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"Signals" and "Shortstops" both laugh-out-loud terrific.
Think your commentary for Pat-the-Bat has the years wrong.
Ah. Missed that (obviously). Thanks.
Interesting that in all four of the examples you cite, the peanut butter year was better than the bread years. Was that generally true? Are teams that deviate greatly from expectations more likely to do so on the upside?
Pretty sure the cost of the terminal was measured in the billions (or thousands of millions if you're a Brit).
Not exactly what you're talking about here, but I'm guessing that for pitchers who are on average substandard, a lot of variation is a good thing. I'd bet you get more wins out of a guy who has a 4 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=DRA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('DRA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">DRA</span></a> in 2/3 of his appearances and a 10 in the other 1/3 than a guy who puts up a 6 every time out.
The converse would be true for better-than-average pitchers.
To the extent that variability persists year after year, I wonder <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=WARP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('WARP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">WARP</span></a> would be made more accurate by considering it.
Further to this topic, an article in today's Boston Globe...
For the purposes of this article, a wild pitch would be "interesting". Any data on how often that happens, if ever?
"In three years as the Twins’ starting catcher <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=49076">Kurt Suzuki</a></span> was 35.4 framing runs below average. During those same three seasons, Castro was 39.5 framing runs above average as the Astros’ starting catcher. Based on those numbers, the upgrade behind the plate from Suzuki to Castro alone should equate to 20-25 fewer runs allowed by Twins pitchers."
Not sure how the stat works, but I'd have expected the improvement to be on the order of 75 runs, which would, of course, be staggering.
Suggested alternate measure of plate discipline: Count on which the at bat ends. Isn't plate discipline a combination of seeing a lot of pitches and getting ahead in the count? I'd posit that a guy whose at bat ends on an average count of 2.52 and 1.18 can be said to definitively have better discipline than his 1.83 and 1.44 contemporary.
With sixth best slugging and 15th best <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OBP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OBP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OBP</span></a> in baseball, I'm guessing that the Rangers' <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OPS" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OPS'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OPS</span></a> probably came in around ninth or tenth. What does <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=TAv" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('TAv'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">TAv</span></a> pick up that OPS doesn't that makes the Rangers so much worse in the former category?
How could 2014 AL pinch-hitting pitchers have a .167 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OBP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OBP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OBP</span></a> in seven plate appearances? Must have been six?
Kiermaier hit a solo shot. The other two scored on a GRD after a <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=69188">Travis Shaw</a></span> error.
Hill worked his magic for the Red Sox last year, no?
Baltimore finished third in the AL East at .500. How can their end-of-season expected winning percentage be last, at .475?
I take your point, but in principle if there's one team that thinks Price is worth more than 4/$127 in 2018, the Sox could get something of value by trading Price to that team at that time.
Agree that as opt-outs go, this one isn't super-onerous especially if it comes with a draft pick. Anybody know anything about that?
" Are the Red Sox better off with this clause in the deal than they would be without it? Probably. But it hardly makes this contract a safe one."
In theory, giving the player an option *never* makes the team better off. The reason the player opts out is because the remainder of his contract is a bargain which, absent the option, the team is could have realized either by keeping or trading the player.
It's sort of analogous to saying that it could benefit you to give me an option to buy your house in three years because after I buy it, it might burn down.
That said, the contract is structured to pay Price more in his decline years than it does in his prime, which certainly lessens the value of the option.
"...in that trade is equivalent to (or *greater* than)..."
If you trade for Hamels at the beginning of the year, you get the benefit of his pitching for you until the trade deadline and then, you're either the optimal guy to hold him (in which case the trade obviously worked out great) or you trade him to the optimal guy. If the value you get in that trade is equivalent to (or less than) what you gave up, you're ahead of the game. Which means logically that you should give up something more than his expected deadline value for him at the beginning of the season.
What they said...
How is 39-44 Cleveland fifth on the hit list?
The promised discussion of the A's extension of an offer to <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=31746">Cody Ross</a></span> is nowhere to be found. False advertising!
Really nice. Only as complicated as it has to be to make some very interesting points.
I read somewhere it's all signing bonus and doesn't count. He's equivalent to a drafted player from here on out.
An analysis of RAJ's motiviations I've read elsewhere is that he's on the hot seat and is swinging for the fences on the theory that merely getting expected value won't be sufficient to save his job. This might account for behavior that would otherwise seem consistent with the "holding out because you're not getting the value you expected" variant of Prospect Theory.
