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reds44
06-11-2008, 06:31 PM
Dusty Baker made it sound like Jeff Keppinger's rehab will go into the weekend at least. The Reds had planned to play Keppinger at third, but the need is now at shortstop. That's may extended the rehab.

“There’s a lot Kepp has to do,” Baker said. “You don’t want his legs to fatigue. That’s when you pull stuff. . . you want to make sure everything’s back together before they get here. You know they’re going to want to play everyday, especially with Kepp being out so long. He was going to play third, but with Jerry (Hairston Jr.) out, we need him to play short. It’s not only at-bats. It’s the length of time you’re standing there. It’s running. You’ve got to build up endurance. He’s been working hard.”

Keppinger will start third tonight. The Sarasota Reds on their all-star break after tomorrow's game. Keppinger will likely continue to rehab with Triple-A Louisville.
Am I reading too much into that, or was Keppinger going to take EE's job if Hairston would not have gotten hurt?

RedsManRick
06-11-2008, 06:32 PM
Playing Hairston over EE is precisely the sort of short term, hyper-reactive thinking that would epitomize the Reds.

OnBaseMachine
06-11-2008, 06:34 PM
Playing Hairston over EE is precisely the sort of short term, hyper-reactive thinking that would epitomize the Reds.

Agreed.

dougdirt
06-11-2008, 06:35 PM
To take what I said earlier, Will the stupidity in this organization please stop?

fearofpopvol1
06-11-2008, 06:45 PM
Am I the only 1 who doesn't have a problem with this?

Dusty is very frustrating, but his job is to win. EdE has been better the last week or so, but he has not hit the ball as well as Keppinger or Hairston have this season. Hairston/Keppinger (while Hairston's bat is hot) gives the Reds the best chance to win.

SMcGavin
06-11-2008, 06:48 PM
Am I the only 1 who doesn't have a problem with this?

Dusty is very frustrating, but his job is to win. EdE has been better the last week or so, but he has not hit the ball as well as Keppinger or Hairston have this season.

Yes but Hairston's OPS the past two seasons: .523, and .528. For his career it is .690. It's not about what they've done so far this season, it's about what they are likely to do going forward. I'd bet almost anything that from this date forward EE has a better OPS than Hairston.

fearofpopvol1
06-11-2008, 06:50 PM
Yes but Hairston's OPS the past two seasons: .523, and .528. For his career it is .690. It's not about what they've done so far this season, it's about what they are likely to do going forward. I'd bet almost anything that from this date forward EE has a better OPS than Hairston.

I completely understand that. But Hairston's bat hasn't cooled. Dusty's job is to field the team that gives the Reds the best chance to win. I think EdE has gotten a little too comfortable at 3B and I think him sitting somemight be a good way to motivate him.

Patrick Bateman
06-11-2008, 06:51 PM
Hairston is a career back-up with a career worth of being bad. A 100 at-bat hot streak doesn't change him from being an awful player.

EE has had a myriad of struggles, but his talent is much higher than Hairston, and even with the flaws has been a far superior player to Hairston. Hairston is a lose-lose, EE might have a future here. That's why it's a simply awful decision to consider benching EE consistently for Hairston.

Always Red
06-11-2008, 06:54 PM
I think EdE has gotten a little too comfortable at 3B and I think him sitting somemight be a good way to motivate him.

It has always worked in the past to light a fire under EE's rear end.

Highlifeman21
06-11-2008, 06:55 PM
It has always worked in the past to light a fire under EE's rear end.

Either that, or we do the token "send him down to AAA" for the year.

Always Red
06-11-2008, 06:58 PM
Either that, or we do the token "send him down to AAA" for the year.

And then bring him back 2 weeks later when he wakes up and feasts on AAA pitching.

EE has always played better when he's playing for his job.

Does he even realize that he's playing for his job right now??

SMcGavin
06-11-2008, 07:08 PM
Does he even realize that he's playing for his job right now??

I've never really bought into the theory that EE needs "waking up". But if you do buy in to it, you might say he does know he's playing for his job.

EE's line in June (36 ABs): .321/.472/.643 - 1.115 OPS.

Phhhl
06-11-2008, 07:09 PM
This should surprise absolutely noone. Reds managers have never viewed Edwin as a cornerstone of this team. But, he should be right there with Votto and Bruce. He is going to have to outplay the stupidity of his manager and to survive the bench jockeys they will continue to bring in to push him.

redsmetz
06-11-2008, 07:15 PM
So who is the original quote from? I think they're approaching the story differently than the Reds were seeing it. As I recall, Marty mentioned that the thought was that Keppinger could be back sooner if he wasn't playing shortstop, as he would have a lot more stress on his knee playing at short.

I think the intention was to get him back on the big league roster and have him available at 3rd, when needed, easing him back in. The thought being, I think, that he could spell folks at positions other than short. Now with the pressing need for a shortstop, his rehab will focus on that, which is extending it.

Cyclone792
06-11-2008, 07:38 PM
Edwin Encarnacion has been precisely a league average big league ballplayer since he came into the league at age 22. It's likely that's what he'll be during his career, with a peak of maybe a few years with slightly above average to above average production.

For the life of me, though, I can't quite figure out why the Reds (and Reds fans) have a problem with that type of player. League average players aren't stars, but they do have quite a bit of value, especially when their service time clock is still well under the six mark.

lollipopcurve
06-11-2008, 07:42 PM
Hairston is a career back-up with a career worth of being bad. A 100 at-bat hot streak doesn't change him from being an awful player.

Hairston's been great this year. You can't deny that.

reds44
06-11-2008, 07:58 PM
Hairston's been great this year. You can't deny that.
So that means he should play everyday on a team that is rebuilding?

Let the 25 year old 3rd baseman play.

Kc61
06-11-2008, 08:31 PM
Do you think the Cardinals would play a guy with EE's numbers and defense as their everyday third baseman? I don't.

EE has had over 1,500 major league plate appearances and right now is hitting under .242 with a sub-.800 OPS and ten errors. If the Reds intend to have Gonzo at short and Kepp at third later this year, I can't blame them. And from an offensive viewpoint, if they could hit Hairston and Kepp as their first and second hitters, they'd be better off.

The Reds have shown a commitment to young players but at some point I can't blame them for turning to more consistent players who make fewer mistakes.

Around here, if you are young and come from the Reds farm you are golden. Some of them are. Some not so much.

Will M
06-11-2008, 08:32 PM
And then bring him back 2 weeks later when he wakes up and feasts on AAA pitching.

EE has always played better when he's playing for his job.

Does he even realize that he's playing for his job right now??

well said.

last year he started hitting once kep showed up and there was someone the team could play at 3B besides him. once the only decent 3B option is himself EE seems to take a paid vacation on the fans dollar

Cyclone792
06-11-2008, 08:49 PM
Around here, if you are young and come from the Reds farm you are golden. Some of them are. Some not so much.

Actually the accurate statement is if you are league average and play for the Reds, you are disliked by the vast majority of the fan base.

Reds fans suffer from what I term the mythical player who doesn't exist. A player develops hype in the minor leagues, perhaps he has a hot streak, and the common fan base heaps unrealistic expectations upon that player. Anything short of those expectations, and that player is crapped on by the media and fan base. Edwin Encarnacion had pretty big numbers in Louisville, and the fan base suddenly expects that to be his big league norm. When he's only average, people think he stinks. Meanwhile he suffers from the same error symptoms that plague the vast majority of young players during their first few big league seasons.

It all started with Adam Dunn, and it's been blowing up with numerous other young players ever since then.

Encarnacion's OPS is 50 points HIGHER than the major league average, and his defense is improving. He isn't part of this team's problem, not even close.

You want to know what *is* part of this team's problem? Ignoring what the real problems are while falsely addressing issues that aren't problems.

RedsManRick
06-11-2008, 08:50 PM
Do you think the Cardinals would play a guy with EE's numbers and defense as their everyday third baseman? I don't.

EE has had over 1,500 major league plate appearances and right now is hitting under .242 with a sub-.800 OPS and ten errors. If the Reds intend to have Gonzo at short and Kepp at third later this year, I can't blame them. And from an offensive viewpoint, if they could hit Hairston and Kepp as their first and second hitters, they'd be better off.

The Reds have shown a commitment to young players but at some point I can't blame them for turning to more consistent players who make fewer mistakes.

Around here, if you are young and come from the Reds farm you are golden. Some of them are. Some not so much.

Are you seroiusly claiming that the 32 year old Jerry Hairston, he of the .257/.327/.363 career line in nearly 3000 plate appearances and whose career high OPS is less than EE's average OPS is "more consistent" than EE?

I find it hilarious that a guy's hot streak is now the basis for an argument that he's more consistent than a 25 year old with better career numbers across the board. If you want to make the argument that Hairston is hot and we want to ride it out, fine, I could see that. (ignoring that EE is the hottest hitter on the Reds in the month of June) But any suggestion that Hairston is likely to be the better player over the remainder of the season is just plain laughable.

Highlifeman21
06-11-2008, 09:15 PM
Hairston's been great this year. You can't deny that.

Small sample size.

Hypothetically, had he not suffered the thumb injury, how much longer would he have kept overachieving?

The thumb injury may be a blessing in disguise. We rode the Hairston train probably as long as we could have and should have.

Kc61
06-11-2008, 09:18 PM
To anwer some of the last posts.

If it can be shown that EE is a league average offensive and defensive starting third baseman, that's fine with me. I don't expect a mythical third baseman. But his .240 BA, .770 OPS, and ten errors by early June seem below league average to me. I could be wrong, sure.

