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Plus teams already got rid of the pinch-runner on the roster. Now they're gonna have to get rid of their second loogie in order to restore the pinch runner to the roster? What's next - small ball to add more value to the pinch runner slot?
This seems like a good experiment to me too. But I'm pretty sure we have to work through all the other modern bullpen experiments first - eg the obvious - closer, backup-closer, 8th inning lefty, 8th inning righty, 7th inning lefty, 7th inning righty, 6th inning lefty, 6th inning righty, guy who pitches in the blowout losses, guy who pitches in the blowout wins, guy who only comes to pitch in extra innings, guy who doesn't actually pitch much but who warms up pretty much every game in order to deceive the other team. Add the 5 starters and we're already up to 17 pitcher slots. And finding all those lefties is tough enough. Adding an opener to that means we have to eliminate one of the position players. It's just too high risk.
<em>I know of no serious effort to collect or catalog objective information on players’ vision for public consumption</em>
Well I seem to remember an article on this site that provided evidence that <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Mark+Reynolds">Mark Reynolds</a></span> is blind. Are you saying that wasn't serious?
And of course the research on umpire vision is widely known by every heavy drinker in the stands.
Sorry for the monday morning downer but I'm not really a fan of oh-so-clever snark when there are other options. I want my time refunded.
As an aside - the adserver monarchads.com is really messing the site up.
I read somewhere that Cuban pitchers are often trained to vary their release slots. And actually it seems to me like it might (slightly) reduce focused-overuse (eg elbow ligament) injuries in the same way that cross-training does. Certainly tougher for a pitcher to hone each pitch in isolation but this new analysis could show whether it improves the whole more than it does each part.
What about <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=69012">Dilson Herrera</a></span>? Is he a playing-time problem or a not-really-talented-enough problem?
when does that cease being enough?
When he no longer -
gets up in the morning,
And he goes to work at nine,
And he comes back home at five-thirty,
Gets the same train every time.
'Cause his world is built 'round punctuality,
It never fails.
then he will cease to be a well-respected man about town
Kids today just don't know how easy things are. When I was a kid trying to break into baseball I had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, drink a cup of sulphuric acid for breakfast, work twenty-nine hours a day at the field, and pay baseball team owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, my Mum and Dad would kill me, and dance about on my grave singing 'Hallelujah.'
Seems like a perfectly good twice-thru-order 80-pitch pitcher. Whether to start games or long relief - 40 or so appearances per year at 4 innings per is 160 innings.
Too bad MLB is too stupid nowadays to figure out how to schedule that or fit that onto a roster. So maybe they can pretend to turn him into a 20-pitch max guy.
Well I assume the Yankees would have to do better than season tickets to and ownership of the Broadway revival of No No Nanette. But seems to me that that's the right starting offer for any 'best player of a generation' type trade.
And I'll bet the cause of this is the emphasis on the <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=HR" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('HR'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">HR</span></a> and the individual plate appearance. For any individual batter, going for the HR is gonna be all-or-nothing result (HR or outs or K). When you have an entire lineup of guys who are going for the homerun, then there's not much point in being the only guy in the lineup who's slap-hitting singles.
If anything this shows the growing emphasis of sabermetrics. Saber is all about the individual stripped of team context. What they do in the batters box is everything. What they do on the bases depends too much on what other players around them in the lineup do so it is difficult to measure and hence undervalued.
Baseball may not be a true team sport like basketball or football. But the emphasis on attributing/allocating everything to an individual in isolation MUST strip the sport of whatever team aspects the sport does have.
I looked at some data (<span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=HR" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('HR'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">HR</span></a> increase by actual position played) and about 2/3 of the increase in HR's came from three positions (2B, SS, CF) that have historically lived/died on speed instead. So my hypothesis is that the decline in stolen base opportunities (and also the higher turnover in those positions to younger generation of players who are more homer-happy) is the driving force behind the increase in HR's. The more marginal speedsters just aren't going to get the green lights anymore. So they adjusted their plate approach to get more loft (and reduce the chances that they just end up on 1B with no chance to steal second). And that resulted in increased HR's.
If that's true, I would also expect their HR's to regress a lot this year. I also think that pitchers have probably pitched those batters differently in the past (expecting more contact and less power). They got surprised - and they will adjust.
