Macay McBride

McBride was generally great in 2005 despite a 5.79 ERA; he had one bad outing and ridiculously bad luck, opposing hitters hitting almost .500 against him on balls in play. He hurt his forearm — a scary injury, since it was mysterious forearm pain that foreshadowed Hampton’s eventual elbow surgery — in spring of 2006. When he came back, McBride had the typical problems of a elbow injury sufferer: control difficulties. In the first half of the 2006 season, he walked 20 men in just 26 2/3 IP. Meanwhile, he struck out just 15. He had a 4.39 ERA and pitched worse than that. In the second half, the McBride of 2005 returned, as he struck out 31 and walked 12 in 30 IP. His second half ERA was 3.00, even though he was again somewhat hit-unlucky and also allowed his first two homers.

Presumably, McBride will serve as a LOOGY with Gonzalez as a setup man in the seventh and eighth, because using Gonzalez to only pitch to lefties would be stupid, while McBride has had problems getting righties out. Lefties hit .181/.252/.295 against McBride, similar to what they did against Gonzalez. But righthanders hit .312/.432/.404. Against lefties, he struck out 30 and walked 9; against righties, it was 16 and 23. But who knows? I now more than ever expect McBride to follow the Mike Stanton career path and pitch until he’s 45.

Macay McBride Statistics –

53 thoughts on “Macay McBride”

  1. Mac, good observation in comparing McBride to Stanton. Similar short and stocky. Similar mid 90’s fastball. I remember Stanton’s platoon split against righthanders being better at this stage, but maybe not. He waas certainly a lefty killer in postseason in 1991.

  2. I remember us drafting McBride as a Georgia pitcher out of high school. They talked about him as a Billy Wagner type, the build and plus fastball. McBride though fits well in the lefty only setup role that hopefully BC has him penciled in for and is another key to this year’s bullpen.

  3. Who knows. Maybe McBride can improve his walk rate against righties. From the splits mentioned above, the biggest problem appears to be the walks he allows; an IsoSLG of just .088 is really nothing to worry about provided he’s not walking every other righty he faces.

    I think he’ll be a very good LOOGY this year, and I hope he can develop into something more as his career continues.

  4. Also, the initial Vegas line on the Braves is 30:1 to win the WS. Doesn’t sound bad to me. I think I might throw down $5 on that just for fun.

  5. “Oh, those bases on balls.”

    Hopefully, McBride will be an effective LOOGY & we’ll look back on our ’06 bullpen & smirk.

    Hell, put $20 down—you won’t miss it. Those are great odds.

  6. Mac, I know that you’ve explained this before, but why does McBride’s line lead you to predict that he’ll be able to break out of being just a LOOGY into a Mike Stanton-type reliever effective against both RHB and LHB?

  7. I really like the strikeout rate, and I really like his ground ball tendencies. The latter doesn’t really help him on this team, but on a team with a good infield defense he’d be in good shape. I think that the control problems of the first half were injury related and that if he’s healthy he’ll thrive. The success against lefties means that he doesn’t have to get righthanders out consistently as yet.

  8. Seriously, if he can just cut down on the walks I think he can be a fine reliever. If he can be just league-average vs. righties, his skills against lefties will allow him to have a solid career as a 7th or 8th inning guy.

  9. Crossposting from the previous, I think anointing any current player as “best reliever” over Hoyt Wilhelm is way premature. Even outside his ridiculous counting stats, his usage pattern and greater % of high leverage innings would have really dampened some of the gaudy stats of the names mentioned.

  10. I don’t know if Hoyt Wilhelm was that impressive. If you neutralize his stats to the 1968 Dodgers on B-Ref, his stats are incredibly similar, which means he pitched in pitcher’s parks most of his career. Put him with the 2000 Rockies, and he’s got a career 4.29 ERA with 3 seasons with an ERA over 6. Am I interpreting this stuff right? I haven’t played around with that feature much.

  11. Check the IP totals. That’s impressive no matter where you pitch, and none of the other guys are what, much over a third of the way there yet? His ERA+ stats are skewed by the low offense era in which he played, and further by the number of multi inning appeareances. I really don’t get the value of putting him on a statistical outlier park and saying, see, his stats went up – how does this help anyone else look better? What did Rivera’s stats do in the same simulation? Can you run it to make him pitch 136+ innings/yr instead of 80 something, and tell Mo if he gets better or worse comparitively?

  12. You’re right, I missed the IP totals. That is impressive. In the eighth inning, the game was over. And yeah, his ERA+s are really skewed because of that. However, because Mo has pitched in a hitter’s era and a hitter’s park predominantly (plus Camden and Fenway a great deal), his stats basically stay true.

    I agree too that there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of point to neutralizing stats, except that it does do a fair job of deleting variables that may skew a player’s value (see: Vinny Castilla, Dante Bichette, etc.). In Mo’s case, I think it makes him look great compared to the greats that pitched in pitcher’s parks and eras.

  13. The reason you neutralize stats is to remove context and (presumably) isolate the player’s performance. So when you talk abou ERA+ being “skewed” by era, I get confused. ERA+ removes the skeweing effects of era and lets you look at how much better/worse a player was than his contemporaries as opposed to who good another player was when compared to his contemporaries. I mean, if league-average was a 3.00 ERA, then putting up a 2.50 ERA just isn’t nearly as impressive as it is when the league is putting up a 4.30 ERA.

  14. What I mean is that when dealing with smaller era’s in general, the differnce is magnified, in a low offense context. The value of .2 of era is much greater in a low offense/era situation than in a high offense/high era. ERA+ only deals with % compared to average, without contextualizing the VALUE of the difference.

    Example, if you pitched a 2.00 ERA, and league avg (assuming no park effects) is 2.2. Your ERA+ is 2.2/2.0, or 110. It would also be 110 if you were 4.00 and the league was 4.4. But if the runs/gm are lets say 3.00, the IMPACT of the 2.0 guy v. the 2.2 guy is GREATER than the 4.0 v 4.4 guy in a 6 r/gm context. I am no savremetrician, and I probably just gave a crappy example, but I hope it helps illustrate my point.

  15. Sorry, forgot the second part of the ERA+ skew. Wilhelm pitched a lot more multi inning and “fireman” type situations than current closers, giving him a much greater opportunity to give up a run than a ninth inning only/nobody on modern guy. His era, and by extension era+ suffers as a result of pitching more, and harder innings.

  16. spike-

    I don’t really buy the arguement that .2 runs in a 3 run/game environment is more important than .4 runs in a 6 run/game environment. I don’t really see how you can say one is worth more than the other.

    As for the IPs, I agree that pitching that many more innings makes the performance more impressive. But if you want to give him credit for pitching extra innings, you can’t also say that pitching those innings made his ERA higher and that it was therefore “skewed”; that’s giving him credit twice for the same thing. ;-)

  17. Hoyt may have had more innings, but Mariano is better. Not only were his stats minus IP totals better, but they were at a time where the league offensive totals were much higher.

  18. Mac, I don’t know if the “Francouer vs. LaRoche” thing on the Braves Journal Definitions thread is entirely accurate. LaRoche seems to be much better than Francouer right now.

  19. Rob –

    Mariano HAS BEEN better over the first 12 yrs – Mariano needs to finish his career, and then we’ll judge his stats. If he stopped right now, there’s an additonal 1300 innings of 146ERA+ Hoyt has – I’d say that makes up the difference and then some

    mraver –

    As I said, I am probably doing a poor job of articulating this, but when you are in a close/late situation, and the value of a single run is much higher as a result of the offensive environment, being 10% better than the league in PREVENTING that run is much more valuable than in a high offensive era – odds are you’re team won’t be able to score in a single inning. So all I am ssaying is that a having 110ERA+ reliever as your closer as opposed to a 100 was a much bigger advantage when Wilhelm was playing, so that direct ERA+ comparisons are not necessarily the best way to value relative contribution to their teams.

  20. Spike- But it’s not a matter of being 10% better at preventing a single run; it’s a matter of preventing 10% more runs than an average pitcher. (Sounds the same but it’s not.) Besides, your arguement doesn’t address the fact that preventing runs in Rivera’s era was a lot tougher than in Hoyt’s.

  21. Wilhelm career splits.
    Rivera career splits.

    I can’t delve too deeply into this now, but just to point a few things out… Rivera has 2342 career PA against in close & late situations; Wilhelm had 3389. This is partial data for Wilhelm, missing the beginning of his career; he was probably used in about the same pattern. The vast majority of Rivera’s career PA against have come in the ninth inning, while Wilhelm faced nearly as many batters in the eighth, and a whole lot in the seventh.

  22. Okay, everyone, I want to bring up something Rob and I have been talking about lately. I made 2 claims:

    1) Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, South Carolina and Tennessee either currently cheat or have in recent history cheated to recruit athletes.

    2) Vanderbilt has not.

    I’ve told him that I’m much more certain about the second than I am the first, and he has a real problem believing that both are true. He thinks that if the first 11 cheat, Vanderbilt must also.

    I think Vanderbilt, as a smallish private school that maintains higher academic standards for its athletes than almost any school in the country, just doesn’t have the incentive to cheat that the others do. If you’re Vanderbilt and you get caught cheating, your reputation is ruined. If you’re one of the other 11 and you get caught cheating, you go on probation, but everyone expects it, because you’re a state school and your job is competing for and winning football championships.

