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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tiger Tales: Replacing V-Mart

Lee Panas projects Victor Martinez’ 2012 production, and that of some possible replacements.

Would Martinez have had a WAR of 5.0 again in 2012?  Probably not. He’d likely hit about as well overall (lower batting average, more homers).  However, he might lose a fraction of a win by not catching.  More importantly, we would not expect him to come anywhere close to his 2011 performance in situational hitting.  Even if he we think he would have hit a little better in clutch situations than other at bats in 2012, we would estimate that he would have had a WAR of about 3.0.

So, we have two questions: (1) How much will the Tigers lose going from Martinez in 2011 (5.0 WAR) to Player X in 2012?  (2) How much would they have lost going from Martinez’s expected performance in 2012 (3.0 WAR) to Player X in 2012?

fra paolo Posted: January 19, 2012 at 10:38 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: projections, tigers

The Platoon Advantage: Jack Morris is going to be a Hall of Famer, and that’s OK

BTW…I’m compiling a (H/T Moral Idiot) massivo (HA!) list of BBWAA ballotears for their Pro-Bonds/Clemens (9 as of now) ~ Anti-Bonds/Clemens (12 as of now) promised HOF ballots.

For a second thing: it’s getting to be a cliche by now, but it’s absolutely true that 2013 is going to be completely unlike any ballot that has come before. Jaffe’s reasoning is that “Morris probably won’t move up enough because it is such a strong batch of new guys.” I don’t think so. There are certainly a lot of should-be slam dunks coming in, but the only new guy who figures to finish particularly strong in the voting is Craig Biggio, and he’s far from a first-ballot lock. By and large, the guys interested in voting for Morris aren’t the same ones who might be tempted to bump Morris off because they’re voting for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens and Biggio, and/or some combination of deserving first-timers or holdovers like Mike Piazza, Sammy Sosa, Curt Schilling, Kenny Lofton, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and Edgar Martinez. If anything, the vast majority of them will bump any of those guys off (even Bonds or Clemens, maybe especially Bonds or Clemens) in favor of the presumptively “clean” Morris, who won’t have the fourteen shots left most of these guys will (assuming they get 5% of the vote, which I think will be a problem for Lofton and possibly Palmeiro).

Rather, the real 1999-like year, in terms of players the voters are actually likely to want to enshrine, is the following year, 2014: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas are all pretty close to first-ballot shoo-ins. You might as well think of 2013 as Morris’ last year on the ballot, because he’s not going in with those dudes.

So, that’s why I think Morris goes in next year. As amazing as the talent on the 2013 ballot is, it’s not going to pull many votes off of Morris, thanks to the “PE"D questions and because it’ll be viewed as his last realistic shot. It’s 2013 or nothing…and for 75%-plus of the voters, it’s going to be 2013. He’s going in. Might as well get used to it.

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 07:01 AM | 193 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, sabermetrics

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

RLYW: Salvaging a Sunken cost

Burnett projects to have an RA of 5.03 in CAIRO.  The following possible starting pitchers project better than that.

CC Sabathia (3.57)
Michael Pineda (4.37)
Freddy Garcia (4.55)
Brad Meyers (4.56)
Hiroki Kuroda (4.57)
Phil Hughes (4.63)
Ivan Nova (4.93)
...

If that’s true, then every start that goes to Burnett is a start that should be going to one of the above.

...

Unfortunately, since Burnett is owed $33 million over the next two years, the Yankees probably feel obligated to try and get some value out of him.

I don’t think they can do that by pitching him…. trading Burnett’s bad contract to another team for their bad contract might be a way to recoup some of that value.

fra paolo Posted: January 17, 2012 at 01:21 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cubs, mets, projections, white sox, yankees

Monday, January 16, 2012

THT: Jaffe: The possible upcoming Cooperstown ballot apocalypse

What should happen? Well, among non-Bonds/Clements voters, Biggio should get around 85 percent. With the others, he’ll get less in what’s already a crowded ballot for people willing to support PED-rs. I’d guess he gets 65-70 percent of their vote. Maybe less.

