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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 8/21/18

How agents avoid conflicts of interest; replacing errors; the ‘93 A’s prefacing The Opener; zero-point positional adjustments

Todd Van Poppel

FanGraphs | Sheryl Ring: Here’s an odd scenario: let’s say an agent is representing two players whose free agent prospects are in direct competition, or a player whose call-up conflict with another client’s current tenured status. How do you represent both without a conflict of interest? There are a few ways to avoid these conflicts, and the ways are described herein: conflict waivers, Chinese Walls, and through rules governed by the MLBPA.

Baseball Prospectus | Zach Crizer: What if we got rid of errors? It’s not as crazy as it sounds considering its own logical inconsistencies, and could be replaced by derps, defined as “any physical or mental miscue that clearly alters the action of a play, and costs one’s team a base or bases. Derps can be assessed to defenders, runners, or pitchers dealing with the running game. All derps are labeled by their total immediate cost in terms of position on the bases.”

The Ringer | Ben Lindbergh: Thanks to Ben Lindbergh for giving credit to this site for creating The Opener, so let’s keep that canon. But maybe the real origin of the usage was in 1993, when they had a streak of 11 straight games of starters who went less than five innings. It was originally conceived for survival, based on more modern “piggybacking,” but a lot of the innovations in pitching today stem from there.

Tangotiger Blog | Tom Tango: I won’t explain the specifics too much because I know he will clarify in the comments, so read and enjoy yourself: Tango explains how catch probability differs from something like UZR, which assumes positional zero-points. In others parts of the series he explains infielders as well as outfielders, infielders compared to outfielders, and catchers—with more to come.