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Spring~Fields
10-30-2006, 01:58 PM
How does Krivsky improve the defense

How does Krivsky improve the Reds defense that might contribute to:
The overall pitching effectiveness,
The RS vs. RA differential,
The win-loss column

If the fielding errors are a reflection of that defense?

Do errors even matter or even tell us anything? How much does it impact the pitching that many of us are concerned about?

MLB errors by position per ESPN stats
Lopez - shortstop - 28 - tied for 1st - split between Was/Cin
Clayton - shortstop - 18 tied for 7th split between Was/Cin
Encarcion - third baseman - 25 - tied for 1st
Phillips - second baseman - 16 - tied for 4th
LF - 1st - Dunn - 12
CF - tied for 3rd - Griffey - 5
RF - tied for 4th and 6th - Kearns 7 split between Was/Cin, and Freel 5
C - tied for 5th and 6th - Ross 8 and Valentine 7

Johnny Footstool
10-30-2006, 02:07 PM
Step 1 for Krivsky is to figure out how good teams are measuring defense. Find out what kind of tools teams like the Red Sox and A's have developed, and either use those tools or develop better ones.

Step 2 is to actually pay attention to what those metrics are telling him and not rely on a player's reputation as a good defender, the number of gold gloves he has, or how smoothly he fields balls hit right at him.

If he can figure out Steps 1 and 2, it should be a lot easier to properly aligh the existing defense (Griffey to 1B, Freel or Deno to CF) and acquire defenders who can actually help the team.

redsmetz
10-30-2006, 02:08 PM
Do errors even matter or even tell us anything? How much does it impact the pitching that many of us are concerned about?

I'm thinking the Detroit Tigers might have an answer for those questions.

I think though that errors equate to extra outs given to the offense, extra bases which can eliminate force outs, etc. I think, as I said, this World Series shows how errors can impact games.

Cedric
10-30-2006, 02:13 PM
Step 1 for Krivsky is to figure out how good teams are measuring defense. Find out what kind of tools teams like the Red Sox and A's have developed, and either use those tools or develop better ones.

Step 2 is to actually pay attention to what those metrics are telling him and not rely on a player's reputation as a good defender, the number of gold gloves he has, or how smoothly he fields balls hit right at him.

If he can figure out Steps 1 and 2, it should be a lot easier to properly aligh the existing defense (Griffey to 1B, Freel or Deno to CF) and acquire defenders who can actually help the team.

Those teams have also made some very questionable decisions at certain postions. I wouldn't assume because Wayne played Royce Clayton at SS that he's totally inept at building a great defense. I'd say Terry Ryan and himself did a much better job than the A's or Red Sox in doing just that.

Trust in what he was a part of doing in Minnesota.

SultanOfSwing
10-30-2006, 02:32 PM
I would not pattern my team after the A's if I sought good defense. They are a very good (if not great) defensive team, but it is almost an accident. The A's put no emphasis on defensive abilities when evaluating players. They simply plug them in and expect the coaches to turn out solid defensive players. If you have read Moneyball, you know that Beane obsesses about OBP and runs and virtually nothing else. Now this is not to say they do not evaluate defense when selecting a player-if two players have all the offensive qualities they value, but have differing defensive abilities, the A's choose the better defender.

I also would not look to the Red Sox. They are not good defensively. I know they had the best FPCT in baseball, but as I'm sure many will back me up on, FPCT does not tell the whole story. The Red Sox were solid and didn't make mistakes, but I don't think anyone would anoint them as one of the better defensive teams in baseball. In fact, that is a big complaint the fans had with them, that they defended poorly.

I agree with Cedric, the Twins are a team to copy. They built a very good defensive team on purpose and didn't sacrifice offense for it, either. Since Krivsky is a former Twin, I'm sure he knows exactly what he is doing.

vaticanplum
10-30-2006, 02:51 PM
The A's put no emphasis on defensive abilities when evaluating players.

The A's have done a pretty decent job churning out pitchers the last several years, and that's defense too. I know that's not quite what you mean, but I think it's a falsehood to say that offense (OBP) is the only thing they care about.

