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Monday, February 11, 2013

D Backs hope to overachieve and beat Pythag

“Last year, we scored more runs than in the previous year. It’s not all how many runs you score. In 2011, we were very good and efficient at winning close ballgames. Last year, we weren’t. If you look at statistics, high-leverage situations we were not good. Late and close we were not good. Yet we improved ourselves with runners in scoring position. 2007 was the same way, we had a negative run differential (and still won 90 games). That’s what we’re looking for. We’re looking for the net effect.”

*Gibson on last season: “I can say that 81-81 does not sound good to me at all. I took it very personally. I take responsibility for it. You analyze why does that happen. Again, you analyze numbers and reality and in 2011 we overachieved. In 2012 we underachieved. We want to overachieve again regardless (of what people predict).”

Well, at least we know what the plan is now.

shoewizard Posted: February 11, 2013 at 11:48 PM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: diamondbacks, general, pythag

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   1. Tripon Posted: February 12, 2013 at 10:36 AM (#4367730)
The plan kinda sucks. "Lets fluke our way to a winning season!"
   2. Ron J2 Posted: February 12, 2013 at 11:23 AM (#4367808)
#1 It's not precisely fluking their way. I mean pythag has a standard error of just over 3.5 per 162 so there is some wiggle room in the first place. Some managers (If Dag is lurking, I think he can provide the specifics) have a demonstrated ability to beat their pythags.

The problem with Gibson's examples are:

a) there aren't that many runs/wins available from RISP skill -- even if you could identify the handful of players who may have it. As I've mentioned before, there's over a 95% confidence that Paul Molitor's late career(last 14 years of his career) results were evidence of a real ability. It only added ~ 2 runs a year though.

b) There's pretty clear evidence that late game pitching can help you beat your pythags. (awkward phrasing I know. Really good bullpens or bullpens made up of studs and duds with the manager correctly identify who they are) But it's the kind of thing that turns an 81 win team into an 83, 84.

So if he's planning on beating the phytags by a lot -- well it could happen but you shouldn't expect it to.
   3. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 12, 2013 at 11:48 AM (#4367849)
There's pretty clear evidence that late game pitching can help you beat your pythags. (awkward phrasing I know. Really good bullpens or bullpens made up of studs and duds with the manager correctly identify who they are)


That is more or less exactly what happened with the Diamondbacks in 2011.

-- MWE
   4. RMc's Yelling Mob of Hackmen Posted: February 12, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4367852)
D Backs hope to overachieve and beat Pythag

"Is Pythag still in the league?"
   5. valuearbitrageur Posted: February 12, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4367855)
That is more or less exactly what happened with the Diamondbacks in 2011.


And in 2007. Kendrick is doomed to learn the same lessons every 4 years or so.
   6. DA Baracus, Braves Intern Posted: February 12, 2013 at 12:19 PM (#4367904)
We want to overachieve again regardless (of what people predict).


"That's why we traded some of our best players. You can't be scrappy overachievers with top talent."
   7. tfbg9 Posted: February 12, 2013 at 12:47 PM (#4367946)
"Is Pythag still in the league?"

"Yes. And we play them the final weekend of the year."

"Gulp."
   8. shoewizard Posted: February 12, 2013 at 05:59 PM (#4368322)
Check out THIS VIDEO and go to the 1:55 Mark and the points they are trying to make about Late and Close situations.

They really don't understand that regression was going to take care of more than half of the problem. Unfortunately they tried to address it by signing Eric Hinske and Eric Chavez, in part. But recent history suggests thats not likely to be much help.

Hinske Career Late and close suggest he hasn't been reliable at all the last 5 years in those situations. His Pinch Hitting hasn't been of much help either lately. (Same numbers to some extent of course.

Same with Eric Chavez. Dreadful last 5 years in Late and Close.

These guys just don't catch up to late inning reliever heat, most likely.

Even clutch God Cody Ross has slowed down a bit in L&C situations the last 3 years, but still above league avg sOPS+

And Martin Prado has been pretty good in his career in these situations too, but just league avg in 2011 and below avg in 2010.

So obviously no guarantees.

I just think it's interesting that they specifcally mentioned bringing in these guys because they were trying to address Late and Close deficiency from 2012.


EDIT....tried to use the permanent link for the career splits for each guy but they all just come up "no such player" Some glitch at BB-REF

Oh well...go to their player pages and career splits and click on late and close if you are interested. It's not that big a deal..the point is that they are trying to actually use data and splits to bolster their direction, and are probably hoping nobody will notice the data doesn't support them at all.











   9. shoewizard Posted: February 12, 2013 at 06:05 PM (#4368325)
NVM



   10. Brian Posted: February 12, 2013 at 09:16 PM (#4368427)
2007 was the same way, we had a negative run differential (and still won 90 games). That’s what we’re looking for.”


Finally something that perfectly explains their off-season moves. Congratulations Mr. Towers, you have almost guaranteed a negative run differential. Fine work indeed.
   11. shoewizard Posted: February 13, 2013 at 12:08 AM (#4368490)
Ironically CAIRO projected standings has the D Backs with a better run differential and record in version 3 after the Upton trade then in version 2 prior to it.