Tangential note on finance: Options on volatile assets are valuable not because their buyers prefer volatility, but rather because such options can limit losses arising from that volatility.
The risk aversion that you (accurately) described as lowering the price of volatile stocks serves to increase the value of options on such stocks.
Anecdote: Went to game 4 in 2004 as a Sox fan. People could not have been nicer.
Does PECOTA know that Kershaw is on short rest? If so, how much does that reduce the Dodgers' odds?
Furniture store owner link is broken I think.
Fielding metrics are, as I understand them, based on the frequency with which a fielder makes plays on balls hit into his "zone". How are these metrics adjusted to accommodate the shift?
And further to that question, what's the protocol if somebody is represented? Are they "fair game" as a legal matter? Is there an understanding among agents about poaching one another's clients?
Could just be me, but I'm not seeing the graphs.
Just great is all.
You say: "In general, a given team’s projected RS number is going to be somewhere between PECOTA’s projection and the RS number the team has accrued so far."
Why would it ever be anything else? How, for instance, do we account for the Orioles who are outperforming their PECOTA so far, but are projected to finish below that level?
Actually, I think as the season goes on, the "average" win is worth exactly the same amount as it was at the beginning. For teams that are on the cusp, that win is worth much more at game 155 than it was at game 1. For teams out of contention, or a lock to make postseason, it's obviously not worth anything.
How is it that in none of the consensus divisional standings does the sum of the average positions ever reach 15? Also, how is it possible for the Nationals to be 1.0 consensus finisher with the Nats being 1.9? I'd have thought that the sum of those two would have to at least equal 3.
The Jeter one is Don DeLillo brilliant and -what's this?- funny too! Nice work.
It's only a tangential comment, but I don't get the assertion that the QO system principally "rewards rich teams". Unless I'm mistaken, players signed under a QO are freely tradeable, so why couldn't poor teams make qualifying offers to their FAs who are worth more than the threshold, even if they can't afford to retain them? If the offer is rejected, the team gets the pick. If accepted the player can be traded for value to the team that would have given up a pick to sign him for more money than they they now have to pay.
Excellent work. Love the Stankey comparison and think you did a great job of examining both sides of a question that had never occurred to me.
Don't tell anybody, but BP is *way* underpriced.
What I don't get is how A-Rod could have engaged in the promiscuous use of PEDs described in the Award without ever failing a test. What were the guys who *did* fail doing?
Wait - are you saying that Jim Rice *doesn't* belong in the HOF?
That would be the argument for not stealing, but that's not what you hear. People treat the steal itself as harmful to your prospects.
You shouldn't steal second, even if its a gimme, with a great hitter at the plate since that opens up a base for the intentional walk.
[If the defensive team thought that they were better off with the runner at second and the great hitter at first, they'd have walked him anyway. By walking him after you steal, they're making the best of a bad situation.]
Another great article. Pretty much worth the cost of a subscription by itself.
Excellent, excellent analysis.
Terrific stuff. Can't wait for the pitchers.
Veras, Alburquerque and Smyly failed in the 8th.
Surely, Napoli and Nava don't have exactly the same offensive lines?
Can I infer that offense overall is lower than PECOTA projected? Excepting only the fifth biggest offensive variance, each of the surprises described is in the direction of fewer-than-expected runs.
It seems to me that the alternative is to "half count" Rivera's innings. He pitches only a fraction of the innings that Pettitte does precisely *because* they're high leverage. A closer can't possibly rack up the innings a starter does but the value (in terms of wins gained) of 80 high-quality high-leverage innings can quite plausibly be as great as 200 almost-as-high-quality medium-leveraged innings. Moreover, there's nothing to say that the guy providing the former couldn't as easily have provided the latter.
Yep. Apropos of Rivera's value, Joe Torre, who ought to know, recently said that Rivera "made my career".
Not sure how to insert a link, sorry.
Am I right in thinking that WARP is more-or-less based off ERA? This being true, the offhand remark that "WARP treats a scoreless ninth the same as a scoreless first, so it gives Rivera no extra credit for his high-leverage outings" would seem to dismiss a critical factor.
Would it make sense to multiply pitchers' WARP by the leverage value for the situation they inherit?
Bet you a dollar Ciriaco starts a game this year.
D'Oh! I was evidently not looking at the updated comments when I submitted mine.
