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flyer85
03-28-2008, 05:03 PM
from BP's Joe Sheehan


Dusty Baker really can screw it all up. Jay Bruce is in Triple-A, while Corey Patterson and his career .298 OBP are slated for the leadoff slot. There are few things you can do to an offense worse than sticking a terrible OBP guy in the #1 hole. That’s what Patterson is, and if the decision to invite him to camp was a good one—he’d make an excellent fourth outfielder—and the decision to start him in center is marginally defensible, the decision to bat him first is just ridiculous.

The final verdict on the damage Baker might render isn’t in, which makes the next three days critical for Reds fans. The team’s lineups over the past few days are good signs, Patterson aside. Jeff Keppinger and Joey Votto have been starting at shortstop and first base, respectively, which is what the Reds need. Choosing the 1992 Braves (Mike Stanton and Kent Mercker) over Bill Bray for the bullpen isn’t a good decision. Stanton is simply done, while Bray has the kind of live arm that can be a weapon in a situational or full-inning role.

We can’t completely write off Baker. How he handles Votto’s first bad week, or Keppinger’s playing time once Alex Gonzalez returns, or Edwin Encarnacion, or the young pitchers in his charge once they appear at midseason, will all go into the final evaluation. The potential is there, however, for Baker to once again ride 88-win talent to 84 wins, and be hailed a hero for it.

RichRed
03-28-2008, 05:15 PM
The Reds have 88-win talent?

Falls City Beer
03-28-2008, 05:15 PM
This has been beaten to death: Bruce is not a CF, and even if he could play one tolerably, he's too much to risk out there. Big guys shouldn't run around flagging down balls between Dunn and Griffey.

lollipopcurve
03-28-2008, 05:29 PM
Joe Sheehan dumping on Baker.... how old can it get?

"And there's Uncle Joe...
He's movin' kinda slow
At Prospectus...
Baseball Prospectus!"

-- for all you Petticoat Junction fans

backbencher
03-28-2008, 05:39 PM
Joe Sheehan dumping on Baker.... how old can it get?

"And there's Uncle Joe...
He's movin' kinda slow
At Prospectus...
Baseball Prospectus!"

-- for all you Petticoat Junction fans

Free Erubiel Durazo!

paulrichjr
03-28-2008, 06:12 PM
Just curious but how many times has Baker taken 88 win talent teams and turned them into 84 wins? His last year in Chicago? Have you looked at that team? After they spent $1 billion dollars on new talent they still could barely get to .500 in the worst division in baseball. I hated the Baker deal at first but now I really like the guy....April is coming though.

traderumor
03-28-2008, 07:04 PM
It is easy enough to dump on Patterson, but if he can put up .320-.330 like he did at his best in Chicago, with the combination of power, speed and plus defense, he will be an asset to the team. I imagine who hits where will work itself out, since I assume Dusty is not the dumbest man on the planet, whereas Sheehan has the opposite assumption.

*BaseClogger*
03-28-2008, 07:07 PM
I don't see anybody arguing that hitting Patterson leadoff isn't stupid. It's ok because it's Dusty Baker for some reason. How many runs/wins could that cost the Reds over a whole season? Why does this fact get so downplayed after Joe Sheehan points it out? He must just be in utter shock/disbelief that hitting Corey Patterson is still possible--even the Orioles were smart enough to keep him at the bottom of the order...

Falls City Beer
03-28-2008, 07:27 PM
I don't see anybody arguing that hitting Patterson leadoff isn't stupid. It's ok because it's Dusty Baker for some reason. How many runs/wins could that cost the Reds over a whole season? Why does this fact get so downplayed after Joe Sheehan points it out? He must just be in utter shock/disbelief that hitting Corey Patterson is still possible--even the Orioles were smart enough to keep him at the bottom of the order...

It's not smart to bat him leadoff, but I'm guessing the number of runs the Reds will lose by hitting him there is much lower than your expectations. I don't get worked up over batting order.

And anyone who thinks this organization--in any permutation--has 88 wins in it either has had or needs a lobotomy.

RedsManRick
03-28-2008, 07:31 PM
It's not smart to bat him leadoff, but I'm guessing the number of runs the Reds will lose by hitting him there is much lower than your expectations. I don't get worked up over batting order.

And anyone who thinks this organization--in any permutation--has 88 wins in it either has had or needs a lobotomy.

If he were to put up a .300 OBP and get 600 PA, it's on the order of 15 runs. You do a few odd things like that and suddenly you're giving away 3-4 wins for no good reason.

fearofpopvol1
03-28-2008, 07:32 PM
The bullpen is by far a bigger issue than anything else. And it's not even close.

Falls City Beer
03-28-2008, 07:34 PM
If he were to put up a .300 OBP and get 600 PA, it's on the order of 15 runs. You do a few odd things like that and suddenly you're giving away 3-4 wins for no good reason.

I'll take a wild guess and say that, against NL Central pitching, Patterson will fairly easily OBP over .300.

RedsManRick
03-28-2008, 07:40 PM
I'll take a wild guess and say that, against NL Central pitching, Patterson will fairly easily OBP over .300.

I agree. I envision something like .270/.315/.430 from CPat -- perfect out of the 7 hole...

westofyou
03-28-2008, 07:54 PM
Lazy stuff in light of a month ago, do us a favor and go check your brackets Joe... you ain't thinking about the right game when you had a deadline for today.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7153


The best remaining outfielders are both center fielders, if as disparate a pair as you could find. Corey Patterson, a low-walks, high-strikeouts 28-year-old with good range in center field and excellent base-stealing skills, has not found a home yet. Hey, I’ll be the first to repeat the "OBP is Life, Life is OBP" mantra. However, Patterson, with a career .298 OBP and marks of .314 and .304 the last two years, is about as good a player as you can be with that kind of OBP. He’s stolen 82 bases at an 82 percent clip the last two seasons, he’s a .270 hitter with some pop, and he’s an average to average-plus center fielder. The Braves traded for Mark Kotsay, for crying out loud, and Kotsay hasn’t outplayed Patterson since 2005. The A’s don’t have any center fielder at the moment, nor do the Marlins. The Padres could use a flycatcher (although adding him to Khalil Greene makes it hard to build a lineup). The Twins just threw $5 million at Livan Hernandez, and Patterson has more value than the workhorse.

jojo
03-28-2008, 08:00 PM
Lazy stuff in light of a month ago, do us a favor and go check your brackets Joe... you ain't thinking about the right game when you had a deadline for today.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7153

In Sheehan's latest, he wasn't raggin' on Patterson's skill set but rather raggin' on how Patterson's skill set might be misused.

westofyou
03-28-2008, 08:06 PM
In Sheehan's latest, he wasn't raggin' on Patterson's skill set but rather raggin' on how Patterson's skill set might be misused.

I can read, and I've read Sheehan long enough to know that he's just spewing content on a day he'd rather be watching hoops.

While I agree with his worry (if I can assume that it's even that) I think that it's pretty funny how he should have been a Padre last month and was better than Mark Kotsay and this month he's just a 4th stringer.

RANDY IN INDY
03-28-2008, 08:08 PM
Just another talkin' head.

Falls City Beer
03-28-2008, 08:08 PM
I can read, and I've read Sheehan long enough to know that he's just spewing content on a day he'd rather be watching hoops.

While I agree with his worry (if I can assume that it's even that) I think that it's pretty funny how he should have been a Padre last month and was better than Mark Kotsay and this month he's just a 4th stringer.

Absolutely. He was reverse-engineering a position to fit his current gripe.

traderumor
03-28-2008, 08:30 PM
If he were to put up a .300 OBP and get 600 PA, it's on the order of 15 runs. You do a few odd things like that and suddenly you're giving away 3-4 wins for no good reason.And its been made pretty clear that he is likely to sit againts lefties, so I'm not sure where you expect he is going to get 600 PA from :confused:

jojo
03-28-2008, 08:31 PM
Absolutely. He was reverse-engineering a position to fit his current gripe.

Or he's simply arguing Patterson shouldn't be used as a lead off hitter.

RedsManRick
03-28-2008, 08:52 PM
And its been made pretty clear that he is likely to sit againts lefties, so I'm not sure where you expect he is going to get 600 PA from :confused:

I don't remember saying he was likely to. I was just putting a run value on things. If you'd like me to do the math for you, around 300 PA would equate to around 5-7.5 runs.

Falls City Beer
03-28-2008, 08:54 PM
Or he's simply arguing Patterson shouldn't be used as a lead off hitter.

That's not only what he's saying. Read it again.

jojo
03-28-2008, 08:59 PM
That's not only what he's saying. Read it again.

1. Patterson's OBP should preclude him from leading off so Dusty is making an error by using Patterson in that role.

2. Dusty seems to be making good choices with Votto and Keppy.

3. Dusty can't be trusted to continually make saber-wise moves.


What did I miss?

WMR
03-28-2008, 09:02 PM
Dusty and Corey, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Dusty pushing Juan Pierre in a baby carriage.

Falls City Beer
03-28-2008, 09:20 PM
1. Patterson's OBP should preclude him from leading off so Dusty is making an error by using Patterson in that role.

2. Dusty seems to be making good choices with Votto and Keppy.

3. Dusty can't be trusted to continually make saber-wise moves.


What did I miss?

Patterson's best role is a 4th outfielder; the idea that he's starting as CF only marginally defensible (implying that Bruce is the better bet).

Raisor
03-28-2008, 09:44 PM
Just another talkin' head.

So? So are we.

jojo
03-28-2008, 09:50 PM
Patterson's best role is a 4th outfielder; the idea that he's starting as CF only marginally defensible (implying that Bruce is the better bet).

Well ya. It's a perfectly sound argument. Baker doesn't even think Patterson is an everyday centerfielder.

Falls City Beer
03-28-2008, 09:59 PM
Well ya. It's a perfectly sound argument. Baker doesn't even think Patterson is an everyday centerfielder.

It may be a sound argument, but it's changing his tune from the earlier blurb.

westofyou
03-28-2008, 10:02 PM
Well ya. It's a perfectly sound argument. Baker doesn't even think Patterson is an everyday centerfielder.

Yeah... but in February Joe Sheehan thought that Cory Patterson was good enough for the

A's

Padres

Marlins.

and today... he's beefaroni.

Keep trying to defend it, but it's still lazy writing.

Especially for the $.... and I have.....and still pay for content from BP.

jojo
03-28-2008, 10:07 PM
It may be a sound argument, but it's changing his tune from the earlier blurb.

How, by suggesting that Patterson is the best outfield option left on the island of misfit toys and since he's a legitimate defensive CFer, he would be a decent option for the As but Patterson isn't a better option that Bruce?

dougdirt
03-28-2008, 10:08 PM
Yeah... but in February Joe Sheehan thought that Cory Patterson was good enough for the

A's

Padres

Marlins.

and today... he's beefaroni.

Keep trying to defend it, but it's still lazy writing.

Especially for the $.... and I have.....and still pay for content from BP.

The A's, Padres and Marlins don't have Jay Bruce waiting in the wings (although the fish do have Cameron Maybin headnig to AA who could be close enough to ready by June if things go right).

westofyou
03-28-2008, 10:09 PM
The A's, Padres and Marlins don't have Jay Bruce waiting in the wings (although the fish do have Cameron Maybin headnig to AA who could be close enough to ready by June if things go right).

Oh.. so the caveat only applies to Maybin..

ok.....

jojo
03-28-2008, 10:10 PM
Yeah... but in February Joe Sheehan thought that Cory Patterson was good enough for the

A's

Padres

Marlins.

and today... he's beefaroni.

Keep trying to defend it, but it's still lazy writing.

Especially for the $.... and I have.....and still pay for content from BP.

His argument is pretty simple. Patterson was an option for teams with black holes in CF but he's not a better option than Bruce. There's no inconsistency with that position.

Falls City Beer
03-28-2008, 10:18 PM
How, by suggesting that Patterson is the best outfield option left on the island of misfit toys and since he's a legitimate defensive CFer, he would be a decent option for the As but Patterson isn't a better option that Bruce?

He may be the fourth best outfielder on the Reds but he's the best CF option. And since the other two chess pieces (Dunn/Griffey) aren't going anywhere, well....

So Patterson is better than Denorfia in February but should surrender his CF spot to a huge guy who's already hurt himself once just by running this spring in an outfield with the two worst defensive outfielders in the NL Central?

In short Sheehan was pimping Patterson as a very good option for teams (even contenders like the Padres), but now he's an afterthought on the Reds, a team with the worst overall outfield defense in the entire sport prior to the acquisition of Patterson. Gotcha.

jojo
03-28-2008, 10:21 PM
He may be the fourth best outfielder on the Reds but he's the best CF option. And since the other two chess pieces (Dunn/Griffey) aren't going anywhere, well....

So Patterson is better than Denorfia in February but should surrender his CF spot to a huge guy who's already hurt himself once just by running this spring in an outfield with the two worst defensive outfielders in the NL Central?

In short Sheehan was pimping Patterson as a very good option for teams (even contenders like the Padres), but now he's an afterthought on the Reds, a team with the worst overall outfield defense in the entire sport prior to the acquisition of Patterson. Gotcha.

Sheenan was pimping Patterson as an option for teams with no true quality CFer. Contender status isn't relevant to his argument.

Bruce is a better option than Patterson in CF.

Falls City Beer
03-28-2008, 10:23 PM
Bruce is a better option than Patterson in CF.

Not in this configuration of the Reds he's not. Plus he looked totally overmatched this spring.

Maybe by August or so he'll be ready, but he looked totally overmatched. It's normal. He's still awfully young.

Falls City Beer
03-28-2008, 10:24 PM
Sheenan was pimping Patterson as an option for teams with no true quality CFer. Contender status isn't relevant to his argument.

Bruce is a better option than Patterson in CF.

Patterson > Denorfia.

His argument.

jojo
03-28-2008, 10:27 PM
Patterson > Denorfia.

His argument.

Yep. Denorfia is a compromise as a CFer.

Falls City Beer
03-28-2008, 10:28 PM
Yep. Denorfia is a compromise as a CFer.

Not compared to Patterson he's not.

jojo
03-28-2008, 10:34 PM
Not in this configuration of the Reds he's not.

Sure he is. 40 AB in March really doesn't inform very much.

Falls City Beer
03-28-2008, 10:40 PM
Sure he is. 40 AB in March really doesn't inform very much.

Bruce wasn't smashing balls into people's gloves, he wasn't doing anything really. Most important, he'd be out of his optimal defensive position as a rookie.

Next year is the perfect time for Bruce to take over right field full time.

jojo
03-28-2008, 10:41 PM
Not compared to Patterson he's not.

How do you figure?

Pecota suggests Patterson will do this: .271/.313/.424, and Deno will do this: .266/.331/.414. Meanwhile Patterson is likely 10 runs better defensively.

