CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com
New! Search comments:
(NOTE: Relevance, Author, and Article are not applicable for comment searches)
I think these should be treated as if it were a walk or HBP.
Re Hosmer: That's what she said!
Three Orioles position players in one update?!? I'm not sure I can handle such developments.
I object because, perhaps unlike the other major sports, playoff baseball is very different from regular season baseball. The regular season is a grind, emphasizing depth and idea that small differences between teams become obvious only over large sample sizes. Now, baseball is further reducing the emphasis on that long season. Between off-days and the short series, those teams constructed to win over the long haul face no special advantages in the playoffs and this will just make it worse.
I've always taken these questions to mean "What is a realistic time-table for Prospect XX's development?" That is, given his current skill set and projectability, how long will he need before he's ready to compete in the Major Leagues?
Two years ago the Orioles had dollar weekend for nearly the entire upper deck. One dollar. The stands were empty. You can bring your own food, and park for $10 (or take transit for a fraction of that). For many teams and many fans, the real 'cost' of attendance isn't the ticket; it's the opportunity cost of giving up an entire evening of doing something else to watch a crappy baseball team.
That said, this is the first time I've noticed that Oriole games have gotten expensive. Prime games now cost $95 for field box tickets (lowest level between the bases), and even lower level left field seats run $30 for non-prime games. There are still a few sections where you can get decent value, but the most recent price hikes changed the equation significantly.
Wieters has been a better-than league average catcher at ages 23 (1.5 fWAR in 96 games) and 24 (2.3 fWAR in 130 games) and he fits into the 50 most disappointing prospects ever? I know people were expecting an MVP-candidate, but it seems bat$hi+ insane to include a 25-year old on a list with guys who had lines of .220/.288/.353 in 182 games and were largely done before age 30.
"The good news for the role is that it had a 75 percent success rate last season as most of the failures were limited to the Chad Qualls meltdown in Arizona, Trevor Hoffman aging ten years before our eyes in Milwaukee, and Mike Gonzalez breaking down quickly in Baltimore." Plus Frank Francisco.
And that is small consolation to the owner (me) that had Qualls, Francisco, and Gonzalez.
In addition to the McGwire and Trammell comments above, I'd love to hear why you didn't consider Olerud a bit longer.
The Yankees will start three players that will play 2011 at a sub-30 seasonal age: Robinson Cano, Brett Gardner and Cervelli/Martin. I agree the Yankees will be very good, but that's a lot of players on the wrong side of the peak age, even if just barely.
Now those are fantastic. It is immediately clear what the reader is supposed to see.
Unclear graphs/images are a pet peeve of mine. I sit through a lot of presentations at work that are graph/image intensive, and the #1 management complaint is graphs that don't immediately inform the viewer. The line silhouettes are incredibly helpful, at least to me.
I think I see the unlined images as front facing (pitcher perspective) largely because that's how the game looks on TV. If the game were televised from the opposite perspective, I would probably view it that way.
It is irrelevant which direction you present the data, so long as its clear. I deal in foreign exchange, and consistently have the same problem (Am I buying dollars, or selling euros? Both!). I've adopted the market conventions, though that's not necessarily the easiest way to think about prices for many tasks. If that's how the saber world typically presents the data, that's fine by me. I just want to be able to view a graph and immediately understand it. Thanks for being responsive; it really is appreciated.
I realize that they are just generic, but they are still backwards and make the reader spend extra time interpreting the graph, at least if they aren't accustomed to looking at the data (like I would imagine is the case for most readers).
The PitchFX data is from the catcher/umpire perspective, correct? I think most baseball viewers have the opposite mental framework, since television baseball is typically viewed from the pitcher's perspective. Thus, in the image on the left, when I first look at the picture, I see a left-handed hitter. When I scrutinize the picture, I still see a left-handed hitter, because that is how the batter is set up. His right arm is the bottom hand. If he's supposed to be a righty, then he's hitting cross-handed.
Is anyone else as confused as I am when they first look at the pictures? Those outlines are clearly from the hitter's front (so the RH batter is actually a lefty - the bottom hand is the batter's front arm), but the data is from the hitter's back.
Why would Selig and his cronies be less likely to approve Jamie? Because soap operas are always the woman's fault?
But 87 wins hasn't ever gotten you to the wild card in the American League (excluding strike-shorted 1995 when the Yankees took it with 78 wins, or an 89-for-162 win pace). The O's won it with 88 in 1996, the Mariners with 91 in 2000, and the Red Sox with 92 in 1998. Since 2001, the average AL wild card team has won 96.3 games: 94, 95 six times, 98, 99, and 102. Two of those teams were from the West, one from the Central, and the Yankees or Red Sox combined for 7 of them. Contrast that with the NL, where the wild card has averaged 90.4 wins since 2003, never exceeding 92 wins (which happened just twice).
That's what I was looking for. He obviously hasn't figured it out, and that always raises questions. The question is why hasn't he figured it out.
I think it's important to point out that it's not because those teams are better that it's tougher for the Orioles to win, it's tougher for the Orioles qualify for the tournament because they have such a high hurdle to clear. Here's the division leader (and second place) win total since the O's began their string of losing seasons, starting in 2010 and working backwards until 1998:
1st: 96, 103, 97, 96, 97, 95, 101, 101, 103, 95, 87, 98, 114
2nd: 95, 95, 95, 94, 87, 95, 98, 95, 93, 82, 85, 94, 92
The division winner had 95+ wins 12 out of 13 times, and eight times the second place team in the division had 94 or more wins, plus two more times they finished at 92 or 93. To win the division you pretty much have to build the best team in baseball, which just isn't regularly the case in any of the other divisions.
Is there something specific that's driving the souring on Matt Wieters, or is simply the fact that he hasn't been able to figure it out yet?
No mention of Steven Strasburg?
Assuming that BP actually has predicted doom for Jeter, they've been spot on in two of the past three seasons: a significant decline in 2008 and again in 2010. Why are those seasons less relevant than 2007 and 2009?
Aside from Aubrey Huff's shocking appearance on the LF leaderboard (are we all sure this is the same guy who spent the past three years in Baltimore? 100%?), I think the major sins seem to be ones of omission. Mark Ellis and Ryan Zimmerman stand out, off the top of my head.
