I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. Here's Monday's edition of Saber-Links:
MGL of the Book Blog lambasts the on-field strategy of Dusty Baker: THE BOOK--Playing The Percentages In Baseball
In the Cubs/Reds game this afternoon, in the top of the 7th, it was 2-1 Cubs. The Reds catcher was on first base with one out. The Reds starter, Arroyo, was due to bat. He hit for himself and attempted a sacrifice. Let’s look at why this was a terrible decision by Baker.
The TruMedia guys over at Baseball Analytics give us a pretty interesting "hacker" leaderboard: MLB's True Hackers - Baseball Analytics Blog - MLB Baseball Analytics
Trumedia keeps track of what happens when hitters swing at such "non-competitive" pitches, defined as offerings that are thrown at least 18 inches away from the center of the strike zone. And it's not pretty: a .048 batting average and a .058 slugging percentage. Naturally, batters rarely go after these terrible pitches, swinging at them just 8.9% of the time.
Ben Lindbergh revisits the Orioles' extension of Adam Jones and makes an interesting point about the difference between buying high and overspending: Baseball Prospectus | Overthinking It: The Adam Jones Extension Revisited
We tend to think of "buying high" as indistinguishable from "overpaying," but maybe this is one of the times when there is a difference between them. We can’t go back and see what it would have taken for the Orioles to extend Jones had he had his usual stats in April and May. Maybe he would have cost them a little less. But even though the Orioles paid Jones at peak value, they didn’t pay more than he was worth.
Aye to all that, but that perhaps portrays too bleak a picture. Let’s look at it this way: heading into this year, his age-33 season, Buehrle had 161 career wins. Only 13 liveball pitchers have won 300 games, and prior to their age-33 season they averaged …. 161 career wins, exactly where Buehrle began 2012.