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   1. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: May 09, 2006 at 12:36 AM (#2010431)
Papelbon: 1.59
Timlin: 1.84


NOT GOOD

This means Timlin is pitching with runners on.

NOT GOOD
   2. philly Posted: May 09, 2006 at 12:38 AM (#2010436)
That looks to me like decent deployment of the pen

Don't say that too loudly. The dirty little secret about the most strident criticims of modern bullpen usage is that while individual decisions may look horrid (eg Torre using a scrub in a late tie instead of Rivera) every systematic look at leverage shows that most teams do a pretty good job of deploying their releif pitchers in terms of leverage.

It's interesting that you mention that KRod has a very high ranking (and note that the 9th inning closer is much higher than the multi-inning relief ace in Shields). Sciosca has generally gotten his closer very high leverage scores. Bochy has done the same for Hoffman over the years. I don't know how much of that is team specific contexts, but these managers have done it over a long period of time. One way to quantify the effects of managers may be to judge well well they leverage their releivers over long periods of time.

I've actually just been screwing around with that site a bit. I wouldn't worry too much about the offenseve LIs. The ranges are all pretty tight around 1.0. I assume that over the course of the year that will band will ust get narrower and narrower.
   3. Psychedelic Red Pants Posted: May 09, 2006 at 12:57 AM (#2010458)
Sciosca has generally gotten his closer very high leverage scores. Bochy has done the same for Hoffman over the years. I don't know how much of that is team specific contexts, but these managers have done it over a long period of time.


Throwing closers less in blowouts "just to get the work in" could be a factor there. It'd hurt a pitcher's leverage index without necessarily being an indicator of poor bullpen usage.
   4. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: May 09, 2006 at 12:59 AM (#2010463)
Thanks for the link, Darren. You and Toby are doing a pretty good job.
   5. Darren Posted: May 09, 2006 at 01:05 AM (#2010469)
Philly,

Maybe I'm not remembering this correctly, but I thought that when Tango looked at some of the classic relief aces (Sutter/Gossage/Fingers/etc.), they scored considerably higher than the aces of today, in addition to their IP advantage. In general, though, I've argued that it's unrealistic to expect today's managers to return to that style, or even to assume that that style was sustainable and/or commonly used.

Whatever the case, I thought that, as someone who's been critical of Tito's usage recently that I should point out that the results, if not perfect, seem to show a logical usage pattern.
   6. Darren Posted: May 09, 2006 at 01:09 AM (#2010474)
"Pretty good," eh GGC? Don't strain yourself there. :)

Here's the link on the relief aces and their usage: link

Sutter 1.90
Gossage 1.62 (some starting)
L Smith 1.73 (through 1990)


I don't know how those #s stack up against today's pitchers.
   7. Darren Posted: May 09, 2006 at 01:11 AM (#2010479)
NOT GOOD

This means Timlin is pitching with runners on.


Two points on this, though. One, it could just be that he's in a lot of tie and one-run games. Two, Timlin hasn't historically been bad with runners on. Last year was a bit of an exception in that regard.
   8. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: May 09, 2006 at 01:17 AM (#2010486)
Something that I haven't figured out yet from the WPA stats. The Mets total is 550% and they are 21-10. The Sox are 19-12 and their total is 350%. Chisox are 650% and 22-9. I'm guessing that the formula is (games over .500)* 100%. Makes sense now that I look at the Brew Crew.

Nevermind, I'm just thinking out loud here.
   9. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: May 09, 2006 at 01:22 AM (#2010489)
Make that (games over .500)* 50%.

I think I just pulled my cerberal cortex, Darren ;).
   10. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: May 09, 2006 at 01:43 AM (#2010509)
Two points on this, though. One, it could just be that he's in a lot of tie and one-run games. Two, Timlin hasn't historically been bad with runners on. Last year was a bit of an exception in that regard.

Over the last three years, opponents have hit .257/.296/.398 against Timlin. For lefties the line is .285/.321/.435, for righties .233/.275/.366, a fairly ordinary platoon split in about equal IP for each. With runners on the line against him is .272/.317/.441.

