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Saturday, December 07, 2013

Fay: Players’ sentiments can’t be discounted

The Aroldis Chapman situation…

The logical thing, or the Sabermatical thing, to do is to move Aroldis Chapman to the rotation.

Anyone who knows WAR from ERA+ will tell you that. A No. 1 starter is probably the biggest commodity in baseball. Chapman has the stuff to be a No. 1. The Reds have three or four guys on the roster who likely could convert saves at the rate Chapman does.

New manager Bryan Price knows that Chapman’s value is greater as a starter. He espoused moving Chapman to the rotation in the past when he was the pitching coach.

But baseball is more than numbers. People put up the numbers. And Chapman is pretty vehemently opposed to moving to the rotation.

...Price understands that you can’t ignore the human factor.

“Everyone’s a baseball fan and everyone’s a part-time manager because they have such a passion for this game, so everyone’s going to have their opinions,” Price said. “Whatever happens with our players, especially in a divisive situation such as this when you start to use statistical analysis on value is you’re going to have two sides of the stories and they’re always going to have that back-and-forth opinion on where he’s best served to help our team. And you know what? We’re not going to satisfy everybody.

“I like what Aroldis has done for our club, I think he has settled into a role and I believe there are certain aspects as to who he is as a pitcher that after another year in the bullpen seem to suggest that he’s best suited for the bullpen. I think organizationally, until we can go front-and-center and say, ‘this is what we’re going to do,’ there’s going to be that little bit of question mark.”

Price would like to put the issue to rest.

“I prefer the question mark to go away, myself,” he said. “I would. I’d be the first one to say that I liked him as a starter this time last year, I was on record as saying we’d get more value out of him, but the one thing that’s changed for me personally is one more year with Aroldis, a chance to further evaluate him mentally and physically on where his strengths are best suited and my feeling is he’s comfortable doing what he’s doing. I think that’s where he’ll be best suited over the course of his career.”

Repoz Posted: December 07, 2013 at 10:24 PM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: reds, sabermetrics

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   1. I Am Not a Number Posted: December 07, 2013 at 11:00 PM (#4613273)
Sabermatical? Really? Are we to pretend this is a word? Or is this meant to be humorous?
   2. bigglou115 Posted: December 07, 2013 at 11:34 PM (#4613282)
I think he's poking fun at us.

Look, the Reds pay Chapman a lot of money to help them win. I have no problem with them making him start. If his distaste for starting hampers his ability then move him back, but lets also remember it doesn't go Ace>Closer>everything else. Its much more likely 1-3 starters>closer assuming your rotation isn't particularly good. That should count for something, its not like he has to be even elite to be more valuable out of the rotation.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 07, 2013 at 11:38 PM (#4613284)
Seems like he has the build to at least try a fireman role. I hate to see him stuck in three-out ninth inning roles only. On the 1990 Reds, of the "Nasty Boys", Randy Myers tossed the fewest innings at 86. Dibble went 98 and Charlton went 154 (making 16 starts in addition to 40 relief appearances). At least use Chapman in that manner.
   4. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: December 08, 2013 at 02:18 AM (#4613366)
what's daniel bard up to these days?
   5. Dan Posted: December 08, 2013 at 04:59 AM (#4613394)
If the organization thinks that closing is the best way to maximize Chapman's value then that's fine, but if they think he'd be better utilized as a starter and they're being swayed by his personal preference that seems like a big mistake. To some degree you want to take the players' sentiments to heart, but you can't have players dictating their own roles if it isn't in the best interest of the organization. If Joey Votto shows up in spring training and says he feels he'd be most comfortable and productive as a full-time pinch hitter, should the Reds keep that in mind when they decide whether to start him at first base?
   6. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 08, 2013 at 05:09 AM (#4613395)
The only SP among the Reds projected top 5 that Chapman's a particularly good bet to outperform as a starter is a 26 year-old coming off a season in which he went 14-7 with a 3.37 ERA. From a PR standpoint, it's an easy move to let Chapman remain closer. It's not even impossible that they'd move Cingrani to the pen if Chapman did become a starter, and all that would accomplish is antagonizing two good players without improving the expected overall output.

Personally, I'd try to convince Chapman that both he and the Reds are better off if he becomes a SP, and banish Leake to long-relief until someone gets hurt. But that's a good way for a new manager to get some of his players and most of the fans and media to turn on him before he even manages a regular season game.
   7. TDF, situational idiot Posted: December 08, 2013 at 08:44 AM (#4613410)
Sabermatical? Really? Are we to pretend this is a word?
Really? Is it any less a word than "sabermetrics"?
I think he's poking fun at us.
Then you know nothing about John Fay.
banish Leake to long-relief
Mike Leake was a 3 WAR pitcher last year, same as Gio Gonzalez and 0.1 fewer than Steven Strasburg.

