Good day friends, it’s your pal BeefLoaf and I’m starting this writings with my first few sips of coffee, so ALLEGEDLY, by the end I will have picked up steam from the wonder drug known as caffeine and might even have something interesting to tells you all. Probably not. Anywho, this morning I want to talk about a topic that is hot right now, but will fade from our consciousness the minute the White Sox utter
“Jose Abreu has been signed to an extension…….”
My guy MSS kinda beat me to the punch on it with this tweet, but he’s 100% right
The White Sox new hitting coach Frank Menechino. As most of you reading this probably know, the White Sox decided they no longer needed the services of Todd Steverson (and Greg Sparks) and decided to promote AAA hitting coach Frank Menechino. Most will prance out the common refrain that the White Sox “only promote from within” but truth be told Menechino was with the Marlins for a half decade and spent only one season overseeing the Charlotte Knights before his promotion, so its sort of like this
I don’t want to go over all the bloody details of the Steverson firing and the Menechino hiring, I’ll let the Athletic’s White Sox beat report James Fegan take you on that journey HERE and HERE. Fuck naw, this is 108 blog and we have more important stuff to tangle with. I want to know…
HOW TO EVALUATE THE NEW WHITE SOX HITTING COACH FRANK MENECHINO??
It’s an honest question and I really have no fucking clue. Let me spin this wheel for some choices I’m already sure don’t really work much.
TEAM WIDE STATS vs THE REST OF THE LEAGUE
This is the top side easiest way to measure a hitting coach me thinks. Just look at how the White Sox suck at BB% and SLG% and you pretty much have your case. This is easy to swallow for most and probably the easiest way to sell firing Steverson and hiring Menechino, but truthfully, this has tons of holes in it. I’m no Steverson apologist, I’m not sure he did a good job, well, we will get to that later. Anyway, it’s hard to use this sort of thinking because not all teams are homogenous, ie, you aren’t working with the same parts on every team, some teams are inherently more talented than others and that reaches well beyond the effects of the hitting coach. In short, no hitting coach is turning Leury Garcia into Mookie Betts…..you dig? Each team has an EV (Expected Value) based on their talent. Here’s an example.
Let’s use OPS+ because 100 is league average and it makes the example real easy.
Team A has an EV OPS+ of 85 (15% below league average), but performs at 90 (10% below league average) or 5% BETTER than expected.
Team B has an EV OPS+ of 105 (5% above league average), but performs at 100 (exactly league average) or 5% WORSE than expected.
If you looked at the raw team wide stats, you’d conclude that Team A’s hitting coach stinks and that Team B’s hitting coach was much better than him. I’d personally conclude that Team A’s hitting coach did a better job. And this is before even considering the inherent LUCK in any 162 game sample. This is going to be my problem with evaluating old Frank, he’s going to get much better talent than Steverson right out of the shoot, so it is highly likely the performance is better, so this isn’t something I trust.
LISTEN TO WHAT THE PLAYERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THE HITTING COACH
Steverson had nice things said about him by some of the White Sox best hitters in 2019, specifically, the two best hitters on the team and he was out on his ass the second the season ended. Menechino had nice things said about him in Miami and the same delio. I think there is always some bias in the hitters that succeed, they will be boisterous and proclaiming the secret elixir that the hitting coach provided them to unlock their hidden super hero talent, where as the guy who just kinda sucked under said hitting coach probably won’t say anything. Come to think of it, I can’t remember reading much about a player totally trashing a hitting coach and calling him an idiot, maybe it exists, I’m unsure (if you know of one, send it through I’d love to read it). So I think we have to take what the players say with a grain of salt, there will always be some success stories and those individually might not tell the whole story. Although, in Steverson’s case, we White Sox fans are A LOT fucking better off right now with 2019 Yoan & TA7, however much is them and ole Todd, doesn’t matter.
LISTEN TO YOUR FAVORITE MEDIA MEMBER OR BLOGGER
Those folks (I guess “us” folks although I don’t think we have any PEOPLE to call to ask about Frank Menechino) generally have more info on the situation than you, but they / WE have different incentives too, so just be cautious about leaning too hard based on blogger from X site says this guy is great. Not saying anyone is doing anything nefarious, but we all have that friend, who people outside our group CAN’T FUCKING STAND and we defend to the mattresses even though we know they are probably right. This happens to varying degrees across all people, so YMMV
So my conclusion is, I don’t fucking know. Hit me up on the twitters if you have a suggestion and we can do whatever that is together to try and figure this out.