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View Full Version : John Erardi's Fantastic Series of Pieces 3/9/08



membengal
03-09-2008, 10:19 AM
Man I wish he were the regular beat writer for the Enquirer over he-who-hates-Bailey-for-his-terseness. Nice to see statistical analysis get a fair hearing and write-up in the Enquirer, for a change.

Start here for the series of articles:

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080309/SPT04/803090386/1071/SPT

They are especially jarring in light of Daugherty's usual screed today.

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080309/COL03/803090373

Then:

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080309/SPT04/803090435

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080309/SPT04/803090385

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080309/SPT04/803090382

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080309/SPT04/803090383

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080309/SPT04/803090381

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080309/SPT04/803090429

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080309/SPT04/803090380

You go on with your badself John. Much appreciated.

OnBaseMachine
03-09-2008, 11:06 AM
Here's a couple more from Erardi:

Step 4a: THE ENCARNACION FACTOR
BY JOHN ERARDI | JERARDI@ENQUIRER.COM

The sabermetricians believe - as does Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman - that Edwin Encarnacion is the wild card in the Reds' likelihood of success.

He's a right-hander in a left-handed-dominated, middle-of-the-order lineup, so the team's offensive success could turn on his performance. He's probably a better bet to surprise on the upside than any other player on the team (unless you think that good performances by Votto or Bruce would be a surprise).

Encarnacion is 25 and has 1,261 plate appearances in the majors, and for the most part has done it without embarrassing himself.

Players who can contribute at a young age have very good odds of continuing to improve. The sabermetricians wouldn't be shocked by a .280-30 HR-100 RBI season by Encarnacion. He has good strike-zone judgment, has shown some power, and if manager Dusty Baker doesn't jerk him from the lineup the first time he makes a throwing error - something that has happened here in the past - Encarnacion should do well.

Keep this in mind: Nearly every surprise contender features the development of lots of young talent.

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/AB/20080309/SPT04/803090429/

That's close to the projection I have for EdE.

OnBaseMachine
03-09-2008, 11:09 AM
Lineupology?
BY JOHN ERARDI | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER
E-mail thisE-mail | Printer-FriendlyPrint | digg us!

We asked our sabermetricians to take a look at the Reds' batting order to see what the numbers showed regarding who should bat where.

We asked for two batting orders, one vs. right-handed pitchers and one vs. left-handed pitchers, keeping in mind that as a whole, left-handed batters hit right-handed pitchers best, and vice versa.

BATTING ORDER VS. RHP

No. Player Bats Pos.
1. Joey Votto L 1B
2. Adam Dunn L LF
3. Edwin Encarnacion R 3B
4. Jay Bruce L CF
5. Ken Griffey Jr. L RF
6. Brandon Phillips R 2B
7. Javier Valentin S C
8. Jeff Keppinger R SS
9. Pitcher

Slot-by-slot explanation

1. Votto: He might strike out more than some would like, but he does the most important thing for a leadoff hitter (or any hitter) - he gets on base (.360-.408 on-base percentage at every pro level).

2. Dunn: He's a non-traditional No. 2 hitter, but batting here leverages his strengths of getting on base and helps avoid double plays (a problem with many more traditional "contact" two-hole hitters). In addition, hitting here gives him more at-bats. Each spot in the batting order is worth around 15 more plate appearances over a full year than the spot after it.

3. Encarnacion: He's better than fans think, and he's at an age (25) when improvement is likely. Plus he would break up the left-handed hitters.

4. Bruce: Projected to be a tremendous hitter but just 20 years old with only 187 Triple-A at-bats, this rookie is clearly better than any combination of Ryan Freel/Norris Hopper/Corey Patterson. If the Reds are trying to win in 2008, the projected numbers show Bruce should be the everyday center fielder. His career minor-league slugging percentages are .542 in Single-A, .652 in Double-A and .567 in Triple-A and he has hit better than .300 at every level.

5. Griffey - He takes one for the team hitting fifth, protects the kid and gets a run at a ring.

6. Phillips: Putting the 30-30 man in the six-hole? Are the sabermetricians kidding? No. Phillips looks every part the real deal, but the numbers indicate he needs to improve at getting on base. His on-base average is low for somebody of his overall ability.