This. The only thing more just will be if the team that loses this year gets in next year and gets their second chance
Well the rule has only been interpreted twice since 1B 'mitts' started (in the 1930's) looking a bit different than other 'gloves' (fingerless, an extra half-inch or so all-around to force a caught ball deep into the glove so it can't come out). Both times it was a lefty 1B who was challenged (once with post-facto rule interpretation to uphold challenge, once with successful field challenge) for positioning themselves further from 1B than some other fielder.
There may be instances where a RH 1B has shifted away from the bag - but a glove/mitt switch is easy when both players are RH - and it would be pointless to move lower-value fielder to higher-value field position ceteris parabis. So the only de facto impact of the rule is to keep lefties AT first base (glove switch ain't easy when it forces both players to switch throwing hand too) and mitts AT first base.
Its silly too since a fingerless 1B mitt used for fielding grounders and then quickly taking ball out of glove to make the throw for an out at some other place is a BIG disadvantage for the fielder. 1B mitt is not a 'better fielding' glove. It is a one-purpose glove - to catch thrown balls and keep them caught.
Probably because if Zobrist is playing in (or charging in), then he crosses/impedes the pitcher's throw/feint to first to keep a runner on/near the bag.
No. 2B/SS/3B/OF can stand anywhere or everywhere because they wear 'gloves' as defined in rule 1.14. C mitts are defined in 1.12. 1B mitts (as interpreted in 1958 - cuz the writing says 1b gloves or mitts) are defined in rule 1.13. P glove is specd in rule 1.15
Because 2B/SS/3B/OF can stand anywhere or cover any bag, they merely 'shift' position and nothing is recorded in official scores. P/C field positions are defined by the rules. 1B position isn't defined by rules but it can't go anywhere else. It can't 'shift' to a different place on the field. It must be a formal 'switch' to a different position (which means someone else needs to switch to 1B).
I suppose, in theory, a lineup could be submitted that doesn't HAVE a 1B listed and in that case all the fielders could just shift. But if a manager ever does that, they will probably get spanked by MLB.
Actually the rule re position switches and gloves/mitts is there specifically to keep lefty position players and mitts at first base. The last lefty position player to play 2B in the field was <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=20778">George Crowe</a></span> in 1958. They were expecting a bunt and the 2B (<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=29781">Johnny Temple</a></span>) was faster. So they switched Temple to first and Crowe to second. Temple charged the bunt (which was a popup and caught) and doubled the runner throwing to Crowe who covered first base. It was challenged - and the challenge was overruled on the field. But the umpires got the NL Prez to clarify the rule that night - and it was deemed that what 1B and C wear is defined as a 'mitt' not a 'glove' and other infielders can only wear 'gloves' not 'mitts'. So 1B can't position switch mid-inning without also switching from mitt to glove.
Personally I'd love to see more of these types of position switches. It is true that righty 2B/SS/3B have a general fielding advantage - but that also means that, in some circumstances, it is the lefty at one of those positions who would have the fielding advantage. That circumstance may only last for one batter/baserunner/gamestate configuration. But it would be fun to see a lefty play some other infield position more often than once every 60 years.
Good to see that Skylyn is still a hero even in retrospect.
There's a second issue with the NL at the end of games. The NL uses a whole bunch of PH (average of 238 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=PA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('PA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">PA</span></a> in NL v 85 in AL). And STL is the only team that has traditionally gotten any positive value from PH.
That in combo with bullpens that are now solely 1-IP type relievers means that by the late innings, NL teams have already burned through a significantly higher portion of their roster. If the game is still close (or God forbid goes into extra innings), the NL teams are basically out of gas and can't do much.
I think I would have preferred to see a pick/argument for say <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=37052">Matt Holliday</a></span> over any of these rookies
Midgets. What the playoffs really need is batting midgets.
I would like to see more Sept-type baseball year round but with one big change. Mid-inning substitutions just suck regardless of the month. Baseball players should be playing baseball. I don't pay to go to a game to watch how well the manager micromanages the bench/bullpen - and then watch a cold player warm up or initiate some psych-up batting routine. Even though yeah you can't just ban substitutions.