The Pirates may not have the best system in terms of talent, but they easily have the best in terms of prospect names. Jameson, Stetson, Starling and Colton? Fantastic.
Woops, that should be Phoenix -> Kansas City. Seattle, of course, is really far from everywhere.
I understand the sentiment, but since divisions are arbitrary divisions of talent, why does it matter? Should the Yankees have really been penalized to the benefit of the Twins this year? They (the Yankees) won more games in a more difficult division, so that deserves three straight road games to open the playoffs simply because their city happens to fall in the same time zone as Tampa? The point of the wild card (aside from more money) was to help ensure that the best teams from each league make the playoffs despite geography. Why do we want to reintroduce the possibility of a geographical bias?
It's really more of a time zone concern than a pure mileage one. Boston -> Miami (1500 miles, no time change) is much less disruptive than Seattle -> Kansas City (1200 miles, 2 hour time change in the summer).
"There's no great difference between being the Wild Card and winning your Division"
Why, exactly, is this a problem that needs fixing?
I don't understand how NL baseball is more tactical. "Oh, there's a runner on base with less than two outs. Pitcher bunts." That's not strategy.
I'll agree to eliminate the DH if you agree to never force me to watch pitchers bat. Eight man lineups sound good to me.
So it was a joke that we included the Yankees in this year's postseason?
A fact (for Molina) that was not included in the article until AFTER I wrote the comment. But thanks everyone for giving it negative ratings!
But Molina is not the ONLY player to appear for both World Series teams; Chris Ray was the other half of that trade and he pitched for both the Rangers and Giants.
The only way this team is closer to contending than this article leads us to believe is if the young pitching continues its breakout and the young hitters that were very mediocre turn into All-Stars. That may or may not have anything to do with the manager, but it certainly isn't a strategy around which to spend tens of millions on veteran free agents. Or get your hopes up for 90 wins any time soon.
"Why 162 games, if it all just gets burned away in a subsequent quintet of contests?"
Good thing we're going to add a one-game playoff between the two wild cards to make the division championship matter!
You have to define minimums? With most standard leagues, I don't know how you would ever hope to compete by punting at least 2 categories. I suppose you try and take only closers to win saves, ERA and WHIP, but I don't think there is any guarantee you'd finish high enough in the batting categories to place.
"context is not something that has a button the calculator"
nor, apparently, on a keyboard.
But why is the null hypothesis that no one will ever win 300 games again? Shouldn't baseball history tell us that the null hypothesis must be that someone will win 300 games again, and then we look for evidence to disprove that? In which, case the pieces of evidence most cited are:
1) pitchers don't throw as many innings per start and don't make as many starts, reducing the number of possible decisions
3) later start to careers by college pitchers reduces the number of seasons
3) guaranteed contracts reduce the incentive for pitchers to stick around for a long time
While Mussina didn't meet number 3, he absolutely fit numbers 1 and 2. I think there are enough guys who pitch just a bit too long (Smoltz, Glavine, Moyer, Brett Favre, et al) that Mussina is the exception which proves number 3.
All I am saying is that it takes just one pitcher with the talent, health profile, good fortune to pitch on winning teams, and the competitive juices to stick around into his early 40s. If you're willing to say we'll NEVER see that pitcher again, fine, but from this comment it doesn't seem like you are.
Just that Mussina meets nearly all the conditions that people cite as evidence that we'll never see a 300 game winner again, and he very, very easily could have stuck around for those final 30 wins. Sorry if I took some time to actually think rather than agreeing with the conventional wisdom on this one.
I would like to see a list of the prior year's, though, even if just as a link.
I assume that KG goes through some process (perhaps informally) each year, but I'm not sure what value him taking the time to write it up on 30 teams really brings to subscribers. Much rather him put in the time and work on this year's lists.
Heck, I'd settle for an infielder capable of playing in the Majors that long.
So if an #1 to #3 is making 34 starts a year, why can't that starter win 300 games? Mike Mussina, in his whole career, made 34 starts just three times, plus 36 starts once. He retired, at at age 39, with 270 wins. Sabathia got his start in 2000, and he has had at least 34 for 4 straight seasons (assuming he gets two more this year). I'm 28 years old today. If, on my 70th birthday, we haven't seen another 300 game winner, I will be absolutely shocked. Here is what I wrote two years ago when the rash of stories proclaiming Randy Johnson the final 300 game winner game out:
"A large gap between 300 game winners is far from unusual in baseball history. In fact, there has been a gap of at least 14 seasons between the first wins of future 300 game winners four different times: 1911 to 1925, 1925 to 1941, 1946 to 1962, and 1968 to 1984. People wrote after Ryan won his 300th game in 1990 that we may never see the feat again (ht: Wezen-ball). Why? Because of the 5-man rotation, reliever specialization, guaranteed contracts, later debut ages, etc. Gee, that sounds awfully familiar. Yes, that's right: Clemens, Maddux, Glavine and Johnson all won 300 games in the era of the 5-man rotation, the closer and guaranteed contracts. Do I know who will be the next 300-game winner? Definitely not. But before we write off the current crop of pitchers as too soft and pampered and yearn for the glory days of yesteryear, it is important to keep in mind that what we're seeing now is far from unusual. In fact, it fits perfectly with patterns we've seen repeatedly as baseball has transformed over the year."
More about Mussina:
1) Mussina made his Major League debut in 1991, well after the closer era began.
2) Mussina pitched in college, and made his debut at age 22, but wasn't a full-time Major Leaguer until age 23.
3) Mussina famously won 20 games just once, in his final season at age 39.
4) Mussina never made more than 36 starts in a season.
5) Mussina surpassed 240 innings in a season just twice, in 1992 and 1996, and threw more than 230 innings just one other time, in 2000.
6) During his 17 full-time seasons, Mussina threw fewer than 200 innings six times, albeit once during strike-shortened 1994.
7) Mussina pitched during the era of guaranteed contracts, and made more than $144 million in his career.
This seems like a ridiculous comment. Why couldn't Andy Pettitte (240 wins, age 38) get there? If Mike Mussina hadn't retired--while still being a very capable Major League pitcher--he almost certainly would have reached the milestone. Mussina went to college and pitched his entire career in the 1990s and 2000s. Is it likely for any particular pitcher to reach 300 wins? Absolutely not. But I would say its more than likely that some pitcher will reach 300 wins (not that wins matter, of course); it all comes down to health and a willingness to pitch to age 40.