The Red Sox are an interesting case. When they made the four-team/Nomar trade in 2004, everyone was up in arms, and I admit I thought it was a little nutty at first given both Nomar's abilities as a shortstop and what he meant to that team. But Nomar wasn't always healthy or quick anymore, and I immediately saw a difference in their defense with Cabrera and Minkieveiv#&*tz; the whole infield was worlds better all of a sudden (which is crucial when you've got Manny over roaming like a lost bull out there by the Monster). They were charging the ball, turning great double plays, the lot. The difference that it made I think is sorely overlooked in their 2004 title, and Epstein's crowning moment as far as I'm concerned, both as a team-building tactic and as a gutsy move. So that I thought was one of the strongest "defensive" moves in the last few years. But since then, they seem to have completely forgotten about that. I don't know if they became too enamored and blinded by the Ramirez-Ortiz punch, or if they've been too concerned with pitching, but the line of thought that seemed to go along with that trade has all but disappeared.

Chip R
10-30-2006, 02:58 PM
Dig up Bill McKechnie.

redsupport
10-30-2006, 03:03 PM
trade for Roy McMillian

SultanOfSwing
10-30-2006, 03:06 PM
The A's have done a pretty decent job churning out pitchers the last several years, and that's defense too. I know that's not quite what you mean, but I think it's a falsehood to say that offense (OBP) is the only thing they care about.

The Red Sox are an interesting case. When they made the four-team/Nomar trade in 2004, everyone was up in arms, and I admit I thought it was a little nutty at first given both Nomar's abilities as a shortstop and what he meant to that team. But Nomar wasn't always healthy or quick anymore, and I immediately saw a difference in their defense with Cabrera and Minkieveiv#&*tz; the whole infield was worlds better all of a sudden (which is crucial when you've got Manny over roaming like a lost bull out there by the Monster). They were charging the ball, turning great double plays, the lot. The difference that it made I think is sorely overlooked in their 2004 title, and Epstein's crowning moment as far as I'm concerned, both as a team-building tactic and as a gutsy move. So that I thought was one of the strongest "defensive" moves in the last few years. But since then, they seem to have completely forgotten about that. I don't know if they became too enamored and blinded by the Ramirez-Ortiz punch, or if they've been too concerned with pitching, but the line of thought that seemed to go along with that trade has all but disappeared.
I agree. I wasn't saying that the A's only care about OBP, but they do have their offensive metrics that are vastly more important in player evaluation than any other consideration. It seems to me as though good defense is a byproduct and a bonus. IMO, the players they value (high OBP, good dicipline, smart, good makeup, etc.) tend to work harder at defense and thus player better. Not many A's have amazing physical talent, but instead must harness what they have and get the best out of themselves. They concentrate on all aspects of the game, which includes defense. And yes, Scott "The Pickin' Machine" Hatteberg is a poster-boy for this.

I also agree the 2004 BoSox were a very good defensive team. And almost exclusively for the reasons you mention. I also think the 2006 BoSox defensive abilities are misrepresented by the most prominent stats.

Strikes Out Looking
10-30-2006, 03:48 PM
Improving OF defense: Do not have Dunn and Griffey playing next to each other. (I am not advocating trading one of them, I'm just stating the fact that not having the two of them standing next to each other in the OF for at least 100 games would improve the defense).

Improving IF defense: A steady defensive SS would help (or if BP is there, a steady defensive 2b). I'd leave EE at 3b and let him develop.

Improving C defense: Trade Ross. I believe he dropped about a throw a week on plays at the plate. (again I'm talking defense, not offense).

RedsManRick
10-30-2006, 03:55 PM
Error are certainly bad, but I'm much more worried about our lack of range. If anybody has seen John Dewan's defense stats book, check out the "map" of Reds hits against compared to league average. Basically, in 2005, we had a lot balls hit over the heads of our LF & CF and in the hole at SS. Hmm.....

As for our completely in-house solutions, I move Junior to RF, Deno to CF, Freel to 2B, Phillips to SS. Deno is CF helps both Junior and Dunn. Freel & Phillips are at least league average.

Luis Castillo and Craig Counsell are the only reasonably priced above average defensive middle infielders on the market (Castillo has a team option) and neither of them would be much, if any, of an upgrade over Freel.