Price knows what he's doing here, and he has one of only two votes on the matter (Jockety has the other).
   8. cardsfanboy Posted: December 08, 2013 at 09:52 AM (#4613425)
Mind you I think war is an utterly crap stat when it comes to evaluating relievers, but a good reliever puts up a 3 war season. On a per inning pitched/played basis that is by usually the most valuable player on the team. Using war to argue moving a guy to the rotation makes no sense.

I just don't get why everyone thinks Chapman would excel as a starter, he doesn't really strike me as starting material. His primary skill is his overpowering fast ball, which as a starter will see a 4+ mph drop as a starter. Add in that his success as a closer is probably helped tremendously by the changing speeds that the team faced throughout the game and I just don't see how he would have the ability to be successful three times through the order. I guess if you want to follow MGL/Tango's pitching philosophy of not letting the starter face the order three times, then it makes sense, beyond that I don't see much reason to move him.
   9. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 08, 2013 at 10:01 AM (#4613427)
His primary skill is his overpowering fast ball, which as a starter will see a 4+ mph drop as a starter.


So all the way down to 98? Gee.

Chapman's a reliever and there's not much point discussing making him a starter. It would be more productive to discuss getting more out of him as a reliever; I agree with AG#1F.
   10. Bug Selig Posted: December 08, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4613698)
Mind you I think war is an utterly crap stat when it comes to evaluating relievers, but a good reliever puts up a 3 war season.


Its not perfect, but I can't see "utterly crap". What's markedly better?

Similarly - I suppose it makes sense that you wouldn't spend a lot of time looking at an "utterly crap stat" but a 3-WAR RP is better than good - 2 guys cleared that hurdle last year. Chapman, regarded as more than "good", has averaged not quite 2 WAR in his 3 full-time years.
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: December 08, 2013 at 05:34 PM (#4613724)
Its not perfect, but I can't see "utterly crap". What's markedly better?


It overrates leverage to a silly extent. But I agree, there really isn't a good stat for relievers. I like whip and can tolerate ops against, but for the most part, reliever stats are still in their infancy.(or more accurately, not even born yet)

Similarly - I suppose it makes sense that you wouldn't spend a lot of time looking at an "utterly crap stat" but a 3-WAR RP is better than good - 2 guys cleared that hurdle last year. Chapman, regarded as more than "good", has averaged not quite 2 WAR in his 3 full-time years.


I was implying that good, means good or very good.
   12. TDF, situational idiot Posted: December 08, 2013 at 05:56 PM (#4613730)
Mind you I think war is an utterly crap stat when it comes to evaluating relievers, but a good reliever puts up a 3 war season.
Double-spin Mechanic beat me to it, but even at that, only 2 NL relievers were even "good or very good"?

But back to starters. David Price has topped 3 WAR only twice in 4 full seasons.
   13. The District Attorney Posted: December 09, 2013 at 07:55 PM (#4614723)
If the organization thinks that closing is the best way to maximize Chapman's value then that's fine, but if they think he'd be better utilized as a starter and they're being swayed by his personal preference that seems like a big mistake. To some degree you want to take the players' sentiments to heart, but you can't have players dictating their own roles if it isn't in the best interest of the organization. If Joey Votto shows up in spring training and says he feels he'd be most comfortable and productive as a full-time pinch hitter, should the Reds keep that in mind when they decide whether to start him at first base?
Yes, they should. If Votto tells them that, then rather than starting him at first base, the Reds should trade him.

I feel pretty much the opposite of you; I think you can't force an immensely talented millionaire to move from a role he wants to a role he doesn't want, unless the guy is on board with it. The organization can try to convince Chapman to want to be a starter, and that's fine. But as long as he is "vehemently opposed", I would not do it. Playing major league baseball is really, really, really hard. You can't succeed at it if you're going to be depressed and half-assed about it.

This is, BTW, exactly what Bill James said about why Daniel Bard was moved into the rotation; i.e., Bard wanted to.
It's a mistake generally to try to make a player do something that he doesn't want to do...

Many times you CAN'T give the player the chance to do what he wants to do. MOST of the time, you can't give the player the chance to do what he wants to do. We've got 40 infielders in our system who would like to be the Red Sox starting shortstop in 2013; 39 of them will have to be told to do something else.

But when you CAN give a player a chance to do what he wants to do, you have to do it, because the players HAVE to buy into what you're doing, or there is no chance that it is going to work.

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