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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Matt Garza to pitch for Brewers

The Milwaukee Brewers have reached agreement on a four-year contract with free-agent pitcher Matt Garza, according to multiple reports.

The 30-year-old Garza’s contract is worth $52 million, FoxSports.com reported on Thursday

Another pitcher signs for a $13 million average.

Bitter Calculus Instructor Posted: January 23, 2014 at 03:34 PM | 64 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: brewers

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 23, 2014 at 05:09 PM (#4645270)
Unless his medicals look scary, I think this is a terrific signing for the Brewers. No loss of draft pick, four years is about as long as I'd want to go with a pitcher, and the price is lower than I expected. I'm not sure what direction the Brewers are headed, but this is a nice step.

Erv, I don't think you're getting your $100 million deal.
   2. AROM Posted: January 23, 2014 at 05:10 PM (#4645274)
Yeah! Baseball signings! Can we stop talking about magical putters, the people who create them, and the reporters who investigate them now?

Grant Balfour goes back to Tampa Bay. This could set up Fernando Rodney to the Orioles. Has their been a similar 3 player at same position, 3 team switch like that since the Eckstein-Cabrera-Renteria journey from 2005?
   3. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 23, 2014 at 05:22 PM (#4645287)
has doug Melvin found the market inefficiency? dawdle until late January and sign the best leftovers?

Garza is a bit of a doofus but if he can be relatively healthy he should be able to be a contributor

   4. Dr. Vaux Posted: January 23, 2014 at 05:24 PM (#4645290)
You're telling me the Angels couldn't top this? It seems like they're the team that would be most helped by a mid-rotation starter at this point. The Brewers won't be contending with or without Garza (just like last year they weren't especially likely to contend with or without Lohse). I guess that isn't really a reason not to sign him, but it seems like a reason why he wouldn't sign with them.
   5. Nasty Nate Posted: January 23, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4645298)
Yeah! Baseball signings! Can we stop talking about magical putters, the people who create them, and the reporters who investigate them now?


Is that what the Simmons/Mariotti thread is about? I've been intentionally avoiding it, and I think I probably made the right choice.
   6. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 23, 2014 at 05:38 PM (#4645300)
doc

it isn't just about contending. the brewers rotation has a bunch of kids trying to fill slots. they need 1, better 2, rotation slots filled by semi-reliable entities. that is what doug is trying to accomplish. yes maybe push his team over 80 wins which these days means you are contending for something but more importantly give the kids some breathing space.
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 23, 2014 at 05:44 PM (#4645303)
This means Garza has a shot someday of not getting elected to the Brewers Walk of Fame.
   8. McCoy Posted: January 23, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4645305)
So how much money did Garza cost himself by not signing an extension with the Cubs?
   9. boteman digs the circuit clout Posted: January 23, 2014 at 05:53 PM (#4645311)
Is Garza still a head case?
   10. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 23, 2014 at 06:02 PM (#4645318)
bote

by my reckoning Garza is a 'different breed of cat'

   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 23, 2014 at 06:06 PM (#4645320)
So how much money did Garza cost himself by not signing an extension with the Cubs?


Probably not much. The rumors for an extension back in July were roughly for this amount.
   12. Dr. Vaux Posted: January 23, 2014 at 06:09 PM (#4645322)
Oh, certainly there are good reasons to sign Garza and no particular reasons not to sign him. For a few years, I subscribed to the idea that there was no point in being any good at all if you weren't going to contend, but when my baseball watching started to consist, because of my girlfriend's fandom, of primarily the Orioles, I realized that I'd rather have an 80-win team to watch than a 60-win team as long as it wasn't blocking prospects.
   13. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 23, 2014 at 06:20 PM (#4645330)
doc

here is Melvin's thinking. (I am pretty sure I am right on this)

--team won 74 games
--best guy didn't play much of the year
--my slugging third baseman was hurt all season
--my first basemen stunk
--my rotation was up and down

so

--I shore up the rotation that gets me 2-3 wins
--I shore up first base that gets me 2-3 wins
--my big bats come back that's 2-3 wins