Upshot: Biggio has a very good shot to get in. Assuming he gets 85 percent of the non-Bonds/Clemens guys (and he really should, given the clustering of Molitor/Winfield/Murray right at 85 percent), and assuming Bonds and Clemens get about 40 percent of the vote, Biggio needs only 60 percent of the votes from the supporters of Bonds and Clemens. That should happen.

Actually, I find this a bit surprising. A week ago, I assumed that Biggio was doomed on this messy ballot. That would set off the real nightmare, because if everyone from this year’s vote went into next year, it would be that much harder for anyone to rise up.

But Biggio should go in next year. No one else should. If Fisk couldn’t get elected as the fourth-best new guy in 1999, Piazza won’t in 2012. Schilling will finish further down, and Sosa may be under 10 percent. As for the backloggers, Morris probably won’t move up enough because it is such a strong batch of new guys. I think he’ll get close but ultimately have to go to the VC.

VC = Viva Caputo!

Repoz Posted: January 16, 2012 at 03:17 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, site news

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Phil Rogers: Bean-counting GM Beane deserves a better place to work

And furthermore

(bullet) MLB should have a minimum payroll. It would require all teams to at least attempt to be somewhat competitive, and fairness is an issue. For instance, how much of an advantage will the Angels and Rangers have in the wild-card race because they have 19 games each against Oakland?

(bullet) According to Bill James’ projections, the Athletics’ most productive hitter next season will be DH Brandon Allen, with a slash line of .243/.327/.449, 22 home runs and 71 RBIs.

(bullet) Melvin is a major upgrade in the dugout, probably the best manager they’ve had since Tony La Russa (although Art Howe was much better than the movie’s portrayal by Philip Seymour Hoffman suggests).

(bullet) MLB scoffs at Forbes’ projections, but they’re the best available.

(bullet) Wolff is very close to Selig, but so far that does not appear to have gained him any advantages.

(bullitt) There are bad writers and there are good writers - and then there’s Rogers.

Repoz Posted: January 15, 2012 at 10:07 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, business, media, projections, sabermetrics

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Fangraphs: Can Yoenis Cespedes Showcase Talents In MLB?

Os as shape-shifter deluxe, Mitch Williams said the other day…“All Yoenis Cespedes does is hit ground balls!”

So although Cespedes was definitely one of the top power hitters in the Cuban League, his exploits are hardly all-world or necessarily the best in his own country. The Cuban parks seem to be very difficult to pitch in. According to Davenport’s translations — which probably have to be taken with a pound of salt given how few players make the transition from Cuban baseball to American professional baseball — Cespedes’s numbers still work out to above-average major league power. I don’t think this is a terribly surprising conclusion — it’s difficult to hit 33 home runs in 350 at-bats in any league. It just doesn’t necessarily mean a 60-homer season is coming in the states.

The next question relates to plate discipline.

...Cespedes has shown remarkable improvement from a hack-tastic first season, all the way to the point where he walked more times than he struck out in 2011. However, there is the question of how many of those walks were intentional — he was in the process of setting a new home run record, after all. Either way, Cespedes made excellent contact in each of the past four seasons and although his strikeouts will undoubtedly rise against the higher talent in the MLB, we shouldn’t expect him to be the next Austin Jackson.

...Just looking at the statistics Cespedes compiled in Cuba, there isn’t a glaring weakness which looks to tank his game upon landing with an American (or Torontonian) squad. He was as complete as a player can be in any league. Much of his value depends on his ability to play center field, of which there seems to be optimism around scouts. His Cuban numbers seem to suggest above-average power for the position already, and with any sort of plate discipline he has the ability to push an All-Star level in MLB. With his power and his superior athleticism and strength, the risk factor for Cespedes seems lower than with other relative unknown players, and the reward if he reaches his potential could be incredible.

