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I think Meg was on three times! (Once for about 30 seconds.)
I'd be interested in seeing how the Mariners' projection compares to the all-time Change Index teams.
Pitch, episode four.
I tried to investigate the same subject in one of my first BP pieces. Not sure every effect I found was statistically significant, but <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=8706">here it is.</a>
I'd be interested in seeing some tracking-based stats (release point, maybe spin or perceived velocity) incorporated into this to get closer to the "different looks" effect <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=16969">Jerry Dipoto</a></span> said he was going for (which Sam described <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=25940">here</a>).
Do you have the average slash lines of the high/low-contact and high/low-LD groups against the league as a whole? Wondering if one or the other tends to be better against everyone, not just against elite relievers.
(I don't doubt that there is some real effect here--I once <a href="http://grantland.com/the-triangle/2015-mlb-playoffs-kansas-city-royals-fastball-velocity-contact/">tried to detect one myself</a>--but I can't tell whether these tables settle it one way or another.)
Also, wow: Garrett was already 0-for-5 against Fingers in that series, including a strikeout earlier in the same game. And Garrett had singled against Knowles the day before.
Evidently the A's did sort of the same thing with Fingers and Knowles in Game 1, except that time they pulled Fingers with two outs to go.
I was curious...
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=24546">Darold Knowles</a></span> vs. LHB, 1973: .267/.325/.371
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=21872">Rollie Fingers</a></span> vs. LHB, 1973: .215/.280/.297
Thanks! Glad you and your friend are enjoying it.
In that case, your world was made by episodes 344, 664, 729, and 853.
Sadly, seems not to be true: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/bird-land-the-fulgham-riddle/article_23242aa6-b1fa-11df-84ab-0017a4a78c22.html
Hi, me from the past. Me from the future here. Shaq Thompson just got drafted. Thought you'd want to know.
"Bird Song" by Florence and the Machine.
Didn't think of that! Good comp.
Posted that and another link in the Facebook group, but I can also post it here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/extending-ryan-howard-is-not-what-killed-the-phillies/
Yeah, not a bad example, although he obviously had more impressive high points than our hypothetical guy--a handful of five-win seasons (according to B-Ref), two second-place Cy Young finishes, etc.
Thanks, I'll add a note in the Facebook group.
Yes: bbp.cx/a/24064. Will take time to pay dividends, though.
I wrote about the Royals' outfield, if you're interested. I used some advanced/applicable defensive stats.
Sam was in a car!
Down goes Zimmerman.
Thanks for all the kind words, everyone. I hope you'll continue to support BP, and I also hope to see you around Grantland.
I need to work on letting go.
I'm not leaving the Facebook group!
It's not a choice by BP. That's how MLBAM's embedded videos display.
Don't die! Read the last line of the article.
Good point. Reference to Towers removed.
It's Gilbert & Sullivan. "I've Got a Little List" from The Mikado.
Fixed the first part. See comment above for the second part.
That line is intended to list the team he plays for now.
Fixed. No longer meta.
Fixed. (Jim Johnson pitched the 12th and 13th.
From: Andrew Friedman
To: Jack Z
I think David made his feelings about Seattle pretty clear. Still interested?
He's faced too many batters.
Mediocre would be a big improvement.
"No Language in Our Lungs" by XTC
Was 11th on the overperformers list.
No, not yet.
The most recent one left the bat at 110.7 mph and had a "true distance" of 366 feet. The one from 2010 left the bat at 113.3 mph and had a "true distance" of 389 feet.
Yeah, I mentioned that.
It could be if the no. 1 catcher for the Mariners is also one of the hidden elite players in baseball, though.
Anyway, we weren't aiming for internal consistency. We had 29 participants, and everyone's draft board looked different, just like it would in an actual draft.
I don't know. I probably wouldn't have picked him there, but I think it's a defensible decision. We didn't ask anyone to make a contrarian pick to add intrigue to the list.
It's not just that he's there, it's that he's there and also has upside (at least in the eyes of the person who picked him). I doubt Leake would've been picked ahead of Strasburg, though I'm sure he would've gone early (and rightfully so). Proven league-average starters are nothing to sneeze at.
I don't think we had any ulterior motives. The redraft was more about taking the players we thought were the top talents than considering team needs, so I don't think Castro's presence on the Astros really entered into the decision.
The authors weren't instructed to stick with first-rounders. Anyone drafted in 2013 was eligible.
Yes, you're right that the outside strike is more likely to lefties, but the batter handedness is factored into the strike probability, so that should be accounted for.
And had they not lost Bobby Abreu in the expansion draft.
Sam and I discussed it today.
You foiled my scheme to link to two of my articles in one Unfiltered. Thanks, fixed.
Sam's subject is whoever had the best game, so that's up to Andrelton. (But Sam has written aboutSimmons.)
It's linked in the first sentence.
We talked about something like that on this episode of Effectively Wild.
See my comment above.
Re: the last two comments, see the note at the bottom of the page.
It's a holiday weekend. We'll have new content tomorrow.
Also, Ortiz was in the question.
See the third graph.
No, they didn't. Sam and I discussed that on the podcast--Daniels said:
"In this case, a cervical MRI, at least for us, has not been part of our standard physical. A guy that had no history and no documentation, no treatment and no issues that anyone was aware of, had we done a physical, we wouldn't have done a cervical MRI. There may be other clubs that do that as standard practice. We're going to look into that. The bigger question is, 'How do we get better?'"
Showing up okay on my end. Try refreshing.
Sam wrote about him for a Lineup Card a few weeks ago.
Sam beat you to the same joke on the podcast.
For the record: We said we weren't worried about Trout before that walk-off homer.
Not a lot of real estate there to add text, but if you mouse over the team logos, the team names pop up.
Click the link at the end of that sentence.
Russell says it could be done, but it would take four hours to run. Have pity on the man.
We removed the phrase to avoid further confusion.
Yes, it was a tough query to construct, but nothing Russell Carleton couldn't handle.
Yeah, Stewart has said some things in the past that might make you wonder whether he has an inflated sense of his own skills. On the other hand, he's a former fourth-overall-rated prospect who's had a 25-homer season in the majors. Going from that to struggling to stick in the big leagues can't be an easy adjustment to make.
Yes, we might start linking to each article in an Unfiltered post.
If he's pressing, it hasn't hurt his production.
Then you'll love RPA+!
Well, I don't think it's arbitrary--it's .260 because that's about what the league-average BA has been over time. (If you take a straight average of each season's league-wide BA since 1901, you get .262). That's supposed to make it more accessible to people who grew up using batting average to evaluate players. And the point of pegging it to one number is that it's much easier to tell at a glance whether someone is above or below average--it saves you the step of checking to see what the league average was in a particular season. It's like tying a league-average ERA+ or OPS+ to 100. Would you prefer that it be 94 in some years and 107 in others?
Works for me. Try refreshing.
Thanks, Matthew (and everyone else).
That one wasn't published at BP, no.
Don't underestimate him.
Right, it's like having a running start.
Yes, will do starting tomorrow.
Click on the Andrew Koo article I linked to to see the full list (minus Garcia).
All loading for me.
Added slowest starters and fastest relievers. Wonder if catcher pace is a thing...
The umpire zones have become much more accurate and closely aligned since the pre-QuesTec, pre-PITCHf/x era. What connection do you see between umpire zones and the pace of play?
Yes, you'd need to try to control for other factors if you wanted to completely isolate the player's context-neutral slowness.
Lineup Cards aren't rankings, and they're not intended to be comprehensive. Unfortunately, there might be more serious injuries right now than there are BP staff members.
Number of decimal places reduced.
Thanks, Alan, I made that change.
It's "I'm Hurtin'" by the excellent Roy Orbison. You can listen to the whole thing here.
Watched that recently.
In my case, it just meant that I have some reservations about his performance in the short term, mostly because of his control issues. I wouldn't yet pick him as a buy-low or breakout candidate, basically (even if he were healthy). It's probably something I'm more inclined to say about someone for whom expectations are high (as they are in Moore's case, thanks to his no. 1 overall prospect ranking and low ERA/All-Star appearance/ninth-place AL Cy Young finish last season).
Just noticed that Guilder Rodriguez has allowed as many homers as he's hit. (He's made two pitching appearances.)
I mentioned that. Close call.
Maybe it's time for us to use BP's status as a credentialed outlet to do something about the lack of publicly available body fat data. I'll request daily press passes for you if you bring your own calipers.
Nothing like a little mournful Mangum to get people pumped up for a podcast.
It's embedded now.
Spring training game.
Right, .280 is his projected OBP.
After the sixth, the crew chief can initiate a review, but the manager can still issue a challenge if he has one remaining.
That was one of his goals this spring.
I reserve the right to revise my opinion of this extension if it turns out that anyone can clone Trout.
I'm in favor of bunting to beat the shift. Brandon Moss has been doing it a lot lately.
And now he's listed as one!
We'll probably have a post on this when the series concludes.
Teamwide sim, so no stats for individuals. Let your imagination run wild.
Yes, all games are archived and accessible later.
Are you a Premium subscriber? (The spreadsheet isn't accessible to monthly subscribers.) If so, how are you trying to download it?
Mentioned in the article--122. Which actually isn't that scary, though maybe more scary for a 20-year-old.
It's embedded at the bottom of the article. You can click to watch it on YouTube.
Isn't that a reason to subscribe?
The PECOTA spreadsheet is accessible only to Premium and Super Premium subscribers.
My fault, Dan had it that way and I changed it. Fixed.
Wouldn't think so, unless Diaz proves to be better than expected and Wong worse.
See a couple comments up.
Yes, he would, and now he is. Jason says that doesn't change the Angels' overall ranking.
I don't know. COMMANDf/x does that currently, though I've heard that it hasn't been especially useful. As I mentioned, the camera/radar hybrid can't yet track extremities, but I'm not sure whether that would include a catcher's glove. Nor do I know whether the new system would be able to see the movement, or whether it would be blocked by the batter's and umpire's bodies. I think CFX comes from a center field camera and might require some post-processing.
No, he was omitted because he wasn't on the team when the Tigers Top 10 was published. He should rank sixth (and now does).
I tried to figure that out here here.
Guess who's subscribed to comments.
Added him, which bumped the Yankees up a couple spots. Tanaka wasn't ranked on the Yankees' Top 10 prospects list, so he wasn't included in the original list of the team's 25-and-under talents.
It's independent of position.
Zachary noted that "Average playing time was almost identical before and after moves off catcher."
Yes, I linked to/quoted from that.
