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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bauer and Cashner

Let’s start by putting their minor league track records side by side:

Cashner, AA+AAA: 134 IP, 97 H, 50 R, 1 HR, 45 BB, 130 K
Bauer, AA+AAA: 110 IP, 95 H, 40 R, 5 HR, 56 BB, 142 K

Cashner has faced 540 batters between those two levels while Bauer has faced 475, but overall, we see that they haven’t performed all that differently. Bauer’s advantage in strikeout rate (30% vs 24%) is pretty much canceled out by his extra walks (12% vs 8%), and then the difference in home runs allowed makes it advantage Cashner. In terms of FIP, Cashner comes out ahead 2.46 versus 3.08, so while his overall minor league performance has included fewer strikeouts, it included a better combination of all things that go into pitching well. If you want to include BABIP in the conversation, the gap actually own grows wider, as Cashner’s at .272 and Bauer’s at .329. I don’t think you should really care about a minor league pitcher’s BABIP over a sample of ~100 innings, but just figured it was worth pointing out that this isn’t a case where there’s a difference in hit prevention that FIP isn’t capturing.

We have to choose to care about strikeouts above all else to prefer Bauer’s AA+AAA line to Cashner’s, and even then, we probably need to note that the lower strikeout version of Andrew Cashner hasn’t been seen in a few years.

A pretty thorough analysis of two new guys with big time fastballs starting today in the NL West. Should be fun to see how they perform today and throughout the rest of the season considering the potential they both have.

Cowboy Popup Posted: June 28, 2012 at 12:41 PM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: diamondbacks, nl west, padres, prospects

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   1. valuearbitrageur Posted: June 28, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4168868)
but overall, we see that they haven’t performed all that differently


Link doesn't work, so w/o RTFA I have to say, uh, no.

Context matters and Bauer has been pitching in a league and stadium that makes the old humidor-less Coors field play like Dodgers Stadium in the mid 60s.

Cashner has crushed AA, and barely pitched in AAA, from what I can tell from the mobile BBRef site ( and the Iowa PCL context is far different than the Reno context).

   2. JJ1986 Posted: June 28, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4168873)
Jake Elmore is OPSing .999 at Reno. It's not a normal environment.
   3. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: June 28, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4168874)
Bauer-- 110 IP, 56 BB, 142 K. This guy is going to throw a lot of pitches in the Show..I see a lot of 5 1/3 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 5BB, 9K type lines until he gets the hang of it.
   4. Cowboy Popup Posted: June 28, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4168928)
Not sure why the link doesn't work, or how to fix it, here it is for real.
   5. Boxkutter Posted: June 28, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4168960)
If you want to include BABIP in the conversation, the gap actually own grows wider, as Cashner’s at .272 and Bauer’s at .329.

I think that this stat is actually a case for Bauer, not Cashner.
   6. SG Posted: June 28, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4168963)
I think that this stat is actually a case for Bauer, not Cashner.


I'm not sure about that. Obviously you have some fielder and park impact there, but if I had two pitching prospects with similar profiles and numbers I'd probably think the one with the lower BABIP against is a better bet to succeed in the majors. DIPS theory says there's a small variance in ability for major league pitchers in controlling BABIP against. I don't think it says that's true for all professional pitchers.
   7. valuearbitrageur Posted: June 28, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4169013)
DIPS theory says there's a small variance in ability for major league pitchers in controlling BABIP against


Both of these guys are pretty obvious major leaguers already.

Edit: and I think you misunderstand DIPS theory. It's possible that sample size; fielders, run environment make such a big difference that we can throw out BABIP for these two, but outside of knuckleballers and batting practice pitchers throwing 65 in the same spot, pitchers ate going to end up w/similar BABIPs given similar defense/run environments.

Cashner's FIPS should look great because of his HR rate, but given competition/environment I have no idea how much weight to give it. If he's naturally tAlented at suppressing the long fly, he should be amazing in Petco.
   8. zonk Posted: June 28, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4169020)
Links not working for me -

But IIRC, there was also about a 2 year age difference between Cashner's AA/AAA and Bauer's AA/AAA, no? In addition, Cashner has never been a picture of health.

Don't get me wrong, I like Cashner... but
   9. Cowboy Popup Posted: June 28, 2012 at 09:16 PM (#4169094)
Bauer's night is already over. 4 IP, only 74 pitches, 3 Ks, 3 BBs, 2 ERs. Any reason they pulled him at 74 pitches?