Repoz Posted: January 14, 2012 at 07:51 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: international, projections, sabermetrics

Goldman: The Montero-Pineda Trade: Rotation Upgrade at a Sustainable Cost

Or as Barnald points out…“But this is the part of the upgrade that scares me!”

Pineda’s fastball sits around 95 and goes higher, and he has a swing-and-miss slider to go with it. There is also a changeup, but it’s notional and—well, you know all of this stuff if you’ve been on line at all today. Here are the negatives you’re going to hear about:

• He dominated right-handed hitters, but the lack of a good change means that lefties hit, well, still not well, but better.
• His ERA was 2.92 in pitcher-friendly Safeco, 4.40 on the road.
• His first-half ERA was 3.03, his second-half ERA was 5.12.
• He has fly-ball tendencies, which is a problem in Yankee Stadium.
• Batters hit .261 on balls in play, and such things don’t last.
• They could have gotten Cliff Lee or Felix Hernandez for him.
• He could get hurt.
• He cost the Yankees Jesus Montero, a very fine young hitter.

Repoz Posted: January 14, 2012 at 09:24 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, projections, sabermetrics, yankees

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Corcoran: The Hall of Fame chances of Jorge Posada, baseball’s Ringo Starr

Yeah, but shouldn’t Posada then be put through the Jim Keltner List and not the Ken Keltner List?

Yet, even moreso than his Beatles analog, Ringo Starr, Jorge Posada was an equal partner in baseball’s fab four, the quartet of Yankees teammates who debuted in 1995 and won seven pennants and five World Series together (though Posada, who played in just eight major league games in 1996, sat out the first of those).

That Posada is so comparable to Ringo, “the funny one,” who wrote just two Beatles songs and two of the worst at that, helps explain why he has had such a hard time being taken seriously as an all-time great at his position. However, news of his impending retirement, first reported by WFAN beat reporter Sweeny Murti last weekend, gives us a much-needed occasion to revisit Posada’s significance in baseball history. It’s fitting that the news about Posada arrived just days before the announcement of this year’s Hall of Fame class, as a case can be made that Posada is worthy of enshrinement, and it has nothing to do with his having kept time with sure-fire first-ballot inductees Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera or fellow borderline case Andy Pettitte, his Core Four brethren.

...Do the player’s numbers meet Hall of Fame standards?

This refers to James’ own formula-based Hall of Fame Standards, which are listed on the player pages at Baseball-Reference. Posada falls just short, scoring 40 points against the average Hall of Famer’s total of 50.

Jay Jaffe’s JAWS system has Posada even closer (40.2 points to the Hall standard of 42.6), but still just shy.

Repoz Posted: January 12, 2012 at 02:00 PM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, sabermetrics, yankees

MLB: Cubs front office calls on Bloomberg Sports

I knew he’d miss Bill James…

The Cubs are using every potential avenue to improve their club. Chicago announced Thursday that it will partner with Bloomberg Sports—a company already allied with MLB.com for fantasy baseball—to design a new player evaluation system for the team’s baseball operations department.

The player evaluation system is expected to combine video with an extensive database on all professional players, and it will also include customized technology to assist the evaluation process. The Cubs will be able to access their system via laptop and will have mobile capability, and the two sides will begin development and implementation of the program immediately.

“We are excited to partner with Bloomberg Sports and benefit from their world-renowned expertise in analytics and information management,” said Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. “The management and analysis of data—whether it be scouting reports, statistics, medical information or video—is a critical component of our operation.

“We look forward to developing a customized program that utilizes the most advanced and efficient technology available in the marketplace today to facilitate quicker, easier and more accurate access to all the sources of information we use to make baseball decisions.”

Repoz Posted: January 12, 2012 at 01:50 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, projections, sabermetrics

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Don Malcolm: PERSPECTIVIZING POSADA

Or as Rob Neyer just tweeted…“Good news! Still early January, and Don Malcolm’s already gotten in a gratuitous insult. With that out of the way…”

The thought of playing anywhere else probably also influenced Posada. Of all the ballparks in all the major leagues, the one he really didn’t want to walk out of (to rework that Casablanca reference just a bit…) was New Yankee Stadium. The revamped “House That Ruth George Built” proved to be exceptionally cozy for Jorge: in the three years he played there (at the advanced age of 37-39), the park literally kept his career going. He hit .302 there, with an OPS of .938. On the road, those number were considerably more wan—as in .209 and a .665 OPS. In 2011, Posada hit .165 away from the Bronx, with a .524 OPS.

Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t work in a couple of “midwestern angst” digs into this. First, Rob Neyer’s knee-jerk notion that Posada was held back from enough career games in 1996-99 to cost him a slot in Cooperstown wasn’t really worth the time it took to write the column. (That’s the Damoclean sword of the Internet—it just coerces that empty content out of you…)

There’s a good chance that Jorge will end up in the Hall—but it will be sometime after 2030 or so, when many more things have shaken out. Second, it turns out that Posada’s very favorite place to hit is—you guessed it—Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City (.340 BA, 1.011 OPS).

Repoz Posted: January 10, 2012 at 09:32 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, media, projections, sabermetrics, site news, yankees

MLB.com writers weigh in on 2013 HOF ballot

NEXT YEAR’S ASSHATINESS…TODAY!! (and I didn’t even get a chance to close my scurverzoid HOF notebook up!)

Hal Bodley
I will not vote for anyone linked to steroids. Never! That means Bonds, Clemens, Sosa fall into that category and will not get my vote. I do not feel Piazza, Schilling and Biggio are legitimate first-ballot candidates. So the only candidate at this point I’m certain I’ll vote for will be Morris—in his 14th try. Between now and then I might change my mind and go for Bagwell.

Ken Gurnick
I’m not voting for anybody from the steroid era.

Richard Justice
Voting for: Biggio, Bagwell, Raines, Morris, Fred McGriff, Piazza, Schilling.

Steroids will dominate the conversation because Bonds, Clemens and Sosa will be on the ballot for the first time. Piazza, like Bagwell, has been connected to steroids by nothing more than rumors, and that’s not good enough for me. Schilling is a lot like Morris in that he was at his best when the games meant the most.

Terrence Moore
Beginning in 2013, I’ll consider something even more so than I have before, and they are two words on my Hall of Fame list of rules: “integrity” and “character.” It says voters must take those words into account when selecting Cooperstown, folks. So no Bonds, Clemens or Sosa for me.

Repoz Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:09 PM | 76 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, sabermetrics, steroids

Monday, January 09, 2012

MLB.com writers cast their HOF ballots

Time was necessary for me to warm up to…the MLB.com ballots!

Carrie Muskat
Ballot: Larkin

I did not vote for Barry Larkin in the past, but after re-examining his numbers and talking to baseball people, I cast a ballot for the Reds shortstop this year. I have high standards, as do the ballplayers already in the Hall. Larkin not only impressed me with his stats but his role on the team as captain. Character counts in Cooperstown.

Terrence Moore
Ballot: Larkin, McGriff, Raines, Smith

They all had this in common: All were dominant at something (or several things) for long stretches. That’s the stuff of Cooperstown. Plus, they all had long Major League careers that didn’t have too many drops off the cliff surrounding their periods of greatness.

Marty Noble
Ballot: Larkin, Morris

Teams don’t win without reliable shortstopping. Larkin’s defense was reliable to the nth degree and occasionally spectacular. The Reds captain was a productive and clutch performer when he wasn’t in the field, and he was a fearsome postseason force.

Time was necessary for me to warm up to Morris. This ballot carries my first vote for him. My criteria include being the best at what you do for an extended period. The leading winner in a decade qualifies there, and Morris’ postseason resume is exquisite.

Repoz Posted: January 09, 2012 at 07:10 AM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, sabermetrics

Friday, January 06, 2012

Cameron: Adam Jones, Unfinished Product

I can’t imagine why the Braves would balk about trading their starting LF, a #3 starter AND “prime” pitching prospects for a new Jeff Francoeur…


Thursday, January 05, 2012

Speier: Pedroia: 2011 was best offensive season

Diffraction-unlimited!

