Tuesday, May 12, 2015
The gritty, gutsy, scrappy underdogs are attracting some attention:
After hammering the Rays 11-5 on Monday in a five-homer outburst that included Rodriguez’s eighth, the Yankees are 21-12 and owners of the best record in the American League. Maybe you dreamed of an under .500 season; maybe you dreamed of Rodriguez getting released in July, the Yankees finally just eating his contract; maybe you dreamed of Joe Girardi losing his cool one evening and going on a Hal McRae-like rant in his postgame interview.
Instead, it’s your worst nightmare. The Yankees are good. They’re not going away, especially in what’s shaping up to be a mediocre AL East. This isn’t the year we get to bury the Yankees. This is a Stephen King novel come to life, and the Yankees are once again the bad guys ... only they’re disguised as the good guys.
That’s right. I’m going to say it, and I rewrote this sentence 49 times because it’s hard to admit: This team is likable, fun to watch and giving us a story much more interesting than an aging, broken-down team on its way to 85 or 90 losses.
. . .
But in a flawed division, the Yankees appear to be the least flawed team right now. According to FanGraphs, the Yankees’ odds of winning the division are at 54 percent.
Our long national nightmare could be over if the Yankees end their two-year playoff drought this season.
Saturday, May 09, 2015
You are transported back in time to, say, 1960. You have none of your money or possessions. Assume you luck your way in to an assistant GM position in an MLB front office as a way of making a living. There is no Baseball-Reference. There is no Fangraphs. There is no Excel. How do you go about using your present knowledge of advanced baseball statistics to your advantage? How do you go about getting the GM to heed your advice?
Jeff Sullivan: Well, let’s see. Shifts would be easy enough. Very simple concept to convey
Jeff Sullivan: I might be able to get across the core components of DIPS theory, and I’d talk about the run value of getting on base, no matter how it’s done
Jeff Sullivan: And then we’d eyeball-test the starting pitchers, and we’d talk about fatigue and times through the order. The team would end up being aggressive with its bullpen
Friday, April 10, 2015
According to the rule, Tulowitzki isn’t violating anything. He kept a foot in the box, which is basically it. But that didn’t stop him from going through his full and familiar routine… So the rule really doesn’t address this sort of behavior. Maybe you’ll shave off a second or two, but frequently, players would go through their idiosyncrasies while they wandered away from the box. Now they’ll just do them in the box. The rule essentially forces catchers and umpires to watch batters adjust their equipment. They used to do it more politely on the side.
Put it all together and you have this: Troy Tulowitzki has observed the new rule. When he needs to, he keeps that foot in the box, so as not to be in violation. This despite there not yet being any real discipline for offenders. And, last year, Tulowitzki’s between-pitch pace averaged 27.9 seconds. In the early going this year, he’s averaged 28.4 seconds. There has been some element of concern that changing the rules could disrupt hitter timing. Doesn’t seem like the kind of thing anyone will have to worry about. For Troy Tulowitzki, the game hasn’t changed. He’ll just look a tiny bit worse to his pedometer.
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
fWAR, specifically for pitchers, is riddled with minor problems that together make the metric less valuable. In Part 1 of the series, we’re going to look at a hotly debated issue regarding fWAR that has been brought up by other readers before: the fWAR park factors.
According to the FanGraphs glossary, a basic runs park factor is used when calculating fWAR. Because FIP models ERA, using runs park factors for FIP shouldn’t be a problem.
Unfortunately, this idea simply isn’t true. ...
Thursday, December 04, 2014
I’m think this was already debunked, but Cameron has more in depth analysis showing it’s a recent uptick in % of total PA given to lefties, combined with this year’s FA crop lacking much pop from the right side, that’s led to a (probably) temporary shortage. The more interesting thing is how bad lefties have been recently. LOOGYS man. As a fellow lefty that once struck out against GLIAC DIII lefty legend (and 7th round pick of the Cleveland Indians turned AA flameout) Jim Deters on 9 or 10 pitches in 3 ABs I can sympathize:
For all the hype about the lack of right-handed power in the game, it’s left-handed power that should have been put on a milk carton last summer. In the 2014 season, 38 right-handed batters hit 20 or more home runs, which was down a bit from the 40-60 range that the “Steroid Era” had made common, but still a reasonably decent number. You know how many left-handed hitters whacked 20 home runs last year? Only 15, down from 27 the year before, well below the 30-40 range established during the time when Barry Bonds reigned supreme.
And it’s not just the lack of dingers; left-handed batters were far less effective in 2014 than they have been historically. Over the last four years offense from left-handed batters has cratered: righties were better overall hitters than left-handers last year, which is a stark reversal from historical norms. This is the winter to be a right-handed hitter on the free-agent market, because teams are flush with cash and many of them are trying to balance out lineups that have become too left-handed
for his generous support.
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