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Sabersphere 1/16: Robinson Cano, Living on the Edge, and the Diamondbacks

Today's Sabersphere looks at Robinson Cano's struggles against lefties, some fascinating research on Edge%, why the Diamondbacks' offseason has been perplexing, and an interesting take on player wins.

Nick Laham

Jason Collette of Baseball Prospectus wonders if Robinson Cano has a weakness that can be exploited: Cano's Southpaw Struggles ($)

Yet, Cano’s 2012 season was not without flaw. It actually was not tough to find the major flaw in his season despite the overall numbers. It was his amazing .359/.423/.685 slash line against right-handed pitching that masked a batting average against lefties that was 61 points below his career average, an on-base percentage that fell 34 points, and a slugging percentage that fell 138 points. The .239/.309/.337 slash line Cano had versus left-handed pitching in 2012 was well below the .300/.343/.475 line he had established in his previous 1393 plate appearances against portsiders.

Bill Petti of Fangraphs analyzes the effect of "painting the black": The Difference Pitching on the Edge Makes

Yesterday, Jeff Zimmerman examined how Tim Lincecum‘s performance has depended to some extent on his ability to pitch to the edges of the plate. Last year, Lincecum was one of the worst starters in the game in terms of the percentage of his pitches thrown to the black. Coincidently (or not so coincidently), Lincecum suffered through his worst season as a professional.

Jeff Moore of The Hardball Times questions Arizona's offseason moves: What is the Diamondbacks' Plan?

So for those of you scoring at home, in the past three months, the Diamondbacks, who should have been trading from a position of strength in the outfield and their starting rotation to fill a hole at shortstop, traded a quality outfielder and a top pitching prospect for a pair of shortstops who will both be below league average in 2013, only to then go out and replace the players they traded with expensive free agents, despite still having cheaper in-house options.

And, an interesting link sent to me on Twitter - Tom Thress attempts to create his own player evaluation metric: Baseball Player Wins and Losses

The job of a Major League Baseball player is to help his team win games, for the ultimate purpose of making the playoffs and winning the World Series. Since the early history of Major League Baseball, pitchers have been credited with Wins and Losses as official measures of the effectiveness of their pitching. Of course, Pitcher Wins are a fairly crude measure of how well a pitcher did his job, as wins are the product of the performance of the entire team – batters, baserunners, and fielders, in addition to pitchers.

In today's BtB Retro, R.J. Anderson asks if there's actually a correlation between manager ejections and winning games: Getting Tossed =/= Winning Games

One of those age old myths is that a manager getting ejected from a game can will his team to victory. Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox is the all-time leader in ejections, and his players seem to buy into it: