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Friday, May 31, 2013

MLB: Votto and Choo are down with OBP

Dusty Baker, not so much. (quickly heads over to chemicalland21.com for product updates)

It is some kind of oddity or irony or sabermetric injustice that they are providing this OBP assault in the first one-third of a lineup drawn up nightly by the man oft-associated with being anti-OBP. But Dusty Baker, who once famously made the observation that “clogging up the bases isn’t that great to me,” will tell you he’s not so much anti-OBP as he is anti-OBP obsession. OBP, he said, means nothing if it’s not followed by RBI, and in Choo and Votto, he finds equal parts fascination and frustration.

“They should be [ranked] one and two in runs scored,” Baker said. “There have been quite a few times they’ve been left out there. You can get on base all you want to, but if you don’t have guys driving you in, it doesn’t matter.”

Now, Votto ranks first in the Majors in runs scored (44) and Choo ranks sixth (40), while the Reds lead the National League in runs scored (255) and cleanup hitter Brandon Phillips leads the league in RBIs (43). You could, therefore, certainly accuse Baker of nitpicking here.

With that said, the Reds also lead the Majors in runners left on base (410), and No. 2 hitter Zack Cozart and No. 5 hitter Jay Bruce (both with 99) are atop the NL in that category. So Baker does have a point about the Reds not exactly making the most of this unique OBP opportunity.

“It’s not called walking, it’s called hitting,” Baker said, and that sound you just heard was a sabermetrician slapping his forehead. “You’re trying to get a hit.”

...Votto was swinging at just 60 percent of strikes through the first three weeks of the season, and the numbers showed the results of his restraint. Through 17 games, he had 24 walks but just 14 hits, only three of which had gone for extra bases. People wondered aloud if maybe he was taking this OBP stuff a little too seriously.

“He’s probably heard it quite a few times,” Baker said. “Joey hears the whispers, but sometimes you gotta let a guy learn at his own pace.”

Repoz Posted: May 31, 2013 at 05:38 AM | 55 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: reds, sabermetrics

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   1. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 31, 2013 at 06:10 AM (#4456613)
This is a really nice article by Anthony Castrovince. It's pro-sabermetric without being condescending or overly technical. Though I did enjoy the gentle jab at Dusty Baker in the excerpt above:

“They should be [ranked] one and two in runs scored,” Baker said. “There have been quite a few times they’ve been left out there. You can get on base all you want to, but if you don’t have guys driving you in, it doesn’t matter.”

Now, Votto ranks first in the Majors in runs scored (44) and Choo ranks sixth (40), while the Reds lead the National League in runs scored (255) and cleanup hitter Brandon Phillips leads the league in RBIs (43). You could, therefore, certainly accuse Baker of nitpicking here.


Also, this quote from Votto was pretty interesting:

"I'm trying to get the most out of myself, and I have decided that this [patient approach, leading to lots of walks] is the way I get the most out of myself," he said. "And if people don't like it, that's their decision. But the people that think I'm doing well are the same people that make sure an automobile drives straight and an airplane knows how to land. These are scientists and mathematicians that can figure out some things."


   2. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 31, 2013 at 06:11 AM (#4456614)
As is often said here, the point of plate discipline is to put the hitter in a place where they will be in control of the at bat. You want to swing at pitches that you can handle, where you recognize the pitch and location, and drive it. If the pitcher throws four pitches outside the strike zone, pitches you cannot drive, before you get the pitch you want to hit, then take your base.

A walk is not better than a hit. A walk is better than swinging at a pitch you can't hit.

   3. Walt Davis Posted: May 31, 2013 at 06:52 AM (#4456618)
No. 2 hitter Zack Cozart and No. 5 hitter Jay Bruce (both with 99)

Wow that seems like a lot!

I wonder if Dusty will catch onto the idea that the main problem here is Cozart.