But you could create a sub rule that mostly affects the ump and the manager - rather than pace/nature of play . Eg - create a window for 'costless' subs. Teams can only make those changes at the top of an inning - submitting all batting/fielding/pitching changes then. I wouldn't even mind if players can be resubbed in later that game - as long as they play complete innings when they do play. But every substitution during an inning renders that player ineligible to play for the remainder of that series.
Course it would make scoring the game almost impossible but that's a small price to pay
I like the observation that definition of 'replacement level' really does differ WITHIN the bullpen itself. And so does 'leverage' itself. That perhaps 'relief pitcher' is not one position but two (or maybe three) different ones. And when you think about that, these are not just scenarios that occur within the context of a single game where it is a managerial decision about how to utilize a given roster.
I would imagine that there is some predictability as to how much of the seasonal innings load is going to be 'garbage innings', how many of those 'garbage innings' are sequential (where multi-inning relief and/or a starter going deeper than '100 pitch' - can give the rest of the bullpen a day of rest for the next game), how many 'high leverage relief' innings are sequential (eg extra innings games or even 4th time thru order by SP) vs 'short' (traditional closer role). I remember the HoF arguments around <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=17912">Jack Morris</a></span>' 'complete game' achievements. Maybe this isn't just some old-school v saber conflict but a player who is filling two or three or four 'roster slots' with different replacement levels that game.
Right now, it appears to me that every team in MLB is constructing their pitching roster from only two points - the start of game (via SP's who are then cutoff at 100 pitches) and backwards from the 9th inning (via a single <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=RP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('RP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">RP</span></a> hierarchy with closer at the top). Where the transition zone is simply viewed as a useless residual rather than an opportunity to be taken advantage of via roster construction
More to the point of what Roger Angell writes - baseball is not really a game of individual outs. It is currently being micromanaged as if it IS a game of 54 individual outs and saber/quantification may well have made that worse.
But in truth, baseball is a game of six-out innings - with a natural division into two separate half-innings with a team transition from one role to the other. The pace of game rules should be aligned more holistically with that half-inning structure esp if the causes for the length of game problems is occurring because of player substitutions and other external intrusions into the half-inning structure
Best rule change would be 'preemptive delay of game outs for current/future innings' whenever one side begins to initiate a mid-inning change in pitching or lineup. The only exception shall be a mid-inning injury when said injured player is immediately placed on the DL before leaving the field. Don't know what subroutine (a game of pepper if on defense? or 'take your positions in field' if in dugout?) could be used to 'enforce the rule' but it could be fan fun. With a whole new set of saber measures about 'stolen pitchers' and 'caught replacing' and such.
Baseball timed by the out is wonderful and unique. But combining it with free timeouts and replacements and substitutions and other interference with THAT flow sucks. Each half-inning, teams should commit to who will be getting/preventing the upcoming three outs. The only 'no-risk' time for changing that should be during the transition in roles for both teams.
The endowment effect really can harm possible trades with vetoes on all sides. When I was a kid, I offered to trade my sister to a friend who was an only-child in exchange for a dachshund and his entire toy car collection. Right during the tough part of the negotiations parents found out and scotched the deal. My parents were completely immune to my objective arguments that the toy cars might increase in value and the dachshund had much lower annual maintenance costs.
Doesn't surprise me that veteran pitchers will be the main antidote to younger hitters. Younger hitters have BTDT when it comes to seeing pitchers with peak velocity/stuff. That's how they got through AA (with the best pitchers in their immediate peer group) and to MLB. What they haven't seen is pitchers with really good command and game/repertoire mgmt. And that's exactly what the veteran pitchers have to develop once their velocity/stuff declines - and 'still being in MLB' is good evidence that they succeeded in that.
Actually I'd be interested to see if this 'hypothesis' (and the reverse) is statistically valid. Are young pitchers relatively more effective v younger hitters than older pitchers are? And vice versa? Or am I just talking nonsense?
>I’m fond of saying that 95 percent of Sabermetrics is accounting for bias in the data set. The remaining 5 percent is long division. We’re only about 50 percent there on this one.
But you're giving 110% effort
Actually if MLB itself had the possibility of facing real competition, then minors baseball players would probably have lots of opportunities to play baseball at higher wages than 'legal minimum'. It is no accident that before MLB killed off competition with its anti-trust exemption; there were twice as many professional baseball teams in the US as now - with 1/3 the population. They would never get rich playing baseball - but nor would owners. Taxpayers and fans would be the beneficiaries. Competition works. Monopoly kills off jobs/opportunities - and it doesn't provide 'working wages' either.
