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Great read. I agree that the lack of a disincentive means fans, players, everyone will be subjected to trivial/petty reviews on occasion, but I think an out is too strong of a penalty.
My suggestion would be; if the team in the field challenges a call and is wrong the batter at the plate has a ball added on to his count and if the team at the plate wrongly challenges a call then a strike is added to the count. Or add a ball and take away a strike or something similar of that nature.
As you've shown, this penalty would be worth around double the expected runs of holding on to the challenge. It's coincidence, but that's a nice round number. I doubt baseball would ever do something like this, because won't you please think of the records, but the risk/reward seems more in line with the game than penalizing a full out.
I hope you brought enough for everybody, because I'd love to see one of these for the mid-aughts Rays.
Any insight into why Thornton was used the way he was last year? He faced 89 lefties and 98 righties which seems like an incredibly poor way to use a guy that has shown a fairly wide split over his career (.299 wOBA vRHB, .268 vs. LHB). This regresses to around .097 so you'd expect him to do put up something like .306 vRHB and .277 vLHB.
Expectations are decent enough for using him against some righties, though you'd prefer the burner to be set to middle or lower. When the guy puts up numbers like .370 wOBA against righties in those 98 PA and .280 against lefties in the 89 against lefties at what point do you stop using him against righties? Neither of his teams last year seemed to grasp this concept, but I bet MR. Girardi's binder is going to be all over when to stick him in and when to pull him out.
I mean the guy struck out 22.5% of lefties while walking 3.4%, but against righties those numbers go to 10.2% and 12.2%. The guy has LOOGY written all over him, which is cool, because you're the Yankees so you can give that guy $3.5M and smile smugly knowing that it's not a 3/$16.5M like Boone Logan got to leave town.
I think this is a solid signing, especially when viewed relative to the market. It's not going to be the best deal of the year or anything, but looks ripe for solid value if the team plans on using Thornton in the role he was born for.
Very nice thinking. I agree with you completely that the direction analysis will go is in per-pitch evaluation.
The problem is that before becoming useful it needs to be scalable. You've created a definition of a mistake that's precise, but it's too much work to collect it to really test if it's accurate. The breakthrough will be to define a mistake in terms of location, count, and sequence so that it can be examined on a large scale.
Each pitch will already have a worth based on type, count, and location. The trick will be to add in sequencing filters and find which ones tilt the league-wide average toward the batter. The stronger the tilt, the better the definition of a mistake.
Kinsler isn't making $14 - 16M in the last two years of his deal. He's making significantly less than that:
5 years/$75M (2013-17), plus 2018 club option
signed extension with Texas 4/10/12
13:$13M, 14:$16M, 15:$16M, 16:$14M, 17:$11M, 18:$10M club option ($5M buyout)
Here's an idea of what that front-loading looks like, while also factoring in the $30M:
Congratulations on chasing the dream AND having the loving support of what sounds like some great parents. One thing, it was Zobrist that hit the catwalks and I think it's safe to say that the catwalks do not come into play anywhere near as often as that gimmick in Fenway's LF. Also, Lobaton hit the game-winning run while Delmon hit the go ahead run.
Thank you for correcting me. I haven't seen it directly stated, but the common currency is that 0 runs is average and then defensive runs are calculated against that baseline. Could you go into more detail about what level defensive replacement is set against? Or is it that 0 runs is replacement level?
An admirable endeavor, for sure, and thank you for eschewing the black box in favor of open collaboration. It would seem that the first step would be creating replacement level. There has been much discussion on this, but to me it doesn't matter whether that bar is set at a 35% winning percentage or 40% or whatever as long as it's consistent. Silly to get bogged down on this detail.
In this same vein, will defensive replacement value continue to be at 0? Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that most systems use performance vs. replacement level for offense and then performance vs. the average (0 runs) for defense. I have no idea where you would put replacement level defense and maybe it is zero runs, but it would be good to establish this early.
Another tangent in this line would be how much value you want to assign to the three pillars of batting, fielding, and base running? If batting is 60% of the value of a position player then would you consider fielding to be 30% and base running the last 10%? Have I/we missed something here that we're not factoring? If those percentages don't make sense then what does and is it possible to create a regression equation using historical data to derive this information. Would this research also allow for a passage to being able to watch the watchmen, so to speak, which is a solid and underrated point you've made about being able to compare your output to reality.
These are just some initial thoughts off the top of my head, and I look forward to hearing those of others as this is sure to be an exciting project. Thank you for making us, the community, feel a part of the process. It's quite refreshing.
Thanks, MGL, and damn glad to see you around. I agree with your last part, as well, that players are emotional beings not cold statisticians. They'll always remember the one that got away over the five they made. Fans are notorious for this as well.
Thanks for your time, Gabe, this was a fantastically insightful think piece.
This question is probably better presented to Mr. Dewan and his great team, but I feel they're best suited to answer a question I've been pondering for some time. What are the break even points for bringing in the infield? I've seen precious little research done in this regard and their database is uniquely situated to answer this quandary.