It looks to me like Hanrahan *gained* velocity in the slider in 2012. Am I misreading something? And, if not, wouldn't a diminished gap between his hard and soft stuff account for a greatly increased BIP number?
If Acta goes to Toronto, the former Red Sox guy will have gone to the Indians, the former Indian guy to the Jays, and the former Jay guy to the Sox.
317 is 2.5% of 12,500.
Great work. A really nice explication.
Has anybody ever studied whether, on balance, highly-drafted pitchers or highly-drafted position players produce more WARP in their careers? The argument that pitchers are inherently unpredictable would seem to create the possibility of a market inefficiency.
Don't forget Nomar's toe tap.
Aaron Cook for the Ballard? 5.05 FIP, 1.94 K/9, admittedly in only 93 innings. Definitely a Punchlessy pick.
Joba? Shane Spencer?
From Night At the Opera:
Fiorello: [Disguised as one of the world's greatest aviators] So now I tell you how we fly to America. The first time we started we got-a half way there when we run out a gasoline, and we gotta go back. Then I take-a twice as much gasoline. This time we're just about to land, maybe three feet, when what do you think: we run out of gasoline again. And-a back-a we go again to get-a more gas. This time I take-a plenty gas. Well, we get-a half way over, when what do you think happens: we forgot-a the airplane. So, we gotta sit down and we talk it over. Then I get-a the great idea. We no take-a gasoline, we no take-a the airplane. We take steamship, and that friends, is how we fly across the ocean.
And, while we're at it, how can a win by the Red Sox last night reduce their playoff odds by 0.7 percentage points, while a loss by the Jays increases their odds by 0.3 (to 4.6%, so the increment is meaningful)?
Rodriguez looked (almost) 47 going around the bases? What's your basis for comparison?
I figure it as a means of saving the owners some money without hurting their negotiating partners -players who've already been drafted and gotten their bonuses. The union is selling out people are aren't even in it.
"For an ordinary pitch, the trajectory follows a smoothly curving line approximated by nearly constant acceleration. For a knuckleball, rather than a line, imagine that the trajectory is confined to lie inside a tube which itself follows a smooth curve. However, the ball is otherwise free to flutter and zig-zag within the confines of the tube. With that picture in mind, the analysis I have presented shows that the diameter of that tube is very small, on the order of a few tenths of an inch at most."
I understand you to be saying that the "ordinary pitch" is likewise in a tube -it fluctuates too- but that its tube is minutely smaller than the knuckleball's. Within their tubes, each pitch is as likely to wobble as the other. What then is the quality of a a 70MPH knuckleball which makes it unhittable while a 70 MPH ordinary pitch ends up in the bleachers?
"This could be a pro or a con for the Tigers. If Fielder could opt out, then doing so would indicate he played well enough that Boras feels he can procure an even better deal than whatever remained on his current contract..."
A contract like this being a zero-sum game, it is *never* advantageous to grant a player an opt-out if you don't have to. If the opt-out is exercised, you've presumably lost something of value. If it isn't, you haven't gained anything.
How to reconcile "No one else had more than 37 correct..." with "the majority of entries making the correct choice 36 times..."?
The Nomar trade?
How does 190/.292/.333 translate into a higher TAv than 240/.313/.331?
If it drops less than the slider, the change up or the curve ball, why is it called a "sinker"?
Didn't the Red Sox also draft Hanley Ramirez in the 2000s? Surprised he wasn't mentioned with Papelbon, Pedroia, Youk et al.
"Khalil Greene had a relapse of social anxiety disorder and did not report to spring training by staying in-house..."
Probably what I'd do too if I had social anxiety disorder.
Red Sox also had a pair of Javy Lopezes IIRC.
Drew has a low walk rate?
I'm going to say that in the situation where the batting team *needs* a home run, the pitching team knows it, and that the pitching approach is thereby altered. Thus, I'd doubt that the difference in home run percentages in that particular situation is nearly as large as it is generally.
I was there for the ALCS last year and I thought it was a *great* stadium. Short walk from the heart of town. Wide concourses, good sight lines, tons of space for food and drink of which there was a great diversity. I don't understand why the catwalks aren't a beloved idiosyncracy, like the Pesky Pole, rather than the travesty that everybody apparently sees them as being.
Not that long ago people were saying it was an imperative that Fenway be torn down.
So, what did Joe make in \'39? Did he ever hold out again?