Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pissing contest with Billy Beane continues

First there was the Lowrie trade, then the A's claimed Nate Freiman, and now the Astros have traded 2009 13th Round pick Jake Goebbert to the A's for 30-year old Travis Blackley, ensuring that the Pissing Contest between Luhnow and Billy Beane continues into Month Two.

I loved Jake Goebbert. I actually had a post scheduled to go live at 6pm for Minor-League Opening Night with all my Minor-League Man Crushes, and Jake Goebbert was my OKC Man Crush.

He was drafted out of Northwestern, enticed by $100,000 to sign with the Astros after having missed the last part of the season with a lacerated kidney, which he got from crashing headlong into the outfield wall at the old Metrodome. My favorite part of the story? He thought he only cracked a rib, so he stayed in the game, hit a double off the wall in his next AB, and knew something was wrong when he couldn't catch his breath. 

In 456 minor-league games, Goebbert hit .285/.363/.431 and hit .304/.399/.473 in 114 games for Corpus last season.

Blackley, a left-handed Australian not named Ryan Rowland-Smith, pitched in 24 games for the A's (15 starts) and went 6-4 with a 3.86 ERA/1.17 WHIP in 102.2IP (striking out 69 batters, and walking 30). It'll be interesting to see how the Astros use Blackley. As a starter (79.1IP), he had a 4.54 ERA/1.24 WHIP in 2012. As a reliever (28.1IP), he had a 2.86 ERA/1.13 WHIP but with a worse K:BB ratio.

Blackley's opponent OPS, by month in 2012:
May (16IP): .610
June (30.1IP): .625
July (27.1IP): .666
August (21.1IP): .746
Sept/Oct (12.2IP): .903

That last month is all jacked up, because at Texas on September 27 Blackley faced eight batters, gave up 5H/5ER and 2HR, and got three outs. So. Overall he had a 4.10 ERA, a 3.96 FIP, and a 4.32 xFIP. FanGraphs gave him a 1.1 WAR for 2012.

He'll report to Houston tomorrow, so that means someone has to get optioned off the 40-man roster. I'm not going to speculate, because I'm terrible at that sort of thing. But right now (and I'm seeing some of the speculation on Twitter as I type) Rhiner Cruz looks a little vulnerable...

Immediate Update: Brian McTaggart's new blog post says Blackley will be used in long relief.

Luhnow:
"He's a left-handed long man, which is something we've been trying to figure out how to work into our roster."

They've apparently had their eye on him all spring, and once he got DFA'ed by the A's (DFAthletic'ed amirite?) got a deal done.

2 comments:

Cockroach said...

Well, dang. I got to see Corpus Christi in person twice last year, and both times Goebbert was a stand-out player. I was excited to see him get the promotion to OKC this year and was hoping to see him in Houston eventually. I'm not thrilled about this trade, but we'll see how It pans out...

Anonymous said...

Have seen Blackley a few times with Oakland and he's an upgrade from what we've been putting out there....assume he will replace Cedeno, who simply does not have enough consistency with his command to help; but Wright should not feel too comfortable either....