I don't expect Jerry Hairston to hit .340 forever. I understand that at some point his numbers will normalize to some degree. But I don't agree that the Reds should bench a hot ballplayer based on his baseball card, particularly a player like Hairston who's been hurt for two years (so his baseball card is a little stale).

At some point production has to trump potential.

Cyclone792
06-11-2008, 09:29 PM
To anwer some of the last posts.

If it can be shown that EE is a league average offensive and defensive starting third baseman, that's fine with me. I don't expect a mythical third baseman. But his .240 BA, .770 OPS, and ten errors by early June seem below league average to me. I could be wrong, sure.

I don't expect Jerry Hairston to hit .340 forever. I understand that at some point his numbers will normalize to some degree. But I don't agree that the Reds should bench a hot ballplayer based on his baseball card, particularly a player like Hairston who's been hurt for two years (so his baseball card is a little stale).

At some point production has to trump potential.

Encarnacion's career OPS is about 15 points higher than the MLB average 3B OPS. His OPS this season is just about right on the MLB average 3B OPS. His OPS+ is 101, and that's already park adjusted. His RC/27 is 5.6, slightly above average. His adjusted batting runs are 2.0 (where zero is league average). For his career, his offense is slightly above average for a third baseman. For this year, it's roughly average.

While his defense is below average, it's improving and his current deficiencies aren't so much that they're destroying his value.

Overall, the guy is a league average third baseman, and as I said earlier, I don't understand why people have problems with that. This team needs to fix its holes by filling them with league average players rather than crapping on the guys they do have that actually are league average players.

RedsManRick
06-11-2008, 09:52 PM
Hairston's been great this year. You can't deny that.

But there's the rub. Nobody would deny that Hairston has had a nice 100 AB. Unfortunately, "Has been" doesn't help you win the game tomorrow. From the next at bat forward, EE is the better bet to be the more productive player. When you make out a lineup, yesterday's performance is only important in so far as it informs what might happen today.

Kc61
06-11-2008, 10:02 PM
Encarnacion's career OPS is about 15 points higher than the MLB average 3B OPS. His OPS this season is just about right on the MLB average 3B OPS. His OPS+ is 101, and that's already park adjusted. His RC/27 is 5.6, slightly above average. His adjusted batting runs are 2.0 (where zero is league average). For his career, his offense is slightly above average for a third baseman. For this year, it's roughly average.

While his defense is below average, it's improving and his current deficiencies aren't so much that they're destroying his value.

Overall, the guy is a league average third baseman, and as I said earlier, I don't understand why people have problems with that. This team needs to fix its holes by filling them with league average players rather than crapping on the guys they do have that actually are league average players.

EE's lifetime numbers don't mean much to me because they are inflated by his first few months of 2006. Became a starting player then and started off hot. Pitchers adjusted. EE hasn't ever really adjusted back. Look at the numbers from mid-2006 to today, which are more reflective of his current performance.

As for EE being average for a third baseman this year, of the 15 starting third basemen in the NL this year (Houston splits the position) going into tonight 8 had a higher OPS than EE, 6 had a lower OPS. So he's slightly below league average on offense.

There's no disagreement on his defense. Good range, occasional spectacular plays, high error total.

Cyclone792
06-11-2008, 10:24 PM
EE's lifetime numbers don't mean much to me because they are inflated by his first few months of 2006. Became a starting player then and started off hot. Pitchers adjusted. EE hasn't ever really adjusted back. Look at the numbers from mid-2006 to today, which are more reflective of his current performance.

That must be why his OPS since the ASB in 2006 is right on his career average then.

Kc, no offense, but you haven't researched any of what you just stated and it's showing.


As for EE being average for a third baseman, I would like to see the numbers. Is that for starting players or does it include bench players as well? Hard to believe that his current numbers are average or better for a starting third baseman.

www.baseball-reference.com ... they're there.

Kc61
06-11-2008, 10:45 PM
That must be why his OPS since the ASB in 2006 is right on his career average then.

Kc, no offense, but you haven't researched any of what you just stated and it's showing.



www.baseball-reference.com ... they're there.

As my post indicates, EE is number nine in OPS for starting NL third basemen this year. And if the San Francisco guy has a couple of good games, EE will be number 10. Accordingly, EE is slightly below league average in the OPS rankings this year. (This doesn't include the Astros who apparently split the position, with Wigginton having a higher OPS than EE and Blum a lower OPS.)

And that's on offense. Draw your own conclusions about defense.

As for his numbers for 2006, you are right, he didn't start his decline at the All Star break. His bad streak started late that year (.560 OPS for Sept/Oct), was under .800 last year, and is about .770 for this year. If that's what you want, you've got it.

Spring~Fields
06-11-2008, 10:48 PM
Do you think the Cardinals would play a guy with EE's numbers and defense as their everyday third baseman? I don't. EE has had over 1,500 major league plate appearances and right now is hitting under .242 with a sub-.800 OPS and ten errors. If the Reds intend to have Gonzo at short and Kepp at third later this year, I can't blame them. And from an offensive viewpoint, if they could hit Hairston and Kepp as their first and second hitters, they'd be better off.

The Reds have shown a commitment to young players but at some point I can't blame them for turning to more consistent players who make fewer mistakes.

Around here, if you are young and come from the Reds farm you are golden. Some of them are. Some not so much.

I am not so sure about the Cardinals comment at the top.

I honestly believe that the Cardinals manager and coaching staff could take quite few of the Reds players including EE, along with several of the Reds pitchers and improve them over what they appear to be for the Reds, at least I would be afraid to bet against it.

Kc61
06-11-2008, 10:50 PM
I am not so sure about the Cardinals comment at the top.

I honestly believe that the Cardinals manager and coaching staff could take quite few of the Reds players including EE, along with several of the Reds pitchers and improve them over what they appear to be for the Reds, at least I would be afraid to bet against it.

My point is that the Cards wouldn't play somebody with EE's performance numbers on offense and defense. You may be right that those numbers would be better with different coaching.

Cyclone792
06-11-2008, 10:51 PM
As my post indicates, EE is number nine in OPS for starting NL third basemen this year. And if the San Francisco guy has a couple of good games, EE will be number 10. Also Wigginton of Houston is higher, but is not included because he splits the position with Blum (who is lower than EE). My read is that EE is slightly below league average in the OPS rankings this year.

And that's in offense. Draw your own conclusions about defense.

As for his numbers for 2006, you are right, that he didn't start his decline at the All Star break. His bad streak started late that year (.560 OPS for Sept/Oct), was under .800 last year, and is about .770 for this year. If that's what you want, you've got it.

The league average OPS for a 3B is .777 this season. Last season it was .784.

He's league average, and I'm fine with that. Apparently you're not fine with that, which is befuddling while also proving my same exact original point that it blows my mind when people are upset with league average production.

People don't understand just how valuable league average is. If the Reds filled all their holes with league average players, they'd be the best team in the NL right now.

RedsManRick
06-11-2008, 10:54 PM
My point is that the Cards wouldn't play somebody with EE's performance numbers on offense and defense. You may be right that those numbers would be better with different coaching.

Just curious how you are measuring defense. Errors?

reds44
06-11-2008, 10:55 PM
I wonder how many errors Edwin has post the last two and a half months. My guess? Not a lot.

Spring~Fields
06-11-2008, 10:58 PM
People don't understand just how valuable league average is. If the Reds filled all their holes with league average players, they'd be the best team in the NL right now.

I’ll admit it, I don’t understand it that much.

Without challenging you or anyone and no sarcasms could you explain it just bit? Or is it one of the longer subjects that would be asking too much in the way of taking up your time ? I don’t want to ask someone to spend a bunch of time on a subject that I should probably research and use my own time to do it.

MWM
06-11-2008, 11:01 PM
Kc, have you seen Glaus play defense?

Kc61
06-11-2008, 11:01 PM
The league average OPS for a 3B is .777 this season. Last season it was .784.

He's league average, and I'm fine with that. Apparently you're not fine with that, which is befuddling while also proving my same exact original point that it blows my mind when people are upset with league average production.

People don't understand just how valuable league average is. If the Reds filled all their holes with league average players, they'd be the best team in the NL right now.



Again, you have to differentiate between all third basemen and starting third basemen. General league wide averages include bench players.

There are fifteen full time starting third basemen in the NL this year and EE's OPS is ninth among them. Slightly below average.

In terms of defense, as I have said numerous times, EE has above average range, makes some great plays, but makes a relatively high number of errors.

EE shows promise on defense, hopefully he can cut down on the errors, but he needs to hit more.

Cyclone792
06-11-2008, 11:05 PM
I wonder how many errors Edwin has post the last two and a half months. My guess? Not a lot.

Since the beginning of last season, his age 24 season, Encarnacion has committed one error every eight games at third base.

Mike Schmidt (age 24-25): One error every 6.26 games
Eddie Mathews (age 24-25): One error every 7.24 games
George Brett (age 24-25): One error every 7.31 games
Wade Boggs (age 24-25): One error every 6.16 games

Those four guys are the four greatest overall third basemen in the history of the game. It's a good thing their respective teams didn't try to trade them or move to them to another position during their early struggles with errors.

fearofpopvol1
06-11-2008, 11:07 PM
Since the beginning of last season, his age 24 season, Encarnacion has committed one error every eight games at third base.

Mike Schmidt (age 24-25): One error every 6.26 games
Eddie Mathews (age 24-25): One error every 7.24 games
George Brett (age 24-25): One error every 7.31 games
Wade Boggs (age 24-25): One error every 6.16 games

Those four guys are the four greatest overall third basemen in the history of the game. It's a good thing their respective teams didn't try to trade them or move to them to another position during their early struggles with errors.

