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Friday, September 19, 2014

Lindbergh: Dellin Betances’s Season & Bullpen Strategy

Dellin goes electric?

Despite being a setup man with only one save on the season, Betances has been lights-out enough to lead the majors in WPA — the first time a setup man has done so since Tyler Clippard in 2011. On the post-’88 leaderboard, though, the closers rise to the top, and Betances has to settle for a spot just inside the top 60.

Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: September 19, 2014 at 05:50 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: grantland, relief pitching, yankees

Lindbergh: Where Dellin Betances’s Season Ranks Historically, and What It Teaches Us About Bullpen Strategy

Despite being a setup man with only one save on the season, Betances has been lights-out enough to lead the majors in WPA — the first time a setup man has done so since Tyler Clippard in 2011. On the post-’88 leaderboard, though, the closers rise to the top, and Betances has to settle for a spot just inside the top 60.3

The Goldilocks stat we’re seeking — a counting stat that doesn’t discriminate based on leverage — is Run Expectancy Wins, or REW. Using a framework similar to WPA’s, REW calculates the difference between the number of runs a team is expected to score in the inning at the start and the end of each play, credits/debits the batter/pitcher accordingly, and then compiles the differences to arrive at a full-season total of wins added or subtracted. But because it’s not sensitive to inning or score — a two-out, bases-loaded strikeout counts the same in the seventh inning of a six-run game as it does in a ninth-inning tie — it’s closer to context-neutral than WPA, allowing us to pit Betances against guys who got the chance to finish more games.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Keri: How Washington Built a World Series Favorite

Or: How I Learned To Love Them Even Though They Stole My Team

The Washington Nationals became the first team to clinch their division this season…. Throughout the 2014 campaign, the Nats have conjured late-inning heroics and convincing blowouts alike while building the best record in the National League, and at 87-64, they’ve still got a shot at matching the 98-win 2012 Nationals for the best record in franchise history.1

That’s a damn miracle, considering that just five years ago this was the worst franchise in baseball, and a way station for the damned.

boteman Posted: September 18, 2014 at 05:25 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, grantland, jonah keri, nationals

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Jazayerli: Hitting Wins Championships: Why the Chicago Cubs’ Inverted Rebuilding Strategy Is Starting to Look Brilliant (Grantland)

I don’t simply mean that the Cubs are rebuilding with complete conviction; under the terms of MLB’s collective bargaining agreement, that’s really the only way to go.1 Nor do I mean that the Cubs are nearly the extremists that the Houston Astros are. I’m referring instead to the core principle with which the Cubs have been trying to build a championship roster since team president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer were hired after the 2011 season, a principle that distinguishes this rebuilding project from almost every other one in baseball history: They’re building an offense from within and a pitching staff from spare parts.

This flies in the face of more than a century of conventional baseball wisdom, which states that (1) pitching wins championships, and (2) a team can never have too much pitching. The Cubs’ approach is completely counterintuitive. It’s also completely right.

Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: August 12, 2014 at 07:48 PM | 75 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, grantland, rany jazayerli, theo epstein

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Curious Case of Mark Buehrle

By almost every metric, Mark Buehrle is a thoroughly average pitcher. So how has he managed to find such success, especially at his age?

 

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 17, 2014 at 12:06 PM | 75 comment(s)
  Beats: grantland, pick offs

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Grantland: The sad, financially successful legacy of baseball commissioner Bud Selig

This column never would have happened if baseball had a salary cap….

In many ways, Selig will be reckoned as one of the great commissioners of baseball. This is because, in the universe of baseball enthusiasts, the commissioner’s office always has been the repository of what Lewis Lapham once referred to as the American “wish for kings.” It was the commissioner’s office that threw out the Black Sox but winked at gamblers in other cities. It was the commissioner’s office that established the color line — thanks, Judge Landis! — and enforced it until Branch Rickey went rogue. It was the commissioner’s office that was the bulwark of the reserve system, defending it right up until the moment an arbitrator kicked it into the Hudson. Even afterward, when successive commissioners attempted to gain back de facto the control they had de jure, the commissioner’s office was central to nearly two decades of labor strife that reached an absurd peak with the collusion strategy of the late 1980s, which ensured another decade of labor strife that culminated in the landmark moment in Selig’s tenure in office — the cancellation of the 1994 World Series….

In all of this, and because my customary baseball agnosticism leaves me incapable of looking at him as anything more than a uniquely empowered career bureaucrat, Bud Selig has been the perfect man for this peculiar job. He is just authoritarian enough to please the people to whom he must truckle in order to keep his job. What the hell. It’s a living. And a nice one, at that.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 01, 2014 at 01:20 PM | 102 comment(s)
  Beats: bud selig, grantland

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

A Conversation With Jim Callis, the Greatest MLB Mock Drafter Who Ever Was or Will Be

That 2005 draft had a couple huge hits — I count two MVPs and about half a dozen All-Stars in that first round — and some huge busts. Who from that draft panned out the way you expected and who surprised you, for better or worse?

That was probably the best draft in the past 10 years. I thought Jeff Clement was going to be a really good player. Mariners fans will hate hearing this, but that was one of the picks that changed at the last minute. … Up until that final weekend, the Mariners were really locked in on Troy Tulowitzki. That was going to be their guy.

If you’d told me that [Clement] wasn’t going to catch, I would’ve said OK, but if you told me he was never going to do anything offensively in the big leagues, that would’ve surprised me.

The other thing I remember too was Jacoby Ellsbury. It seemed like Jacoby Ellsbury, at least according to the information I had, was the second choice, from 15 to 22, for about five of those eight teams, but the guy they had rated higher got to them.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 04, 2014 at 12:38 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: draft, grantland, jacoby ellsbury, jeff clement, jim callis

 

 

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