I go from 74 wins to 80-83 wins

in today's setup that puts me on the fringe of a wild card spot and I get a little lucky here and there and then it's 85 wins and real contention for a wild card

not saying doug is RIGHT to think this way

but this is what he is thinking
   14. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: January 23, 2014 at 06:21 PM (#4645331)
by my reckoning Garza is a 'different breed of cat'


My mind is dizzy with speculation. ;)

But overall I agree with Harvey and the rest: so long as he's healthy, this is a good deal for the Brewers.
   15. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 23, 2014 at 06:27 PM (#4645340)
The Brewers normally only do this every 3 years!

2007: Jeff Suppan, 4/$42M
2010: Randy Wolf, 3/$30M
2013: Kyle Lohse, 3/$33M
2014: Matt Garza, 4/$52M
   16. Dr. Vaux Posted: January 23, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4645345)
Harvey, that does make sense, and I think Melvin might even be right. I need to get more used to the idea that the second wild card makes it really worth shooting for 85 wins when it's in striking distance. That's going to make there be more teams that win 80-85 games, isn't it? And concommittently fewer teams that win more than 90-92ish, because the good players who are free agents will have more possible suitors each year. Before it was actually put into practice, I thought it might actually lead to the opposite strategy--teams building to be 95+-win division locks and not bothering otherwise, because the wild card would be worth less.
   17. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 23, 2014 at 06:33 PM (#4645348)
doc

it's annoying that many gms continue to reduce their aspirations. instead of trying to build 95 win teams or even 90 win teams it's 85 wins just to get in the mix and then 'see what happens'

boooooooooo
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 23, 2014 at 06:39 PM (#4645352)
doc

here is Melvin's thinking. (I am pretty sure I am right on this)

--team won 74 games
--best guy didn't play much of the year
--my slugging third baseman was hurt all season
--my first basemen stunk
--my rotation was up and down

so

--I shore up the rotation that gets me 2-3 wins
--I shore up first base that gets me 2-3 wins
--my big bats come back that's 2-3 wins

I go from 74 wins to 80-83 wins

in today's setup that puts me on the fringe of a wild card spot and I get a little lucky here and there and then it's 85 wins and real contention for a wild card

not saying doug is RIGHT to think this way

but this is what he is thinking


That's probably the best option open to Melvin, isn't it?
   19. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 23, 2014 at 06:41 PM (#4645353)
I've gotta say that the Red Sox last year really put me in the mindset of "get the best that you can because sometimes #### works out." I thought 85 wins would be a great year when the season started and it worked out.

And I should note here that Harveys was telling anyone who would listen that Farrell in place of Valentine would make a big difference and that the Sox were legit contenders. Good call Harv.
   20. geonose Posted: January 23, 2014 at 06:44 PM (#4645357)
Unless his medicals look scary

And yeah, that's exactly the point, isn't it? Everything I've heard is that the medicals look extremely scary. So scary that Keith Law called it a "disaster" for the Brewers.
   21. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 23, 2014 at 06:44 PM (#4645358)
jose

thanks but that one was obvious. it was your classic toxic dump cleanup.

now just be ready for a bit of a kersplat.

sorry but that is how it works unless this manager is really pretty good.
   22. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 23, 2014 at 06:45 PM (#4645361)
So scary that Keith Law called it a "disaster" for the Brewers.

pardon me if I remain unimpressed

(insert that Olympian gymnast image)
   23. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 23, 2014 at 07:05 PM (#4645367)
Cheese and Crackers...are the orioles going to do anything? This is pathetic.
   24. puck Posted: January 23, 2014 at 07:22 PM (#4645371)
What types of injuries has he had the past two seasons? 18 starts in 2012, 24 in 2013.
   25. geonose Posted: January 23, 2014 at 07:37 PM (#4645380)
Right elbow stress fracture in 2012. Strained right shoulder 2013.
   26. Select Storage Device Posted: January 23, 2014 at 07:53 PM (#4645384)
Cheese and Crackers...are the orioles going to do anything? This is pathetic.


