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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-28-2011

Thomas Busch, “Searching For Victory”:

Sometime in late March or early April, 1911, Charley [Faust] set out for Wichita, Kansas (the nearest “big city”), in search of some diversion from the drudgery of farm routine. There he found a fortune teller who, for five dollars, told him he would become the greatest pitcher the world had ever known if he would join the New York Giants. Three times she told him this, and added that when he had established himself and helped the Giants to win a pennant, he would meet a girl named Lulu, marry her, and become the father of future generations of baseball stars.
...

On the morning of July 28, 1911, Charley wandered into the Planter’s Hotel in St. Louis and asked to see John McGraw, manager of the New York Giants. The Giants were in town on their second western swing of the season. He was directed to a trio of men in the lobby consisting of McGraw, Christy Mathewson, and Red Ames. Charley introduced himself and carefully related to McGraw the “fortune” he had been told in Wichita.

And the rest is history.  Or Victory.

The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 11:17 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: baseball geeks, dugout, history, projections

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: July 28, 2011 at 01:37 PM (#3887444)
The Braves (as someone mentioned yesterday) traded for Wil Nieves. What I didn't know then - the price was $1.
We overpaid.
   2. Coot Veal and Cot Deal's cols=“100” rows=“20” Posted: July 28, 2011 at 01:51 PM (#3887452)
Bud Selig turns 77 on Saturday, but there're no Primer Dugouts on Saturdays... so, an early birthday wish for The Great Defiler
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:11 PM (#3887461)
Indians about to acquire OF Kosuke Fukudome according to Danny Knobler.
   4. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:56 PM (#3887504)
Sounds like Abnber Abreu and Carlton Smith. Quite underwhelming.
   5. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:56 PM (#3887506)
I was just thinking about how the Tribe was one mediocre corner outfielder with limited upside away from a championship.

Now, on to glory!

*sigh*
   6. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:01 PM (#3887509)
Abreu and Smith are solidly in the "non-prospect" category, so that's nice. I guess the frustrating thing is that this fixes exactly none of the team's problems - it's as if the Dolans have ordered Antonetti to make a few insignificant trades so they can claim they're committed to winning.
   7. Banta Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:05 PM (#3887514)
Can someone explain pitching WAR to me? Mike Pelfrey has an ERA+ of 82 through 133 IP this year. He has a WAR of 1.3, per BBREF. In 2009, he had an ERA+ of 81 in 188 IP, which was good for a WAR of 0. His year seems almost identical to me, even down to his perphirals (he has a slightly lower K and BB rate this year, but a better K:BB ratio, but a worse HR rate). So, why the big difference? (His WHIP is a lot lower this year than 09 though.)
   8. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:07 PM (#3887516)
Cellphone-induced double post, somehow six minutes after the first post.
   9. Randy Jones Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:19 PM (#3887526)
Can someone explain pitching WAR to me? Mike Pelfrey has an ERA+ of 82 through 133 IP this year. He has a WAR of 1.3, per BBREF. In 2009, he had an ERA+ of 81 in 188 IP, which was good for a WAR of 0. His year seems almost identical to me, even down to his perphirals (he has a slightly lower K and BB rate this year, but a better K:BB ratio, but a worse HR rate). So, why the big difference? (His WHIP is a lot lower this year than 09 though.)


BB-Ref WAR comes from BaseballProjection.com. The description of pitcher WAR there:

WAR- Wins above replacement - Runs above replacement, adjusted for leverage, divided by a runs to wins converter. This is normally close to 10 runs per win but is less in lower run scoring environments. Pitchers are credited with extra leverage halfway between their actual leverage and 1.0. This is due to the effect of chaining, a relief ace who normally has a leverage of 2.0 and is injured. He will be replaced by a setup man, who is normally an above average pitcher himself, and all pitchers will move up into higher impact situations. The net effect is less than if we assume that the relief ace is directly replaced by a replacement level pitcher.


Here are all their stat definitions. My guess for Pelfrey is a change in leverage and the lower run environment this year as opposed to 2009.
   10. Banta Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:28 PM (#3887536)
Thanks for the response, Randy. I get the leverage part (well, conceptually anyway), but isn't the lower run environment already accounted for in his ERA+? I mean, his raw ERA is a half a run lower than 2010, but his ERA+ is the same, basically. Are pitchers just generally more valuable in a lower run environment? Or is replacement level lower? Or am I completely lost?
   11. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:41 PM (#3887556)
From a Fangraphs article comparing their pitching WAR w/ Sean's:

Our version of pitcher WAR is essentially based on FIP, meaning that a pitcher is judged by his walk rate, strikeout rate, and home run rate (and, of course, the quantity of innings that he throws and the role in which he throws them). Sean takes a pitcher’s actual runs allowed, then makes adjustments to try to compensate for the defense behind him. The two systems might have the same goal, but they’re measuring two different things.
   12. zack Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:46 PM (#3887562)
Can someone explain pitching WAR to me? Mike Pelfrey has an ERA+ of 82 through 133 IP this year. He has a WAR of 1.3, per BBREF. In 2009, he had an ERA+ of 81 in 188 IP, which was good for a WAR of 0. His year seems almost identical to me, even down to his perphirals (he has a slightly lower K and BB rate this year, but a better K:BB ratio, but a worse HR rate). So, why the big difference? (His WHIP is a lot lower this year than 09 though.)


I don't think it's leverage, Pelfrey's average leverage is actually lower this year (.95 to .98).

This link has the most complete description of BB-REF pitching WAR that I could find.

But I think the explanation is much simpler than that. The replacement runs are a similar rate, so that's not it (Pelfrey's schedule has been a little tougher, so that favours 2011 a bit). Leverage hasn't changed much. I think it is just simply the difference between earned vs unearned runs. WAR uses all runs, while ERA+ is only earned runs. Pelfrey gave up more unearned runs in 2009, so his ERAs end up similar while his RAs are very different.
   13. zack Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:54 PM (#3887573)
Although I get a rough RA+ of about 82 vs. 85, so I don't know if that's a big enough gap. That's un-park-adjusted, so if his road starts were in more difficult parks that could be part of it.
   14. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:01 PM (#3887583)
C. C. Sabathia recently turned 31 years old. He had 171 wins before turning 31. How does that stack up historically? Well, I looked it up and provide the list of the 25 winningest pitchers before age 31 in the liveball era.
   15. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:06 PM (#3887590)
Cellphone-induced double post, somehow six minutes after the first post.

I read that as Cellophane-induced double post and thought that you were a very sick pup to be huffing burning cellophane.
   16. Banta Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:34 PM (#3887633)
Interesting replies, thanks again, guys.
   17. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:40 PM (#3887643)
   18. DCW3 Posted: July 28, 2011 at 05:02 PM (#3887664)
Besides the unearned runs, WAR also considers the Mets' defense to be significantly worse this year than it was in 2009, so Pelfrey's numbers go up thanks to that.

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