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Glad to have the chance to write it.
New data here:
That's a good point, Ben. I'll see if Rob might be willing to run those.
I concede the war (I over-thought, especially on Posey) but Bryant doesn't do especially well against top-line stuff. Over a season, he's great. I feel comfortable leaving him out of one game.
Yeah. I over-thought it.
Entirely possible I just missed the boat on him.
In response to
1. Totally agree, with the addendum that nothing should prevent us from using the opportunity, whenever it comes, to reflect upon how poorly the entire process has been handled. I think we agree on all counts here, haha.
2. Quite possible. I'm not inside their processes.
As for your broader point: yes, that all makes sense. My concern with it was that, if these things were as you describe them (as I agree they are) then why not make the change in the offseason? What changed in 30+ days?
Hi there! I agree that fans in the category you describe exist, but believe they fall into the category of fans "the Braves believe are too stupid ..." etc. The point is, there's smart fans out there, but the Braves aren't doing anything to address their concerns. If I didn't express that clearly enough, that's on me.
Hi there! I think these are all very fair points, especially the first one. I will say that both samples are large enough that distributions have likely stabilized somewhat, although (as you note) that's not to say that more stabilization isn't possible.
To answer your second question: yes, at least in the last five-year sample, certain hitters persistently swing more in the second situation year-to-year. That said, I'm not sure that matters, because you'll never have to choose between facing them in one situation or another---you'll just *be* in a particular situation, and know their tendencies.
As to the third point: I'm not a particularly sophisticated user of game theory, so I haven't got a smart way to tackle this problem. I can dive into the pitch-mix/pitch-location data and get back to you. It's definitely worth considering.
Thanks for reading, and for such great clarifications.
Yeah, I came into writing this article pretty scarred from the experience of watching him manage in Chicago for so long, but he really does seem to have something special.
Thank you! Appreciate it.
I apparently did very poorly on this one, then, because the only person I managed to piss off was you.
Yep, Jackson is another example, as is <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Bobby+Bonds">Bobby Bonds</a></span> (Yankees), <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=879">Troy Glaus</a></span> (Diamondbacks), <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=18397">Dick Allen</a></span> (Dodgers), and <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Tony+Phillips">Tony Phillips</a></span> (Angels). Just decided to stop the sample at 20 years for the purposes of clarity.
Yep, I think Cardinals fans are unused to this sort of thing happening. Explains a fair portion of it.
I mean, that presupposes that hitters specifically "go after" aces in order to achieve the desired effect, which doesn't seem to be supported in the data presented. Let's imagine that even half of the aces every year were "known" aces, as you suppose, and the adage held true for them and not for the unknown pitchers. Wouldn't the line be a lot closer to the regular population, then, than it is?
Agree with this, though I certainly get the concern from the perspective of Pittsburgh's fans.
Man. This is a disappointing (and correct) way of putting it.
That's awesome. Thanks for digging that up!
That's how I view it.
This is wonderful context :) Thanks for reading!
We'll miss you enormously, R.J.. You've given back tenfold. Best of luck in the new role!
Yes. The name you're looking for is <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=65918">Matt Szczur</a></span>.
Hey there! You can find them all on the team <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/dc/">depth charts</a> page, here:
I get that. It's one of those things that we're pretty sure means a lot, and we've only gotten much better at quantifying in the last year or so.
Thanks, Brendan! Much appreciated.
First, I'll say that this was a very nice way of putting this question -- seriously -- so thanks for that.
Secondly, though, I'm not sure where you're finding 0.15 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=WARP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('WARP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">WARP</span></a> for Dickey. Is it here?
That's the sortable table for pitcher seasons in 2015, and it has Dickey right at 2.83, which puts him in the top 30 across MLB. Happy to continue to engage on this, but want to make sure we're on the same page (literally, insofar as the web has literal pages) before we do.
And again, thanks for the way you put this.
Oh, absolutely. Just went on the basis of the BP <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/dc/">depth charts</a>, for ease of comparison between teams. If you want to replace Hutchinson with Sanchez to make the case for Toronto, that's totally fair.
Really like your last sentence. Disagree about the depth of the SFG lineup and the LAD rotation, but hey. This is a fair point.
This is a very fair point. Going to think on it for a little, but I think the nut of my response is that creating an environment where non-traditional "soft" (they're anything but) skills are valued openly *for* themselves will be helpful. But I take your broader point, and like the <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=FIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('FIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">FIP</span></a> analogy.
I absolutely don't think they can't. Many are. My point is that it can and does return value, and there's more room to grow.
Man, Maury, that's really incredibly nice. Read your stuff for years.
Definitely something worth exploring. I know too little of what's inside organizations to really be able to engage with it. But I love the idea and will think on it a little.