Thanks for Balfour!
   27. Tricky Dick Posted: January 23, 2014 at 08:20 PM (#4645389)
What types of injuries has he had the past two seasons? 18 starts in 2012, 24 in 2013.


A previous report by CBS Sports: multiple teams are concerned about the risks posed by the hurler having a screw near his elbow.

A more recent blog post at mlb.com: The contract is pending a physical, which is important in the Brewers case as Garza has arm concerns, with a screw near his pitching elbow and has made three career trips to the DL due to the elbow (most recently in 2012).
   28. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: January 23, 2014 at 08:21 PM (#4645390)
Brewers just tweeted along the lines of, Hey media not so fast with the Garza stuff.
   29. jayjay Posted: January 23, 2014 at 09:56 PM (#4645418)
Ken Rosenthal has tweeted: "Source says Garza took physical today, and that #Brewers were prepared to introduce him at news conference."
   30. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: January 24, 2014 at 01:36 AM (#4645470)
You're telling me the Angels couldn't top this? It seems like they're the team that would be most helped by a mid-rotation starter at this point.

Yes or the Blue Jays. Angels unwillingness to spend money on FA other than gigantic ones like Pujols and Hamilton make me wonder whether DiPoto has any authority to do anything other than make trades. Their management seems screwy.
   31. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 24, 2014 at 09:35 AM (#4645508)
maybe they are d9ckering over bonus items or other financial stuff

or maybe Garza's throwing mechanism really is hanging by baling wire and twine
   32. zonk Posted: January 24, 2014 at 10:05 AM (#4645517)
Wow....

I remember discussing last offseason whether the Cubs should extend or trade Garza -- and my opinion was something along the lines of "extend him, but with a limit of 5/70" -- otherwise trade him... and folks convinced me that I was crazy to think he could be extended at anywhere near that price.

I guess he's lost an awful lot of the workhorse luster when he originally came over to the Cubs, but he was pretty good in the first half in Chicago and just a peripherally look at his numbers in Texas, it looks an HR bump was mainly responsible for his slide in Arlington.

I still think it's a pretty solid signing for the Brewers. He was always miscast as an ace -- he's decent #2 on a poor team and a good #3 on a good team.
   33. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 26, 2014 at 05:34 PM (#4646528)
official

The Milwaukee Brewers have signed free agent pitcher Matt Garza to a four-year contract.

The Brewers announced the deal Sunday but did not disclose financial terms, saying the contract includes a fifth-year vesting option for 2018. The deal is worth $50 million, and Garza could make up to $67 million based on performance bonuses, according to multiple media reports.
   34. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 26, 2014 at 08:15 PM (#4646559)
no further thoughts from the masses?
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 26, 2014 at 09:16 PM (#4646569)
no further thoughts from the masses?

Still seems like a solid deal for Milwaukee; unless his elbow is really FUBAR.
   36. PreservedFish Posted: January 27, 2014 at 12:46 AM (#4646607)
Yeah, it's impossible to say without knowing about the status of his arm. It seems like a potential bargain, just given Garza's ability and the apparent going rate for free agent starting pitchers.
   37. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 27, 2014 at 12:53 AM (#4646609)
Seems reasonable. If he's healthy, the fifth year is probably worth it as is the incentive money.
   38. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 27, 2014 at 09:56 AM (#4646653)
all

agreed. this could either be a masterstroke or a disaster.
   39. zonk Posted: January 27, 2014 at 10:20 AM (#4646661)
When do the Brewers think they'll be competing again?

Was last year just seen as a blip -- with Braun returning and Gallardo rebounding as an expectation and they think they'll be competing in 2014?

Or - are they in rebuild mode?

That's the big key to the Garza signing in my mind....

