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Saturday, December 09, 2017

Shohei Ohtani’s Value Has No Precedent | FiveThirtyEight

Neil Paine tries to estimate Ohtani’s value.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 09, 2017 at 07:34 AM | 43 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, shohei ohtani

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   1. Dolf Lucky Posted: December 09, 2017 at 08:52 AM (#5589174)
This guy is going to force a ton of conversations about how to handle from a fantasy/rotisserie perspective.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: December 09, 2017 at 04:43 PM (#5589384)
4 to 6 WAR if the bat plays and the arm is good and holds up. 2-4 WAR if at least one is true. 0-2 WAR if he's not actually that good.
   3. Shredder Posted: December 09, 2017 at 07:23 PM (#5589424)
This guy is going to force a ton of conversations about how to handle from a fantasy/rotisserie perspective.
Depending on the format, and how often you can change your line up, I guess. I play in a head to head league where you can only change your lineup weekly. Depending on how often he pitches, he probably would have less value than any other comparable player of his ability. He may never start more than once per week on the mound, and he may only get four starts per week with the bat. I'm probably not wasting a DH on a part timer.
   4. Dolf Lucky Posted: December 09, 2017 at 08:39 PM (#5589436)
This has probably been brought up elsewhere, but is there any chance the Angels will forego the DH when Otani pitches? Or use the DH for a weak hitting infielder/catcher?
   5. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 09, 2017 at 08:48 PM (#5589437)
4 to 6 WAR if the bat plays and the arm is good and holds up.


I mean, if you're being realistic, yeah. But the pie-in-the-sky is that you can get 5 wins with the bat and 6 with the arm. Given that he costs the MLB equivalent of nothing, I think it's a no-brainer that people are excited about him.
   6. PeteF3 Posted: December 09, 2017 at 09:16 PM (#5589441)
This has probably been brought up elsewhere, but is there any chance the Angels will forego the DH when Otani pitches? Or use the DH for a weak hitting infielder/catcher?


You can't DH for any position besides the pitcher, so that option is out.

At Ohtani's first press conference he said he'd like to earn his first victory and earn his first homer in the same game, so clearly *he* would like to hit on the days he's pitching.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: December 09, 2017 at 09:31 PM (#5589445)
But the pie-in-the-sky is that you can get 5 wins with the bat and 6 with the arm.

Ruth produced 7.2 and 10.2 in 1918-19, almost all with the bat (esp 1919) and managed "just" 300 innings across the two seasons. Even if you combine 1917 pitching Ruth with 1918 hitting Ruth, you're just a bit over 11. (Now combine 1916 and 1919 and you're onto something!) "More valuable than Ruth" is a bit too pie-in-the-sky for me.

Of course folks should be excited, even just from a curiosity standpoint of can he be ML-quality at both. And obviously any team that can buy even a 2-WAR player this cheaply should be plenty pleased with itself. And there's probably little marginal risk in finding out how much of a combined pitching/hitting role he can handle.
   8. ReggieThomasLives Posted: December 09, 2017 at 10:05 PM (#5589451)
To add on to Walt’s comments, Ruth’s best two way season wasn’t among his 8 best years by WAR.

And Ohtani has a big adjustment to make. He’d have to put up same relative performances against much tougher competition to put up 10 WAR seasons.
   9. Dolf Lucky Posted: December 09, 2017 at 10:05 PM (#5589452)
You can't DH for any position besides the pitcher, so that option is out.


Really? Ugh, what a dumb rule. Why bother to legislate that?
   10. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: December 10, 2017 at 03:45 AM (#5589486)
[3] In your setup you currently get credit for pitcher hitting? This is rotisserie? What platform does your league use?
   11. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 10, 2017 at 10:41 AM (#5589515)
Really? Ugh, what a dumb rule. Why bother to legislate that?


To get an extra bat into lineups coming off a season when the league hit 239/306/343.

Also as noted before, how can folks be surprised to learn that this is the rule? It's been in place for 45 years. Wouldn't you expect to have seen some team DH for a non-pitcher once or twice by now?
   12. Dolf Lucky Posted: December 10, 2017 at 12:11 PM (#5589543)
Right. So if the primary purpose is to increase offense, why not let the team have the freedom to choose who's bat is replaced?