I would vote for the "tough guy" attitude in the NFL; those guys probably shouldn't be returning to action so quickly.
I completely agree. Presumably, this logic would also mean that we shouldn't hold it against players who were shutdown in April and May for service time reasons, and I can't imagine Will making that argument. Or is he saying that he gives out negative points for missing time with an injury? Either way, this doesn't seem to have any consistency.
Could this be a matter of PECOTA systematically underrating the ever nebulous but scouting friendly "tools." Perhaps players without quite the statistical track record (especially in the minor leagues) are skewing the results the opposite direction because the system fails to foresee breakouts, rather than under-performance by those with solid track records.
I don't think it conflicts. Sheehan has proposed an alternative revenue sharing model in which he attempts to address some of the inefficiencies associated with the current system. I think he's underselling the "incentive to improve, to compete, to win", but that's mostly an argument over the slope of the marginal revenue curve vs. the slope of diminished revenue sharing. Sean is essentially drawing his curves a bit differently.
MLB teams currently draft more than one starting pitcher and one shortstop and three outfielders. You are not making a strong point.
The Pirates signed this year's best Dominican arm. Ynoa went to the A's. Those darn big markets in Pittsburgh and Oakland get all the good players!
But the Yankees would also have to pay full market value, largely negating the advantage that being able to sign the best talent at an artificially low price provides.
Why don't the Yankees sign every good young talent out of the Dominican or Venezuela every year? Or even half, for that matter?
If this is the case, then why doesn't every college football player accept a scholarship to USC? How come some go to Nebraska? Or Texas? Why do quarterbacks that lose out to another recruit transfer? Seems to me that they want to get a chance to play.
If you're an owner, there is an incredibly convincing economic rationale for the amateur player draft.
The Other 28 Nights in August
This seems like exactly the type of analysis that a team's hitting coach should receive from front office personnel.
How is Avery defensively? Good instincts in the field? Or a burner or can make up for his mistakes?
Fantastic. Congrats, Colin! Since I just renewed, I'm very excited to know Colin will be around for a while.
Though I have to admit, I'm a touch disappointed this headline didn't lead to more news about minor league promotions such as the Beer Batter discussed in these pages yesterday.
Excellent work, but clearly incorrect since it does not find that Omar Vizquel is the greatest shortstop of all-time.
Maybe the Royals can't spell Kila's name for the press release?
Is this true? Cot's doesn't report one.
I find it extremely difficult to believe that this is "market rate," unless we're all extremely underselling Skaggs. A half season of Lee is worth Montero or Smoak (big league ready every day guys) but 2+ seasons of Haren is worth a pair of arms with upside to be not quite as good as Haren (plus Joe Saunders)? This feels like one of those crappy fantasy baseball trades that gets proposed and the owner trying to acquire Haren attempts to justify the deal by saying "But you're getting FOUR players!!!"
Since I read while at the office, video is not a workable format for me.
Hey look, a positive comment on an O's position player! Stop the presses! (This is in no way a "You're ignoring the O's!" complaint).
We could even sew those RFID patches into the street clothes of noted night owls to ensure they're own by curfew!
On a serious note, it was my understanding that HitFX would have fielder positioning data included.
This is very similar to my own thought: what if we could objectively classify every ball hit (rather than the subjective difference between a line drive a "flyner" and a fly ball)? Would that help? Or, since you point out the lower correlation between methods using the same data is this more of a methodology issue? It seems to me that once you get into this type of classification you can cross it with fielder positioning data to truly quantify range. We would know just how far a player had to go to get to a ball, and we'd know how quickly he had to get there. Maybe without the highly detailed batted ball we've come as far as our current abilities can take us?
I personally really just like the slash line - BA/OBP/SLG. I can see how much of a player's value is power, how much is BA, and how much is walks. People understand these numbers, too.
The thing is, sabermetrics is extremely capable of using just the basic stats (OBP, SLG, K/BB ratio, defensive efficiency) to explain rather easily how baseball really works. It does not require that people understand the inner workings of UZR or DIPS in order to explain that getting on base is good (for hitters), strikeouts are good and walks are bad (for pitchers), and a team that catches lots of the balls put into play is good at defense. Those are the basics, and I think that every baseball fan can agree on those points. We all need to do a better job of framing arguments with the "non-believers" in those terms.
Fantastic. Thanks, Matt.
That feels like a really big difference (not the direction of the change, but the absolute size of today's gap). For instance, this year's American League team doesn't have a single player with an OBP minus AVG greater than .081 (Longoria). The simple average is a mere .061, with a plate appearance weighted average roughly the same.
"The difference between OBP and AVG was .102 during the Early Era, .110 during the Cable Era, and .149 during the Internet Era."
What does this mean? I certainly hope it's not saying that a .300 hitter would have a .402 OBP in the early era, but a .449 OBP in the Internet era.
I agree with this; until we get more widespread access to Hit/FX, I think we can basically categorize balls in play as "ground balls" and "others." I suspect that will change rapidly, though.
Richard has a well thought out comment where he's asking a genuine question and this is what constitutes a response? This comment section should be better than this.
Am I wrong or wasn't Smoak injured for much of 2009? (strained oblique?) I feel like that may affect his power numbers...
Please please please no auto play video. Or podcasts.
RSS is how I read everything on the Web. I understand that you need to keep your feed truncated for the paywalled content, but for free stuff there's no reason it shouldn't be a full feed. All the short feed does is annoy me.
I'd also like to see the ability to subscribe to multiple feeds, especially when it comes to the blogs.
The original objector was simply saying that while PECOTA has had a miss or two, it has also had a few hits that are worth pointing out, and he rightly makes the point that all forecasts have errors. You're the one that ratcheted up the vitriol by lumping him in with the "unquestioning masses."
"Make a real point instead of bitching and I'll reply cordially."
Ahhh, sweet irony.
I really think fans need to start pushing for the balanced schedule, not realignment. Much easier sell than full blown realignment. Taking the O's from 18 to 11 or 12 games each against the Red Sox, Yankees, and Rays would do wonders for their outlook.