Something tells me Daric Barton wouldn't be a big hit in Cincinnati either.
Sam mentioned that in the penultimate paragraph.
Right, not in PFM. PFM is based on the depth charts.
He's mentioned above.
Hard to say, right? You have to figure that Cruz will be tested more often than the typical player, and that the penalty he'd face if caught again would be steep. He's aware of both of those things, so he might be less likely to try to get away with it again. On the other hand, he's already demonstrated that he has no moral qualms when it comes to PEDs (not enough to prevent him from taking them, anyway), which would seem to make another offense more likely. I'm not totally sure which way the arrow points.
When the Padres traded for Smith, I wrote:
"He might miss Melvin’s efforts to limit his exposure to lefties, but at least we know he can see—after undergoing LASIK surgery following a summer slump, he hit .341/.431/.568 in a small sample the rest of the way. If you’re a Padres fan searching for upside, you can cling to the hope that Smith that won’t make any more outs now that he’s no longer astigmatic."
Right, retired/suspended players aren't included in our depth charts and don't affect team projections. We just leave them in the spreadsheet in case people are curious about what they would do if active.
Your prize is in the mail.
Yes, that's a very good comp.
Huh, no idea how that got there. Just uploaded a fixed version, should be downloadable soon.
You could email me, but comments are okay.
In general, right-handed hitters, groundball hitters, and faster hitters reach on error more often. Here's a Clubhouse Confidential segment about it.
Of course--good catch. Fixed.
A slight denominator mistake in a spreadsheet skewed the results slightly--they're now fixed and updated in the article. Jeter's numbers barely change; Cano goes from losing six hits a season to losing only four, which makes his lack of hustle look even less important. Thanks to reader Barry for catching the mistake.
That only happens when we hit you with our cars.
Percentiles will be published soon.
Each tab should be in descending order of projected WARP.
In the right-most column on the PECOTA spreadsheet.
It's accessible again now.
Denied access to the spreadsheet?
I can't tell if you're seriously mocking the satire or satirically mocking the satire. I guess that means this was a success.
That's a good point, but by the time a new GM is in place, the value of those assets may have expired.
Not there yet. They will be.
They're relative to production over the past five years (weighted). TAv for hitters, FRA for pitchers.
Realized that while writing, forgot to fix. Fixed now.
I'm not sure Amaro knows it's not.
Hey, Burnett to the Phillies wasn't what I said.
Fixed the name. Sorry about that, Jon.
I like live-tweets. I just don't like live-tweets about how many outs there.
No one tell Cistulli.
The Depth Charts and Visual Depth Charts contain the answers you seek.
You make a fine point. Done.
Just put up an article about some projections of interest here.
I should've mentioned that Jose Valentin (listed as the best historical candidate to have hit exclusively from the left side) did experiment with giving up switch-hitting at times. See post (and comments) here.
The first group in each chart contains the guys who would improve if they hit right-handed exclusively (against both righties and lefties).
The first column is their career PA total vs. LHP (because the splits don't "stabilize" until there's a sample of 600 PA vs. LHP). Second column is their actual career TAv. Third column is an estimate of what their career TAv would've been as a right-handed hitter only.
That's the plan.
Thanks, Shaun! Wish we could reach all of the old Baseball Today listeners. I was one of them.
Quick note for those of you who may have read this early, come back to check the comments, and noticed a change: because of some confusion between documents, the list was originally posted with Jose Ortiz ranked eighth. He should have been (and now is) listed 10th.
It's in there now.
Added another response from a straggler, bringing the total to 13 from 12 teams. This one put Tanaka between Bailey and Masterson.
Received a 12th response (ranked Strasburg, Latos, Tanaka, Bailey, Masterson, Cahill) and updated the numbers accordingly.
If anyone is interested in hearing more about this subject, Sam and I spoke to Dan about it on the podcast yesterday.
Yeah, you have to go through the same old exercise to justify it that we always do. If the going rate for a win is close to $7 million, and a win is worth more to the Yankees because they're close to being playoff-caliber and because they have more financial incentive to make the playoffs than every other team...and given that they have a terrible farm system and there are fewer good free agents of any age available these days, let alone 25-year-old ones...and considering that their TV revenue just went up to something like $150 million a year...and so on. You can make a case for why it made sense for them to do it when it might not have for most other teams.
At this point, I'm more interested in how good the player is going to be and how well he fits the roster than I am in how much he's making.
One person took Masterson over Tanaka, but Tanaka over Latos and Bailey. And as I mentioned, another person took Tanaka over Strasburg (but not over Latos and Bailey).
Here's a link to the article we previewed.
Thanks for your input, everyone. Article is up.
However you want to define it, really, but WAR(P) is as good an answer as any. Just imagine that you have an empty rotation spot, you can fill it with one of the two pitchers you're picking between, and money isn't a concern.
This is the first, the start of a series. Nick will be going position-by-position.
Yeah, assumed you hadn't seen that. It was a while ago.
Kevin Goldstein wrote about this once.
Nice. Probably could've done 10 of these for some teams. Mariners alone would've been an article.
Thought the same thing. I'd hate to see the Bottom Commenter.
We'll work on it.
Ineligible due to death
Well, pro scouting, amateur scouting, and player development are different departments with different personnel. A weakness in one (or two) doesn't necessarily carry over to the other(s).
Well, now we know the answer to "Who's next?"
Thanks for the shout out.
Which sort of supports my point, I think. With so many unforeseeable events dictating transactions, why make a public payroll pronouncement far in advance that you don't know if you'll be able to stick to?
Not ridiculing going over $189, either. They're the Yankees. Over $189 is where they should be.
Well geez, why didn't you say something
Don't have an exact date, but in the past we've tended to publish the spreadsheet right around the release date of the Annual (February 11th this year, though it often ships early). I'd expect this year's schedule to look similar.
That's what Twitter and email are for. But I can virtually guarantee a response within 12 hours if you mention Patrick Swayze.
It does now. Also enlarged the embedded version.
For now, this is worth watching again.
Maybe you're making a "modest proposal" joke, but if not, the denominator used to determine the candidate's percentage is the number of ballots, not the number of filled ballot slots, so it doesn't work this way.
It's not inconsistent treatment, because motive matters. Yes, voters have been criticized (fairly) for omitting obviously deserving candidates from their ballots on the grounds that if Legend X and Legend Y didn't get in on their first ballots, then Legend Z shouldn't, either. I'm okay with excoriating anyone who didn't vote for Maddux because they didn't think he was a Hall of Fame-caliber player, or because they don't vote for first-ballot candidates as a rule.
That's not what we're talking about here. Jason thought 16 players were worthy of induction, including Maddux, and he knew that Maddux wouldn't need his vote to top the 75 percent threshold. So he used his top 10 spots on other deserving candidates for whom his vote was more likely to make a difference. Every BP voter thought Maddux was a deserving Hall of Famer, and no one withheld a vote for him based on the "Well, Mays wasn't unanimous..." argument, so I don't see any inconsistency here. If an actual Hall of Fame voter left Maddux off his 10-player ballot for the same reason that Jason did (and some of the 16 who didn't vote for Maddux may have), I wouldn't have a problem with that either.
Under the current voting system, I wouldn't question anyone who excluded Maddux from his or her top 10 for the reason Jason did, BBWAA member or not.
And here's the accompanying text.
Yes, though they were also able to see the ballots of the voters who had already entered their selections. We asked them to form their own opinions before looking at the spreadsheet.
Right. No one who voted here thought Maddux wasn't a worthy Hall of Famer (or even a worthy first-ballot Hall of Famer, if you want to draw a distinction).
Because I'm up and Jason isn't, I'll attempt to answer for him for now: Jason included Maddux on his expanded ballot, but left him off his top 10 because he supported 16 players and wanted to give the vote to someone he thought would receive less support (Alan Trammell, for instance). It's not a knock on Maddux, just a strategic approach to voting with a 10-player limit.
The "Jonny Gomes' Misfit Helmet" heading links to the video.
Yeah, when we sent this topic out to the staff, we used Beltre's head phobia as an example of what we were looking for. Consequently, no one claimed it, but it's definitely deserving.
You must have missed Episode 308!
Getting on base more than 36 percent of the time is pretty impressive in today's offensive environment. AL average OBP was .320 this season (.319 for LF, .324 for RF and 3B, .326 for DH, .334 for 1B).
Thanks. And there was one!
The platoon splits section on Cano's player card might be helpful here.
Interesting. The last article I linked there shows the impact on batters, but not broken down that way.
Throws to first are recorded in Retrosheet, though I don't think it distinguishes between casual throws and real pickoff attempts. Russell Carleton has written a bunch of stuff that draws on that data:
And there was this at BP a few years ago:
Here's some stuff:
They might trade Gardner, but I don't think they'd trade Gardner for that reason.
Now you can!
I plan to make one more attempt.
Nope, not sure. Never sure unless he says so, which he (surprisingly) sometimes does.
It's linked in the post above.
Well, reports seem to indicate that use was widespread prior to the start of the testing program. Other reports indicate that it's been much less widespread since. The relative rarity of positive tests could mean that many players are still taking PEDs and getting away with it, but it could also mean that the use has been dialed back. Similarly, the lack of second positive tests could mean that players get smarter about cheating after their first bust, but it could also mean that they stop trying. It's hard to say what the truth is. It's worth pointing out, though, that once you've tested positive once, you get tested more often.
As for the Phiten analogy--it's not perfect, but I don't think it's fair to call those things superstition, either. You might be right that few would use them if they were prohibited (although that might make them even more convinced of their potency), but at least some of the players who wear them now believe that they work, which (for me) is enough to doubt their judgment about the degree to which PEDs actually enhance performance. They're looking for an edge and willing to try anything, and the trainer/shady Bosch-type figure who's peddling the PEDs and stands to profit isn't necessarily going to be honest about their effects.
I'm far from an expert, but from what I've read, steroid users tend to lose most or all of the muscle/strength they gain while juicing when they go off cycle. I'd guess that if a player took something to get bigger and stronger, then stopped taking it and continued training the same way, he'd eventually taper down to whatever default frame his genetics dictate. Mostly speculation, though.
Couple things: I don't know how much PEDs help (I'm sure it varies, depending on the PED and the person), but the fact that the players are convinced that they work wonders doesn't sway me much. These are the same people who wear Phiten necklaces because they think they have performance-enhancing powers.