Neither player really is an everyday player. The difference is that Patterson is a legitimate center fielder and has greater speed.

Falls City Beer
03-28-2008, 10:42 PM
How do you figure?

Pecota suggests Patterson will do this: .271/.313/.424, and Deno will do this: .266/.331/.414. Meanwhile Patterson is likely 10 runs better defensively.

Neither player really is an everyday player. The difference is that Patterson is a legitimate center fielder and has greater speed.

10 runs? Come on.

jojo
03-28-2008, 10:45 PM
Bruce wasn't smashing balls into people's gloves, he wasn't doing anything really. Most important, he'd be out of his optimal defensive position as a rookie.

Next year is the perfect time for Bruce to take over right field full time.

Scouts project him as a right fielder but praise his ability to play CF now. There is plenty of reason to believe Bruce could be at least a neutral defender in center field in '08.

There is absolutely no reason to believe Patterson is more talented offensively than Bruce.... the only question is how much better is Bruce today.

Falls City Beer
03-28-2008, 10:51 PM
Scouts project him as a right fielder but praise his ability to play CF now. There is plenty of reason to believe Bruce could be at least a neutral defender in center field in '08.

There is absolutely no reason to believe Patterson is more talented offensively than Bruce.... the only question is how much better is Bruce today.

You said there's absolutely no reason to believe that Bailey won't be ready to go full-time to start this season, too.

I'm sure Bruce would be passable in CF. But that still doesn't solve the problem that the Reds would be starting the worst outfield in baseball with Bruce in center. Add that outfield to an already brutal infield (that will be even worse with Kepp starting) and good lord, this team would be giving away 4-5 out innings constantly.

jojo
03-28-2008, 10:52 PM
10 runs? Come on.

That's hardly an extraordinary estimate. Patterson, a plus defensive CFer, conservatively is anywhere from a +5 to +10 defender. Denorfia is likely a -5 to neutral defensive CFer at best.

dougdirt
03-28-2008, 10:53 PM
Oh.. so the caveat only applies to Maybin..

ok.....

Cameron Maybin needs a TON of work to be ready for the majors.... but at least he is a legit prospect in CF, unlike anything that the A's or Padres have as minor league CF options.

Falls City Beer
03-28-2008, 10:53 PM
That's hardly an extraordinary estimate. Patterson, a plus defensive CFer, conservatively is anywhere from a +5 to +10 defender. Denorfia is likely a -5 to neutral defensive CFer at best.

Denorfia is NOT a negative CF. He's a very solid CF.

flyer85
03-28-2008, 10:54 PM
I can't wait until Castro hits 2nd behind Patterson/Hopper/Freel.

Falls City Beer
03-28-2008, 10:56 PM
I can't wait until Castro hits 2nd behind Patterson/Hopper/Freel.

Castro's presence is indeed mystifying.

jojo
03-28-2008, 10:57 PM
You said there's absolutely no reason to believe that Bailey won't be ready to go full-time to start this season, too.

I've never predicted Bailey was a sure thing this season. Never. I've argued countless times that Bailey has command issues and command is the first prerequisite for pitchers to be successful in the majors. Bruce on the other hand really has nothing left to prove in the minors.


I'm sure Bruce would be passable in CF. But that still doesn't solve the problem that the Reds would be starting the worst outfield in baseball with Bruce in center.

A neutral defender in CF is a positive thing especially when his bat has such a high ceiling. Bruce's overall value is >>>> than a platoon of Hopper/Patterson. Sending Bruce to Louisville in all likelihood down graded the Reds outfield.

dougdirt
03-28-2008, 10:57 PM
I'm sure Bruce would be passable in CF. But that still doesn't solve the problem that the Reds would be starting the worst outfield in baseball with Bruce in center. Add that outfield to an already brutal infield (that will be even worse with Kepp starting) and good lord, this team would be giving away 4-5 out innings constantly.

No matter who is in CF our corners are going to suck. Corey Patterson isn't going to make either of those guys any better, so its still going to come down to who is going to be the more valuable player.... Jay Bruce, or Corey Patterson. You are going to have a very hard time convincing anyone that Corey Patterson is the right answer.

Falls City Beer
03-28-2008, 11:02 PM
I've never predicted Bailey was a sure thing this season.



A neutral defender in CF is a positive thing especially when his bat has such a high ceiling. Bruce's overall value is >>>> than a platoon of Hopper/Patterson. Sending Bruce to Louisville in all likelihood down graded the Reds outfield.

I didn't say a "sure thing" just that you said (and I'll check the archives to find it) you see no reason to believe that he wouldn't be ready.

We'll never know your second point. I think Patterson's D is more important to this team right now than just okay D.

Your argument hinges on Bruce--at his age--producing offense to offset his defense. I'm not at all comfortable with that prediction.

jojo
03-28-2008, 11:03 PM
Denorfia is NOT a negative CF. He's a very solid CF.

OK then. If Denorfia is a solid defensive CFer, Patterson is a elite one.

flyer85
03-28-2008, 11:05 PM
PECOTA projects Patterson with an FRAA of -1 in 109 games and Bruce with -7 in 152 games.

BTW, Patterson had a -6 in 119 games in 2007

jojo
03-28-2008, 11:05 PM
I didn't say a "sure thing" just that you said (and I'll check the archives to find it) you see no reason to believe that he wouldn't be ready.

We'll never know your second point. I think Patterson's D is more important to this team right now than just okay D.

Your argument hinges on Bruce--at his age--producing offense to offset his defense. I'm not at all comfortable with that prediction.

I've said in the past that there is no reason to think a 21 yo Homer can't overcome his command issues. That's a far cry from predicting Homer would be in the Reds 2008 opening day rotation.

Falls City Beer
03-28-2008, 11:05 PM
Jay Bruce, or Corey Patterson. You are going to have a very hard time convincing anyone that Corey Patterson is the right answer.

If I had to wager, I'd say Bruce isn't ready to produce the .770 or so OPS Patterson could produce, and I know he can't defend nearly as well as Patterson.

flyer85
03-28-2008, 11:08 PM
Be interesting to see what position Bruce plays in AAA

*BaseClogger*
03-28-2008, 11:10 PM
If I had to wager, I'd say Bruce isn't ready to produce the .770 or so OPS Patterson could produce, and I know he can't defend nearly as well as Patterson.

Bruce couldn't out OPS Patterson? You honestly believe that?

dougdirt
03-28-2008, 11:16 PM
If I had to wager, I'd say Bruce isn't ready to produce the .770 or so OPS Patterson could produce, and I know he can't defend nearly as well as Patterson.

Not that we are really going to find out, but when Bruce is down in Louisville with an average higher than Patterson's OBP is in Cincinnati by the end of April, its going to be painfully clear who should be in CF in Cincinnati but nothing is going to be done about it.

Falls City Beer
03-28-2008, 11:18 PM
Bruce couldn't out OPS Patterson? You honestly believe that?

Right now, I'd say they'd be a push offensively. I think it's highly likely both will OPS in the .770 range this season.

Falls City Beer
03-28-2008, 11:20 PM
I've said in the past that there is no reason to think a 21 yo Homer can't overcome his command issues. That's a far cry from predicting Homer would be in the Reds 2008 opening day rotation.


From July of last year, you wrote:

"Given his age, he's got a lot of room left to grow and thus still has the high ceiling as a potential TOR arm. The third pitch and command issues just aren't damning concerns at this point. Right now pessimistic views have him in the rotation for good by age 23."

This indicates to me that a reasonable estimate has him in the rotation by 22. Bailey's 22 in a month.

reds44
03-28-2008, 11:21 PM
I've never understood why people are in fear of rushing pitchers so much, but not hitters. Bruce spending a few months in AAA is only going to do him good.

*BaseClogger*
03-28-2008, 11:21 PM
Does anybody else wish they had gone and gotten Brian Anderson? He has had a crazy good spring (one with a +.200 SLG so it means something ;))...

*BaseClogger*
03-28-2008, 11:22 PM
From July of last year, you wrote:

"Given his age, he's got a lot of room left to grow and thus still has the high ceiling as a potential TOR arm. The third pitch and command issues just aren't damning concerns at this point. Right now pessimistic views have him in the rotation for good by age 23."

This indicates to me that a reasonable estimate has him in the rotation by 22. Bailey's 22 in a month.

And he will likely be in the rotation at some point this season as a young 22 year old? :confused:

Falls City Beer
03-28-2008, 11:23 PM
And he will likely be in the rotation at some point this season as a young 22 year old? :confused:

Erm. I doubt it.

reds44
03-28-2008, 11:24 PM
Does anybody else wish they had gone and gotten Brian Anderson? He has had a crazy good spring (one with a +.200 SLG so it means something ;))...
Yeah and many people were on that bandwagon before he blew up this spring.

jojo
03-28-2008, 11:25 PM
Right now, I'd say they'd be a push offensively. I think it's highly likely both will OPS in the .770 range this season.

CP has only OPS'd .770 or better twice as a major leaguer-the last time being 2004. It's not like he hasn't played in environments conducive to left-handed hitters his whole career too.....

*BaseClogger*
03-28-2008, 11:25 PM
Yeah and many people were on that bandwagon before he blew up this spring.

I was riding that bandwagon, but it was on the Sun Deck so nobody noticed... :(

flyer85
03-28-2008, 11:26 PM
Does anybody else wish they had gone and gotten Brian Anderson? He has had a crazy good spring (one with a +.200 SLG so it means something ;))...I thought that was a good idea. Heck he could still likely be had now as he is seemingly behind Owens, Swisher and Ramirez. I would have like to have seen them bring in Jeremy Reed(currently in the minors w/Seattle)

Falls City Beer
03-28-2008, 11:26 PM
CP has only OPS'd .770 or better twice as a major leaguer-the last time being 2004. It's not like he hasn't played in environments conducive to left-handed hitters his whole career too.....

And nowhere's better than GAB against NL Central pitching.

*BaseClogger*
03-28-2008, 11:27 PM
Erm. I doubt it.

He got up last year. What's not to say Homer puts up a tricky ERA in AAA again and Krivsky makes the same mistake twice?

*BaseClogger*
03-28-2008, 11:28 PM
I thought that was a good idea. Heck he could still likely be had now as he is seemingly behind Owens, Swisher and Ramirez. I would have like to have seen them bring in Jeremy Reed(currently in the minors w/Seattle)

Owens is hurt, so he is competing with Quentin for a starting spot, according to my White Sox friend...

Falls City Beer
03-28-2008, 11:28 PM
He got up last year. What's not to say Homer puts up a tricky ERA in AAA again and Krivsky makes the same mistake twice?

You're all over the place. Follow the thread more closely.

*BaseClogger*
03-28-2008, 11:29 PM
You're all over the place. Follow the thread more closely.

maybe the groin doesn't get hurt this time... ;)

reds44
03-28-2008, 11:30 PM
Owens is hurt, so he is competing with Quentin for a starting spot, according to my White Sox friend...
The Sox are actually thinking about starting Swisher in CF. That's just asking for trouble. They have made some really bad decisions this spring. Crede over Fields, Uribe the starting 2B, and now maybe Swisher in CF (he should be in LF). IMO they should start Anderson in CF until Owens returns and the Cuban import Alexi Ramirez should start at 2nd.

flyer85
03-28-2008, 11:30 PM
Owens is hurt, so he is competing with Quentin for a starting spot, according to my White Sox friend...owens is hurt, if they move Swisher to CF then Anderson is done. I have read that both Ramirez and Quentin are higher in the pecking order for PT than Anderson.

There is really not much to like about Patterson

*BaseClogger*
03-28-2008, 11:32 PM
The Sox are actually thinking about starting Swisher in CF. That's just asking for trouble. They have made some really bad decisions this spring. Crede over Fields, Uribe the starting 2B, and now maybe Swisher in CF (he should be in LF). IMO they should start Anderson in CF until Owens returns and the Cuban import Alexi Ramirez should start at 2nd.

Didn't Uribe get DFA'd? It looks like either Quentin/Swisher/Dye or Swisher/Anderson/Dye with Owens looking for AB's when he returns...

jojo
03-28-2008, 11:32 PM
And nowhere's better than GAB against NL Central pitching.

So why does Patterson benefit but Bruce wouldn't?

WMR
03-28-2008, 11:33 PM
I think some people are sleeping on Bruce's OF defense.

reds44
03-28-2008, 11:33 PM
Didn't Uribe get DFA'd? It looks like either Quentin/Swisher/Dye or Swisher/Anderson/Dye with Owens looking for AB's when he returns...
No, he just got put on irrevocable waivers. The only thing I can think of is they are starting Uribe and Crede early in the year to try to trade them, and then start Field and Richar or Ramirez at 2nd. I'd be surprised if Ozzie wants to deal with Anderson starting again.

Falls City Beer
03-28-2008, 11:36 PM
So why does Patterson benefit but Bruce wouldn't?

He would, but I think he's going to need all the help he can get. Bruce looked and I'm going to whisper this: Brandon Larson-esque.

*BaseClogger*
03-28-2008, 11:37 PM
The White Sox have an interesting way of running things, that is for sure...

RMR, do you know how many more runs a lineup scores with a .350 OBP (Votto) leading off than one with a .310 OBP (Patterson)?

edit: nevermind, I think this anwsers it from earlier in the thread...

If he were to put up a .300 OBP and get 600 PA, it's on the order of 15 runs. You do a few odd things like that and suddenly you're giving away 3-4 wins for no good reason.

jojo
03-28-2008, 11:56 PM
From July of last year, you wrote:

"Given his age, he's got a lot of room left to grow and thus still has the high ceiling as a potential TOR arm. The third pitch and command issues just aren't damning concerns at this point. Right now pessimistic views have him in the rotation for good by age 23."

This indicates to me that a reasonable estimate has him in the rotation by 22. Bailey's 22 in a month.

I think it's pretty clear from the sum of my comments in that thread that Homer's ETA was not a lock and he had significant work to do but his issues were not insurmountable:


Command issues can be overcome and in fact they very often are. Nobody is saying Bailey is can't miss (at least as you're aware, I never have held that position). I'm just arguing that Homer's hurdles aren't the kind that can't be overcome and they in no way lower his ceiling at this point in his development.

Now if we're having this same conversation when he's 24........

In another thread, I pretty clearly indicated an '08 arrival for Homer was NOT a certainty:

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=58578&highlight=homer

I was also pretty consistent in my opinion that Homer wasn't ready last season:

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1342478&postcount=1

We of course now have even more data on Homer's development since July '07 which can color estimates of his arrival.

dougdirt
03-29-2008, 12:08 AM
He would, but I think he's going to need all the help he can get. Bruce looked and I'm going to whisper this: Brandon Larson-esque.

