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How will we ever replace Trumbo?


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By Greg Bird, AngelsWin.com Staff Writer -  

With last week’s trade of the classy Mark Trumbo a lot of fans revolted against DiPoto and the Front Office. I understand the emotional attachment we all had to Mark and his Trumbombs and his departure does warrant a period of grieving. But in the end we are fans of the Angels and we need to look at this in terms of our team as whole. This doesn’t mean we don’t wish Mark well and follow him in Arizona. It simply means we need to ask; does this make the Angels better? Is this a rational decision?

The biggest thing I’ve read is how could we find someone to replace Trumbo’s bat in the lineup? Where will the Angels find 30+ homeruns and 100+ RBIs? The second question is full of faulty logic. We don’t need to replace his homeruns and RBIs, what we need to replace is the runs he created. Homeruns are not the only way to score runs and not the full measure of a player’s offensive prowess. Advanced metrics and logic have proven that RBIs are a team dependent stat because they are entirely a function of other players being on base. This is not controlled by the player with the bat in his hand and therefore shouldn’t be credited to him. RBIs are simply a statement of facts that occurred during a season.

There exist better ways to quantify what a player contributes to his team. Runs are scored by all type of hits; additionally strikeouts, walks, and stolen bases can either kill or continue a very important rally. To judge the true offensive value of a player Sabermetricians have made a number of attempts to quantify the amount of runs a player creates with stats like wRAA, wOBA, and wRC+.

These stats are all based on a theory that each action on the field is worth a certain number of runs regardless of how many runs physically score on the play, some events add runs or partial runs and some take away runs. For example a stolen base increases the chances a run scores that inning by almost two-thirds a run but a caught stealing reduces the chance a run scores that inning by about a third a run.

Weighted Runs Created plus (wRC+) is one stat utilizing all this information and adjusting it for league and park factors. This allows players to be accurately compared apart from factors beyond their control. Once the numbers are adjusted they are set on a 100 point scale where 100 is league average. This means a player with a wRC+ of 105 is 5% better than average at creating runs and a player with wRC+ of 90 is 10% worse than average at creating runs.

What will it take to replace the runs Trumbo created in our lineup last year? While Mark possess rare right handed power many of his other offensive skills are only average. He has improved his walk rate, but he did strike out 184 times last year and his ability to hit consistently was not spectacular. Trumbo’s wRC+ last year was 106 and his career average is 111. To put these numbers in perspective Trout lead the team last year with a wRC+ of 176 and Calhoun’s 126 was second.

Now earlier in the offseason DiPoto traded another fan favorite, “Speedy Petey,” for a real third baseman, David Freese. If we compare Freese to his predecessor Callaspo we discover this was a huge upgrade. Alberto’s wRC+ in 2013 was 90 for the Angels which would’ve tied him for 26th among MLB third basemen last year. As a note, when Alberto was traded to Oakland the A’s utilized him more effectively in a platoon role and increased his wRC+ to 99. Last year Freese’s wRC+ for St. Louis was 106, the worst of his career. Even Freese at his worst is a vast improvement over Callaspo at third base.

Something very interesting occurs when we compare Freese’s wRC+ to our recent departure, Trumbo. These two hitters, when adjusted for park and league factors, had the exact same value to their teams in terms of the amount of runs they created in 2013. They were both 6% better than average. This doesn’t mean they had the same statistics but they had the same net effect offensively, all things considered.

Over his 3-year career Freese has a wRC+ of 119 compared to Trumbo’s 111. Both players had a career year in 2012 and suffered a drop in production in 2013. In essence with these two trades DiPoto has accomplished what Mark was unable to accomplish in the 2012 third base experiment, he placed Trumbo’s production at third. In addition to getting Trumbo-like production at third base he has also procured two quality starting arms and one relief arm.

I really liked Trumbo, just like everyone else. His character was proven as he attended the Christmas Charity Event after he was traded. In a perfect world he would be an Angel for his entire career but our world isn’t perfect. In terms of our offense DiPoto has effectively already replaced Trumbo and anyone who DHs for the Halos needs only be better than 10% below average to improve on last year’s potent Angel offense. That should be easy.

The Angels are going to score runs. All that matters now is, can they prevent them? 2014 depends entirely on the pitching staff. If the starters can pitch deep into games and if the bullpen holds leads then we have hope for a successful 2014 season.

x4UgukiyLiE

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I am on of those peoples that values stats, however, i also value what i observe on the field during games.. i did not want to lose Trumbo, but i think the deal was fair and perhaps very good if both those guys work out.

There is a lot that stats dont take into account... Trumbo has perhaps one of the most raw powerful bats in the game... capable of hitting balls out of stadiums. that is not easily replaced.  Things like that can demoralize opposing pitchers.  but getting him to K can invigorate them as well.

 

I see a lot of articles lately that have as many acronyms as they do actual words.. and thats fine, thats baseball today i guess... but there is more to the game than the stat sheets.  These things may not reflect in the boxscore and may not have as great an effect on the outcome of the game, but that doesnt make them disappear.

