Monday, April 21, 2014

Yay or Nay: Justin Morneau, Kyle Farnsworth

Justin Morneau:

If this was between 2006-2009 this would be a no doubter as Morneau would be a Yay, he would have already been drafted and owners would not be in a scramble to get him added to the roster a few weeks into the season.

However, his 2010-2012 seasons were shortened by injury and while he did play 152 games last year, he wasn't playing at peak levels.

His time with the Colorado Rockies is off to a good start this year as he has had 4 homers, and a .344/.371/.609 line so far which is similar to what he did in 81 games in 2010 but is it something that we can expect over the course of this season?

The first thing I sorta suspected is that this could be a product of Coors field artificially inflating numbers. While he has played better at home, he is still mashing to the tune of a .873 OPS on the road which is a good sign. I also took a look at his BABIP seeing if it has gone crazy so far this year. While this total is a little high (.346) his batting average is in for some regression but even with that factored in a .280-.300 batting average still seems like a reasonable bet.

The one red flag I see is that he has done most of his damage against lower quality teams as 15 of the first 18 games so far were played against teams that are currently below .500. While he did struggle in the three games against over .500 teams those three games happened at AT&T Park which is notoriously bad for hitters of all shapes.

While I think his numbers will regress, I still think he could reasonably hit .280-.300 with 20-25 homers maybe closer to 30 if things break right for him. At the very least, he's at least worth a bench/utility spot and should be started at the very least against the lesser teams in the league.

Kyle Farnsworth:

The increase in the amount of owners (myself included) picking up Kyle Farnsworth off the waiver wire is tied to the news that he has replaced Jose Valverde as the Mets closer. It looks like the Mets are trying to catch lightning in a bottle as their first two options for closing (Bobby Parnell & Jose Valverde) have not worked out due to injury/ineffectiveness.

Even though Farnsworth does not have the most imposing career line (102 career ERA+) he was placed in a similar situation with the Rays in 2011 and returned some positive results (25 saves/173 ERA+). For Farnsworth, he's a yay only if you are absolutely desperate for saves (such as myself) where your bullpen has already been depleted by injuries and taken those injuries with a side of ineffectiveness.

While this being a smart move is far from guaranteed, he has pitched well so far in 9 games and has a nice 2.36 FIP (small sample size alert) and his .280 BABIP indicates that he may have another lighting in a bottle season from the Mets obvious not first choice as their closer again in 2014.