Suppose that Roberts' latest efforts to return from his back injury fail and he ends up going under the knife? What would a realistic timetable for back surgery be? How limited would he be in offseason workouts?
The O's are hoping to get Felix Pie back within about two weeks to handle left field.
"One reason why all this might be somewhat repeatable is home park, particularly since popups have a lot to do with the dimensions of the infield."
Aren't all infields the same size? Are you talking foul territory?
Another day goes by and still no Orioles prospects worthy of inclusion. What a bummer year for the franchise.
All Baltimore media outlets now reporting that Brian Roberts will be back in 4 to 6 weeks, which is very different from July 1.
Big thanks to whoever gave the comment above a negative rating!
Also, the Sun is reporting, too, that Roberts isn't close to returning.
"While second baseman Brian Roberts (herniated disk) could be shut down from baseball activities for another couple of weeks, the other injured Orioles could be returning a lot sooner than the club originally expected."
This is exactly my thought; instead of him getting his two months of bonus minor league time in April and May of 2007, he's getting it in May and June of 2010.
That's not at all how I interpreted Britt's comments regarding Roberts:
Seems to me like there is still not timetable for his return, but the other four injured O's could be back by the end of the month. I think the confusion is over a Twitter update that her blog post clarifies.
Arrieta walked two of those guys intentionally... in the same inning. Silly Orioles.
The Monday match-up does not have to be against a team to which you have already lost. For instance #2 could lose to #3, beat #4 in the loser's bracket, then beat #3 in the loser's bracket, then beat #1 twice. They have to beat a team to which they already lost, but not in the regional championship on Monday.
If only 4,100 people see John Smoltz throw 150+ pitches, did it really happen?
If I pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the first, how does that affect the probability I throw a 1-2-3 inning in the second?
I think there a number of instances where you say "first-round" but really mean "first overall."
This was great. Can we get one for the arms, too?
Given his performance record in the minors, I don't think it is ever going to be fair to call his 2009 a fluke. I do, however, question how healthy he is after Achilles surgery that ended his 2009.
I'd love to hear some feedback on Frederick 2B LJ Hoes. He seems to be off to a great start with the bat.
Is it just me, or did Sizemore pull up before he got to the bag? Additionally, the tuck leg is actually the knee more at risk from being banged on the ground. Very easy to hit the knee on the ground before your butt.
On my DISH Network its located... oh, right. I'm sure it will come to DISH at the same time DISH disables my DVR.
"Sizemore's availability hurts the Indians' chances of turning things around." While I'm assuming you mean his unavailability, the above statement might actually be correct given his miserable start.
Actually, no. I've taken one off the back of the hand, but never fouled one off the knob. Is either one more likely than the other?
I broke my right pinky and was able to keep the finger hanging over the end of the bat, switching from a 34" bat to a 33" bat to compensate for the loss of control. It's possible Ethier could do the same, but it would still be painful. I don't see why that would leave the finger any more exposed, but it would have an effect on his swing.
The Orioles are furious that you didn't include them in this analysis.
Will keeping Jones' legs healthy help him develop any plate discipline? Because that could really accelerate the time frame needed for the O's to be competitive.
Can Zach Britton hit? Maybe he could play first on his non-pitching days?
Have you seen Simon's fastball? Straight is definitely not its problem.
Why wouldn't we look at 9 inning games only?
"Mid-inning pitching changes and throws to first really are a big driving force behind games being longer!"
Maybe - but both of those are symptoms of runners on-base. No where on this list is "runs scored" or "closeness of game", both of which would also seem to correlate well with runners reaching base. Yes, there was plate appearances, but I would think the closeness of the game would matter, too. Similarly, if you allow a bunch of runners to score after reaching base, perhaps the game goes faster than if you strand all those runners?
Thanks for the memories, Russell.
Frankly, if you're worried about him "turning into Adam Dunn," you probably shouldn't be worried.
I am shocked-SHOCKED-that Garrett Atkins hasn't worked out for the O's.
This has interesting implications for west coast teams traveling east, and vice versa. The NBA's Trailblazers are, I think, the only team that's actually taken a look at it.
While I would obviously like to see Chris Tillman in the O's rotation, I don't think we'll have to wait long. Brad Bergesen's smoke appears to have blown away, and his mirrors are cracked. The O's definitely needed another starter. At the cost of Chris Ray, I don't think there's much negative that can be said of the Millwood deal.
I'm so upset that I couldn't get to the event. Any idea if anyone has done a recap somewhere?
One indicator that's proven foolproof as an indicator of bullpen failure is "Orioles" on the jersey front.
I can't even begin to describe how bummed I am that the Orioles ballpark event is on a night that I have class and thus can't attend. Come back soon!
As a college outfielder, I suffered shoulder problems from age 17 (11th grade) through the time I graduated. The only time I ever felt healthy was the summer I played for a coach that advocated the extreme just throw it as far as you can long-toss method. In about 3 months, I improved my game-transferrable accuracy and distance, and my arm actually felt good. As soon as I returned to school, however, I was instructed to discontinue this training method--despite comments from coaches and teammates that my throwing skills had obviously improved--in favor of the only throw at game arcs method. Within weeks, my shoulder issues returned.
Obviously, this is purely anecdotal, but I really hope that we can get some serious study on the issue. It's not just pitchers that stand to benefit, but infielders and outfielders at all levels of baseball.
So, more accurately, Beltre is guaranteed $10 million for 2010 with $1 million deferred and a player option for somewhere between $4 and $9 million.
Interestingly, I think you can make the exact opposite argument just as reasonably: because baseball is delivered on an almost daily basis over 180 days (plus playoffs!), demand for mobile content should be very high since there are so many chances to take advantage of it.
Another simple comparison is that of a balance sheet. On the left side, you have an asset (Joe Mauer) and on the right side you have a liability (his contract). So long as the asset is worth more than the liability, everything is hunky dorey. But if the liability outweighs the asset, you have a problem (in the financial world, this is called insolvency). When are you most likely to get this mismatch? When you have a maturity mismatch, i.e. a backloaded contract. Your theory makes perfect financial sense, even if a non-backloaded contract doesn't necessarily have the highest net present value.