And Cashner has a no hitter through 5. 6 Ks, 1 BB. Cool.
   10. Sweatpants Posted: June 28, 2012 at 09:25 PM (#4169099)
Any reason they pulled him at 74 pitches?
It was 97 degrees at game time. That might have put him on a shorter leash than usual.
   11. Cowboy Popup Posted: June 28, 2012 at 09:55 PM (#4169112)
It was 97 degrees at game time. That might have put him on a shorter leash than usual.

That makes sense. Thanks.

Cashner has a no-no through six, 9 Ks, but even if he keeps it up, he's at 80 pitches so I don't think he gets there.
   12. Cowboy Popup Posted: June 28, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4169124)
Cashner's night ends in the 7th, when he gave up a 2 run HR. Since he pitches for the Padres, he is now up for the loss. His fastball sat between 97 and 99 on his last batter, which is Verlander-esque. Struck out 9 in 6 and 1/3 with 1 BB, 2 Hs and 2 ERs.
   13. shoewizard Posted: June 28, 2012 at 10:43 PM (#4169139)
Bauer was pitching on 3 days rest.....were you aware of that ?

Round 1 goes to Cashner. Great debut. Careful not to sprain your elbow patting yourself on the back though. ;)
   14. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 28, 2012 at 10:50 PM (#4169142)
Eh worth the price of rizzo
   15. Cowboy Popup Posted: June 28, 2012 at 10:50 PM (#4169143)
Bauer was pitching on 3 days rest.....were you aware of that ?

I was aware of almost nothing about these two. All I know is these guys strike guys out and are just getting started on their careers, Cashner was traded for Rizzo, and that Bauer likes to pitch up in the zone.

Round 1 goes to Cashner. Great debut. Careful not to sprain your elbow patting yourself on the back though. ;)

I am definitely pulling for Cashner to surprise some people. I can't help it, he throws so hard! I hope they are both awesome though, Cashner because he throws extremely hard and Bauer because he's got that ballsy, high fastball approach to pitching.
   16. base ball chick Posted: June 29, 2012 at 01:03 AM (#4169213)
i really thought the SOB was gonna no hit us - and i will say he was helped a LOT by the ump refusing to have a defined strike zone - hitters from both teams were seriously pisssed off

he did a great job and he can thank the ol WB for getting him offn the hook for the loss - a grand slam to a defensive replacement guy
   17. Tom T Posted: June 29, 2012 at 02:08 AM (#4169221)
Edit: and I think you misunderstand DIPS theory. It's possible that sample size; fielders, run environment make such a big difference that we can throw out BABIP for these two, but outside of knuckleballers and batting practice pitchers throwing 65 in the same spot, pitchers ate going to end up w/similar BABIPs given similar defense/run environments.


No, your interpretation is out-of-date (i.e., it adheres to a strict, early version of Voros's DIPS). In addition to the underlying talent level, BABIP is dependent on the type of hits one gives up. For example, a fly ball pitcher will generally tend to a lower BABIP than a ground ball pitcher with comparable RA numbers (e.g., fly balls are converted into outs at a higher percentage, but hits are more likely to be for extra bases, and homers -- which affect RA -- don't count against BABIP), and a guy who gives up lots of line drives isn't long to be considered a "major league pitcher". Regarding talent level, the more recent, nuanced version of DIPS argues that the year-to-year noise in BABIP is sufficiently large that we can't draw a conclusion about true talent level until we have large (multi-season) sample sizes. In effect, given that talent level changes with age, we really never quite have a good picture of current talent level until one has essentially fallen off the edge of being major-league caliber (at which point the inter-pitcher variance becomes much larger than the noise level associated with opponents, defenses, etc.).

Therefore, given that these guys were NOT in a comparable run context, the BABIP comparison isn't particularly useful. Had they been on the same team AND had the same defense behind them AND been similar pitchers (including, but not limited to GB/FB) then...yes, it could be suggestive of something. Of course, that "something" isn't necessarily "talent level" ... it could simply be "guy A makes Steve Trachsel look like a man on fire," which one can imagine could well contribute to a higher BABIP, unless the fielders actually remain awake and alert....
   18. shoewizard Posted: June 29, 2012 at 05:08 AM (#4169233)
turns out Bauer tweaked a groin muscle in the 3rd.

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