And it looks like Xavier Paul may be taking lessons -- 277/393/415 with 18 BB in 112 PA. If he could really keep up something like this, the Reds are near the perfect "book" lineup: Paul, Choo, Phillips, Votto, Bruce.
   4. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: May 31, 2013 at 06:59 AM (#4456619)
the Reds are near the perfect "book" lineup: Paul, Choo, Phillips, Votto, Bruce.


Walt, you have lefties batting back-to-back twice in that lineup. That will never fly with Dusty. There's a reason the lefties are hitting 1-3-5-7 in the order. Gotta protect the lineup from those mean LOOGYs late in the game.
   5. TDF, situational idiot Posted: May 31, 2013 at 08:47 AM (#4456645)
“They should be [ranked] one and two in runs scored,” Baker said. “There have been quite a few times they’ve been left out there. You can get on base all you want to, but if you don’t have guys driving you in, it doesn’t matter.”..With that said, the Reds also lead the Majors in runners left on base
Do you know what team holds the NL record for men left on base in a season? The '76 Reds. Which really screwed up their offense, as they were only able to score 87 more runs than any other team in the league.
   6. The Tarp That Ate Vince Coleman Posted: May 31, 2013 at 09:02 AM (#4456658)
So I went to look at Baseball-Reference's page on the 1976 Reds. Can you name the only regular who didn't steal at least 10 bases that year?

Yep, it was Pete Rose.

Morgan--60
Griffey-34
Geronimo--22
Concepcion--21
Foster--17
Bench--13
Perez--10
Rose--9

And Driessen had 14 playing half-time off the bench.

   7. TDF, situational idiot Posted: May 31, 2013 at 09:18 AM (#4456665)
the Reds are near the perfect "book" lineup: Paul, Choo, Phillips, Votto, Bruce.

Walt, you have lefties batting back-to-back twice in that lineup. That will never fly with Dusty. There's a reason the lefties are hitting 1-3-5-7 in the order. Gotta protect the lineup from those mean LOOGYs late in the game.
Ya know, this is one of those things that Baker gets grinded for when he really isn't that wrong.

One of the big points in The Book was that batting order doesn't matter that much, not nearly as much as getting the right guys in the lineup in the first place, and that there is a huge lefty-lefty platoon advantage for pitchers - so much so that it says there is never a good reason to have 3 lefties in a row.

You can complain that hitting Cozart (and in past seasons, Stubbs and Taveras) so high in the order costs them runs or that it would make more sense to hit Paul higher in the order, but the fact he likes to split up his lefties is a non-issue. He thinks it's important and it doesn't hurt the team, so who really cares?
   8. GregD Posted: May 31, 2013 at 09:21 AM (#4456666)
I would have missed your question, Tarp. Foster I can believe as I can barely remember what an athlete he was before he got stiff, but Tony Perez? They must have been running hit and runs or something.
   9. BDC Posted: May 31, 2013 at 09:32 AM (#4456675)
Votto and Choo are down with OBP


And that's terribly sad, but there are treatments for that now.
   10. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: May 31, 2013 at 09:35 AM (#4456681)
Ya know, this is one of those things that Baker gets grinded for when he really isn't that wrong.

One of the big points in The Book was that batting order doesn't matter that much, not nearly as much as getting the right guys in the lineup in the first place, and that there is a huge lefty-lefty platoon advantage for pitchers - so much so that it says there is never a good reason to have 3 lefties in a row.


This makes me wonder which current MLB lineup most closely resembles the ideal "Book" lineup. The Blue Jays have been batting Bautista 2nd lately, which is a start, but Edwin has been hitting 3rd (with Arencibia 4th, gah).
   11. stanmvp48 Posted: May 31, 2013 at 09:40 AM (#4456684)
#5 makes the point. Having a lot of base runners is correlated with both scoring a lot of runs and leaving a lot of runners on base. My favorite Dusty leadoff hitter was Darren Lewis in 93.
   12. Brian White Posted: May 31, 2013 at 09:41 AM (#4456685)
Ya know, this is one of those things that Baker gets grinded for when he really isn't that wrong.

