The BIG BAD BASEBALL thread~!~!

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The BIG BAD BASEBALL thread~!~!

Post by towney007 » Tue May 17, 2011 2:42 pm

All things MLB 2011 go here.
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Re: The BIG BAD BASEBALL thread~!~!

Post by The1_and? » Tue May 17, 2011 2:51 pm

Will the Indians stay hot all year or fall off the radar by the end of the year?

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Re: The BIG BAD BASEBALL thread~!~!

Post by TheLyontamer » Tue May 17, 2011 2:56 pm

Ah, baseball. Nothing more than a poor man's cricket :P

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Re: The BIG BAD BASEBALL thread~!~!

Post by towney007 » Tue May 17, 2011 3:24 pm

I dunno to be honest about the Tribe.

I'd break their lineup into three categories though:

Three hitters that have to be good:

I think they have the talent to be pretty good, but it's a matter of staying healthy for a lot of their key players that just isn't there. Grady Sizemore's already back on the DL and you always have to wonder who the real Travis Hafner is. Is he the guy you couldn't pitch to in 2006 or the dude who spends half the season on the DL and the other half hitting .180? Both those two have to produce for them to stay in the mix. Carlos Santana really needs to produce for them this year. He's got the chance to be a real elite catcher, and while I'd say generally speaking - there isn't a RUSH for him to develop as much as there's a rush for him to develop quickly if they want to compete THIS YEAR.

Three you can count on:

Asdrubal Cabrera is always a player I regarded highly but has underperformed and this year he finally seems to be the player everyone thought he was going to be. Cabrera's unspectacular these days, but completely reliable and a winner. He's a great pick up for a team like the Indians. Choo is the best player in baseball no one knows about. He's a guy that if I were a GM, I'd really covet.

Three total wild cards:

Jack Hannahan got off to a hot start but there's almost nothing in his history that would indicate he'd get that much better. He's a good defensive piece, but I really have questions about his bat. Matt LaPorta was the centerpiece of the Sabathia trade and looked like a guy who was going to be a total masher, but has kind of turned into 'just another decent bat'. He still hasn't become the superstar they thought he was going to be and it's looking like the window for him to blossom into that kind of a player is closing. He's had some great looking at bats this year and some not-so-great looking AB's. So we'll see. Michael Brantley is the guy I think can flat out replace Sizemore in CF. If he can, then they could potentially move Grady at the deadline and maybe pick up some pitching for him. Who knows. But I think he's huge because he can be moved into their LF slot to make up for their weakest position or used to replace a more expensive player. He gives them real depth.


Pitching:

The pitching is going to be the big question mark. I hate gambling on young pitching. They can be lights out for two months but then once hitters see them once or twice, the bottom falls out and they have to make adjustments. So i'm really skeptical they'll have the arms to get through the whole season. Their bullpen is a real strength though.


The big question is going to be health. This isn't a team with the kind of depth to be able to handle a ton of injuries this year. If one or two key pieces go down, then they'll be in really big trouble I think.


You also have to factor in what everyone else is doing. The Twins are too far out right now and have just too many injuries so I feel like if they struggle for another two weeks you can stick a fork in them. They'll be better as the season goes along, but the hole they've dug is so deep right now I don't think they can dig out of it. But then again - crazier things have happened.

The White Sox have a horrible bullpen, good starting pitching and a lot of power bats, but I'm not much of a fan of the makeup of their club. They're 10 games back and while I feel like their bats will heat up, their pen is such an issue right now it's impossible to ignore. Nobody in there can get anyone out and they've probably blown about 7-8 games alone this year they should have won. The Twins won't win if their key players aren't playing in the game (injuries). The White Sox bats are no good if they can't keep runs off the board late in games (bullpen).

Look out for the Royals next year, but I'm expecting a major cooling off period for them. Never bet on young teams over the course of 162 games. They'll get hot, they'll get cold and overall they're a lot more dangerous than anyone wants to give them credit for - but I still think they're a year away.

So that leaves the Tigers, whose bats have heated up and their SP is beginning to settle down. I think if they continue at this reasonable pace, they're the team to beat in the division and it's theirs to lose.

So sure - if the Indians stay healthy, they've got a legit shot and duking it out with the Tigers down the stretch. The question is staying healthy. If they can't they're not going to have the depth to keep pace I don't think. So I'd peg the Tigers as the favorites right now, but the Indians are a good ball club.
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Re: The BIG BAD BASEBALL thread~!~!

Post by Greg_McNeish » Wed May 18, 2011 1:06 am

Jose Bautista is an animal. Nothing else in baseball matters.
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Re: The BIG BAD BASEBALL thread~!~!

Post by Greg_McNeish » Wed May 18, 2011 11:38 am

I hear the term "sabermetrics" thrown around a lot. I know it has to do with gathering different sorts of statistics on players, but beyond that, I'm lost.