In 2008, Pedroia hit .326 with a .376 OBP, .493 slugging mark, .869 OPS, 17 homers, 54 doubles, 20 steals and 118 runs. In 2011, Pedroia hit .307/.387/.474/.861 with 21 homers, 37 doubles, 36 steals and 102 runs. The 28-year-old suggested that he had a more mature approach to hitting and a better understanding of how he could help his lineup, a development best evidenced by his career-high 86 walks.

“To be honest with you, last year, I thought I had a better year than 2008. I walked a lot more. I stole more bases. I didn’t get there with the runs scored, but I think as an offensive player, I remember in ’08, I think I walked 50 times,” Pedroia said. “I was more of a hacker. I was up there trying to create instead of letting the game come to me. I was successful doing it. I found some holes. Let’s not kid ourselves, some balls fell in. It was good. I’m not saying it was a lucky .326 or whatever I hit, but now I’m smarter. I take my walks, which helps [Adrian Gonzalez], which helps [Kevin Youkilis]. If I’m on base more, our team is going to be that much better.

“I was able to do that last year. It helped me out. It helped put our team in a better position to score runs. I thought last year was probably my best offensive year.”

...“For an offensive approach, for me, I never look at numbers for evaluating how I was that year offensively. There’s only so many things I can change. You can hit the ball on a line five times, they catch all of them and you have nothing to show for it. You can hit five bleeders and they all fall in and you’re the greatest player ever,” said Pedroia. “For me, I only want to get better every year. I want to get smarter every year. I want to know how pitchers are going to pitch to me, if I need to take more walks, steal more bases, score more runs.”

Repoz Posted: January 05, 2012 at 07:09 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: history, projections, red sox, sabermetrics

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

MLB: Astros add two to baseball operations staff

Astroland: A Team’s Obsessive Bid to Win the World’s Most Ruthless Baseball League!

The Astros have hired Sig Mejdal as Director of Decision Sciences and Stephanie Wilka as Coordinator of Amateur Scouting, General Manager Jeff Luhnow announced today.

Mejdal, 46, had worked with the St. Louis Cardinals since 2005, most recently as Director, Amateur Draft Analytics. While with the Cardinals, he was involved with modeling, analysis and data-driven decision making throughout all levels of the organization and was a key contributor in the draft decision processes that led to more Major League players than any other organization during that time frame.

Mejdal earned two engineering degrees at the University of California at Davis and later completed advanced degrees in Operations Research and Cognitive Psychology/Human Factors. He has also worked at Lockheed Martin in California and for NASA. Mejdal has been active in baseball statistics and analytics since earning his membership in The Society for Baseball Research (SABR) while in grade school.

Repoz Posted: January 03, 2012 at 08:20 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, business, media, projections, sabermetrics

THT: Jaffe: Next week’s Cooperstown election results today

From the Daniel Dunglas Home of predictions…Chris Jaffe produces…

Based on the above criteria and my own semi-informed guesses, here are my predictions alongside last year’s performance to show the predicted change:

Name	      2012	2011
Barry Larkin	82	62
Jack Morris	65	54
Jeff Bagwell	54	42
Lee Smith	52	45
Tim Raines	52	38
Edgar Martinez	39	33
Alan Trammell	32	24
Larry Walker	27	20
Mark McGwire	24	20
Fred McGriff	24	18
Dale Murphy	19	13
Don Mattingly	18	14
Rafael Palmeiro	15	11
Bernie Williams	12	XX
The Rest	 3	XX


That’s 5.18 names per ballot, which would be a clear all-time low – and yet it might still be too high. You’re better taking the under than the over on 5.18 names/ballot.

Good news for Reds fans – Barry Larkin is going in easily. A guy in the low 60s rarely makes the jump over 75 percent like this, but this isn’t a normal year.

Repoz Posted: January 03, 2012 at 06:22 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, site news

Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 Hall Of Fame Ballot Collecting Gizmo

UPDATE (1:40) ~~~ 148 Full Ballots.