But in all fairness, and I'm going to take a guess without looking at numbers (so I could be wrong), but I'm guessing their offense (at those ages) were superior to EdE.

cincrazy
06-11-2008, 11:10 PM
So that means he should play everyday on a team that is rebuilding?

Let the 25 year old 3rd baseman play.

That seems to be the problem my friend. Our 25 year old 3rd baseman CAN'T play. At some point, the "he's young with a lot of potential" argument has to go out the window. People blamed Jerry Narron for his failures, and now the fingers are starting to go Dusty's way, when in reality, maybe EE just isn't very good.

reds44
06-11-2008, 11:11 PM
You could say Edwin's numbers this year are swayed due to an awful may.

April: .293/.369/.576
May: .172/.228/.247
June:. 290/.436/.581

reds44
06-11-2008, 11:14 PM
That seems to be the problem my friend. Our 25 year old 3rd baseman CAN'T play. At some point, the "he's young with a lot of potential" argument has to go out the window. People blamed Jerry Narron for his failures, and now the fingers are starting to go Dusty's way, when in reality, maybe EE just isn't very good.
Or maybe we should give him until he actually he hit his prime years to say one way or the other. It's not like he has been awful. He's been an average 3rd baseman and the ages of 23, 24, and now he is 25.

When you find me an actual upgrade, then come talk to me. Jerry Hairston isn't an actual upgrade.

Encarnacion's career line: .268/.344/.448
Hairston's career line: .257/.327/.363

fearofpopvol1
06-11-2008, 11:15 PM
You could say Edwin's numbers this year are swayed due to an awful may.

April: .293/.369/.576
May: .172/.228/.247
June:. 290/.436/.581

Yeah, but June is awfully young still. We'll see where he's at come the end of June. If his June numbers are similar, then he should receive the benefit of the doubt.

Cyclone792
06-11-2008, 11:18 PM
I’ll admit it, I don’t understand it that much.

Without challenging you or anyone and no sarcasms could you explain it just bit? Or is it one of the longer subjects that would be asking too much in the way of taking up your time ? I don’t want to ask someone to spend a bunch of time on a subject that I should probably research and use my own time to do it.

I'll use the pitching staff as ERA as the easiest example. It's not the best barometer to use, but it'll do since it's a quick'n dirty test.

For a Reds pitcher to be league average, and accouting for park effects, they'd need to post a 4.35 ERA. Now take every pitcher who has an ERA higher than 4.35 and adjust down to 4.35 and see how many "saved" earned runs that'd be. This is a rough estimate:

Arroyo: 11 runs
Cueto: 5 runs (before tonight)
Belisle: 9.5 runs
Lincoln: 1.5 runs
Fogg: 14 runs
Coffey: 3 runs
Bailey: 2 runs

That's 46 saved runs if you could snap your fingers and turn the performances of all those above pitchers into simply league average performance. Take 46 runs away from the runs allowed, and suddenly the Reds' runs allowed total is 278 rather than 324. Their pythag record would be 35-31 coming into tonight rather than 31-35.

Now do the same thing with the offense. You'd probably find another 40 or 50 runs there. Suddenly you've got a team that'd be +63 in run differential after 66 games. That's a pace of around a +150 run differential on the season, and that'd get you 95 wins. That'd sound pretty good, wouldn't it?

It's much easier (and cheaper) to upgrade poor or below average performance to merely average performance than it is to try to upgrade average performance to good performance. The best teams typically aren't the teams with the most star players; they're the teams with the fewest weaknesses.

Kc61
06-11-2008, 11:19 PM
Or maybe we should give him until he actually he hit his prime years to say one way or the other. It's not like he has been awful. He's been an average 3rd baseman and the ages of 23, 24, and now he is 25.

When you find me an actual upgrade, then come talk to me. Jerry Hairston isn't an actual upgrade.

Encarnacion's career line: .268/.344/.448
Hairston's career line: .257/.327/.363

Assume EE continues to put up numbers like this year --.240 average, .770 OPS, similar defense. How long should the Reds wait before they can try somebody else?

You refer to his prime years. Would you accept this play level until he's 26? 27? 28? 29?

Just curious what the time frame should be.

Cyclone792
06-11-2008, 11:19 PM
But in all fairness, and I'm going to take a guess without looking at numbers (so I could be wrong), but I'm guessing their offense (at those ages) were superior to EdE.

I'm not talking about their offense. I'm talking about the notion of a team being hellbent on moving a young guy away from third base simply because of error problems. Or worse, moving him to another team because of error problems.

Cyclone792
06-11-2008, 11:20 PM
That seems to be the problem my friend. Our 25 year old 3rd baseman CAN'T play. At some point, the "he's young with a lot of potential" argument has to go out the window. People blamed Jerry Narron for his failures, and now the fingers are starting to go Dusty's way, when in reality, maybe EE just isn't very good.

He's league average, but he can't play?

You're proving my point too.

cincrazy
06-11-2008, 11:21 PM
Or maybe we should give him until he actually he hit his prime years to say one way or the other. It's not like he has been awful. He's been an average 3rd baseman and the ages of 23, 24, and now he is 25.

When you find me an actual upgrade, then come talk to me. Jerry Hairston isn't an actual upgrade.

Encarnacion's career line: .268/.344/.448
Hairston's career line: .257/.327/.363

Really, Jerry Hairston isn't an upgrade over EE at this moment in time? I beg to differ. Until Hairston slows down (which he no doubt will), you play him at third. Edwin has had chance after chance after chance after chance. I don't think I've seen him hit one ball hard to right field all year, and his fielding still comes and goes as it pleases. It's Dusty's job to put the best players on the field, and right now Edwin isn't better than Hairston or Keppinger.

fearofpopvol1
06-11-2008, 11:24 PM
I'm not talking about their offense. I'm talking about the notion of a team being hellbent on moving a young guy away from third base simply because of error problems. Or worse, moving him to another team because of error problems.

Right, but I think those other teams held onto those players (or were more patient) because the stick more than made up for the errors. A fact that shouldn't be overlooked when talking comparing EdE to those greats.

Cyclone792
06-11-2008, 11:25 PM
Right, but I think those other teams held onto those players (or were more patient) because the stick more than made up for the errors. A fact that hasn't been overly convincing when talking about EdE.

I don't move a player who's providing league average offense with the stick and showing the same young player defensive tendencies that nearly every other young third baseman has shown.

Spring~Fields
06-11-2008, 11:36 PM
I'll use the pitching staff as ERA as the easiest example. It's not the best barometer to use, but it'll do since it's a quick'n dirty test.

For a Reds pitcher to be league average, and accouting for park effects, they'd need to post a 4.35 ERA. Now take every pitcher who has an ERA higher than 4.35 and adjust down to 4.35 and see how many "saved" earned runs that'd be. This is a rough estimate:

Arroyo: 11 runs
Cueto: 5 runs (before tonight)
Belisle: 9.5 runs
Lincoln: 1.5 runs
Fogg: 14 runs
Coffey: 3 runs
Bailey: 2 runs

That's 46 saved runs if you could snap your fingers and turn the performances of all those above pitchers into simply league average performance. Take 46 runs away from the runs allowed, and suddenly the Reds' runs allowed total is 278 rather than 324. Their pythag record would be 35-31 coming into tonight rather than 31-35.

Now do the same thing with the offense. You'd probably find another 40 or 50 runs there. Suddenly you've got a team that'd be +63 in run differential after 66 games. That's a pace of around a +150 run differential on the season, and that'd get you 95 wins. That'd sound pretty good, wouldn't it?

It's much easier (and cheaper) to upgrade poor or below average performance to merely average performance than it is to try to upgrade average performance to good performance. The best teams typically aren't the teams with the most star players; they're the teams with the fewest weaknesses.

Thank You Cyclone

Yes that would sound pretty good, and by using the pitchers I can grasp that quicker, you were right as I had just been studying those problem pitchers the other day and those are culprits on ERA. Meaning I was more familiar with them due to recent research.

So if I understand you correctly, teams want to define their below average players first. Then attempt to upgraded those below average players next to good or league average players, because the below average players are the weaknesses that are bringing a team down so to speak losely, and to just upgrade them to good/league average and it would be cheaper over a super star etc, and make a team overall better if they had a team of league average players, which in reality are pretty decent players.

And the above is good method to make these determinations, do I have the right understanding?

SMcGavin
06-11-2008, 11:38 PM
The league average OPS for a 3B is .777 this season. Last season it was .784.


I'm with you on playing EE, but are these numbers for everyone who started the game at 3B that season? If so, you can't really compare Encarnacion to those numbers unless he is playing all 162 games. You would come to the league average of .777 by something like:

Starter X plays 147 games at .800 OPS, Backup Y plays 15 games at .650 OPS = "league average" 3B OPS of .777.

If Edwin is exactly at league average, and his backup is below league average, the Reds got below average production from 3B that season. He needs to be compared to the other regular starters.

If the numbers you are citing are for regular starters only, my apologies.

IslandRed
06-11-2008, 11:38 PM
I don't move a player who's providing league average offense with the stick and showing the same young player defensive tendencies that nearly every other young third baseman has shown.

As a general rule, I agree.

It is worth mentioning, though, that while "nearly every other young third baseman" is error-prone, some of them develop the needed reliability and many never do. Sooner or later the team has to decide which one he's going to be. I guess it's a matter of opinion on when.

Spring~Fields
06-11-2008, 11:44 PM
Since the beginning of last season, his age 24 season, Encarnacion has committed one error every eight games at third base.

Mike Schmidt (age 24-25): One error every 6.26 games
Eddie Mathews (age 24-25): One error every 7.24 games
George Brett (age 24-25): One error every 7.31 games
Wade Boggs (age 24-25): One error every 6.16 games

Those four guys are the four greatest overall third basemen in the history of the game. It's a good thing their respective teams didn't try to trade them or move to them to another position during their early struggles with errors.

