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Monday, March 22, 2021

Stetson Allie Has Come Full Circle, and at Age 30, He Looks Legit

When we spoke in 2014, Allie allowed that his biggest problem to date had been between the ears. In his own words, he was “immature on the field and off the field.” Moreover, he “never knew anything about pitching.” All he did was light up radar guns — Allie would touch triple digits — but again, his command was sorely lacking. Moving off the mound made sense, but it didn’t exorcise the demons. Dark clouds continued to haunt his psyche, each slump causing him to put more pressure on himself.

“I had a hard time with the Pirates, mentally,” Allie admitted. “When I was younger, I felt like baseball was the only thing in life that I was good at. I felt that I needed to succeed at baseball, but in reality, baseball is just a game. I’ve played it since I was a kid, and I love it, but there’s so much more to life. Once I grasped that aspect, it kind of freed me up to succeed.”...

“When I was a pitcher before — and this is the immaturity part — I was very stubborn,” said Allie. “I wanted to throw 100; I wanted to throw it by you. That doesn’t work in pro ball. These guys can time velocity. Finally, this offseason I worked out with Tyler Glasnow and Jameson Taillon, and it was, ‘Hey man, it’s not a talent issue, we’ve just got to work on this off-speed.’ That’s what the Rays want from me, to be able to throw sliders for strikes. I don’t know if you’ve been watching this spring, but I’m a heavy slider guy now.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 22, 2021 at 04:56 PM | 33 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: pirates, rays, stetson allie

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: March 22, 2021 at 07:00 PM (#6009633)
Not quite the career arc I was expecting given the excerpt. He did start as a pitcher but it only took 26 innings at A- to convince the Pirates to move him off the mound. He then had some OK TTO style seasons in ages 21-25 but got stuck in AA for a few years. The Dodgers then picked him up, gave him 100 final PA as a hitter then shoved him onto the mound for the end of 2017. He's had atrocious results since then.

He's surely right about pro hitters being able to time his FB but the real problem in the minors has been his 8.5 BB/9. The 1.4 HR/9 ain't helping but the walks crush him. And so far this spring, 5 IP, 0 hits, 6 K ... and 5 walks. He might be slider heavy but he doesn't seem to be hitting the zone with those either.
   2. sunday silence (again) Posted: March 23, 2021 at 02:35 PM (#6009721)




He's surely right about pro hitters being able to time his FB but the real problem in the minors has been his 8.5 BB/9.


Are you sure?

8.5 bb >>> 2.1 runs, weighted
1.4 HR >>> 2.1 runs wt'd
   3. Walt Davis Posted: March 23, 2021 at 05:34 PM (#6009767)
You're missing 7.1 potential outs in your calculation.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 23, 2021 at 05:59 PM (#6009771)
8.5 bb >>> 2.1 runs, weighted
1.4 HR >>> 2.1 runs wt'd


Yeah, as Walt says, lots of pitchers win games every week where they give up two HRs. I doubt one a season wins a game where he walks 8.
   5. sunday silence (again) Posted: March 23, 2021 at 06:20 PM (#6009774)
You're missing 7.1 potential outs in your calculation.


can you explain what this means?
   6. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 23, 2021 at 08:16 PM (#6009779)
The guy who allows 1.4 HR is going to get ~5 outs in those other 7.1 PA, and allow some combo of BB and H in the other two (with a negative total LW value for the 7.1 PA) assuming they both face 8.5 batters. I assume that’s what Walt is referring to.
   7. villageidiom Posted: March 23, 2021 at 09:31 PM (#6009791)
Yeah, but both figures are per 9 IP, which has 27 outs regardless of how many BB and/or HR he gives up. It's not like he'd get 7.1 more outs if he gave up 1.4 HR/9 and 0 BB/9 instead of 8.5 BB/9 and 0 HR/9.

Walt's still correct, in that none of these are in isolation. Those 1.4 HR/9 are survivable in some games, if he's not allowing many baserunners otherwise. But if he's also giving up 8.5 BB/9 those HRs are not likely to be solo shots.
   8. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 23, 2021 at 09:57 PM (#6009795)

The AL average last year was 1.3 HR/9 and 3.5 BB/9. Clearly a pitcher who allows 8.5 BB/9 is much worse off than one who allows 1.4 HR/9.
   9. sunday silence (again) Posted: March 24, 2021 at 12:44 AM (#6009802)

The guy who allows 1.4 HR is going to get ~5 outs in those other 7.1 PA,


This is wrong, both of those numbers are rate stats, so its 8 BB per 27 outs and 1.4 HRs per 27 outs. So again I dont understand what his point is.

But if he's also giving up 8.5 BB/9 those HRs are not likely to be solo shots.


