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Sabersphere 12/28: Should we evaluate pitchers using home runs? Cool new hats, and Clutchness

Today's edition of Sabersphere features the evaluative ability of home runs, some not-so-saber-but-oh-so-cool new hats, and an attempt to quantify clutchness and grit.

Grit, passion, hustle, heart, intangibles, Eckstein.
Grit, passion, hustle, heart, intangibles, Eckstein.
Doug Pensinger

Matthew over at Lookout Landing looks into the evaluative ability of home runs: Evaluating Pitchers and Home Runs

For years now, I've had an issue with the most prominently used pitching metrics here. I don't trust home runs allowed as a useful statistic to hold against pitchers. I'm not a professional statistician but in the following, I'll try to use the right methods to explain why I distrust home runs and why I think there are better options, including a new one.

The MLB released their new attempt to make money, erm, new batting practice caps and they are pretty slick (except for the racist one but I'm not gonna be a Debbie Downer). Paul Lukas of ESPN Playbook gave us a peek: First look: new MLB batting practice caps

Every three or four years, all 30 MLB teams get new batting practice cap designs. The upcoming season is one of those years, so you'll soon see teams unveiling their new BP caps (which will also be worn throughout spring training, natch). But thanks to an inside source, Uni Watch is now prepared to provide you with an exclusive sneak peek at the new headwear -- 36 new caps in all, because some teams have separate designs for home and away.

Jason Collette of DRaysBay looked at which Rays hitters were the most patient, and how it affected their hitting as opposed to how it should have: Patience, Revisited

Now that we have another year of data under our belt, let's take a look back at that data as well as some other offensive metrics and how they relate to pitches per plate appearance.

Russell Carleton chatted over at Baseball Prospectus: Chat: Russell Carleton

Resident staff sabermetrician/pyschologist Russell Carleton stops by to take your post-Christmas questions.

Russell Carleton: The world didn't end last week, so in an attempt to make up for that, it's time to begin my first chat since early 2010. (Sorry about that.)

Jeff Zimmerman of Royals Review asked fans to rate Royals position players based on their intangibles, and found some interesting results: Position Player Intangible Survey Results

A few days ago, I asked for our great readers for their input on some intangible features (clutch, heart, coachability, etc) for Royals hitters. Today, it is time for the results. Besides, looking at the results, the same survey is available for the Royals pitchers still on the team from last season.

I will take this chance again to ask if you know of any small blogs that aren't part of the main saber-discussion every day, and if so to send me the link at You also may leave the link in the comments.

Today's BtB retro is Jeff Zimmerman's attempt to evaluate pitchers in a very simple way: Jeff's Special Sauce: Easy Formula for Evaluating Pitchers (8-11-10)

I am always looking at ways to make complex formulas simpler. For pitchers, I started using just K/9 minus BB/9 to measure how good they were. It has not been a bad to evaluate pitchers from one season to the next, but I haven't been able to take into account any batted balls.