So actually EE is on a better pace at this age than some of those all time greats, and we fans are not looking deep enough since that is the case.

One in eight games for EE vs a one in every range of 6.16 to 7.31 games for the greats early in their career, making his progress ahead of theirs.

osuceltic
06-11-2008, 11:48 PM
A few of points that haven't been made:

1. Hairston-Encarnacion isn't as simple as comparing OPS numbers. Encarnacion is a No. 7 hitter. He isn't a guy who can bat at the top of the order, and he isn't a good enough hitter to be in the middle of the lineup. Hairston on the other hand, while he's on this role, gives the Reds something they lack -- a leadoff hitter. And he has provided a spark there.

2. Where is Encarnacion's improvement? Everyone points to his relative youth, and I'd agree if I saw him making any progress. He's not. He's the same mediocre hitter and lousy fielder he was when he joined the team. And he's one of several sleepwalkers on this team -- guys who play hard only occasionally and make far too many mental errors.

3. How do you explain to Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto and Jay Bruce and Aaron Harang that you're benching Hairston in favor of Encarnacion? "Well, guys, I know he's playing well and has been a sparkplug for us at the top of the order, but his career OPS suggests he's going to cool off at some point, so we're going to bench him now. Edwin may be struggling at the plate and in the field, but he's only 25 and he'll probably be a better player than Hairston two years from now. Besides, we don't really need a leadoff hitter." Dusty Baker has to look every member of that team in the eyes when he makes a decision, and benching one of the team's hottest players for a guy like Edwin isn't a good way to earn their respect -- and that matters.

4. Finally, Dusty's job is to win games. Period. The rest of the organization has to worry about development and building player value. Dusty has to worry about winning games. As long as Hairston was hitting the way he was, he was more valuable when it came to winning games. When he stopped hitting, then you make the switch. Not before.

*BaseClogger*
06-12-2008, 12:04 AM
3. How do you explain to Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto and Jay Bruce and Aaron Harang that you're benching Hairston in favor of Encarnacion? "Well, guys, I know he's playing well and has been a sparkplug for us at the top of the order, but his career OPS suggests he's going to cool off at some point, so we're going to bench him now. Edwin may be struggling at the plate and in the field, but he's only 25 and he'll probably be a better player than Hairston two years from now. Besides, we don't really need a leadoff hitter." Dusty Baker has to look every member of that team in the eyes when he makes a decision, and benching one of the team's hottest players for a guy like Edwin isn't a good way to earn their respect -- and that matters.

Dusty should just use the same defense he has for writing Griffey's name in the third spot in the lineup every night...

As for EE: I would leave him at 3B for the rest of the year, and make decisions about his future during the offseason. He deserves another full season to continue his developement and prove his worth...

Spring~Fields
06-12-2008, 12:06 AM
The league average OPS for a 3B is .777 this season. Last season it was .784.

He's league average, and I'm fine with that. Apparently you're not fine with that, which is befuddling while also proving my same exact original point that it blows my mind when people are upset with league average production.

People don't understand just how valuable league average is. If the Reds filled all their holes with league average players, they'd be the best team in the NL right now.

Oh, so that is what Rick or RMR is trying to get me to understand realistically when I am talking about moving this player or that player to get upgrades. Because for example EE is already league average and to improve a position player over that league average would be very difficult and probably too expensive, not to mention the other team would not want to let go of a very rare resource in a player that would be above league average. Low supply, high cost, making it unrealistic to move EE and to think he could be easily replaced, is that correct? Makes sense to me now.

cincrazy
06-12-2008, 12:06 AM
A few of points that haven't been made:

1. Hairston-Encarnacion isn't as simple as comparing OPS numbers. Encarnacion is a No. 7 hitter. He isn't a guy who can bat at the top of the order, and he isn't a good enough hitter to be in the middle of the lineup. Hairston on the other hand, while he's on this role, gives the Reds something they lack -- a leadoff hitter. And he has provided a spark there.

2. Where is Encarnacion's improvement? Everyone points to his relative youth, and I'd agree if I saw him making any progress. He's not. He's the same mediocre hitter and lousy fielder he was when he joined the team. And he's one of several sleepwalkers on this team -- guys who play hard only occasionally and make far too many mental errors.

3. How do you explain to Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto and Jay Bruce and Aaron Harang that you're benching Hairston in favor of Encarnacion? "Well, guys, I know he's playing well and has been a sparkplug for us at the top of the order, but his career OPS suggests he's going to cool off at some point, so we're going to bench him now. Edwin may be struggling at the plate and in the field, but he's only 25 and he'll probably be a better player than Hairston two years from now. Besides, we don't really need a leadoff hitter." Dusty Baker has to look every member of that team in the eyes when he makes a decision, and benching one of the team's hottest players for a guy like Edwin isn't a good way to earn their respect -- and that matters.

4. Finally, Dusty's job is to win games. Period. The rest of the organization has to worry about development and building player value. Dusty has to worry about winning games. As long as Hairston was hitting the way he was, he was more valuable when it came to winning games. When he stopped hitting, then you make the switch. Not before.

:notworthy

fearofpopvol1
06-12-2008, 01:02 AM
A few of points that haven't been made:

1. Hairston-Encarnacion isn't as simple as comparing OPS numbers. Encarnacion is a No. 7 hitter. He isn't a guy who can bat at the top of the order, and he isn't a good enough hitter to be in the middle of the lineup. Hairston on the other hand, while he's on this role, gives the Reds something they lack -- a leadoff hitter. And he has provided a spark there.

2. Where is Encarnacion's improvement? Everyone points to his relative youth, and I'd agree if I saw him making any progress. He's not. He's the same mediocre hitter and lousy fielder he was when he joined the team. And he's one of several sleepwalkers on this team -- guys who play hard only occasionally and make far too many mental errors.

3. How do you explain to Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto and Jay Bruce and Aaron Harang that you're benching Hairston in favor of Encarnacion? "Well, guys, I know he's playing well and has been a sparkplug for us at the top of the order, but his career OPS suggests he's going to cool off at some point, so we're going to bench him now. Edwin may be struggling at the plate and in the field, but he's only 25 and he'll probably be a better player than Hairston two years from now. Besides, we don't really need a leadoff hitter." Dusty Baker has to look every member of that team in the eyes when he makes a decision, and benching one of the team's hottest players for a guy like Edwin isn't a good way to earn their respect -- and that matters.

4. Finally, Dusty's job is to win games. Period. The rest of the organization has to worry about development and building player value. Dusty has to worry about winning games. As long as Hairston was hitting the way he was, he was more valuable when it came to winning games. When he stopped hitting, then you make the switch. Not before.

:thumbup:

Patrick Bateman
06-12-2008, 01:03 AM
Hairston's been great this year. You can't deny that.

I actually did the opposite of deying it. I recognized it, and still thought ti wasn't nearly enough to overpower his career in making an important decision.

Cyclone792
06-12-2008, 06:42 AM
I'm with you on playing EE, but are these numbers for everyone who started the game at 3B that season? If so, you can't really compare Encarnacion to those numbers unless he is playing all 162 games. You would come to the league average of .777 by something like:

Starter X plays 147 games at .800 OPS, Backup Y plays 15 games at .650 OPS = "league average" 3B OPS of .777.

If Edwin is exactly at league average, and his backup is below league average, the Reds got below average production from 3B that season. He needs to be compared to the other regular starters.

If the numbers you are citing are for regular starters only, my apologies.

Bench players account for such a small amount of plate appearances that it's neglible. You're talking about a difference of maybe 15 points of OPS, and that's not nearly enough to worry about. In fact, it's so small that Encarnacion's ability to avoid the GDP swallows the difference by itself.

Heath
06-12-2008, 07:27 AM
So, as some have argued, we discount EdE's hot '06, but we can focus in on his lack of a May of '08 as a reason that he will never be a "great player".

Huh?

Far East
06-12-2008, 07:47 AM
... It's much easier (and cheaper) to upgrade poor or below average performance to merely average performance than it is to try to upgrade average performance to good performance. The best teams typically aren't the teams with the most star players; they're the teams with the fewest weaknesses.
That entire post is so lucid, concise, and logical regarding analysis of team weaknesses and upgrading!

What Reds' positions are above, below, or at league average? I particularly wonder about the catchers.

Cyclone792
06-12-2008, 08:15 AM
That entire post is so lucid, concise, and logical regarding analysis of team weaknesses and upgrading!

What Reds' positions are above, below, or at league average? I particularly wonder about the catchers.

It roughly shapes out like this:

Above average: 2nd base, shortstop, left field
Average: 1st base, 3rd base
Below average: Starting pitcher, relief pitcher*, catcher, center field*, right field, bench

I placed an * next to relief pitcher and center field for more explanation. Reds relievers are actually doing a significantly better job this season than in previous seasons. Cordero, Burton, Bray, and Affeldt have been a pretty effective quartet of relievers to rely on. If the Reds can maintain that type of production out of their top four while also adding another above average relief pitcher, then the bullpen would be in decent shape.

Center field was well below average until Jay Bruce was called up (thank you, Corey Patterson and Dusty Baker). Technically it's now all the way to overall average production on the season; Bruce has been that good so far in just two weeks. Moving forward, his presence will clean up either the CF or RF weakness.

puca
06-12-2008, 08:37 AM
A few of points that haven't been made:

1. Hairston-Encarnacion isn't as simple as comparing OPS numbers. Encarnacion is a No. 7 hitter. He isn't a guy who can bat at the top of the order, and he isn't a good enough hitter to be in the middle of the lineup. Hairston on the other hand, while he's on this role, gives the Reds something they lack -- a leadoff hitter. And he has provided a spark there.
.