One of the big points in The Book was that batting order doesn't matter that much, not nearly as much as getting the right guys in the lineup in the first place, and that there is a huge lefty-lefty platoon advantage for pitchers - so much so that it says there is never a good reason to have 3 lefties in a row.


Yeah, alternating lefty-righty really is smart lineup construction as long as you don't have to go through ridiculous contortions to get there. If you have to move a few guys one spot away from where they would hit in some hypothetical ideal lineup against a pitcher with no platoon splits, you might sacrifice a very, very tiny bit of offense against starters and relievers that don't have major splits. But you'd gain a not insignificant advantage in close and late situations (the kinds of situations where one out guys are most often used). I'd take that trade any time.
   13. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: May 31, 2013 at 10:24 AM (#4456728)
wouldn't .150ish points of OB% be enough of a difference to want the higher OB% hitting 2nd against right handed starters? seriously, cozart, in the midst of a serious hot streak for him, has gotten his slash line up to .228/.253/.331 against righties. Paul's at .280/.400/.440.
   14. hokieneer Posted: May 31, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4456748)
You can complain that hitting Cozart (and in past seasons, Stubbs and Taveras) so high in the order costs them runs or that it would make more sense to hit Paul higher in the order, but the fact he likes to split up his lefties is a non-issue. He thinks it's important and it doesn't hurt the team, so who really cares?


False dichotomy here.

Dusty could split the lefties, and not bat Cozart in the 2 hole. Stick Frazer or Phillips between choo/votto and you'd have much better production. Frazier is a pure fastball hitter and has been struggling. Batting him in front of votto and behind Choo should help him. It's the same logic Dusty used to put Cozart #2, but there is this little fact that Cozart is not much of a major league hitter.

More than the "no lefties back to back" logic, Dusty loves to bat his CF/SS/2b 1-2 in the order (at least in Cincinnati, Jeff Kent outlier is obvious), no matter who they are. When you have Elsbury & Pedroia, that's great. When you have Edgar Renteria and Willy Taveras that's not so great.
   15. The District Attorney Posted: May 31, 2013 at 10:37 AM (#4456753)
Ya know, [breaking up same-side hitters in the batting order] is one of those things that Baker gets grinded for when he really isn't that wrong.
I've never even heard him criticized on this basis. It seems obvious to me that, to the small extent that batting order matters at all, making life difficult for the opposing manager is one of the key ways in which it can matter. Yes, I'd avoid batting Zach Cozart second, but apart from avoiding doing really dumb things like that, it's probably the most important thing you can do in the batting order...

EDIT: I actually think we're all agreeing here, it was just #4's misleading statement delivered in a condescending tone that got us off track.
   16. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: May 31, 2013 at 10:52 AM (#4456769)
More than the "no lefties back to back" logic, Dusty loves to bat his CF/SS/2b 1-2


Yeah, Dusty was quoted in the paper a week or two back saying Cozart was the only #2 hitter he really had with his current personnel. Now, that was when Cozart had a lower OPS than Votto had OB%, so, I'm sure part of that statement was standing up for his guy, but, since he's been in Cincy, CF/2b/SS have probably gotten 98% of the PA's in the 1 and 2 spot, no matter how bad a hitter they are/were.

In a perfect world, Ludwick wouldn't have gotten hurt and would be like he did after May of last year, Phillips would be batting 2nd, we wouldn't be getting columns comparing Phillips favorably with Joe Morgan, and Choo, Phillips, and Votto would be 1-2-3 in the league in runs scored.
   17. Kiko Sakata Posted: May 31, 2013 at 10:54 AM (#4456774)
Dusty loves to bat his CF/SS/2b 1-2 in the order (at least in Cincinnati


He did this in his Cubs days as well. When that puts Kenny Lofton and Mark Grudzielanek batting 1-2 that can work reasonably well (except for the fetish with having Grudz bunt whenever Lofton led off the game with a walk or hit, especially in the playoffs); when it leads to Corey Patterson and Neifi Perez as your 1-2 hitters, it tends not to work quite as well.
   18. TDF, situational idiot Posted: May 31, 2013 at 10:55 AM (#4456775)
There's no doubt in my mind that hitting Cozart that high is causing issues. Hitting Paul 2nd, though, means you have to pull him in the late innings of almost every close game and hope Derrick Robinson can keep up his .481 BABIP.