I don't think you're wrong. You've clearly engaged with Kuhn for a while. But I'm also not sure you're right. Because Kuhn was writing about hard sciences (physics, mostly), but I don't think the argument is limited to that. I think it can be extended to all fields of knowledge and discipline, including, yes, baseball writing. Perhaps that's taking liberties with his work, but then, I'm a writer. Anyway. I appreciate you reading, and engaging on this. And I agree there's advances to come in the ability of saber to pull together "old school" data in a way that's comparable and translatable.
I mean, I agree in general. There's a ton to learn within sabermetrics. My fundamental assertion is that the "shift" from whatever was around before saber to whatever we have now is the insight that player performance is contextual. Everything else flows from that. But the next shift might be totally unknown to us now. And I totally agree that expectations have changed. Anyway, thanks for reading.
Thanks for reading, Mike. A totally fair point, and one that we won't be able to engage with until we look back in 15 years and wonder what happened.
Thanks for reading and engaging! Much appreciated.
My understanding (though I could, of course, be wrong) is that both cities share the title:
You're absolutely right, thank you. I've let my editors know. That's what I get for relying on my (increasingly faulty) memory.
Agree in totality.
I'm very glad to have gotten it right. I've only driven a portion of it, and then only once.
Thank you very much, that's a high compliment.
Thank you, and thanks for reading!
Glad you enjoyed it!
Thanks! This might help:
You're entirely correct. I'm a pillock for forgetting him. Thanks for catching it, and thanks to Craig for fixing it.
Hey there, and thanks for the compliment! My guess is Gordon ends up outside Cooperstown as well; I'm just suggesting he'll end up as a Royals legend. Probably wasn't clear!
That's really an extremely nice thing to say. Thank you!
Yeah, I like him. Thanks for reading!
Morning! I wrote both posts, so I'll take this one. I take your point about catching depth, though I'd argue that it's hard to make the case that catcher, as a whole, is a position of need (since <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=45447">Russell Martin</a></span> is still good), or that catcher depth, in particular, is of greater need than left field, where Revere is about to enter his decline years as an average hitter and a defense-first player with a -7.8 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=FRAA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('FRAA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">FRAA</span></a> in '15. Still, catching depth is a real need, and it wasn't mentioned, so it would have been appropriate for me to mention.
The bullpen I'm less bearish on. Why move Sanchez into the rotation when there are six plausible starters already there? Stroman, Happ, Chavez, Dickey, Estrada, and Hutchinson should be fine. So yes, a few more arms would be good, but those can be had on the waiver-wire and--as with catching depth, but even more so--will be marginal contributors relative to the 600+ ABs whoever's manning left will take in '16.
Anyway. The broader point isn't that there aren't a few holes (I mention that in the piece) but that, if only mentioning one, LF is a perfectly reasonable one to choose. If I was writing a longer piece, I'd absolutely include both areas you mentioned.
Howdy. Yeah, after I filed this Duquette made comments to the effect that Davis *could* be back in Baltimore. I don't know how much I believe that, because I'm not sure how much more their payroll can hold, but if I was writing the piece now, I'd at least include that as a data point. I do think the roster could hold Davis in addition to Trumbo but, as you note, it would be at the cost of some defense, unless the team was willing to lose some of their DH options.
Hey there! I deserve this, for making a flippant comment. Revere isn't terrible, in general, he's just middling enough to make left field a place where the Blue Jays could (relatively) easy make an upgrade with cash only.
You're right, this deserves a bit more consideration. I originally had a bit in the piece questioning whether a move should be made at all -- as you point out, Mattingly seems to have produced results. But I left that piece out, because I'm unconvinced that Mattingly was much of a value add at all. The last three Dodger teams have all been behemoths on paper, and I'm not sure they wouldn't have won 90+ games even with a *terrible* manager. I'm not sure they would have, either, but that's sort of the point: I don't know. So given that I don't know about Mattingly, I figured I had no reason to see Roberts as any worse or better. Hope that clarifies things.
I'm saying that I'm not left handed.
I agree that ownership has the right to be involved in whatever they want. I'm less sure that they should be. On mobile, so can't find other stories easily, but Rosenthal has also reported about the depth of their involvement. Also, love your use of "botherment."
Wish I could claim credit for it, but that's all the editors.
In that case, we're in total agreement :) I agree it was a bad decision, at least by my standards.
Fixed - appreciate it!
On a related note, I agree with you (I think) that using Familia was a bad choice.
If this is a serious question, then here's my answer: of course there's no set number of feet you have to be away from the field to question decisions made during the course of a game. What matters far more is your willingness to engage honestly and intelligently with the questions each decision raises.
If this is a sarcastic question, intended to express disagreement with some element of the piece, then here's my answer (in the form of a question): Can you rephrase the question? I'm not suggesting my piece or my thinking are perfect--neither are--but I do think it's pretty clear that different situations call for different judgments and different ways of thinking. If you'd like to engage productively, I'm very happy to do so (honestly!). If not, me neither.
Fixed, and thank you!