What makes Hairston so qualified to be a leadoff hitter? His career .327 OBP? His speed? His hot streak? It is an indefensible position unless it is based on his current hot streak. And in that case, where were the calls for Bako to bat cleanup this April?

As a reminder, at age 25 Jerry Hairston (yes, that Jerry Hairston) put up this line:



AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG
532 63 124 25 5 8 47 29 11 44 73 .233 .305 .344


Until this year, he has really not done much better. Unless Jerry has suddenly discovered some serious mojo at age 32, his historical record tells us that his OBP is more likely to be .320 than .380 for the rest of the season.


Has EE been given ample opportunity to take the 3b job and run with it? Yes.
Has he done so? No.
Should he lose his job if someone better long term or dramtically better short term comes along? Sure.
Is Jerry Hairston that player? Not in my opinion.

RichRed
06-12-2008, 09:44 AM
A few of points that haven't been made:

1. Hairston-Encarnacion isn't as simple as comparing OPS numbers. Encarnacion is a No. 7 hitter. He isn't a guy who can bat at the top of the order, and he isn't a good enough hitter to be in the middle of the lineup.

He's a number 7 hitter because Dusty, et al, have decided he's a number 7 hitter. For what it's worth, Encarnacion's career numbers in the cleanup spot look like this (in 228 PAs):

.274/.360/.508/.868 OPS - 10 HR, 32 RBI

I'm curious who you feel the other "sleepwalkers" on the team are.

MartyFan
06-12-2008, 10:33 AM
And then bring him back 2 weeks later when he wakes up and feasts on AAA pitching.

EE has always played better when he's playing for his job.

Does he even realize that he's playing for his job right now??

And this is why there is a real danger he will never "blossom" as the player he could be in Cincinnati.

Are there any other 3b options close to the MLB in the Reds system? Attainable FA?

If not, that means the pressure has to come from one of the Super Subs on the roster with him...which, if they do the job, their job should not be threatened just because EE decided he actually wants to play to his potential.

If EE were a little older and the club were doing any better than it is right now, I would say SHIP HIM OUT...but...The whole team is in the "Young and Learning" mode right now which says to me that there is a chance that he could come around this year...maybe next.

Always Red
06-12-2008, 10:56 AM
And this is why there is a real danger he will never "blossom" as the player he could be in Cincinnati.

Are there any other 3b options close to the MLB in the Reds system? Attainable FA?

If not, that means the pressure has to come from one of the Super Subs on the roster with him...which, if they do the job, their job should not be threatened just because EE decided he actually wants to play to his potential.

If EE were a little older and the club were doing any better than it is right now, I would say SHIP HIM OUT...but...The whole team is in the "Young and Learning" mode right now which says to me that there is a chance that he could come around this year...maybe next.

No one close yet that I know of.

As for me, I'd put EE at 3B everyday for the rest of this season and not think twice about it. He's a conundrum- he has all the talent in the world, but sometimes he seems to easily lose focus, and winds up being too impatient at the dish, not getting his feet under himself when throwing, making baserunning gaffes, for example. He has experience, so I would expect that he would be a little more professional in his approach. His problem is NOT that he doesn't work hard- we've been hearing all year how hard he works off the field. But there are times when he just seems to be in a fog, mentally.

Well, there is no one else close to being able to handle the job everyday, IMO. Keppinger is not an everyday 3B, again in my opinion. EE has won the job- now it's his to keep or lose. I have no statistical data to back up my own hunch, but it just seems to me that Eddie plays better when he gets taken out of the lineup on occasion. Maybe he's just the kind of player who plays better with a chip on his shoulder??

BTW, league average is fine, in my book. It's, well, average. It just doesn't seem right though, that if you have a lineup and pitching staff full of average players, that you will win 95 games. I don't doubt Cyclones work, he is very thorough, and I have a lot of respect for what he does here for us. It just SEEMS counter-intuitive that if you put a completely average team, across the board in every slot, out on the field every day that you can expect to win 95 games.

Cyclone792
06-12-2008, 11:00 AM
BTW, league average is fine, in my book. It's, well, average. It just doesn't seem right though, that if you have a lineup and pitching staff full of average players, that you will win 95 games. I don't doubt Cyclones work, he is very thorough, and I have a lot of respect for what he does here for us. It just SEEMS counter-intuitive that if you put a completely average team, across the board in every slot, out on the field every day that you can expect to win 95 games.

That's not quite what I meant.

What I meant was if you took every Reds player currently performing below average and replaced them with average production, this team would likely win 95 games. That means you're leaving guys such as Dunn, Volquez, Phillips, etc. alone so that they keep producing what they've been producing.

Always Red
06-12-2008, 11:22 AM
That's not quite what I meant.

What I meant was if you took every Reds player currently performing below average and replaced them with average production, this team would likely win 95 games. That means you're leaving guys such as Dunn, Volquez, Phillips, etc. alone so that they keep producing what they've been producing.

OK, I got it now- sorry about that!! :D

RedsManRick
06-12-2008, 11:26 AM
To provide some more context for the "EE is roughly league average and that is a very valuable thing" argument, here is what PECOTA sees in EE's future. PECOTA is not fate. Put simply, it looks at what guys most like EE have did in their careers, averages them out, and adjusts for a whole bunch of things specfic to EE. PECOTA has proven to be the single most accurate prediction system for player performance.

For the counting stats, realize that PECOTA assume some PA lost to injury, so you'll see his PA total only about 140 games. I'd rather not show them at all because PECOTA tends to be less accurate due to their dependence on playing time (playing time is more difficult to predict than performance), but I realize some people conceptualize performance/value best in that way. If EE plays a standard full season and accrues 650 PA, you can add about 15% to those. Also, realize that this projection the mid-point in a band of a broad set of possible outcomes, both higher and lower, particularly when looking at a single season. EE could flame out or he could turn in to Scott Rolen -- this is simply the average path. Lastly, no, his horrible slump in May does not alter this projection. If he finishes the season with his current number, it would, but that's a long ways off.



Year PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG EqA OWARP DWARP WARP MORP
2008 (age 25) 561 80 23 80 8 0.285 0.356 0.493 0.282 2.7 1.7 4.4 $10,175,000
2009 (age 26) 546 79 23 78 8 0.288 0.363 0.499 0.286 2.9 1.6 4.5 $11,025,000
2010 (age 27) 567 85 25 84 8 0.289 0.362 0.507 0.288 2.9 1.5 4.4 $11,575,000
2011 (age 28) 527 76 23 80 8 0.287 0.360 0.504 0.286 2.7 1.4 4.1 $11,225,000
2012 (age 29) 535 80 24 82 9 0.292 0.369 0.513 0.292 2.7 1.2 3.9 $11,725,000
2013 (age 30) 522 75 23 81 7 0.290 0.365 0.509 0.289 2.4 1.1 3.5 $10,750,000
2014 (age 31) 525 72 21 76 6 0.281 0.356 0.488 0.281 2.0 1.1 3.0 $8,875,000

Glossary:
EqA (Equivalent Average): A measure of total offensive value per out, with corrections for league offensive level, home park, and team pitching. EQA considers batting as well as baserunning, but not the value of a position player's defense. Scaled such that .260 is always league average and can be interpreted like batting average (.280 is good, .300 is very good, .330 is league leading, etc.)

WARP (Wins Above Replacement Player): The number of wins this player contributed, above what a replacement level hitter, fielder, and pitcher would have done, with adjustments only for within the season. O, Offense. D, Defense.

MORP (Marginal Value Above Replacement Player): MORP is modeled based on the actual behavior of recent free agent markets, and accounts for non-linearity in the market price of baseball talent (e.g. teams are willing to pay more for one 6-win player than two 3-win players). A player's MORP includes the major league minimum salary of $380,000 for 2007. Further, in a player's Five-Year Forecast, we assume salary inflation of 8% per year through 2010. For 2007, a player's MORP is estimated as follows: 1200000*(WARP^1.5) + 380000.

I could post Jerry Hairston's, but suffice it to say that his total WARP over the remainder of his career is 3.0. Hairston is essentially the definition of a replacement level player. Allowing a hot steak to obscure that fact would be a horrible mistake for this organization.

Benihana
06-12-2008, 11:35 AM
I have always been an EdE fan, but with the glut of talent that has been arriving over the last few months, coupled with the recent Phillips extension, here are my thoughts:

I would let EdE play everyday the remainder of this season, and the first half of next season at 3B. By this time next year, it will be time to make a decision on him. He will be entering arbitration (and thus getting significantly more expensive), but more importantly, it's looking like Todd Frazier should probably be ready for the big leagues by sometime late next season. There are a lot of variables involved with that, but assuming that Frazier is ready to play everyday in the big leagues by next August, it will make it even more critical to make a permanent decision on Encarnacion. Either he's our 3B for the next four years, or he should be traded by mid-2009. We have to commit one way or another. Furthermore I think that if Dunn is re-signed, Edwin is definitely out the door. We have to set aside a good amount of money for the long term for this year's rookies (Bruce, Votto, Volquez and Cueto.) In the meantime however, I'd like to EdE play everyday between now and this time next season, so that the new braintrust can gather enough information to make the right decision.

RedsManRick
06-12-2008, 11:40 AM
Benihana, I think that is a very well reasoned approach. If EE does not take another step forward AND another potentially superior option is ready behind him, then it's time to show him the door. In the mean time, he should be given every opportunity to live up to his potential. You're right, EE will be arb eligible for the first time pre-2009, and will start to earn real money in 2010 (I'm guessing he'll get something like $3.5M in '09). At that point, the cost benefit starts to become an issue. But today, just leave him alone, let him get experience, and focus on the areas of the team that can be improved in the short term.