On the other hand, the Baseball Musings Lineup Analyser thinks you should hit all the lefties in a row (though it doesn't know handedness)with Mesoraco in the lineup:
Choo
Votto
Bruce
Paul
BP
Frazier
Mesoraco
Cozart
p

Amusingly, with Hanigan hitting, the pitcher "should" hit 6th:
Choo
Votto
Bruce
Paul
BP
p
Frazier
Cozart
Hanigan

I don't think even LaRussa would write down that lineup.
   19. stanmvp48 Posted: May 31, 2013 at 11:30 AM (#4456825)
Or Darren Lewis Robbie Thompson in SF with Bonds fifth.
   20. The District Attorney Posted: May 31, 2013 at 11:46 AM (#4456845)
BTW, this:
"I'm trying to get the most out of myself, and I have decided that this [patient approach, leading to lots of walks] is the way I get the most out of myself," he said. "And if people don't like it, that's their decision. But the people that think I'm doing well are the same people that make sure an automobile drives straight and an airplane knows how to land. These are scientists and mathematicians that can figure out some things."
... is not actually true -- God forbid I should ever get in an airplane designed by Bill James -- but I get the point, and it's a nice thing to hear.
   21. John Northey Posted: May 31, 2013 at 11:47 AM (#4456849)
Hey, if he is sick of that walking Votto guy we have a few guys who don't care for the walk here in Toronto we'd be willing to send him in a trade. A lot of them.
   22. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 31, 2013 at 11:54 AM (#4456858)
an airplane designed by Bill James


It would fly in the opposite direction from the pilot's controls, just to be ornery.
   23. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 31, 2013 at 12:11 PM (#4456877)
thanks to mlbtv and mlbaudio I have caught a fair number of red games and lots of folks around the reds keep taking swipes at votto's willingness to walk

maybe I am way off but I sense the player is being told "x" by his management and the player is either ignoring or telling them to "f off"

so they are using the press to make the point

the team just committed 200 odd million to the guy so one would think they were ok with his approach

if not this could end up being the whackiest player/team feud in recent memory

   24. TDF, situational idiot Posted: May 31, 2013 at 12:39 PM (#4456908)
Harvey:

I think it's the press (radio, TV) and Baker not understanding exactly why Votto is such a good hitter - that he'll wait for a pitch to hit, and if that means taking a walk so be it.

I don't think it's "management" past Baker, and Votto's going to be around alot longer than he is.

“It’s not called walking, it’s called hitting,” Baker said, and that sound you just heard was a sabermetrician slapping his forehead. “You’re trying to get a hit.”
This is the type of stuff from Baker that frustrates me. Obviously, Baker didn't think Bonds was a good hitter because while Dusty was in SF Bonds had a lower BA and much higher walk rate than Votto's had.
   25. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: May 31, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4456924)
Yeah, I don't think management is using the press to make a point. Marty is incredibly proud of his own independence and willingness to "tell it like it is." If anything, he'd go the opposite way if the team tried to suggest a message for the masses.

I also don't think Baker is really against Votto's style of hitting. He's commented many times that Votto doesn't get good pitches to hit anymore. He says stupid things every so often but I suspect that he fully understands why the offense is playing as well as it has.
   26. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 31, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4456952)
tdf/steve

boy I hope so

though it would make for some crazy back and forth if you had the 1.000 ops player telling his management, 'no, I won't be joe carter. you can't make me' and management saying, 'oh yes you will. start hacking or start packing'

   27. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: May 31, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4456967)
steve parris is probably right. Really, I think I just need to not read or listen to anything Dusty or Marty or Thom says, and just put the games on mute and enjoy. The Reds are 33-21 and listening to them makes me feel like they're 21-33 and it is beyond frustrating. This also goes for reading anything Daugherty or McCoy write about them.
   28. Spahn Insane Posted: May 31, 2013 at 01:45 PM (#4456971)
when it leads to Corey Patterson and Neifi Perez as your 1-2 hitters, it tends not to work quite as well.