The pitching playing time projections are off though as he has 200-300 too many innings projected in each version,.
   12. shoewizard Posted: February 13, 2013 at 12:19 AM (#4368491)
   13. 1k5v3L Posted: February 13, 2013 at 10:24 AM (#4368645)
Dbacks success life-cycle in a nutshell:

Overview of last 6 years:

2007 - Overachieve, win division, make playoffs, owners and new GM think they are so #### smart
2008 - Come with high expectations, struggle in summer, execs wonder what the #### happened
2009 - Struggles continue, blame for poor roster placed on manager, who gets fired in season
2010 - Struggles continue, general manager fired, owners look like deers in headlights
2011 - Overachieve, win division, make playoffs, owners and new GM think they are so #### smart
2012 - Come with high expectations, struggle in summer, execs wonder what the #### happened

Prediction for next 3 years:

2013 - Struggles continue, blame for poor roster placed on manager, who gets fired in season
2014 - Struggles continue, general manager fired, owners look like deers in headlights
2015 - Overachieve, win division, make playoffs, owners and new GM think they are so #### smart

   14. Shredder Posted: February 13, 2013 at 10:30 AM (#4368652)
Shouldn't the goal be to play so damn well that you can technically "underachieve" per pythag and still win the division? Seems like a safer (albeit difficult) route to take.
   15. 1k5v3L Posted: February 13, 2013 at 10:32 AM (#4368654)
Main caveat is if Ken Kendrick and Derrick Hall will have the balls to fire Gibson and Towers if the team tanks early and tanks badly. Difference last time around was that Josh Byrnes was a Jeff Moorad guy, and when Moorad got pushed out in power struggle, firing Byrnes was easy. This time around, Towers and Gibson are Kendrick and Hall guys, and they even let Kendrick and Hall play in the sandbox with them. Honestly, I'd love to be a fly on the wall the day Kendrick and Hall call Gibson in his office to hand him the pink slip. they might hide behind 3 inch thick plexiglass.
   16. Nasty Nate Posted: February 13, 2013 at 10:41 AM (#4368667)
Shouldn't the goal be to play so damn well that you can technically "underachieve" per pythag and still win the division?


Playing so damn well and underachieving per pythag usually don't go together. None of the division leaders last year underachieved per pythag.
   17. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 13, 2013 at 10:47 AM (#4368678)
Playing so damn well and underachieving per pythag usually don't go together. None of the division leaders last year underachieved per pythag.
That's a bit of a fluke result. Three of six division winners underperformed Pyth in 2011 and 2010, one of six in 2009 and two of six in 2008. You'll expect more Pyth overperformers than underperformers among division winners for obvious reasons, but it's reasonably common to be good enough to take the divisional pennant without winning more games than RS/RA projects.
   18. shoewizard Posted: February 13, 2013 at 12:45 PM (#4368808)
Michael Lewis should follow around the D Backs this year. If they manage to make the playoffs it would be a great anti moneyball story. They could even make a movie.

Who wants to be the casting director ?
   19. just plain joe Posted: February 13, 2013 at 02:30 PM (#4368933)
Overview of last 6 years:

2007 - Overachieve, win division, make playoffs, owners and new GM think they are so #### smart
2008 - Come with high expectations, struggle in summer, execs wonder what the #### happened
2009 - Struggles continue, blame for poor roster placed on manager, who gets fired in season
2010 - Struggles continue, general manager fired, owners look like deers in headlights
2011 - Overachieve, win division, make playoffs, owners and new GM think they are so #### smart
2012 - Come with high expectations, struggle in summer, execs wonder what the #### happened

Prediction for next 3 years:

2013 - Struggles continue, blame for poor roster placed on manager, who gets fired in season
2014 - Struggles continue, general manager fired, owners look like deers in headlights
2015 - Overachieve, win division, make playoffs, owners and new GM think they are so #### smart


Just think, if the Royals, or the Pirates, or several other teams, had this same timeline for results, their fans would be ecstatic. Two division titles in a nine year span would look very good to a lot of teams.
   20. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: February 13, 2013 at 03:27 PM (#4368994)
Who wants to be the casting director ?

Tim Burton? Wes Craven?
   21. shoewizard Posted: February 14, 2013 at 06:30 PM (#4369973)
In 2011 they had a .348 BABIP in L&C, vs. league avg .297. The next highest BABIP in L&C was .315

In 2012 they had a .239 BABIP in L&C, vs. league avg .297. The next lowest BABIP in L&C was .258

And while their 2012 K Rate of 24.5% was a little higher than lg. avg 22.8% in such situations, the number 1 & 2 teams in L&C OPS, the Reds and Brewers, both had K rates higher than lg. avg too. (Reds 23.9%, and Brewers 23.3%) And their 2011 L&C K Rate of 22.5% was higher than league average 21.3%!!

Making more contact, expanding the zone late in games was NOT THE ISSUE !

It's amazing to me that they built an entire series of off season moves based on completely misunderstanding what was happening, and thinking they could address it by getting Gritty clutch players. I know I shouldn't be surprised, but in this day and age, there should be somebody in the front office point this out to them, no ????

What a terrible process.





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