It was 40 at bats in March for crying out loud, not to mention those at bats were split in half by a week of not playing. Jay Bruce did in AAA at age 20 last year what Brandon Larson finally was able to do as a 26 year old in AAA.

dougdirt
03-29-2008, 12:37 AM
The White Sox have an interesting way of running things, that is for sure...

RMR, do you know how many more runs a lineup scores with a .350 OBP (Votto) leading off than one with a .310 OBP (Patterson)?

edit: nevermind, I think this anwsers it from earlier in the thread...

Honestly, having .311 in the leadoff spot and .350 in the #7 spot or switching them while leaving everything else the same is about 10 runs over a full season.

RANDY IN INDY
03-29-2008, 03:56 AM
So? So are we.

Speak for yourself.

Raisor
03-29-2008, 09:31 AM
Speak for yourself.

Must be nice to have your bags carried in the bigs.

Dom Heffner
03-29-2008, 10:52 AM
Honestly, having .311 in the leadoff spot and .350 in the #7 spot or switching them while leaving everything else the same is about 10 runs over a full season.


A few things that bother the Dusty bashers about this.

1) Dusty has no clue what the difference is between batting Patterson leadoff or 7th.
2) If he did have a clue, isn't it sort of bothersome that someone would say, "This makes us 10 runs worse, let's do it."

Ugh.

Falls City Beer
03-29-2008, 11:37 AM
It was 40 at bats in March for crying out loud, not to mention those at bats were split in half by a week of not playing. Jay Bruce did in AAA at age 20 last year what Brandon Larson finally was able to do as a 26 year old in AAA.

I'm not saying he will be Larson, but right now, those spring at-bats revealed his deficiencies against MLB pitching, something that would be borne out over 250, 500, or 40 ABs this season.

He's got work to do; he's painfully young still. This isn't a sample-size issue.

Falls City Beer
03-29-2008, 11:43 AM
I think it's pretty clear from the sum of my comments in that thread that Homer's ETA was not a lock and he had significant work to do but his issues were not insurmountable:



In another thread, I pretty clearly indicated an '08 arrival for Homer was NOT a certainty:

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=58578&highlight=homer

I was also pretty consistent in my opinion that Homer wasn't ready last season:

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1342478&postcount=1

We of course now have even more data on Homer's development since July '07 which can color estimates of his arrival.

You have either no ability to read what I'm writing or accept that you're wrong in this instance: I *never* said you said it was a "certainty." I only ever said you said there's no reason to believe that he won't be ready for full-time promotion this season.

Those propositions are different, and you *did say* the latter of the two things.

VR
03-29-2008, 12:00 PM
Honestly, having .311 in the leadoff spot and .350 in the #7 spot or switching them while leaving everything else the same is about 10 runs over a full season.

What effect do sb's/ speed have at the top of the lineup over the course of a year?

*BaseClogger*
03-29-2008, 12:05 PM
What effect do sb's/ speed have at the top of the lineup over the course of a year?

SB's are utlilized better out of the #5-7 spots, where the basestealer is taking the risk in front of the lineup's worst hitters, rather than the best...

Falls City Beer
03-29-2008, 12:07 PM
SB's are utlilized better out of the #5-7 spots, where the basestealer is taking the risk in front of the lineup's worst hitters, rather than the best...

Tell that to Rickey Henderson.

*BaseClogger*
03-29-2008, 12:10 PM
Tell that to Rickey Henderson.

And his .401 career OBP?

Falls City Beer
03-29-2008, 12:13 PM
And his .401 career OBP?

His ridiculous numbers of runs scored had something to do with all those SB, I'd imagine. Just a little.

Stolen bases are great *anywhere* in the lineup. As long as they're successful SB.

VR
03-29-2008, 12:13 PM
SB's are utlilized better out of the #5-7 spots, where the basestealer is taking the risk in front of the lineup's worst hitters, rather than the best...

what are you basing that on?

Falls City Beer
03-29-2008, 12:13 PM
what are you basing that on?

Nothing.

traderumor
03-29-2008, 12:22 PM
A few things that bother the Dusty bashers about this.

1) Dusty has no clue what the difference is between batting Patterson leadoff or 7th.
2) If he did have a clue, isn't it sort of bothersome that someone would say, "This makes us 10 runs worse, let's do it."

Ugh.Obviously he's not operating in that mindset, he's thinking fast guy who can steal bases and no clear cut leadoff guy in the lineup when he is in it. It is very 60s-70s mindset, go figure.

*BaseClogger*
03-29-2008, 12:32 PM
what are you basing that on?


Nothing.

Perhaps I worded it poorly--SB ATTEMPTS are best utilized in the #5-7 spots.


the skill set of guys like Phillips and Patterson (low OBP, good power, good speed) is ideal for the 5-7 spots. The power allows them to drive in runs with the guys on base ahead of them. However, the low OBP is less of a liability with poor bats behind him. Further, speed is best utilized in situations where the guys following don't have a lot of power and aren't as able to move runners around the bases with their bats, creating an ideal situation for the runner to move himself around the bases when the cost of making an out is less and the value of being on 2nd or 3rd base (relative to first) is maximized.

You guys kinda remind me of Dusty Baker--If I say the exact same thing as a poster that has been around here for awhile, you'll believe the other poster and I get brushed aside as having based it on "nothing". Noble.

*BaseClogger*
03-29-2008, 12:39 PM
His ridiculous numbers of runs scored had something to do with all those SB, I'd imagine. Just a little.

Stolen bases are great *anywhere* in the lineup. As long as they're successful SB.

I read this book--yes, HS kids do sometimes read books--called "Baseball Between The Numbers". Now, I know that those guys at BP might be no-good number deceivers, but they did this study, based on run-expectation tables, in which they found that Rickey Henderson's record-setting 1982 season, in which he stole 130 bases and was caught 42 times, added a grand total of 1.6 runs to the Oakland A's (the 130 steals added 22.2 runs, while the 42 times caught cost them 20.6 runs). They also found that Henderson added about 5 wins to his teams in his 25 year career... But hey, they probably based this on "nothing" as well...

VR
03-29-2008, 12:46 PM
You guys kinda remind me of Dusty Baker--If I say the exact same thing as a poster that has been around here for awhile, you'll believe the other poster and I get brushed aside as having based it on "nothing". Noble.

Here's an idea. Establish some credibility by backing up some claims with facts as opposed to spewing everything around the execration you have for Dusty Baker. We get it. But this board requires a bit more depth if you want posters to appreciate your baseball acumen.

I hope that emerges, because if posters can look past your Baker agenda, it seems you have a grasp for baseball.

jojo
03-29-2008, 12:48 PM
You have either no ability to read what I'm writing or accept that you're wrong in this instance: I *never* said you said it was a "certainty." I only ever said you said there's no reason to believe that he won't be ready for full-time promotion this season.

Those propositions are different, and you *did say* the latter of the two things.

I've argued that there is no reason to believe he can't overcome his command issues. There isn't. It's also very possible he'll be in the rotation this season.

Just about everything I've ever written about Homer has been framed within a context of he's a special arm due to his stuff and though he's got a lot of work to do, there is no reason to think it's impossible for him to accomplish it.

You've got to completely ignore the context of everything I've written about Homer in order to suggest there is a perfect parallel between my argument that Bruce has nothing left to prove in the minors and is an upgrade over Patterson right now and my argument last July that it's possible for Homer to develop enough to break into the Reds rotation sometime in '08.

*BaseClogger*
03-29-2008, 12:59 PM
Here's an idea. Establish some credibility by backing up some claims with facts as opposed to spewing everything around the execration you have for Dusty Baker. We get it. But this board requires a bit more depth if you want posters to appreciate your baseball acumen.

I hope that emerges, because if posters can look past your Baker agenda, it seems you have a grasp for baseball.

Usually I always back up all my claims with facts. Nothing in my original claim involved "spewing everything around execration for Dusty Baker". We can disagree--that's fine and I welcome it. It's when I say something, and then another poster turns it personal and tells me I based my opinion on "nothing", then I get offended. I thought the whole point of this board was to back up claims with facts, and not turn arguments personal? I guess I assumed that you had read other posters on this board make the same point about SB's out of the #5-7 spots as I did, so I didn't go in-depth. My apologies. And...

I still "strongly dislike" Dusty Baker! :p:

westofyou
03-29-2008, 01:07 PM
in which they found that Rickey Henderson's record-setting 1982 season, in which he stole 130 bases and was caught 42 times, added a grand total of 1.6 runs to the Oakland A's

I happened to live in Oakland that season, horrible team, .309 team OB% miserable slg% too... they weren't scoring runs if Rickey ran or not.

dougdirt
03-29-2008, 01:59 PM
I happened to live in Oakland that season, horrible team, .309 team OB% miserable slg% too... they weren't scoring runs if Rickey ran or not.

Probably true, but his point is still strong. Stolen bases are only helping your team if you are successful 76% of the time with them or better and even then its only very marginal to adding to the runs you are creating for your team.

Falls City Beer
03-29-2008, 02:06 PM
Probably true, but his point is still strong. Stolen bases are only helping your team if you are successful 76% of the time with them or better and even then its only very marginal to adding to the runs you are creating for your team.

Stolen bases have NO correlation--or next to correlation--to improving the odds of said player scoring?

Is that the conclusion here? So a guy hitting 40 doubles instead of 40 singles doesn't help in RS? Or, excuse me, helps negligibly? (let's say said player steals with an 80% success rate).

*BaseClogger*
03-29-2008, 02:14 PM
Stolen bases have NO correlation--or next to correlation--to improving the odds of said player scoring?

Is that the conclusion here? So a guy hitting 40 doubles instead of 40 singles doesn't help in RS? Or, excuse me, helps negligibly? (let's say said player steals with an 80% success rate).

that's not the point. "Go back and reread what I originally posted". The point is that being caught stealing is a lot more negative then succesfully stealing is positive. Stealing with an 80% success rate is a good thing, but often overstated. Just getting on base more often is far more important...

Falls City Beer
03-29-2008, 02:15 PM
I've argued that there is no reason to believe he can't overcome his command issues. There isn't. It's also very possible he'll be in the rotation this season.

Just about everything I've ever written about Homer has been framed within a context of he's a special arm due to his stuff and though he's got a lot of work to do, there is no reason to think it's impossible for him to accomplish it.

You've got to completely ignore the context of everything I've written about Homer in order to suggest there is a perfect parallel between my argument that Bruce has nothing left to prove in the minors and is an upgrade over Patterson right now and my argument last July that it's possible for Homer to develop enough to break into the Reds rotation sometime in '08.

I'm saying you're not nearly conservative enough in your expectations of what a 20 year old can do against pitching that is exponentially (not mathematically) more difficult to hit--particularly for a 20 year who has not fully physically developed.

You've underplayed Murphy's Law in almost every prediction you've made since coming here.

It's interesting though that people look at what Cueto's done this spring as evidence for a certainty or near-certainty of rotation success, but dismiss out of hand Bruce's performance against mostly MLB pitching this spring as a small sample.

I actually think Cueto will have a much tougher time than most sunny prognosticators here seem to think; similarly so will Bruce. Now I'm all for trying Cueto because I think he possesses the requisite pitches and the control for it to work long-term, but I have no doubt that what we saw in those outstanding starts this spring will be the exception rather than the rule at first.

*BaseClogger*
03-29-2008, 02:19 PM
It's interesting though that people look at what Cueto's done this spring as evidence for a certainty or near-certainty of rotation success, but dismiss out of hand Bruce's performance against mostly MLB pitching this spring as a small sample.

I've thought about this several times, as well, and it's an excellent point. We try to tell ourselves that spring stats don't matter (they don't), but we can't help but get excited by Cueto's spring performance. Tamper those Cueto expectations! :)

dougdirt
03-29-2008, 02:21 PM
Stolen bases have NO correlation--or next to correlation--to improving the odds of said player scoring?

Is that the conclusion here? So a guy hitting 40 doubles instead of 40 singles doesn't help in RS? Or, excuse me, helps negligibly? (let's say said player steals with an 80% success rate).

If a batter starts off the inning with a single, the team on average is going to score .953 runs that inning. If a batter starts off the season with a double, the team scores on average 1.189 runs that inning. So if that guy with the single steals second base, he is adding potentially 0.236 runs. However if that player is caught stealing he takes that .953 runs per inning and turns it into 0.297 runs scored per inning. That takes away 0.656 runs that inning.

So lets say we have a player that attempts 50 stolen bases in a season at different success rates, this would be the run impact the player would theoretically have:



Steal % Steals CS Add negates Total
0.65 33 17 7.788 11.152 -3.364
0.70 35 15 8.26 9.84 -1.58
0.75 38 12 8.968 7.872 1.096
0.80 40 10 9.44 6.56 2.88
0.85 43 7 10.148 4.592 5.556


So yeah, a stolen base does help add runs. However its quite minimal even at a very high percentage of stolen bases.

Falls City Beer
03-29-2008, 02:23 PM
that's not the point. "Go back and reread what I originally posted". The point is that being caught stealing is a lot more negative then succesfully stealing is positive. Stealing with an 80% success rate is a good thing, but often overstated. Just getting on base more often is far more important...

Oh, I read what you wrote--and I've never been a fan of batting Patterson first, but that's not the point. The point is that you're applying an extreme to illustrate a likelihood.

My point is stealing bases can help anywhere in a lineup. And they can, if the success rate is high. I have never said anything otherwise.

What's being made into a massive issue--really, a *defining* issue--among the Dusty critics is the poor optimization of lineup order. No one yet here--to the best of my knowledge--has once suggested that it's *better* for Patterson to bat first rather than 6 or 7th; I've only found issue with the extent of damage predicted by some *of* putting Patterson there. Some have put the damage on order of 4-5 wins over 600 PA. I'm afraid that no amount of math is going to convince me of that. Too many other variables involved for there to be a clean one-to-one ability to predict an outcome like that.

*BaseClogger*
03-29-2008, 02:28 PM
Oh, I read what you wrote--and I've never been a fan of batting Patterson first, but that's not the point. The point is that you're applying an extreme to illustrate a likelihood.

My point is stealing bases can help anywhere in a lineup. And they can, if the success rate is high. I have never said anything otherwise.

What's being made into a massive issue--really, a *defining* issue--among the Dusty critics is the poor optimization of lineup order. No one yet here--to the best of my knowledge--has once suggested that it's *better* for Patterson to bat first rather than 6 or 7th; I've only found issue with the extent of damage predicted by some *of* putting Patterson there. Some have put the damage on order of 4-5 wins over 600 PA. I'm afraid that no amount of math is going to convince me of that. Too many other variables involved for there to be a clean one-to-one ability to predict an outcome like that.