SMcGavin
06-12-2008, 11:48 AM
Bench players account for such a small amount of plate appearances that it's neglible. You're talking about a difference of maybe 15 points of OPS, and that's not nearly enough to worry about. In fact, it's so small that Encarnacion's ability to avoid the GDP swallows the difference by itself.

In 2006, the only year I have data for, the league average 3B had an OPS of .805. The average for starters (defined as the 25 guys who got the most starts at 3B) was .838. That's more than a neglible difference.

RedsManRick
06-12-2008, 11:54 AM
In 2006, the only year I have data for, the league average 3B had an OPS of .805. The average for starters (defined as the 25 guys who got the most starts at 3B) was .838. That's more than a neglible difference.

Take a look at ESPN's sortable stats. IMO, they still have the best interface for this type of querying.

I think the key point not being explicitly discussed is that benching EE today isn't just a straight exchange of his production for somebody else's. What you are doing by benching him is essentially putting him on a trajectory in which he is unlikely to ever give you the sort of value you're looking for. You deprive him of the opportunity to become better and create a slippery slope whereby it's hard for him to ever get back on track to be an everyday regular.

It's one thing to do that with a 29 year old with 2,500 PA who has gone through his peak and never arrived, it's quite another to do it to a 25 year old with 1,500 PA. This is the point when he should be turning the corner, give or take a year. You cut bait after he's failed to turn the corner, not in the middle of the process, and certainly not when you don't have a notably better option.

Cyclone792
06-12-2008, 12:05 PM
In 2006, the only year I have data for, the league average 3B had an OPS of .805. The average for starters (defined as the 25 guys who got the most starts at 3B) was .838. That's more than a neglible difference.

All 3B plate appearances need to be counted. If you're not counting all 3B plate appearances, then you're eliminating teams who suffered injuries or had lousy all around third basemen. Those guys need to be accounted for in order to get an accurate data set.

cincrazy
06-12-2008, 12:25 PM
So, as some have argued, we discount EdE's hot '06, but we can focus in on his lack of a May of '08 as a reason that he will never be a "great player".

Huh?

I'm not discounting his 06. He's always shown flashes, but he's never been able to consistently put it together. Maybe 2006 was nothing more than a career year? The league has clearly adjusted to him, and IMO, I haven't seen that many adjustments that he's made. He's constantly off balanace in the batter's box, and sometimes he may as well go up there swining on just one foot. Hey, if Edwin can get hot and carry it into next year for a whole season, I'll gladly eat a huge helping of crow. I have nothing against Edwin, I hope he turns a corner.

But I'll say it again, Dusty's job is to win games. And RIGHT NOW, as of this moment, Keppinger and Hairston give him the best opportunity to do that. Maybe that'll change by the end of this month, or the end of July, but as of right now, that's the case.

Kc61
06-12-2008, 12:43 PM
All 3B plate appearances need to be counted. If you're not counting all 3B plate appearances, then you're eliminating teams who suffered injuries or had lousy all around third basemen. Those guys need to be accounted for in order to get an accurate data set.


Disagree. The repetition of this "league average" thing imeans little to me because folks are using all third basemen, including substitutes. Nobody is arguing that EE is below average when compared to utility infielders. Including them misses the point, which is a comparison to starting third sackers.

Just take a look at the stats for the third basemen with "starter's" at bats.

This year there are 15 starting third basemen in the NL. EE's OPS is 9th. He is just slightly ahead of Jose Castillo who is 10th (.761 to .758).

Reach any conclusion you want, but let's compare apples to apples.

(If you don't like the absence of one team from the list, add in Houston, which splits third base. Add in both halves of that platoon, and EE is 10th on the list of 17 "starting" third basemen.)

Just based on a quick glance, last year EE did produce a league average OPS at third among starting players at that position. This year, slightly below.

gm
06-12-2008, 12:53 PM
EdE is at a disadvantage when compared to the other NL 3rd basemen. He hasn't had the opportunity to bat against the Red's pitching staff. "Perhaps" those hypothetical PAs would increase his "slightly below average" OPS to "slightly above average"? (ABs vs Red's pitchers did wonders for Cantu and Ross, no?)

My opinion? Shine EdE up and sell him high. Last month he was raking, but it was too early in the season for rival GMs to be in "dealing mode" (and the contenders didn't have a major hole to fill at 3b due to injury, etc) Currently, the streaky-hitting EdE is back down in the roller-coster valley again. Eventually he'll get hot. Make the best deal you can when he's back on a roll (hopefully in late July)

Because we all know (or should know) that when Kepp and Gonzo are healthy, they will be starting at 3b and SS for Dusty Baker

RedsManRick
06-12-2008, 01:06 PM
All 3B plate appearances need to be counted. If you're not counting all 3B plate appearances, then you're eliminating teams who suffered injuries or had lousy all around third basemen. Those guys need to be accounted for in order to get an accurate data set.

I can't echo this enough. Failure to do this means you ignore the reality of how the game works. Every team is going to get 162 games worth of plate appearances from somebody playing 3B. 650 PA of an .800 OPS from one guy is more valuable than 450 PA of an .840 OPS and 200 of a replacement level OPS from a backup. Those plate appearances are real, they count just as much.

Durability is a skill and it's one that should be properly valued. Rate stats are great for comparing ability. But production is function of ability applied over time. Teams pay for production. Taken to an extreme, if a guy could give you 200 PA of a 1.200 OPS, but you had to use a replacement level guy the rest of the time, would you take that pair over a single .850 OPS guy? While clearly the 1.200 OPS guy is more talented, a better player, that doesn't make him more productive/valuable if he can't stay on the field. Simply assuming that a lack of PA is due to the choice of the manager (and assuming equal opportunity to produce given a set of rate stats) is just not reality.

If Edwin is slightly less productive on a per time unit bases than another guy but is able to get more plate appearances because he's more durable, then he is the more valuable player -- if not the "better" one.

redsrule2500
06-12-2008, 01:08 PM
gotta agree with dusty..field the best team to win. How can you argue that? wow.

Kc61
06-12-2008, 01:09 PM
I can't echo this enough. Failure to do this means you ignore the reality of how the game works. Every team is going to get 162 games worth of plate appearances from somebody playing 3B. 600 PA of an .800 OPS from one guy is more valuable than 400 PA of an .840 OPS and 200 of a .700 OPS from two. Those plate appearances are real, they count just as much.

Durability is a skill and it's one that should be properly valued.

So you're not comparing EE to other starters. You're comparing the Reds 3B performance overall to other teams' third base performance overall.

IMO this tells you less about the individual and more about the team's performance at a particular position. That's why I prefer to compare EE to other starting players.

The fact that some third basemen were less durable is a separate discussion based on separate stats. Not unimportant, just separate from the OPS based discussion. If you want to argue that he was able bodied and had a lot of PAs or ABs, that's a legitimate argument, but different from the OPS discussion.

Cyclone792
06-12-2008, 01:18 PM
Disagree. The repetition of this "league average" thing imeans little to me because folks are using all third basemen, including substitutes. Nobody is arguing that EE is below average when compared to utility infielders. Including them misses the point, which is a comparison to starting third sackers.

Just take a look at the stats for the third basemen with "starter's" at bats.

This year there are 15 starting third basemen in the NL. EE's OPS is 9th. He is just slightly ahead of Jose Castillo who is 10th (.761 to .758).

Reach any conclusion you want, but let's compare apples to apples.

(If you don't like the absence of one team from the list, add in Houston, which splits third base. Add in both halves of that platoon, and EE is 10th on the list of 17 "starting" third basemen.)

Just based on a quick glance, last year EE did produce a league average OPS at third among starting players at that position. This year, slightly below.

You're using an invalid data set.

If you're going to be making a comparison, then you need a valid data set.

Spring~Fields
06-12-2008, 01:20 PM
Birth Date January 7, 1983 age 25
Encarncion Three Splits (2005 - 2007 )
AVG OBP SLG OPS
.273 .348 .450 .798

Home
.284 .370 .471 .841
Away
.265 .328 .432 .760

Vs left
.264 .367 .447 .814
Vs right
.277 .340 .452 .792


Three year (2005-2007)
By Batting Order AB AVG OBP SLG OPS
Batting #1 3 .333 .333 1.333 1.666
Batting #2 22 .273 .304 .273 .577
Batting #3 38 .158 .220 .158 .378
Total 1-3 63 AB, (2005-2007) ( 0 AB above the 4 in 2008)

Batting #4 185 .286 .373 .535 .908
Batting #5 195 .231 .317 .323 .640
Batting #6 244 .283 .360 .471 .831
Batting #7 234 .346 .410 .538 .948
Batting #8 180 .222 .286 .422 .708
Batting #9 18 .278 .381 .500 .881

Batting fourth in only 185 AB Encarncion produced the following
.373 OBP, .535 SLG, .908 OPS

Above the 4 hole,
Encarncion has had only 63 chances in his 4 seasons,( 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008) with the Reds to bat above the 4 hole, with the cover of a Griffey, Dunn or other productive batter behind him.
Encarncion has been used as the step-child to run cover for the other batters since he has been with the Reds, never getting a real shot to see what he could do in the 4, 3, 2, or 1 with quality batters behind him.

When he was given an opportunity in the 4 holes in a limited 185 AB, he produced, .373 OBP, .535 SLG, .908 OPS.

Look at what Encarncion has done batting in the six or seven hole with the hot hitting pitcher and catcher coming up behind in the order as the opposite side pitchers have thrown whatever slop they could at Encarncion because they had no worries after him with the catcher and pitcher coming up.