89.2 - B. Larkin
58.8 - Jack (The Jack) Morris
56.8 - Bagwell
52.0 - T. Raines
44.6 - Lee Smith
36.5 - Trammell
32.4 - E. Martinez
23.6 - F. McGriff
18.2 - L. Walker
17.6 - McGwire
12.2 - D. Murphy
11.5 - R. Palmiero
10.1 - Mattingly
  3.4 - Bernie Williams !
  1.4 - J. Gonzalez
  0.7 - V. Castilla
  0.7 - B. Mueller
  0.7 - T. Salmon
  0.7 - P. Rose (write-in)

As usual, if you come across any ballots…send them in!

 

Repoz Posted: December 30, 2011 at 04:20 PM | 300 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, projections

Rosenthal: Steroid Era complicates Hall balloting

(beep) The Robothal ballot…

Of course, it’s impossible to sort out who did what, and to what extent. Many of my colleagues, rather than try to calculate the incalculable, dismiss the steroid question entirely and simply vote on players’ numbers. I get their point. I’m tempted to adopt their approach. But to me, it’s a cop-out.

That’s not to say that I know what the answer is; the candidacies of Bonds and Clemens, both of whom become eligible for the Hall next year, will be the most difficult yet. If voters reject most confirmed or suspected users, they will risk eliminating an entire generation of players — a notion that bothers me almost as much as embracing the entire generation without pause.

For now, all I know is one thing: I’m not withholding votes based on hearsay and innuendo.

I voted for Bagwell. Easiest decision in a while.

Jeff Bagwell
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Fred McGriff
Tim Raines
Lee Smith
Alan Trammell

Repoz Posted: December 30, 2011 at 01:49 AM | 98 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, rumors, sabermetrics, steroids

Monday, December 26, 2011

Goold: ‘Rarity’ Fielder remains unsigned

Inside the Boras Binder on Prince Fielder (“It’s NOT a cookbook!”...Graeme Lloyd Bochner stares in total disbelief).

The binder contains glorious statistical factoids:

• Only three Hall of Fame first basemen had as many as 200 home runs by the age of 27: Jimmie Foxx, Orlando Cepeda and Killebrew. Fielder has 230.

• Fielder is the seventh player to hit 32 home runs or more in five seasons by the age of 27. The others: Miguel Cabrera, Eddie Mathews, Pujols, Rodriguez, Foxx and Vlad Guerrero.

• Pujols and Fielder are the only players with at least 32 home runs in each of the past five seasons.

• Fielder hit a home run that reached a velocity of 119.2 mph, the highest of any homer this past season, according to ESPN Stats.

• He is the only player to average .280 with more than 40 homers and at least 100 RBIs from 2007 to 2011. (Not mentioned: Pujols averaged .324, 39 homers and 114 RBIs in that same period.)

“You see who has as many home runs by the age of 27 at first base and you see Jimmie Foxx and Lou Gehrig and the list is only four guys,” Boras explained this month. “You have to double-check. Then you start looking at what accomplishments this man has had at such a young age. You look at the game and the younger core that’s coming and you’d say there’s no one (like Fielder). You’re going to have to average 37 home runs in this period of time. Who’s going to do that?”

Repoz Posted: December 26, 2011 at 02:43 PM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, business, history, media, projections, sabermetrics

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Don Malcolm: THE HALL OF FAME LOGJAM: A PERFECT STORM DISPELLED…

Haven’t gone through this yet (headwrapping Shugo Tokumaru/Black Moth Super Rainbow is time consuming!).

And what’s likeliest to happen over the course of the next few years is that the BBWAA will single out the most controversial (read: arrogant) players from the age of PEDs and make examples out of them. As a voting group, they know that it would be impolitic to bar the doors of Cooperstown to all the players from the wraparound decades (1990s/2000s). They also know (when they are not pontificating) that the Mitchell Report is not…a perfect instrument.