Why are you suddenly, for no logical reason, laying all the blame on the BBs? If it's true that 8 BBs in a 1.4 HR environment will lead to more than 2 runs, (say for example 8 BBs in that context are each work 0.5 runs weighted)

...then it would also be equally true that 1.4 HRs will lead to more runs in such an environment? And then each HR is worth say 2.9 approx runs not 1.45. So I could just as equally lay the blame for Allie's problems on his HRs, right? I could say as Walt did that the HRs are crushing him.

Because in that environment obviously each HR is huge. So walk 8 guys but don't give up HRs.

Riddle me this, lets say Allie gives up 6 runs per game. Do you not think the 8 BBs he gave contributed to the damage about equally as the 1.4 HRs?

If you disagree then show the math where 8 BBs is so much more damaging then 1.4 HRs in that context. BOTH HRs and BBs are contributing equally to the damage, no?

   10. sunday silence (again) Posted: March 24, 2021 at 12:52 AM (#6009803)
Those 1.4 HR/9 are survivable in some games, if he's not allowing many baserunners otherwise


well sure. So 8 BBs is survivable in some games, if you don't allow many EB hits. Right?

Its the same reasoning you just gave. So why is your pt. so great and mine is stoopid?
   11. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 24, 2021 at 08:54 AM (#6009816)

But when thinking about where a guy can possibly improve, it seems like the thing where he’s more than twice as bad as the league is a better place to focus than the thing where he’s approximately league average, no?
   12. Ron J Posted: March 24, 2021 at 09:09 AM (#6009820)
Well what the extreme HR and BB combo say to me is that he can't throw quality stuff for strikes. And yes, sample size.

But to get back to sample size, I think it's unusual to find a player with acceptable control who has a walk rate like that over any time frame. Extreme home run rates in a small sample are less problematic. A guy can have a 4 HR start and not have any true gopher ball problems.

Or either is a career ender if they're an actual talent level and the walks are more likely to be a true indication of where he currently is.
   13. Jobu is silent on the changeup Posted: March 24, 2021 at 09:11 AM (#6009821)
Stetson Allie has come full circle... unfortunately, the strike zone is still a rectangle.
   14. sanny manguillen Posted: March 24, 2021 at 09:41 AM (#6009824)
Allie for the spring now 6 IP 2 H 2 ER 8 BB 6 K

It's funny that he's connected to Glasnow now. Just before his first callup in 2016, Glasnow had reached a point where he was playing catch with the catcher - there was no percentage in the hitter swinging the bat, so they were just collecting walks.
   15. Ron J Posted: March 24, 2021 at 10:25 AM (#6009830)
#14 Not as bad as Sam Militello during his attempted comeback. His control was so bad that when he threw simulated games the "batter" wore full catcher's gear.
   16. Ben V-L Posted: March 24, 2021 at 10:40 AM (#6009834)
You're missing 7.1 potential outs in your calculation.

There was an unfortunate decision made during the BABIP revolution to use BB, K, etc per IP instead of per batter faced. I never understood why that happened.
   17. villageidiom Posted: March 24, 2021 at 12:03 PM (#6009854)
Its the same reasoning you just gave. So why is your pt. so great and mine is stoopid?
I didn't think your point was stupid, but you're making me want to reconsider.

I mean, it doesn't matter if he cuts his BB/9 rate by 80% or his HR/9 rate by 80% if he's going to pitch in MLB. Either one will cut his expected runs by about the same. I guess what Walt and others (and I) are saying is that it's probably unlikely he can sustain something 75% better than average on HR/9, and more likely he can find success getting his BB/9 to be slightly better than average. Neither is simple, or else we'd all do it.
   18. DCA Posted: March 24, 2021 at 12:19 PM (#6009860)
There was an unfortunate decision made during the BABIP revolution to use BB, K, etc per IP instead of per batter faced. I never understood why that happened.

(1) in the normal range of performance, it doesn't really matter
(2) rates per IP or per 9 IP were already in common use and familiar
(3) IP data are easier to find and more reliable than BF data for past seasons

It is pretty straightforward why it happened, and entirely predictable that it would happen.
   19. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 24, 2021 at 12:21 PM (#6009862)
This is wrong, both of those numbers are rate stats, so its 8 BB per 27 outs and 1.4 HRs per 27 outs. So again I dont understand what his point is.

To put it another way — in order to get those 27 outs, the guy who allows 8.5 walks is still going to allow 1.3 homers, but the guy who allows 1.4 homers is only going to allow 3.5 walks.
   20. sunday silence (again) Posted: March 24, 2021 at 12:52 PM (#6009871)


But when thinking about where a guy can possibly improve, it seems like the thing where he’s more than twice as bad as the league is a better place to focus than the thing where he’s approximately league average, no?