As for the first point, I think it would be pretty risky for a team that believed that a player was made much more productive by PEDs to give a ton of money to that player even after he'd been busted. You have to figure that the guy will be a little less likely to use after sitting out for 50 games, losing salary, and attractive negative attention. And if he does continue to use--well, he's already proven that he doesn't know how to do it without eluding detection. Maybe he'll get luckier next time, but if he doesn't, you'll be left with a big hole to fill for 100 games, with little or no notice. Unless you think teams are actively working with players to help them take PEDs without testing positive--and I don't, though I wouldn't be surprised if that had happened at some point before testing was in place--it would be a big leap of faith for them to take.
Sam and I discussed this on the podcast today. No impediment to one, no, but not necessarily a means to one, either. For all we know, if Peralta hadn't been caught, he might have landed an even larger deal. And he'd still have the $1.64 million in salary he forfeited last season.
I think I've responded to similar comments you've made in the past. Since you're still making them, whatever I said must not have worked then, and probably won't work now (though I thank you for continuing to subscribe to our despicable site nonetheless!). But in case any other readers are curious, I'll answer anyway.
I'm aware of the limitations of publicly available defensive statistics, and I try to weight them appropriately. The larger the sample size, and the more agreement between metrics, the more confident I am that the ratings are reflecting reality. We now have a three-plus-season sample that says that Peralta has become a better shortstop. It's not conclusive, but it's not something I would want to completely dismiss. I'm not so confident in my own evaluation of whatever small percentage of Peralta's playing time I've seen that I would disregard, among other things, the assessment of a company that has watched and graded the difficulty of every one of his plays.
But in this case, the evidence that's more persuasive to me is, as I wrote, the way teams have treated him. It's not fair to say that two organizations have decided Peralta couldn't play shortstop. One (the Indians) decided he couldn't, or at least that he couldn't as well as a significantly younger Adrubal Cabrera. But the Tigers traded for Peralta to play shortstop, and after seeing him do so up close, decided to bring him back for the next three years to continue playing shortstop. They traded for Jose Iglesias not because Peralta was incapable of playing the position, but because he was about to be suspended for 50 games (and maybe also because he was about to become extremely expensive). They continued to play Iglesias at short after Peralta came back because A) he's their future for the next five years and B) he's a hell of a fielder. Now that we know that the Cardinals think Peralta can play short, by my count, it's one organization (four years ago) against, and two in favor. Peralta's defensive stats and treatment by teams tell the same story.
As for the financial benefits of PED use--I don't doubt that at some point, some player has made more money due to PEDs. But I don't know what the proof you're referring to is, unless I missed a verified link between Melky's PED use and his 2012 BABIP, or maybe Alex Anthopoulos saying, "Yes, we signed him because he took testosterone." If anything, Melky seems like an odd example to use as support for the idea that PED use leads to big paydays--the contract he got wasn't particularly impressive, given what he was worth to San Francisco before his suspension.
Re: PECOTA, and the fact that its historical comps could be skewed somehow by steroid use: I'm not sure what solution you're proposing. Should we stop trying to project performance at all? Or try to build a projection system based on extremely spotty knowledge about which players were juicing, and when? As I mentioned in the article, if the Cardinals thought the quality of Peralta's play was the result of his PED use, they wouldn't have given him as much money as they did after he was busted, suspended, and presumably made more wary of continuing to take something.
No, not as currently constituted. I'm assuming this is a prelude to more moves, and that by the end of the offseason the Yankees will look like a contending team. If the Yankees aren't planning to do more to supplement McCann, they might have been better off saving their money.
I forget whether I said Matt Martin would be in the dugout during games for Detroit--if I did, I was wrong. He'll be in uniform until game time, when he'll head upstairs to get a better perspective on defensive positioning.
I was curious about Kepler too, so I asked Jason about him on today's podcast. Scroll up in the comments for the link.
I asked Jason about this comparison on Effectively Wild today.
I wrote about why Darrell Evans and Reggie Smith were underrated in this article, if you're interested.
Updated the article to correct this.
Best TA title.
I dabble, but Colin is an expert.
Definitely planning to do that whenever the debate deserves the spotlight.
Thanks! I'll pass that on to the other authors.
I don't know if you're referring to what I wrote re: criticism getting out of hand, but I didn't say the outcome of the series would have been different with another manager. I said "No manager could have stopped the Red Sox assault." I also said that the story of the Cardinals' loss was that they didn't hit (which I'm not blaming on the manager), so I'm not suggesting that Matheny's moves were the only thing that mattered.
And as for the quote from Will's article, he wasn't saying that managing the Cubs or Astros would have prepared Matheny for anything. He was saying that it's not as important for a rebuilding team to have a good tactical manager as it is for a current contender like St. Louis.
He racked his brain for hours, but couldn't remember making any mistakes.
(Actually, it looks like I picked the Tigers to win the World Series. So, technically, maybe I didn't pick the Nats to be best.)
I could share it with most people who write about baseball, probably (or even follow it, for that matter). But that doesn't make me any less wrong.
There's a link to a video of that play in the last paragraph.
We talked about both teams.
Fixed. (It was .296.)
I mean, he says the opposite thing in the next sentence, so I don't see why you would think he's taking either stance. Ben can answer for himself if he sees this, but it didn't cross my mind that he might be endorsing either position. I think we're all more interested in the baseball than we are the narratives about the baseball.
You're missing the next sentence, I think. Ben is mocking the idea of ascribing morality to baseball teams.
Ben was being sarcastic, as the line immediately after that makes clear.
We'll have previews for the rest of the NLCS games.
It was also a little harder to celebrate Griffey given the way he went out.
Daniel wrote about the Indians and Rangers in today's What You Need to Know.
Last winter it morphed into Rumor Roundup.
Clarified that section.
They're very different--Max's is a complex mixed-level model that adjusts for count, pitch type, batter, umpire, and other factors. OZoneStrike/ZoneBall is basically counting, without any adjustments. I wrote about the correlation between the two here here, but Max's is the more advanced method.
Looking forward to talking to Aceathon every night
And here's a link to the spreadsheet of career team records for active players.
I don't notice or mind that this happens, if it happens. I interrupt Sam sometimes, too.
I think his peak was good enough, so I'd be more pro-Helton if he'd had one or two more productive post-peak seasons/if his back problems hadn't sapped him of his power. He hasn't had a .200 ISO or a .500 SLG since 2005.
No, I didn't. I think that would be a fairly minor factor.
I agree that as long as he's throwing this hard, he'll have more success. I just don't have a lot of confidence that he'll be able to sustain whatever tenuous mechanical equilibrium is allowing him to do that.
He turns 30 in November. I'd probably take him over Zimmermann, but not the other two guys.
That'll teach you to read one of my articles
He was a pleasure to talk to, for whatever that's worth.
Small sample size.
Kind of. But yeah, younger and also had more success in the majors before he went to Japan.
Well now you have to say it in the Facebook group to complete the trifecta.
Bret Sayre wrote about that earlier this year.
It's a BP piece by Jason Wojciechowski, and it's here.
Yes, you're right. Was underrating Mercer and thinking about Buck instead of Martin, since he was in the lineup I was looking at. Relative to the rest of the league, the Pirates are getting above-average offense at those positions. Make that no holes at all!
Glad to hear that everyone is so happy with the way MLU went this season. Thanks for reading. Zach will be bringing it back for AFL action.
And you always wondered why you didn't make it.
For everyone asking about caddywhompus: that quote came from the same guy who gave me "David Robertson is the baseball equivalent of a sociopathic murderbot from the future" in this article from last year. So yeah, he's fun to talk to.
We talked about that on this episode of Effectively Wild.
Doubt it, but that would pretty much make my century.
There were some players who didn't fit into one of the boxes above, but weren't mainstream enough to get their own (looks like people who were classified as pinch hitters, mostly). Guess I could've added an "Other" row, but didn't think of it.
Flied out to fairly deep right-center.
I want to go to there, too.
Just to clarify, the numbers aren't really a ranking. The entries aren't in any particular order.
It's not intended to be a comprehensive list of blown calls. There have been many more than 11 of those, so inevitably, lots of good ones were left out.
Thanks, we appreciate it. Glad you're enjoying the column.
Post in the Facebook group!
Hmm...try refreshing. It looks like the correct GIF to me.
Yeah, we brought that up on the podcast. Certainly seems like something that would happen.
Should be .362. Fixed.
Neil DeMause mentioned a similar scenario to me this morning. If you're a manager, do you tell your baserunners to get up and run to third base after sliding into second, once the second baseman has thrown the ball to first? If a review reveals a neighborhood play, you could get an extra base out of it.
Interesting, thanks. We touched on the degradation in the pitch within a match on a listener email episode, when someone asked us what baseball would be like if one team did all its batting before the other team came to the plate. But I wasn't aware that the conditions varied so widely from match to match.
What varieties do cricket pitches come in?
Realistically, no, probably not, unless there's an easier way to do that than listening and typing. We aren't quite that mean to our interns.
You should still feel terrible about Trout
Well, that was the worst of the three 20-game stretches, yeah--I could've isolated parts of that period to make it sound worse. But the point (I think) is that the .301/.330/.422 line came with a .407 BABIP and the kind of K:BB ratio that makes it essentially impossible to sustain a .300 average. So if he hadn't improved his approach, things could've gotten considerably uglier once luck went against him.
There has to be more to life than that
Thanks, Jon. I enjoy that too.
Matt Trueblood tracked it down: https://twitter.com/MattTrueblood/status/365164136755249153
These first two comments confirm my belief that this podcast should be exclusively about cricket.
He'll still be a setup guy, so he should. We'll have a TA for that trade up soon.
British English has contributed some of my favorite podcast moments.
Might do another before that! Stay tuned.
I've been told that Angel Hernandez is actually one of the best umpires, if not the best umpire, at calling balls and strikes according to the rulebook zone.
It's official Pile on Yankees Right-Handed Batters Day at Baseball Prospectus!
Just the portion they pay.
Thanks! And why stop with the outfield? It's really an entire Team of Sunk Costs.
I still think it's less likely than that.
Will update if I can get some info from our prospect staff.
In a way, but wealthier.
Pretty sure it happens to everyone.
I acknowledged in the article that PEDs have helped some players get better at baseball. It's just hard to say how much. You're saying that you can quantify how much testosterone helped you because you know when you took it and what strength and endurance gains you made while you were on it. I agree that if all steroid users in baseball felt like sharing that information with us, we could do a better job of quantifying how much they were helped. But for obvious reasons, they haven't volunteered to do that.
Originally Saturday, but yes. Wanted to put it up before there was even less second half left.
But Kemp hit a homer!
Thanks for subscribing! Glad to have you on board. Let me know if you have any questions.
