I keep forgetting to check in with Joe Morgan on Tuesdays. This World Cup fever is really getting to me. I might have to go to the free clinic. I gave my grandpa a yellow card the other day for taking too long at the refrigerator. Usually, I like to just grab a nugget of wisdom from every Joe Chat over at the Four Letter but today's Weekly Cup of Joe is going to be a grande. Let's get going kids...
Brian (New York)I love how Joe's standard reply has become, "To answer your question, I don't know." That's the hard hitting analysis I deliver here for free. Somebody needs to start sending me money. I could have sworn I copyrighted that. And I thought all we did was measure great players by their numbers. Why do you think people spent so much time on WAR or wOBA? Why do you hate metrics SO MUCH? Then this happened...
Joe, has Robinson Cano finally reached his potential or is there more to come?
Joe Morgan (11:04 AM)
I don't know if there is more to come, but he's a great player, and you can't always measure a great player by numbers, so I don't know what you mean by "potential". To ask, is there more to come? I don't know.
Joseph (St. Louis)Congrats Joseph in St. Louis, you failed English. After I wiped the blood from my eyes, I moved on to this question...
Who's will be the NL Central Champs?
Tito (Brooklyn)Uhh, *head explodes* Yeah, Howard jacks home runs and has a surprisingly high OBP for the amount of strikeouts he accrues. He's a three-true-outcome player. He's Adam Dunn in a better lineup. Just, let's just look at the last three years of OPS+. Does that sound reasonable?
Joe, with the emergence of Joey Votto and Adrian Gonzalez, is Ryan Howard now only the 4th best hitting first baseman in the NL?
Joe Morgan (11:25 AM)
Are you kidding? Ryan Howard's the only guy besides Pujols that does what a first baseman is supposed to do -- he hits home runs, drives in runs, and leads his team to the World Series. Everyone took a shot at his contract -- he's been Rookie of the Year, MVP, and led his team to a World Championship and two consecutive World Series appearances. Has anybody done that other than Pujols? None of those guys have done that. I wonder why no one questions Matt Holliday's similar contract -- he's never won an MVP award or won a World Series. His numbers were put up in Colorado, where everyone puts up big hitting numbers. He's the second-best first baseman in the league, not fourth-best.
Howard: 2010 - 124 OPS+, 2009 - 140 OPS+, 2008 - 124 OPS+
Gonzalez: 2010 - 173 OPS+ (best in the NL), 2009 - 166 OPS+, 2008 - 139 OPS+
Votto: 2010 - 154 OPS+, 2009 - 155 OPS+, 2008 - 125 OPS+
Recap: Joey Votto and Adrian Gonzalez have been better hitters than Ryan Howard over the past three years.