Other than this, a trade of Junior or Dunn needs to happen, and I'm not going down that road of speculation because I think we're quite likely hurt ourselves much more offensively than help ourselves defensively.

Johnny Footstool
10-30-2006, 04:02 PM
The A's definitely care about defense -- why else is Mark Ellis and his .319 OBP on the team?

What they don't care about is overpaying for it, or paying for it at positions where it's not very important (1B, LF).

Beane values knowledge, so he's not about to let on that he's actually paying attention to defense, and he's not going to publicize how his team evaluates it.


I agree with Cedric, the Twins are a team to copy. They built a very good defensive team on purpose and didn't sacrifice offense for it, either. Since Krivsky is a former Twin, I'm sure he knows exactly what he is doing.

The Twins have recently paid money to Christian Guzman and Juan Castro for their alleged defense. They're giving Torii Hunter $11 million per year for his glove alone (he has only posted 2 decent offensive seasons in his career, including 2006).

And yes, they have sacrificed a ton of offense. They've struggled to score runs for a number of years. They've managed to balance it out with good defense and incredible pitching, though.

Cedric
10-30-2006, 04:06 PM
The A's definitely care about defense -- why else is Mark Ellis and his .319 OBP on the team?

What they don't care about is overpaying for it, or paying for it at positions where it's not very important (1B, LF).

Beane values knowledge, so he's not about to let on that he's actually paying attention to defense, and he's not going to publicize how his team evaluates it.



The Twins have recently paid money to Christian Guzman and Juan Castro for their alleged defense. They're giving Torii Hunter $11 million per year for his glove alone (he has only posted 2 decent offensive seasons in his career, including 2006).

And yes, they have sacrificed a ton of offense. They've struggled to score runs for a number of years. They've managed to balance it out with good defense and incredible pitching, though.

Yet they scored more runs and ops .20 points higher than Oakland as a team. Ballpark differences aside it's not that bad a sacrifice.

I don't think there is any metric that works for building a great defense. Terry Ryan has stated many times that it's just a feel that he and his scouting staff has. It's probably not perfect, but it's the best we've got at this point.

SultanOfSwing
10-30-2006, 04:12 PM
The A's definitely care about defense -- why else is Mark Ellis and his .319 OBP on the team?

What they don't care about is overpaying for it, or paying for it at positions where it's not very important (1B, LF).

Beane values knowledge, so he's not about to let on that he's actually paying attention to defense, and he's not going to publicize how his team evaluates it.



The Twins have recently paid money to Christian Guzman and Juan Castro for their alleged defense. They're giving Torii Hunter $11 million per year for his glove alone (he has only posted 2 decent offensive seasons in his career, including 2006).

And yes, they have sacrificed a ton of offense. They've struggled to score runs for a number of years. They've managed to balance it out with good defense and incredible pitching, though.
I understand what you are saying. I realize the A's do not ignore defense and recognize its importance. I know Beane doesn't reveal all his methods. I realize he has calculations for defensive performance and uses them. Just like he too evaluates speed and baserunning ability. What I am saying is the Reds will not fare well to pattern themselves after the A's when building a good defense. Would you not agree? Because the A's do not concentrate on defense, they are not a good example (from the perspective of this discussion).

I am not talking about the Twins of the past. I am talking about the last two years (2006 specifically). Ryan is finally seeing the realization of his vision. You can argue all day about the merits and negatives of Torii Hunter. Every team has poor signings (see Guzman); Castro wasn't a bad signing, per se, but miscast as a starter. However, the end result is impossible to ignore. The Twins may be the most balanced team in baseball.

Johnny Footstool
10-30-2006, 04:21 PM
Yet they scored more runs and ops .20 points higher than Oakland as a team. Ballpark differences aside it's not that bad a sacrifice.

Sure, in 2006, thanks to Maurer and Morneau. But since 1998, Minnesota has only outscored Oakland twice -- 2003 and 2006. And the Twins were dead last in runs scored in 2005.



I don't think there is any metric that works for building a great defense. Terry Ryan has stated many times that it's just a feel that he and his scouting staff has. It's probably not perfect, but it's the best we've got at this point.

There are better metrics.