I fixed it, but I think you're underestimating Herrera.
We were the worst when we started. Thanks for sticking with us.
Try the "Download Here" link. Seems like the right one to me.
Even more synergy!
Ooh, Garmin one is good. Sandoval/Fielder were the first I thought of, but I resisted the temptation.
But everyone else does.
He's only making $5 million! And first base is stacked.
No, he hasn't been around long enough to hold that distinction. I don't know off-hand who does, but Shin-Soo Choo (whom I almost wrote about), for instance, has never been an All-Star.
I probably would've written about Parra for this, but I just wrote a whole article abuot him.
To be clear, not all of these players are guys we think deserve to be All-Stars. They're just players we wanted to recognize for something they've done.
I think I'll have an update on this on tomorrow's episode.
Sam made me curious, so I looked up the pitcher vs. pitcher zone rate on 3-0. Even then, in the most gimme strike situation imaginable, pitchers hit the strike zone only 67.1 percent of the time.
Pitchers, man. Can't throw strikes to save their lives!
I wasn't a big fan of the work done there.
I saw no. 13 in person! Fixed.
To be clear, the Mitchell trade was pre-Sabean.
I got to that in the penultimate paragraph, I think.
I hope PETA doesn't listen to the podcast.
That's interesting, thanks for the heads-up. Haven't listened yet, but I'm not sure it would be unusual for a player to get one pitch to hit per PA, or even to say that he gets one pitch to hit per PA--that's something you hear baseball broadcasters say all the time, after a guy misses or takes a hittable pitch.
If you think about it, the average zone rate is just about 50 percent, and the average hitter sees about 3.8 pitches per plate appearance. So you figure that's a little under two pitches inside the strike zone per PA, and some of those pitches--while they might be called strikes if the batter took them--aren't really "pitches to hit." They're on the corner or at the knees, and the hitter can't drive them, so he lets them go or fouls them off. So when you figure that Cano gets fewer pitches inside the zone than the average batter, and sees fewer pitches per PA than the average batter, one "pitch to hit" per PA doesn't sound strange to me.
This might be a good thing for me to poll some players about.
Jayson Nix and Ancient Ichiro have been hitting in front of Cano. Can't think of any problems there!
Glad to hear it. Thanks.
See the comment directly above.
Good point! In the sources you cited, though, there wasn't an instance of a manager stacking his lineup with lefties against Glavine, right? There were managers who left their regular lefties in, but none who inserted additional lefties into the lineup. Stottlemyre says that people had proposed the ida, but that "nobody does it."
Thanks, Brady. That's nice of you to say.
Well, it was fun while it lasted.
He didn't. Fixed.
You're right! I had the right catcher, wrong pitch. The article is now updated with the correct GIF.
Thanks. It's nice that he hasn't made it look silly yet, but there's still time.
Glad you enjoy it!
Yes--I updated the post. The table now contains UBB% and K%.
There's no way anyone else thought that, but yes, I feel a bit better.
Thanks! I hope you're a popular person.
Plays for me in Chrome...Try refreshing?
I linked to that one above.
That was me. Colin Wyers tells me it's somewhere around 103 games.
Fixed. I'll have to hand in my half-Canadian card.
Switched to John Danks. Say what you will about Jordan--he works cheap.
Yes, they could use one too.
Yes, I mentioned that.
There have been plenty of studies of umpire accuracy, but none that I know of specifically tailored toward framing.
If one sentence is too long to read, I'm in the wrong line of work!
Max's/Mike's previous research, and the independent verification of it that I've linked to in the past, makes me confident that the major league numbers are showing more signal than noise. As does the fact that teams have done similar research, and that catchers who rate well statistically tend to look like good receivers, and vice versa.
Yes, Minor League Update and the Daily Roundup will be appearing in the article section of the site going forward. They're informative features, and we want to make sure they get the maximum exposure.
Career-low strikeout rate, yes. Thanks, fixed.
This has been fixed.
Same. Always struck me as far-fetched that Josh didn't know what it meant.
Listening to Ray Davies sing "Cricket" on repeat.
Now I'm stuck in a Wikipedia loop. Favorite part of Brian Close's Wikipedia page: "At just over six feet tall he was a noticeable presence on the field."
Also, "As chairman of Yorkshire's cricket subcommittee he had many run-ins with the then Yorkshire captain, Geoffrey Boycott." Geoffrey Boycott! Cricket is the best.
Yahoo! Answers says yes.
Awesome. Won't pretend I understood every word, but I very much enjoyed the explanation.
Thanks for the extra info. This is my new favorite sports topic. Sam and I have serious cricket envy.
Question: How is the proper positioning determined? I was wondering if it had to do with handedness, but the image you linked says all of those positions can be used to defend against, say, a right-handed batsman. So how do you decide between silly point and silly mid off, or short leg and silly mid on? Does it have to do with how hard the bowler, uh, bowls? Or batsman tendencies? Do cricket teams study spray charts? Seems like they'd be even more important with a circular field.
Impossible, unfortunately. Fixed.
It's there now.
Yes. Swisher is definitely better at baseball than Selig is at suits.
It's possible, I guess. He seemed to have pretty good technique, though, so I don't know why that would desert him.
I wrote about him in the Grantland piece, and published some excerpts from an interview with him on Unfiltered recently. He's been good in the past, and I think he was just outside the top 10 this week. I know he's had some passed balls lately, but maybe what you've seen of him hasn't been representative. I can take another look next week.
I mentioned that Colon-Gutierrez plate appearance in last week's "Longest PA" column. That's the longest one we have on record. (The pitch-by-pitch data we have goes back to 1988.)
I'll look this up (and also the 10-plus-pitch PA as a percentage of total PA) and report the results in next week's article.
I would guess that a checked swing at a cutter/slider is likely to be more pronounced, and a checked swing at a fastball is likely to be held up earlier.
They work pretty cheap (I know from experience). It's sounds sort of silly to say, but sometimes the hardest thing can be finding places to put them. Baseball Ops offices aren't all that big.
Almost at the bottom: 27th out of 1111 (-4.5%). Maybe his DIY appeal approach backfires.
New logo! Thanks to listener Justin Wieners. (@JustinWieners
It's in the works.
Yes, I noticed the same thing. Definitely varies by catcher. Maybe some guys are more worried about developing a reputation as a strike stealer and paying a price for it.
I mention to mention that! Added to the very end.
My mistake. Fixed.
I did indeed. Fixed, thanks.
I know of this one from a few days ago!
No, just a mix-up. Text amended. Tommy Hunter is okay!
I haven't, but I haven't really been on the lookout for it, either. Worth investigating.
He was also widely considered a Quadruple-A player even less long ago. I'm not saying he can't continue to be productive, but his current league-leading stats are surprising.
So much for that "before that All-Star break if his health improves" line, then.
Also a percentage, yes.
Tried to talk to the Yankees' roving catching instructor, Julio Mosquera, for the Grantland story, but the Yankees' media relations people (who have been very helpful) weren't able to track him down for me in time. He's worked a lot with Cervelli and Romine.
The Cashman question would be an interesting. I'll ask him if/when I get a chance.
I watched a bunch of ST:TNG this weekend and was thinking about how it's been longer since the episodes I was watching aired than it was between TOS and TNG. Scary.
Did talk to an umpire--excerpts from that interview coming on Unfiltered in the next day or two.
Thank you. Welcome to BP!
I'm not sure what you mean?
Sorry about that. I don't make those plots--they come from Brooks Baseball. I'll pass your request on to Dan Brooks.
The thing with PWARP and Moore is that the metric is looking strictly at his defense-independent performance, which isn't as impressive as his traditional stats. He's walked almost five batters per nine innings, and he has the lowest BABIP in the AL, which PWARP is attributing to his defense, not to him. His FIP is 4.50. Of course, certain guys are able to outperform their FIPs by inducing weak contact consistently, and those pitchers would be blind spots for PWARP. But prior to his 50 or so innings this season, we had no real indication that Moore was one of those them.
It was not.
Thanks, glad you like it. I plan to do it every week.
(That was supposed to be a response to piraino's second comment.)
I think both things are part of the story. We talked about it on the podcast, and Sam said the Yankees are 1/3 lucky individual player performance, 1/3 lucky team performance, and 1/3 simply a good team. (Those percentages were approximations, of course. The point was that there's a bit of all of that going on.)
Fixed the incorrect Zimmer birthdate.
No, definitely not over-aggression in this case.
I'll tell him our plan was a success.
I would've taken him after Cahill, probably.
Fixed, thanks. Don't worry about being that guy. I like fixing typos almost as much as I like not making them in the first place.
Didn't show up on the (somewhat arbitrary) list I generated because he made a relIef appearance this season.
I don't think so, or at least I haven't noticed him doing it regularly. Normally you want to minimize movement. I've seen him set up higher than normal for a high pitch, but the standing up looked to me like some sort of response to the baserunners.
Certain umps have smaller zones, of course, but I'm not sure whether certain umps are less susceptible to persuasion by certain catchers--haven't really seen anything on that subject. I would guess yes, but that the sample sizes might be too small to say anything conclusive.
I think it's fair to conflate framing and defense, although maybe historically framing has tended to be overlooked relative to other aspects of catching. And you're right, Conger/Iannetta could be the new Mathis/Napoli.
Not very much, I don't think. Maybe if Arencibia were still catching him. Knuckleballs are tough to frame. They're hard enough to catch, period. I'd like to see Molina catch a knuckleballer.
Well, I'm not sure that's not the case. On pitches inside the zone but within two inches of the zone edge, Jose Molina has the lowest rate of called balls (49/390, 12.56%), followed by Lucroy (50/396, 12.63%) and Yadier (75/572, 13.11%). The best catchers in the league in terms of the percentage of all in-zone pitches called strikes are Hank Conger, Lucroy, David Ross, Erik Kratz, Jose Molina, Evan Gattis, and Yadier Molina. (Thanks to Ryan Lind for those numbers.)
So, for instance, Yadier Molina has 105 ZoneBalls on that leaderboard, which looks like a lot relative to everyone else on the list. But that would only by good for 19th place on a ZoneBalls leaderboard. And it's only that high because Yadier plays so much. He's caught all but nine of the Cardinals' innings, about 10 more than any other catcher, and way more than anyone else on the Ratio leaderboard.
Let me know if that answers your question.
Not the all-time ones yet, I don't think. I'm keeping an eye on it.
You can find combined WARP by position here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/dc/teams_by_positions_ytd.php
Thanks, fixed the GIF.
Yes, thank you. fixed.
