Cheesy Sabermetric Poetry, Part I
If you're sad that Cliff Lee pitched so well, yet only had six wins,
Welcome to the sabermetric side, where we throw those in the bin.
We try to measure players by only things that they control,
No run support cannot be helped, so pitcher wins is not the goal.
Consider the Three True Outcomes stat, the lovely F-I-P,
Strikeouts, walks, HBP and homers are what pitchers oversee.
Balls in play are tricky, as so many other factors come into play,
Was the regular defense out there or did Ty Wigginton start that day?
So relax and know that Clifton still ranked highly in our book,
Eighth in the league in FIP, so don't even take a second look.
His strikeout rate's still healthy, his walk rate's off the charts,
In 2013, he'll be fine, making more outstanding starts.
"...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.
1) Jurickson Profar, SS, Texas Rangers (previously #5)
2) Wil Myers, OF, Kansas City Royals (previously #14)
3) Trevor Bauer, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (previously #7)
4) Dylan Bundy, RHP, Baltimore Orioles (previously #19)
5) Taijuan Walker, RHP, Seattle Mariners (previously #15)
6) Gerrit Cole, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (11)
7) Danny Hultzen, LHP, Seattle Mariners (25)
8) Manny Machado, SS, Baltimore Orioles (8)
9) Oscar Taveras, OF, St. Louis Cardinals (62)
10) Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (16)
The Texas Rangers are a very good team going through a rough patch, recently losing seven of their past ten games.
And while I don't advocate overreacting to a poor stretch, the Texas Rangers are a good team, but there's room for improvement, especially in the starting rotation. I look at the way their roster is constructed, and see the opportunity to reload for the future in a way that may not totally sacrifice their season today.
All they have to do is trade Josh Hamilton before the 2012 trade deadline.
Today, the Reds defeated the Rockies 7-5. The Rockies hit exactly five home runs, which accounted for all of their hits on the day. According to Baseball-Reference, this is only the second occurrence ever of a team having exactly 5 H, 5 HR, and 5 R in one game.
But...there's more. Jason Giambi, oddly enough, played in both games. And both times -- the only two times this has happened in history -- Jason Giambi happened to go 0 for 3 with a walk.
Baseball is crazy.
Since we added Sean Smith's ("rallymonkey" to some) Wins Above Replacement measurement in 2010, we've seen its use expand in to many new areas and its popularity catch on in the media and the general population, but there have also been a lot of questions about how it's calculated and whether it has validity. In this tutorial, I'm going to run through the calculations in graphic detail and point out areas where our approach differs from some of the other popular WAR or WAR-like approaches.
You've noticed the delicate, almost-perfect balance of a baseball field. A grounder to short often results in a play decided by a step or less. The throw from a catcher to second on a steal attempt usually arrives with a half-second of the runner. If the dimensions were just a little different, everything would be different. But they aren't. The double play, the relay throw, a pitcher covering first -- it's all an exhibition of geometric precision.
And every couple dozen games, a runner will attempt to dislodge a ball from the guy holding it. It doesn't fit. It makes no sense. And then you get to the part where the catcher is often defenseless, or at least not set up to take a shot from a 200-pound man running at full speed. It's a silly play before you get to the dangerous part. Then it becomes untenable.
Joe Maddon probably knows the truth, or most of it. Hellickson's probably going to give up a lot more hits this season than last, and there's not much that Maddon can do about it. Yes, he can position his fielders "properly" and that's going to help.
The Rays already use more infield shifts than anybody else in the majors, so there's only so much more that Maddon can do. The Rays' starters did have low BABiPs last season; all of them. At .281 and .280, David Price and Wade Davis were the highest among the four main guys.
And that's partly the shifts, partly the great infield defense, and partly luck.