Not sure what kind of machine you were hitting against, but my experience against the machine is that it is absolutely a hindrance to pitch recognition. Your eyes use more than just spin to identify pitches: arm speed, wrist angle, trajectory. They all figure into your mind's recognition patterns (this is why a good change up is thrown with the same arm speed).
Love the series; would it be possible to get a player's age added after his position? That's valuable info when considering contracts.
@ Greg Ioannou (the "Post Reply" function won't work in my browser)... why are those "loss of confidence" and not something like "erosion of skills" or "getting old"?
I think Will raises a few very good points:
1) BP is trying to enter a new era of openness with its methodologies; this is something for which they have been criticized in the past.
2) How the mathematical sausage is made bores some (most?) people to tears (including me).
3) We all want the end product--interesting baseball analysis--presented in a way that is easy to understand and entertaining to read.
4) We also want the "masses" to better understand what it is that makes a baseball team win games.
Point 1 is great; if BP comes up with a new metric (like SIERA), it needs to be vetted by the saber community so that we know if it's adding value. I applaud this effort.
Point 2 is, I think, especially relevant in the offseason. There are no games, and there's only so much free agent/player evaluation news we can talk about. I think one way around angering people with too much math is to put all the math stuff under one heading, like Sausage Factory. So when Eric or Matt puts up a highly technical article that will appeal to only a subset of readers, the rest of us know going in that it's probably not aimed at us.
Point 3 is what keeps us all coming back to BP. Writers like Will and Kevin and Christina and (formerly) Joe presented relevant analysis in an entertaining way that incorporated advanced analysis. I think I speak for everyone when I say that we hope the new crew carries on this excellent tradition.
Point 4 is going to take time, but what can we help to speed that. Both the MLB and ESPN networks seem to be trying, but I'd really like to see more broadcasts that are advanced analysis friendly. Perhaps through MLB.tv there's one game a week where BP or Keith Law or Rob Neyer spends the game in the booth with a saber friendly play-by-play guy (are there any?). Or BP uses its radio to put together 10 minute podcasts discussing game recaps or offseason moves in a way that the sports radio listener can understand and relate to? These would be great things to make available for free to non-subscribers. Some might like them enough to want to learn more and subscribe. I think there's lots we can do, but it doesn't involve explaining the variability in year-to-year batting average correlations. It involves explaining the games in an accessible way.
While I'm sad there is no Baltimore date on your book tour calendar, any chance Charm City can slide onto your ballgame events list for this year?
Are those actual numbers for the 438 projected players, or for the league as a whole? I suspect that the 438 projected players would be expected (on average) to outperform the league average since the league-wide figures would include replacement players.
Disagree on the comments above about expanded fantasy offerings. Marc does an excellent job with the fantasy coverage, but the amount is just about right. If you want fantasy coverage, there are oodles of sites out there. I like my BP to be above the fray. Much of what gets discussed here that's not heavily stat centric (i.e., Kevin Goldstein, Will Carroll, Christina Kahrl versions), is extremely applicable to fantasy, even if it's not directly targeted as such. And I can't imagine that BP could achieve the user base necessary to offer an interface comparable to the ones ESPN or Yahoo provide.
I'll kick in another $5 a month.
The average AL team in 2009 scored 4.82 runs per game. If our machine gives up 4 over 7.0, and the bullpen can handle a 4.50 RA, this team will give up 5 runs per start. Multiply by 162 and this team scores 781 runs and allows 810 (essentially, the Rangers offense and somewhere between Toronto and KC on the hill), for a Pythagorean win % of .483. I'd bet that just about every average or better offense would take that as their 5th starter, and would pay a nice price for the privilege (without even getting to bullpen issues).
I think Christina is right where she takes the simplistic view and comes up with about $5m.
Wow, we're getting top prospects who were playing in the LLWS in 2004. I'm getting old. Fast.
That's certainly what I suspected. I wonder if there would be a way to use minor league translations to see if players that join bad teams tend to underperform expected performance and players that join good teams outperform. In that case, "winning culture" might well be important, but the effect would only be evident upon reaching the Major Leagues. In which case, it's too late for the Orioles, but perhaps not for Pirates prospects.
Another interesting study might be "Do good players on bad teams tend to remain on bad teams, or do their teams improve?"
My biggest complaint is that chat archives, radio news, etc. never makes it to the RSS feed. I don't mind clicking through the partial feeds for content, but rarely do I check the homepage for the day's events.
To clarify, I mean this in terms of bad organizations botching development before the player even gets to the Major League level.
I'm not sure that your argument wouldn't still be worth exploring; I might be missing Russell's point, but he's saying that winning percentage early in a career has no effect on future OBP or SLG. He's not saying that winning percentage early has no correlation with current OBP and SLG. Russell, do young players on bad teams perform worse than young players on good teams?
I've criticized the Orioles for losing a draft pick, too, but one thing that your pendulum argument made me think of was the last time the Orioles had no second round pick, in 2007. The picked some guy name Matt Wieters, and were able to give him a huge signing bonus, perhaps in part because they did not have to spend money to also sign their second round pick. With the 3rd pick in next summer's draft, a similar pick would not be out of the question.
I hope that RSS is a bigger part of the future, too. I read a TON of stuff on the web daily, and RSS is about the only way I can get to it all, especially if an intriguing article arrives on a day that I don't have time to read it. I'd love to see several RSS feeds (comprehensive, articles only, blogs only, etc) to which customers can subscribe to have their content delivered conveniently. I don't know about others, but the daily email just doesn't work for me.
Holy cow, .280/.331/.511 with 31 homers comes in below replacement? Sure an .824 OPS isn't the greatest line in the world, but wow, I had forgotten just how good hitters park pre-humidor Coors Field was.
I hope they discuss the stupid DH rule... and expand it to the National League. I do not want to see pitchers "hit".
There is one simple rule change that would affect nothing but the pace of play: forbid batters from stepping out of the batter's box by requiring at least one foot in the box at all times. High schools and colleges already have this rule in place, and it makes a big difference.
This is exactly right. 100% of the population is capable of performing at a zero level, while only a very, very tiny percent can be Major Leaguers.