Glad to say I agree with everything you just typed. If I had to put a value on it, and assuming Votto will OBP about .350, I'd say Dusty will cost us about a win over the course of the season by not switching the two. That's not that much, and Dusty's presence is worth more than that. However, I doubt it is the only irrational thing Dusty will do. And, why can't Dusty come around and learn a concept like that? Other old geezers like Jim Leyland have...

SteelSD
03-29-2008, 02:29 PM
I read this book--yes, HS kids do sometimes read books--called "Baseball Between The Numbers". Now, I know that those guys at BP might be no-good number deceivers, but they did this study, based on run-expectation tables, in which they found that Rickey Henderson's record-setting 1982 season, in which he stole 130 bases and was caught 42 times, added a grand total of 1.6 runs to the Oakland A's (the 130 steals added 22.2 runs, while the 42 times caught cost them 20.6 runs). They also found that Henderson added about 5 wins to his teams in his 25 year career... But hey, they probably based this on "nothing" as well...

I have nothing to add other than the fact that I really like this post. Funny sarcasm, factual references and a sprinkle of snark that fits the discussion tone, yet does not escalate it.

I'd give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars. It's got a good beat, and I can dance to it.

jojo
03-29-2008, 02:35 PM
If a batter starts off the inning with a single, the team on average is going to score .953 runs that inning. If a batter starts off the season with a double, the team scores on average 1.189 runs that inning. So if that guy with the single steals second base, he is adding potentially 0.236 runs. However if that player is caught stealing he takes that .953 runs per inning and turns it into 0.297 runs scored per inning. That takes away 0.656 runs that inning.

So lets say we have a player that attempts 50 stolen bases in a season at different success rates, this would be the run impact the player would theoretically have:



Steal % Steals CS Add negates Total
0.65 33 17 7.788 11.152 -3.364
0.70 35 15 8.26 9.84 -1.58
0.75 38 12 8.968 7.872 1.096
0.80 40 10 9.44 6.56 2.88
0.85 43 7 10.148 4.592 5.556


So yeah, a stolen base does help add runs. However its quite minimal even at a very high percentage of stolen bases.

Moral of the story: Outs are very expensive.

fearofpopvol1
03-29-2008, 02:55 PM
If a batter starts off the inning with a single, the team on average is going to score .953 runs that inning. If a batter starts off the season with a double, the team scores on average 1.189 runs that inning. So if that guy with the single steals second base, he is adding potentially 0.236 runs. However if that player is caught stealing he takes that .953 runs per inning and turns it into 0.297 runs scored per inning. That takes away 0.656 runs that inning.

So lets say we have a player that attempts 50 stolen bases in a season at different success rates, this would be the run impact the player would theoretically have:



Steal % Steals CS Add negates Total
0.65 33 17 7.788 11.152 -3.364
0.70 35 15 8.26 9.84 -1.58
0.75 38 12 8.968 7.872 1.096
0.80 40 10 9.44 6.56 2.88
0.85 43 7 10.148 4.592 5.556


So yeah, a stolen base does help add runs. However its quite minimal even at a very high percentage of stolen bases.

Yeah, but this argument appears to only take into consideration a SB after a single for the first batter of the inning with no outs, correct?

For this to be effective, I would think you'd need to project numbers with 1 out and 2 outs as well because I'm guessing that the impact is greater when there are outs on the board.

dougdirt
03-29-2008, 03:09 PM
Yeah, but this argument appears to only take into consideration a SB after a single for the first batter of the inning with no outs, correct?

For this to be effective, I would think you'd need to project numbers with 1 out and 2 outs as well because I'm guessing that the impact is greater when there are outs on the board.

Its not really much different, but here you go.

This is with 1 out and a runner on first stealing second base



Steal % Att SB CS Add negates Total
0.65 50 33 17 5.016 7.752 -2.736
0.7 50 35 15 5.32 6.84 -1.52
0.75 50 38 12 5.776 5.472 0.304
0.8 50 40 10 6.08 4.56 1.52
0.85 50 43 7 6.536 3.192 3.344


With 2 outs and stealing second.


Steal % Att SB CS Add
0.65 50 33 17 3.069
0.7 50 35 15 3.255
0.75 50 38 12 3.534
0.8 50 40 10 3.72
0.85 50 43 7 3.999

Now obviously we can't negate a number here because that CS ends the inning.

IslandRed
03-29-2008, 03:28 PM
So yeah, a stolen base does help add runs. However its quite minimal even at a very high percentage of stolen bases.

I've tossed around those numbers myself, and I generally agree with the notion that a guy who can't steal at least 75% of the time is best off staying put.

However -- and here's where I'm going to side with FCB a little bit -- numbers like that are based on the assumption that all stolen base attempts are of equal value and success/failure is random. I'd argue that if you changed the perspective from a straight run-expectancy outlook to a win-expectancy outlook, which requires putting a steal attempt into the context of the game state, when they steal (or get caught) matters also. I believe good basestealers add win value beyond what you'd expect just from the generic run values of their successes/failures; they have a knack for getting the base when that 90 feet is of more importance than it usually is.

The obvious example would be the 2004 ALCS. The Red Sox were down 3-0 in the series, down a run in the ninth, the tying run on first. When Roberts came in, every single person watching the game knew he was going for second. He got the bag, Mueller singled him in, you know what happened from there. Maybe they win anyway without Roberts' steal. But maybe they don't. What was the value of THAT stolen base in THAT situation?

dougdirt
03-29-2008, 03:41 PM
I've tossed around those numbers myself, and I generally agree with the notion that a guy who can't steal at least 75% of the time is best off staying put.

However -- and here's where I'm going to side with FCB a little bit -- numbers like that are based on the assumption that all stolen base attempts are of equal value and success/failure is random. I'd argue that if you changed the perspective from a straight run-expectancy outlook to a win-expectancy outlook, which requires putting a steal attempt into the context of the game state, when they steal (or get caught) matters also. I believe good basestealers add win value beyond what you'd expect just from the generic run values of their successes/failures; they have a knack for getting the base when that 90 feet is of more importance than it usually is.

The obvious example would be the 2004 ALCS. The Red Sox were down 3-0 in the series, down a run in the ninth, the tying run on first. When Roberts came in, every single person watching the game knew he was going for second. He got the bag, Mueller singled him in, you know what happened from there. Maybe they win anyway without Roberts' steal. But maybe they don't. What was the value of THAT stolen base in THAT situation?

Roberts likely would have scored without the stolen base. He went 2nd to home on a single the next at bat. So he likely goes first to third. There was an error later in the inning that was preceeded by a sac bunt to get Mueller to second (who singled in Roberts).

jojo
03-29-2008, 03:51 PM
Run expectancy tables can also be used to evaluate things like going from first to third or the wisdom of bunting etc.

IslandRed
03-29-2008, 03:58 PM
Roberts likely would have scored without the stolen base. He went 2nd to home on a single the next at bat. So he likely goes first to third. There was an error later in the inning that was preceeded by a sac bunt to get Mueller to second (who singled in Roberts).

You can't assume that everything would have happened the same way.

Yes, he could have scored later in the inning without the steal, but he did score on Mueller's hit, and with the season on the line that's a huge distinction.

blumj
03-29-2008, 04:02 PM
I've tossed around those numbers myself, and I generally agree with the notion that a guy who can't steal at least 75% of the time is best off staying put.

However -- and here's where I'm going to side with FCB a little bit -- numbers like that are based on the assumption that all stolen base attempts are of equal value and success/failure is random. I'd argue that if you changed the perspective from a straight run-expectancy outlook to a win-expectancy outlook, which requires putting a steal attempt into the context of the game state, when they steal (or get caught) matters also. I believe good basestealers add win value beyond what you'd expect just from the generic run values of their successes/failures; they have a knack for getting the base when that 90 feet is of more importance than it usually is.

The obvious example would be the 2004 ALCS. The Red Sox were down 3-0 in the series, down a run in the ninth, the tying run on first. When Roberts came in, every single person watching the game knew he was going for second. He got the bag, Mueller singled him in, you know what happened from there. Maybe they win anyway without Roberts' steal. But maybe they don't. What was the value of THAT stolen base in THAT situation?
Well, that's a better argument for leaving your best basestealer on the bench until you need him, isn't it?

VR
03-29-2008, 05:22 PM
If a batter starts off the inning with a single, the team on average is going to score .953 runs that inning. If a batter starts off the season with a double, the team scores on average 1.189 runs that inning. So if that guy with the single steals second base, he is adding potentially 0.236 runs. However if that player is caught stealing he takes that .953 runs per inning and turns it into 0.297 runs scored per inning. That takes away 0.656 runs that inning.

So lets say we have a player that attempts 50 stolen bases in a season at different success rates, this would be the run impact the player would theoretically have:



Steal % Steals CS Add negates Total
0.65 33 17 7.788 11.152 -3.364
0.70 35 15 8.26 9.84 -1.58
0.75 38 12 8.968 7.872 1.096
0.80 40 10 9.44 6.56 2.88
0.85 43 7 10.148 4.592 5.556


So yeah, a stolen base does help add runs. However its quite minimal even at a very high percentage of stolen bases.

Mr Sheehans analysis only takes into account sb's/ attempts with no outs?

dougdirt
03-29-2008, 07:36 PM
Mr Sheehans analysis only takes into account sb's/ attempts with no outs?

Other tables added a few posts later for other out situations. Really, the positive numbers don't change much at all.

IslandRed
03-29-2008, 08:30 PM
Well, that's a better argument for leaving your best basestealer on the bench until you need him, isn't it?

If the best basestealer doesn't deserve an everyday job, I guess.

I'm just saying that while there is a typical run value to a successful steal and a caught-stealing, the true value changes depending on the game state, and it's my opinion (which I admit I haven't quantified) that good, smart basestealers fare better in a win-expectancy calculation than we'd expect just from looking at the run expectancies. That cuts both ways, of course; a guy who steals at 70% but has a knack for getting thrown out at critical times is hurting his team more than we'd think.

jojo
03-29-2008, 09:34 PM
If the best basestealer doesn't deserve an everyday job, I guess.

I'm just saying that while there is a typical run value to a successful steal and a caught-stealing, the true value changes depending on the game state, and it's my opinion (which I admit I haven't quantified) that good, smart basestealers fare better in a win-expectancy calculation than we'd expect just from looking at the run expectancies. That cuts both ways, of course; a guy who steals at 70% but has a knack for getting thrown out at critical times is hurting his team more than we'd think.
A couple of points, I guess.

First, you're right that run expectancy tables are basically average values.

That said, a guy who gets thrown out 30% of the time shouldn't be running because overall his contribution in that part of his game would be a net negative run value.

I don't think there are many players whose caught stealing rates vary with situation.

Here's a question though. If taking a base in a high leverage situation is more valuable than say taking one in the second inning, wouldn't making an out in the same situation be even more costly as well?

I guess I'm arguing that the break even point won't change dramatically. What might change is whether the risk is more acceptable. For instance a bunt is always a run suppressing event. It's a foolhardy strategy to ask a competent hitter to sac bunt in the 2nd inning but in the bottom of the ninth you might only need one run and while I still think it's the wrong play with a majority of hitters even in that situation, I wouldn't be as critical of a manager that feels otherwise.

Still, I wouldn't be comfortable giving the green light in a high leverage situation to a guy who only steals successfully 70% of the time. Roberts on the other hand is about as good of a risk as there is.

RedsManRick
03-29-2008, 11:12 PM
If the best basestealer doesn't deserve an everyday job, I guess.

I'm just saying that while there is a typical run value to a successful steal and a caught-stealing, the true value changes depending on the game state, and it's my opinion (which I admit I haven't quantified) that good, smart basestealers fare better in a win-expectancy calculation than we'd expect just from looking at the run expectancies. That cuts both ways, of course; a guy who steals at 70% but has a knack for getting thrown out at critical times is hurting his team more than we'd think.

So he adds 5 runs instead of 3 over the course of the season. It doesn't change the conclusion in the least. Though, if the attempts are timed to maximize their run value, then would the caught stealings also come in those same opportunities? Even if you make the most generous assumptions, the best basestealers don't tend to add enough value to offset a low OBP. What's often lost is mental calculation is the cascade effect of extra at bats -- that is the value of not making the out. A successful SB just adds 1 base for 1 player. But an out not only robs a guy down the lineup of a plate appearance, it gets the guy behind him a 34% chance of an extra at bat and the guy behind him a 12% chance of an extra at bat. So every out not only makes you lose a base runner, but it costs you about 1.6 plate appearances from other batters. Do you really want to risk costing plate appearances from Adam Dunn and EE for the sake of that extra base?

The value of stolen bases is just blown way out of proportion in conventional thinking of player valuation. Playing a guy who struggles to get on base because he can steal is like starting a running back because he can catch the ball well. Sure, it's a plus, but it's hardly among the fundamental building blocks of production. On balance, stealing bases simply is not a practice that adds runs to a teams offense such that you structure your offense around it.

That's not to say that it's not a valuable strategy at times. The key is to realize that the stolen base is most valuable when the player is least likely to be advanced by the batter (and thus the cost of making an out is the least). Stealing bases ahead of your high OBP and high SLG guys risks an out when the value of simply being on base at all is the highest. Sure, there are some specific times when the value of 1 run is so great that it's worth running -- but usually the cost of the out makes it not worth the risk.

What I find most interesting is that simple "good base-running" adds more runs than stolen bases. However, because of the lack of a metric that's easy to track, it goes essentially unaccounted for. Getting 2 bases on a single, tagging up when possible, and above all else, avoiding outs (no pickoffs, no rundowns, no thrown out at the bag/plate) can really add up. A guy who doesn't steal a single base can easily add more runs on the bases through intelligent advancement than the team's best base stealer -- and it will often go unnoticed.

SteelSD
03-30-2008, 12:01 AM
You can't assume that everything would have happened the same way.

Yes, he could have scored later in the inning without the steal, but he did score on Mueller's hit, and with the season on the line that's a huge distinction.

While we can't assume that everything else would have happened in the same way, we also can't assume that Roberts' Stolen Base was the catalyst of anything. While the steal may have added to the probability of a single Run scoring, that's no different than if a run-scoring event would have happened in an Inning prior. We only think it's more important because the event happened later rather than earlier.

I've honestly never seen a guy get more credit for a single Stolen Base than Roberts has received.

IslandRed
03-30-2008, 01:18 AM
So he adds 5 runs instead of 3 over the course of the season. It doesn't change the conclusion in the least.

Again, try thinking about it in wins instead of runs. A run may be a run in the macro roster-construction player-evaluation sense. But in the win-expectancy view, where the daily strategy decisions live (or should), some runs help win expectancy more than others. A guy who's smart about his basestealing may not add a lot of extra runs but those runs might translate into real-world wins more than you'd give Pythagorean credit for.