    Any thoughts? I obviously have more to say, but I want to hear initial reactions first, if any of you would humor me.

  23. Vanderbilt sucks! :)

    Okay, I’m sorry. I apologize for my juvenile statement denegrating one of, if not the, finest institutions of higher education in these United States. Oh, and GO BRAVES!

  24. well, I am going to drop it until i can figure a way to explain it better, but in close/late usage, it IS “a matter of being 10% better at preventing a single run;” because the game is over if you give that one run up – quality of opposition regardless. And my argument EXACTLY addresses “the fact that preventing runs in Rivera’s era was a lot tougher than in Hoyt’s”, because in the different comparative context, percentile comparisons don’t really value Wilhelm’s contribution appropriately. One last lame example. I am going to Singapore (really) next week. $1 US = $1.50 Sing (really), or the sing$ is 150% of the face value of the US. But a beer is about $12 Sing (sigh…really) or 300% of it’s US cost. So the comparative values of the currencies are150%, but the actual PURCHASING POWER is twice that. I am arguing that Wilhelms ERA may have been lower relative to his league, but a rank percentile comparison to Rivera UNDERVALUES the higher purchasing power of run prevention in Hoyt’s era.

    Oh yeah, talent dilution artificially makes Rivera look good. Half of these guys today couldn’t get out of the minors back then.

    Just kidding with that last bit. :-)

  25. Stu,
    When you are competing for top athletes the line known as cheating is is always being blurred and redrawn. While it may be true that Vandy doesn’t blur it as much as other schools in the SEC do, i have a feeling that schools that compete more directly with Vandy for athletes that are above average students, would say that Vandy as well as the rest of their clan can be just as squirrelly when it comes to recruiting.
    All schools want to win… some just go too far.

  26. McBride is from my general area so he can do no wrong in my eyes. I still remember being at a house party on the night he was drafted and a friend of a friend’s girlfriend (to recap: I had a friend who had a girlfriend and it’s her friend that I’m referring to(furthermore, I strongly disliked the girlfriend and her friend was ok but he would always drink my good beer and leave the crap beer that he brought)) that knew a guy that went to school with McBride recounted a tale of McBride’s parents buying him a new truck in anticipation of the big draft day payoff. So basically McBride is my homeboy and no one should speak ill of him.

  27. I think Beedee’s statement is fair. To say that Vanderbilt does not do anything that may be considered cheating while competing with SEC and ACC teams around them, and does everything ethical, honest and legal is a stretch, in my opinion.

  28. I’ve always had high hopes for McBride, and love the fact that having Gonzalez means all we need him to be this year is a LOOGY. It would be really nice if he could eventually become a 7th or 8th inning guy, but even if he doesn’t he’ll still be pretty valuable as a LOOGY.

  29. or, it may mean that he thinks the pen is gonna get a lot of work and want’s to spread the load around

  30. McBride’s control was fine in the second half, so hopefully it was just the injury that was the problem. Pitchers who strike out a man an inning are pretty valuable unless their control is really bad.

  31. Yeah, I agree with beedee. We seem to have this notion that it’s going to be Soriano, Gonzalez and Wickman 7-8-9 every night. There’s going to be some nights where those guys are going to be over-worked and we’re going to see Yates, Paronto, McBride, and whoever else in the later innings.

  32. I have visions of the Bullpen of Doom.

    Bad-ass lefty/right setup men, both of whom can close, if nec.

    Wickmania in the end. Warm-fuzzy stories & fan clubs comprised of hard-working, beer-bellied, blue-collar men.

    The Vulture as Bullpen Putty, use where needed, our Ramiro Mendoza (quality middle-innings while the team overcomes a lead).

    McBride as the Death LOOGY. Carlos Delgado—grab a seat. Chase Utley—sit down.

    The other guys? Terrific mop-up men. They won’t be facing Ryan Howard or Carlos Delgado in the late innings anymore.

    It probably won’t work out exactly that way, but I’m allowed to dream.

    Been listening to the new Shins CD & I’m loving it. I get the Beach Boys analogy, but on record they remind me more of The Chills, this old atmospheric pop-rock band from New Zealand. Thanks for the nudge.

  33. Too bad we don’t have the Rotation of Doom, although it’ll be pretty good.

    I’m pretty optimistic about this year. The biggest thing to hope for is health.

  34. I like your vision, ububba. I like it a lot. I also like that, except for Wickman, we’re not paying too much for the pen, and we can slide someone else into the bullpen when he leaves, moving everyone else up one notch. (What’s the point of a badass bullpen if it’s a house of cards?)