OK fine. Agreed.


To put it another way — in order to get those 27 outs, the guy who allows 8.5 walks is still going to allow 1.3 homers, but the guy who allows 1.4 homers is only going to allow 3.5 walks.


But the statement I object to is that walks are "killing him." I say they are doing as much damage as the HRs. How do you respond to that? Can you dispute that mathematically?

I get what you're saying there. But you're not indulging me in my pt though.
   21. sunday silence (again) Posted: March 24, 2021 at 01:01 PM (#6009873)

I mean, it doesn't matter if he cuts his BB/9 rate by 80% or his HR/9 rate by 80% if he's going to pitch in MLB. Either one will cut his expected runs by about the same.


OK, so you agree with me on that point. Yay!

I guess what Walt and others (and I) are saying is that it's probably unlikely he can sustain something 75% better than average on HR/9, and more likely he can find success getting his BB/9 to be slightly better than average.


Yeah. I would think so. Agreed.

To be fair to Walt: He also said walks are his "real problem." Yeah OK when you put it like that, walks are the real problem because that appears to be something that's more capable of being improved upon. Sure, its seems to be the most achievable way to improve.

This also brings up a tangential point that i was making in the TTO discussion: the ability of pitchers to change their "approach" in the same batter's do. The assumption has been that they cannot; but it seems they can pitch around. So if you do the weighted runs calculation 6 BB = 1 HR.

That seems preposterous, huh? Can pitchers really get away with 6 walks per HR? Has anybody in MLB had such a ratio and have they been successful with it?

I find that really interesting. That's the conclusion that my logic would lead to and it sounds bizarre. Am I missing something? Is there something Im missing? Perhaps walks come in bunches and if someone walks two or three guys in sucession he gets pulled anyhow. well hmmm.....

   22. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 24, 2021 at 01:03 PM (#6009874)
“I wanted to throw 100; I wanted to throw it by you. That doesn’t work in pro ball. These guys can time velocity.
...said pitching coaches 30 years ago.
   23. sunday silence (again) Posted: March 24, 2021 at 01:07 PM (#6009875)
But to get back to sample size, I think it's unusual to find a player with acceptable control who has a walk rate like that over any time frame. Extreme home run rates in a small sample are less problematic. A guy can have a 4 HR start and not have any true gopher ball problems.


Yeah, interesting stuff.

I have the numbers somewhere here re: how many data pts. before the observed level begins to level off and be predictive. Like batting average is so inherently shakey that it's like 500 AB before it levels off.

Does anyone know off hand what the sample size is for HRs and BBs before they level off?
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 24, 2021 at 01:20 PM (#6009876)
But the statement I object to is that walks are "killing him." I say they are doing as much damage as the HRs. How do you respond to that? Can you dispute that mathematically?

Just look empircially. Pitchers that allow 8 BB/G are universally terrible; in any HR environment. Plenty of pitchers can and have allowed 1.4 HRs in the current environment and been average or better. When your math contradicts observable reality, it's always the math that's wrong.
   25. sunday silence (again) Posted: March 24, 2021 at 01:27 PM (#6009879)
there's a link here but I dunno how to input it for pitchers:

https://library.fangraphs.com/principles/sample-size/
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 24, 2021 at 01:28 PM (#6009880)
OK, here are the empirical facts. Looking at all seasons in MLB history with 100IP+.

For a BB/9 >7, 3 seasons have produced an ERA+ >=100, 9 seasons have produced an ERA+ over 80.
For a HR/9 >1.3, 276 seasons have produced an ERA+>=100, 885 seasons have produced an ERA+ over 80.

It is very easy to be a quality MLB pitcher allowing 1.3 HR per game, it is virtually impossible to do so while walking 8 per game.
   27. sunday silence (again) Posted: March 24, 2021 at 02:17 PM (#6009890)
So far only young Bob Feller, Sam McDowell, and Hal Newhouser managed 7 BBs/9 inn.

Robin ROberts seems to have achieved a 6:1 BB:HR ratio early in his career and also later. HIs age 37 sesason is interesting where he added more walks and less HRs and did better in terms of ERA+. Jose Lima did something similar at age 30.

Bill Bevens managed a 5-7 BBs per HR, for his 3 main seasons.



When your math contradicts observable reality, it's always the math that's wrong.


Brought to you by the same people who valued Ptolemy's model of the solar system over Copernicus's.
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 24, 2021 at 02:29 PM (#6009892)
So far only young Bob Feller, Sam McDowell, and Hal Newhouser managed 7 BBs/9 inn.

You're talking about pitchers who dominated the league in K-rate, and allowed virtually no HRs.

Allie would have to be K-ing 20 per 9 IP to match what Feller and McDowell were doing relative to league average. McDowell and Newhouser also weren't any good until they got the walks down a bunch.

