Tuesday, February 5, 2013

tmac: Outlook and Speculation on Future MLB Hiring Moves

UEFL Appeals Board member tmac has dropped by to offer his opinion and prediction for the future of MLB full-time umpire hiring activity in 2014 and beyond. A frequent UEFL contributor and author of Appeals Board opinions, tmac has met and officiated games with several present major and minor league umpires.

The new hires of Gonzalez, Porter, and Carapazza are bad news for four umpires: Mike Estabrook (100+ games last four years, 595 total since 2006), DJ Reyburn (387 total games, 130 in 2012), Angel Campos (549 games since 2007) and Mike Muchlinski (467 total, 132 last season). I expect the new young guns—Jordan Baker (72 MLB games in 1st year of AAA) and Lance Barrett (146 games in career; 104 last year)—to get continued cracks; for some reason, I don't think they are done figuring out John Tumpane either (84 games in three seasons; 10 last year).

Essentially, MLB (Marsh, et al.) is not stupid: League brass knows it needs familiar call ups.

Esta, DJ, Angel, and Mike M. will provide that. Next year, the newer guys who will work 30-45 games in 2013 will be ready to get more games in 2014. This will allow for the release of some AAA mainstay—I think the only one who has a shot at a full time job is Estabrook. Though MLB was not high on Mike M. going into the year, he stayed up (despite a delayed call up) for almost the entire year.

Here are a few things to look for: (1) What umpires will be up to start the season? Those guys are the ones MLB is highest on. (2) Notice the guys that are up for the 1st time. If they stay for a few weeks, MLB supers are high on that individual.

Broken down by umpire, here are my predictions. Included are # of MLB games & seasons worked.
Green represents most likely to be hired while red is most likely to be released. Yellow is the middle ground:

Jordan Baker (72 games in 2012, 72 overall in one season):
The next chosen one. Likely to be up 130+ contests in 2013.

Lance Barrett (104 games in 2012, 146 overall in three seasons):
Potentially would be No. 2 on this list by year's end. Has the highest upside.

Toby Basner (19 games in 2012, 19 overall in one season):
Under 30 and stock is rising!

Cory Blaser (104 games in 2012, 226 overall in three seasons):
Had such a quiet year that I almost left him off the list. Was up from Aug. 13 onward and had some meaningful plates. That's a good sign heading into the 2013 MLB season.

Angel Campos (76 games in 2012, 549 overall in six seasons):
Will continue to get phased out.

Chris Conroy (129 games in 2012, 212 overall in three seasons):
Here's another guy that showed a lot last season, but his clock is ticking as he'll be 39 during the year. Will there be enough jobs for him?

Mike Estabrook (120 games in 2012, 595 overall in seven seasons):
I expect Estabrook to be up 130+ in 2013. If there were to be three jobs in 2014, Esta will be in great shape.

Clint Fagan (16 games in 2012, 21 overall in two seasons):
Make it or break it year for Clint. Under 20 games would be a bad sign; over 60 would be promising.

Mark Lollo (2 games in 2012, 10 overall in two seasons):
Over 30 and stock is sinking.

Mike Muchlinski (132 games in 2012, 467 overall in seven seasons):
I expect Muchlinski to get phased out, but it is afterall a numbers game.

David Rackley (50 games in 2012, 104 overall in three seasons):
His direction this year will determine his future. My hope is he gets 100+ games, but my fear is he's not in MLB's plans and is just a space filler until younger guys are ready.

DJ Reyburn (130 games in 2012, 387 overall in five seasons):
I don't think he's going to get as many games. I'm surprised he's had as long of a look as he has.

Mark Ripperger (12 games in 2012, 57 overall in three seasons):
Doesn't seem like he's part of MLB's plan going forward.

John Tumpane (10 games in 2012, 84 overall in three seasons):
I'm really confused by MLB's handling on Tumpane in 2012, but he is still young enough to get a long look.

Hal Gibson and Adam Hamari are still hoping to get "the call."

And a list wouldn't be complete without some power rankings (sleeve #, 2012 ejection count, residence):
14) Mark Lollo (#96, 0 Ejections in 2012, Ohio).
13) Mark Ripperger (#90, 1 Ejection in 2012, California).
12) Clint Fagan (#82, 1 Ejection in 2012, Texas).
11) Angel Campos (#84, 7 Ejections in 2012, Arizona).
10) John Tumpane (#74, 0 Ejections in 2012, Illinois).
9) David Rackley (#86, 1 Ejection in 2012, North Carolina).
8) Mike Muchlinski (#76, 1 Ejection in 2012, Washington).
7) DJ Reyburn (#70, 5 Ejections in 2012, Tennessee).
6) Cory Blaser (#89, 0 Ejections in 2012, Colorado).
5) Toby Basner (#99, 0 Ejections in 2012, Georgia).
4) Chris Conroy (#98, 1 Ejection in 2012, Massachusetts).
3) Mike Estabrook (#83, 3 Ejections in 2012, New Jersey).
2) Lance Barrett (#94, 5 Ejections in 2012, Texas).
1) Jordan Baker (#71, 3 Ejections in 2012, Oklahoma).