How do scouts evaluate players? By watching them. They watch a player and see how well the player moves, catches, and throws. Unfortunately, they can't watch every player, and they can't watch every play.

However, there are people who do. They watch every play and record every element they can. They record the velocity of the ball, how far the fielder had to run, how many bounces it took, etc. Then they rate how the fielder performed compared to every other similar play made by every other shortstop, and they come up with a metric.

It's not perfect, either, but it's a lot better than just relying on scouts.

Cedric
10-30-2006, 04:24 PM
It's almost the same thing. It's hiring good people and relying on their information. I agree with you on that.

Johnny Footstool
10-30-2006, 04:28 PM
I understand what you are saying. I realize the A's do not ignore defense and recognize its importance. I know Beane doesn't reveal all his methods. I realize he has calculations for defensive performance and uses them. Just like he too evaluates speed and baserunning ability. What I am saying is the Reds will not fare well to pattern themselves after the A's when building a good defense. Would you not agree? Because the A's do not concentrate on defense, they are not a good example (from the perspective of this discussion).

I think an approach like Oakland's -- one that identifies true value and seeks to acquire it without overpaying -- would be perfect for a limited-budget team like the Reds.

IslandRed
10-30-2006, 04:28 PM
The real lesson of "Moneyball" isn't about OBP or that defense doesn't matter. A whole chapter of the book was devoted to evaluating defense. It's about evaluating ballplayers as precisely as possible so you can find out what the market is undervaluing and then take advantage of it. At the time the book was written, the market undervalued OBP and generally paid too much for defense.

The post-Moneyball lesson is that the market changes. It should be no surprise that the A's don't do things exactly the way they did four years ago. I mean, they even draft high school players now. If they're really all about OBP and don't care about defense, they're doing a terrible job at building their ballclub, because they were strong defensively and only average at getting on base. And yet they won 93 games. Maybe it was on purpose?

SultanOfSwing
10-30-2006, 04:45 PM
I think an approach like Oakland's -- one that identifies true value and seeks to acquire it without overpaying -- would be perfect for a limited-budget team like the Reds.
I agree. But as I stated in my post, for the sake of this discussion--which is solely about how Krivsky can improve the defense--Oakland is not a prime example. They didn't build that team thinking how they could get a great defense. If Krivsky wants to improve the defense (and remember for the sake of this discussion that is the focus) he will not pattern himself after the A's but rather the Twins. I hope you understand what I am saying. :)

SultanOfSwing
10-30-2006, 04:46 PM
The real lesson of "Moneyball" isn't about OBP or that defense doesn't matter. A whole chapter of the book was devoted to evaluating defense. It's about evaluating ballplayers as precisely as possible so you can find out what the market is undervaluing and then take advantage of it. At the time the book was written, the market undervalued OBP and generally paid too much for defense.

The post-Moneyball lesson is that the market changes. It should be no surprise that the A's don't do things exactly the way they did four years ago. I mean, they even draft high school players now. If they're really all about OBP and don't care about defense, they're doing a terrible job at building their ballclub, because they were strong defensively and only average at getting on base. And yet they won 93 games. Maybe it was on purpose?
I agree.

Johnny Footstool
10-30-2006, 06:01 PM
I agree. But as I stated in my post, for the sake of this discussion--which is solely about how Krivsky can improve the defense--Oakland is not a prime example. They didn't build that team thinking how they could get a great defense. If Krivsky wants to improve the defense (and remember for the sake of this discussion that is the focus) he will not pattern himself after the A's but rather the Twins. I hope you understand what I am saying. :)

I understand what you are saying. I think you see the A's defense as being a lucky consequence of building an OBP-minded ballclub.

What I'm saying is that the A's *did* set out to build a good defense. They recognized their shortcomings and looked for ways to fix them without overpaying.

That's exactly what Krivsky needs to do, IMO. The Oakland model would work for the Reds and would allow them to build a good defense without shelling out too many resources.

IMO, the Twins model (which seems to involve paying heavily for defense based on reputation and extremely subjective evaluation) would be a disaster, simply because it would divert too many resources from the team's major need -- building a decent pitching staff.