Ah yes, the days of Piss/Poor™. Those two almost kept Derrek Lee from reaching 100 RBI, despite his hitting .335 with 46 homers.
   29. Nasty Nate Posted: May 31, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4456982)
Those two almost kept Derrek Lee from reaching 100 RBI, despite his hitting .335 with 46 homers.


.... plus 50 doubles
   30. Moeball Posted: May 31, 2013 at 01:58 PM (#4456985)
start hacking or start packing


That is awesome!

I'm sure it was Mickey Hatcher's slogan as the Angels hitting coach.
   31. Comic Strip Person Posted: May 31, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4456988)
“It’s not called walking, it’s called hitting,” Baker said, and that sound you just heard was a sabermetrician slapping his forehead. “You’re trying to get a hit.”


Actually, Dusty, it's called "batting". And you're trying to not get an out.
   32. Walt Davis Posted: May 31, 2013 at 07:24 PM (#4457289)
By the way, it was a reasonable point on lefties back-to-back ... which I agree should be avoided. But you just pinch-hit for Paul late in close games.

Also Choo: 348/492/652 vs RHP; 164/343/200 vs LHP in 2013. Too lazy to look at career.

One of the biggest disconnects between sabermaterics and remaining baseball orthodoxy is the traditional notion that the best hitter should be #3. Now I suppose as long as Choo is getting on base half the time there aren't many Votto PAs where he comes up with nobody on in the first inning. However I see Choo's 1st inning OBP is just 365 this year.

Not surprisingly a reasonable chunk of Choo's OBP is coming with two outs -- 12 BB and 4 HBP in 37 PA with 2 outs and somebody on. Teams like pitching to Cozart.

On the swipes at Votto's walks ... surely this has calmed down since the return of his power. Early in the year he was Wade Boggs, now he's ... somebody putting up a line of 400/500/650. Who would that be -- Hornsby? Yep, that looks good, from 25-29 Hornsby hit 402/474/690.
   33. gehrig97 Posted: May 31, 2013 at 10:11 PM (#4457494)
Paul O'Neill had an interesting take on this on a recent Yankees broadcast. The gist was that patience is a virtue at the plate, but unless you're someone like Wade Boggs or an equally talented hitter (Votto, Edgar fall into this category; Bonds is in his own universe) too much patience can hurt you, as pitchers quickly find out that they can pour it in early in the count and get ahead 0-1, 0-2 without fear. His point was, no one is a good hitter if they're always behind in the count. Some aggression --controlled aggression-- keeps pitchers honest. O'neill practiced what he preached --at least until his bat slowed at the end of his run.
   34. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: June 01, 2013 at 02:26 AM (#4457613)
An interesting article could be written about the five or ten most sabermetrically ignorant managers (some subjectivity there, obviously) and their actual W-L records versus their pyth.

How much difference does it make?
   35. steagles Posted: June 01, 2013 at 03:15 AM (#4457623)
Ah yes, the days of Piss/Poor™. Those two almost kept Derrek Lee from reaching 100 RBI, despite his hitting .335 with 46 homers.
jesus; neifi perez even sweetened his sub-.300 OBP by piling on 22 GIDPs.
   36. Walt Davis Posted: June 01, 2013 at 08:44 AM (#4457639)
Paul O'Neill had an interesting take on this on a recent Yankees broadcast. The gist was that patience is a virtue at the plate, but unless you're someone like Wade Boggs or an equally talented hitter (Votto, Edgar fall into this category; Bonds is in his own universe) too much patience can hurt you, as pitchers quickly find out that they can pour it in early in the count and get ahead 0-1, 0-2 without fear. His point was, no one is a good hitter if they're always behind in the count. Some aggression --controlled aggression-- keeps pitchers honest. O'neill practiced what he preached --at least until his bat slowed at the end of his run.