99.9% of the time, it's a nonissue but it's not impossible for your pitcher to not be the worst bat in the lineup. So why legislate it?
   13. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 10, 2017 at 12:25 PM (#5589548)
Because the point was to remove pitchers, who are already selected for something other than hitting ability, from the batting order, rather than to create an incentive to select position players for something other than hitting ability.

Still wondering how you missed the fact that this is how the rule has always worked at the ML level.
   14. Baldrick Posted: December 10, 2017 at 12:45 PM (#5589552)
Still wondering how you missed the fact that this is how the rule has always worked at the ML level.

Is there a particular reason that you're acting like a jerk about this?
   15. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 10, 2017 at 12:58 PM (#5589558)
Sorry if you think that's acting like a jerk. Like I said, it's been 45 years, it's been clarified on this forum any number of times, and it isn't exactly difficult to look it up. I honestly just don't get the confusion.
   16. Ziggy's screen name Posted: December 10, 2017 at 12:59 PM (#5589559)
I'm guessing that the answer is 'no', but can a single player be BOTH the pitcher AND the DH? If so, Ohtani could get 4 ABs when he pitches instead of 2.
   17. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 10, 2017 at 01:08 PM (#5589561)
can a single player be BOTH the pitcher AND the DH?


In college, yes. And it's like he's two different players for substitution purposes; can be replaced in one role with no effect on the other. In MLB, no.
   18. Endless Trash Posted: December 10, 2017 at 02:54 PM (#5589591)
The other component of this is that if you forgo the dh, you lose it for the whole game. So if the angels let Ohtani bat as a pitcher when he starts, and he gets knocked around and leaves the game in the second inning, they don't have a dh for the whole game pretty nuch.

This is fun stuff. Thank God we have the joy of Ohtani to distract us from the dark evil of the Stanton trade.
   19. PreservedFish Posted: December 10, 2017 at 04:31 PM (#5589636)
So if the angels let Ohtani bat as a pitcher when he starts, and he gets knocked around and leaves the game in the second inning, they don't have a dh for the whole game pretty nuch.


Doesn't seem like a big problem to me.
   20. Greg Pope Posted: December 10, 2017 at 08:21 PM (#5589728)
Depending on the format, and how often you can change your line up, I guess. I play in a head to head league where you can only change your lineup weekly. Depending on how often he pitches, he probably would have less value than any other comparable player of his ability. He may never start more than once per week on the mound, and he may only get four starts per week with the bat. I'm probably not wasting a DH on a part timer.

Some leagues will let him qualify at both P and DH, but you will have to pick which one you put him at each week. So if you DH him, you don't get his pitching stats. And if you pitch him, you don't get hitting. But if you DH him, you will still get his hitting stats on the day he pitches.

If he was on a normal rotation, you could DH him on weeks he has one start, and pitch him the weeks he has 2. But you're right in that if he pitches exactly once each week, how much value does he have? You're rarely going to DH him since he'll only play 4 games. But you'll only get 26 starts out of him instead of 32-33 if you just pitch him.
   21. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: December 10, 2017 at 08:24 PM (#5589736)
Ahh, that makes sense. Thank you for explaining, Greg Pope. I've been thinking about this a lot. I guess that's how most daily leagues would handle it too; it wouldn't require any major changes to the platform.
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: December 10, 2017 at 09:05 PM (#5589778)
Doesn't seem like a big problem to me.


Except for interleague games, I don't see him hitting on the days he pitches. You're burning through pinch-hitters any time his spot comes up the rest of the way, and most teams simply don't have that many quality bench bats.

   23. Nasty Nate Posted: December 10, 2017 at 09:27 PM (#5589793)
Except for interleague games, I don't see him hitting on the days he pitches.
I think you're wrong on this.
   24. SoSH U at work Posted: December 10, 2017 at 09:45 PM (#5589809)
I think you're wrong on this.