RedsManRick
10-30-2006, 06:13 PM
You have to be careful though. Building a good defense with guys like Mark Ellis and Mark Kotsay who are below average, but above replacement offensively is one thing. Building a good defense with Christian Guzman, Juan Castro, Henry Blanco and Doug Mientkiewicz is another. It's also easier to build a good defense when you can slot Frank Thomas in at DH.

A good defense is a great thing to have and a very important part of run prevention. However, anybody who thinks that a good defense will make up the offensive difference between, say, KGJ and Juan Pierre is severely mistaken.

One of the points made about Hatteberg in Moneyball was that they felt he could be a good defensive 1B, on top of his OBP, to help capture some value not appreciated in the marketplace. However, if you have to pay millions to get a guy with a good defensive reputation, you really aren't gaining any value. Call it the Juan Castro rule. Maybe he's better than a Jose Macias type when both are the major league minimum cost. But if you have to pay a million bucks for him, suddenly you aren't gaining anything.

Johnny Footstool
10-30-2006, 06:30 PM
You have to be careful though. Building a good defense with guys like Mark Ellis and Mark Kotsay who are below average, but above replacement offensively is one thing. Building a good defense with Christian Guzman, Juan Castro, Henry Blanco and Doug Mientkiewicz is another. It's also easier to build a good defense when you can slot Frank Thomas in at DH.

A good defense is a great thing to have and a very important part of run prevention. However, anybody who thinks that a good defense will make up the offensive difference between, say, KGJ and Juan Pierre is severely mistaken.

One of the points made about Hatteberg in Moneyball was that they felt he could be a good defensive 1B, on top of his OBP, to help capture some value not appreciated in the marketplace. However, if you have to pay millions to get a guy with a good defensive reputation, you really aren't gaining any value. Call it the Juan Castro rule. Maybe he's better than a Jose Macias type when both are the major league minimum cost. But if you have to pay a million bucks for him, suddenly you aren't gaining anything.

Right, but the secret is knowing how to identify guys like Kotsay and Ellis. They are out there, and the Reds should be figuring out ways to acquire them instead of wasting their time and money on the Royce Claytons and Juan Castros of the world.

M2
10-30-2006, 07:01 PM
The A's have openly gone after defense in recent years (apparently they thought it was undervalued).

In fact, my criticism of the A's in recent years is that the team hasn't got enough offense to go with the defense (though much of that can be blamed on Eric Chavez having to play with an unenhanced body chemistry).

And I couldn't agree more with Johnny about finding real defense instead of pretending like Clayton or Castro actually help in that department.

Anyway, I think we all know where the defense has to get fixed - up the middle. Jr. can't be allowed to play CF anymore and Phillips needs a capable keystone partner (I say leave Brandon at 2B, because I'd like to see the team find a stellar defender for SS).

If the team makes those two moves, turning CF and SS from glaring negatives into strong positives, then it can survive some questionable defense on the corners. Pete Rose and George Foster were subsistence level defenders at 3B and LF, respectively, but the BRM had such defensive strength up the middle it never was an issue.

Falls City Beer
10-30-2006, 07:07 PM
Beane's paid for defense at the expense of offense, IMO. :nono:

The realpolitik of baseball is that not everyone is well-rounded, and 99 times out of 100 you must CHOOSE one facet of the game OVER another in any single player--defense over offense, offense over defense. It almost never, ever comes filled to the hilt in one person. So for me it's shoot for excellent offense and decent/respectable/maybe even poor defense, when I can't get both in one package.

And whatever you do, don't overpay for defense. That's my cardinal rule.

Cedric
10-30-2006, 07:44 PM
And I couldn't agree more with Johnny about finding real defense instead of pretending like Clayton or Castro actually help in that department.



I think everyone here agrees with that. I can't blame Wayne for being desperate and making a blunder. It's not an easy thing to evaluate.

M2
10-30-2006, 08:11 PM
I think everyone here agrees with that. I can't blame Wayne for being desperate and making a blunder. It's not an easy thing to evaluate.

I'm a little less forgiving because common sense should have told him that old shortstops aren't where you ought to be looking for defense. Though if he addresses the problem directly this offseason and cuts bait on Castro at some point over the next year, I'd give him props for correcting his mistake.