Not saying there are a lot of these guys around, or that Corey Patterson is one. Just talking about the general principle.


Even if you make the most generous assumptions, the best basestealers don't tend to add enough value to offset a low OBP.

Didn't mean to imply that it did. I'm sure not in favor of batting Patterson leadoff.

RedsManRick
03-30-2008, 02:57 AM
Again, try thinking about it in wins instead of runs. A run may be a run in the macro roster-construction player-evaluation sense. But in the win-expectancy view, where the daily strategy decisions live (or should), some runs help win expectancy more than others. A guy who's smart about his basestealing may not add a lot of extra runs but those runs might translate into real-world wins more than you'd give Pythagorean credit for.

Not saying there are a lot of these guys around, or that Corey Patterson is one. Just talking about the general principle.

This is going to sound really snarky, but over time, wins are runs and runs are wins.

A guy who is "smart" about stealing bases would merely be stealing them at a very high rate, which would be good. Attempting to steal bases in high leverage situations (say, in Game 4 of the ALCS when 1 run mattered a lot) increases both the value of stealing the bag AND the harm of getting caught. What had happened if Dave Roberts got caught. As was pointed out earlier, had he not stole the base, he may very well have still scored. Had he been caught, he most definitely would not have scored.

Even if a guy has a skill called "always successful when stealing high leverage bases", you still aren't moving the needle enough. I'll grant, a guy who can steal bases at a very high percentage is a great thing. A guy who can do that in high leverage situations is even better. But if that guy has a .300 OBP, I don't care if how good he can steal the bag, he doesn't belong in the starting lineup in the first place. And that's the real point here.

In the real world very few stolen bases are is high leverage / game winning. And even then, unless you're stealing home, that winning run is scoring in large part because the runner got himself on base to begin with and then another batter did something to drive him in. Yes, the stolen base may have been a key part of that run scoring, but it was still just a minor piece. Then you have the fact that the very best base-stealers of all time are in the 85% range, meaning you can cut their record SB numbers by 1/2 to 2/3 to get the net stolen bases in terms of value added -- the value of stolen bases just ain't that big.

The stolen base is a nice tactical tool to use in high leverage situations where playing for 1 run makes sense or where an opposing pitcher and/or catcher is really incapable of preventing you from taking free bases at will. It might be an important tool to help win the occasional battle, but it's not a key part of winning the war. If a guy is getting on base and/or hitting for power, that's where the bulk of his offensive value is coming from -- even a guy like Ichiro or Reyes. And if he isn't getting on base and/or hitting for power, no amount of successful stolen bases can make him a productive player. So sure, if you've got a stolen base threat, that's nice to have. But as the Red Sox showed, if he's not bringing other things to the table, you can keep him on the bench and deploy him in that crucial, "A SB is needed here" situation -- he doesn't need to start.

RFS62
03-30-2008, 10:21 AM
The threat of speed and the pressure it puts on a defense and a pitcher is an intangible that also comes with the turf. It can't be quantified, so I guess it gets discounted around here.

But it is a very real element of the big picture.

And the situational value, as discussed above, is going to be a part of Dusty's offense, you can bet your bottom dollar.

He's going to do things this year that will have people pulling their hair out.

Stormy
03-30-2008, 10:55 AM
The threat of speed and the pressure it puts on a defense and a pitcher is an intangible that also comes with the turf. It can't be quantified, so I guess it gets discounted around here.

But it is a very real element of the big picture.

The desire to precisely quantify every aspect of the game often provides a nice summary of the big picture, at the expense of particular situational details.

RedsManRick
03-30-2008, 10:56 AM
The threat of speed and the pressure it puts on a defense and a pitcher is an intangible that also comes with the turf. It can't be quantified, so I guess it gets discounted around here.

But it is a very real element of the big picture.

And the situational value, as discussed above, is going to be a part of Dusty's offense, you can bet your bottom dollar.

He's going to do things this year that will have people pulling their hair out.

Actually, I'm pretty sure that one of the recent books, Baseball Between the Numbers maybe, did a study on the effect of having a speedster on base. They found that it did not help the batter at the plate. I do not remember the effect it had on defensive performance.

Again though, any effect is really on the margin. Clearly, it's not a bad thing to have fast guys on base, but in the whole scheme of things, it's dwarfed by the massive impact of not making outs. It's not as "fun" to be so deterministic about run production, but is important not to out-think ourselves.

Falls City Beer
03-30-2008, 11:05 AM
Actually, I'm pretty sure that one of the recent books, Baseball Between the Numbers maybe, did a study on the effect of having a speedster on base. They found that it did not help the batter at the plate. I do not remember the effect it had on defensive performance.

Again though, any effect is really on the margin. Clearly, it's not a bad thing to have fast guys on base, but in the whole scheme of things, it's dwarfed by the massive impact of not making outs. It's not as "fun" to be so deterministic about run production, but is important not to out-think ourselves.

You're offering an either/or that no one is arguing with: no one is saying stealing is more important than not making outs. It's very plain to see that unless a guy is a great basestealer, stealing attempts should be limited.

Still, I'd say that having decent speed up and down the lineup might be more important than possessing the ability to steal, as it were. Certainly a lineup of lumbering baserunners suppresses run scoring.

RedsManRick
03-30-2008, 11:11 AM
You're offering an either/or that no one is arguing with: no one is saying stealing is more important than not making outs. It's very plain to see that unless a guy is a great basestealer, stealing attempts should be limited.

Maybe I am being overly pedantic. But I don't see it as black and white at all. It's always a tradeoff -- in every situation and by every runner. Every time a stolen base is attempting, the runner is risking an out for the sake of a base.

My reaction however stems from seeing the roots of the argument which is often levied against analytical approaches. It basically goes like this:

We can't measure everything. Your analysis does count this particular situation. Therefore the conclusions you've reached aren't valid and I'm going to ignore it all and go with my gut, tradition, etc.

Not saying that any single poster is taking the line of reasoning, but it's very common and often results in the wholesale rejection of of some pretty simple conclusions.

westofyou
03-30-2008, 11:24 AM
My reaction however stems from seeing the roots of the argument which is often levied against analytical approaches. It basically goes like this:

In turn many of the reactions to the stolen base come from folks whose roots in the argument come from being bred on a game that runs were way harder to come from then today .

The sixties were scratch and fight for a run, and in the seventies the game was much faster on plastic then it is today on grass, thus speed and the stolen base were a bigger part of the game, sure it is a red herring... it temps fate after success has already occurred.

That skews the data and infuriates the mathematician in us while we count the potential runs in our heads. However sport is about motion and to many baseball is boring when it's played station to station, it's lulling and false to what can happen when you use speed to force situations.

And that's why God gave us the LA Angels.

Falls City Beer
03-30-2008, 11:26 AM
Maybe I am being overly pedantic. But I don't see it as black and white at all. It's always a tradeoff -- in every situation and by every runner. Every time a stolen base is attempting, the runner is risking an out for the sake of a base.

My reaction however stems from seeing the roots of the argument which is often levied against analytical approaches. It basically goes like this:

We can't measure everything. Your analysis does count this particular situation. Therefore the conclusions you've reached aren't valid and I'm going to ignore it all and go with my gut, tradition, etc.

Not saying that any single poster is taking the line of reasoning, but it's very common and often results in the wholesale rejection of of some pretty simple conclusions.

I see what you're saying. But the longer you live, the more you realize that human endeavors actually seldom fit neatly into particular mechanical schemes. If that were so, the game would never vacillate between "big pitching" and "big hitting" and "smaller ball" eras. It would be a fixed outcome, with little evolution. I know you know this, just as most folks like RFS62, Stormy, and I know that the game follows some predictable and repeatable patterns. But sometimes it doesn't hurt to let one's belt loose sometimes. Human behaviors, strategies predicated on exploiting inattention on the competition's part to certain other aspects of the game, etc, are going to cause some behaviors in baseball to pay off now more than they will in the future, and vice versa. The game's outcomes are fixed; the means can actually be pretty mercurial if you can use the data creatively to that end.

mth123
03-30-2008, 01:24 PM
I do think that Dusty deserves some credit for recognizing that Patterson may actually be a good baserunner as opposed to the fast guys who were on hand. In 2007 Ryan Freel stole 15 bases while either getting caught or picked-off 13 times. That means out of 28 "Baserunning events" Freel made an out 46.43% of the time. Norris Hopper Stole 14 bases while being caught or picked-off 8 times resulting in an out % of 36.36%. IMO neither of these guys should be running unless its a situation clearly in the runner's favor like a slow to the plate pitcher or a Mike Piazza clone catching. Patterson, on the other hand, stole 37 bases while only making 10 outs for an out % of 21.28%. He and Brandon Phillips (32 Steals, 10 Outs, 23.81 out %) appear to be the only Reds who should be running.

In general, I agree with RMR that the steal is a weapon best used at the bottom of the line-up for the inferior bats to manufacture runs, while OBP and getting on base for the sluggers should be the criteria at the top of the line-up. But, if successful baserunning is in the criteria for this team in its lead-off role, Patterson is clearly a better choice than anyone who was on hand. I haven't done the math, but if those outs on the bases are factored into the equation, the OBP difference between these guys isn't as much as it appears.

Here is the list of base stealers with 10 or more steals in 2007 ranked by the % of outs that they make. Freel and Hopper should stay put.




NAME SB CS PICKOFF OUTS Att. OUTS%
Shawn Green 11 1 0 1 12 8.33%
Michael Bourn 18 1 1 2 20 10.00%
C. Granderson 26 1 2 3 29 10.34%
Rickie Weeks 25 2 1 3 28 10.71%
Ian Kinsler 23 2 1 3 26 11.54%
Nate McLouth 22 1 2 3 25 12.00%
Johnny Damon 27 3 1 4 31 12.90%
Emil Brown 12 2 0 2 14 14.29%
Carlos Beltran 23 2 2 4 27 14.81%
Edgar Renteria 11 2 0 2 13 15.38%
Kazuo Matsui 32 4 2 6 38 15.79%
David Eckstein 10 1 1 2 12 16.67%
Randy Winn 15 3 0 3 18 16.67%
Alex Rodriguez 24 4 1 5 29 17.24%
Tadahito Iguchi 14 2 1 3 17 17.65%
Shane Victorino 37 5 3 8 45 17.78%
Jason Bartlett 23 3 2 5 28 17.86%
Dave Roberts 31 5 2 7 38 18.42%
Eric Byrnes 50 7 5 12 62 19.35%
Ichiro Suzuki 37 8 1 9 46 19.57%
Carlos Gomez 12 3 0 3 15 20.00%
Carl Crawford 50 10 3 13 63 20.63%
Jimmy Rollins 41 6 5 11 52 21.15%
Corey Patterson 37 9 1 10 47 21.28%
Shannon Stewart 11 3 0 3 14 21.43%
Alexi Casilla 11 1 2 3 14 21.43%
Rafael Furcal 25 6 1 7 32 21.88%
Ryan Theriot 28 4 4 8 36 22.22%
Adrian Beltre 14 2 2 4 18 22.22%
Miguel Cairo 10 2 1 3 13 23.08%
Brian Roberts 50 7 8 15 65 23.08%
B. Phillips 32 8 2 10 42 23.81%
Luis Castillo 19 6 0 6 25 24.00%
Chone Figgins 41 12 1 13 54 24.07%
Coco Crisp 28 6 3 9 37 24.32%
David Wright 34 5 6 11 45 24.44%
Juan Pierre 64 15 6 21 85 24.71%
Jonny Gomes 12 4 0 4 16 25.00%
Kenny Lofton 23 7 1 8 31 25.81%
Corey Hart 23 7 1 8 31 25.81%
Nook Logan 23 5 3 8 31 25.81%
Alex Rios 17 4 2 6 23 26.09%
Hanley Ramirez 51 14 4 18 69 26.09%
Julio Lugo 33 6 6 12 45 26.67%
Michael Young 13 3 2 5 18 27.78%
Mike Cameron 18 5 2 7 25 28.00%
Nick Markakis 18 6 1 7 25 28.00%
G Matthews 18 4 3 7 25 28.00%
Willy Taveras 33 9 4 13 46 28.26%
Orlando Cabrera 20 4 4 8 28 28.57%
Marcus Giles 10 3 1 4 14 28.57%
David DeJesus 10 4 0 4 14 28.57%
Orlando Hudson 10 2 2 4 14 28.57%
Ray Durham 10 2 2 4 14 28.57%
Delmon Young 10 3 1 4 14 28.57%
Jerry Owens 32 8 5 13 45 28.89%
Gary Sheffield 22 5 4 9 31 29.03%
Jose Reyes 78 21 12 33 111 29.73%
Bobby Abreu 25 8 3 11 36 30.56%
Reggie Willits 27 8 4 12 39 30.77%
Chris Young 27 6 6 12 39 30.77%
Rajai Davis 22 6 4 10 32 31.25%
Matt Holliday 11 4 1 5 16 31.25%
Grady Sizemore 33 10 5 15 48 31.25%
Melky Cabrera 13 5 1 6 19 31.58%
Ryan Braun 15 5 2 7 22 31.82%
Vernon Wells 10 4 1 5 15 33.33%
Josh Barfield 14 5 2 7 21 33.33%
Russell Martin 21 9 2 11 32 34.38%
Alfonso Soriano 19 6 4 10 29 34.48%
Chris Duffy 13 4 3 7 20 35.00%
Norris Hopper 14 6 2 8 22 36.36%
Omar Vizquel 14 6 2 8 22 36.36%
Alex Gordon 14 4 4 8 22 36.36%
Scott Podsednik 12 5 2 7 19 36.84%
Derek Jeter 15 8 1 9 24 37.50%
Carlos Lee 10 5 1 6 16 37.50%
Bobby Crosby 10 2 4 6 16 37.50%
Torii Hunter 18 9 2 11 29 37.93%
Alfredo Amezaga 13 7 1 8 21 38.10%
Felipe Lopez 24 9 6 15 39 38.46%
B.J. Upton 22 8 6 14 36 38.89%
Willie Harris 17 11 0 11 28 39.29%
Mark Teahen 13 5 4 9 22 40.91%
Carlos Guillen 13 8 1 9 22 40.91%
Matt Kemp 10 5 2 7 17 41.18%
Hunter Pence 11 5 3 8 19 42.11%
Nick Punto 16 6 6 12 28 42.86%
Akinori Iwamura 12 8 1 9 21 42.86%
Ryan Freel 15 8 5 13 28 46.43%
Esteban German 11 7 4 11 22 50.00%

vaticanplum
03-30-2008, 03:51 PM
While we can't assume that everything else would have happened in the same way, we also can't assume that Roberts' Stolen Base was the catalyst of anything. While the steal may have added to the probability of a single Run scoring, that's no different than if a run-scoring event would have happened in an Inning prior. We only think it's more important because the event happened later rather than earlier.

