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The TTO chart also nicely captures the rise of competitive pitching.
This is roughly what I assume to be true, but we're fitting a well-known statistical concept to a process that we know was created without any concern for standard deviations. So you can bet that the 20-80 scale wasn't designed to be based on SDs.
This shouldn't be behind the paywall.
"Wil Myers, Torii Hunter, and Andre Ethier (why didn’t you draft a better outfield?) ."
I did draft a better outfield, but CarGo's on the DL and I sold low on BJ Upton.
At least that's what I assume my response would be if I were using that outfield.
Point of clarity, I swapped my in/ex-cludings for Jay and Freese. I mentioned Freese since he missed a healthy chunk of time.
I've taken a detailed look through the numbers a couple times this season. The chief problem seems to be Espinosa and way too many at bats to terribly performing bench bats. I counted 1050 PA to offensive black holes not including Span (who has merely been below average). The only starters in that group are Suzuki and Espinosa.
Seven regulars have performed at an above average rate per wRC+ (including Rendon), five have been better than 15% above average, and four have been better than 20% above average. That should be a strongly performing lineup.
As a point of comparison, the Cardinals only have six above average starters (including Jon Jay's 100 wRC+ and excluding David Freese), and five substantially better than average. Granted those five are all 30-40% above average. The Cards also have two mashing bench bats, which certainly helps.
Doolittle also grew up as a pitcher first (though hitting was a very close second for him). So it's not surprising that he took to the conversion since he probably has spent thousands of hours learning to pitch.
I do something similar (with a much much higher threshold) and Joe Blanton is a constant source of disappointment whenever I work myself up to recommend him.
#2 and 3 at the end are very important and a huge shortcoming in online baseball statistical analysis. It may even explain a lot of the discord in the mainstream vs. sabr nonsense.
Players are not the same day-to-day, much less year-to-year. Here's a very basic example from my own experience.
I tinkered with my mechanics way too often, daily really. I would find certain "feels" that would produce immediate, good results and for a week I would mash at the plate or throw a filthy hammer curve. But concentrating on that feel would cause me to over correct and produce new, less optimal mechanics.
Obviously, I'm not and wasn't a professional. 99.9% of major leaguers are probably much better at maintaining consistent mechanics. But those little mechanical variations throughout a season mean that a player's "true talent level" is constantly in flux around some moving average. Even the most mechanically consistent player will still fight this battle due to minor injuries.
That said, simple constructs like DIPS are helpful for forming a null hypothesis when analyzing a player or set or players. Given the current state of the arts, it's impossible to evaluate players perfectly. But that shouldn't prevent us from trying, there are a lot of people asking us to try!
Thanks for this article.
" My hypothesis is that the arm angles aren't even about deception, that the deception is really a nice side benefit. Rather, the arm angles are about making the pitch do what he wants the pitch to do, that his arm slot is his gas pedal and his steering wheel in one, and that he chooses an arm slot the same way that he and his catcher choose which pitch to throw."
Bingo! Any pitcher who tells you that varied arm slots is about visual deception doesn't know what he's talking about. The deception comes into play only insomuch as the hitter has no idea how the pitch will move.
Saves are everywhere. Pitchers who get saves while posting a 1.50 ERA and sub-1.00 WHIP are not. With fewer people paying for saves, the Craig Kimbrel's of the world have become very cheap.
How did you miss Ryan Howard? Projected 2.2 WARP (which seems generous, WAR projections range from 0.9 to 1.5) and $20 million in pay this season which escalates to $25 million from '14-'16 and THEN includes a $10 mil buyout or $23 million option for '17.
Here's #5: John Mayberry Jr/Darin Ruf for Ryan Howard
Your 65/35 roster just highlights a (common) poor allocation of resources. What do we get if we optimize the results by spreading Kimbrel's money to 2 closers and using the money spent on Verlander and Darvish to get 3-4 SP?
A note on the last bullet, "He could have made mechanical adjustments..."
Wouldn't we expect mechanical adjustments to increase injury risk, especially in the short run? A pitcher with bad mechanics has still trained his body to support those mechanics. When he switches to a cleaner delivery, he's exposing joints to stress in new ways that they haven't been trained to endure.
Post-Post-Hype Sleepers: The New Market Inefficiency (says the Indians).
On a somewhat unrelated note, Felix Pie seems like a perfectly acceptable 5th outfielder on quite a few teams. A lot of guys who get kicked around in that 25th/26th man role are a lot worse than him.
I would expect very few teams to use the DH in this scenario. In fact, I would expect the pool to be limited to teams that have all-hit, no-field prospects. It doesn't make sense to pay $10 million+ for a good DH when you don't have to, especially given that the luxury cap has such stiff penalties involved.
Teams like the Yankees, who have lots of beat up but talented vets could also prefer a DH.
I played against Doolittle through high school. He was an excellent two-way player but I always considered him to be better as a pitcher.
I expect he'll increase the use of his breaking ball as he improves his feel for it. He does seem to have a bit of a Matt Thornton approach to relieving.
We also need to consider where the teams are on the win curve. For the Pirates as a sub-.500 team, they need high risk, high reward players if they want to reach the postseason on a budget. Liriano fits the bill.
If a team like the Nationals needed a starter and could choose Liriano or Correia, I'd probably expect them to choose the latter since he has a fairly high floor.
I was surprised that Pelfrey's base salary exceeded Lannan's. Not that I think Lannan is underpaid, $4 million is a lot to pay for a swing starter coming off Tommy John.
He mentioned that pool allocation would depend on the standings. So the Astros would have more money to spend than the Nationals.
Love the idea and it would make for a very interesting event to watch.
I assume Darin Ruf would have been #6. I'm curious to hear your thoughts on him.
Excepting North Jersey/New York, are any other current MLB cities a candidate for another team? Or maybe a better question is: would any current MLB city rank on this list?
Here are a few related questions that may be difficult to answer:
Are baserunners stealing more frequently when offspeed pitches are thrown? In breaking ball counts? Off pitchers with slow times to the plate?
What analytic information have teams incorporated into their baserunning training?
I hypothesize that teams and players have a better understanding and focus on success rate. It could be that teams previously considered the break-even point to be lower than they do now. Similarly, teams/players may have optimized raw steals in the past whereas now they may optimize success rate.
An easy smell test to learn about this would be to chart steals and attempts over time. Clearly they are converging toward each other, but in what ways. (I would do this myself but I'm shirking...)