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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Denny McLain Blog - Verlander, Cabrera, The Olympics!

The Year of the Biitcher continues…

First Porcello: please trade him before he loses his value. Are the tigers going to do the same thing that they did with Bonderman? They are going to hang on to Porcello until it is found out that he is only a suspect.

...There are two things that Verlander found out at the All Star game.

First, there is no fastball that big league hitters can’t hit. All pitchers get beat up no matter how good we think we are. What purpose does it serve to tell us if you think you’re throwing the ball at 102 miles per hour? One last time! No one throws a ball at 100 miles per hour! To suggest you can throw the ball at 100 miles an hour anytime you want is disingenuous and I hope that a guy with all of this talent does not believe his own clippings! Believing what the writers say and fans state is one way to believe that you are bigger than the game or any hitter…and none of us are that big!

...Why is Cabrera still hitting ahead of Prince Fielder? Fielder will hit 30-40 points higher if he’s in front of Cabrera.

I think that this is Jim just being bull-headed and letting everyone know that he’s running the team and no one else, but I don’t understand the bull hot headedness of Jim?

...We all know that the pitching in the Major Leagues is not the great pitching that was around in the 60’s and 70’s when I pitched but Cabrera does everything and anything with the bat, I have seen em all over the past 50 years and he is the guy that I would nominate as the best of all of them!

Repoz Posted: August 01, 2012 at 08:07 AM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: tigers

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   1. Dale Sams Posted: August 01, 2012 at 08:34 AM (#4197847)
Why is Cabrera still hitting ahead of Prince Fielder? Fielder will hit 30-40 points higher if he’s in front of Cabrera.


Fielder hits 8th in front of the pitcher?
   2. adenzeno Posted: August 01, 2012 at 08:53 AM (#4197857)
Didn't Bill James debunk the "protection" theory 30 years ago?
   3. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 01, 2012 at 08:58 AM (#4197859)
I don't think Fielder would necessarily hit for a higher average in front of Miggy, but I do think it would be a better lineup construction, as long as they aren't putting up a righty in the 2 hole.
   4. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: August 01, 2012 at 09:25 AM (#4197885)

"And can Dan Dickerson stop telling us the velocity of every pitch? Does he know that Comcast shows the velocity and does he have to give us the pitch count all the time?"

Dan Dickerson is the Tigers radio announcer.

   5. Ron J2 Posted: August 01, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4197964)
#2 James didn't precisely debunk it. He did some useful work, limited by the availability of sufficient data. Others followed in his wake with more data to work with. David Grabiner was probably the first to do a fairly detailed study on the matter, but there were others.

David Marasco wrote a min-FAQ on the matter. Basically, no evidence in favor of "strong protection" (IE what McClain was talking about). Some guys hit better when protected, some don't (Dale Murphy was the specific case James looked at) and the distribution of results looks normal.

There is plenty of evidence for "weak protection" IBBs go up when a hitter is not protected (definition of protected varies, but as long as the definition is close to sensible that's the result you'll get)

To be sure, IBBs are generally not a negative, but the raw number of HR rates to drop for a hitter who isn't protected.

   6. SoSH U at work Posted: August 01, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4197977)
There is plenty of evidence for "weak protection" IBBs go up when a hitter is not protected (definition of protected varies, but as long as the definition is close to sensible that's the result you'll get)


Just IBBs, or also UBBs (or UIBBs)?

   7. Ron J2 Posted: August 01, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4198085)
#6 It's pretty clear for the IBBs, murkier for anything else. One theory is that while lack of protection doesn't change results, it does change the shape of the results. According to that theory (considering only non-IBB PA), the OBP should rise and the SLG drop. There's no compelling evidence to support this theory though.
   8. Manny Coon Posted: August 01, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4198096)
They are going to hang on to Porcello until it is found out that he is only a suspect.


If anyone knows about being suspect, it is Denny McLain.
   9. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: August 01, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4198118)
There's no compelling evidence to support this theory though.

There isn't? I found stat. significant evidence for it long ago - but this was just me messing around, not anything I had reviewed + it'd be only one study out of many.
   10. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 01, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4198149)
Denny McLain is out of jail? Too soon.
   11. zonk Posted: August 01, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4198173)
Why no one has signed McLain and Canseco to do some sort of odd couple TV show yet is absolutely and wholly beyond me.

Whenever I finally get PE dollars lined up to start my new TrainwreckTV network, they're at the top of my development pipeline.
   12. Ron J2 Posted: August 01, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4198175)
#9 I'd be interested in seeing the study. One of the basic problems in doing a protection study lies in getting a useful definition of a hitter who can provide protection (see for instance David's study referenced earlier -- not everybody will agree with his definitions, but at least he announced the definitions before starting the study)

Then you have the problem of finding players with enough PAs protected and unprotected. You're always going to be dealing with sample sizes small enough that there will be predictable volatility in the results. If there are small but real effects it'd be tough to suss out given the noise.