Perhaps, but I think that would be a mistake on the Angels' part. The dropoff between Ohtani and the team's other option at DH surely isn't worth the dropoff between having to use multiple pinch-hitters (only one of whom is suited to the task), or, most significantly, a pitcher if the game goes extra innings and the spot comes up multiple times.



   25. Endless Trash Posted: December 10, 2017 at 10:30 PM (#5589835)
I think he pretty clearly wants to bat on the days he pitches, and he chose the angels for a reason. So...
   26. SoSH U at work Posted: December 10, 2017 at 10:34 PM (#5589838)

I think he pretty clearly wants to bat on the days he pitches, and he chose the angels for a reason. So...


You guys are probably right. But from a baseball standpoint, it's a mistake.
   27. Nasty Nate Posted: December 11, 2017 at 10:44 AM (#5589977)
The dropoff between Ohtani and the team's other option at DH surely isn't worth the dropoff between having to use multiple pinch-hitters (only one of whom is suited to the task), or, most significantly, a pitcher if the game goes extra innings and the spot comes up multiple times.
The extra innings situation is the big concern. Of course, they save a roster spot using him in the lineup, so the first pinch-hitter is "free."
   28. Rally Posted: December 11, 2017 at 10:53 AM (#5589992)
It hurts in extra innings, but last year the average team played 11 extra inning games. So you would expect that to happen in an Ohtani start twice. It hurts if he's knocked out of the game early, but that should be rare and if not then the Angels have bigger problems than whether he should be batting for himself or not.

Most of the time you'd need one pinch hitter, the guy who would have been a DH anyway.
   29. SoSH U at work Posted: December 11, 2017 at 10:59 AM (#5590004)
It hurts in extra innings, but last year the average team played 11 extra inning games. So you would expect that to happen in an Ohtani start twice. It hurts if he's knocked out of the game early, but that should be rare and if not then the Angels have bigger problems than whether he should be batting for himself or not.

Most of the time you'd need one pinch hitter, the guy who would have been a DH anyway.


I imagine the DH spot comes up twice after the starter leaves the game on a lot of occasions in a nine-inning game. If Ohtani goes 5-6 innings, you'd have to use a pinch hitter a decent amount of time, and the second one wouldn't be free (and those are just the kind of games where each late-inning AB has higher leverage).

Strictly from a baseball sense, it would be a bad decision to bat him on the day he pitches. From an acquisition standpoint, it might have been unavoidable (at least for now).
   30. Nasty Nate Posted: December 11, 2017 at 11:05 AM (#5590016)
It hurts if he's knocked out of the game early, but that should be rare and if not then the Angels have bigger problems than whether he should be batting for himself or not.
I think people have been overstating the irrelevance of the pinch-hitters in games in which he will be knocked out early. When pitchers get pulled, it doesn't automatically mean the team has allowed so many runs that it is a blowout - especially if the reliever strands some runners. And in some of those games in which lots of runs are allowed, the Angels will also score a lot.

If he's putting up lots of 4-5 ip, 2-3 run outings, they may start DHing for him more, especially in home games.
   31. Rally Posted: December 11, 2017 at 11:06 AM (#5590018)
If he leaves after 5-6 innings you can expect to need to PH twice. You can use the leverage of the situation to decide whether to PH your best option first or hold him back till later. So bases loaded one out in the bottom 6th, send in your backup OF or utility infielder. Nobody on, two out in the 6th, send in Pujols.
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: December 11, 2017 at 11:12 AM (#5590031)
If he leaves after 5-6 innings you can expect to need to PH twice. You can use the leverage of the situation to decide whether to PH your best option first or hold him back till later. So bases loaded one out in the bottom 6th, send in your backup OF or utility infielder. Nobody on, two out in the 6th, send in Pujols.


There are probably a number of things you can do to minimize the damage from intentionally starting a game that employs a DH without a DH, but it's never going to make it a good decision.

Edit: I suppose if Ohtani is one of the best hitters in the league, or massively better than the Angels' first alternative at DH, it could make sense. That doesn't seem terribly likely.
   33. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: December 11, 2017 at 11:19 AM (#5590050)
This guy is going to force a ton of conversations about how to handle from a fantasy/rotisserie perspective.