Cedric
10-30-2006, 08:25 PM
I'm a little less forgiving because common sense should have told him that old shortstops aren't where you ought to be looking for defense. Though if he addresses the problem directly this offseason and cuts bait on Castro at some point over the next year, I'd give him props for correcting his mistake.

He wanted someone steady to make up for Felipe being the complete opposite. He made a bad move, no arguing that. It's time he moves Griffey and pairs someone with Brandon. If he does that we are in business.

jnwohio
10-30-2006, 08:30 PM
Somebody on up the thread said pitching is part of defense and I agree. All the metrics on the individual fielders are next to meaningless if the pitchers don't consistently pitch the ball where they are supposed to make things work with how the fielders are set up.

Rojo
10-30-2006, 08:32 PM
The SS free agent market is thin. The 2nd market is good (assuming a move of Phillips) but you look at it and wonder if anyone of them would be a huge upgrade of Freel. Counsell would be a nice add because he bats left and could play SS and 2nd but I don't see any catalyst.

What's the take on Kaz Matsui? I'm guessing it would take too much money to get a Japanese player into Ohio, at least for what amounts to a big gamble.

Mario-Rijo
10-30-2006, 09:26 PM
1st thing I would do is to leave EE alone he showed some improvement over the last half of the season.

Pre All Star Game
April: 8 errors
May: 5 errors
June: 1 error
July: 1 error
Total 15 errors = 5 fldg errors + 10 throwing errors in 51 games (games he appeared in for more than 1 AB, 54 total games)

Post All Star Game
July: 0 errors
August: 5 Errors
September: 5 errors
Oct: DNP

Total 10 errors= 4 fldg errors + 6 throwing errors in 58 games (games he appeared in for more than 1 AB, 63 total games)

That's 5 less errors in 7 more games in which he fielded the ball. Also you should notice the drop in thrown errors from 10 to 6 which is where 80% of his improvement came from.

Over the offseason he would likely try to improve that to a further extent building on what he has learned. Keep in mind here that this is something that he is doing from a throwing perspective, his fielding is far above average (only 9 fldg errors in 296 Total chances, unheard of for a kid). If he works out what he is doing from a throwing standpoint you are looking at a perennial GoldGlover.

Basically I expect between 20-24 errors next year with the bulk of that coming in the 1st 2 months (12 errors in april & may), but that is over a full season 155-162 games. Mike Schmidt for example had 10 gold gloves (9 consec.) and his best fldg year (at 3B) was 1977 where he played in 149 games had 521 total chances and committed 19 errors for a .964 fldg pct.

So my gut says if EE plays in all or most of april & mays games and has more than 12 errors you may wanna replace him but if he has less than 10 watch out because he will only get better from there.

As for the rest. Griffey needs to go somewhere and DH, we could sign maybe a Kenny Lofton/Juan Pierre to have a LH/RH platoon with Freel in CF with Deno backing up in case of injury to either. I would highly consider signing a good RF whom I don't know but that could be the spot we need the most help at both offensively and defensively preferably RH Bat. I think Jose Guillen fits that bill to some extent, he's not the ideal option but he may not be the worst option.

Even though I think he isn't your best option Freel at 2B isn't too bad he has the skill set to pull it off. This is assuming Phillips gets moved to SS, perhaps Gill will make the jump. I then go and sign Eduardo Perez to platoon with Hatteberg. Not necc. the most agile guy, but he is a big target and I think that helps all the IF defense especially EE.

So it looks like this on the cheap.

C - Ross/Valentin
1B- Hatteberg/Perez
2B- BP/Freel
SS- Gill/BP
3B- EE
LF- Dunn (Not much can be Dunn here, pardon the pun)
CF- Lofton/Pierre/Freel
RF- Guillen/Shannon Stewart??