To leave too many of these players out of the Hall of Fame based on the unreliable evidence that has been assembled would make everyone look bad.

And thus the real catastrophe would happen in Cooperstown, New York, where the ongoing financial health of the Hall of Fame—dependent on a PR stream from new inductees—would be seriously threatened.

Though many erstwhile revolutionaries would love to see the Hall crumble into dust, they should not hold out false hope for such an occurrence. The BBWAA isn’t going to be party to that, no matter how devoutly one might wish it so. They will be stepping back from this brinksmanship and making an example of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.

And there is tremendous good fortune in the fact that the two greatest players of the “age of PEDs” will be systematically ostracized. It will force the BBWAA to examine players that would otherwise get less attention in the voting process. This will serve to sustain several worthy candidates through what will be a crowded ballot period (people like Raines and Edgar Martinez) and give them a chance to be enshrined within the fifteen year period.

Repoz Posted: December 24, 2011 at 12:33 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, sabermetrics, steroids

Friday, December 23, 2011

NYT: Coaching, Not ‘Moneyball,’ Will Improve Teaching

I love the part where Brother Constance gets socked in the jaw!

However, despite a bevy of superstars and data-driven prognostications for success, the 2011 Red Sox fell short of the playoffs for the second consecutive year. Sports pundits were quick to suggest that the team’s shortcomings came neither in talent nor ability, but in leadership, team chemistry and effective coaching.

This made me think about my workplace. So much of the conversation about school reform has focused on the themes of data and testing-based measures of teacher quality; competition among both teachers and schools; and the eradication of teacher tenure and guaranteed pay raises. These policies, the argument goes, would compel better teaching and thus lead to better schools.

But there is something missing from this equation, just as it was missing from this year’s Red Sox.

...Statistics tell a great story on paper. We can use all of the advanced metrics we want to assess an individual’s efficacy. We can adjust someone’s pay based upon past performance. And we can make it easier to replace those we no longer deem suitable for the job.

But it is harder to quantify a team of engaged practitioners, led in their collaborative efforts to excel by fellow practitioners who know the craft well.

I’m a Red Sox fan. Trust me: I know.

Repoz Posted: December 23, 2011 at 07:46 PM | 86 comment(s)
  Beats: history, projections, red sox, sabermetrics

Megdal: David Wright’s future should include the Hall of Fame, not the Colorado Rockies

After finally solving the troublesome Bob Aspromonte Hall Problem…the Mets want to do what?!

Among third basemen through age 28, David Wright is seventh all-time in OPS+ with 134. That’s not seventh all-time among Mets third basemen—that’s seventh among all third basemen in M.L.B. history. The only six ahead of him are Eddie Mathews, Frank (Home Run) Baker, Wade Boggs, George Brett, Chipper Jones and Mike Schmidt. That’s five Hall of Famers and in Jones, a clear sixth. The man just behind Wright, Ron Santo, just got elected to the Hall of Fame as well.

It’s often remarked that Wright is in some kind of premature decline. And sure, facts are facts: Wright was a star from 2004-2008, but in the past three years—since Citi Field opened—he’s been relatively pedestrian.

...Looking ahead, if Wright is to return to his 139 OPS+ levels of 2004-2008, he’ll be in extremely select company. Only Mike Schmidt, Alex Rodriguez (who famously moved from shortstop to third base for Derek Jeter), George Brett and Wade Boggs produced that well at third base from ages 29-32. In all four cases, they improved their production over what they’d posted through age 28, or in Brett’s case, simply maintained. In all four cases, that defies baseball’s aging curve.

Of the other three third basemen who’d been better than Wright, ever, Chipper Jones also improved from age 29-32 relative to his OPS+ through age 28. Frank Baker actually retired for a season after turning 28, came back after a year layoff, and was never the same. Only Eddie Mathews among these elite third basemen followed the typical aging curve, with an OPS+ of 153 through age 28, 138 from ages 29-32.

Repoz Posted: December 23, 2011 at 03:31 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, mets, projections, sabermetrics

Dewan: Diamondbacks Sign Kubel - I Don’t Get It

Hitch your jalopying Kubelwagen to a future star!