Minimum wage laws are only necessary if there is a monopsony (monopoly/cartel on the buying side).
The two main other sports don't have an anti-trust exemption - but their farm system (NCAA) effectively does.
This nearly 100%. I don't understand why people don't seem to get what the 'free' in 'free' market means. Free means free to enter or leave the market. Free to compete. BOTH sides in any transaction have to have that condition - or the market is rigged and potentially exploitable - and not free. Minors baseball is NOT free on every single measure. Players are not free to sell their skills to another team for higher pay. New teams/leagues are not free to enter the market. MLB has rigged both of those markets - and has corrupted government itself so govt itself is now complicit with a rigged market.
I do think MLB is the (maybe the ONLY) economic example of why there is a valid reason for anti-trust laws - ie not ALL monopolies are purely a result of govt tilting the playing field for their cronies and rent-seekers. But it is ironic that MLB has uniquely been deemed by govt to be exempt from those laws.
Yeesh. The easy solution is to have more multi-inning appearances by <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=RP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('RP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">RP</span></a>'s. That way, you don't need to suck up so many roster slots on 1 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=IP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('IP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">IP</span></a> and loogy type RP's who still need to rest between appearances and thus often aren't available for a particular game. But obviously MLB decided long ago that that marginal RP was worth more than a marginal position bench player. And the downside is that the 25-man roster is no longer truly an 'available for this game' roster.
Maybe <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> and other artificial-win-based stats aren't accurately measuring real-world-wins in later game situations.
Maybe leverage in a generic early game situation - where data is simply aggregated leaguewide and relationships of events to wins is linear - is not the same as specific late game or late season situations. Where much of the bullpen/roster isn't available cuz they've been used. Where some teams are predictably playing the 162 and others are aiming higher. And where a real-world win for some teams can have, generically, exponential value and not just linear value.
Context does matter in baseball. And it doesn't seem to me to be a coincidence that the two situations where it seems to matter most - fielding and late-game - are the two areas where saber struggles the most
Empathy - and even their actual pay levels - shouldn't be the issue here. The issue should be their lack of opportunity to have control over their own future - their indenture. I know this can never be a key part of their lawsuit cuz its much bigger than their own situation.
But I still think they are better off in the long-term if they can point out to the public all the undersides of the anti-trust exemption. Most people are A-OK with the anti-trust manipulation of the sport because they are residents of MLB cities. So the team they watch is the beneficiary. For that group, who gives a damn about everyone else?
The 'natural ally' of the minor leaguers is - every resident of a smaller MiLB town who can't 'build a winning team' because their team/players are controlled by an MLB team; every small-town 'booster' who can't sell the perceived benefits of having employee entertainment in their town to relocating/expanding businesses; every young ballplayer whose parents aren't rich enough for them to become part of the 'travelling circuit' that might get them noticed by the 'national'/NCAA draft/recruiters; every slightly-older ballplayer who knows they probably won't make the show but who may be perfectly happy being a local hero; every fan of the generic sport itself who can see the Monopoly101 connections between the reduction in the number of semi/professional teams (ie baseball jobs), the decline in the appeal of the sport to the young, and the MLB monopoly.
That latter group will probably never be powerful enough to dislodge the billionaires/millionaires and their passive MLB fans. But the first step is for all those other folks to realize that what they have in common is that they are the downside of a legal monopoly.
Good luck to the minors players. But it really does annoy me that our system is so cronyist and so rigged and our pols are so corrupted, that the real problem here - the anti-trust exemption - can't even be addressed by a court anymore.
How many billions of dollars can be extorted from regular taxpayers and minors players before that perverse relic ends?
In economic terms, 'fair' (and 'free' for that matter) requires competition on both sides. MLB has a monopoly and that monopoly is propped up by the government. Without that monopoly, they couldn't negotiate the media contract that they do get. That media contract exclusivity is also what kills off possible baseball competition from arising since baseball (like most sports) at any level can't survive on gate receipts. For you to ignore that market distortion and then turn around and dismiss the other side is simply silly (at best).