I've honestly never seen a guy get more credit for a single Stolen Base than Roberts has received.

Who is this "Roberts" you speak of? Surely if someone had stolen a base in so dramatic a situation, in a playoff game no less, I would have gotten wind of this by now. Where is ESPN on this? Why has FOX sports not grabbed a video of this moment for one of its postseason montages?

jojo
03-30-2008, 03:56 PM
Who is this "Roberts" you speak of? Surely if someone had stolen a base in so dramatic a situation, in a playoff game no less, I would have gotten wind of this by now. Where is ESPN on this? Why has FOX sports not grabbed a video of this moment for one of its postseason montages?

Got any friends in Boston? If so, they might have the skivvy on this Roberts fellow.

gm
03-30-2008, 04:17 PM
the steal is a weapon best used at the bottom of the line-up for the inferior bats to manufacture runs, while OBP and getting on base for the sluggers should be the criteria at the top of the line-up.

I don't want baserunners stealing 2nd base in front of sluggers like Dunn (when there's less than 2 outs) It just gives the opposing pitcher an excuse to pitch around Adam, walk him and reset the potential DP.

Sure, Dunn might hit a single or an occasional DP grounder if the runner (Philips, etc) stays on 1b and a potential run-scoring opportunity could be lost.

Ideally, I'd like to see Brandon get a good lead, threaten to steal, distract the pitcher so Adam gets a meatball pitch and puts a good swing on it.

RedsManRick
03-30-2008, 11:20 PM
I see what you're saying. But the longer you live, the more you realize that human endeavors actually seldom fit neatly into particular mechanical schemes. If that were so, the game would never vacillate between "big pitching" and "big hitting" and "smaller ball" eras. It would be a fixed outcome, with little evolution. I know you know this, just as most folks like RFS62, Stormy, and I know that the game follows some predictable and repeatable patterns. But sometimes it doesn't hurt to let one's belt loose sometimes. Human behaviors, strategies predicated on exploiting inattention on the competition's part to certain other aspects of the game, etc, are going to cause some behaviors in baseball to pay off now more than they will in the future, and vice versa. The game's outcomes are fixed; the means can actually be pretty mercurial if you can use the data creatively to that end.

Sure, each and every game follows it's own little quirky path. But, over the long haul, frequent use of strategy in which you base the day's decisions on some gut feeling or hunch will result in less production. This has been proven in industry after industry after analytical methods take root for broad strategizing. The reigning experts always claim that the models are too simple, can't account for the daily irregularities and peculiarities, and that expert intervention will give the best results. The computers just don't understand how things really work. Unfortunately for the experts, the models win out time and time again.

It's not that you can model each and every game. It's not that there isn't a very real human element of motivation, focus, etc. It's just that people aren't any better than the models in the long run. When the experts they try to frequently micro-manage to a better result, they simply don't. And when that micro-management decision results in a painly obvious inefficiency, look out. I know it seems inhumane and very egghead-ish for me to assert that the computer is better. But there are 100's of examples including a number of man vs. machine meta-studies (studies gathering together the results of other studies) showing it over and over and over again.

I will caveat the point. The models aren't perfect -- they aren't close. There are times when a clear externality exists. There's a catcher with a noodle arm so the success rate is through the roof. Things like that. But people tend to overestimate when those circumstances exist. They seem them everywhere and suddenly every decision is one requiring intervention. Now, it certainly might be more fun to constantly intervene, micromanage, and feel like you are making things better, but that's a completely different conversation.

Regarding the Angels, take a look at their run rank scored compared to their OBP rank since Scoscia took over. Sure, they're getting some runs on the margin due to their intelligent base running (more the extra bases on singles, tagging up, etc. than SB), but they're scoring runs because they're getting on base in the first place. And they're winning because they're both scoring runs and preventing them quite well. It would be great to emulate the smart-aggressive parts of their style of play. But it's important to understand the impact and context, and not, say, bat a guy leadoff with a .300 OBP simply because he's really fast and runs the bases well. If CPat got on base like Figgins, Cabrera, or (be still my beating heart) Willits, I'd be just fine.

Jpup
03-31-2008, 12:02 AM
I can read, and I've read Sheehan long enough to know that he's just spewing content on a day he'd rather be watching hoops.

While I agree with his worry (if I can assume that it's even that) I think that it's pretty funny how he should have been a Padre last month and was better than Mark Kotsay and this month he's just a 4th stringer.

The Pads don't have Jay Bruce in AAA.

Jpup
03-31-2008, 12:04 AM
Plus he looked totally overmatched this spring.

Maybe by August or so he'll be ready, but he looked totally overmatched. It's normal. He's still awfully young.

I don't know what guy you were watching but Jay Bruce did not look over matched.

Falls City Beer
03-31-2008, 11:15 AM
I don't know what guy you were watching but Jay Bruce did not look over matched.

Yeah, he did. And the numbers bear it out.

Falls City Beer
03-31-2008, 11:16 AM
Sure, each and every game follows it's own little quirky path. But, over the long haul, frequent use of strategy in which you base the day's decisions on some gut feeling or hunch will result in less production. This has been proven in industry after industry after analytical methods take root for broad strategizing. The reigning experts always claim that the models are too simple, can't account for the daily irregularities and peculiarities, and that expert intervention will give the best results. The computers just don't understand how things really work. Unfortunately for the experts, the models win out time and time again.

It's not that you can model each and every game. It's not that there isn't a very real human element of motivation, focus, etc. It's just that people aren't any better than the models in the long run. When the experts they try to frequently micro-manage to a better result, they simply don't. And when that micro-management decision results in a painly obvious inefficiency, look out. I know it seems inhumane and very egghead-ish for me to assert that the computer is better. But there are 100's of examples including a number of man vs. machine meta-studies (studies gathering together the results of other studies) showing it over and over and over again.

I will caveat the point. The models aren't perfect -- they aren't close. There are times when a clear externality exists. There's a catcher with a noodle arm so the success rate is through the roof. Things like that. But people tend to overestimate when those circumstances exist. They seem them everywhere and suddenly every decision is one requiring intervention. Now, it certainly might be more fun to constantly intervene, micromanage, and feel like you are making things better, but that's a completely different conversation.


Well, that's not really my point, but I guess I didn't make myself clear.

REDREAD
03-31-2008, 11:39 AM
It is easy enough to dump on Patterson, but if he can put up .320-.330 like he did at his best in Chicago, with the combination of power, speed and plus defense, he will be an asset to the team. I imagine who hits where will work itself out, since I assume Dusty is not the dumbest man on the planet, whereas Sheehan has the opposite assumption.

Yep. Patterson stilll has tremendous upside. I don't expect him to become an allstar, but he could become above average.

I don't want Patterson in the leadoff spot, but looking at the projected lineup, what alternative is there for #1 & #2? We could put Hatt/Votto in one slot, but who are we going to put in the other slot?

It might be slightly more optimal to bat 1b at leadoff, Dunn at #2, and put Patterson at #5 or #6 (as opposed to leadoff), but I can't see this being the mortal sin that some writers are making it out to be. I also think Patterson's basestealing ability is underrated. Sure, OBP is more important that basestealing. However, the potential for Patterson to get 50 steals makes him more palatable at leadoff.

REDREAD
03-31-2008, 11:48 AM
Bruce wasn't smashing balls into people's gloves, he wasn't doing anything really. Most important, he'd be out of his optimal defensive position as a rookie.

Next year is the perfect time for Bruce to take over right field full time.

There's also no hurry to bring Bruce up.

In fact, Bruce is so important to the team's future, it's better to be on the cautious side.

We aren't going to contend this season anyway. Even if keeping Bruce in AAA costs us 3-4 wins, that's ok.

IMO, Patterson is the better option right now anyhow. My opinion may change in July, but I think they are doing the right thing.
Too many people expect a 20 year old with limited AAA at bats to step in and immediately put up MVP numbers.

The Reds are smart to play the numbers here and assume that based on history, it's generally good to send the 20 year old to AAA at the start of the season and wait and see if he can dominate AAA again.

REDREAD
03-31-2008, 11:59 AM
Probably true, but his point is still strong. Stolen bases are only helping your team if you are successful 76% of the time with them or better and even then its only very marginal to adding to the runs you are creating for your team.

My problem with that generalization is that all runs are not necessarily created equal.

I remember a Reds game where they were tied and a tough closer was on the mound. Someone got a single and Deion pinch ran, stole 2b, and 3b and then scored on a ground out. The Reds won.
Obviously, that single run is more important than a 3 run HR when the Reds are ahead or behind by 8 runs..

Sometimes you only need to play for one run. Speed helps a lot.
There are some situations (like the Deion example above) where a caught stealling is certainly worth the risk.. A stolen base gets the guy into scoring position and dramatically increases the chances of getting ONE run. I know the statistical argument is that stolen base attempts hurt your chances for big innings, but sometimes you only need one run, and it's better to increase your odds for one run.

REDREAD
03-31-2008, 12:07 PM
Roberts likely would have scored without the stolen base. He went 2nd to home on a single the next at bat. So he likely goes first to third. There was an error later in the inning that was preceeded by a sac bunt to get Mueller to second (who singled in Roberts).

This fails to consider that the stolen base may have changed the pitch selection for the next batter. It may have changed the defensive alignment too. And it may have changed the "pressure" level on the opposing team.

There's too many variables to just shrug it off and say "He would've scored anyhow", as the outcome is not determined by a random number generator, which is the premise of the statistical analysis.

jojo
03-31-2008, 12:09 PM
This fails to consider that the stolen base may have changed the pitch selection for the next batter. It may have changed the defensive alignment too. And it may have changed the "pressure" level on the opposing team.

There's too many variables to just shrug it off and say "He would've scored anyhow", as the outcome is not determined by a random number generator, which is the premise of the statistical analysis.

Actually the premise of the statistical analysis has nothing to do with generating random numbers.

SteelSD
03-31-2008, 12:14 PM
My problem with that generalization is that all runs are not necessarily created equal.

I remember a Reds game where they were tied and a tough closer was on the mound. Someone got a single and Deion pinch ran, stole 2b, and 3b and then scored on a ground out. The Reds won.
Obviously, that single run is more important than a 3 run HR when the Reds are ahead or behind by 8 runs..

Sometimes you only need to play for one run. Speed helps a lot.
There are some situations (like the Deion example above) where a caught stealling is certainly worth the risk.. A stolen base gets the guy into scoring position and dramatically increases the chances of getting ONE run. I know the statistical argument is that stolen base attempts hurt your chances for big innings, but sometimes you only need one run, and it's better to increase your odds for one run.


Here's your Win Expectancy in that situation.

Home Team- 0 Outs/Bottom 9/Tie Game

None on: .656
Runner on 1st: .716
Runner on 2nd: .798

If the runner were caught stealing there, the Win Expectancy drops to .608. Sending the runner in that situation is wagering a potential .082 gain versus a possible loss of .198. It's not that being caught stealing hurts your chances for a big Inning. It really hurts your chances for a little Inning too.

RedsManRick
03-31-2008, 12:20 PM
My problem with that generalization is that all runs are not necessarily created equal.

I remember a Reds game where they were tied and a tough closer was on the mound. Someone got a single and Deion pinch ran, stole 2b, and 3b and then scored on a ground out. The Reds won.
Obviously, that single run is more important than a 3 run HR when the Reds are ahead or behind by 8 runs..

Sometimes you only need to play for one run. Speed helps a lot.
There are some situations (like the Deion example above) where a caught stealling is certainly worth the risk.. A stolen base gets the guy into scoring position and dramatically increases the chances of getting ONE run. I know the statistical argument is that stolen base attempts hurt your chances for big innings, but sometimes you only need one run, and it's better to increase your odds for one run.

You have a fair point of course. There are certain scenarios in which the stolen base can be the best way to get that much needed run. Though I wonder how often that scenario comes around. I think it's less often than some people think. It's one thing to plan for the occasional tactical move. It's another to build a lineup around tactical situations at the expense of a more effective broader strategy. An analogous situation is pushing Dunn down the lineup to minimize the impact of the late game LOOGY.

I posit that while speed relating to good base-running is universally useful at any point, stealing bases should be a precision tool, used in specific situations where either the base is a near certainty or where success has a significant impact on the game outcome. Given that, having a guy like Deion on the bench is a great weapon. When you have that guy on first base and you really need him on 2nd, you can bring him in. But if he's starting every day, odds are he won't be up in that inning anyways, let alone on base, when that stolen base is needed.

In the scenario Steel pointed out, you'd need a 70% chance for success to balance out the risk you're taking. Given that the other team likely knows you're going to run, but you better be darn good. I don't think anybody is arguing that stolen bases are a bad thing. It's just that they have their time and place and the ability to steal bases shouldn't be used as justification for playing an otherwise inferior player, particularly at the top of a lineup.

REDREAD
03-31-2008, 12:20 PM
Actually the premise of the statistical analysis has nothing to do with generating random numbers.

Let me clarify. It makes numerous assumptions, especially in broad discussions like this, and conclusions such as "Unless you can steal at 75% success, don't try".

Let's pretend we are all knowning for a game situation. Tie game in the 7th. PAtterson on 1b. Tough pitcher on mound. Good catcher behind the plate. We know that Patterson has a 60% chance of making this particular steal. No outs. Due up with OBP for this matchup. Dunn (300 OBP), EdE (250 OBP), Catro (100 OBP)..

Doesn't look like the matchups favor the Reds, so you might as well send Patterson running, because he has a 60% chance of getting into scoring position. The hitters have a much smaller chance of advancing him to 2b, in this particular situation.
I steal, even if the numbers say it slightly hurts my chances of a multiple run inning .. that's because there's a good pitcher on the mound.

Now if Stanton is pitching against the Reds, the odds of the hitters moving that guy on 1b to scoring position improve dramatically, so I'm more inclined to not attempt a steal.

RANDY IN INDY
03-31-2008, 12:28 PM
Let me clarify. It makes numerous assumptions, especially in broad discussions like this, and conclusions such as "Unless you can steal at 75% success, don't try".

Let's pretend we are all knowning for a game situation. Tie game in the 7th. PAtterson on 1b. Tough pitcher on mound. Good catcher behind the plate. We know that Patterson has a 60% chance of making this particular steal. No outs. Due up with OBP for this matchup. Dunn (300 OBP), EdE (250 OBP), Catro (100 OBP)..

Doesn't look like the matchups favor the Reds, so you might as well send Patterson running, because he has a 60% chance of getting into scoring position. The hitters have a much smaller chance of advancing him to 2b, in this particular situation.
I steal, even if the numbers say it slightly hurts my chances of a multiple run inning .. that's because there's a good pitcher on the mound.

