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Around the SaberSphere 10/10: Yoenis Cespedes, Estimating Walks and Strikeouts, the Orioles

Today's daily dose of sabermetric links include the success of Yoenis Cespedes, estimating walks and strikeouts, the Orioles and "should have" and more..

Jason Miller - Getty Images

Ian Miller of Baseball Prospectus pens a great piece on why Yoenis Cespedes' contract with Oakland had to succeed: Baseball Prospectus | Punk Hits: A Cespedes for the Rest of Us

You never dreamed that club would be Oakland.

We all thought he’d land in Chicago or with some other large-market team with deep pockets. But nope, Billy Beane (and David Forst and Sam Geaney) surprised us by inking Cespedes to a four-year, $36 million deal.2 I guess when you have the second-lowest overall payroll in baseball (‘round about $54 million, $2 million more than the Pirates), you can splurge a little bit.3

The flipside of that is that the A’s, because of their financial situation, really couldn’t afford to get this one wrong. They were going all in, whereas the Cubs or the Rangers would just be calling. Oakland needed Cespedes to succeed.

Jeff Zimmerman of FanGraphs develops a formula to estimate walks and strikeouts using plate discipline numbers: Wilin Rosario: Estimating BB and K Using Plate Discipline | FanGraphs Baseball

With questions surrounding his plate discipline in 2012, he saw is K% end up at 23%. This was within 1% point of what his 2011 estimated K%. With reasonable plate discipline, he was able to put up a decent season (1.8 WAR in 426 PA). Using a second method to calculate a Rosario’s K% and BB% helps to get a better picture of his true talent level.

Grant Brisbee of Baseball Nation points out that the Baltimore Orioles have a bunch of players who were supposed to be good, but just didn't work out: The Orioles who should have been here in the first place - Baseball Nation

the Orioles are filled with players who should have been better, who went down a dark rabbit hole at some point in their careers, and finally emerged on the 2012 team, helping the Orioles to an improbable playoff spot. If you're looking for a forced narrative, here you go: the should-have team.

Chris Lund of the Hardball Times makes a case for Tim Lincecum starting over Barry Zito in Game 4 of today's NLDS :Should reputation overrule recent performance?--THT

In 2012, Zito will start Game Four of the Giants’ NLDS series with the Reds on Wednesday afternoon even though he has been worse in 2012 than he was in 2010, when the Giants had a roster with less pitching depth than the current squad. In 2010 Zito posted an FIP of 4.25, an xFIP of 4.58 and a WAR of 1.6. In 2012, he has posted a FIP of 4.49, xFIP of 4.92 and WAR of 0.8. To follow up my earlier question of what we owe those with impressive reputations, why give Barry Zito the benefit of the doubt through five terrible seasons?