You're actually looking at the extreme right end of the tail. MLB players are the top <1% of all world-wide baseball talent. For every level you go down (All-Star -> Regular -> Replacement -> Minor Leagues -> College -> High School) there are more and more players that fit the talent profile. You probably still aren't coming close the median, even at that level.
Trade whichever one brings you back the most draft picks and keep the other two.
Matt Wieters is too good for this list. He doesn't want to make everyone else feel bad.
Nitpick: Millwood saves the Rangers $8mm, but costs the O's $9mm. (see paragraph 3).
I'd love to see the RSS Feed somehow alert me to ALL the new content avaialable each day, including the chats and newsletter. I use the internet nearly exclusively through my RSS Reader, and this would really be helpful. I'm guessing it would be fantastically simple, too.
I like the concept of tiering and combining it with an anticipated draft round as well. Could be beneficial if you're trying to decide between, say, a catcher and a second baseman and you're wondering what you'll have left to choose from next time around.
Teixeira was actually done before Christmas; the announcement of his deal with the Yankees was a nice lump of coal in Orioles' fans stockings.
Don't Sizemore's injury struggles in 2009 have to be taken into consideration? As for 2008, I think the gains Sizemore made on the basepaths (38 steals, 5 CS) offset the drop in BABip from the .330s to .290.
Maybe because he was 24 in High-A and only hit 7 homers as a first baseman?
Ironically, you gave further ado after the without further ado.
I enjoy the pupu tray deals: Here, take all these crappy players for the superstar, please!
And why would any other team pay for smoke and mirrors just because smoke and mirrors worked for three months instead of not working for three months?
Every morning when you wake up you have a choice between good and evil. Yankees fans choose evil.
A few weeks ago you mentioned Erbe might be headed for the reliever track. Is that still the case?
True, but the Yankees don't have to play tonight, making a long outing for Rivera is much less of a concern. The chance of scoring a single run increasing could make it acceptable play.
God Bless America. And only America.
Would that we get a back-and-forth series before this fall is over!
It's funny, my whole postseason experience has been palate cleansing; I've yet to get a main course. Whether because of late starts (all the games that end after midnight), frequent off days (especially the gap between series), turning games that were seemingly over off too early (I'm looking at you, Phillies and Angels), or my own busy schedule (full-time job + midterms), the only games I've seen are the blowouts. I hope I get to watch some of this mythical great baseball I keep reading about.
If they cared about the fans, World Series games wouldn't be scheduled for November.
re: ScottyB - this is why baseball is great. People who approach the analysis from the same POV can still come to opposite conclusions.
It's funny. Reading the column's analysis I fully expected a prediction of a Phillies win, only to see Dodgers in 6. Can't disagree with the pick; it just shows how little difference there is between the teams and how choosing one very good baseball team to beat another very good baseball is pretty much a crapshoot. Should be a great series.
RE: sjd0378 - Look at the run expectancy. Going from 1st and 3rd with no one out (1.76) to runner on 1st with 1 out (.53) costs your team more expected runs than going from end of game (0) to runner on first with 2 outs (.22). So Punto's boner was worth 1.2 runs while Holliday's miscue worth -.2.
Why are scouts seeing Erbe as a reliever? Command? Delivery? Health?
I love the human element. I love that players don't always do exactly what we expect them to do. I love that rational, intelligent people can disagree about what should or should not take place in a game, who is the better player, etc. But I do not love when umpires miss calls.
I find a front office that gave Wells that terrible contract asking for more money the highest of comedy.
I don't see how you can say you "missed" on your preseason projection when you had them winning 95 games, they've outperformed by about 8 Pythagorean wins and are on pace to win 103. Sounds more like you nailed it to me.
Hmmmm... Old Rangers centerfielder has career year after career of falling short of expectations and is now seeking large long-term contract. Get Gary Matthews agent on the phone!
eighteen - consider the source.
so much underlining.
Tell those same Pirates fans that the Orioles went 4-32 to close the 2002 season, going from 63-63 (!) to 67-95. And look what we have to show for it 7 years later! Wait...
When I was playing in college I had a coach tell me that I wasn't a regular because "We need your bat at the end of games to come up in big spots." There is a lot of very bad theory in baseball. My question is how does a multi-million dollar corporation (the Gians) employ these people?
Sample size fail.
If he would ilke to return to the AL to DH, Baltimore has an opening. And roughly three media members who cover the team.
I'm an O's fan as well, and I don't think their pursuit of Teixeira changes the equation. He would have been "only" $20mm in 2009, which would have pushed the O's to 13th in payroll.
Given the standard deviation of performance around expected winning percentages, is what the Angels are doing something we should expect some team to do about as often as we have seen, or is this type of event happening more frequently than a normal distribution would lead us to believe?
I'm not sure I agree, Matt. With the turnover in stadiums for virtually every other team in baseball, the Orioles no longer have a Camden Yards advantage that can be used to support a relatively higher payroll. I think they're destined to be a middle of the pack spender, perhaps bumping into the top-10 occassionally if they really break the bank on a player or two.
While those numbers are definitely disheartening, I think the unbalanced schedule plays a really big role in them. August and September inevitably involves lots of Yankees and Red Sox match-ups against patchwork Orioles teams.
Why can't managers just define their roles differently? Instead of grunting "You get 7th inning; he get 9th inning", can't they instead say "Since you are very adept at retiring hitters that approach the plate from the third base side, we will ask you to perform this invaluable skill when tight spots arise and many of these types of hitters are due to bat"? If the relievers aren't smart enough to read the lineup card, isn't that why you have a bullpen coach?
Will has been very outspoken about the need for baseball to get a better handle on "brain" issues--concussions, etc. I suspect that's what he means.
When are we gonna get a ballpark event in Baltimore?
Erik Bedard. Oh, wait.
They aren't necessarily. But he's 23-years old, in his 3rd pro season and still (until yesterday) in A-ball. He could be a guy posting good results because he's more experienced, or he could be a prospect putting up good numbers. His numbers could also be turning him from filler to prospect, so I was just hoping for a bit more insight.
Is Waring a legit prospect, or just a strong, polished college hitter swinging really hard in A-ball?
Completely agree. My guess is that players are busy catching up with old friends their first night in a new city.
I'm guessing "Tom Hicks going broke" had a lot more to do with it than MLB strong arming.