No the US is NOT a free country when it comes to baseball. We are a CRONYIST country. Personally, I would much prefer that we get rid of the obscenity called the antitrust exemption rather than compound one market distortion with a second market distortion. But if there is ONE situation which legally does fit a mandated minimum wage, it is precisely minors baseball because it is the only nationwide monopoly - with fully indentured servitude.
Thank you for this. Been a long time since I've been in stats so it's good to see the thought process laid out and not just the calcs. Here's another story idea.
My intellectual interest is the 'Rockies effect' on leaguewide (and Rockies) data. Their league-comparative data (park adjustment, etc) is always wrong because they are not a random outlier. Year-after-year in a 30 team league, their data WILL BE slightly 2+ standard deviations from mean - because that is the definition of 2 sigma (1/22 frequency * 30 teams = 1.36 with Rockies being the 1 plus some other team/outlier every three years or so). IOW - the rules of normal distribution stats define their compared-to-mean results more than their actual data does.
I know the solution is - throw out the outlier and make your calcs on the remaining teams. Which makes the comparative stats more valid for the other teams - but the Rockies are 'thrown out' now. So how do you get the Rockies data back in - even if only for their own comparison to everything else?
All the actual evidence - like 100% of it - indicates that Berrios is NOT ready for MLB and is in fact not an MLB caliber pitcher. Now hopefully this is just SSS - and he's still young - and it's good that he hit the first failure point at the MLB level. But it is delusional to say he's ready for MLB. He very clearly isn't - and the 'why' of that is a bit confusing since there are no obvious little tweaks or problems. They just hit the snot out of his pitches
+1 Peter Gabriel(?)
Is Carleton's 2014 article online? I question the findings if they are that "Coors Field accentuates the importance of pitching talent". I looked at the last 5 years and found the reverse. Rockies pitching is perfectly mediocre/average (compared to their opponents at Coors - and NL West generally has vgood pitching) at home - and stinks to high heaven on the road (compared to the average MLB team on the road). Anecdotally, I think the same holds true going back to at least humidor.
IOW - they are not unsuccessful at Coors - even with a cheap mediocre pitching staff. Which does make sense to me also since altitude kills 'stuff' - but doesn't affect deception, pitch selection, funky deliveries, etc. Stuff is the stuff that aces are made of.
And I concluded the opposite of this article. When the Rockies find pitchers like JDLR, they just need to maximize his innings at home via 'platooning' a home/road rotation. Where they need pitching talent is on the road - and that isn't furthered by trying to find an entire rotation who can avoid getting Coors in their head. Find/develop pitchers who can deal with flexible scheduling - 3/4/5/6 games between starts. That is MUCH easier than finding an entire rotation of MLB starters who can pitch well at Coors - and well on the road too.
I'll take the 'field' re all the predictions about the Cubs. Way too much comfort in that as the consensus.
Sometimes you can't really pick your precedents. I can't imagine any scenario where Reyes can be disciplined before his trial is concluded since facts can't even be gathered outside that setting without affecting the court setting. So if Reyes is the proper 'first case', that would mean Aroldis would be allowed to play ball - without punishment but with a future indeterminate punishment hanging, maybe, over his head. From a pure <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=PR" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('PR'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">PR</span></a> perspective for the league - that just sucks. Like the league isn't taking the issue seriously at all.
I was thinking the solution to the QO might be a two-year contract instead of a one-year - with the second year TBD$ (ie an automatic escalator to whatever the top-150 is the next year). That makes it much less likely to be offered by teams - more likely to be accepted by marginal QO types - and also reduces the draft penalty relative to the contract offer
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=61000">Tyler Skaggs</a></span> looks like he's dropped out of sight. Was his ceiling never that high?
So you're saying there's a chance?
With a guy like <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=56580">Mat Latos</a></span>, what sort of sample size do you give him to know if he's bouncing back (late April? May?)- and if he does, where would you tier him?
I agree that park factor adjustments for Rockies (bat and pitch) don't capture what's really happening. Normal distribution stats just don't do outliers well - and Rockies are pretty much all-outliers-all-the-time.
