Attempting to plot the career path of those who may reach the 300-win plateau.
I’m excited to join Baseball Prospectus. If you’ve read any of my previous work, you may know me as something of a PITCHf/x guy. I’ve been learning about and writing about PITCHf/x since the pitch-tracking system was installed in major-league ballparks in 2007, so that description is apt. My interests extend beyond PITCHf/x to the physics of baseball and the details of the pitcher-hitter confrontation.
The quartet the Snakes received for their ace leads to a few questions about player valuation.
In June, Eric Seidman and I discussed the Diamondbacks’ starting pitchers with some focus on Dan Haren, explaining that he was particularly unlucky. At the time of our article, Haren’s ERA was 5.35 and his SIERA was 3.08. Haren would be the ace of many pitching staffs in the major leagues, and is signed well below market value through 2012, with a reasonably priced option for 2013.
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
Evaluating single high-profile signings against more scatter-shot solutions to team needs.
In the first twoparts of this series, I explained my new approach to contract valuations and whether MORP should be linear with respect to WARP. Basically, this entailed asking the question of whether Matt Holliday, perhaps a six-win player, could be just as easily replaced by signing two three-win players or three two-win players. The issue is roster space and playing time. The alternative argument to doing MORP linearly is that a team can sign Holliday and concentrate all six of those wins on one spot of the diamond, and then they could improve themselves more by filling their other openings with decent players as well.
Picking between Jon Garland and Joel Pineiro seems a matter of picking reliability versus upside, but is it?
It's no secret that the throes of the economy have affected baseball and its free agent market, especially when an All-Star player like Orlando Hudson struggles to find a one-year deal at even half of his perceived value, and the thought of Adam LaRoche turning down a two-year, $17 million deal invokes more laughter than Kingpin. Though high-end players have certainly gotten paid this offseason, teams are acting much more conservatively, especially with a higher premium being placed on the analyses of associated risks. Two of the free-agent pitchers yet to sign a deal-Jon Garland and Joel Pineiro-exemplify this risk-analysis process, as both represent examples of consistency in Garland's case versus volatility in Pineiro's. Such archetypes are often deemed opposites when it comes to risk.
It may seem as though everyone involved in the Aces-for-Prospects swaps came out ahead, but it simply isn't so.
The Blue Jays, Phillies, Mariners, and Athletics put together a blockbuster trade that has rarely been seen in baseball history: nine players will belong to new organizations next year, including two former Cy Young winners very much in their prime.
755, .406, 56. Each of those numbers probably triggers an image in your mind's eye. The timelessness of baseball's statistics is what makes baseball such an appealing sport to so many people, and what keep us interested long after the heroes of our youth have retired.
What does handicapping the field tell us about who baseball's next 300-game winner will be?
Randy Johnson entered the year with 295 wins, but with a 5.71 ERA-higher than any 300-game winner since Don Sutton (5.56)-and just three victories through his first eight starts, his approach of the 300-win plateau turned arduous. Still, anyone who cares about round-numbered milestones should take a long look, as they won't see anyone else reaching these ranks of career achievers for quite some time.
Who's not getting by with a little help from their friends?
If they keep it up, the Marlins bullpen could cost Josh Johnson millions. Johnson is presently 4-1 with a 2.66 ERA, but he should have more wins than the four he has to his credit. That's because Johnson has made quality starts in nine of 11 outings. His record doesn't reflect just how well he has pitched, in part because of middling run support (4.3 runs per game), but in larger part due to his bullpen.
The most powerful and the most hapless divisions of the Wild Card Era.
The World Series is over, and the Rays lost, but from an analytical standpoint, they're a gift that keeps on giving. One much-discussed topic during their post-season run was the strength of the American League East, particularly during the AL Championship Series, where the Rays met and defeated their division foes, the Red Sox. It's no secret that this year's AL East was a particularly deep division in today's smaller-division setup, as its top four teams-the Rays, Red Sox, Yankees, and Blue Jays-finished above .500 and ranked among the top six teams on the year-end Hit List. The question is: Where does this division fit in historically?
As in the AL, the Central division is as tight as can be, while in the East two Mets are predicted to take home some hardware along with their division flag.
Today we reveal the Baseball Prospectus staff predictions for the division standings and the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year) in the National League, along with the staff picks in some fun miscellaneous categories.
Each staff member's division standings predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results. In each table you'll find the average rank of each team in their division, plus the results of our pre-season MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year voting.
Way back in the spring, many of you participated in the Predictatron contest. So how did you do?
With the closing of the Winter Meetings and the igniting of the yearly hot stove, it's once again time to examine the results from BP's Predictatron contest. Roughly equivalent to an overgrown fantasy football pick'em, Predictatron asks BP readers and staff alike to forecast the individual records of each MLB team, along with a bracket-like prediction of playoff results and the eventual World Series winner. First prize in the contest is $500 and a framed picture of Commissioner Bud Selig. With swag like that, who needs the money? Full rules can be found here.
Just as I did last year, I'm here to follow up the HACKING MASS Wrap with a look at this year's Predictatron results. This is the second year we've done the Predictatron contest, and it continues to be popular, for obvious reasons--trying to predict the order of finish and teams' eventual records is one of the oldest hobbies of baseball fans.
For those that haven't had the pleasure to compete, Predictatron is the annual contest at Baseball Prospectus where entrants can win $500 by predicting the total wins for each of the 30 major league teams, and the results of the playoffs. Basic scoring is set up so that everyone starts with 1000 points, and you lose points for every win you are off for each team; you can win points back with the playoffs. There are also a few wrinkles, like the Mortal Lock, so I'd encourage everyone to read the full rules.