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Today's daily dose of saber-links includes a look back on the 2012 free agent signings, WARP explained without math, and more.
Bill Petti of FanGraphs analyzes how successful last year's free agent signings have been: Revisiting Last Year’s Free-Agent Signings | FanGraphs Baseball
On balance, teams did a pretty good job of valuing players and signing them to appropriate deals. The 111 signings under examination here were expected to produce 102.8 WAR and so far have produced 115. Fifty-one of the signings produced more value than expected, while 60 produced less value. Looking at the frequency of differences between expected and actual WAR, we see that there were more players outperforming their expected WAR by greater than 1 WAR than there were players who underperformed by more than 1 WAR (18 versus five).
Russell A. Carleton of Baseball Prospectus attempts to explain WAR(P) without all of the math-y details: Baseball Prospectus | Baseball Therapy: WARP for People Who Didn't Like Math Class
WARP (Wins Above Replacement Player) does take a little bit of math to arrive at, and not everyone enjoyed math class in high school, but it's actually a pretty simple theory. In the spirit of fairness, I will lay out the basic idea behind WARP. You can make up your own mind from there. I promise, there won't be many gory mathematical details.
Jeff Moore of The Hardball Times attempts to create a roster built of entirely platoon players: The all-platoon team--THT
I’m not getting into additional roster spots for minor leaguers, so ignore the question of "what happens if someone gets hurt?" Remember, this is hypothetical. If an organization were going to attempt to build an entire roster this way, it would have to develop players with specializations in mind, which is not a terrible idea, but is an article for another day. With eight spots to fill and 13 players to work with, that leaves me with three players who need to play every day. That’s what switch-hitters are for.
The Reds are just the ninth team to have five pitchers make more than 30 starts in baseball history -- while that sounds more impressive before you remember the four-man rotation was the paradigm for a majority of baseball's history, it's still impressive. And it's also boring. Bronson Arroyo and Mike Leake quietly and efficiently eating innings isn't sexy. Mat Latos's rebound from his slow start was more expected than stunning. Johnny Cueto is always overlooked, so it's not a surprise that it's happening again.