When you're relying on the BBRAA to make an informed choice, there is always a good chance you will be disappointed.
Assuming Greinke doesn't fall apart and Sabathia doesn't reel off a 2008-esque streak to end the year, 11 wins for Greinke and 20 wins for Sabathia would both be irrelevant. Wins do not figure into the equation at all.
Perhaps it's an issue with the regression equation not being applicable to points outside the data-set. For 2009, the lowest payroll (Marlins) was $35mm, far above the theoretical $12.5m replacement level payroll.
How about LAMaR - Leverage Above Marginal Revenue
I think when you begin the season with Alfredo Simon, Mark Hendrickson and Adam Eaton in your rotation you aren't exactly signaling "Hey, we're making a run at .500!" The Orioles have almost completely turned their roster over in the past three years. They traded Sherrill and Huff this year, and Mora will finally be gone after this season. I think it's pretty clear the Orioles understood winning 72 games instead of 68 had no real value.
"The Pirates, Royals, Orioles, and Nationals would definitely benefit if we included the value of their ensuing draft picks. Of those teams, I'd guess that the Pirates are the only one that actually understood this coming into the season."
Can you clarify that last sentence?
This was my immediate thought as well. See Rockies, Colorado for a bit more evidence of just how valuable it is to keep your top 5 out there for the whole season.
Well, this just puts the evidence in writing: Tim McCarver must go.
Could Turner play short, or is he 2B-only material?
Well, yes, which is EXACTLY why it's ludicrous to criticize him for pushing for as high a signing bonus as possible.
More money for the owners!
And if they prove they are a top performer they shouldn't get paid until they have six years of service time.
Similarly, The Hardball Times took a look at the value of hitting and pitching prospects.
Will Clark for Hall of Fame!
My thoughts are along these same lines: how well do teams fare the day after they travel from one city to another (especially pitchers)? What about the distance of travel? Time zones? Especially with my first question, might it make sense to send your starting pitcher to a new city a day or two ahead of time? Great start to this series and I can't wait for more.
What about them? Do you mean Scott Downs and his 3-year $10m deal? The rest of the bullpen has been brought up from within, and developing pitching apparently is a real strength of Ricciardi's. Scutaro was a trade target who signed away his age 32 and 33 seasons to avoid arbitration; let's wait and see what Ricciardi offers him as a free agent this offseason.
I seem to remember him being a solid defender in college, but this report indicates that even when he played in the AFL there were concerns over his 3B defense.
I'd like to hear about how teams evaluate their own minor league players. What sort of daily reports do field managers file? How frequently do GMs, scouting directors, etc. visit the minor league clubs? What goes into decision regarding levels of assignment? And so on.
YANKEES! RED SOX! IT'S AUGUST ON FOX!!!
Since that's an OPS of .850 for Branyan and .800 for Loney I'd say that's a pretty easy call.
Anytime you guys want to come to Baltimore, I'll be there.
Please don't go into finance. There are enough of us already.
Go to your local Best Buy and see what's the most expensive TV: it's the internet enabled one. You will watch all your shows on your big tv; they'll just be delivered over a web browser instead of through your cable provider. It's the best of both worlds.
As an Orioles fan, I'm curious to know Andy MacPhail's involvement in player development over the final few years of his tenure in Chicago. Should this article be a giant bucket of cold water in O's fans' faces?
I think Barry Bonds would disagree with you. And so would Rickey Henderson, Grady Sizemore, Alfonso Soriano, Willie Mays, Bobby Bonds, Daryl Strawberry, Ron Gant, Sammy Sosa, Jeff Bagwell, Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Hanley Ramirez, Jimmy Rollins and Brandon Phillips, just to name a few.
Thanks, Joe. My criticism is simply that BP doesn't offer any player-specific data. You guys do an excellent job in communicating the value of defense; I just wish that I had numbers to look at on my own. I definitely think that, especially with defense, there is value to be gained from you guys discussing the other metrics that are out there.
And you're quite entertaining and informative. That's why I pay my money annually.
I second the notion that BP needs to dramatically improve its offerings in terms of defensive stats. Don't get me wrong, I love the site, but this morning the Baltimore Sun made an assertion that Andino and Izturis have virtually identical defensive stats and there was absolutely nowhere on BP that I could go check on that. I ended up going to FanGraphs, which has great data, but I'd love for BP to offer something as well.
As a side note, does anyone know a good source for Plus/Minus?
Completely agree, but part of this involves convincing team PR/media relations staff to provide better info to the tv producers. And that shouldn't be too hard at all; interns love this stuff!
I find it interesting that the right side of the Detroit infield is looked upon favorably by UZR but not so much by Plus/Minus.
The concept of "roles" is, I think, a very important one, and one that I've written a bit out in this very context. The problem is how that role is defined. Too often it's by inning when it should be by situation. If the players themselves aren't capable of keeping up with the lineup, shouldn't the bullpen coach be able to do so?
Heck, making the Jays pay just $20 million would probably make this type of deal doable for both sides.
I would think that the Giants are in a bit different financial situation than the Jays, and they have a much lower hurdle than the AL East presents.
So its better to refuse to admit your mistakes and not try to clean up the mess?
They also signed Frank Thomas and B.J. Ryan and were happy to admit those mistakes.
Even if it doesn't quite work out for 2009, the Mets pitching doesn't look any better for 2010. A healthy Reyes and Beltran could really use a Halladay/Santana two-headed monster as one of the best cores in the game tries to make the playoffs for a change.
If you were the Orioles, would you rather have Smoak or Matusz? This was a topic of much discussion immediately after the draft, and neither player has done anything but excel in the minors.
My two cents:
1) Fans still vote, but their selections don't determine the starting lineups. They want Josh Hamilton? Sure, but Torii Hunter is starting in centerfield.
2) 25 man roster - 16 hitters, 9 pitchers
3) The DH is always in effect
4) No team representation requirement
5) Three inning limit on pitchers
Generally, I enjoy the All-Star festivities as a celebration of baseball's greatest players. I like watching the home run derby (though it's now far too long) to see the boppers go deep and all the fun the players have with their kids on the field. However, I really like watching great hitters square off with great pitchers when both take it seriously.
How many more Pirates games are you willing to watch because the team went 76-86 instead of 71-91?