But it's not clear this is actually true. Batters certainly swing at fewer first pitches than they used to but they hit them harder so that ends up working out about the same. They also hit better after 1-0. But the big difference is they hit a LOT better 0-1 than they used to.

So it's not clear pitchers pour it in more or if batters just don't swing at the tough strikes as often. And it's not clear that they are getting themselves into excessive amounts of trouble.

Huh ... best first pitch numbers, 10+ PA, for 2013 is ... Jesus Montero. Meanwhile Manny Machado has the 2nd most PA with 40 and he's hitting just 243/243/405. Fat Panda is at 273/278/303.

Who the hell is Jedd Gyorko?
   37. The District Attorney Posted: June 01, 2013 at 12:04 PM (#4457686)
Who the hell is Jedd Gyorko?
I believe he's from the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
   38. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: June 01, 2013 at 02:10 PM (#4457735)
An interesting article could be written about the five or ten most sabermetrically ignorant managers (some subjectivity there, obviously) and their actual W-L records versus their pyth.

How much difference does it make?


First you'd have to establish that managing ability (good or bad) had more than zero effect on W-L vs. Pythag.
   39. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 01, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4457742)
First you'd have to establish that managing ability (good or bad) had more than zero effect on W-L vs. Pythag.


Wouldn't that be what you were trying to find out with the experiment?
   40. SoSH U at work Posted: June 01, 2013 at 06:00 PM (#4457907)
Wouldn't that be what you were trying to find out with the experiment?


I understand his objection. The exeperiment seems to assume two things, a) that sabermetrically disclined managers get worse results in general, and b) any manager has a significant role in a team's performance against pyth. I'm not sure either assumption is true.*

I think a better question is how these sabermetric dunces perform against expectations.

* If everything else was equal, the basement-approved manger should perform better than the antistatite. But considering the very real possibility that tactics play a tiny role in a manager's success, and the undeniable fact that everything else is never equal, I'm not sure there's much behind the stat-savvy manager having a major leg up on the competition, with a few notable exceptions (Earl and Davey jump to mind).

Put another way, if a team can have random skipper A who manages by The Book or the old Dustbag himself, I'm putting my money on Baker managing that group to a better record.
   41. McCoy Posted: June 01, 2013 at 06:06 PM (#4457911)
I'd take Joe Maddon.
   42. Greg K Posted: June 01, 2013 at 06:51 PM (#4457932)
Who the hell is Jedd Gyorko?

I've heard this asked a couple times at BTF. I guess I got lucky and pretty much the only prospect review I read before the 2013 season mentioned how Jedd Gyorko was a legit breakout candidate. I'm usually out of the loop on minor leaguers so I just assumed he was one of the "names" for this season. But I guess not.
   43. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: June 01, 2013 at 10:24 PM (#4458077)
Yeah, it seemed to me like the experiment was proposed as: "Here are X managers who don't manage sabermetrically. Let's see if they really are worse or not. We'll use record-vs-pythag to judge." If that's not what is being proposed then I withdraw my objection. But if that is what's being proposed, then I have a problem because the measurement hasn't been shown to mean anything.
   44. cardsfanboy Posted: June 01, 2013 at 10:41 PM (#4458094)
I've heard this asked a couple times at BTF. I guess I got lucky and pretty much the only prospect review I read before the 2013 season mentioned how Jedd Gyorko was a legit breakout candidate. I'm usually out of the loop on minor leaguers so I just assumed he was one of the "names" for this season. But I guess not.


I think I picked him for my NL ROY in the prediction thread.... just because I didn't want to go with the obvious Shelby Miller.
   45. cardsfanboy Posted: June 01, 2013 at 10:45 PM (#4458100)
Yeah, it seemed to me like the experiment was proposed as: "Here are X managers who don't manage sabermetrically. Let's see if they really are worse or not. We'll use record-vs-pythag to judge." If that's not what is being proposed then I withdraw my objection. But if that is what's being proposed, then I have a problem because the measurement hasn't been shown to mean anything.