Squeeze another year out of A-Ram and Weeks, get Braun back, some bouncebacks here and there... maybe a step forward by Segura, etc... I could see it.

On the other hand, they Brewers have a pretty good gaggle of of guys who look like moderately interesting pitchers... Hellweg, Heckathorn, Thornburg, Burgos, Nelson, etc. With Gallardo, Loshe, and Peralta set for 3 rotation spots -- plus, I would think, Estrada... Do you really need a Garza?

If you're competing in 2014, then I suppose you're better off with Garza than any of those maybes... but if not, I'd have personally rather seen all those guys get extended tryouts in the rotation.

But hey -- what do I know... I'm saddled with a team with a genius GM that appears to be in year 4 of a 17 year rebuilding plan.
   40. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 27, 2014 at 10:27 AM (#4646665)
When do the Brewers think they'll be competing again?

zonk

i explained this elsewhere but i am almost certain that doug is thinking this core team is now capable of 80-85 wins with decent health and solid seasons from his best guys (braun, gomez, lohse, Ramirez, lucroy)

weeks is on a very short leash. gennett will be the second baseman at least against righties

they are putting a lot on khris davis hitting, gennett being a 1 win player and the bullpen not being a train wreck
   41. zonk Posted: January 27, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4646668)
If they think the window is still there, then this is probably a really good signing... I think a better question would then be why they're not using some of those 24-25 yo arms to fill holes.

The Cubs - just as an example and setting aside the whole intra-division thing - would probably be thrilled to give a couple of those guys a shot... I suppose, though, the Cubs don't have much hole-filler available in trade. Though, if the bullpen IS a concern - I'm sure James Russell could be had.
   42. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 27, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4646673)
zonk

peralta throws hard but his control is erratic (understatement). hellweg is wilder than (insert Justin bieber snark) there isn't a guy who gives anyone on the club great confidence on being able to throw strikes most of the time.
   43. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 27, 2014 at 11:46 AM (#4646701)
weeks is on a very short leash. gennett will be the second baseman at least against righties

What the hell happened to Weeks? I know 2Bs collapse early. But, at 29?
   44. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 27, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4646722)
snapper

just cannot make good contact.

if it were my call the team would cut him and be done. it's just pushing off what needs to happen.

like treating an animal that needs to be put down

everyone is in pain here. folks need to let go
   45. The Fallen Reputation of Billy Jo Robidoux Posted: January 27, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4646725)
What the hell happened to Weeks? I know 2Bs collapse early. But, at 29?


In addition to what Harveys said, "[o]n February 16, 2011, Weeks signed a contract extension for 4 years at 38 million dollars." Consciously or unconsciously, that may be a factor.
   46. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 27, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4646739)
just cannot make good contact.

That must be it, because when you look at his component stats, not much has changed since he was a 120 wRC+ player.

K% is up a touch, but BB% is up too. LD% is stable, GB% is stable, and IFF% is even down a bit.

But ISO, and BABIP have collapsed.

It's a very oddly shaped decline. Has he had any hand/wrist injuries?
   47. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 27, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4646747)
Didn't Weeks have a back injury?
   48. zonk Posted: January 27, 2014 at 12:55 PM (#4646748)
Maybe he is done -- but if Weeks hits the market for free, I become intensely interested in getting him at the MLB minimum...
   49. PreservedFish Posted: January 27, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4646754)
Is LD% a thing? Is it useful at all?
   50. The Fallen Reputation of Billy Jo Robidoux Posted: January 27, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4646755)
Has he had any hand/wrist injuries?


"On May 18, 2009, Weeks was diagnosed with a torn muscle in his left hand, and declared himself out for the 2009 season."

I don't remember if he's had any since.

   51. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 27, 2014 at 01:22 PM (#4646766)
Is LD% a thing? Is it useful at all?

Yes. It's predictive of BABIP. Line drives are very, very likely to become hits. Something like 70%, IIRC.

"On May 18, 2009, Weeks was diagnosed with a torn muscle in his left hand, and declared himself out for the 2009 season."