    Pedro, R stands for Richmond, so to answer your question, yes. Bohn and Woodward (or Prado) will bolster the team a little bit, as will Salty if/ when he’s called up there.

  35. I picked up the new Decembrists CD a few weeks ago — my first exposure to them. It’s growing on me — anyone have a rec of their previous stuff?

  36. new shins is not as good as old shins

    new decemberists is not as good as old decemberists

    new TV on the Radio is awesome.

    new Arcade Fire (not released, but i got some connections) is an AMAZING follow-up to Funeral

    65DaysOfStatic’s new one in April is supposed to be Roberto Clemente.

    im diggin on some Zeppelin III, and the new Dinsoaur Jr and Great Lake Swimmers albums and, dare i say it, the Grinderman album (Nick Cave and some friends playing honkey-tonk).

  37. I love this quote from Joe Simpson…

    No Big Mac
    Speaking of Simpson, the former major league player was asked by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution if he thought Mark McGwire should be in the Hall of Fame. Said Simpson: “If I could vote for him, I would not. Because he had an opportunity to do the right thing before Congress and do the right thing for kids who might follow his lead, and instead he sat on the bench and was a wimp.”

  38. PITCHERS AND CATCHERS REPORT!! Well, later today.

    Also, today (2/15) is International “That’s What She Said Day” (Google it for more info; it started on Facebook.) Basically the idea is to say it whenever possible, all day long.

    Schuerholz: “That Johnson’s a real slick hitter”
    Cox: “That’s what she said”

    Smoltz, speaking to Soriano and Gonzalez: “Don’t do anything weird around here, just try to fit in”
    Soriano and Gonzalez: “That’s what she said”

    You get the idea. The possibilities are endless.

  39. TV on the Radio’s “Return to Cookie Mountain” is unbelievable, but mostly for reasons best discussed on the political page. It’s the only ’06 record that sounds the way I felt all year.

  40. Spike (back in the USA)–Have a Tiger Beer! The problem with the beer prices is the taxes–and low US dollar. Still, I was there last weekend for a wedding and I must say that I miss the food and even the pricey beer. I hope you enjoy it!

    Stu, I am a life long Vandy fan (my Dad taught there in the 60s and early 70s) and, yes, the Commodores have a lot to lose from cheating. Nonetheless, I cannot help but wonder about the institution’s flexibility. Duke’s situation is not that different, but they have been able to attract scholar athletes–without cheating. My sense is that Vanderbilt likes to be part of the SEC, but also to be at times ‘above it’.

    That said, I think that your basic point is valid and I would not expect Vanderbilt to change anytime soon.

    With respect to McBride, does anyone remember the game last summer when Cox got so pissed about his control that he sents McDowell out to take him out? He seemed to pitch better afterwards, leading me to believe that his control problems were not entirely physical.

    I would love to see him pitch like Stanton…

  41. Stephen in the UAE,

    Great to know there’s another Vandy fan on here! (With you, Parish, and me, that makes 3 of us.)

    One difference is that, at least as far as basketball is concerned, Duke has lowered their academic standards for players to basically allow anyone that UConn or Kentucky or UNC would allow to play. (Don’t know if that’s true for football — in fact, given the consistently terrible team they field, I’d bet it’s not.) Just as Vandy turned away Ron Mercer in the mid-’90s, it would have turned away Corey Maggette.

    Now, I wish we would lower our athletes’ academic standards — as an alum, I would much rather cheer for a consistent winner and am confident that no employer would bring up the fact that my school’s athletes are dumber than I am in the course of job negotiations — but that’s neither here nor there.

  42. Hold on, people, don’t talk about what you don’t know.

    Duke does NOT lower its academic standards to let ANYONE in. That’s why their Football team is soo horrendous. UNC, allows the occasional lower-tiered student in, but for every Rasheed Wallace it allows in, it has 5 Morehead Scholars (usually straight A student athletes, scholarship based on the Rhodes) on the team. Even the most sucsseful players (jordan, etc.) had good test scores.

    So, let’s be honest, Duke does NOT lower its standards (only two in the past 15 years were considered marginal academically (Avery and Capel) and K won’t hoist the manners untii they have gotten their degrees/work in order.

    I am NOT a Duke fan, in fact, as a Carolina fan, I despise Duke. But, you cannot, and I repeat, cannot disparage K for what he has done. Nor can you say that either he or Dean/Roy, or Kentucky or UCLA break rules in regards to athletes when most of the time they don’t recruit the athletes with the academic problems.

    They usually end up at Florida, LSU, Georgia, Memphis, etc.

    Hate to say it, but it’s true.

  43. Chris,

    You just threw two schools I attended (Georgia and Memphis) under the bus as cheaters. But, sigh, you are probably correct.

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