3 year stats 2005-2007
Batting #6 244 .283 .360 .471 .831
Batting #7 234 .346 .410 .538 .948


If I wrote on the board, lets give Jay Bruce, Adam Dunn, Joey Votto or the aged Griffey Jr. a chance to hit above the 4 slots, but only give them 63 chances the board would rightly jump all over me for drawing a final conclusion based on 63 at bats. Especially with some of those fine managers that have been fired that Encarncion played under.

Give Encarncion a large sample of AB or PA ahead of either Bruce, Votto, Griffey or Dunn in the 2, 3, or 4 slots and let’s see if we are sure that we are unhappy with him. Let him get comfortable and confident with solid batters behind him, see what pitches the other side throw him and let’s see how Encarncion does under those conditions with a large sample of AB or PA. Stop handling him as if he is a third world country batter, then lets see who Encarncion really is at the plate, and maybe even in the field.



2005 Age 22 June 2005 Jerry Narron Manager
Batting#1 0 chances
Batting#2 6 .333 .333 .333 .666
Batting#3 0 chances
Batting#4 0 chances
Batting#5 2 .000 .000 .000 .000
Batting#6 5 .000 .000 .000 .000
Batting#7 61 .361 .443 .705 1.148
Batting#8 124 .185 .257 .355 .612
Batting#9 13 .154 .267 .231 .498

2006 Age 23 Manager Jerry Narron
Batting#1 0 chances
Batting#2 16 .250 .294 .250 .544
Batting#3 38 .158 .220 .158 .378
Batting#4 144 .299 .374 .569 .943
Only in 2006
Did Encarncion have 144 chances from the 4 hole up
And he produced .374 OBP, .569 SLG, .943 OPS
Batting#5 59 .237 .343 .356 .699
Batting#6 92 .293 .375 .543 .918
Batting#7 47 .298 .393 .489 .882
Batting#8 7 .286 .375 .571 .946
Batting#9 3 .667 .750 .667 1.417

2007 Age 24 Manager Jerry Narron - July 1, 2007, Pete Mackanin July - Fall 2007
Batting#1 3 .333 .333 1.333 1.666
Batting#2 0 chances
Batting#3 0 chances
Batting#4 41.244 .367 .415 .782
Batting#5 134 .231 .309 .313 .622
Batting#6 147 .286 .361 .442 .803
Batting#7 126 .357 .400 .476 .876
Batting#8 49 .306 .346 .571 .917
Batting#9 2 .500 .500 2.000 2.500

2008 Age 25 Manager Dusty Baker
Batting#1 0 chances
Batting#2 0 chances
Batting#3 0 chances
Batting#4 12 .083 .154 .083 .237
Batting#5 26 .154 .267 .192 .459
Batting#6 144 .250 .331 .438 .769
Batting#7 40 .325 .413 .725 1.138
Batting#8 0 chances
Batting#9 0 chances

Fielding Statistics
YEAR POS GP E DP FPCT RF ZR

2005 Cin 3B 56 10 10 .944 3.20 .794
2006 Cin 1B 2 0 1 1.000 9.00 .500
2006 Cin 3B 111 25 17 .916 2.62 .741
2007 Cin 3B 137 16 21 .953 2.50 .777
2008 Cin 3B 60 9 10 .934 2.20 .774

Anyone know what the other National League third basemen did as far as errors and fielding pct in the years 2005, 2006, 2007, and so far in 2008?

Qualified List:
2008 Sortable Fielding: 15 3B -range in errors 2-13 errors,
FPCT range .908-.987
11 3B range 6-14 errors, FPCT range .908-.960

2008 Sortable Fielding:
NAME
Jorge Cantu, 14 .913 2.46 .739
Bill Hall, Mil 13 .908 2.58 .785
Mark Reynolds, 12 .915 2.21 .769
David Wright, 9 .942 2.27 .745
Edwin Encarnacion, 9 .936 2.21 .780
Garrett Atkins, 8 .948 2.55 .770
Jose Castillo, 8 .950 2.67 .808
Chipper Jones, 8 .950 2.71 .832
Blake DeWitt, 8 .955 3.20 .801
Aramis Ramirez, 6 .952 1.98 .739
Jose Bautista, 6 .960 3.00 .747
Pedro Feliz, 5 .969 2.78 .805
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 4 .978 2.67 .796
Troy Glaus, StL 3 .982 2.83 .835
Ryan Zimmerman, 2 .987 3.01 .776


2007 Sortable Fielding: 13 3B - 9-26 error range,
FPCT range .895-.973
8 3B - 13-26 error range, FPCT range .895-.960
Ryan Braun, errors - 26 .895 2.11 .697
Ryan Zimmerman, errors - 23 .955 3.07 .811
Miguel Cabrera, errors - 23 .941 2.51 .714
Kevin Kouzmanoff, errors - 22 -.932 2.38 .763
David Wright, errors - 21 - .954 2.73 .771
Edwin Encarnacion, errors - 16 .953 2.50 .777
Jose Bautista, errors - 15 .958 2.92 .740


2006 Sortable Fielding: 11 3B - 12-25 error range,
FPCT range .916-.965
9 3B 15-25 error range, FPCT range .916-.965
Ryan Braun, errors - 26 .895 2.11 .697
Ryan Zimmerman, errors - 23 .955 3.07 .811
Miguel Cabrera, errors - 23 .941 2.51 .714
Kevin Kouzmanoff, errors - 22 .932 2.38 .763
David Wright, errors - 21 .954 2.73 .771
Edwin Encarnacion, errors - 16 .953 2.50 .777


2005 Sortable Fielding: 9 3B - 6-24 error range,
FPCT range .946-.983
David Wright, errors - 24 .948 FPCT 2.80 .775
Troy Glaus, errors - 24 .946 3.01 .766
David Bell, errors 21 .951 2.84 .797
Garrett Atkins, errors 18 .950 2.63 .808
Edwin Encarnacion, errors 10 .963 3.21 .788

Joe Randa played 3B in 2005 for the Reds
EE played 56 games that year at 3B

RedsManRick
06-12-2008, 01:39 PM
So you're not comparing EE to other starters. You're comparing the Reds 3B performance overall to other teams' third base performance overall.

IMO this tells you less about the individual and more about the team's performance at a particular position. That's why I prefer to compare EE to other starting players.

The fact that some third basemen were less durable is a separate discussion based on separate stats. Not unimportant, just separate from the OPS based discussion. If you want to argue that he was able bodied and had a lot of PAs or ABs, that's a legitimate argument, but different from the OPS discussion.

I'm saying is that how well a guy plays cannot be fully separated from how much a guy plays when the discussions moves to one of value. I can appreciate wanting to say, "of the starting 3B (today) in the NL, EE ranks Xth". However, the application of that sort of statement is rather limited.

If you want to do a raw "which guy is better" comparision, that's fine. In that context, the discussion can be separated. However, the conclusions we are attempting to draw here are ones of intelligent team building and player value. In that context, a 3B who can give you an .800 OPS for 650 PA is more valuable than an .850 OPS guy who can only give you that level of production for 500 PA.

Context needs to drive the metrics you choose to use.

RedsManRick
06-12-2008, 01:42 PM
gotta agree with dusty..field the best team to win. How can you argue that? wow.

What if fielding the best team to win today leaves with you with a less capable team next week, next month, or next year?

Yes, it's an oversimplification, but you can't take any single game in isolation. That ignores the reality of the decisions being discussed.

On pitching staffs this sort of logic is obvious. But it applies to position players too.

Chip R
06-12-2008, 01:44 PM
Anyone know what the other National League third basemen did as far as errors and fielding pct in the years 2005, 2006, 2007, and so far in 2008?

Qualified List:
2008 Sortable Fielding: 15 3B -range in errors 2-13 errors,
FPCT range .908-.987
11 3B range 6-14 errors, FPCT range .908-.960

2008 Sortable Fielding:
NAME
Jorge Cantu, 14 .913 2.46 .739
Bill Hall, Mil 13 .908 2.58 .785
Mark Reynolds, 12 .915 2.21 .769
David Wright, 9 .942 2.27 .745
Edwin Encarnacion, 9 .936 2.21 .780
Garrett Atkins, 8 .948 2.55 .770
Jose Castillo, 8 .950 2.67 .808
Chipper Jones, 8 .950 2.71 .832
Blake DeWitt, 8 .955 3.20 .801
Aramis Ramirez, 6 .952 1.98 .739
Jose Bautista, 6 .960 3.00 .747
Pedro Feliz, 5 .969 2.78 .805
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 4 .978 2.67 .796
Troy Glaus, StL 3 .982 2.83 .835
Ryan Zimmerman, 2 .987 3.01 .776


2007 Sortable Fielding: 13 3B - 9-26 error range,
FPCT range .895-.973
8 3B - 13-26 error range, FPCT range .895-.960
Ryan Braun, errors - 26 .895 2.11 .697
Ryan Zimmerman, errors - 23 .955 3.07 .811
Miguel Cabrera, errors - 23 .941 2.51 .714
Kevin Kouzmanoff, errors - 22 -.932 2.38 .763
David Wright, errors - 21 - .954 2.73 .771
Edwin Encarnacion, errors - 16 .953 2.50 .777
Jose Bautista, errors - 15 .958 2.92 .740


2006 Sortable Fielding: 11 3B - 12-25 error range,
FPCT range .916-.965
9 3B 15-25 error range, FPCT range .916-.965
Ryan Braun, errors - 26 .895 2.11 .697
Ryan Zimmerman, errors - 23 .955 3.07 .811
Miguel Cabrera, errors - 23 .941 2.51 .714
Kevin Kouzmanoff, errors - 22 .932 2.38 .763
David Wright, errors - 21 .954 2.73 .771
Edwin Encarnacion, errors - 16 .953 2.50 .777


2005 Sortable Fielding: 9 3B - 6-24 error range,
FPCT range .946-.983
David Wright, errors - 24 .948 FPCT 2.80 .775
Troy Glaus, errors - 24 .946 3.01 .766
David Bell, errors 21 .951 2.84 .797
Garrett Atkins, errors 18 .950 2.63 .808
Edwin Encarnacion, errors 10 .963 3.21 .788

Joe Randa played 3B in 2005 for the Reds
EE played 56 games that year at 3B


You sure you didn't forget a 1 in front of EE's error totals? ;)

Kc61
06-12-2008, 01:57 PM
I'm saying is that how well a guy plays cannot be fully separated from how much a guy plays when the discussions moves to one of value. I can appreciate wanting to say, "of the starting 3B (today) in the NL, EE ranks Xth". However, the application of that sort of statement is rather limited.