 

Thing about the players we have loved over the years on this team.. that didnt have great stats according to the SABR guys, but were some of the best loved guys that came thru at huge times.  We joke around here about grit, guts, etc... as someone who played the game, i still think those things are better than a punchline.

 

Again, i think the trade made sense, even though i  was against it i think it was fair... time will tell.. but i for one will miss the big guy and that presence in the lineup.

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Well there are a lot of Trumbo fanboys and girls, but what's not to like? He's a local product who grew up an Angels fan, strong work ethic, good looking dude and great guy. Oh and he hits monster home runs. Besides the the average fan (nothing against them at all, we were all this way before we became baseball nerds) just sees the former, not the in depth statistical breakdown that determines the true value of a player.

 

I think there needs to be a balance of the two and for me, that's where I'm at.

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So which player has the most potential to return to their former selves?

Trumbo's RoY-2 season or Pujols' 2009 season.

 

Because of your disdain for Pujols, I see this as baiting.

 

But I'll bite. Even Pujols 2012 season with the Angels is much better than Trumbo's ROY season.

 

I'm expecting Pujols to put up his best season by far with the Angels in 2014.

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Well there are a lot of Trumbo fanboys and girls, but what's not to like? He's a local product who grew up an Angels fan, strong work ethic, good looking dude and great guy. Oh and he hits monster home runs. Besides the the average fan (nothing against them at all, we were all this way before we became baseball nerds) just sees the former, not the in depth statistical breakdown that determines the true value of a player.

 

I think there needs to be a balance of the two and for me, that's where I'm at.

I got lost in his eyes too.

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Because of your disdain for Pujols, I see this as baiting.

But I'll bite. Even Pujols 2012 season with the Angels is much better than Trumbo's ROY season.

I'm expecting Pujols to put up his best season by far with the Angels in 2014.

Let's see how it all plays out but I'm sure Trumbo will be a much more valuable asset than Pujols for years to come.

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What's crazy is Hamilton was more valuable to creating runs than Trumbo last year. Let that sink in... If Trumbo can fix the holes in his swing he can be valuable. Until then he is just an above league average player with big power. Was I the only watching Trumbo in August and September? His ABs were painful!

I see Pujols the last two years like people saw Ortiz a couple years back. Without their legs under them a hitter is powerless. From mid-May to August of 2012 Pujols was clicking at the plate.

As far as an emotional attachment to Trumbo by fans, how else do you explain the outrage over the trade expressed by fans? It was completely irrational and I could only describe it as an emotional reaction due to many other mitigating factors. Nearly every national writer and major sabermetric personality praised DiPoto for the trade, something they never do. Yet our fans freaked out over the "small return." That to me defines an emotional response as opposed to a factual, rational response.

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I am on of those peoples that values stats, however, i also value what i observe on the field during games.. i did not want to lose Trumbo, but i think the deal was fair and perhaps very good if both those guys work out.

There is a lot that stats dont take into account... Trumbo has perhaps one of the most raw powerful bats in the game... capable of hitting balls out of stadiums. that is not easily replaced.  Things like that can demoralize opposing pitchers.  but getting him to K can invigorate them as well.

 

I see a lot of articles lately that have as many acronyms as they do actual words.. and thats fine, thats baseball today i guess... but there is more to the game than the stat sheets.  These things may not reflect in the boxscore and may not have as great an effect on the outcome of the game, but that doesnt make them disappear.

 

Thing about the players we have loved over the years on this team.. that didnt have great stats according to the SABR guys, but were some of the best loved guys that came thru at huge times.  We joke around here about grit, guts, etc... as someone who played the game, i still think those things are better than a punchline.

 

Again, i think the trade made sense, even though i  was against it i think it was fair... time will tell.. but i for one will miss the big guy and that presence in the lineup.

 

I love players with grit, with a great attitude, who give a great interview and who's homeruns endanger those unsuspecting fans standing outside of stadiums just as much as the next guy. Those things don't win games though, and more than those cool attributes I love winning, I want to see this team win, and in terms of 'wins' Trumbo is not all that difficult to replace. 

 

I doubt these two new pitchers will give as good of a post game interview, and hopefullly the homeruns they surrender don't go as far as Trumbo's did but they should contribute a lot more to the win column than Mark, and that's all that really matters.

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I am going to miss the mammoth HR's Trumbo hits, but not the K's.  I think we will be markedly better with Freese and Calhoun replacing Trumbo and Callaspo.  

 

i expect the Angels will get more HR's from the Freese/Calhoun pairing than Trumbo/Callaspo would have produced.  Also, more doubles, and those are generally run producing hits.

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I am a Trumbo fan too. That said, what this team needed most was starting pitching. Dipoto acquired two starters in return, one of whom we were rejected from acquiring in a straight up trade for Howie Kendrick. We kept Kendrick, IMO a valuable piece of this team, and still bolstered the pitching staff.

I hope that Trumbo has a solid career. However, you have to give up something of value to get something you need. Trumbo hit a bunch of home runs last year and we finished well below .500 and 18 games off the division lead. I am willing to sacrifice the moon shots if it means more Ws and more runs kept off the board for the opposition.

Edited by Vegas Halo Fan
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