That explains it! Thanks. Where there's a temporary vacancy in an outfield, there's a need for Casper Wells.
Definitely. It helps to be able to anticipate where the ball is going to be, so it's easier to frame pitches for guys with good command and pitchers whom catchers are very familiar with.
I'd disagree with a good deal of that. The simple method I'm using for these weekly pieces doesn't adjust for umpire tendencies, but the more complex models developed by Mike Fast and Max Marchi, among others, account for that and other factors (pitch type, count, batter/pitcher, etc.). When you adjust for those things, the results actually aren't all that variable. Framing performance has a high correlation from year to year--it's a skill, not just noise.
And I'm not sure how you reach the conclusion in your last sentence--receiving skills are widely considered an important part of a catcher's skill set. Lucroy doesn't have a great arm, but it's not awful. Even if it were, his ability to get extra strikes would more than make up for it.
See my comment above in response to tlpacker.
There isn't an easy way to separate it, no. But it definitely does affect the results. Catchers have told me that it's more difficult to frame pitches when they can't count on the pitcher hitting his target (which is pretty intuitive). Max Marchi has a method that controls for the pitcher, but it's very computationally intensive and can't be run as often as I would need it to be in order to use it for these articles. (Even he doesn't use it anymore, because he felt the extra processing time wasn't worth the benefit.) And even then, it wouldn't really correct for where the target was and how much a pitcher missed his spot by on a pitch-by-pitch basis.
The only public work I know of on looking into how much missing the target impacts the probability of getting a strike on a borderline pitch was done by Max for the fourth PITCHf/x summit, when he was granted access to some of Sportvision's COMMANDf/x data (the tech that tracks the position of the catcher's glove). He looked at borderline pitches (which he defined as those with a 40-60% probability of being called a strike), and then he calculated the distance between the target and where the pitch ended up. The average distance from strikes was 0.85 feet, and the average distance for balls was 1.04 feet. So there is some trend toward pitches that hit the target being called strikes, but unfortunately, we don't have access to all of that data.
It's harder than you think! And yes, I know the feeling.
That has certainly been known to happen.
I don't think it can explain the kind of discrepancies in starters result that you're talking about (that's probably partly a blip), but Laird has consistently rated as one of the worst pitch framers. So that's not a small sample/bad luck thing.
Ice cream might be more difficult to arrange.
Yes, would be worth looking at. It's a little harder to look up, though, and you'd think that a service time trend would also show up in the breakdown by age.
Request received. They'll be back next week.
Yes. I write about Jose Molina every week.
Well, I guess it could be something, but it doesn't seem to be a very clear trend. The average BABIP was .295 at age 20, .295 at ages 23 and 24, and .295 at age 27. And .293 at age 25, .293 at age 29, .293 at age 33, etc. From ages 20-29, it was .294, and from ages 30-39, it was .293. I doubt a difference of a point or two (if that difference is even real, given the likely survivor bias) is what Ryan meant when he said most young pitchers' BABIPs are "high."
Russell Carleton just followed up on this discussion in an Unfiltered post here.
Click the link in my comment above.
He's been pretty good. Not elite, but above average.
I don't know if Gardner has had the green light less often, but he told me when I talked to him this week that Cano hitting behind him is why he hasn't been going. See here.
It can be.
Going to guess that you're overstating my influence.
Greinke has hit him three times in 31 career plate appearances. Obviously, that rate (one HBP every 10.3 PA) is a lot higher than Quentin's career rate (one HBP every 24.1 PA), but it's not the highest rate of any pitcher, nor the highest total. This isn't really a question the HBP rate alone can answer. Rightly or wrongly, Quentin feels that Greinke's HBPs were with intent, which would distinguish him from many of the other pitchers who've hit him, if true.
Well, you can kind of tell--that's why I broke out the positive and negative WARP totals separately. Definitely a few more years, but probably not beyond 2004. That's the first year that the positive WARP total didn't beat out the 2013 team's projected overall total, so I think 2004 is the limit either way.
I like tilapia.
I don't think that was so much an example of good framing as it was a bad call. Also, I already wrote about it.
Not the kind of conversion I was thinking about, but yes, good point.
If anyone did, it would've been Omar Epps.
You can mouse over the column headers for popup explanations of each stat (and links to longer explanations).
He certainly qualifies. We never include everyone who could theoretically be included, so it's not an attempt to be comprehensive.
Sam brought an end to my cricket discussion as quickly as he brings an end to actual crickets.
One thing I didn't mention is the advantage the team that bats first in cricket has: cricket, at least in some forms, takes so long that the field (pitch?) deteriorates as the game (match?) goes on. Evidently that makes it harder for the second team to score. Probably not a big factor in 27-out baseball.
Colin Wyers updated this entry today. It was outdated.
Well, it probably wasn't what you had in mind, but here's the farthest outside hit I could find (and access video for).
The announcer said, "He hit that ball 70 feet from home plate." Almost!
Click the link in the "strike zone gets super-sized" sentence to read more about that. The zone gets much smaller on 0-2.
Well, in writing this, I was trying not to take that as a given. Take a look at the article I linked that the Mike Fast quote comes from.
I just wrote about that, too.
Didn't check. I probably shouldn't mention Molina in every article.
I'll take a look in a little while.
I wouldn't say it's necessarily costless--even if they do trade him away before he reaches free agency, they'll get less for him if he has less service time remaining, or have to do it a year sooner.
Okay, but Lohse pitched Friday, and went six innings. Why not make a move after that?
Yeah, you know, Santana rated as one of the worst framers last season. I was going to mention that, but his framing in those clips didn't seem so bad. Not Molina-esque, but not terrible. Maybe I'll ask him about it when he comes to New York next week.
(Actually, he did. Fixed.)
Max says it's on his to-do list now that he has expected strike probabilities calculated for past seasons.
I'm sure that question could be answered, but I'm not sure I know the answer offhand. I'll see if Max has looked into that.
Changed to 3-for-4, but don't think he had a double.
I've been wanting to look into that. I asked Sportvision if they'd share some COMMANDf/x data on initial glove position with me so I could do a study, but no joy on that. Might try to do it via video, but it would take time. I can try to incorporate it into this series at some point.
On that episode of Effectively Wild I linked to, I'm pretty sure Sam and I talked about how much we would miss framing now if it went away. What would we write about?!
It actually has shown up in some studies of Catcher ERA, notably by Craig Wright and Sean Smith. See what Mike Fast wrote in "Removing the Mask" about Smith's article in The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2011, "Do Catchers Have an ERA?" Wish I could link to Smith's article, but it's not online. His conclusion is that Keith's original study probably had some limitations in terms of the sample size and statistics considered that obscured the significance of the relationship.
It's a new feature, so you weren't missing it before. Glad you're enjoying it.
Many more Fridays ahead!
Chris Stewart, maybe not coincidentally: very good framer.
Updated, also with a quote by Cahill.
You're right, I think--I was paying more attention to the height and the Gameday classification than the velo. I'll update the post. That would make it the third-lowest changeup hit for a home run in the PITCHf/x era.
According to PITCHf/x, it was this, which was about an inch higher: http://arizona.diamondbacks.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=12437805&c_id=mlb. Pennington's listed height is six inches shorter than Holliday's, so it doesn't look quite as extreme.
What information do you need?
Yes, that is what I meant, thanks. Fixed.
Details are still being worked out. Haven't seen any reported.
I do! Fixed.
I mentioned "the extra revenue that a star and fan favorite like Verlander contributes away from the field," and linked to something about marquee value in the last paragraph. I agree that that's an important factor.
All or mostly after.
No, last week.
Changed the Indians' top 101 count from two to three and replaced Ramirez with Wolters.
Oh, I doubt he's going to set an IBB record (unless you mean a personal record). Barry Bonds' 120 in 2004 seems pretty unassailable.
Leyland said "physically," though, so I don't think this is the typical "closers have to have a short memory" thing.
I'm skeptical about the idea that someone would be better against better pitchers than worse pitchers over the long run, but it's possible to check. As a shortcut, I looked at Uggla's career splits at Baseball-Reference vs. "Power" and "Finesse" guys--as you might imagine, the "Power" guys tend to be better pitchers. ("Power" pitchers allowed a .682 OPS vs. major-league batters last season; "Finesse" pitchers allowed a .760 OPS.) Uggla has a career .808 OPS against "Power" pitchers and .836 OPS against "Finesse" pitchers.
Might be seeing him there when Brian McCann gets back!
Uploaded a new version with less prominent crickets and more prominent Parks. Let me know if that's any easier for you to hear. Sounds considerably better to me.
Don't worry! If you're right about Leyland, he'll never see your insult.
Will be done today.
Attempting to do some post-processing to amplify the Parks portions. Will re-post and leave a comment if I succeed.
Players mentioned in the "Prospects To See There" sections aren't necessarily starting the season at the "Must-See Affiliate." They're just players who might appear there at at some point in 2013. Added a note to that effect at the top of the page.
The free weekend promotion runs from Friday through Monday. And yes, it's not just articles. PFM will be free for non-subscribers, too.
Yes, it's possible.
It was the 31st pick, but good point. Added a note.
Placido Polanco hitting cleanup is strange and unusual, and I'm interested in strange and unusual occurrences. I wanted to see exactly how strange and unusual it would be. I don't think my pointing out that Polanco would be a pretty terrible cleanup hitter will demoralize anyone on the Marlins. The team isn't making even a token effort to compete, which seems much more demoralizing than anything I could say about the situation.
It is publicly available, via the fine folks at Retrosheet. Easily computed--well, no, not by me, which is why I was lucky to have Andrew to help me out. But it doesn't take too long if you have some SQL skills. I have subpar SQL skills.
All the batting order stuff from The Book that I cited is the result of pretty rigorous studies, so I don't think it was an assumption on the authors' part.
You can find it here.
Yes, planning to, with the help of Harry Pavlidis. Aiming for next Monday, so we can include all preseason data.
Daniel Rathman deserves more credit for MLU editing than I do.
Whom are you suggesting is jealous?
No, full framing ratings for 2012 haven't been published. Max is in the process of refining and re-running his framing ratings for all years covered by PITCHf/x, so hopefully he'll have something to share soon.
Leverage Index, as Colin Wyers put it to me recently, "has an end-of-game proximity bias." See the article by him I linked in a comment above.
There's evidence that pro pitchers who throw harder have a higher risk of elbow injury, but the fastball vs. cutter comparison is probably pretty tenuous (and purely speculative!)
WPA is definitely a better way to go if you want to give Rivera the full leverage bonus. I didn't want to go that way.