Also, since we all know you love going in-depth into these things, if you want to give a breakdown of my Blue Jays, no one will stop you. (probably because you're a moderator....)
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Re: The BIG BAD BASEBALL thread~!~!

Post by towney007 » Wed May 18, 2011 3:39 pm

Well, Sabermetrics is basically the objective use of statistical analysis in baseball.

Bill James, who was the subject of conversation in 'Moneyball', is really kind of the founder of the whole deal. IN a nutshell - he was an MIT grad who couldn't find a job out of college so he moved home to Nebraska. He took a job as a security guard at a milk cap factory and to pass the time brought baseball statistics to play around with.

Over the course of time and really intensive study, he began to deeply question traditional methods of statistical analysis.

For example - ERA as a statistic that accurately measures whether a pitcher is good or not. Well - SURE, we could say that the lower the ERA, the MORE LIKELY it would be that the pitcher is in fact 'good'. However, a lot happens between first base and home plate that the pitcher doesn't have any control over. Maybe a ball was thrown away, maybe a guy committed an error, maybe there was something else that caused that runner to score. Maybe it was just a weak throw. Either way, it's not a wholely accurate way to measure a pitcher's worth because a lot goes into it that the pitcher can't help.

He questioned stats like errors. It's a pretty dumb statistic when you think about it. Would people rather the ball trickle into the outfield and not be knocked down? Besides, errors are subjectively determined by a largely subjective defiinition. And besides, why does someone get charged an error instead of getting credit for creating an out?

So these kinds of things he really looked at and began literally developing new ways to more accurately measure a player's worth. He started a small newsletter in the early 80s that began to catch on and by the mid 90s, it was kind of this cult-like deal. Major League GM's caught on and notably Billy Beane of the Oakland A's... he started using objective analysis and was able to field some very good teams on a very limited budget. Now more and more teams are beginning to use it.


Go Here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabermetrics

Those are a lot of the big figures, a brief history and a lot of the sites you can go to to learn more. you can also learn about the various methods of measurements like FIP (fielding independent pitching) and BABIP (Batting avg of balls in play). It's actually REALLY cool. You might get lost in it.

Moneyball is the big sabermetrics book that gives you the story of Bill James, Billy Beane and the whole evolution of it all. It's a $1.98 on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Moneyball-Art-Win ... 112&sr=8-1


Also, the Extra 2% just came out by Jonah Keri. It basically covers the refurbishment of the Rays organization. They've gone to a totally different world with Sabermetrics and have even invented their own evaluational tools internally. Basically, their entire front office is almost devoid of 'baseball people' entirely and is made up of old Wall Street speculators. It's an amazing read:

http://www.amazon.com/Extra-2-Street-St ... pd_sim_b_5


A lot of baseball traditionalists hate the sabermetric approach, but I think anyone with a brain knows this stuff is pretty much on the dot. It does take a lot of magic out of baseball, but it kind of makes it more interesting in a way. Check it out.

One valid criticism is that a sabermatrician does not a good GM make. Your old GM JP Ricciardi was a sabermatrician, but was awful in contract negotiations - notably being responsible for the Vernon Wells deal. On the other hand - his scouting and talent development was excellent. Thus, you see Arrencibia, Cecil, Romero, Hill, Snider, Cooper, and the whole mess of prospects they've turned into major league talents. Evaluation is a big part of being a good general manager, but so is valuation and contract negotiations. So yeah - read this stuff. I think you in particular will really like it.
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Re: The BIG BAD BASEBALL thread~!~!

Post by Greg_McNeish » Wed May 18, 2011 10:35 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WOBA

Weighted On-Base Average: Why in the world would Intentional Walks not be included as reaching base? Are they really making the argument that getting the free pass is just as useful as getting out?
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Re: The BIG BAD BASEBALL thread~!~!

Post by Red_And_Yellow » Wed May 18, 2011 11:59 pm

Mike Gonzalez is easily the worst relief pitcher in baseball right now.

15 appearances - 12 2/3 innings, 8.53 ERA, 1.89 WHIP, 13.5 H/9, 2.1 HR/9

This guy has completely fallen apart, and the Orioles need to rid them on their roster if they want to win more games.
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Re: The BIG BAD BASEBALL thread~!~!

Post by Greg_McNeish » Thu May 19, 2011 12:08 am

There's only room for one animal in the AL East. The Rays & Orioles can die like the dogs they are.

Also, 5 Errors in tonight's game, by the Jays. Go team!
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Re: The BIG BAD BASEBALL thread~!~!

Post by towney007 » Thu May 19, 2011 12:08 am

Intentional walks are almost always situational and a lot goes into it in terms of match ups and where you're at in the game. Generally speaking, they're more indicative of the situation the hitter is in rather than the caliber of hitter.