TBA: Hal Gibson (#73, Montana) and Adam Hamari (#78, Michigan).

There may be a couple of additions or deletions to this list. There is a possibility some might retire during spring training and a few new call-ups could get numbers very soon!


David Drewek said...

So since tmac seems to know a lot of guys in the pros does he care to share his real name?

Douglas Becker said...

#73 is Tripp gibson who resides in Arizona....

tmac said...

At this point i will stay as tmac... many already know the name though!

Russ said...

I didn''t realize Campos only worked 76 games last year. I know he wasn't used at all in the last 3 weeks of the season or in May but it still seemed like he worked quite a few games. I agree with tmac, he is probably as good as gone at the end of the year. Frankly, I thought he would be gone after last year. This tells me they are still holding out some hope for him, but it is looking bleak.

I obviously don't have any of the connections tmac does but I would have actually thought Muchlinski would be higher on the radar than Estabrook. Even though he didn't work regularly until May, between mid May and the end of the season he worked a full slate and stayed out of trouble. Both Mike's are still erratic when it comes to the strikezone so that is probably hurting their causes, but the fact that Muchlinski has been in the PCL since 2002 and a call-up since 2006 tells me at least some people in the Umpiring department like him.

Reyburn probably screwed up his chances last season or at least seriously hindered them. He is an excellent balls and stikes guy and is not afraid to make a big call like a balk, many guys on this list do not ever call balks in the MLB, but his attitude was horrendous at times. He was very confrontational with both Robin Ventura and Don Mattingly and was the instigator at times as well. He certainly looks like an MLB Umpire when he works, but his attitude must change now if he wants to be hired.

There is always one or two guys who work way more games than people expect. Two years ago it was Chris Conroy and last year it was Lance Barrett. I think either Fagan or Basner will work a good amount of games this year.

I thought Campos, Tumpane and Ripperger would have been dismissed by now. I just don't see any of those three getting a job.

These are how I would rank the guys if I were in the umpiring Office. To reiterate, I don't have any connections these are just my opinions.

1 Conroy

2 Barrett

3 Muchlinski

4 Baker- I know he is probably going to get hired, but I was not impressed with him last year. I'm expecting to see a lot of him this year so I will have a better opinion at the end of the season but I DO NOT think he is ready yet. He handles situations well but his fuse was really short.

5 Reyburn

6 Blaser

7 Estabrook

8 Rackley

9 Campos

10 Basner

11 Fagan

12 Tumpane

13 Ripperger

14 Lollo- I have not seen enough of him to put him anywhere but 14.

kickersrule said...

So who is tmac?

Anonymous said...

Anything to be divined from the new hires all being IL guyd, or just coincidence?

Bill said...

Any significance that all the new hires are IL guys, or just coincidence?

tmac said...

It's just coincedence. What is more interesting to me is which schools the new and future hires come from.

jkhel said...

Really?? A guy (tmac) who will not put his name out is allowed to post this?

Russ said...

Whats's the big deal? Tmac has posted on this website for at least the last 3 years and maybe longer. He has consistently comes through with accurate information and good insight. I'm assuming he cannot use his real name due to either his current or former job (I don't know what it is, but he clearly knows some good people).People are making a big deal out of nothing. He can be trusted.

jkhel said...

It is a big deal to the guys hwo have worked so hard to get to this level. Then to have someone with a key board and an opinion say this stuff about them and the work they do but will not say who he is... it is a big deal. Just look up Gil on facebook and ask yourself is this really someone that should be judgemental about true professionals!

Russ said...

If you don't like it then ignore it. I happen to follow both Triple A and MLB Umpires fairly closely which is why I posted what I did below. I wish there was a better way this process worked where Umpires didn't have to get let go in MILB every year. But there are only so many spots and decisions have to be made. We all know this and I think tmac is just giving his opinion what he thinks will happen next. It is not fact that he is reporting, but it is a very educated opinion. I'm sorry if you don't like it but there is nothing out of bounds what he is saying.

tmac said...

Hi jkhel,
All of this is just fun opinion stuff.... Just like my opinion that the next 3 jobs were going to be vic, al and manny... (During lasy year's season) last year) and that Tschida is retiring (posted in august)... also way last year.... I've been lucky enough to have umpired at the professional level for a number of years.... Gil, Jeremy and many on this site know my credentials.
I wish everyone of those guys get a job, but the reality is MLB will likely only have 4-6 openings in the next 3-5 years. That means there will be plenty of guys in A/AA ball right now working as call ups very soon.
I work very hard at being fair.. you will notice i am not always pro umpire.... I'm not an umpire apologist but do my best to educate and inform about rules and plays that occur on the MLB/MILB baseball field. I hope you get the chance to stay and enjoy the site!!

Lindsay said...

any chance we can see a follow up post on this at the conclusion of this season?

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