It definitely doesn't work out to be the same for all relievers. So yes, WARP is saying that it's meaningless in the context of evaluating player value.
You're right, he was slightly more effective on a rate basis in '63, but he pitched about 25 more innings in '64, which made that season more valuable (at least according to our stats).
We use different replacement levels for starters and relievers, but not different replacement levels based on relief role.
I don't think WARP is saying leverage averages out (it doesn't--you can check that in our Bullpen (Mis)management Tool). It's just saying that it has no bearing on player value.
The nice thing about putting Rivera in, as opposed to Sutter, is that it doesn't open the door for anyone else. No other reliever could convincingly claim that because Rivera is in, he deserves to be too.
Yeah, I just have a very hard time coming to terms with the idea of double-counting Rivera's innings like that.
Should it? I'm not sure. If you go by FanGraphs WAR, the difference is almost 30 wins.
Rivera has pitched 1219.7 regular-season innings; Pettitte has pitched 3130.7. That's an enormous difference. Pettitte has pitched over 2 1/2 Mariano Rivera careers! Shouldn't that matter more than the fact that Rivera's innings mostly came toward the end of the game?
Right. We've chosen not to make leverage an input in WARP for those and other reasons. Here's something Colin wrote on the subject.
PWARP is largely based on FRA.
The words "discovered his cutter" in the article link to a story about how Rivera has failed to pass on his cutter to anyone else. His kind of control can't be taught, and evidently his kind of cutter can't either.
The odds have been updated as of this morning.
Knew I could count on you.
Probably not as a daily feature, but Corey will weigh in from time to time on important injuries, as he did a couple times last month.
I think Zach was referring to Franklin's skills, not his small-sample spring stats.
Jason has a lot on his plate and hasn't been able to stick to the daily schedule in the last couple weeks. We do want to keep the MLU running daily (or as close to it as possible--Kevin didn't do it daily), so Zach will be pitching in to try to make that happen.
Okay, look for something at the end of spring training.
You want a list of velocity changes between late last season and this spring? I'll see what we can do.e
No, but it's been suggested that the clubhouse might lack some cohesiveness because it's had a lot of turnover.
Yes, you're right. Though it would certainly be in the best interests of all of them.
I'd think PITCHf/x-based reports/performance reviews would be provided by the league, so an umpire wouldn't have to go digging around a database for the info to help him.
Yes. I wrote about that a bit in the article I linked to in the first paragraph above.
That's definitely not what I was laying down.
Agreed, Alan. I'm sure SABR was doing its best to deal with constraints on the schedule, but it would've been nice to be able to see everything, even if it meant running a few things a little later in the day.
Yeah, I linked to Russell Carleton's BP piece about the Dodgers and chemistry.
Pitcher clusters, not pitch clusters--Vince was presenting about a "big data" approach to coming up with comparable pitchers based on a bunch of characteristics (velo, whiff rate, release point, etc.).
Especially since your BP pitcher probably can't throw it.
Matt Eddy's article about Graham's presentation also mentioned Brayan Pena, Coco Crisp, and Ian Desmond as guys who made contact all over the zone. Unfortunately, I missed that presentation--I was at Alan Nathan's, which took place in another room at the same time.
Rob Neyer grilled the player development guys about their nutrition plans. They all said their teams have put much more emphasis on proper nutrition in the minors in recent seasons, though they were a little light on specifics.
I wasn't distracted by winning awards.
Yes. It lasted for five games.
We can do that, and have done that (see this article by Colin Wyers, for instance). It makes sense. The potential problem with doing that is that you run the risk of confusing people who expect to see one number, and it's also sort of a pain from a display standpoint.
I don't know, but I'd assume so.
Different, yes. Unrelated, I'm not sure. The part about the potential impact on the payroll was pure speculation.
They do use video to time and assess the accuracy of throws.
You'll get to hear it tomorrow, too.
I had the same thought.
Ruf's player card projection is based on his depth chart-projected playing time, which is mostly in left field. I asked our stats team to re-run his projection as a first baseman (same with Olt at third and Profar at short). You have to hit a lot to be a valuable first baseman.
It does. d'Arnaud was right there with Zunino.
That's sort of how I imagine it working for a real team, too. It's not just that a player like that can help you fill a hole in season, it's also that he allows you to be more flexible in putting your team together. With someone like Zobrist on the roster, a GM doesn't have to be locked into a need to acquire a second baseman, a right fielder, or a shortstop. He can wait and acquire whichever one comes cheapest or makes the most sense. More options, better leverage.
You are not. Fixed.
Russell looked at teams, too, comparing pre-season projections to actual records.
What I don't understand is why anyone assumes that someone on an elevator wants to hear about the Giants.
I mentioned it in the podcast episode I linked to in the Correia section. I wasn't a fan, but I didn't dislike it as much as the moves I went with.
Yeah, I spaced on switching the total salary to annual salary--that's fixed now. The total commitment is still tied with Villanueva's for the largest on the list, though, and I can't for the life of me figure out why someone would want to give Correia a guaranteed second year. That makes it worse than the annual salary alone would indicate.
It does for me. The Orioles stood pat, the Rays worked the market. I see a contrast in the way they approached their offseasons, especially given that the Orioles likely headed into the winter as the greater risk for regression. Anyway, I think it's a minor, mostly semantic point. The entry was more about the Orioles not doing much than what the other teams in the division did.
I think it's fair to say that the Rays were aggressive in strengthening their franchise and their long-term outlook. It might not show up much in 2013, in the sense that they might have won as many or more games with Shields as without him, but they put themselves in a better position to remain competitive in the future.
I don't think Adam was necessarily claiming that the Rays improved the team for 2013. I'll give the Rays "aggressive," but I can understand if you disagree.
Trading your best pitcher and highest-paid player for one of the top prospects in baseball fits my definition of aggressive. And yeah, Escobar, plus Kelly Johnson, Loney, and Robert Hernandez. And they re-signed Scott, Farnsworth, and Peralta. And signed Longoria to a six-year extension.
What Adam wrote makes sense to me. You left out "shored up," which Adam included in addition to "spend big" and "aggressively work the market." The Rays were pretty aggressive in working the market, and the other teams spent money, even if it didn't make them much better. They were all pretty active in comparison to Baltimore.
Yes, it was just sort of a bonus guy.
The playing time projection above is from our depth charts, which are entered manually by Jason Martinez (with input from the rest of the staff).
Added a link at the top to this Unfiltered post, which breaks down the Top 101 by position, organization, and age.
I sort of tried to look into this last season. The results were inconclusive.
Didn't see any, but didn't look at everything.
Fixed. No secret message intended, unless I'm not in on the joke.
Would you pay $1.99 per game? If so, you can download 154 games (and counting) here.
Larry Granillo has written about a couple of the downloadable games, here and here.
Remember it well. I was actually on vacation in San Diego, watching the Padres play at Qualcomm, and I saw (on the scoreboard, I guess) that Mussina was pitching a no-hitter/perfect game. Got back to my hotel in time just to see the end. So disappointed.
Mussina's sour responses to silly sideline reporter-type questions were one of my favorite things about him. He wasn't very willing to play along. Sometimes he'd just stare.
Top 101 will be up on Monday, with a Jason chat to accompany it.
Updated with some research by Harry Pavlidis on groundball rate and "hard stuff."
If you're trying to assess league strength, it makes more sense to look at interleague records than World Series results, no? And those still suggest that the AL is stronger.
Yeah, while I was certainly interested in portraying PECOTA in a positive light, I wouldn't want to defend it blindly. When I was asked about Hanley, I mentioned that the projection might be overoptimistic because the system doesn't really know about his injury history and the possibility that he's not the same guy physically. I had prepared to say something similar about Lincecum's velocity loss, if asked about his projection. For Harper, I went with Colin's explanation.
So isn't that an indictment of any pundits who saw too much significance in those spring training stats? I don't really remember if spring training was the main source of inspiration for the Raburn breakout brigade--there were other reasons to be optimistic about him--but any optimism that was based on a spring hot streak probably was unfounded.
Dave, the convention at most other sites seems to be the way we have it set now, so if we changed the link-opening behavior, we'd probably have just as many requests to change it back. Ideally, we'd allow BP users to change how they want links to behave in their account settings. We'll look into doing that, but I can't promise anything soon.
Yeah, I know. Sorry for being a buzzkill.
It's possible, but as I mentioned, we don't know how many of those 14 questions add any value. They're fun, but some of them would have to be studied before we could conclude that they'd improve the predictions. And some of them are subjective, so they'd be tough for PECOTA to ask.
Yeah, didn't mention Bauer because the Bauer trade cost Cleveland Choo. I figure the odds are against that being an upgrade in 2012 alone.
Thanks for pointing this out, we'll take a look.
I hear this a lot, and it would be true if set-up men were used much more flexibly than closers. In other words, if teams used their closers to start the ninth with three-run leads, but their set-up men whenever they were most needed to put out fires before the ninth, then the set-up man might be the potentially more valuable pitchers.
I'm not convinced that this is the way most bullpens work, though--in a lot of cases, I think set-up men are used a lot like closers, but in earlier innings. They're just the seventh- or eighth-inning guys, instead of the ninth-inning guys. If you look at a list of relievers sorted by the highest average leverage when entering games, it's mostly closers.
Removed reference to Petco.
You make some good points, Fred. I'd point out that while making contact certainly isn't Johnson's strong suit, he's struck out less often than Francisco despite facing same-handed pitchers much more often. Francisco has had the platoon advantage in 83% of his career plate appearances, compared to 73% for Johnson, but he's still struck out in over 31% of them. Not that big a sample size, but it doesn't bode particularly well for how he'd do in an expanded role. I'm honestly not sure how predictive K rate in the Dominican Winter League would be. For what it's worth, PECOTA predicts a 24.4% K rate for Johnson (in 427 PA) and a 27.3% rate for Francisco (in 461 PA).
PECOTA uses the birthdates and seasonal ages listed in our database. Tejada's birth year in our system is the correct one, 1974, which would make his age-23 season his rookie year. So, in PECOTA's eyes, Tejada was as old as he actually was, not as old as he might have been claiming to be at the time.
Yeah, wasn't really considering the Phillies and Padres playoff contenders for the purposes of this piece. They have a non-zero chance to make the playoffs, of course, but you have to set the cutoff somewhere.
I saw that. I get the feeling that Hanigan's rep has caught up to his value to some extent, but I think there was some truth to the statement at one time.
Should be very regularly. The depth charts have already been updated for Bourn.
Yeah, I mentioned that in my section.