Luckhaupt's explanation: "The reason that Phillips is batting sixth against right-handers is that every batter in front of him hits right-handers much better. Votto, Dunn, Bruce and Griffey are all lefties who have hit righties very well in the past. The lowest OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) that Baseball Prospectus predicts for any of the four against righties is Griffey at .878. That's Murderer's Row production.

"Another good reason is that Phillips' speed allows for more manufacturing of runs in the lower half of the lineup, something that isn't as necessary in the top half when you've got that kind of firepower," Luckhaupt said.

7. Jeff Keppinger: He projects as a very good hitter with one of the better on-base averages on the team. You could bat him eighth and give the Reds a "second leadoff" hitter, but he also could hit first or second in the lineup.

8. Javier Valentin: The sabermetricians always have felt that Valentin should stop batting right-handed and bat only lefty. He has had a lot of success against right-handed pitchers in his career, but last season he didn't.

BATTING ORDER VS. LHP

No. Player Bats Pos.
1. Keppinger R 1B
2. Dunn L LF
3. Phillips R 2B
4. Bruce L CF
5. Encarnacion R 3B
6. Griffey L RF
7. David Ross R C
8. Alex Gonzalez R SS
9. Pitcher

Slot-by-slot explanation

1. Keppinger: He would play first base and leadoff because Votto doesn't hit lefties well.

2. Dunn: He is not as good a hitter vs. lefties as he is against righties, but he's decent and still gets on base.

3. Phillips: Hits lefties better than Encarnacion.

4. Bruce: Same reasoning as vs. RHP.

5. Encarnacion: As a right-handed hitter, he hits lefties better than Griffey.

6. Griffey: He used to be a good hitter against lefties, but in three of the last four years he has dropped off.

7. David Ross: His bad on-base average keeps him down here.

8. Alex Gonzalez: See Ross comments. (Note: Gonzalez is injured.)

THE POINT OF ALL THIS

The only real opportunities for offensive improvement - besides wishing Dunn hits 50 homers or Phillips goes 40/40 or Norris Hopper hits .340 - is making Bruce the center fielder, getting Keppinger into the lineup full time and playing Votto over Scott Hatteberg.

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080309/SPT04/803090384

SunDeck
03-09-2008, 12:13 PM
These are great articles. As for Doc, let's not forget these guys work together. It wouldn't surprise me if they get together to talk about writing pieces that offer opposing viewpoints.
That, and I don't get the feeling Doc writes with us in mind. I would be willing to bet a lot of Reds fans take comfort in scrappy, knows how to play the game, intuition type stuff. Heck, I like to hear that stuff myself. Somehow the image of an old school manager instead of some wiz kid in a white coat makes me feel better. But I know that kid is real smart, so the two halves of my brain are constantly fighting over this issue.

RedsManRick
03-09-2008, 12:25 PM
Any chance of getting Fay and Daugherty to read these? I don't think the other guys read RedsZone, but they do read the comments on their blogs -- and they've been getting killed on their blog comment sections for their overly simplistic approaches.

My only complaint was the constant preface of "The sabermatricians believe...". Perhaps it was just John maintaining his objectivity, but it seems ripe for ad hoc rejection.

KronoRed
03-09-2008, 02:37 PM
Any chance of getting Fay and Daugherty to read these?

And admit they might be wrong? no freaking way.

Ron Madden
03-09-2008, 03:53 PM
I've been a John Erardi Fan for years.


John Erardi actually researches and learns about the topic of his stories.

The other local writers consider asking the opinion of the Manager and/or the broadcasters as enough research.


Thanks for posting Membengal. :thumbup:

RedsManRick
03-09-2008, 04:14 PM
I sent Eradi an email and think you guys should too. Giving him some ammo to show his editors that the supposedly unwashed masses aren't luddites can only help.

OnBaseMachine
03-09-2008, 04:30 PM
I sent Eradi an email and think you guys should too. Giving him some ammo to show his editors that the supposedly unwashed masses aren't luddites can only help.

I sent him one earlier this morning.

Caveat Emperor
03-09-2008, 05:04 PM
Great articles, but now I'm even more certain that Corey Patterson will be the leadoff hitter on opening day.

Will M
03-09-2008, 05:30 PM
Lineupology?
BY JOHN ERARDI | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER
E-mail thisE-mail | Printer-FriendlyPrint | digg us!

