Here's Friday's edition of Saber-Links:
I've written about it, linked to it and literally obsessed over the "Colin Wyers/Shift/DRS/Fielding Metric" Saga (that's what I'm calling it now), that has gone on this year. In I think my final link about the topic, Tom Tango had a response to the whole "shared fielding zone-flaw", that still remains in defensive metrics a couple days ago, THE BOOK--Shared Fielding Zones.
Jesse Wolfersberger at FanGraphs discusses how the playoff probability curve has changed to incorporate the MLB's new Wild-Card structure: New Wild Cards and the Playoff-Probability Curve | FanGraphs Baseball
If all you care about is getting out of the regular season, then the story is over right here. Win 87 games and you’ll probably see Game 163. However, I suggest that the real story goes deeper. The new playoff format also created a new wrinkle: all playoff appearances are not created equal. The three division winners in each league basically get a first-round bye. The two wild-card teams have to play-in to the division series. How does this change the playoff probability function?
Also at FG, Matt Swartz explains why he thinks it would be wise for the Phillies to extend Cole Hamels: Extend Cole Hamels Now (If You Want To) | FanGraphs Baseball
Of course, the Phillies may not actually be engaging Hamels genuinely, and they may only be making a public-relations-driven effort. But chances are that if the Phillies are really disengaging with trade partners (as Jayson Stark suggests), they probably have concluded that Hamels is a safe bet to retain his value. If he does, then he is likely to prefer significantly more value for $140 million than whatever other pitchers the Phillies could replace him with. So, Ruben Amaro really should be signing Cole Hamels right now to whatever deal is necessary. That is, if he actually wants to.
Jesse Sakstrup at THT writes about Michael Fiers success, despite a lack of velocity. Nathaniel Stolz had a very similar article here, a couple weeks ago. I suggest reading both: Michael Fiers’ march against history
Over the past month, Fiers has been just about the best pitcher in baseball, posting a 0.63 ERA and 1.77 FIP, while striking out over 10 batters per nine. Pitchers who aren’t very good don’t often do that. Whether or not Fiers ends up being a not very good pitcher or something more remains to be seen, but he has been outstanding in his first eight major league starts. The history of major league baseball suggests that this can’t continue, but everything in Fiers’ track record—velocity aside—suggests that maybe it can.
Everything is free today at Baseball Prospectus, the articles, statistics, whitty humor.. everything. Ben Lindbergh wrote a post yesterday that wasn't free about the Red Sox and Kevin Youkillis: Baseball Prospectus | Overthinking It: Did Boston Trade Youkilis Too Soon?
The third baseman’s walk, strikeout, and home run rates, BABIP, and overall offensive output (TAv) have been much closer to their customary levels since the swap, and while his groundball rate is still above its previous levels, it has fallen slightly since he left Boston. Given the third baseman’s reputation for patience, one might expect that Youkilis’ resurgence would have been a result of improved plate discipline. In fact, the opposite has been the case. Youkilis has actually been much more aggressive since switching socks.
Saber-Links will return after the weekend.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families in Colorado.