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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Angels - Acquired Christiansen

Anaheim Angels - Acquired P Jason Christiansen from the San Francisco Giants for P Dustin Bergman and P Ronnie Ray

This is a really odd acquisition - the Angels have been functioning with a top lefty reliever all season (Jake Woods has been middling), but Christiansen is utterly worthless at this juncture and has last contribution to a major league team was in 2001.  And it’s not as if he had a uniform record of excellence up to that point, either.  On the plus side, Christiansen has started getting lefties out, so he’ll have to be used only in that role to have any kind of value to the Angels.  Bergman’s a useful player, a good fill-in at the end of a bullpen, but no great loss (though of more value than most of the minor leaguers swapped since the non-waiver trade deadline).

2005 ZiPS Projection - Jason Christiansen
—————————————————————————————-
Period     W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
—————————————————————————————-
Actual ‘05   6   1 56   0   42   48   25   4 15 17 5.36
Rest ‘05   1   1 12   0   9   10   5   1   4   4 5.00
—————————————————————————————-
Total ‘05   7   2 68   0   51   58   30   5 19 21 5.29
Proj. ‘06   3   4 62   0   43   49   27   6 20 20 5.65

Dan Szymborski Posted: September 01, 2005 at 03:15 PM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: September 01, 2005 at 05:06 PM (#1590921)
vs. LHB, 2005
Pitcher         AB  AVG  OBP  SLG
Shields        153  196  280  281
Donnelly       101  198  264  307
K-Rod          100  200  270  360
Christiansen    80  250  308  313

vs. LHB, 2002-2004
Pitcher         AB  AVG  OBP  SLG
Shields        547  225  313  335
Donnelly       288  212  291  316
K-Rod          319  201  301  305
Christiansen   125  224  333  320
Christiansen sure seems to bring quite a lot to the team.
   2. 1k5v3L Posted: September 01, 2005 at 05:24 PM (#1590961)
Can Christiansen play centerfield?
   3. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: September 01, 2005 at 05:44 PM (#1591025)
Dan, would you mind putting up Bergman's adjusted ZiPS? In some MLE systems, SLC ERAs are on a par with those in the majors (usual caveats about pitching MLEs not withstanding).
   4. Rudy Pemberton Posted: September 01, 2005 at 06:04 PM (#1591092)
This moves make perfect sense...the stats vs left handed batters forget a very important thing...namely, the batter. It's great that the Angels relivers are good against lefties, but it ignores that the lefty batters are also good at hitting righties.

Ya think a lefty specialist to face David Ortiz, Trot Nixon, or Johnny Damon might have been useful in last year's ALDS?
   5. 1k5v3L Posted: September 01, 2005 at 06:06 PM (#1591098)
Ya think a lefty specialist to face David Ortiz, Trot Nixon, or Johnny Damon might have been useful in last year's ALDS?

No.
   6. 1k5v3L Posted: September 01, 2005 at 06:08 PM (#1591103)
Unless, of course, that lefty was Billy Wagner or BJ Ryan.
   7. sardonic Posted: September 01, 2005 at 06:17 PM (#1591131)
This moves make perfect sense...the stats vs left handed batters forget a very important thing...namely, the batter. It's great that the Angels relivers are good against lefties, but it ignores that the lefty batters are also good at hitting righties.

Actually, those stats actually take that into account. The lefty batters you speak of are the ones putting up those lines, after all.

According to MGL, lefty batters, on average, have a 12% platoon disadvantage against LHP and LHP have an 8% platoon advantage against LHB (I'm not sure if I'm remembering the numbers correctly, but it's in that ballpark). The problem is, Christianson's true talent is likely far, far, worse than any of the other Angels' relievers, so the platoon advantage does not confer an actual advantage against LHB.
   8. AROM Posted: September 01, 2005 at 06:29 PM (#1591169)
Ya think a lefty specialist to face David Ortiz, Trot Nixon, or Johnny Damon might have been useful in last year's ALDS?