We asked our sabermetricians to take a look at the Reds' batting order to see what the numbers showed regarding who should bat where.

We asked for two batting orders, one vs. right-handed pitchers and one vs. left-handed pitchers, keeping in mind that as a whole, left-handed batters hit right-handed pitchers best, and vice versa.

BATTING ORDER VS. RHP

No. Player Bats Pos.
1. Joey Votto L 1B
2. Adam Dunn L LF
3. Edwin Encarnacion R 3B
4. Jay Bruce L CF
5. Ken Griffey Jr. L RF
6. Brandon Phillips R 2B
7. Javier Valentin S C
8. Jeff Keppinger R SS
9. Pitcher

Slot-by-slot explanation

1. Votto: He might strike out more than some would like, but he does the most important thing for a leadoff hitter (or any hitter) - he gets on base (.360-.408 on-base percentage at every pro level).

2. Dunn: He's a non-traditional No. 2 hitter, but batting here leverages his strengths of getting on base and helps avoid double plays (a problem with many more traditional "contact" two-hole hitters). In addition, hitting here gives him more at-bats. Each spot in the batting order is worth around 15 more plate appearances over a full year than the spot after it.

3. Encarnacion: He's better than fans think, and he's at an age (25) when improvement is likely. Plus he would break up the left-handed hitters.

4. Bruce: Projected to be a tremendous hitter but just 20 years old with only 187 Triple-A at-bats, this rookie is clearly better than any combination of Ryan Freel/Norris Hopper/Corey Patterson. If the Reds are trying to win in 2008, the projected numbers show Bruce should be the everyday center fielder. His career minor-league slugging percentages are .542 in Single-A, .652 in Double-A and .567 in Triple-A and he has hit better than .300 at every level.

5. Griffey - He takes one for the team hitting fifth, protects the kid and gets a run at a ring.

6. Phillips: Putting the 30-30 man in the six-hole? Are the sabermetricians kidding? No. Phillips looks every part the real deal, but the numbers indicate he needs to improve at getting on base. His on-base average is low for somebody of his overall ability.

Luckhaupt's explanation: "The reason that Phillips is batting sixth against right-handers is that every batter in front of him hits right-handers much better. Votto, Dunn, Bruce and Griffey are all lefties who have hit righties very well in the past. The lowest OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) that Baseball Prospectus predicts for any of the four against righties is Griffey at .878. That's Murderer's Row production.

"Another good reason is that Phillips' speed allows for more manufacturing of runs in the lower half of the lineup, something that isn't as necessary in the top half when you've got that kind of firepower," Luckhaupt said.

7. Jeff Keppinger: He projects as a very good hitter with one of the better on-base averages on the team. You could bat him eighth and give the Reds a "second leadoff" hitter, but he also could hit first or second in the lineup.

8. Javier Valentin: The sabermetricians always have felt that Valentin should stop batting right-handed and bat only lefty. He has had a lot of success against right-handed pitchers in his career, but last season he didn't.

BATTING ORDER VS. LHP

No. Player Bats Pos.
1. Keppinger R 1B
2. Dunn L LF
3. Phillips R 2B
4. Bruce L CF
5. Encarnacion R 3B
6. Griffey L RF
7. David Ross R C
8. Alex Gonzalez R SS
9. Pitcher

Slot-by-slot explanation

1. Keppinger: He would play first base and leadoff because Votto doesn't hit lefties well.

2. Dunn: He is not as good a hitter vs. lefties as he is against righties, but he's decent and still gets on base.

3. Phillips: Hits lefties better than Encarnacion.

4. Bruce: Same reasoning as vs. RHP.

5. Encarnacion: As a right-handed hitter, he hits lefties better than Griffey.

6. Griffey: He used to be a good hitter against lefties, but in three of the last four years he has dropped off.

7. David Ross: His bad on-base average keeps him down here.

8. Alex Gonzalez: See Ross comments. (Note: Gonzalez is injured.)

THE POINT OF ALL THIS

The only real opportunities for offensive improvement - besides wishing Dunn hits 50 homers or Phillips goes 40/40 or Norris Hopper hits .340 - is making Bruce the center fielder, getting Keppinger into the lineup full time and playing Votto over Scott Hatteberg.