Which is why I tried to do a rough raw non-park-adjusted analysis on a fan site a few months back. http://www.purplerow.com/2015/9/23/9372783/rockies-dont-have-a-coors-pitching-problem
I couldn't see a real 'Coors problem' at all. There may be some tangential 'Coors problem' - eg developing pitchers for Coors may strip away their 'stuff' upside on the road or Coors may get into pitchers heads. But that is tangential stuff.
>One of the biggest issues Bridich and his team will face from a player development standpoint is the same one that has plagued the team since its inception: how to develop major-league pitching that will perform in Coors Field.
This is NOT the long-term Rockies development issue. Rockies pitchers are perfectly acceptable at Coors as long as you accept the notion that Coors will always be a hitters park - and a hitters park that is in fact so extreme that it will always be a 2+ standard deviation outlier. The games will always be high scoring - but in most years the Rockies pitchers allow fewer runs and fewer bad outcomes than opposing pitchers do so the Rockies are reasonably successful at home.
The long-term development issue for the Rockies is a long history of failure ON THE ROAD. Both with pitching and with bats. Where Rockies pitchers are worse on the road than most other teams pitchers are on the road - and where the bats are too. And the combo is deadly.
Looking below - they already are capable of winning at altitude and taking advantage of their home field in many years. That's not the problem with the Rockies.
What if the strategy is not 'maximize the chances of getting to the playoffs' but rather 'win at Coors in order to maximize butts in seats'? That's the only way I can explain why the Rockies seem so indifferent and/or on their own planet in assessing the team. Here's the home/road WL rankings in NL since 2007
Home - 2007 -#2, 2008 -#12, 2009 -#2, 2010 -#4, 2011 -#11, 2012 -#16, 2013 -#9, 2014 -#7, 2015 -#13
Road - 2007 -#8, 2008 -#12, 2009 -#6, 2010 -#13, 2011 -#14, 2012 -#14, 2013 -#14, 2014 -#15, 2015 - #11
Valuing only the home results could easily lead one to believe that all you need to do is tweak things a bit - 7 wins can get you from bad to mediocre and another 7 can get you into elite/playoffs. So hey, play with the bullpen and minor FA's and pretend that 'pitching' is the problem that needs addressing.
Looking at the road results OTOH. Mediocre even when the team achieved its playoffs - and unrelieved perpetual suck otherwise. This is only a 'fire everybody and overhaul everything' problem. There is no value to tweaking here.
How much do you think the hip surgery affected Tulo in 2015 and does it affect him in 2016 as well? <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=45457">Brandon Moss</a></span> seemed to have the same fall off in 2015 after the same offseason hip surgery.
The problem is that the biggest difference is one that is near-irrelevant in baseball. Baseball is not an aerobic sport. If it were, then the Rockies could have as much of a homefield advantage as the Broncos and (normally) Nuggets. Running around the field while the visitors are wheezing and sucking oxygen.
Batting and pitching at altitude doesn't create differentials that you can get acclimated to - it just helps all batters and hurts all pitchers. And while the latter has meant the Rockies have to pay more for pitchers (and settle for mediocrity), it hasn't been offset by batters beating down the door to play at Coors for less.
This failure to recruit broadly is a direct predictable consequence of MLB's cartel. In the late 1940's, there were roughly 500 minor league teams. Most independent and therefore responsible for scouting new talent. That's a highly decentralized 'system' that covers the entire US - and, more importantly, covers players of a sport whose natural season does not coincide with a school year. That many local job opportunities also provides local kids with plenty of role model athletes - and local competition. By the early 1960's, the number of minor league teams was down to 250 or so (still the same today) - all complete puppets of some MLB team and hence no longer scouting local talent. Scouting/selection now becomes centrally-planned and like any such system decisions are based on both inferior knowledge and access/cronyism to the decision-makers.
It is no coincidence in my mind that young American athletes gravitated to other sports at that point. Those other sports are more 'media'-friendly (faster paced, etc). They can be more connected with schools (the one common connection for pretty much all kids). And those other sports are not controlled by some constipated cartel that deliberately kills off local competition.
This is Monopoly 101. Not some unintended consequence or 'natural progress'.
So is <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Chris+Davis">Chris Davis</a></span> gonna sail west and fall off the edge of the Earth?