I don't remember if he's had any since.


Yeah, but he hit very well in 2010 and 2011. That would be an odd lag for an injury like that to take effect.
   52. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: January 27, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4646770)
Is LD% a thing? Is it useful at all?


I think it can be kind of useful as a secondary thing to partially explain a high or low BABIP, but it's got more error/subjectivity to it than other batted ball stats. It's subject to more misclassification than either GB or FB, since what's a line drive tends to be much less clear cut than those.
   53. PreservedFish Posted: January 27, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4646790)
Yes. It's predictive of BABIP. Line drives are very, very likely to become hits. Something like 70%, IIRC.


Predictive is a weird word, right? You're talking about a correlation. Maybe I don't understand the terms.

How do they define "line drive?" Is it coded by people watching with their eyes? Is there a bias there towards coding hits as LDs? Also, what's in the denominator? If I hit a 500 foot homerun, does that mean my LD% actually goes down?

Mostly I just see Ruben Tejada, James Loney and Gregor Blanco in the top 10 LD% charts and I wonder what this is telling us and how useful it is. These are guys that do not hit the ball hard - they just hit it at a certain angle. I've watched Ruben Tejada, he does hit lots of line drives, but they're the type of line drives that reach the centerfielder on three hops. I wonder how often these line drives would be coded as fly balls if he hit them at the same angle but harder.

And the way people use it here - it seems like it is either just used to confirm a previously held notion, or it's ignored. I've never seen someone make a good point in which LD% was the lynchpin argument.
   54. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 27, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4646791)
I think it can be kind of useful as a secondary thing to partially explain a high or low BABIP, but it's got more error/subjectivity to it than other batted ball stats. It's subject to more misclassification than either GB or FB, since what's a line drive tends to be much less clear cut than those.

IFF% is also useful. Infield flys are 99% outs, so if you have a lot of them, your BABIP as a hitter will usually suck.
   55. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 27, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4646799)
Predictive is a weird word, right? You're talking about a correlation. Maybe I don't understand the terms.

How do they define "line drive?" Is it coded by people watching with their eyes? Is there a bias there towards coding hits as LDs? Also, what's in the denominator? If I hit a 500 foot homerun, does that mean my LD% actually goes down?

Mostly I just see Ruben Tejada, James Loney and Gregor Blanco in the top 10 LD% charts and I wonder what this is telling us and how useful it is. These are guys that do not hit the ball hard - they just hit it at a certain angle. I've watched Ruben Tejada, he does hit lots of line drives, but they're the type of line drives that reach the centerfielder on three hops. I wonder how often these line drives would be coded as fly balls if he just hit them at the same angle but harder.

And the way people use it here - it seems like it is either just used to confirm a previously held notion, or it's ignored. I've never seen someone make a good point in which LD% was the lynchpin argument.


There can be coding issues, but that's true of a lot of stats.

I look at Loney and Blanco (don't see Tejada, probably too few PAs) and see high BABIP which the high LD% helps explain. If they don't hit the ball hard, there has to be some reason they have BABIPs of .326 and .328.

Looking at the top-30 qualified hitters in LD%, only 4 have a BABIP under .300, and 24 are at .315+. You hit a lot of line drives, and generally, an above average % of your BIP with become hits.
   56. PreservedFish Posted: January 27, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4646801)
Re-reading #53 I realize I'm doing that thing that non-statheads do where they criticize a statistic for failing to accomplish more than it was ever intended to accomplish. I suppose there's no reason to get upset that Gregor Blanco has a massively higher LD% than Jose Bautista. Bautista just lofts towering fly balls, one after the other, and however effective his approach is he's not hitting a lot of line drives.

