Author Topic: I, For One, Welcome Our New CF Overlord (The Robles Thread)  (Read 22567 times)

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Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Robles is an acceptable hitter against lefty pitching (Career near average using wRC+ and wOBA).  Unfortunately, most pitchers are righties (about 30% below major league average).  He should be on the short side of a platoon, starting vs Fried, Suarez, Quintana, Petersen, and Luzardo, and otherwise be used as a defensive replacement and a pinch runner.  There's a spot on many rosters for that.

Offline Smithian

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I can’t handle another season watching Robles in CF. I just can’t.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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FWIW, Call spent most of his time in the minors in CF and had reverse splits last year.  If he can handle the position, then he could get the bulk of the PAs against righties and slide to left late if we were to bring Robles in as a defensive replacement in CF and pull Dickerson. At this point, I'm sort of assuming that Robles makes the team and Garrett perhaps plays full time in Rochester. 

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They're not gonna go through this to use Robles as a defensive replacement. Why would Rizzo pay 2.3+ million when he could pay the league minimum and go with someone he already has?

Robles will get starting time, particularly at the beginning of the season. The talent/scouting is simply too tantalizing. They're gonna hope he figures it out. Maybe they're hoping he can still be a long term piece. Maybe they're hoping he hits well and can flip him at the deadline. But they're gonna get him some regular playing time to start the season.

Offline Smithian

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They're not gonna go through this to use Robles as a defensive replacement. Why would Rizzo pay 2.3+ million when he could pay the league minimum and go with someone he already has?

Robles will get starting time, particularly at the beginning of the season. The talent/scouting is simply too tantalizing. They're gonna hope he figures it out. Maybe they're hoping he can still be a long term piece. Maybe they're hoping he hits well and can flip him at the deadline. But they're gonna get him some regular playing time to start the season.
This is the correct take and we know it will end up miserably.

This is one of the problems of analytics. For all the good it's done for sports, not that long ago Victor Robles attitude, as outlined in that Washington Post article, would have seen him shipped out. Analytics can't count the benefit of a professional clubhouse, so they pretend it doesn't exist.

Offline nobleisthyname

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While there's bad blood, the team's brain trust seems to feel that, because Ruiz can hit, Robles can be carried as the glove guy in an important defensive position rather then the typical glove first catcher a lot of teams have if he just improves a bit with the bat.

Can Ruiz hit? He hasn't really shown that so far. Sure he's better than Robles but that's obviously really not saying much.

This is one of the problems of analytics. For all the good it's done for sports, not that long ago Victor Robles attitude, as outlined in that Washington Post article, would have seen him shipped out. Analytics can't count the benefit of a professional clubhouse, so they pretend it doesn't exist.

Can you elaborate? Advanced analytics hate Robles other than his fielding, and even that they're not wowed by. I think the only reason he's being kept around is because the team is terrible and he's a former top prospect.

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Thats not analytics, thats a culture shift within baseball.

Offline catocony

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Can Ruiz hit? He hasn't really shown that so far. Sure he's better than Robles but that's obviously really not saying much.
 

He hits better than your average catcher, so he's not the #9 guy in the lineup.  The argument is that if Robles can just keep his mouth shut and maintain his defense, while getting a few more hits and walks (and cut down on the boneheaded baserunning blunders), then he can be an adequate #9 hitter.

Offline welch

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Given a chance, Robles hits below .600 OPS, never walks, has no power, and hits a cool .200. There is no reason he should start or be anything other than an 8th inning defensive replacement. Even that is stretching things. His only skill is to chase down flyballs. Others can do that, and even hit .230. Why carry Robles on the 25-man roster?

Online Natsinpwc

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Given a chance, Robles hits below .600 OPS, never walks, has no power, and hits a cool .200. There is no reason he should start or be anything other than an 8th inning defensive replacement. Even that is stretching things. His only skill is to chase down flyballs. Others can do that, and even hit .230. Why carry Robles on the 25-man roster?
He was 1.8 bWAR last year in 360 at bats. That factors in the defense. Lane Thomas was 1.6 bWAR with about 500 at bats. So even with less hitting and the baserunning gaffes he is considered a more valuable player. So the much better defense does matter at least to the people who do these analytics. If we had a really good option in CF then it would be different. As it is unless he breaks out offensively he will be gone by 2024. One last dance.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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He's probably going to start making too much to be a back up on a rebuilding team, but for this year, were they to try to push Hassell up in the 2nd half of the year, Robles would make for a nice back up given his platoon handedness and defensive chops.

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He's probably going to start making too much to be a back up on a rebuilding team, but for this year, were they to try to push Hassell up in the 2nd half of the year, Robles would make for a nice back up given his platoon handedness and defensive chops.
Like I said, take them for all he can. Unless he has a minor miracle at the plate, he'll be non-tendered next offseason. They'll sign someone as OF filler and play Thomas/Garrett in CF until Hassell's service time is solidified.