Like Jarrod Washburn in emergency relief, while Troy Percival ends his Angel career by not pitching at all in the series?

Lets not try that again.
   9. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: September 01, 2005 at 07:59 PM (#1591469)
In his career, Christiansen has allowed a .233 batting average to lefties. Scot Shields has allowed a .221 batting average to lefties.

David Ortiz has hit .259 against lefties and .289 against righties.

Using the Odds Ratio method, and assuming a league that hits .270 against both lefties and righties, we would expect Ortiz to hit .223 against Christiansen and .238 against Shields.

I don't know if batting averages are higher or lower against LHP or RHP, historically, or over the course of these guys' careers. This season, it appears that RHP are hit around .263 (just eyeballing from ESPN) and LHP .271.

That would get the average to .243 against Shields and .221 against Christiansen.

Of course we haven't included walks and all that ... it seems like there might be some slight advantage, if you really want to have a guy who will face one batter per game ...
   10. sardonic Posted: September 01, 2005 at 08:12 PM (#1591491)
Couldn't you just use Donnelly if you really had to get a LHB? And Christiansen does seem to give more walks.
   11. 3Com Park Posted: September 01, 2005 at 08:42 PM (#1591556)
In his career, Christiansen has allowed a .233 batting average to lefties. Scot Shields has allowed a .221 batting average to lefties.

Earlier in his career, Christiansen had talent. In 1998 he pitched 64.2 innings, struck out 71 batters, and held the league to a .216 BA (don't have the splits). Since then he's been hurt, and now he sucks.
   12. AROM Posted: September 01, 2005 at 09:17 PM (#1591645)
Using the Odds Ratio method, and assuming a league that hits .270 against both lefties and righties, we would expect Ortiz to hit .223 against Christiansen and .238 against Shields.

I don't think that's the way it works, but I don't know how to actually calculate it.

Since that .221 avg against Shields is put up by lefty batters, who we have to assume him righthanders better than lefties as a group...

I'm really not sure where to go with this, and I hope someone a bit more stat-savvy can help me out, but I think you would need to know, instead of the overall league average, what the average lefty hits against lefties, and against righties.
   13. Spivey Posted: September 02, 2005 at 12:30 AM (#1592115)
Good LOOGYS are valuable. Some lefties cannot hit LHP, and will have much more production against a RHP who is still good against LHP than a LHP who is just against good against lefty hitting when the hitter can't hit lefties.

A LOOGY is a powerful weapon against Nixon. Ortiz had awful splits in 2003, I know all to well from having that stratomatic season. Not sure if he's improved though.
   14. Spivey Posted: September 02, 2005 at 12:35 AM (#1592131)
I find it interesting that a lot of people on this site think that lineups shouldn't be set RLRL..., but that should just have the best hitters at 2, 3 and so forth. But they also don't think LOOGYs are valuable. Well LOOGYs suddently because LOIGYs (Left-handed one inning guys) in a lot of situations. That can end up being like 60 reasonably high leverage innings over a season of outstanding production.
   15. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: September 02, 2005 at 01:47 AM (#1592304)
Couldn't you just use Donnelly if you really had to get a LHB?

Donnelly has been terrible since he was no longer allowed to throw the 'tar ball.'
   16. Spivey Posted: September 02, 2005 at 01:54 AM (#1592319)
Donnelly was good for a while after being suspended. He's had a rough stretch lately, but I'm not going to completely write him off yet.
   17. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: September 02, 2005 at 02:00 AM (#1592329)
Spivey, it is obvious that Donnely's past success came from loading the ball up with pine tar. The guy was a minor league/ foreign league journeyman for many years. Those guys don't just turn into quality pitchers over-night.
   18. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: September 02, 2005 at 02:14 AM (#1592351)
Since being ejected for the pine tar, Donnelly has pitched 25 1/3 innings, allowing 21 hits, seven walks, and striking out 20 and allowing eight earned runs for an ERA of 2.84. His ERA was 4.34 the day of the ejection, and is now down to 3.81.