It certainly does not look easy to do. But it definitely needs improving.

texasdave
10-30-2006, 11:23 PM
I can't understand why Rich Aurilia is considered a defensive liability at shortstop. The usual defensive metrics (fielding percentage, range factor and zone rating) may not be totally reliable, but when a player finishes near the top in every one of them that must mean something. ESPN lists 15 N.L. shortstops who played enough to qualify as regulars. This attachment shows how Aurilia measures up to them in four categories. He ranks tied for first in DP/9. He ranks second in Fielding Percentage. He ranks third in Range Factor. He ranks sixth in Zone Rating. In 200 innings he made only one error. That would seem to indicate that, at the very least, he has sure hands and an accurate arm.
Is 200 innings too small a sample size? It doesn't seem ridiculously small to me, but I really don't know. He seems to be an above average fielding shortstop according to these metrics. And if that is the case, combined with his offensive output, he would seem to be one of the better shortstops in the league. Someone the Reds might just want to hold on to.

flyer85
10-31-2006, 12:05 AM
if you want to improve the defense you look to improve the key defensive positions (SS, CF, C, 2B). Worrying about the other positions when you have huge issues at the key positions is an exercise in futility.

flyer85
10-31-2006, 12:10 AM
The real lesson of "Moneyball" isn't about OBP or that defense doesn't matter. A whole chapter of the book was devoted to evaluating defense. It's about evaluating ballplayers as precisely as possible so you can find out what the market is undervaluing and then take advantage of it. congrats ... you're one of the few that read the book and understood the underlying theme of what Beane was doing. Beane simply looks for value where others are not, and that is in a state of flux from year to year.

flyer85
10-31-2006, 12:12 AM
Though if he addresses the problem directly this offseason and cuts bait on Castro at some point over the next year, I'd give him props for correcting his mistake.signing Castro to an extension does not bode well for either case.

SteelSD
10-31-2006, 02:52 AM
I think everyone here agrees with that. I can't blame Wayne for being desperate and making a blunder. It's not an easy thing to evaluate.

Well, Ced, I can blame Krivsky for being desperate and blundering into an awful trade. Good executives don't do that pretty much ever. And it was an incredibly easy thing to evaluate.

During this offseason Krivsky is going to have to find about 150 Runs of additional value to get the Reds to the point of reasonable contender status. I'm not sure that anyone in the game can do that- much less a GM who's demonstrated that he doesn't understand how the whole "run value" thing works.

Johnny Footstool
10-31-2006, 10:49 AM
I can't understand why Rich Aurilia is considered a defensive liability at shortstop. The usual defensive metrics (fielding percentage, range factor and zone rating) may not be totally reliable, but when a player finishes near the top in every one of them that must mean something. ESPN lists 15 N.L. shortstops who played enough to qualify as regulars. This attachment shows how Aurilia measures up to them in four categories. He ranks tied for first in DP/9. He ranks second in Fielding Percentage. He ranks third in Range Factor. He ranks sixth in Zone Rating. In 200 innings he made only one error. That would seem to indicate that, at the very least, he has sure hands and an accurate arm.
Is 200 innings too small a sample size? It doesn't seem ridiculously small to me, but I really don't know. He seems to be an above average fielding shortstop according to these metrics. And if that is the case, combined with his offensive output, he would seem to be one of the better shortstops in the league. Someone the Reds might just want to hold on to.

Yes, small sample size.

200 innings is less than 1/5 of what most of the other SS on that chart played.

He played 228 innings at SS last season and posted a .975 FPCT, 4.36 RF, and .811 ZR.

I'd like to see what the Fielding Bible has to say about him.

Johnny Footstool
10-31-2006, 11:07 AM
Beane's paid for defense at the expense of offense, IMO. :nono:

The realpolitik of baseball is that not everyone is well-rounded, and 99 times out of 100 you must CHOOSE one facet of the game OVER another in any single player--defense over offense, offense over defense. It almost never, ever comes filled to the hilt in one person. So for me it's shoot for excellent offense and decent/respectable/maybe even poor defense, when I can't get both in one package.

And whatever you do, don't overpay for defense. That's my cardinal rule.

I don't think Beane paid at the expense of his offense; I think his offense simply disappeared. Chavez reduced his HGH dosage and has yet to hear back from Jason Giambi's pharmacist about new supplements. Crosby has been hurt most of the past two seasons. Mark Kotsay lost all ability to drive the ball. And who knows what happened to Dan Johnson.

I think the A's can reasonably expect a lot of improvement from those hitters next season (they'll need it if Frank Thomas leaves).