W3


Roster Moves:

Phil Cerreto – was activated off the 7-day disabled list on Saturday, the 27th. 


Of Interest:

Right-hander Sam Gaviglio made his professional debut on Tuesday, August 30th.  St. Louis' fifth-round selection in this June's First-Year Player Draft pitched a perfect first inning en route to Batavia's eventual 6-5 victory over State College.  The Daily News reports that Gaviglio is likely to get one more start before the season finishes up.


Muckdogs' manager Dann Bilardello is quoted in Tuesday's The Daily News article as comparing Vance Albitz' playing style to former Cardinal David Eckstein.  Wednesday's article quotes Jeff Luhnow as saying that Albitz "defines scrappy".  Albitz has been anointed.


Javier Avendano appeared in a game on September 1st for the first time since an August 7th appearance.  It has been a lost season for Avendano as he has tossed just 12.1 innings in eight games due to injuries. 


Last week, we looked at all of the hitters' numbers for the first three-plus weeks of August.  This week we look at the six players that averaged at least 2.7 plate appearances for each game played for the month:  catcher Juan Castillo, first baseman/left fielder David Medina, second baseman Jeremy Patton, corner infielder Romulo Ruiz, infielder Danny Stienstra and infielder Garrett Wittels. 


Juan Castillo 21/75 0.257 0.333 0.314 0.648
David Medina 25/79 0.266 0.359 0.329 0.688
Jeremy Patton 22/76 0.289 0.365 0.434 0.799
Romulo Ruiz 25/92 0.239 0.297 0.435 0.732
Danny Stienstra 20/76 0.289 0.333 0.316 0.649
Garrett Wittels 17/66 0.303 0.347 0.348 0.696
Juan Castillo 22 4.9% 16.0% 0.370 0.172
David Medina 21 13.0% 26.1% 0.375 0.051
Jeremy Patton 22 10.6% 11.8% 0.323 0.145
Romulo Ruiz 22 7.9% 13.9% 0.344 0.205
Danny Stienstra 22 6.0% 6.0% 0.250 0.196
Garrett Wittels 20 6.9% 11.1% 0.339 0.045


Comparing each player's BABIP to their production, only Jeremy Patton has a BABIP that is close to the standard range.  Danny Stienstra's BABIP is low so his offensive output should improve, while the other four have high BABIPs.  Overall, there is not a great deal of power displayed by this group either.


This week's qualifiers for batting Hot and Not are:  Shortstop Vance Albitz, outfielder Virgil Hill, David Medina, Jeremy Patton, Romulo Ruiz, Danny Stienstra and outfielder Reggie Williams.  Qualifiers had a minimum of 2.7 plate appearances per game played for the period covered.  The stats cover the period August 26th through September 1st.



Who's Hot: 

Shortstop Vance Albitz's bat is blazing this week to the tune of .391/.462/.565/1.027, 9-for-23 in six games with four doubles and three walks against one strikeout.  He had a .409 BABIP. 


Honorable mention goes to outfielder Reggie Williams who compiled a line of .286/.313/.643/.955, 4-for-14 in five games, with a triple and a home run.  He had a .300 BABIP.


Hector Hernandez had the best outing of the week.  The southpaw followed Sam Gaviglio's one-inning professional debut on the 30th and he tossed a beauty:  six innings, four hits, two walks, one run/unearned and seven strikeouts.  He had a 1.87 FIP, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, .190 BAA and .267 BABIP.



Who's Not:  

Infielder Danny Stienstra went .238/.238/.238/.476, 5-for-21 in five games with two strikeouts and a .263 BABIP.  He did not have either an extra base hit or a walk.


No single pitcher on the Muckdogs staff consistently pitched poorly for the entire week but new reliever Yunier Castillo's September 1st outing merits a mention here.  Castillo relieved starter Pat Daughterty with a runner on first and one out in the fifth inning.  He proceeded to intersperse a walk with three hit batsmen before he was removed from the game.  Castillo allowed the inherited runner to score plus one of his own before dumping the whole mess on his bullpen mate Adam Bileckyj.  He did not retire a batter. 



The Games: 

Batavia went 3-4 this week as a forgettable season winds down.


The Muckdogs won Saturday's home contest against Auburn (Washington) 7-5 while Sunday's game was postponed due to rain: link


Monday found Batavia hosting State College (Pittsburgh) which they lost 2-1: link


The Muckdogs bounced back to take Tuesday's game against the Spikes 6-5: link


They then traveled to State College for two games, dropping Wednesday's game 4-3 as the Muckdogs were officially eliminated from the play-offs: link and lost Thursday's game 7-5: link


Batavia split Friday's double-header at Auburn, winning the opener 4-2 but losing the nightcap 2-1: link



What's Next:

The Muckdogs finish their season by hosting division champion Auburn for two games.




BABIP (Batting Average for Balls In Play) – measures how many balls that are put into play go for hits, excluding home runs.  The average BABIP is from .290 to .320 and is impacted by the team's defense, changes in talent level and luck.  Certain individual factors, such as a player's speed, impact that hitter's BABIP but generally speaking extreme variations from the average BABIP should eventually move closer to the average range.


GB %, LD %, FB % - the percentage of how many of the hitter's balls in play are groundballs versus line drives or fly balls.  A groundball produces .05 runs/out (R/O), line drive = 1.26 R/O and a fly ball = .13 R/O.  Therefore, a batter wants to hit more line drives while a pitcher wants to induce more ground balls.


OPS+ (On-Base Plus Slugging Plus) – takes OPS (the combination of on-base percentage and slugging percentage) and normalizes it for such things like park factor.  This allows us to then compare players on different teams and different years.  League average is 100+ and each point above or below equals one percentage point.  A player with a 95 OPS+ for the season was 5% below the league average, for example, while a player with a 115 OPS+ was 15% above the league average.


wOBA (Weighted On-Base Average) – starts with the idea that not every type of hit is equal which is how Batting Average works.  Weighted On-Base Average combines all of the different hitting areas (hitting for average, hitting for power, having plate discipline) into one metric and weighs them proportionally according to their actual run value.


- The formulas used to calculate statistics such as BABIP and FIP are from The Hardball Times.

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