"...but having said all that…I was willing to entertain the notion that chemistry might make a difference. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. But if it does make a difference, you have to point it out before the fact.
And IF there was a situation where chemistry would matter AND be discernable beforehand, I thought it would be on a young, promising team that was still widely thought to be a year or two away from making its mark. I thought it would be on a team like the 2012 Kansas City Royals, in other words.
How many pitches per PA would a .000/.000/.000 hitter need to average to be a valuable member of a team?
But I just want to make the point that there are times when the Royals – or any front office – make decisions which are not just inexplicable, but indefensible. And just because I or another analyst isn’t privy to inside knowledge doesn’t mean that we aren’t completely justified in ripping that organization a new orifice for making that decision. After 15 years of doing what I do, I’ve recently sensed some pushback from some parts of the analytic community, a sentiment that front offices have access to far greater amounts of information than outsiders like us can possibly have, and therefore they have reasons for making decisions that we can not possibly fathom.
I don’t doubt the validity of that. But just because an organization makes more informed decisions doesn’t mean they make better decisions. Knowing little more than Sanchez’s stat line and the track record of similar pitchers in the past, I knew that Sanchez was toast weeks ago. It’s not like I had an axe to grind with Sanchez – I was generally positive about the decision to trade for him. The Royals undoubtedly had access to the same database that I did, and chose to let him torch a few more games before pulling the plug.