I just don't get the fascination people have with thinking managerial ability can somehow surpass pyth. Pyth is just run differential. A good manager manages to do good at both aspects of runs and a poor manager does worse... wouldn't a better test of managerial acumen be to look at the runs created formula and see how well the manager does in scoring(or preventing) runs relative to predictions?
   46. Dan Posted: June 01, 2013 at 10:55 PM (#4458107)
Gyorko was a top prospect entering this season. People probably don't know who he is because he was a top Padres prospect.
   47. GregD Posted: June 01, 2013 at 10:57 PM (#4458108)
I just don't get the fascination people have with thinking managerial ability can somehow surpass pyth. Pyth is just run differential. A good manager manages to do good at both aspects of runs and a poor manager does worse... wouldn't a better test of managerial acumen be to look at the runs created formula and see how well the manager does in scoring(or preventing) runs relative to predictions?
This makes total sense to me. I find it more plausible that a good managers finds ways to steal runs here and there than that a good manager finds ways to allocate runs better.
   48. bobm Posted: June 01, 2013 at 11:09 PM (#4458118)
Who the hell is Jedd Gyorko?

That's pronounced JER-ko and arguably displaces Uggla as the most unfortunate surname in the NL.
   49. The District Attorney Posted: June 01, 2013 at 11:32 PM (#4458135)
"Uggla" means "owl" in Swedish.
   50. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: June 01, 2013 at 11:55 PM (#4458143)
I guess I got lucky and pretty much the only prospect review I read before the 2013 season mentioned how Jedd Gyorko was a legit breakout candidate. I'm usually out of the loop on minor leaguers so I just assumed he was one of the "names" for this season. But I guess not.

No, you were right. He was talked up big-time going into the season. Headley's injury really put the Gyorko hype into overdrive. I will admit that I did not know how to pronounce his surname until after the season began.
   51. McCoy Posted: June 01, 2013 at 11:57 PM (#4458146)
"Uggla" means "owl" in Swedish.

I thought it meant "out".
   52. bobm Posted: June 02, 2013 at 12:56 AM (#4458162)
"bagoly" means "owl" in Hungarian. I don't know what "Gyorko" means.
   53. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 02, 2013 at 02:09 AM (#4458169)
I just don't get the fascination people have with thinking managerial ability can somehow surpass pyth. Pyth is just run differential. A good manager manages to do good at both aspects of runs and a poor manager does worse... wouldn't a better test of managerial acumen be to look at the runs created formula and see how well the manager does in scoring(or preventing) runs relative to predictions?

Well really, the only tangible way a manager has to influence pythag is bullpen usage. Everything else being equal, a manager who gets his best pitchers into higher leverage situations, and his worst pitchers into low leverage situations, should do better vs pythag than a manager who uses his bullpen less optimally.
   54. Red Menace Posted: June 02, 2013 at 03:36 AM (#4458177)
I remember a Neyer column in the early aughts that looked at managers' records versus pythag. The one manager who was overwhelmingly the best was... Dusty Baker.

Count me among those who find the premise faulty, although I could imagine a result on the margins for the reasons 53 cites.
   55. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: June 02, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4458382)
This makes me wonder which current MLB lineup most closely resembles the ideal "Book" lineup.


STL has been pretty close to "ideal", with the high-OBP guys (Jay, then Carpenter) up front, and the best hitter (Beltran) second. The Cards don't really have a "Book" #3 or #5 player, but Holliday/Craig/Molina are basically interchangeable 3-5.

The best lineup would probably have Molina's .390 OBP second and Beltran 3rd, but kudos to Matheny for just moving Yadi up in the order as far as he has- La Russa never batted him higher than 6th. If only he was batting the pitcher 8th w/Kozma 9th :)

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