Last year Kubel, a lefty, hit .273 with 12 homers and a .766 OPS in about 400 plate appearances.  Parra, also a lefty, hit .292 with 8 homers and a .784 OPS in just under 500 plate appearances.  Parra created 71 runs to 59 for Kubel.  Given the fewer plate appearances for Kubel, you can say offensively the two players were pretty even.  But it’s defense that made Parra a much better player than Kubel in 2011.  Parra saved an estimated 12 runs for Arizona last year. He won a Gold Glove in recognition for his superlative play in the field.  Kubel cost his team about 3 runs defensively.  That 15-run difference is huge.

...The most interesting number is the projected Runs Created, the Bill James statistic that measures total offensive contribution.  Kubel has 77 projected runs created while Parra has 78.  Parra has a few more at-bats, but I think you can easily say that these two players are pretty close offensively.

But not defensively.  In the last three seasons Parra has saved 33 runs defensively while Kubel has cost his team a total of 3.  That’s 36 runs better for Parra, and it makes him a better overall player than Kubel.  Factoring offense and defense, you can estimate that with similar regular playing time, Parra will produce about 85-90 runs when you add in his defense compared to 75-80 runs for Kubel.

It’s possible that the Diamondbacks know something that we don’t know.  Maybe they have another deal in the works.  Maybe there’s something wrong with Parra.  Maybe they can project players better than we can.  But whatever it is, I don’t get it.

Repoz Posted: December 23, 2011 at 11:48 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, history, projections, sabermetrics

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mackey: Don’t laugh, but healthy Mauer, Morneau vault offense near top ?

Leapin’ Lavillenie’s! Good luck with that.

- The team run total projection was derived by using David Smyth’s base runs estimator formula—a formula that is generally accurate within 10-15 runs.

...- The biggest reason for the jump in runs, besides health, would be due to a massive injection of on-base percentage—specifically with Carroll and Willingham. Mauer and Morneau are on-base machines as well, when healthy.

- If any of these players performs better or worse than the numbers listed, the overall run total of the team will obviously be affected. In other words, if Morneau struggles like he did last season, all bets are off—and 771 runs could turn into 720 or fewer, and so on.

- Plate appearances for each player were rough estimates, and they may be optimistic in the cases of Span, Mauer and Morneau.

- It’s highly likely the Twins will use more than the 13 batters listed. In that case, the additional players will cut into the playing time of those listed above (Drew Butera and Joe Benson, for instance). Those additional players may or may not affect the overall end run total.

Scoring 771 runs would have ranked the Twins fourth in baseball last season behind the Red Sox (875), Yankees (867), Rangers (855) and Tigers (787).

But what are the chances Mauer and Morneau are healthy and productive for six months?

 

Repoz Posted: December 22, 2011 at 11:59 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: history, projections, sabermetrics, twins

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

HHS: 2012 Career milestones

Thanks to Baseball-Reference.com’s milestones page, we can see which players have a shot at major career milestones in 2012.

Ivan Rodriguez and Omar Vizquel both need about 150 hits to reach 3,000. It seems unlikely that either will get it, in 2012 or beyond.

Paul Konerko needs just 4 homers for 400. Vladimir Guerrero is 1 homer from 450 and Albert Pujols is 5 from the same mark. Unless one of those guys puts up a monster season, nobody will reach 500 homers in 2012.

Manny Ramirez needs 174 total bases to be the 20th player to reach 5000. I’ll go ahead and bet against this happening.

If Alex Rodriguez can get 103 RBI, he’ll pass Barry Bonds for 4th all-time behind just Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, and Cap Anson.

Roy Halladay needs 12 wins for 200. Tim Wakefield is the winningest active pitcher and he has 200 exactly. We aren’t going to see another 300-game winner for a long time—at least 5 years, probably at least 7 or 8.

Thanks to CF.

Repoz Posted: December 21, 2011 at 12:15 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: history, projections

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