And that exaggerates his "struggles," as half of those eight runs came in one outing.
   19. AROM Posted: September 02, 2005 at 04:55 AM (#1592693)
Those guys don't just turn into quality pitchers over-night.

Actually, they do, especially in relief. Happens all the time.

The problem is, when a 31 year old rookie all of a sudden is lights out, you can't expect a long career.

He seems to have lost a little this season, but is still a good pitcher. I'd say the over/under on how long he'll be useful is 2 years. He'll be 36 at the end of '07.


I find it interesting that a lot of people on this site think that lineups shouldn't be set RLRL..., but that should just have the best hitters at 2, 3 and so forth.

Who? I don't recall anybody saying that, though its not a topic that gets discussed at all very often. The only person I remember talking about setting lineups RLRL was MGL, and he was in favor of it.
   20. sardonic Posted: September 02, 2005 at 07:54 AM (#1592933)
I think setting lineups RLRL is just one of those things that you take on a case-by-case basis. If your best two hitters are lefty or righty and there's a significant dropoff, I'd probably bat them together. I'd also probably alter this on a day-to-day basis depending on the opposition's bullpen composition and in general how likely the opposing team is likely to bring in a LHRP.



A LOOGY is a powerful weapon against Nixon. Ortiz had awful splits in 2003, I know all to well from having that stratomatic season. Not sure if he's improved though.


I guess what I'm saying is that I'd rather have a good right handed reliever than a crappy left handed one come in to face a lefty in a big situation.
   21. Rudy Pemberton Posted: September 02, 2005 at 02:05 PM (#1593115)
Fair enough, but I remember Sox fans crying about Mike Myers being on the roster- yet he's continued to completely suppress slugging of left-handed hitters.

I think there's also something to LOOGY's having more of an effect on lefties who don't appear to have a platoon split. A guy like Johnny Damon hits lefties pretty well; but not those with extreme splits.

This year, Christiansen has held lefties to 250/318/303. That's damn good.
   22. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: September 02, 2005 at 02:20 PM (#1593134)
Rudy! Where are you playing nowadays? Mexico, Korea, elsewhere?

The only person I remember talking about setting lineups RLRL was MGL, and he was in favor of it.
I am as well, unless you're playing against a club with weak situational relievers and heavy situational usage.
   23. Steve Treder Posted: September 02, 2005 at 03:21 PM (#1593204)
This year, Christiansen has held lefties to 250/318/303. That's damn good.

It is. But guess what: he's also "held" righties to 318/365/500. That's damn horrendous.

And guess what else: he's faced more RHB than LHB. That's the case with nearly all LOOGYs every year, for two simple reasons: opponents are free to pinch-hit when a new pitcher enters the game (yet a new pitcher must face at least one batter), and most batters are right-handed.

Of course the platoon advantage is significant and important. Of course teams should strive to maximize their platoon-advantage PAs. But it's far easier to do so on the offensive side than the defensive side.

The average LOOGY, like Christiansen here, will get somewhere around 100 PAs against LHB per year. Contrast that with a LHB deployed in a regular platoon arrangement -- a form of deployment that has declined significantly in the past 20 years, as position player roster spots have been increasingly transferred to LOOGYs -- who can easily attain 300 or 400 platoon-advantaged PAs per year.
   24. Rudy Pemberton Posted: September 06, 2005 at 04:14 PM (#1599982)
That's fine, but figure that the last few players on a 25-man roster aren't going to play much anyways, specifically in the post-season. Wouldn't you rather have Jason Christiansen or Mike Myers, a guy who can offer an advantage in a big situation, than one of those guys?

Against Trot Nixon, Eric Chavez, David Ortiz, Johnny Damon, Jason Giambi, etc.- he could be a weapon.

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