Timlin's line is rather worse with runners on, and his pitching profile is also unsuited to the role. He doesn't walk many, and he doesn't get hit much, but when he's hit he's hit hard. This won't particularly affect his stats but it will mean a lot of inherited runners will score. So he shouldn't pitch with runners on.

Timlin has historically been bad with runners on, but he has not been historically bad with runners on. :)
   11. Josh Posted: May 09, 2006 at 01:49 AM (#2010517)
I don't know how those #s stack up against today's pitchers.

Rivera has been in that 1.7-1.9 range consistently, iirc. He is at 1.9 now.
   12. b-ball23 Posted: May 09, 2006 at 03:32 AM (#2010634)
I'm glad that LI is finally being totaled for a season...but (and maybe after this season or even later), if I was a GM or part of a team I would not only want to know the LI for that pitcher, but how many times that pitcher pitched in pressure situations (low, medium, high, etc.) and how well he did in those situations (bad, ok, good in terms of WPA going up or down) presented with his WPA, IP, etc. You could also calculate how many times he pitched when his team was trailing, tied, or leading (or even by what inning he pitched in and how many times) which could help you understand his LI even more...

Just thought I'd throw that out there - it really isn't too important for what fangraphs is going to do, but it would be useful to know for a major league team.
   13. philly Posted: May 09, 2006 at 03:56 AM (#2010646)
Throwing closers less in blowouts "just to get the work in" could be a factor there. It'd hurt a pitcher's leverage index without necessarily being an indicator of poor bullpen usage.

That may be true with respect to Sciosca and Percival who pitched relatively few innings even for a modern closer, but at least in his younger days Hoffman pitched a pretty typical workload. I don't watch the Padres closely at all, but it wouldn't surprise me if Bochy is just really getting at running his bullpen.

Maybe I'm not remembering this correctly, but I thought that when Tango looked at some of the classic relief aces (Sutter/Gossage/Fingers/etc.), they scored considerably higher than the aces of today, in addition to their IP advantage.

I'm pretty sure it's an overlapping range and if anything the modern pitchers have a slight edge. That's true for Woolner's LEV and I think Tango has said that there are so many similarities between the two systems that they generally produce similar results.

If you flip thru the historical releiver reports at BP you'll see the 70s era closers with a lot of seasons in the 1.4-1.7. A good, well used modern closer will tend to be more in the 1.6-1.9 range. From what I can tell most of the advantage is in IP and not LEV or LI.
   14. jewtang Posted: May 09, 2006 at 11:56 AM (#2010771)
It's worth pointing out that LI is a measure of performance as well as usage.

Consider Papelbon's appearances on 4/18 and 5/5. In both games, Papelbon entered the game in the top of the 9th inning with a 3-run lead, and pitched a scoreless inning, for a WPA of +3.7%. However, in the first game, his LI was 1.2, while in the second it was 0.5. The difference is that on 4/18, Papelbon loaded the bases before getting out of the inning, while in the 5/5 game, he did not allow a baserunner.

A pitcher's LI is the average of the LI for each batter he faces. So if you have two pitchers that are used in identical situations, the one who allows more baserunners will almost always have a higher LI. Papelbon's LI is lower than Timlin's less because of how Francona is using them than because Papelbon rarely gets himself into trouble (WHIP of 0.72), while Timlin often does (WHIP of 1.54).
   15. Fridas Boss Posted: May 09, 2006 at 12:19 PM (#2010778)
That's a great point, jewtang. Is there a way to adjust LI for what position a reliever is dropped into (manager's LI choice) and what his pitching created?
   16. Addicted To Glove Posted: May 09, 2006 at 01:30 PM (#2010817)
What are we really trying to measure here? To me, it seems like you want to know two things about relievers. First, you want to know how they affected the game in the sense of did they advance the chances of winning or hinder them. Second, you want to know if the best pitchers are being used correctly.

Win Prob. Added does a good job with the first, and a manager's LI would help with the second.