Get rid of the anti-trust exemption. Competition works. There is no long-term possibility of successfully mandating 'diversity' from the top down when the entire sport is using Monopoly101 to eliminate reasonably-paid jobs from the bottom up. Among athletic kids, baseball is irrelevant now unless parents have enough money for the traveling circuit or an Ivy U degree. And it will remain that way since the exemption has seemingly permanently killed off 50% of the playing opportunities in lower-level baseball and ensured that the remainder of players are exploited for up to a decade. Owners are always going to be a clubby little group until such time as they are forced to face actual competition rather than Potemkin competition - because that's how protected cartels work.
We used to dream of trying to hit bowling balls with mop handles. When I was a lad we had to hit bullets with our head
Yeah well Toronto isn't even American and they play in the American League
Most of those 104 people who projected the Nats to win made the same mistake most people (including the saber savvy) make when they see a number. Assume a certainty to it when it is actually a probabilistic. Even if the Nats were the most likely to win; they were not 100% certain to do so. And though probably everyone who picked the Nats understood that; they could not resist falling for the same-old 'that's a number therefore I must conform my beliefs to it' that underlies why it is so easy - and common - for people to 'lie with statistics'.
I'm pretty sure that no one actually put those projections in a hopper - came up with some probability for them coming true - and then came up with a simple random number generator weighted by that probability to make their picks. Because few people want to be on the side of the less probabilistic thing actually happening. And no one out there is really willing to say 'I used a random number to make my final pick'.
Don't see why any of this is a surprise. Every team out there has decided to go with a bullpen full of 1-IP max guys. The inevitable result is gonna be that by the end of a season where we have expected too much micromanaging throughout; there aren't gonna be as good options. Storen and Papelbon are both on a pace for not-much-left-in-tank for the postseason. Janssen is exactly the reliever you'd expect to eat up as many appearances as possible in Sept.
And since this game is in September (in large part BECAUSE of the 5 months of previous micromanagement that eliminates options) - not May - expect ALL of the 'feedback' to be geared towards encouraging even more of the 1-IP max micromanaging in future seasons.
Owner in a Box writeups would also be good - even if there is no chance that it affects anything
I think this also gets at the problems of pretty much all fielding issues in saber. Baseball is certainly more of an individual sport than basketball or football - especially on offense. But on defense - which includes pitching, there really are nine guys out there interacting in ways that are almost impossible to allocate to individuals without screwing the measurements up or coming up with misleading measurements or coming up with measurements that appear to be more 'certain' than they actually are.
Tinkers to Evers to Chance works pretty well. But if you're the GM looking around at other 2B for whatever reason, how confident are you REALLY that just plugging in say <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=684">Placido Polanco</a></span> is gonna improve your double play jingle?
I've always thought batting order would be good as motivational technique/reward. Using static analysis, it may not matter for runs/game - but it sure does matter for player contracts. If at the margin, players have control over improving some of those skills that really do matter at producing runs - esp at particular spots in the order - then why not directly use batting order as the positive feedback loop that rewards those players who best improve the skill.
Kind of like the good parking spot for the 'employee of the month'.
A complete aside. But re psychotropic medications in general, is genetic testing done for most/many or is prescription still mainly trial/error? Reason I ask is because I've heard that all/most of those medications are processed/metabolized thru a cytochrome P450 gene/enzyme and about 1/8 people can't genetically process drugs there. So they end up with toxicity buildup and the nastiest side-effects (scariest name for one that I've seen on Interwebs is suicidal/homicidal akithisia). I know Mayo does this test but I assume Mayo is not a diagnostician of first resort.
I'd add <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=104872">Kevin Padlo</a></span> of the Rockies. Had an aggressive assignment to A-ball in his first spring and struggled (and prob some bad luck too). But is bopping back in high short-season. Maybe his breakout is next year though
I think it's a wash. Yes playing on turf could aggravate his legs. But he's also now playing on a team with fewer <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=GB" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('GB'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">GB</span></a> inducing pitchers - and more RHP (more of the hard hit GB's heading to the other side of the infield). That should mean 50-100 fewer plays per season.
IMO a big part of his injury history is that the Rockies really built their rotation around the combo of both GB and LHP to maximize the burden on that side of the infield where they were strong and minimize the burden on the other side where 2B has always been a problem.