Those are all fair points. How much of that NL East interleague showing stems from having to play the AL East, though? How does the NL East do against the other NL divisions?
I think you make a really good point about the "rehab" assignment for PED suspensions. When a player is on the 15-day DL, he can go to the minors after 10 days to start rehab.
Considering that the Orioles are .500 against teams not from the top 5 (which means non-division opponents), I find it incredibly difficult to believe they are the 28th best team in baseball. They are being unfairly penalized for the quality of their division.
UVA should be very good next season. Hard to believe they are barely 7 years removed from nearly taking their program non-scolarship.
Brian, thanks for your coverage this season. A lot of what is easily accessible about college baseball is prospect related, and I really enjoyed your rundowns of the teams involved.
Enjoyed the piece, but my main takeaway was "Bernie Williams is a Hall of Famer?" I checked out his career line and find myself coming down on the side of Hall of Very Good. I suppose my advice would be make sure that when you place players into categories that people love to argue over, make sure you place them there according to wide spread consensus.
The solution is incredibly simple and elegant: let him pitch the 8th. And also the 1st through the 7th.
Trembley likes breaking guys in at the bottom. I'll bet 7th...
If only they offered this class when I was in college!
Not to mention (for that HOF class) that Pedro Martinez would be eligible if he ends up not joining a roster. Oh, and some guy named Frank Thomas.
Agreed; both data series on the same graph would be much better for web viewing so I don't have to scroll to compare.
This is incredibly interesting analysis, and sparks a question in my mind: we've long attacked "clutch performance" from a hitting perspective, but what about from the pitching side? Unlike hitters, pitchers are in control of what they throw and where they throw it (theoretically, at least). With Pitch FX and the like, could we identify whether some pitchers are more apt to increase velocity, throw a sharper slider, etc. during a clutch situation? And would those changes relate to improved performance?
I can't remember the last time I read a gamestory. I read the notes columns almost daily, but I look at box and line scores to find out what happened and then I check the play-by-play. This doesn't allow me to see that someone missed a cut-off man allowing the tying run to score, or that there was a lefty loose in the pen when a tiring starter was allowed to face David Ortiz with two men on, though. Still, I don't think that we need each media outlet to file a distinct game story each day; one comprehensive summary (whether from MLB.com or the AP) could suffice, with an expanded notes column. Team reporters can blog during the game to archive real-time info that can be explored later.
I hear the Orioles have a young kid that might be a pretty good catcher.
When Little Guy defeats Big Guy in midweek games, it can often be a function of # 1 starters matching up against # 4 starters, freshman receiving additional playing time, or bottom of the staff relievers receiving an inning in a high leverage spot. Numerous times, especially early in the season and when faced with a bottom tier weekend opponent, we threw our ace midweek to match-up against a top-flight non-conference opponent. Frequently, the top tier program was giving a freshman an opportunity to start. The win typically means more to the mid-tier program from an RPI or at-large bid perspective, so there is extra incentive to win.
MASN is definitely moving forward with the more news from the regional sports networks, hiring reporters bought out by the Baltimore Sun.
Exactly. People are going to believe whatever they want regardless of what he says. Better to simply stay out of the spotlight than try to satisfy the insatiable.
Rabid defense of the players? He correctly states that both sides are to blame, but that the management side (esp. Selig) is getting a free pass. There was no case made that the players are poor victims in this.
How do you know A-Rod hasn\'t stepped forward, been totally honest, and accepted responsibility? What would satisfy you? Previously unsuspected users coming clean? This comment completely proves the point that no matter what the player does he won\'t satisfy the media.
Of course it was a systemic issue in keeping pitchers healthy. Just look at the criminal mishandling of Hayden Penn and Adam Loewen. Fortunately, none of those decision makers are still making the decisions.
Taxpayers 1, Billionaire Team Owners 29.
I would imagine that in college baseball the correlation between FP and DE would be much higher than in MLB. In MLB, DE would be much more influenced by range and positioning, whereas in college, teams make a far greater number of errors, even when accounting for home park effects. I know that my college scorer never saw a booted grounder that wasn\'t a hit, but there were still many more booted grounders than in MLB.
My man-crush on Matt Wieters has reached unhealthy proportions.
He owes all his success to the freshman that batted in front of him his junior season at W&M. That freshman was me. Actually, that freshman owes all his success to Brendan Harris.
Excellent Q&A - definitely captures the Brendan I know, who was probably the hardest-working teammate I had.
That\'s my head hitting the keyboard.
Mmmmmm... Old Bay.
Baltimoreans also love their Berger cookies. And, if you like chocolate, you will, too.
\"Lincecum has compiled 13.3 WARP3 in his two major league seasons, more than the combined total of the six pitchers chosen ahead of him (Miller 5.9, Hochevar 2.6, Kershaw 2.5, Miller 1.1, Reynolds -0.6, with Lincoln falling victim to Tommy John).\"
I believe the first \"Miller\" should be \"Morrow.\"
Sssssshhhhh... please don\'t tell the rest of my league how I finish top 3 in Ks, ERA and WHIP every single season. At various times this year, I owned six of the top 10.
Orioles: Guthrie, and pray for four days of rain.
Completely agree about the television coverage. Why was the first pitch not until 8:39? Did we really need to see The Backstreet Boys (!!!) sing the national anthem in four part harmony? Did ANYONE say \"I\'m not sure I\'ll be watching the World Series tonight. What\'s that? The Backstreet Boys are singing the anthem! I\'m definitely watching!\" If I\'m a casual baseball fan, am I more or less likely to watch Game 2 because I watched 40 minutes of pregame and 80 minutes of baseball between 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm or three hours of baseball between 8:00 pm and 11:00 pm? Regular season games are routinely played in less than three hours. Even adding 20 or 30 minutes for the slower pace of postseason play, a game that starts at 8:00 pm on the east coast and that has reasonable breaks between innings should finish relatively close to 11:00 pm. Instead, I head for bed after just a few innings knowing that I won\'t be willing to stay up until nearly midnight for the finish.
Don\'t the Rays deserve credit for using the talent they stockpiled to trade for the players currently on their roster? Without Delmon Young, they could not have acquired Matt Garza, for instance. Similarly, they deserve credit for targeting players that other teams valued less than their actual worth.