In any case, the discussion wasn't whether a pitcher with a bad walk rate could improve and become good, it was whether a terribel BB-rate was worse for a pitcher than a slightly above average HR rate. That's clearly true. Allie can be a very good pitcher w/o reducing his HR rate. He won't stay in the league if he doesn't reduce his BB rate.

Brought to you by the same people who valued Ptolemy's model of the solar system over Copernicus's.

Your model is the one that doesn't conform to reality. You're making the assumption that a pitcher with 8 BB/9 can allow 0.5 HR/9 just as easily as a pitcher allowing 1.4 HR/9 can allow 3.5 BB/9. And your ignoring that 8 BB will interact badly with each other and base hits far more than 1.4 HR will. It makes no sense.

The whole discussion is absurd. How can a basically league average HR rate be killing a pitcher as much as a league worst BB rate? No one sucks by being average at something.
   29. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 24, 2021 at 02:56 PM (#6009901)
I’m not even sure what we’re arguing about at this point. I guess theoretically there’s some X where a pitcher can trade off X more BB/9 for 1 fewer HR/9 and improve his ERA. I don’t know if it’s achievable in practice — you still have to pitch to someone if you want to get any outs. Historically, it feels like we’ve seen high-BB, low-HR guys turn the corner by reducing their walk rate without allowing many more HR. Randy Johnson is a guy who comes to mind. I can’t think of any guys who got better by throwing with less control.

The other problem with trading off HR for more BB is that walking that many more guys takes a lot more pitches. Someone who walks 8/9IP simply won’t go deep in the game very often unless he’s got Ryan’s arm.
   30. Ben V-L Posted: March 24, 2021 at 03:32 PM (#6009904)
It is pretty straightforward why it happened, and entirely predictable that it would happen.

It was a wasted opportunity. When you're overthrowing how people think about things, you could take the small final step and say here is the best way to measure it. Instead, we're left with K/9IP that not only depends on the pitcher's rate of striking out batters, but also on their rates of doing everything else. And we're left with confusion, as illustrated in the thread above.
   31. sunday silence (again) Posted: March 25, 2021 at 07:07 PM (#6010176)

Your model is the one that doesn't conform to reality. You're making the assumption that a pitcher with 8 BB/9 can allow 0.5 HR/9 just as easily as a pitcher allowing 1.4 HR/9 can allow 3.5 BB/9.


I'm not making any assumptions. I'm simply taking what sabermetrics tells us about the weighted value of a BB; plugging it in and see what it predicts or what it says.

Im not sure a pitcher with 8 BB/9 inn needs to allow 0.5 HR/9 inn. So Im not sure why you're making that touchstone of your argument. The concept of weighted runs tells us he might be Ok with the 8 BBs but what we're seeing is nobody seems able to do that. That's interesting and it calls into question what we think we know about walks and weighted runs.

And your ignoring that 8 BB will interact badly with each other and base hits far more than 1.4 HR will. It makes no sense.


Well what makes no sense? I didnt create the concept of weighted runs, and I didn't create a league of pitchers who cannot exist if they throw more than 5 or 6 BBs. I didn't do it. I look at the date we have, the theories we have and try to make some sense of it all.

ANd right now something doesnt add up. But instead of pronouncing it non sensical or whatever I want to try to figure out what is going on. Because that is interesting to me. And if you were had any passion for sabermetrics you'd find it interesting too.

There could be any number of things going on:

a) we don't know the value of BBs;
b) BBs react with other offensive events in a synergistic way so that when we produce more of them, their value changes..
c) what does this say about good OBP hitters? Are they being undervalued?
d) what does it say about pitchers? should we recalculate the value of pitchers if an increase in walks diminishes their value exponentially?
e) why does weighted value seem to be accurate for offense? why doesn't it work the same way for pitchers?
   32. sunday silence (again) Posted: March 26, 2021 at 04:49 AM (#6010203)
No actually Walt is right. You have to factor the outs not made.

SO a BB is really valued at 0.3 + 0.23 for the out not made.

So 8 x (.3 + .23) = 4.25 runs

the 1.4 HR >>>> 2 runs

So yeah the walks are twice as bad as the HRs, a little more.

THis also explains why no one can exist as a pitcher at more than 7 BBs/9 inn. Cause 7 BB = 3.7 runs, so you have to pretty much eliminate any other sources of off. production to even be average. As the above discussion re: Feller, McDowell, Newhouser alluded to.

Sorry for the math error. GLad that I was able to fix it.
   33. sunday silence (again) Posted: March 26, 2021 at 05:13 AM (#6010204)
actually you have to count the out not made for HRs as well so:

1.4 HRs >>> 2.35 runs

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