Seemed to me that there were quite a few non-traditional stats (and non-traditional non-stats) cited in this case. I think a team would have to tread very carefully when raising concerns about a player's personality, given that the player is often right there in the room. Telling a panel of arbitrators that a player deserves less money because he's difficult to deal with could very well make matters worse.
I added a note about this to the article. I enjoy the Visual Depth Charts.
Ah, Excel Viewer has more limited options and might not allow you to do that. You could download OpenOffice as an alternative to Excel, or paste the PECOTAs into a Google doc.
There should be a "Sort & Filter" button if you're using Excel (or something similar depending on what version of the program you have). Select a column and click that.
I've seen what can happen when you comment before coffee. ;) Happy first PECOTA Day.
You can manipulate the spreadsheet any way you like. There aren't separate tabs for teams, but you can sort the "Team" column alphabetically to get guys in order. You can also filter that column (in my version of Excel, Data-->Filter) to make players from only certain teams appear.
Doug will be back to discuss the Diamondbacks on March 6th, assuming the team preview schedule is still on track. Mark your calendars.
I propose a follow-up article: "What it Means to Have the Worst Farm System in Baseball."
Did you just say "Delmon Young without the defense"? ;)
Owings does have some power. He's definitely been Delmon-esque in certain respects, but it's hard to say how much of that is a product of putting pitching before his bat.
WHIP was mentioned in the Hammel case, and my mom emailed me to ask what it was.
Isn't that basically what a blooper is?
That seems more plausible, if not this season then next. Tough to compare potential based on any statistics, though: Loewen had only two big-league plate appearances during his pitching days, and he never hit in the minors before making his major-league debut.
Oh. I know they've had Kevin Goldstein on in the past.
I think we're mentioned often enough on CHC that viewers would know what we are. At the very least, they'd know us from Jay Jaffe's magnificent mustache, which has been a guest before.
The story about his signing on the Nationals' website describes him as a "former right-handed pitcher" who's "now a first baseman." I don't know if there are any plans for him to pitch. Even if he's healthy enough to do so, it would be very hard for him to develop as a hitter if he's still being called upon to pitch.
Evidently I'm just all over the baserunning beat.
I did that, I think. Switched the filename to the new episode.
Nope, still doing Scherzer. We picked 10 of the most interesting cases to do regardless of whether the real-life cases were settled (too much research required to switch on short notice, among other reasons). Headley had already settled by the time the first case appeared.
I won't settle for a blog. I told Mike I'd read a book about it.
Yeah, when I published this post, the filename was still pointing to 132. I changed it to 133 shortly after that, so it's fine here, but evidently iTunes hasn't adjusted yet. I hope it will at some point today. Thanks for pointing it out.
Yes, on the whole the projections are very close to the observed stats. See Rob's response to a similar question the last time I used retro projections in an article (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?type=2&articleid=19425#131549). Same goes for TAv.
Didn't look for brothers who were in the same organization but never played together.
Thanks, fixed. Mixed up my pitcher's parks ending in -co where the fences are being moved in.
Hoot, Will Carroll named the Verducci Effect, and also presented research similar to Verducci's. Colin Wyers retired Nate Silver's "Secret Sauce". So yes, of course we're open to revisiting and even contradicting work previously published at BP if additional investigation and evidence reveals that that's warranted.
Everyone, we've bumped up the projected release of PECOTA by two weeks. Instead of setting February 25th as the deadline and aiming for earlier, we're setting February 11th as the latest possible date at which the weighted-means spreadsheet will be published. So the PECOTAs will be available on roughly the same date at which we released them in 2011 and 2012, if not earlier.
I miss Edwar Ramirez. He was fun.
Also didn't really exist until 1947: Cleveland's Chief Wahoo. And this Chief Wahoo didn't exist AFTER 1947: http://www.authentichistory.com/diversity/native/is3-buffoon/Big_Chief_Wahoo_Strips.html.
Check the article linked from "shouldn't be particularly proud of."
Those arguments were mentioned by Paul Lukas in the piece I linked to in the last line of the post. I thought he countered them fairly convincingly.
Good observation. I meant to make a note of that.
Might have to veto Chris Sale GIFs on the grounds that this is a family-friendly website.
Not collapsible, but the slowness right now might have more to do with some server issues we're experiencing than the GIFs.
I almost picked Gardner.
OPS+ doesn't weight OBP and SLG any differently than OPS, so if you want to use one number, TAv gives a more accurate picture of a player's productivity. We don't have anything against triple-slash stats, though. We cite them in BP articles all the time (in fact, this article cited both triple-slash lines and TAv). When we write for other audiences, we either use simpler stats or explain what TAv is every time, but BP readers tend to know what we're talking about(and if they don't, there's a mouseover tooltip on "TAv" and an autolink to the glossary entry).
Personally, there are plenty of times when I'd prefer to see TAv instead of triple-slash stats. If I want to know what kind of hitter (as opposed to just how good a hitter) someone is, then triple-slash stats might give me more to go on. But if I want to know how productive someone was, I'll take the TAv. Otherwise, I'd basically be trying to translate the triple-slash stats into a single number in my mind, factoring in the relative value of OBP and slugging plus park factors, and I'd probably do a worse job of that than TAv does.
Just added a note at the end about a piece I came across after publishing that has a few somewhat noncommittal quotes on the subject from Terry Ryan.
I'm sure it's a mix of both.
The only solution to this problem is to start Power Pop Prospectus.
Oh man I would be really happy if you stayed for the subtle Star Wars humor.
It's not impossible that he could sustain his 2012 performance, but isn't the likeliest scenario that he'll regress toward his mean in his age-33 season, even if he's fluctuated some from season to season historically?
Glad you like it. Thanks for listening.
Thanks for the thoughtful comment. And welcome to BP!
That one was from before the trade. Wasn't easy to find one for the Royals. Rays one mentions Davis after the trade, though.
By the time I got that far down the list of teams, the exhaustion factor kicked in. Once I found a suitably silly one, I stopped.
I don't think losing a pick is a dealbreaker--we've seen Hamilton, Upton, Swisher, etc. sign--but it is a consideration, and probably a factor in Bourn still being unsigned. The lack of openings for center fielders and the concern about how he'll age might be bigger factors, though.
Yes, maybe: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/12/teams-could-seek-loopholes-for-compensation-free-agents.html
Good quote. Guessing Sam will also be unmoved.
My favorite line too.
I was referring to his problems with runners on base, but I probably should've clarified that.
They do in the aggregate: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=12853.
Not exactly "easily," but yes, that's a question PITCHf/x could help us answer.
Sorry about that. We'll work it out.
Wasn't on your end. I think the Honda Fit must have interfered with Sam's signal strength.
Just updated. Thanks for the reminder.
The lists line up now.
I believe the open/closed status of the roof is at the home team's discretion, at least during the regular season and if the decision is made before first pitch. The Jays couldn't, for instance, keep opening and closing the roof during the game depending on who's hitting. But as far as I know, they could keep it closed for a Dickey start on a day with perfect weather if they wanted to. Of course, there are other considerations besides how the environmental conditions would affect Dickey (the quality of the fan experience, for instance). It'll be interesting to see whether any gamesmanship goes on, though I doubt it would be worth it without hard evidence that it would have a significant effect.
Yes, I think so. Fixed.
Yeah, I don't know. The other advanced fielding systems out there rate him pretty poorly for those years, too. I wasn't watching him regularly at the time, so I don't have an opinion on whether FRAA is being too hard on him.
Thanks for the heads-up, it should be working now.
Bad fielder, bad baserunner (career-wise, roughly 50 runs below average or worse in both departments), and peaked pretty late offensively.
His highest rating by BA was 25th, before the 2004 season.
Except that he has seemed to do a heck of a job of drafting young and assembling a strong farm system. Maybe he somehow has the ability to tell which minor leaguers will be good major leaguers, but not which major leaguers already are good major leaguers? It sounds sort of far-fetched when you put it that way.
In their careers? That's not something I checked. Only looked at what happened early on.
Man, Rosenthal is such a slacker.
I had a lot of articles in mind. Here are a few:
http://www.philbirnbaum.com/btn2007-08.pdf (The Victor Wang article)
Right you are. We'll get that addressed.
Was finally able to upload a complete recording of the press conference. Link at the bottom of the post.
Dave, I don't think the way out is that easy. A player with five years of service time can't be sent to the minors without his consent, and I'm guessing A-Rod wouldn't relish a few seasons in Scranton.
You are considerably more optimistic than I.
And here I was thinking it was that one time you got to be on Effectively Wild.
No, not the full list, sorry.
What's that? Sorry, I was distracted by Jordan's "put BP authors on Adderall" suggestion.
Madson section should be showing up now.
Not only do I know about the plight of Iowan MLB.tv users, I regularly remind staff Iowan Colin Wyers about it. I can be cruel.
Thanks. Every now and then we like to alienate our listeners.
Actually, the Upton trade rumors started well before Kendrick's comments. But the comments probably gave the rumors a little more life.
The most surprising part of this post for me was that there is baseball footage on YouTube.
Not the bat flip. The bat flip is beautiful.
I understand the expectation. We certainly didn't come to any agreement not to talk about it today, but other than rehashing the results, I'm at a loss for what else there is to say. We've written and talked a bunch about it, and people on both sides of the debate have been going back and forth for weeks with little apparent progress toward consensus. At some point, I feel like you just have to accept that the BBWAA awards aren't going to look like the Internet Baseball Awards and move on. No reason to let the dissenting view dominate the discourse indefinitely.
I'm not sure what more we have to say--we ran a few articles and podcast episodes about the Trout vs. Cabrera debate at the end of the season, and little has changed since then. The voting went pretty much as expected.
Which further fueled my well-documented irrational affection for Bruney.
Saw that, interesting. Of course, turning balls into strikes probably makes for more entertaining GIFs. Speaking of which, I'm thinking about doing a "Molina frames of the week" feature next season.
That was on there! Give Sam some credit.
I did, briefly, because I confuse them myself: "The last two refer to call-ups: 'Recalled' is used with players who are already on the 40-man roster, while 'Selected' is used with players who aren’t."
Yeah, that pitch probably would've been nowhere near this list if I'd been able to sort by strike probability.
I blame Sam for saying he'd have a higher ERA than Henderson Alvarez.
He won in 1999.
Yes, he has a couple research pieces planned. He's had some time conflicts come up, so he'll be contributing on an irregular schedule.
Probably not, for reasons I can't really get into, but if you ask him about a specific catcher, he may be able to answer.