The overall pitcher's LI is neat info, but I don't really care how the reliever is doing his job as long as it's getting done. About the only real use of actual pitcher LI to me is to try to ascertain whether a pitcher's performance is sustainable given the number of runners he's giving up, and even then is it more helpful than WHIP?
   17. jewtang Posted: May 09, 2006 at 01:38 PM (#2010821)
The issue with doing that is that the manager is making a decision to continue the pitcher for every additional batter faced. However, Francona almost never removes Papelbon or Timlin in the middle of an inning (only time so far this year - Timin on 4/21). So looking at the average of the LI for for the first PA of each inning pitched, we can get a pretty good idea of the situations Francona's putting them in. Let's call this stat Trust.

We then have:

Papelbon:
LI - 1.59
Trust - 1.76

Timlin:
LI - 1.86
Trust - 1.46

So Papelbon is being sent into higher leverage situations than is Timlin most of the time, but because he has pitched so well, his LI is lower than Timlin's.

Note: Timlin should probably be penalized a bit for the 4/21 game. He entered with 1 out in the bottom of the 8th and the Red Sox up by 1 run (LI - 1.4). Papelbon relieved him with 2 outs and runners on 1st and 2nd in a tie game (LI - 3.5). Any suggestions how to do this?
   18. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 09, 2006 at 01:42 PM (#2010822)
I don't think Timlin's LI should be penalized for that. If you a straight Win Prob analysis, as Fangraphs does, that should cover the penalty to Timlin, I think.

Maybe I'm misreading your question, though.
   19. jewtang Posted: May 09, 2006 at 02:14 PM (#2010848)
I'm trying to measure the trust the manager has in each pitcher. The Trust stat works pretty well when the pitcher always gets to finish every inning they pitch in (this is true for 34 of the 35 innings in which Papelbon or Timlin has pitched). The problem comes when the manager is making an active decision whether or not to remove a pitcher in the middle of an inning.

Example:
1. Sox up 4 in the bottom of the 9th, Papelbon pitching. Papelbon loads the bases with nobody out. Francona leaves him in to finish the inning.
2. Sox up 4 in the bottom of the 9th, Seanez pitching. Seanez loads the bases with nobody out. Francona replaces Seanez with another reliever.

I'm looking for a way to adjust the Trust stat so that it doesn't say that Francona has the same trust in both Papelbon and Seanez in the above situations. We don't want to credit Papelbon for getting himself into trouble, so we want to find a way to penalize a reliever that the manager doesn't trust to work himself out of a jam.
   20. Josh Posted: May 09, 2006 at 02:24 PM (#2010858)
Fantastic adjustment, jew. If the point of LI is to measure manager use of a pitcher, then looking at the first PA is probably the best way to go about it. Perhaps, though, you will need to include the first PA of each inning started, as a pitcher who enterest in the bottom of the 8th (or 7th) and pitches two innings should not be penalized.

In any event, I think the "penalty" given to Timlin for not finishing the inning is if Fracona uses him in as high LI events in the future. IOW, the penalty will be reflected in latter iterations of the stat. If the idea is to measure Tito's trust a priori, then the Seanez and Papelbon innings should be treated the same. If the stat is supposed to measure trust on a per batter basis, then a straight LI makes sense. I wouldn't try to combine the two.
   21. jewtang Posted: May 09, 2006 at 02:30 PM (#2010864)
Perhaps, though, you will need to include the first PA of each inning started, as a pitcher who enterest in the bottom of the 8th (or 7th) and pitches two innings should not be penalized.

This is exactly what I did:
So looking at the average of the LI for for the first PA of each inning pitched, we can get a pretty good idea of the situations Francona's putting them in.
   22. villageidiom Posted: May 09, 2006 at 02:55 PM (#2010894)
Fantastic adjustment, jew.