The APBA message boards have been agog about it.

I don't think he will be able to succeed as a star at both positions. Simply too hard to do.
   34. OCF Posted: December 11, 2017 at 01:11 PM (#5590182)
In college, yes. And it's like he's two different players for substitution purposes; can be replaced in one role with no effect on the other. In MLB, no.

That was Jason Vargas in college, where he out-hit Troy Tulowitzki for the season. And I remember being at a game where he started, was lifted for a relief pitcher, but stayed in the game as DH.
   35. Shredder Posted: December 12, 2017 at 01:26 AM (#5590576)
In the LA Times today, they said the Angels are tinkering with a six man rotation. I'd be a little ticked to hear that if I were Garret Richards, though they have a lot of guy who could stand a little extra rest. But they would also carry seven relievers, which would leave them only three bench players. That could be an issue if they don't use the DH on days he pitches. Also strange how a guy who could hit and pitch, and who therefore theoretically save you a roster spot, could actually end up costing the Angels a roster spot.
   36. PreservedFish Posted: December 12, 2017 at 09:23 AM (#5590632)
So bases loaded one out in the bottom 6th, send in your backup OF or utility infielder. Nobody on, two out in the 6th, send in Pujols.

Harsh
   37. Nasty Nate Posted: December 12, 2017 at 10:07 AM (#5590674)
Also strange how a guy who could hit and pitch, and who therefore theoretically save you a roster spot, could actually end up costing the Angels a roster spot.
I had a similar thought: that having him hit in his starts would make it really useful for them to have another pitcher who could hit (at least enough to be a non-embarrassment pinch hitter).
   38. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 12, 2017 at 05:04 PM (#5591139)
In the LA Times today, they said the Angels are tinkering with a six man rotation. I'd be a little ticked to hear that if I were Garret Richards, though they have a lot of guy who could stand a little extra rest.
I've been working on something about that. Ohtani aside, nearly the entire projected rotation is coming back from an injury, with the only healthy guy being Bridwell, who's just not pitched enough with the Angels to hurt himself. If a 6-man rotation can get 150 IP out of five of those guys, that'd be a huge step forward for the organization.

And yeah, it would totally cancel out the roster advantage that Ohtani brings to the Angels, but I also imagine that as the season goes on, the more effective pitchers will start getting more starts, especially if the Angels are in any sort of a playoff race.
   39. Baldrick Posted: December 12, 2017 at 05:07 PM (#5591141)
FWIW, I expect 6-man rotations to become more and more common across the league, whether or not they're formally implemented or more a matter of informal practice.
   40. Greg Pope Posted: December 12, 2017 at 05:12 PM (#5591146)
Ahh, that makes sense. Thank you for explaining, Greg Pope. I've been thinking about this a lot. I guess that's how most daily leagues would handle it too; it wouldn't require any major changes to the platform.

The other option I've seen is that leagues may just have 2 players in the database with the name Shohei Ohtani. One is a pitcher and one is a hitter. Then the regular rules apply.

But you run into the same thing there if you draft either one. You're drafting a pitcher who's never going to have a 2-start week. And a hitter that only bats in 4 out of 6 games in every week. There's value there, but how much?
   41. reech Posted: December 12, 2017 at 11:07 PM (#5591370)
   42. Rally Posted: December 13, 2017 at 09:32 AM (#5591526)
But you run into the same thing there if you draft either one. You're drafting a pitcher who's never going to have a 2-start week. And a hitter that only bats in 4 out of 6 games in every week. There's value there, but how much?


There would be value in it if, like with a real team, he only took up one roster space. But typically fantasy baseball ignores pitcher hitting. I don't think the rest of the league would be too happy having a .100 hitter added to their stats just so you can get credit for Ohtani's batting.
   43. Nasty Nate Posted: December 13, 2017 at 10:30 AM (#5591561)
It seems likely that he will be given both UTIL and P eligibility, so those who play in grown-up leagues that use daily lineups will still want him on their team - but will have to choose which one they want on any given day.

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