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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 11/30/18

The Cardinals need to make a splash; more #weirdbaseball; the absolute worst WAR

Cincinnati Reds v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

FanGraphs | Craig Edwards: The Cardinals whiffed on making a reasonable upgrade with Josh Donaldson, but there are still moves to be made. Unfortunately, they need to be big ones, as their likely-85 win true talent team isn’t enough to vault the Cubs; they would need Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, or Paul Goldschmidt, or a couple of those, to truly make a leap.

Baseball Prospectus | Russell A. Carleton ($): Teams are often afraid to pinch hit when they’re down in the bottom of the ninth, mostly because they usually lose, and because they would then be exposed defensively. People like that, though, because it leads to #weirdbaseball, and it could get weirder, because even though the defense hurts you later, you have to get there first, and pinch hitting for better hitters when you’re losing is still an underutilized strategy in the ninth inning.

Banished to the Pen | Bill Thompson: Sorting by WAR is always fun, especially when you can look at the worst players. That honor in this case belongs to Bill Bergen, who amassed a whopping -13.5 WAR from 1901 to 1911. That fun fact has a caveat, as a) the talent pool was smaller then, and b) he was in fact a good defensive catcher, which isn’t represented in the metrics of over a century ago. He was an awful, awful hitter, but a lot of players were back then.