Still, though, I think a lot of my point stands.
   57. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 27, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4646843)
as a reminder, weeks has been hit by a lot of pitches in his career. coupled with the hazards of second base and the way he plays (meaning aggressively) I think his body is worn out and it ain't coming back.

still got the great physique. still hustles. but it's gone. if you want to call "it" reflexes or bat speed or whatever floats your boat. but rickie cannot make consistent quality contact. and now on curves and sliders he isn't swinging through it as much as just waving. he misses a lot of breaking pitches now by like a foot. that should not happen to a major leaguer on a regular basis

   58. zonk Posted: January 27, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4646881)
I have to think -- within the next few years -- we're no longer going to be relying on human eyes for things like LD%... In fact, the Cubs analyst job that was posted about a year ago specifically mentioned desiring familiarity with 'machine learning' -- and in the context of the familiarity with advanced metrics and also a note about familiarity with video software, I'm almost betting lots of teams are making moves to capture this already.

That's pretty much gonna be the holy grail of some of these things that we still rely on the human eye to track.... Once you've got everything on video, it's a hop, skip, and a jump to let software categorize it all -- what's more, you can 'teach' machine learning software to recognize the difference between a really smoked line drive and a little flare that's more of an LD than a pop-up.

New age a-coming...
   59. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: January 27, 2014 at 06:39 PM (#4646978)
zonk

peralta throws hard but his control is erratic (understatement). hellweg is wilder than (insert Justin bieber snark) there isn't a guy who gives anyone on the club great confidence on being able to throw strikes most of the time.

the fact that harveys is aware of justin bieber's existence is kind of alarming.
   60. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 27, 2014 at 07:19 PM (#4646994)
It's subject to more misclassification than either GB or FB, since what's a line drive tends to be much less clear cut than those.


If it isn't a GB or FB, then it must be a LD. Or to put it another way, every misclassification affects two of the buckets, not just one.

you can 'teach' machine learning software to recognize the difference between a really smoked line drive and a little flare that's more of an LD than a pop-up


Soft little flares become hits at a very high rate. If you want to quantify hitting the ball hard, why not just measure batted ball speed and to hell with trajectory?
   61. PreservedFish Posted: January 27, 2014 at 07:40 PM (#4647007)
Obviously a line drive is defined by both speed and trajectory.

Those dinky little hits that Tony Gwynn would deposit directly in between SS and LF - are those line drives?
   62. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4647470)
MLBTR:

Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports the complex details of Garza's fifth year option (all Twitter links). The Brewers hold a $5MM option on Garza for the fifth year that will drop to just $1MM if Garza spends more than 130 days on the DL in any 183-day period throughout the life of the deal (183 days is the length of one regular season). However, the option will vest for Garza at $13MM if he pitches 110 games over the first four years of the deal, is not on the disabled list at the end of the 2017 season and throws at least 115 innings in 2017.

Sherman adds that Garza will also receive an additional $500K for reaching 190 innings and 30 games in each year of the deal. Each year of the contract contains $2MM in deferred money without interest.


So yea, there are some health concerns. Does anyone else have an option like that? Its unusual, but pretty smart.
   63. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 28, 2014 at 03:14 PM (#4647481)
the fact that harveys is aware of justin bieber's existence is kind of alarming.

i read several papers a day. how can you miss a guy who gets noticed for getting a bad haircut?
   64. zonk Posted: January 28, 2014 at 03:19 PM (#4647489)

Soft little flares become hits at a very high rate. If you want to quantify hitting the ball hard, why not just measure batted ball speed and to hell with trajectory?


Ahhh -- but that's the beauty of using an agnostic process like machine-based tracking... the preconceived notions don't get in the way. Of course, a human -- with subjective intent -- can (even subconsciously) program in the wrong metrics to track, but something like this is easily caught upfront... it's one of the basic things one does in 'training' machine learning software - examine the outliers, remodel, and potentially add new classifications.

In fact, this would be one of the patterns you'd actually expect to learn from such a system (if it's true) -- you tell your software to just gather the data and have it probe for the patterns. I would imagine that teams that undertaking something like this do precisely that -- track trajectory and velocity, probably with a whole host of other factors, and let the machine results find the signal in the noise.

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