Pass.
   23. Addicted To Glove Posted: May 09, 2006 at 04:28 PM (#2010994)
Interesting thought about the trust factor of replacing relievers jewtang. Perhaps what we're looking for is an LI for when a pitcher is replaced mid-inning (end of inning too?) as a seperate stat? The ultimate of that would be Papelbon's where he's never been replaced mid-inning (so far at least.. *knocks on wood*)
   24. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: May 10, 2006 at 02:33 AM (#2012280)
Foulke just cameout with an EIGHT RUN LEAD

WHAT THE FRAK IS WRONG WITH YOU TERRY
   25. Addicted To Glove Posted: May 10, 2006 at 01:10 PM (#2012520)
I thought the conventional wisdom on Foulke was that he needed consistent work to be successful. If that's the answer I'm okay with that, as long as they don't over-work him. As long as he's available tonight, and he doesn't hurt himself in a game with an eight run lead, I think that's ok...
   26. tfbg9 Posted: May 12, 2006 at 04:35 AM (#2016292)
I posted this at the end of the Game Chatter...what the hell:

On BB tonight, Tino said that Cairo's "just gotta make that play, gotta catch that throw, on such a gutty play by Jeter!" Gutty? Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha! Awesome. Buster Olney's already talking about the Yankees going after Abreu. Abreu??? The Phillies are in the race, why the hell are they gonna hand the MFY's a semi-superstar? Wow. Is Olney a NYY fan? Must be.

And I think 3 months is optimistic, on Shemp Matsui. Teams are usually optimistic about these things right after they happen. This is the first significant postition player injury for the NYY in quite some time, in terms of length of time, and the calibre of player affected.
   27. Joel W Posted: May 12, 2006 at 01:55 PM (#2016464)
Poor Matsui. I like him actually, and he really did hold in the pain, I was impressed. That looked like Robin Ventura's ankle, but his wrist.

I am happy that the Red Sox have stuck by Loretta in the 2-hole. It seems like a very evidence based decision. They observed that he was hitting hte ball well and that his line drives weren't leading to the sort of BA it should. Now it seems to be correcting itself and they're reaping the dividends. I wish they would put Coco in the 5 slot like EMV suggested at the beginning of the season and leave those two there when he gets back.
   28. PJ Martinez Posted: May 12, 2006 at 02:31 PM (#2016503)
Yeah, I'd like Coco lower in the order, too, but it seems very unlikely. Unless he doesn't seem 100% and Francona starts him out lower, then leaves him there, but I think they'll wait till Coco's ready and then put him up top. Francona said as much in the last couple of days.

I'm not sure Matsui's injury hurts the Yankees much. Cabrera doesn't look that bad; he's a big offensive drop-off, but probably a defensive upgrade, and the team has plenty of offense anyway. If Torre plays Bernie instead and he doesn't hit, that could make it worse. Maybe they'll trade for Huff or somebody, but I doubt they'll give up Hughes; maybe some of their low-level talent.

They're a slightly worse team now, and the Sox, when they get Crisp back, should be slightly better. So that's good.
   29. Joel W Posted: May 12, 2006 at 02:40 PM (#2016517)
I don't know PJ, losing Matsui seems like it hurts pretty bad. Their outfield depth is just non-existent now. Bernie is going to have to play every day until Sheffield gets back. The imposing outfield of Williams, Damon, and Cabrera just isn't the same as the outfield of Damon, Sheffield, and Matsui.
   30. PJ Martinez Posted: May 12, 2006 at 02:52 PM (#2016537)
True, but it's the combined loss of Matsui and Sheffield you're talking about-- and Sheffield's really the bigger loss. If Sheffield comes back in 10 days then they're probably fine.

The Yankees won't score 1,000 runs, but so far it seems fairly clear that both Giambi and Mussina are very good players again. That should make up for the decline of Sheffield, absence of Matsui, and semi-regression (I suspect) of A-Rod. Now, if Johnson really can't get it back, maybe they slip, but otherwise they still look pretty good.
   31. Dave Cyprian Posted: May 13, 2006 at 04:39 PM (#2018046)
#26, is Olney a NYY fan? Yes.

Could Melky Cabrera be this year's Robinson Cano? Yes, he could, although its far from certain.

But, will the Yanks find this year's Small and Chacon? Now this is the sticking point that just can't possibly come true yet again, can it?
   32. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: May 16, 2006 at 01:54 AM (#2021712)
KEITH FOULKE WITH A TEN FRAKKING RUN LEAD

*Throws Chair*

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