Now if Stanton is pitching against the Reds, the odds of the hitters moving that guy on 1b to scoring position improve dramatically, so I'm more inclined to not attempt a steal.

Good points.

REDREAD
03-31-2008, 12:29 PM
Here's your Win Expectancy in that situation.

Home Team- 0 Outs/Bottom 9/Tie Game

None on: .656
Runner on 1st: .716
Runner on 2nd: .798

If the runner were caught stealing there, the Win Expectancy drops to .608. Sending the runner in that situation is wagering a potential .082 gain versus a possible loss of .198. It's not that being caught stealing hurts your chances for a big Inning. It really hurts your chances for a little Inning too.

EDITED DUE TO MATH ERROR

Ok.. based on those numbers, Let's figure the break even point..
X is the stealing percentage chance:

X (.798) + (1 - X).608 > .716

X = 56.8%

So, if the base stealer is successful 56.8 of the time, the win expectancy is the same as if the steal is not attempted in that situation.

Pretty much proves my point that the 75% rule is not a hard and fast rule.

Also, win expectancy is based on the "average" pitcher. If you are facing a touch closer, I'm guessing the delta of win expectancy between a man on 1b and a man on 2b might be greater than .082.
Not 100% sure, but I'm guessing it's harder to plate the run when you need two hits against an elite pitcher as opposed to the average one..

CaiGuy
03-31-2008, 12:38 PM
I think that Phillips and Patterson will have very similar seasons this year.

They both play above average defense at a premium position.

Their base-running is essentially the same.

While Phillips could have a slight power (slugging) edge, their OBP's should be very close.

Overall, I think that they both bring a very similar games to the table, yet people loath the fact that Patterson was signed to a mere minor-league contract. I think that they will offer closer production than most people think.

RedsManRick
03-31-2008, 12:47 PM
That's a great post REDREAD. You're right; The calculus changes in every single situation.

The question becomes, is that calculus really being done before the green light (or go sign) is given, or is there some general philosophy guiding the decision and only being roughly applied (not to say that the decision is by the/a book completely, but as the starting point)? It's one thing to run the math each time and decide that the situation dictates a 50% break even rate, decide that the chance for success is 65% and to send the runner. It's another to have that math completely internalized and rolled up with past bias and call it "gut feeling" -- particularly from a manager not math inclined and likely to err on the side of aggression.

However, the interesting thing about your example is that you advocate stealing 2nd base because it puts him in scoring position. That's the advantage we're trying to gain. Let's look at the more in depth:

- Firstly, let's consider the part of those subsequent OBP values that are walks. Stealing 2nd base does nothing helpful in that case as the runner would have been advanced to 2nd automatically.
- Now we have the part of those OBP from hits. Since Corey is a really fast guy, he's likely going to score on any extra base hit -- definitely on a triple or HR. If there's a single, he'll end up at 2nd or 3rd instead of home. Of course, because that guy got on base, now he's in scoring position for another batter.
- Of course, if he steals and gets thrown out, a good portion of the value of the walk (which would've advanced him in to scoring position) or the extra base hit (which would have scored him) are wasted.

People have a natural bias to give greater weight to their desired outcome. We routinely overestimate the likelihood of a specfic desired outcome and underestimate the likelihood of other desirable outcomes and of negative ones. This isn't limited to baseball in the least. How often do those high leverage, "we really could use a SB here" or "dang, down by 1 and they brought in a LOOGY to nullify Dunn and Junior" situations really come up?

The other point you make is the case for putting your base stealers (assuming low OBP) ahead of the poor hitters. Sure, there will be matchups when your 3-4-5 guys struggle too. But by in large, you would be putting them in situations where the value of an extra base is magnified -- those situations where the batter isn't as likely to walk or get that extra base hit and thus the impact of a successful AB outcome is greater and the SB is less likely to be wasted. I find it particularly interesting given that Phillips/Dunn lineup order. Dunn might be the guy in the first 7 spots least likely to hit a single and most likely to walk to get an extra base hit. If there's anybody you should not be stealing in front of, it's Adam Dunn.

REDREAD
03-31-2008, 01:01 PM
However, the interesting thing about your example is that you advocate stealing 2nd base because it puts him in scoring position. However, let's look at the more in depth.
- Firstly, let's consider the part of those subsequent OBP values that are walks. Stealing 2nd base does nothing helpful in that case as the runner would have been advanced to 2nd automatically.


Yes, that is a good point. If the next batter gets a walk, it is basically a "free" stolen base.
Thus, as an extreme example.. let's say you are facing Rob Dibble. He struck out a lot of guys, but also walked a lot of guys. My memory seems to indicate that when he did lose, it was often by a long ball. But let's assume that is true.
It makes less sense to steal on a pitcher like that (HR prone, stingy with hits, gives up a lot of walks).






- Now we have the part of those OBP from hits. Since Corey is a really fast guy, he's likely going to score on any extra base hit -- definitely on a triple or HR. If there's a single, he'll end up at 2nd or 3rd instead of home. Of course, because that guy got on base, now he's in scoring position for another batter.


Actually, that is a good point as well. Corey has a better chance of scoring from first than Ross does. Thus somehow getting Ross to second base (let's say by a bunt) is more valuable than bunting Patterson to 2b. I'm not advocating bunting, just acknowledging your point.




- Of course, if he steals and gets thrown out, a good portion of the value of the walk (which would've advanced him in to scoring position) or the extra base hit (which would have scored him) are wasted.


Yes, stealing does have a risk. My opinion though is that at least some of the times, a guy with a less than 75% chance should try it.
If you are down by 4 runs late in the game, then it's not wise to steal.. I agree with that. The benefit of increasing your odds for one more run isn't worth the risk of killing a big inning.



People have a natural bias to give greater weight to their desired outcome.

Most definitely.
I agree with a lot of what you say.

I know some people are really frustrated with Dusty leading off Patterson, but we have to realize that this team really doesn't have a high OBP guy to plug into the leadoff slot. Maybe it better to simply stack the Reds three best hitters (Dunn, Jr, Phillips) in the top 3 slots with EdE batting 4th. I really don't know.
But I have no problem with at least starting the season with Patterson batting leadoff and seeing if his new batting style we read about will pay dividends. Maybe Dusty showing confidence in Patterson will pay dividends. There's always the option of trying something else after a month. I just disagree with the notion that leading off Patterson automatically makes Dusty an idiot.

RedsManRick
03-31-2008, 01:32 PM
I know some people are really frustrated with Dusty leading off Patterson, but we have to realize that this team really doesn't have a high OBP guy to plug into the leadoff slot. Maybe it better to simply stack the Reds three best hitters (Dunn, Jr, Phillips) in the top 3 slots with EdE batting 4th. I really don't know.

Here are the guys in todays lineup with better OBP than Corey Patterson:

Jeff Keppinger
Scott Hatteberg
Adam Dunn
Edwin Encarnacion
Ken Griffey Jr
Brandon Phillips

That's 6 better options. If you want to look at career numbers, you could put Ross in there. Here's a very simple lineup change that isn't exactly heresy. Flip Hatteberg and Patterson. If Votto is playing, substitute him. If Gonzalez is playing instead of Keppinger, flip him and EE.

Hatteberg
Keppinger
Griffey
Phillips
Dunn
EE
Patterson
Ross

Now, there are still some things I'd change. But that stacks two high OBP at the top of the order, puts Patterson's power in a place where it can drive in some runs, and even maintains the Phillips-cleanup and alternating handedness. Why are we putting the slow, low power, high OBP guy in front of the low average, low OBP high power hitter?

Dusty isn't an idiot because of this. He's just showing a thought process that doesn't include a basis of an understanding on how runs are generated.

My beef with Dusty isn't that he's stupid -- as in not capable of learning. I think he's an intelligent guy. It's that I think he's stubborn. He's from the same camp as Joe Morgan which says "I know everything I need to know and people who think otherwise just don't understand because they never played the game". It's an ego so married to their expertise that suggestion against their perspective is taken as an attack and met very defensively. THAT's what's frustrating. I might be a bit of a saberzealot. I admit I defend my positions adamantly. But I'm willing to learn. I'm open to new ideas and will change my opinions when I'm shown a better alternative. Dusty doesn't appear to even be willing to listen, let alone consider alternatives and change his mind.

REDREAD
03-31-2008, 06:26 PM
Here are the guys in todays lineup with better OBP than Corey Patterson:

Jeff Keppinger
Scott Hatteberg
Adam Dunn
Edwin Encarnacion
Ken Griffey Jr
Brandon Phillips

.

Reasonable idea, to bat Hat and Keppinger at the top, although in my opinion, Keppinger might have a simliar OBP to Patterson. He's basically an unknown. Cory has speed that Kep doesn't have and Kepp is hard to project, at least in my opinion. I have no problem with starting Patterson at leadoff. If Keppinger hits/OBP better after 4 weeks, they can flip flop them.

I'd be tempted to bat Hat leadoff and then Phillips, Dunn, Jr, EdE.. Or maybe reverse Phillips and Hat, even though Phillips is not an ideal leadoff guy either, he's probably a better hitter than Keppinger and Patterson, so might as well maximize his at bats.

reds44
03-31-2008, 06:30 PM
I don't see Keppinger having the speed or the power to keep his high batting average up with the way he hacks.

Falls City Beer
03-31-2008, 06:31 PM
The really big problem with the lineup is that Dunn is the only starter with a good OBP.

RedsManRick
03-31-2008, 06:32 PM
Reasonable idea, to bat Hat and Keppinger at the top, although in my opinion, Keppinger might have a simliar OBP to Patterson. He's basically an unknown. Cory has speed that Kep doesn't have and Kepp is hard to project, at least in my opinion. I have no problem with starting Patterson at leadoff. If Keppinger hits/OBP better after 4 weeks, they can flip flop them.

Not to say that Keppinger will OBP .400 again, but he does have a career minor league line of .320/.373/.419 with 186 BB and 139 25 in 2,154 AB. In the majors, he has a career line of .309/.367/.439 in 417 AB, with 35 BB and 25 SO.

I think it's safe to say that Keppinger is likely to out-OBP Corey Patterson. In fact, given how often he puts the ball in play, it's quite likely he'll continue to hit .300, which given his BB rates puts his OBP around .350. Keppinger doesn't get a lot of speed-based hits or a ton of power. He just routinely puts the ball in play. His .312 BABIP is right in line with his career 20.1 LD%. And given his contact rate (ie. bat control), it's not surprising to see him have a relatively high LD%. Sure, he's subject to the same batting average variance as most people (well, a little bit less actually, because he has so many more BIP than the average guy), but he's no fluke.

Outside of Dunn and Hatteberg, I'm more confident of Keppinger's chances to post a .350+ OBP than anybody else on the team, followed in order by EE, Votto, Junior.

SteelSD
03-31-2008, 11:53 PM
EDITED DUE TO MATH ERROR

Ok.. based on those numbers, Let's figure the break even point..
X is the stealing percentage chance:

X (.798) + (1 - X).608 > .716

X = 56.8%

So, if the base stealer is successful 56.8 of the time, the win expectancy is the same as if the steal is not attempted in that situation.

Pretty much proves my point that the 75% rule is not a hard and fast rule.

Actually, your calculation doesn't really prove that because we're looking for a significant advantage rather than a "break-even" point. While simply averaging out the Win Expectancies of 57 steals of 2B and 43 CS produces a .716 result, a team gains no advantage from that versus having the runner stay put. Even a 75% success rate in that situation averages to a .751 WP, which isn't all that significant a gain (3.5%). Considering how critical that situation is, assuming a 75% success rate, we're still at coin-flipping time with the only real impact variable being the propensity of the batter to hit into DP's and the pitcher to induce them.

And yes, the speed of a Pitcher's delivery and propensity to pick off runners coupled with the Catcher's ability to throw them out is already included in our 75% projection. Has to be. Or at least should be by any team actually looking to gain an edge because what looks like a 75% basestealer may not be if Yadier Molina is the Catcher. Sending a 57% basestealer would be almost certain death. But against Paul lo Duca? Then a 57% success rate might just be a 75% success rate.

And if we're just looking to break even, then following represents pretty much the same thing:

Runner on 2nd/One Out/Bottom 9th: .704

That's what happens if you sac bunt in that situation. Don't even get me started on the ton of variables associated with that move, because it gets fairly complex (often including the fairly standard IBB immediately after). But it can all be measured and planned for based on the propensity of the opposing Manager, defense, and Pitcher. And I'd suggest that there are times when it's better that a Sac Bunt be used strategically rather than a SB attempt.


Also, win expectancy is based on the "average" pitcher. If you are facing a touch closer, I'm guessing the delta of win expectancy between a man on 1b and a man on 2b might be greater than .082.

Not 100% sure, but I'm guessing it's harder to plate the run when you need two hits against an elite pitcher as opposed to the average one..

You think a lot of just "average" pitchers were toeing the mound with the game tied in the bottom of the 9th since 1977?

Jpup
04-01-2008, 12:21 AM
Yeah, he did. And the numbers bear it out.

Spring training numbers mean nothing. You compare the best prospect in baseball to Brandon Larson based on 1 month of spring training. So, when you turn out to be wrong, will you admit it? How do you know he was overmatched? You couldn't have seen more than a handful of his at-bats . You can't look at spring numbers and decide something and actually have credibility. It sounds very silly.

You do remember saying Cueto will never hit the gun @ 96?

Jpup
04-01-2008, 12:22 AM
The really big problem with the lineup is that Dunn is the only starter with a good OBP.

Hatteberg? Heck, Kepp's average will be higher than Patterson's OBP.

Patrick Bateman
04-01-2008, 12:45 AM
How do you know he was overmatched? You couldn't have seen more than a handful of his at-bats . You can't look at spring numbers and decide something and actually have credibility. It sounds very silly.


Well to be fair, how many did you actually see? I don't mean to be a dick, but you made a similar statement saying he did not look over matched, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but the best to my knowledge, you have no more information than FCB does on the situation.

I do agree, spring training stats don't mean much, but Jay Bruce does have weaknesses in his game right now that do suggest that he could have his fair share of problems at the major league level, and his production in spring training certainly did nothing to dispute that. He still has IMO some plate approach problems.... ie. lots of K's and not many walks. He's certainy not polished or as disciplined as he needs to be. So AAA should do him some good.

If he is as good as we think he is, Bruce should have the starting gig in no time. In the meantime, we potentially save ourselves hurting his devlopment and wasting one of his cheap years (ex. Alex Gordon). With limited AAA experience, Bruce is far from a finished product, and I really don't mind taking a patient approach with him. Sure, he probably could outplay Patterson, and the others right now, but is on the job training the best thing for Bruce's long term development?