For example:

Johnny Peralta is hitting right handed for the Tigers. Left handed Alex Avila is behind him. If I'm the Giants and I know I have lefty Javier Lopez in the pen who's got a .123 OBAA against left handed hitters. And Avila has a .250 OBP and a .270 BA against lefties.... that's a better match up than say... Guillermo Mota pitching against Peralta. Mota might have say - a .230OBAA against righties (which is pretty good) and Peralta may be a mediocre hitter against righties (say - hitting .278 with a .330 OBP). Let's say you've got a runner on third. While Mota's probably a good match up against Peralta, Lopez is probably a BETTER match up against Avila right behind him. In a tight game, it totally makes sense to have Mota walk Peralta and bring in Lopez to get more of the sure-fire out.

I know it's a lot of scenarios and whatnot, but that's why it's not used I wouldn't think.


Also - anyone who's getting intentionally walked a lot - likely has a high OBP anyway. Whether intentional walks are included or not is probably a moot point. Stats are like tools. You use them to do certain things. While we know Pujols and Bautista are obviously awesome hitters, this stat would probably be good for separating those middle of the pack guys like, say... the difference between Josh Willingham and Koskue Fukudome.
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Re: The BIG BAD BASEBALL thread~!~!

Post by towney007 » Thu May 19, 2011 12:11 am

Mike Gonzalez is awful. We tore him apart Monday night. That was a deal that looked great at the time but completely fell apart. Thus, the volatility of relievers. Doling out multi-year deals to these guys? No way.

And I'm just baffled as to how the Rays are this good right now. Very good SP to be sure, but I'd be shocked to see them keep up this pace.
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Re: The BIG BAD BASEBALL thread~!~!

Post by Greg_McNeish » Thu May 19, 2011 12:23 am

Fair enough. It just seems strange that Intentional Walks are not included in the numerator of the formula, but ARE included in Plate Appearances, which is the denominator. So, rather than simply discarding them, they are calculated EXACTLY the same as if they struck out. This means that top hitters are actively HARMED by intentional walks, with regards to this statistic.

While I completely accept that Intentional Walks should not be included as a positive to the statistic, if it's going to be removed, it should be removed in its entirety. Simply modifying the denominator from "PA" to "PA - IW" would not affect the vast majority of batters, but would more accurately portray the production of the top hitters in the league.

/stats nerd
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Re: The BIG BAD BASEBALL thread~!~!

Post by Red_And_Yellow » Thu May 19, 2011 5:17 pm

My biggest statistical critique of baseball is an error. Why should the hitter lose points on his batting average if a player makes a mistake? IMO, it should be like a sac fly, doesn't count one way, or the other.
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Re: The BIG BAD BASEBALL thread~!~!

Post by Greg_McNeish » Thu May 19, 2011 5:23 pm

Disagreed. By the official rules, an Error is only to be charged if the Official Scorer feels that the play would have resulted in an out (except in cases of additional bases, which don't count against the AVG). So, the charging of an Error (and the subsequent blemish on Batting Average) is only supposed to occur in a situation where the batter would have been charged with on 0-for-1 At Bat anyway.
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Re: The BIG BAD BASEBALL thread~!~!

Post by Red_And_Yellow » Thu May 19, 2011 8:23 pm

Greg_McNeish wrote:Disagreed. By the official rules, an Error is only to be charged if the Official Scorer feels that the play would have resulted in an out (except in cases of additional bases, which don't count against the AVG). So, the charging of an Error (and the subsequent blemish on Batting Average) is only supposed to occur in a situation where the batter would have been charged with on 0-for-1 At Bat anyway.
Yes, but that doesn't mean the official rule is correct. I think if the fielder makes a mistake, you shouldn't be penalized for it.
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Re: The BIG BAD BASEBALL thread~!~!

Post by towney007 » Thu May 19, 2011 8:26 pm

If you're not getting credited for making plays that would have otherwise been hits 'outs', then it makes no sense for you to be penalized for causing 'hits' that would have otherwise been 'outs'.
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Re: The BIG BAD BASEBALL thread~!~!

Post by Red_And_Yellow » Sun May 22, 2011 3:06 pm

Just finished The Extra 2%, phenomenal read, best sports book I've ever read. Way more intriguing than Moneyball. Jonah Keri, well done sir, well done.
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Re: The BIG BAD BASEBALL thread~!~!

Post by Red_And_Yellow » Thu May 26, 2011 9:31 am

Wilson Valdez got the win for the Phillies last night, and Danys Baez didn't give up a run over five innings.....talk about befuddling.
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Re: The BIG BAD BASEBALL thread~!~!

Post by Greg_McNeish » Sun May 29, 2011 2:39 am

Today, José Bautista set a new Toronto Blue Jays record for hitting his 20th Home Run quicker than any player in franchise history.

J-Baut > J-Bout
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