   13. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: August 01, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4198179)

8- I didn't eat a piece of fresh fruit till I was 21. And it was a lime.
   14. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 01, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4198228)

Why no one has signed McLain and Canseco to do some sort of odd couple TV show yet is absolutely and wholly beyond me.

If you sign Jose, you run the risk that he'll send Ozzie in his place.
   15. Benji Posted: August 01, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4198237)
Earlier this week, we were subjected to Canseco, now Denny. Fay Vincent has to be next.
   16. zonk Posted: August 01, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4198279)
Why no one has signed McLain and Canseco to do some sort of odd couple TV show yet is absolutely and wholly beyond me.


If you sign Jose, you run the risk that he'll send Ozzie in his place.


If you're going to give away my midseason cliffhanger, at least have the decency to declare a spoiler alert.
   17. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: August 01, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4198340)
#9 I'd be interested in seeing the study.


So would I. I lost everything (baseball research related) from that time in my life years ago. Well, everything but, like, fifty 3.5" diskettes with source data, which I finally pitched a few years back. All I have left are vague memories...

Anyway, I agree with all of your concerns, as you might imagine.

I don't think what I did was that great (this was in the mid 90s) - one looked at midseason injuries to star hitters, then compared the performance of the guy who normally batted ahead of them before and after (and even that was proxied, I didn't have pbp data, used monthly splits), making sure that they didn't then have another stud batting behind them.
Another bit involved looking at hitters in season x (when they normally had a strong hitter behind them) v. season x+1 (when that person was gone, w/o a strong replacement) and comparing x+1 v. a simple projection for their performance for that season (as opposed to their year x numbers, not that that made a difference).
Found that measures like RC/27 didn't really move much, but that walks (intentional and otherwise) rose, power dropped.

Forget the sample size, it was small (30 each, maybe?).
   18. just plain joe Posted: August 01, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4198350)
Earlier this week, we were subjected to Canseco, now Denny. Fay Vincent has to be next.


No love for Lenny Dykstra?
   19. zonk Posted: August 01, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4198376)
No love for Lenny Dykstra?


Otherwise occupied...
   20. Repoz Posted: August 01, 2012 at 07:39 PM (#4198486)
Earlier this week, we were subjected to Canseco, now Denny. Fay Vincent has to be next.

I've been sent a few freebie Fay Vincent books recently...so if they want to bribe me for a link...
   21. Walt Davis Posted: August 01, 2012 at 09:33 PM (#4198553)
Why is Cabrera still hitting ahead of Prince Fielder? Fielder will hit 30-40 points higher if he’s in front of Cabrera.

Y'know, it had been a while since I'd looked at Prince's stats. Reading that, I assumed Prince was hitting 260 or something.

Prince is hitting 301.

Denny McLain thinks Prince Fielder could hit 330 or better? Cabrera himself is "only" hitting 322. 301 would be the highest BA of Prince's career.

In some ways Prince is having an off year. First, it's his worst ISO ever. I suppose that might improve if you moved him ahead of Cabrera. But they're not pitching around him -- he's got the lowest walk rate since his rookie year. Or if they are pitching around him, he's not letting them by swinging at too much -- he does have the lowest K-rate of his career (part of the BA jump -- his IP% is 72% this year, compared to 62% career). His HR/FB is in the tank.

I suppose it is possible that Prince is putting pressure on himself to produce in that spot and trying to be the RBI guy. Would that improve if he was in front of Cabrera? Hard to say -- they certainly won't pitch around him in that spot but will he be more selective and get his BB rate back up?

Anyway, I'm assuming this is a conscious effort on Prince's part to reduce his K-rate. Despite the drop in BB rate, his K/BB (always very good) is basically 1 as it was last year. If he maintains this K-rate and the power and BB rate bounce back, he'll be a monster. Similar to Ryan Braun -- who, just to screw with my storyline, is K'ing at the same rate as he did in 2008.

And I'll again aver that the best way to "protect" a hitter is to get guys on base in front of him. That way even if they pitch around your Pujols, he gets a BB.
   22. Bruce Markusen Posted: August 01, 2012 at 10:36 PM (#4198583)
I'll take one of those Fay Vincent books!
   23. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: August 02, 2012 at 02:29 AM (#4198644)
Verlander, Cabrera, The Olympics!


That's the worst attempt at a palindrome I've ever seen.
   24. Walt Davis Posted: August 03, 2012 at 09:15 AM (#4199573)
That's the worst attempt at a palindrome I've ever seen.

Well, there's Ipswitch as a palindrome of Bolton but it's possible that was a pun.

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