Results tagged ‘ Moneyball ’
Is he done?
Almost certainly. After he went unsigned in the 2011-2012 offseason, the Orioles signed him in May on the chance that he had something left and could help them. He spent six weeks with the Tides, in which he showed he could play a competent third base. But he had no offensive speed — which was expected — and no power — which was not. If he doesn’t have power, he can’t contribute anything. He asked for and was granted his release in late June, and didn’t play anywhere else. I don’t know if he’s formally announced his retirement, but I don’t sense that he’s desperate to play or that anyone else is desperate to have him.
UPDATE — Tejada signed a non-guaranteed contract with Kansas City for 2013.
What’s his legacy? Is he a Hall of Famer?
I don’t think he’ll get into the Hall of Fame, although he’s got better credentials than some who are in. Statistically, the most-similar player was Ryne Sandberg, and it’s not a bad match. But Sandberg was somewhat more versatile offensively than Tejada; he was better defensively; and he was regarded as the best second baseman of his era. None of that applies to Tejada.
Probably, his legacy will be part of the Moneyball controversy. Billy Beane worshippers will claim that the Oakland A’s early-2000′s success was a function of Beane’s jumping on the sabermetric bandwagon early and following sabermetric principles. His detractors point out that four key members of that team — Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, and Tejada – pre-date Beane and were not underrated by traditional measures. Fairly or not, I think that’s how Tejada will be remembered.
Is he this decade’s Chad Bradford?
Apparently. Bradford, of course, was one of the heroes of Moneyball, who according to the legend was an extremely effective minor-league pitcher who was denied his chance to pitch in the major leagues because he didn’t have a fastball and relied on a funky delivery. (The legend isn’t completely true, as the White Sox did give Bradford nearly fifty major-league innings over three seasons and he was effective and the A’s did have to trade Miguel Olivo to get him; Olivo is still active and has nearly 1000 major-league games to his credit. And, while Bradford was effective in his role, the evidence indicates that his role was limited; like most sidearmers, he’s vulnerable to opposite-hand hitters.) Startup is a left-handed pitcher without much of a fastball who has a funky leg kick. You have to see it to believe it; picture a man trying to kick off his shoe back over his head into the closet.
Startup has been effective in his minor-league career. He was drafted by the Braves at age 20 and was immediately assigned to Rome in the full-season South Atlantic league. Most players are assigned to short-season clubs immediately after signing. Startup was effective there, and in the following season pitched effectively in High-A, AA, and AAA ball. The next year, he was still pitching well in AAA before being traded to the Padres in a deal for Royce Ring. He then underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow, and missed all of 2008 and most of 2009.
And since then, he’s been stuck pitching in A-ball in the Orioles organization. In 2011, he was pitching for Frederick when he got called up to Norfolk. He made two appearances, giving up three runs in 2 2/3 innings. Even though he retired the last six batters he faced, he was sent back to Frederick. I guess the Orioles thought Mark Hendrickson was a vital part of their future.
Including his rehab stints, Startup has a career record of 23-6, with a career ERA of 2.66. His career AAA ERA is 3.23. Why is he still pitching Class A middle relief? It’s gotta be his delivery.