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080309/SPT04/803090384

My BATTING ORDER VS. RHP

1. Joey Votto L 1B
2. Edwin Encarnacion R 3B
3. Ken Griffey Jr. L RF
4. Adam Dunn L LF
5. Brandon Phillips R 2B
6. Jay Bruce L CF
7. Ross/Valentin R/S C
8. Alex Gonzalez R SS
9. Pitcher


My BATTING ORDER VS. LHP

1. Freel/Hopper R RF
2. Jeff Keppinger R 1B
3. Edwin Encarnacion R 3B
4. Adam Dunn L LF
5. Brandon Phillips R 2B
6. Jay Bruce L CF
7. David Ross S C
8. Alex Gonzalez R SS
9. Pitcher






1. Griffey won't play 162 games

2. Griffey has not hit lefties well recently

3. Keppinger has never played a full season in the bigs

4. Batting Phillips 5th is a good use of his speed and his being OBP challenged doesn't hurt much here

5. Bruce hits 6th in a non pressure role

Ron Madden
03-09-2008, 06:44 PM
This series of articles by John Erardi contain more research, and are far more informative than a years worth of stuff written by Paul Daugherty, McCoy, Fay, or CTR.

flyer85
03-09-2008, 07:26 PM
fortunately for the Reds Dusty is much smarter than Erardi.

vaticanplum
03-09-2008, 08:17 PM
Great articles, but now I'm even more certain that Corey Patterson will be the leadoff hitter on opening day.

I am a Corey Patterson fan. There: I said it. His defense makes me woozy, and at his age I thought this was a really great pickup. I don't think they'd hold Bruce back if he was really ready and if the team makeup was ready for him; I believe that this is a sign that they're seriously considering bringing Bruce up full-time in 2009 when Griffey's gone and shuffling the outfield as needed. This is fine with me. In fact, I think that's kind of groovy.

But I don't understand why he needs to be hitting leadoff, apart from the fact that other options on this team are pretty much equally unappealing. I firmly believe that Patterson's hitting leadoff was a huge factor in his demise in Chicago. He doesn't belong there, and it is a very depressing sign to me that Dusty doesn't appear to have learned from this mistake.

KronoRed
03-09-2008, 09:21 PM
Dusty likes his CF to bat leadoff

George Anderson
03-09-2008, 09:24 PM
Dusty likes his CF to bat leadoff

That makes about as much sense as La Russa wanting his pitchers to bat 8th.

KronoRed
03-09-2008, 09:25 PM
That makes about as much sense as La Russa wanting his pitchers to bat 8th.

Dude..you can't argue with the BOOK.

Caveat Emperor
03-10-2008, 12:26 AM
His defense makes me woozy, and at his age I thought this was a really great pickup.

Trouble is, like many "great defense" players, his glove doesn't nearly save enough runs to justify leaving a better bat on the bench.

vaticanplum
03-10-2008, 07:51 PM
Trouble is, like many "great defense" players, his glove doesn't nearly save enough runs to justify leaving a better bat on the bench.

Depends where he hits. He's not an ungodly sixth-to-eighth spot hitter especially for the NL...that's really my point with regard to the leadoff spot. He's a very justifiable part of a team if he's used correctly.

Chip R
03-11-2008, 11:08 AM
Depends where he hits. He's not an ungodly sixth-to-eighth spot hitter especially for the NL...that's really my point with regard to the leadoff spot. He's a very justifiable part of a team if he's used correctly.


That's true. Leadoff is not his thing. But even if he doesn't hit leadoff, with all the offense this team is supposed to have, there are definitely a surplus of 6-8 hitters in the lineup. And that's being generous. Most of them are basically #8 hitters.

Screwball
03-11-2008, 11:51 AM
That's true. Leadoff is not his thing. But even if he doesn't hit leadoff, with all the offense this team is supposed to have, there are definitely a surplus of 6-8 hitters in the lineup. And that's being generous. Most of them are basically #8 hitters.

Hey, I thought we were only taking 2 catchers north. :mooner:

OnBaseMachine
03-24-2008, 12:36 AM
For those interested, John Erardi will be blogging from Reds camp this week in Florida.

http://frontier.cincinnati.com/blogs/redsinsider/