Yeah, no real good example of a road that *exclusively* from Chicago to New York. Should've been I-80, though, of the two. Thanks!
Yep, it was a reference to the weirdness of Cubs baseball. But 2004 is another fun referent, if one I'm trying to avoid (too much #narrative). Hope you enjoyed the preview!
Agreed. I wouldn't be shocked if the Cubs won --- they're too good of a team for that --- but if I was betting I'd take the Mets.
Should be "In a word, no." Always love stupid typos that totally change the meaning of the comment. Thanks for reading!
In a word, yes. The 'Value' metric listed is best understood as the pitcher's total contribution to his team, above the average and in terms of runs, *after* all the component adjustments, but *before* the runs are converted to an <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=ERA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('ERA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">ERA</span></a> scale.
So you can read the 15.73 as saying that Arrieta has been 15.73 runs better than his peers, even after context is removed. Another way of thinking about it: it's measuring the same thing as <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=WARP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('WARP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">WARP</span></a>, just in terms of runs, rather than wins. Hope that's helpful!
Not in this one, but he's No. 3 on the original list:
Don't know how the hell you found out, but this is true.
Hey, ended up writing the followup piece prompted by your comment. Check it out here, if you're interested:
I like you.
Clete, thanks for pointing this out. Mistake's entirely on me, and we've added a note to reflect it. Appreciate it.
You know what, I don't actually know what's going on there. Let me look into it and get back to you.
He hasn't yet exhausted his rookie eligilibity.
Fair point, in the sense that the title is broader than the content, but I think there's a compelling case that some limitation is needed; there are, for one thing, 53 qualified rookies at this point in the season.
Given that limitation is needed, it seems reasonable to focus attention on the prospects, and hold our (BP's) expectations of them up against what they've done. That said, I could definitely see running a second post, later, that covers the top performers not on this list.
He exists, and he's been pretty darn good, but he wasn't on BP's Preseason Top 101, which was a criteria for inclusion on this list.
Appreciate the catch (fixed) and the kind words!
As would I. Would've loved to swing that deal, though. Can't beat the acquisition cost.
Let's say that there's 15 starts left for the SP5 spot in the Blue Jays rotation, and the team can be reasonably expected to win seven of those games, losing eight.
Do you think it's unreasonable to expect the Blue Jays to win ten of the fifteen games Cueto starts? Because if you don't, a 3-4 win improvement by adding Cueto is a reasonable expectation. He'd be replacing SP5.
Just so there's actual data here, the 2015 Reds, who have a 94 wRC+, have won ten of seventeen Cueto starts to date. The Blue Jays have a 113 wRC+. That's enough a gap that projecting ten of fifteen wins for Cueto on the Jays isn't crazy. Your thoughts? Happy to be proven wrong.
Agreed it isn't a smart move, as I mention in a comment above. Tried to put myself in AA's shoes and think about the different weights he'd put on '15 and '16. I'd think opportunity to improve the big-league squad by 3-4 wins without subtracting from the roster this year would be pretty attractive to him right now.
Yep, it isn't what I'd do for my own shoes (I wouldn't trade for Cueto, or any TOR pitcher, as the Blue Jays GM), but I think it's a fair representatation of the outcome of one potential route that AA might be actually considering. I tried really hard to put myself in his shoes, aiming for job security and taking advantage of a weak division with lots of money already spent for this year.
Appreciate the consideration, Russell.
I'll admit I'm not familiar to an extraordinary degree with AA's (or ownership's) thinking. My thought, though, was that he'll be extra motivated to make this season something more than a total wash, and Stroman won't be contributing this year anyway. He has solid pitching depth in the rotation, and a nice core to build around. Cueto adds 3-4 wins this year, easy, and that has a lot of value to him right now.
Can't speak for everyone, but I'm guessing part of it is that BP staff tends to favor floor over upside, if they can't get both, and college performers tend to have more of that.
Hah, this is wonderful. I can confirm that my dentist is / was not <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=17361">Mark McGwire</a></span>'s dad, but I can't rule out the possibility that they went to dental school together / were drinking buddies / long lost twins.
No incentive to do so. He makes his money on the big FA contracts. Why lower the chances of those payouts and take on risk himself? The diversity of his client base already provides him a hedge against any individual player failing - why take on their risk?
That's a fair point. There's still a gap, though, and that assumes the Cubs would have been direct with Bryant in saying they would not call him up unless he signed an extension, which history suggests this front office would never do. It would cause way too much behind-the-scenes bad blood, and broken trust with players. Bryant could guess that the choice he's facing is the one you describe, but he wouldn't be sure.
Talent-wise, and in terms of his potential impact on his franchise, it's a nice comp. The positional similarity doesn't hurt. But Longoria got $3.7 mm less in signing bonus, came up in a different time for the game economically (it moves SO fast) and, perhaps most critically, is represented by Paul Cohen rather than <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=80275">Scott Boras</a></span>.