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A Few Quickies

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  • I will not be publishing power rankings this week because I will be traveling / away for the weekend. I'm going up to Boston, but, alas, will not see a Red Sox game.
  • I spent much of last night trying to make an adequate Cy Young case for Livan Hernandez, but then it occurred to me that I didn't want to skew numbers; I wanted ANSWERS from numbers. So two questions:
1. Does Livan Hernandez deserve the Cy Young award?

Based on his innings and the fact that the innings prevent lesser pitchers from adding innings to the team's total, he is an extremely valuable player. In this particular season, with the performances of Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Brett Myers, Dontrelle Willis, and Jake Peavy, Livan Hernandez just doesn't have a strong case. That said, if he keeps this up, I'll throw a vote in his direction at the end of the year.

2. Does Livan Hernandez seem to have the ability to "turn it up" and strikeout hitters in "tougher" situations?

I was directed to a site from a friend that likened Livan Hernandez to Christy Mathewson in that he lessens his energy expended for weaker hitters and less important situations. So I was curious as to if that affected his K-rate and performance in general.

Normal Opponents' Stats, K/PA:

2003 - .253/.302/.389, .184
2004 - .248/.311/.387, .177
2005 - .261/.332/.369, .144

Opponents' Stats with RISP, K/PA:

2003 - .204/.271/.277, .208
2004 - .247/.345/.402, .176
2005 - .211/.311/.368, .188

In '03 and '05, the numbers do indicate that he "bore down" and did better, but that could just be luck. There's far too much noise to make any meaningful conclusions.

The other thing is his opponents' stats by lineup spot, over the last 4 years:

  1. .251/.303/.364
  2. .265/.283/.379
  3. .322/.380/.559
  4. .299/.389/.498
  5. .279/.353/.425
  6. .254/.310/.412
  7. .252/.318/.385
  8. .231/.299/.292
  9. .169/.177/.221
Nothing too out of the ordinary there, excecpt maybe slightly less power from 4 hitters and the ability to completely own the weaker ones. I don't have "averages-by-batting slot" numbers (although if anyone knows of a source, I'd appreciate that), but I would venture to guess that 8 hitters aren't quite as bad as .231/.299/.292.

So I've learned all of nothing. But hey, sometimes, just giving it a shot teaches us something.