Offline welch

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He was 1.8 bWAR last year in 360 at bats. That factors in the defense. Lane Thomas was 1.6 bWAR with about 500 at bats. So even with less hitting and the baserunning gaffes he is considered a more valuable player. So the much better defense does matter at least to the people who do these analytics. If we had a really good option in CF then it would be different. As it is unless he breaks out offensively he will be gone by 2024. One last dance.

Robles can run down a flyball. What other baseball skill does he have? When he catches a ball, too often he throws to the wrong base; he has played organized ball too long to keep making such mistakes.

His on-base percentage is about .275, which is pathetic. He hits with no power, "slugging" all of six homers, for a slugging % of about .311, and an OPS well under .600. An OPS+ of 70. Compare Robles to Del Unser, a CF many of us saw with the expansion Senators: a career OPS of .677. That's "the light-hitting Del Unser".

This means that Robles can be a late-inning replacement, so he won't have to hit.

To repeat, what skill does Robles have?


Online Slateman

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He's an elite defender at one of the most defensively important positions.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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He also hits lefties.

Online Natsinpwc

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Robles can run down a flyball. What other baseball skill does he have? When he catches a ball, too often he throws to the wrong base; he has played organized ball too long to keep making such mistakes.

His on-base percentage is about .275, which is pathetic. He hits with no power, "slugging" all of six homers, for a slugging % of about .311, and an OPS well under .600. An OPS+ of 70. Compare Robles to Del Unser, a CF many of us saw with the expansion Senators: a career OPS of .677. That's "the light-hitting Del Unser".

This means that Robles can be a late-inning replacement, so he won't have to hit.

To repeat, what skill does Robles have?
Well you have to check with the people at Baseball Reference. He's a 2-3 WAR player in a full year.   Defense it is.  He is better than Lane Thomas.  Do we have anyone else to play CF? 

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Well you have to check with the people at Baseball Reference. He's a 2-3 WAR player in a full year.   Defense it is.  He is better than Lane Thomas.  Do we have anyone else to play CF? 
I think Stone Garrett can.

I also think Lane Thomas could be good enough

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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I think Stone Garrett can.

I also think Lane Thomas could be good enough
Call handled the position in the minors for Cleveland. 

Online Natsinpwc

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Call handled the position in the minors for Cleveland.
My point is that none of these guys offer much upside over Robles. Might as well let Robles play this year and see if he can grow up.  He’s not blocking Hassell yet.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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My point is that none of these guys offer much upside over Robles. Might as well let Robles play this year and see if he can grow up.  He’s not blocking Hassell yet.
at this point, I think there's more likelihood that Call is our Shane Victorino than there is that Robles can hit righties adequately. I'd like to see Call get playing time vs. righties.  Garrett I think is more of a guy we try every day in AAA to see if he can make contact and field CF.

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My point is that none of these guys offer much upside over Robles. Might as well let Robles play this year and see if he can grow up.  He’s not blocking Hassell yet.
So I disagree with that.

You could play Thomas in CF for the whole year and see if he improves a bit. He will never be a gold glove, but making him average to slightly above average defender turns him into a good CF on a competitive team.

I'm also high on Stone Garrett. He has the speed to play CF. Dont know if he didnt with Arizona because they felt like he couldnt, or because he was blocked by other prospects (Carroll and Thomas). Garrett's EV looked great and he has 20+ homer pop.

Im not saying theyre better, but they have more upside than Robles at this point. And in a year where we're basically looking to develop players and improve the farm team, its totally justifiable to play these guys over the elite defender with 3 seasons of ~.600 OPS.

Online Natsinpwc

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Robles is still two years younger than Thomas and Garrett. He has more speed so if he ever figured out how to hit the ball he would be more valuable than those guys. I don’t know much about Garrett but not sure why anyone thinks Thomas will improve defensively. He’s 27. He’s a 4th OF.  They have a contract with Robles so might as well play him at least half a year.

Offline UMDNats

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Robles has like 0 grade makeup so thinking Robles is going to develop into a good offensive player here is a complete pipedream.

Online Natsinpwc

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Robles has like 0 grade makeup so thinking Robles is going to develop into a good offensive player here is a complete pipedream.
No more so than thinking Lane Thomas is a piece moving forward for a contending team. Starting piece anyway. People want to sell off other guys (Finnegan) because the team is not contending so might as well roll the dice and let Robles play. He’s career 6.3 bWAR over about 1500 at bats so he is better than replacement level per actual data no matter what fans think.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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No more so than thinking Lane Thomas is a piece moving forward for a contending team. Starting piece anyway. People want to sell off other guys (Finnegan) because the team is not contending so might as well roll the dice and let Robles play. He’s career 6.3 bWAR over about 1500 at bats so he is better than replacement level per actual data no matter what fans think.
4.4 of that was piled up in 2019.  3 straight years of 70 or lower OPS+.  fWAR, which is better, has him at 4.0 for his career, 3.5 in 2019, with awRC+ < 70  the past 3 years.  He was a 1 year wonder who got by on weak contact.  Believe the contact for going forward, not the fluke production one year.  In the Robles thread, there's a discussion of why hit velocity data is more predictive.  For that matter, that's why Garrett is a much more interesting hitter going forward.