It would probably be best to use win probability, but I'd be open to any and all initial research in this regard. My guess is that most teams are acting optimally in this regard, but you just don't know without the numbers backing up (or refuting) the traditional paradigm.
I think his name is Juan Uribe.
So nobody wants to mention that he could have been in Spring Training over a month ago slated to make $13.3M guaranteed this year? The system is working just fine. Don't let an agent that failed his client fool everyone into thinking drastic overhaul is the course du jour.
Here's a look at his RV/100 by Base State if you guys think that might be useful:
Base /RV100 /# of Pitches
___ 0.40 1616
__x 1.39 43
_x_ -2.39 184
_xx -4.00 27
x__ -1.35 506
x_x -3.41 59
xx_ -0.75 120
xxx -3.01 39
Total -0.36 2594
He's basically been his least effective with the bases empty while being able to "turn it on" as the bases add runners. I have no idea if that's sustainable, but my guess is that you see a similar story from 2011, as well.
Good list, Sam, but this was the best slide of the year: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=20591257&c_id=mlb
Hahaha at mutual frowny face. Good stuff, Ben. Really enjoyed this
Really great read, R.J. I think it's finally becoming en vogue to realize that there's more to managing a ballclub than setting the lineup and making tactical decisions. With more great pieces like this we'll be able to see this idea evolve and maybe one day we'll be able to find a way to quantify these behind the scenes interactions.
Love that line about playing "gin rummy" with the roster. Most teams would rather hold two sevens waiting all game on that third rather than break them up and chase something else.
On Monday, Michael Kay said, "Upton pops it up." Which is all well and good, except the batter was Desmond Jennings. There was never an apology or even owning up to what was said and I find it despicable. If you don't think that racism exists in the booth then you're not watching many games.
Nice read, Mr. Sporer. We're really excited with how Matty has looked the last couple months and hope that it was just a mechanical adjustment that needed to be made. Moore got a late start in spring training due to an oblique strain and it seemed like he was flying open in his delivery early on in the year. This tanked his control and I can't help but wonder if this is something that might have been fixed in spring training if he had received a full camp. Of course he's been a bit of a late starter through the minors so hopefully it's not an issue where it takes him a month or two to find his release point and mechanics.
Does this mean that us Rays fans don't have to worry about Davey Martinez getting poached this off-season? I loved David Laurila's interview with him: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/qa-dave-martinez-tampa-bay-bench-coach/
It gave a ton of insight into how he's the yin to Joe Maddon's yang and he seemed like a very highly sought candidate coming into the season. By not being on the list is this something you're hearing in the industry (that he wants to stay with the Rays) or is it more of a gut feeling or was it just an oversight?
Cowboy Joe says, "You're outta here!"
That's Carson Cistulli in green in the last image, right?
I wonder how badly Jose Molina would have to hit for the Rays to give him less than 300 PAs. A .270 wOBA over 300 PAs with +5 defense and -3 baserunning is a .1 WAR player. A wOBA of .290 gets that up to .6 WAR and if he can maintain that level then you'd love to see him get another 100 PAs getting him up to .9 WAR.
I don't think the likelihood is very high of Molina being able to hit much better than that .270 if he's playing virtually everyday, but boy would that make things a lot easier for the Rays.
Really nice look, R33J. Thanks for taking the time.
Marvelous. Good luck to Johnny's Quest for 3,000, but he'd be better served signing with a team that doesn't care about winning so that he can chase his individual records.
What is the projected TAv for Johnny Damon next year? I like the move as you've adequately shown that these are the types of guys that the Rays can afford.
Surprised to see Ted Lilly's name there
Any chance you want to put Tim Beckham on this list in another year if he continues to flash?
Coppolella is fantastic. Good stuff in both parts.
Perhaps the snark should be shot towards Marc's editors who A)messed up Pablo's name, and B) threw up a misleading headline.
If you actually read the article, you would know Marc never implied he would be available.
Plus, your snark is awful. Please let the people with wit do the snarking in the future.
Nicely done, strapping young lad.
Price is a two pitch pitcher right now. Fastball and Slider. His fastball command isn't perfect and his change-up, while improving is a work in progress. A few weeks in Durham working with Xavier Hernandez should make him a more complete starter. This will also let the Rays limit his pitch count and innnings more efficiently without taxing the Major League bullpen. There is no way Price was going to go from 130 innings last year to 200 this year anyway.
Not being able to move his shoulder/the bat through the zone quick enough for inside pitches didn't affect his approach? That seems unlikely, considering he couldn't turn on inside fastballs like he did in the post-season.
My friends are more dumb than I knew. Somehow I landed Beltran, Braun, Granderson, and Justin Upton in my league.
I failed. :(
Vlad is not 57-years-old.
Last time I trust this website for accurate information.
Generally speaking, you should probably ignore where players stand in terms of BBWAA awards. Just look at Matsuzaka's tRA and FIP. His ERA/W-L record hardly tells the entire story, and especially not the sustainable part of the story.