I can understand why a projection system doesn't really capture a young players breakout performance. I don't understand why it doesn't incorporate more of that breakout in projections going forward. The 50th %ile ROS is basically the same as it was when season started. This is a skills breakout - not just a lucky streak. While luck/randomness can be expected to regress, skills don't.
That only works if it is a double-blind placebo effect. The clubhouse placebo has to hand out pill placebos - thinking that they're PED's when they're not. The recipient has to then quickly realize that they aren't PED's - but take them anyway - and then improve as well so the clubhouse placebo can think he's responsible.
I think Canadians are highly overrated.
Doesn't TJ surgery entirely replace the UCL?
Nice article. Thanks also for the stats process stuff at the end.
I haven't seen the throws. I know we lefties have the huge sight and stare down advantage. But if those fail, the throw itself is more awkward and less powerful. If he's gotten rusty and his staredown is being challenged now, he better get some practice in and soon. Lefties do need that stare down advantage
I would really like to see an article re this - is the Weaver philosophy really obsolete? Yes, 'modern relief role' = one inning max so doesn't prepare a modern <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=RP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('RP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">RP</span></a> for anything but that is hardly a law of physics. Yes, I do think that the massive workload that Weaver put on his four-man rotation is obsolete.
But IMO, most #3-#5 'starters' are actually long-relievers. They don't have the fatal flaw (or the specialist strength) that forces them into a short-appearance specialist role. But nor do they have the ability/repertoire to comfortably get through the order a third/fourth time. Which means they are already going to tax the bullpen and burn out all those 'specialists' in non-specialist innings/batters.
On a $/IP or appearance, those guys are a lot cheaper and more effective than the two pitching extremes that we've tried to cram all pitchers into. And if that change in workload also reduces the totally wasted cost of pitcher injuries, then there is even more reason to look at 'long relief' (get thru the order once or twice - whether you are 'starting the game' or 'finishing the game' or 'in between') as a pitching role.
Very good. But re <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=58921">Tanner Roark</a></span>, I believe the sentence should read 'anti-trust exemption has a human cost'. That's why he's being forced to middle relief without being able to offer his starting pitching services to another club.
I agree. The only thing MLB can possibly do is what they perceive is in the best interests of MLB. The second they seriously pretend to do something that is 'in the best interests of Josh Hamilton', then they will become the worst sort of tyrant. The sort of do-gooding tyrant that CS Lewis described - Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
The only person who can have the will/understanding to deal with Josh Hamilton's addiction is Josh Hamilton (and family I guess). Until he himself takes that seriously, then he will resent anyone else moving him down that path. If that first part of rehab requires him to take time away from baseball to do it, then he has to be the one taking that step. If he fails to take that step, then MLB can only assume he has no serious interest in rehab - and it is rational to treat him as an offender rather than someone who needs help.
Josh Hamilton is extremely fortunate compared to most addicts. He is not a victim - and he will not be a victim no matter what MLB does.
I am talking about the mechanical advantages of the old windup - not the modern-day windup (which seems pretty useless to me and is as you say basically the stretch with a step). Looking at those older windups, the legs and the hips are doing a lot more of the basic work of setting the body in motion, creating momentum, and rotating the trunk. Which means less work (stress) for the arms and shoulders in doing that prep stuff. They only really started working when the body was already in motion and better aligned for the final arm motion/delivery.
Even the advantages that you describe seem to me simply an alternative way of acknowledging that the modern windup (like the stretch) is putting more stress on the arms/shoulders. Repetition IS stress that is more focused on a particular part of the body. And 'eliminating disparity' (like an old windup that was very different from a stretch) is very much akin to eliminating cross-training in a fitness program.
Maybe the advantage of pitch command and pitcher development does fully offset the cost of that repetition to things like upper body ligaments/joints. But I am also convinced that changes like that can never be costless.
I'm not a doctor or a kinetics expert but I'm perfectly willing to impersonate one on the interwebs. IMO, pitching exclusively from the stretch makes it much more likely to stress ligaments to the point of injury. Precisely because the motion is repetitive. All those moving parts of a windup may create command issues - but they also serve to move stresses to different parts of the body and thus reduce the likelihood of overstress in a single area.
I've actually wondered if part of the reason for increased pitcher injuries despite fewer IP's per season in recent years is because even motions called 'windup' have become more restrained.