Friday's Saber-Links

Here's Friday's edition of Saber-Links:

Bruce Markusen of The Hardball Times draws an interesting comparison between Stephen Strasburg and Hank Aaron: Cooperstown Confidential: The Aaron-Strasburg connection--THT

Furthermore, the Braves were not trying to keep Aaron away from potential injury, as the Nationals are attempting to do with Strasburg. No, this was all about increasing the chances of Aaron hitting No. 715 in Atlanta in front of a sellout crowd.

Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus looks at what type of value the Cincinnati Reds could expect to get from calling up a pinch-runner, in Billy Hamilton: Baseball Prospectus | Pebble Hunting: The Value of Billy Hamilton

The Reds play 29 games after August this year. I took the Reds' final 29 games of the 2011 season and plopped a Billy Hamilton pinch-running appearance wherever a Billy Hamilton pinch-running appearance would have helped. I used the Reds' final 29 games of 2011 for no significant reason.

Also at BP, Bradley Ankrom looks at how Jeff Luhnow has blown up the Astros' roster, for the better: Baseball Prospectus | The Process: Resetting the Astros Roster

Luhnow’s moves last month shed the organization of at least $40 million in contract commitments—and potentially much more—to veterans whose services largely would have been wasted during Houston’s rebuilding effort. The new-look Astros have only $5.5 million committed to their 2013 roster (not counting expected arbitration increases), and no money committed to the 2014 team. In addition to payroll flexibility, the moves also provided an influx of young talent to a farm system that had routinely fallen among the bottom five in Kevin Goldstein’s annual organizational talent rankings.

Eric Seidman of FanGraphs compares Chipper Jones's 2012 campaign to other career-ending seasons: Chipper’s Going Out (Nearly) On Top | FanGraphs Baseball

And he’s on pace for his best season in four years. He projects to finish the season with a .372 wOBA and 4 WAR, and players don’t generally retire after posting numbers like that. So where does his final season rank among career-concluding seasons throughout history. Is he truly going out on top?

Blake Murphy of Full Spectrum Baseball takes a look into pitchers under- / over-performing their swinging strike rates ... and brings up the always interesting case of Vance Worley and strikeouts "looking": Sabermetric Mining: SwStr%, K%, and K/9 | Full Spectrum Baseball

While the error terms vary quite a bit, strikout percentage and swinging strike percentage correlate pretty strongly (.6928 R^2 value, or, stated otherwise, swinging strike rate can explain about 69% of the variance in strikeout percentage). Woodrum’s regression allowed me to create the following chart, which can act as a rough approximation of the K% we should expect at given SwStr% levels.

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