Stormy
04-01-2008, 01:21 AM
The really big problem with the lineup is that Dunn is the only starter with a good OBP.

We're going to miss Hamilton at the top of the order in my opinion, but the Volquez trade was a fantastic move. The hope was that between the emergence of Bruce and Votto, the loss of a major offensive catalyst would be offset. However, we instead find ourselves with Patterson's putrid offense in the exchange (without a place/position for Bruce?), and without a suitable platoon partner (or plan) for Votto.

The pieces don't fit well together, whether in regards to OF defense, the surplus of LH bats, or the inane design behind Dusty's lineup construction. If Keppinger returns to earth, or if Gonzo becomes the new #2 in the lineup behind Patterson when he returns, this offense is going to likely sputter throughout the season.

Regardless of causation or correlation, I don't find it coincidental that this offense finally found it's rhythm in 2007 at the same moment that Hamilton/Hopper and Keppinger's dynamic 2007 OBPs replaced the anemic table setting of Freel, Gonzo and Phillips earlier in the year. The top of the order caught fire, and Dunn, Griff and Co followed suit. I don't expect Dusty to find similar catalysts at the top of the order this year, or to even try to.

REDREAD
04-01-2008, 09:48 AM
Actually, your calculation doesn't really prove that because we're looking for a significant advantage rather than a "break-even" point. While simply averaging out the Win Expectancies of 57 steals of 2B and 43 CS produces a .716 result, a team gains no advantage from that versus having the runner stay put. Even a 75% success rate in that situation averages to a .751 WP, which isn't all that significant a gain (3.5%). Considering how critical that situation is, assuming a 75% success rate, we're still at coin-flipping time with the only real impact variable being the propensity of the batter to hit into DP's and the pitcher to induce them.


Actually, if you steal at 75%, your win expectancy does go to 751 as you said. However, the percentage increase (vs not stealing) is
751-716/716 = .0488. That is incredibly significant. Your are increasing your chances of winning the game by almost 5%.
We get all worked up about a guy like Patterson leading off vs a guy like Keppinger. Let's assume that Patterson has an OBP of 300 this year (his career is 297). Let's assume Keppinger has an OBP of 350, because that's what some on this thread have suggested.
Now, let's just say hypothetically that the choice is that Keppinger and Patterson have to be slotted in #7 or #1, just to simplify things.

In other words, the choice is

Keppinger #1, Patterson #7
OR
Patterson #7, Keppinger #1

This is actually worse than what Dusty is doing so far, because Keppinger is now at #2, but it simplifies things.

Using the data here:
http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/printarticle/egaitarianism-and-the-rbi/

It appears that the ratio of plate appearances for the #1 hitter to the #7 hitter is 20741/17819 = 1.16.

Let's assume the leadoff guy gets 600 plate appearances. The #7 guy would be expected to get 600/1.16 = 517 plate appearances.

So, what's the difference?

Patterson #1 600 *.3 = 180 times on base
Keppinger #7 517 * .35 = 181 times on base
Total = 361 times on base

Patterson #7 517 * .3 = 155 times on base
Keppinger #1 600 * .35 = 210 times on base
Total = 365 times on base.

So, according to this rough analysis, the difference between Keppinger and Patterson being flipped is only 4 more base runners over the entire season

When you factor in Corey's speed and potential for greater slugging vs Keppinger, the difference becomes even fuzzier. It's just not clear cut.

So, my entire point of bringing this up is that if a stolen base changes the win expectancy of winning one game by almost 5%, that's arguably more significant than the impact of flipping Keppinger/Patterson in the above scenerio, which has negligible effects over the entire season (at least superficially, but maybe I'm missing something).



And yes, the speed of a Pitcher's delivery and propensity to pick off runners coupled with the Catcher's ability to throw them out is already included in our 75% projection. Has to be.


Yes, I agree with that completely. If you have a pitcher/catcher tandem that is great at shutting down the running game, that needs to be included in a risk assessment. Likewise, if you have a pitcher/catcher that is poor at holding runners, that also factors in.




And if we're just looking to break even, then following represents pretty much the same thing:

Runner on 2nd/One Out/Bottom 9th: .704

That's what happens if you sac bunt in that situation. Don't even get me started on the ton of variables associated with that move, because it gets fairly complex (often including the fairly standard IBB immediately after). But it can all be measured and planned for based on the propensity of the opposing Manager, defense, and Pitcher. And I'd suggest that there are times when it's better that a Sac Bunt be used strategically rather than a SB attempt.


I can agree that there are times when a sac bunt is better than a stolen base. I also agree that there are many variables in the decision.



You think a lot of just "average" pitchers were toeing the mound with the game tied in the bottom of the 9th since 1977?

That is a good point. I actually think that if you are facing a great closer, it makes stealling a base even more attractive, because you the hitters are less likely to advance the runner.
In contrast, if Milton is pitching against you and falling apart, why risk stealing a base and giving his team an easy out?

RedsManRick
04-01-2008, 10:39 AM
So, what's the difference?

Patterson #1 600 *.3 = 180 times on base
Keppinger #7 517 * .35 = 181 times on base
Total = 361 times on base

Patterson #7 517 * .3 = 155 times on base
Keppinger #1 600 * .35 = 210 times on base
Total = 365 times on base.

So, according to this rough analysis, the difference between Keppinger and Patterson being flipped is only 4 more base runners over the entire season

When you factor in Corey's speed and potential for greater slugging vs Keppinger, the difference becomes even fuzzier. It's just not clear cut.

So, my entire point of bringing this up is that if a stolen base changes the win expectancy of winning one game by almost 5%, that's arguably more significant than the impact of flipping Keppinger/Patterson in the above scenerio, which has negligible effects over the entire season (at least superficially, but maybe I'm missing something).


Ironically, you've failed to account for your own complaint regarding timing. Not every runner on base is created equal. The most important determinant of the value of the runner on base, aside from the out scenario, is the quality of the hitter(s) up next. Which is more valuable, a time on base ahead of your 2-3-4 hitters, or a time on base ahead of your 8-9-1 hitters? What's the differential likelihood of getting moved around the bases by those batters? You aren't just getting the net +4 baserunners. You are also getting the run value boost of trading 26 runners on base for the hitters on your team worst at moving runners around the bases for 30 runners on base for your best ones.

I would love to see how this lineup comparison works in a Markov run estimator model.

REDREAD
04-01-2008, 11:38 AM
Ironically, you've failed to account for your own complaint regarding timing. Not every runner on base is created equal. The most important determinant of the value of the runner on base, aside from the out scenario, is the quality of the hitter(s) up next. Which is more valuable, a time on base ahead of your 2-3-4 hitters, or a time on base ahead of your 8-9-1 hitters? What's the differential likelihood of getting moved around the bases by those batters? You aren't just getting the net +4 baserunners. You are also getting the run value boost of trading 26 runners on base for the hitters on your team worst at moving runners around the bases for 30 runners on base for your best ones.

I would love to see how this lineup comparison works in a Markov run estimator model.

Yes, I concede that it was an oversimplification.
On the other hand though, since Keppinger's OBP is expected to be largely BA driven, there's at least the potential that he might drive in Dunn from the #7 slot, since Dunn often bats #5 or #6.

I guess my primary point is that if you have to play an OBP challenged guy like Patterson, the impact on run scoring is felt regardless of where he bats in the lineup.
Most folks here agree that right now Patterson is the best option for CF. Some feel Bruce should be up here, but that is a different argument (and a reasonable one, I just don't want to change the subject).

If the premise is that Patterson must start in CF, he's going to get those at bats in. If he only has a 300 OBP this season, that's going to impact the offense no matter where he hits. The only solution is to upgrade the player.

I agree that it would be interesting to run a Markov simulation, and do it with many combinations. I wonder if bunching up the better hitting/OBP players around Dunn matters more than anything.
To me, the bigger lineup sin is not batting Dunn #2 or #3, instead of #4-6.

In the situation I outlined, Keppinger leading off gives you 30 more guys on base from the #1 slot, but costs you 26 from the #7 slot.
Hard to say for sure, but with Dunn batting #5 a lot, maybe it's better to have a better hitter at #7 to drive him in.. Maybe that's a better "Bunching" of the good OBP guys. Again, I think Dunn needs to hit higher than #5.

Not saying that Dusty is a lineup construction genius, but I wonder what the real impact is.

SteelSD
04-01-2008, 12:20 PM
I agree that it would be interesting to run a Markov simulation, and do it with many combinations.

Go here:

http://www.baseballmusings.com/cgi-bin/LineupAnalysis.py?Player0=Corey+Patterson&OBA0=+0.300&Slug0=+0.400&Player1=Adam+Dunn&OBA1=+0.380&Slug1=+0.540&Player2=Ken+Griffey+Jr.&OBA2=+0.355&Slug2=+0.480&Player3=Jeff+Keppinger&OBA3=+0.350&Slug3=+0.400&Player4=Edwin+Encarnacion&OBA4=+0.350&Slug4=+0.490&Player5=David+Ross&OBA5=+0.320&Slug5=+0.410&Player6=Brandon+Phillips&OBA6=+0.325&Slug6=+0.480&Player7=Scott+Hatteberg&OBA7=+0.360&Slug7=+0.420&Player8=DH&OBA8=+0.355&Slug8=.449&Model=0

Here's what I did:

1. I projected Patterson at .300 OBP/.400 SLG (close to his 3-year splits)

2. I used the 2008 ZiPS projections for the remainder of yesterday's lineup.

3. I placed the 2007 average #9 slot performance in the Pitcher slot. This accounts for pinch hitters.

The projected average RS per Game with that lineup is 4.65. The median projection of the 30 best lineups is 4.88 RS per Game. None of those lineups include Corey Patterson in the leadoff slot. All but two include him in the 6th or 7th slot. Over a full season, the difference between the lineup ran out yesterday and the median of the top 30 lineups is about 38 Runs per season. That's nearly four Wins worth of Runs.

If the Reds lost their collective mind and agreed to spot their opponents one Run about every four games, we'd go ballistic.

Well...

RedsManRick
04-01-2008, 12:54 PM
THT has a lineup calculator out that supposedly trumps the baseballmusings one. Justin Inaz is doing a little lineup competition over at his site using it, maybe he can sneak this comparison in too...

I did a really big lineup comparison a few weeks back that you could find in the search. Basically, the difference between using the best guys and the worst guys is 100 runs. The difference between using the best lineup order given the same set of guys varies from 30-50 runs, but really only 15-25 using reasonable lineup configurations.

Of course, to REDREAD's point, lineup order is more important when you have a larger deviation of talent. Replace Patterson with Bruce and lineup order makes a lot less difference. When you have a .300 OBP guy in the lineup, the best way to score more runs is to take him out of it.

Using a slight variation of yesterday's lineup (Hatteberg and Keppinger flipped -- though it's barely relevant given their similar offensive profiles) and PECOTA weighted mean proejctions, the 98-02 model sees this lineup as 4.756 runs/game.

Patterson
Hatteberg
Griffey
Phillips
Dunn
EE
Keppinger
Valentin

Flipping just Patterson and Keppinger results in a lineup worth 4.827 runs/game or 11.5 runs on the season -- roughly 1 win. Sure, not a big number, and granted all of the "we won't see this lineup 162 times stuff), but a lot of little decisions like that do add up.

My big fear is that Dusty is going to take an 86 win roster, win 84 games, and get praised for doing it and credited for the big improvement.

FWIW, this is what is sees as the best lineup using those bats:

Scott Hatteberg
Adam Dunn
Javier Valentin
Edwin Encarnacion
Ken Griffey Jr.
Corey Patterson
Brandon Phillips
Pitcher
Jeff Keppinger.

It has that at 5.074 runs/game -- 51.5 runs better than the one we ran out yesterday. Due to the most likely base/out situation for the #3 hitter in the first inning being none on and 2 out, that lineup calculator often puts a mediocre hitter in the 3 spot and the next best OPS guy cleaning up. That #4 hitter either hits with men on base in the first inning or leads of the 2nd. If Dunn doesn't bat 2nd, he should definitely be cleanup. And Phillips really has no business there at all. But I digress...

edabbs44
04-01-2008, 01:19 PM
My big fear is that Dusty is going to take an 86 win roster, win 84 games, and get praised for doing it and credited for the big improvement.

Where is this 86 win roster that he is going to win 84 with?

RedsManRick
04-01-2008, 01:21 PM
Where is this 86 win roster that he is going to win 84 with?

Louisville...

The relative win totals were more than point than the absolute ones. Use 82 and 80 if you like...

Stormy
04-01-2008, 01:33 PM
Go here:

Here's what I did:

1. I projected Patterson at .300 OBP/.400 SLG (close to his 3-year splits)

2. I used the 2008 ZiPS projections for the remainder of yesterday's lineup.

3. I placed the 2007 average #9 slot performance in the Pitcher slot. This accounts for pinch hitters.

The projected average RS per Game with that lineup is 4.65. The median projection of the 30 best lineups is 4.88 RS per Game. None of those lineups include Corey Patterson in the leadoff slot. All but two include him in the 6th or 7th slot. Over a full season, the difference between the lineup ran out yesterday and the median of the top 30 lineups is about 38 Runs per season. That's nearly four Wins worth of Runs.

If the Reds lost their collective mind and agreed to spot their opponents one Run about every four games, we'd go ballistic.

Well...

Beautifully done. There is no excuse for not attempting to construct the optimal lineup, regardless of the quantifiable impact. If Patterson must start, it follows that he belongs in the bottom 1/3 of the order. Likewise, Gonzalez needs to be excluded from the discussion of the #2 spot when he returns. There is NO excuse for the manager to thumb his nose at designing his lineup in a manner consistent with scoring the most runs.

Petey Mac's lineups vastly outperformed Narron's last year, for similar reasons. Hopefully it won't take Dusty months to figure out this flawed design, though a career of precedent says he'll never adjust.

wheels
04-01-2008, 08:28 PM
I remember someone posting the percentage of AB's Patterson had in the leadoff slot, etc. under Baker.

I think it was less than 50% of his AB's.

Am I remembering that correctly? If I am, maybe it means Dusty will indeed get him out of that slot eventually.

Could be that I'm grasping at straws, though.

*BaseClogger*
04-01-2008, 08:35 PM
I remember someone posting the percentage of AB's Patterson had in the leadoff slot, etc. under Baker.

I think it was less than 50% of his AB's.

Am I remembering that correctly? If I am, maybe it means Dusty will indeed get him out of that slot eventually.

Could be that I'm grasping at straws, though.

I believe Patterson spent alot of time batting #3 for Dusty--that's not really any better! :thumbdown

REDREAD
04-01-2008, 09:36 PM
Thanks for running the sims, Steel and RedsmanRick.

It's interesting. I guess we'll have to wait and see what Dusty does.