I did. Nate said he supported Obama in the FAQ at his site (before he moved to the Times), so he was pretty open about it. That was sometimes cited as "evidence" that his model was biased.
I think his detractors very often cited his political leanings as evidence that he had an agenda.
Dan Fox mentioned this as a possible partial explanation in the 2007 article I linked.
Yeah, I assumed that was what he meant, in light of the link.
Yes, that could be playing a part.
It was semantic sleight of hand on my part. You were right to point it out.
I said more than 20! Mostly so I could make my stat more interesting, but still. I felt better about my arbitrary cutoff because Berry added a couple more steals in the postseason.
More is on the way.
Just when you need Carlos Lee, he's nowhere to be found.
We'll be running some pieces soon that I think will give you a much better feel for the approaches of our new prospect writers. Stay tuned for the first next week.
Yes, I agree, and I thought about including him. I like Baker.
Just added the section featuring Scott Rolen, which I'd intended to include yesterday. Somehow slipped my mind, which was clearly already addled before I started this story.
Thanks. I was saying that they'd get in on his 10th ballot, though, not his 10th year after retirement. You have to be retired for five years before your first ballot.
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. And no, he won't have to wait.
Yeah, I thought the same thing. In the first draft I described the newspaper as some sort of animated smart paper that was basically just stories with GIFs, and then also considered having him hold an iPad 20 or something instead, but I decided it would be distracting to spend too much time talking about the state of newspaper and non-newspaper technology in 2031. So: newspaper.
Yes. Our bad. Stay tuned for an exciting errors and omissions segment in episode 73.
I think that might be true of the Yankees' first two ALCS games. I thought their approach improved in the last two, for all the good it did them.
Sam and I just talked about that on the podcast that's about to be up. Could be a concern, sure, assuming he's more likely to lose the pinpoint command than he is to regain velocity.
I can sort of see it--I can sort of see a lot of contracts when they end after one year--but I think it would be a stretch to project LaRoche as any better than a league-average first baseman at age 33, and I don't think a league-average first baseman is worth that kind of cash.
What, and leave all those intangibles on the bench?
I'd like to think that Geovany Soto has a bounceback walk year in him, but I can certainly see the case for bringing Napoli back on those terms.
We almost always have at least one free article per day (anything without a Premium icon), and everything in our archives over a year old is free, so there should be plenty to whet their appetites. We appreciate it when readers help us spread the word.
Age-wise, at least.
Fixed. Good catch. Ortiz ranked 25th.
It was the second-lowest average in an ALCS, after the 1969 Twins (.155).
We'll never know, and it's probably more fun this way.
Yeah, that league-minimum year is why I didn't rank him.
Bobby Bonilla's contract is the best.
Refreshing or letting the page load should do the trick if they don't start immediately (which they should with most good connections).
Should've said relievers, of course. Also fixed.
In most browsers, the Escape key stops them.
I updated the post to incorporate this comment and some additional statements Leyland made before Game Three.
In his press conference after Game Two, a reporter noted that this seemed to be a "dramatic turn" in Girardi's beliefs about instant replay. He responded that he "liked it before." But yes, this was definitely the most vocal he's been about it.
It made me think of Mitch Hedberg's joke about Bigfoot.
Not at all, actually. PECOTA thinks the Yankees' odds would be exactly the same with Nunez in Game Two as they would be with Nix. You're right, though--Nix gets this game.
Geez. That's what comes from not sleeping for most of this series. Thanks.
Yes. From the pre-game presser transcript:
Q. Sticking with the lineup, Eric Chávez playing today, your lineup hasn't had great success against González in the starts this season. Chávez is one of those guys, 3‑for‑6 with a home run. Did that have to a lot to go into putting Chávez in the lineup?
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah, I watched Chávie's at‑bats. I watched it two starts. Chávie also lined out for one of his outs, too, and I thought his at‑bats were really good. So that had something to do with it, sure.
And the prescient one:
Q. How important is it knowing that you have that bullet for late in the game knowing how clutch he's been this season?
JOE GIRARDI: He's been a really big pinch‑hitter for us, and I like having that. That's not the reason I didn't start him. It's just I looked at Chávie‑‑ and Raul's at‑bats were pretty good off this guy, too, but Chávie's at‑bats were really good, so I decided to go that way, but it's nice to have that.
I mentioned it before the bullet points. Didn't have too much more to say about it, but I agree that it wasn't a good route.
Would be nice not to have to think of any more sounds.
No. Hard to say what the effect of that would be.
I couldn't have done it without A-Rod.
I was referring to Jones.
Added a link to Not Jim above.
Correct. Fixed. (Although I'd rather have a five-inning, one-run outing than a six-inning, three-run outing, "quality" or not.)
Thanks, Cecilia. Should be a fun series.
Edited to remove Omar Quintanilla and add Joe Saunders after the Orioles announced their official roster.
Added a note to that effect.
Probably not the Hit List parts, which wouldn't work in spring training, but maybe Matt can do recaps.
Hatred of the Tigers is passed down from one staff member to the next in a sacred anti-Tiger ceremony, but you'll never get any of us to divulge the details.
Fixed the TKs and Reynolds errors.
Can't think of a suitable Sloan lyric to describe laughing loudly at a UZR joke.
And the votes rotate within BBWAA chapters, so the more members there are in your chapter, the less often you get a vote. Don't know about Jay, but I'm not voting on anything this year, which means I'm free to make my meaningless picks here.
"My commute is too damn short."--Effectively Wild listeners
Sloan is the best. And I mean that much less hyperbolically than I usually do when I say something's the best.
Yes. Added a note to that effect.
Who could flame a comment that reasonable?
Changed "never" to "rarely." I'm surprised a plan wasn't drawn up shortly before or after that close call.
That is close! Thanks.
I swear I was already listening to Twice Removed when I came across this comment, and I'm about two weeks away from hearing the whole thing live. Please leave a relevant Sloan lyric in a comment at the end of every future article published at BP. Thank you.
The problem with balks (and ejections, if we have that data) is that the umpire reports are set up to consider what happens when an umpire is behind home plate. Balks and ejections can be called by another umpire, so I assume that would take some extra programming work. Not necessarily impossible, just noting that it would be a bit more complicated than simply adding a field.
Yeah, that was what Katy seemed to speculate. But then you'd have one team sitting and watching for a while the other four teams fight among themselves. As she said, that might be interpreted as unfair.
Believe me, I have. In fact, my first question to Katy concerned what would happen if every team went 81-81.
Peter, try letting the page load for a while or refreshing. Looks okay on my end, but sometimes GIFs can be a bit finicky.
That will be happening. You might see something on HS hitters on the site as soon as this week.
Interesting, thanks. This is the only reference to that I can find online: "Before the first pitch, Manuel started his exit interviews. He was accompanied by his boss, Ruben Amaro Jr." Maybe Luhnow would have conducted the interviews with his manager too, if his manager weren't still the Nationals' third-base coach.
Yeah, it's not so much that I wanted to protect their identities--when you write for a large audience, you pretty much give up your right to privacy as a professional. It's more that I wanted the focus to be on the phenomenon itself rather than saying "So-and-so is stupid." I figured people would come up with ways to find out if they really wanted to know. And you did! So that worked out well.
I think we'll say something about that tonight.
Here's a link to the Sean Forman Baseball-Reference post I mentioned. He points to a pair of examples.
Update: Lincecum allowed five runs (four earned) in six innings on Sunday. Four strikeouts, two walks, three homers. He also confirmed that he will be a part of the playoff rotation.
Agreed. Torre's Yankees/non-Yankees split wasn't quite as dramatic: .605 in 12 years with the Yankees (12 playoff appearances, two pennants, four World Series), .484 in 18 years (a few of them partial) with other teams (three playoff appearances, no pennants, no World Series).
Could be, though if that's the case, you have to wonder how the Indians failed to pick up on that before they hired him.
Well, maybe Acta going from Washington to Cleveland was like Stengel going from the Dodgers to the Bees/Braves. In which case his next stop should be the one where he wins seven World Series.
I'm not a believer that either Pythagorean under- or overperformance reveals much of anything about a manager.
I see what you mean, but I don't know--I'd like to think that the only reason the Indians would need to fire him would be because of some failing on his part. Otherwise, you're just talking about change for the sake of change, right? That's sort of what Bill Veeck warned about in the quote I included in the "On Decision-Making" section here. I I don't know that "Well, we're not winning with Manager X" is a good reason to fire Manager X unless you think you're not winning because of Manager X.
Right you are. And he's probably pleased about that now. Fixed.
They weren't referenced because they weren't really relevant here--they're not in contention like the top three teams, and they haven't had as extreme a season for injuries as the Red Sox. Corey Dawkins will be doing a more in-depth wrap-up of team-by-team injuries after the season, but the Blue Jays rate ninth with 4.6 WARP lost.
It's definitely misleading as the sole indicator of how healthy a team was. For that purpose, I think WARP lost or days/games missed work better.
Yeah, I didn't mean to suggest that the AL East standings would definitely look different. As I wrote, "The WARP lost totals above don’t account for how a team filled its holes, only that it had them." You're absolutely right that you have to look at who replaced the injured players and how they did. And even then, it's impossible to say what would have happened in the alternate-history version of the season: maybe the teams involved would have made some other roster moves or acquisitions if their situations had been different.
Basically, I just wanted to talk a bit about the importance of injuries, the benefits of figuring out how to avoid them, and the idea that they theoretically could (and at times have) helped determine which teams make the playoffs.
Thanks, that's interesting. If you still have the list somewhere, I'd be interested in seeing it.
If history is any indication, we'll be talking about the Padres very soon.
Raw OPS isn't all that matters--when Howard surpassed the stats you quoted in the same park, he rated as a below-average first baseman. And I don't think it's likely that Ruf will continue to improve beyond the age at which players typically stop improving.
Anyway, I don't have much more to add here. I haven't seen Ruf play any more than you have, and I don't have any special insight into his future. I'm just choosing to believe the scouts who say he's not a prospect, and I don't think the stats provide a compelling reason to believe they're wrong. The only possible proof is how he plays, and that's something we'll have to wait to see. If he gets an extended look somewhere, I'll be surprised if he outhits Bryan LaHair. And if he never gets an extended look somewhere, that'll be telling, too.
Oddly, Sam picked that sound, and he's the podcast host with an actual crying baby at home. He must have had crying babies on the brain.
Also, I'm guessing Mother Theresa wouldn't have fared too well when it came to the first clause.
By the way, to answer your question about whether the character clause also applies to Hall of Fame voting: it does, or at least it's supposed to:
"5. Voting: Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player