If you want to do a raw "which guy is better" comparision, that's fine. In that context, the discussion can be separated. However, the conclusions we are attempting to draw here are ones of intelligent team building and player value. In that context, a 3B who can give you an .800 OPS for 650 PA is more valuable than an .850 OPS guy who can only give you that level of production for 500 PA.

Context needs to drive the metrics you choose to use.

I just think you have to separate the discussion of production and the discussion of durability. They are both relevant, but different, and I don't think there is any easy way to mix the two. Different discussions.

And I don't think it's entirely fair to label this a Hairston v. EE discussion. I don't think looking at Hairston's baseball card is the way to analyze it.

The question is whether it is worth taking a long-term view with EE. When you take a long-term view of a player you must go through the pain of breaking him in. We are seeing that now with Cueto, and Bailey, and defensively with Votto.

For certain prospects, it is worth it. You suffer the rough years because you expect that the pay off will be big. But if you don't expect a big pay off, then maybe you are better off using short term solutions -- like a hot Hairston in 2008 -- and getting mileage out of those solutions until, say, Frazier is ready to play third.

Right now, I wouldn't pull the plug on EE because he is streaky and could get hot again. But at some point, maybe even later this season, the Reds may prefer to go with a hot bat rather than the growing pains.

bucksfan2
06-12-2008, 02:01 PM
I used to be an EE supporter but I think it is time to part ways with him. This offense is too dependent on Edwin's RH bat that they can't afford to suffer through the slumps that he goes though. Is it just more or does Edwin start every season off awful? The Reds don't need a guy who starts up slow and then puts up numbers when the season is all but forgotten. This is the thrid straight season in which Edwin has been given the 3b job only to see him struggle through the first half and deserve a demotion to AAA. If he is not hitting his value is very little because of his defensive struggles.

Spring~Fields
06-12-2008, 02:05 PM
You sure you didn't forget a 1 in front of EE's error totals? ;)

Are you serious? where at? I was having all kinds of fits getting those stats posted with some kind of alignment........I don't think I have the errors wrong. If I did I will correct them.

I was shocked that some of the big named players have had worse seasons than he has with errors, and I did not know before seriously looking that Encarncion has never really had any chance batting up with the big boys either, he has always been some type of after thought in the lineup and if he did get a chance it was but a drink of water type chance.

Spring~Fields
06-12-2008, 02:12 PM
I used to be an EE supporter but I think it is time to part ways with him. This offense is too dependent on Edwin's RH bat that they can't afford to suffer through the slumps that he goes though. Is it just more or does Edwin start every season off awful? The Reds don't need a guy who starts up slow and then puts up numbers when the season is all but forgotten. This is the thrid straight season in which Edwin has been given the 3b job only to see him struggle through the first half and deserve a demotion to AAA. If he is not hitting his value is very little because of his defensive struggles.

I was looking and I did not see but just a few good 3B that can hit also, I don't think the other teams will give them up, and I don't think the Reds can readily replace Encarncion now or in the coming season in 2009, I don't think the players are out there or available.

reds44
06-12-2008, 02:14 PM
I used to be an EE supporter but I think it is time to part ways with him. This offense is too dependent on Edwin's RH bat that they can't afford to suffer through the slumps that he goes though. Is it just more or does Edwin start every season off awful? The Reds don't need a guy who starts up slow and then puts up numbers when the season is all but forgotten. This is the thrid straight season in which Edwin has been given the 3b job only to see him struggle through the first half and deserve a demotion to AAA. If he is not hitting his value is very little because of his defensive struggles.
April 2006: .288./.387/.550/.937 (led team with 24 RBI)
April 2007: .221/.294/.260/.554
April 2008: .293/.369/.576/.945

Career April: .270/.353/.473/.826

Yeah, it's just you.

Here's EE's month by month breakdown for his career:
April: .270/.353/.473/.826
May: .227/.307/.360/.667
June: .291/.384/.459/.843
July: .281/.356/.418/.774
August: .299/.344/.535/.879
September: .257/.344/.424/.768

EE had an awful May this year, and considering he has shown he will bounce out of slumps, benching him is just dumb. By the end of the year he'll have an OPS around .800.

RedsManRick
06-12-2008, 02:15 PM
I just think you have to separate the discussion of production and the discussion of durability. They are both relevant, but different, and I don't think there is any easy way to mix the two. Different discussions.

And I don't think it's entirely fair to label this a Hairston v. EE discussion. I don't think looking at Hairston's baseball card is the way to analyze it.

The question is whether it is worth taking a long-term view with EE. When you take a long-term view of a player you must go through the pain of breaking him in. We are seeing that now with Cueto, and Bailey, and defensively with Votto.

For certain prospects, it is worth it. You suffer the rough years because you expect that the pay off will be big. But if you don't expect a big pay off, then maybe you are better off using short term solutions -- like a hot Hairston in 2008 -- and getting mileage out of those solutions until, say, Frazier is ready to play third.

Right now, I wouldn't pull the plug on EE because he is streaky and could get hot again. But at some point, maybe even later this season, the Reds may prefer to go with a hot bat rather than the growing pains.

Let's ignore the long-term view for a moment. (though both suggesting EE has little upside and penciling Frazier in are mistakes in my book)

EE is hot right now. In June: 39 PA, .290/.436/.581. Hairston in June? .313/.353/.438.

I'm not denigrating the value Hairston has provided the Reds this season. But his insane hot streak is over. Given his track record, we have no reason to believe he'll return to that level of performance and we do have reason to believe he'll continue to regress towards his career OPS.

As soon as Keppinger is back, there are two things I believe to be true:
1. An EE-Kepp arrangement is stronger both offensively and defensively in the short term, compared to a Kepp-Hairston or Hairston-Kepp arrangement.
2. EE has more upside than many people here seem to be considering. At 25, it's not likely that he's reached his ceiling and most projections suggest he'll settle in at a level of production solidly above average. Benching him in the short-term could significantly decrease his chances of reaching that ceiling.

RedsManRick
06-12-2008, 02:18 PM
April 2006: .288./.387/.550/.937 (led team with 24 RBI)
April 2007: .221/.294/.260/.554
April 2008: .293/.369/.576/.945

Career April: .270/.353/.473/.826

Yeah, it's just you.

Here's EE's month by month breakdown for his career:
April: .270/.353/.473/.826
May: .227/.307/.360/.667
June: .291/.384/.459/.843
July: .281/.356/.418/.774
August: .299/.344/.535/.879
September: .257/.344/.424/.768

Lots of work has been done regarding splits and their validity. The short version is that monthly splits are not predictive at all. Half season splits are mildly predictive.

People are overstepping the bounds of proper inference by suggesting that EE is a guy who does well in a given month and poorly in another, as if it were an inherent characteristic and not just the observed variances of reality.

bucksfan2
06-12-2008, 02:21 PM
April 2006: .288./.387/.550/.937 (led team with 24 RBI)
April 2007: .221/.294/.260/.554
April 2008: .293/.369/.576/.945

Career April: .270/.353/.473/.826

Yeah, it's just you.

Here's EE's month by month breakdown for his career:
April: .270/.353/.473/.826
May: .227/.307/.360/.667
June: .291/.384/.459/.843
July: .281/.356/.418/.774
August: .299/.344/.535/.879
September: .257/.344/.424/.768

EE had an awful May this year, and considering he has shown he will bounce out of slumps, benching him is just dumb. By the end of the year he'll have an OPS around .800.

I didn't realize that he started off well but his May's are just awful. I wonder why he is just so bad in the month of May.

reds44
06-12-2008, 02:24 PM
Lots of work has been done regarding splits and their validity. The short version is that monthly splits are not predictive at all. Half season splits are mildly predictive.

People are overstepping the bounds of proper inference by suggesting that EE is a guy who does well in a given month and poorly in another, as if it were an inherent characteristic and not just the observed variances of reality.
EE's half splits for his career:

Pre ASG: .258/.346/.425/.771
Post ASG: .278/.343/.472/.814

This year: .240/.325/.436/.761

So he's a little below his average pace so far.

Spring~Fields
06-12-2008, 02:25 PM
You sure you didn't forget a 1 in front of EE's error totals? ;)

:oops: I've been reading Dusty quotes too much and his analysis is starting rub off on me.........I guess that I errored on 2006, I was using the sortables at espn, don't know how that happened.


2005
Cin 3B 10 .944 3.20 .794
2006
Cin 1B 0 1.000 9.00 .500
2006 Cin 3B 25 .916 2.62 .741
2007 Cin 3B 16 .953 2.50 .777
2008 Cin 3B 9 .935 2.20 .774

So Encarncion's defense has been progressing since 2006 if we only look at the error totals.

Chip R
06-12-2008, 02:25 PM
Are you serious? where at?


I was joking. You listen to some people and it seems like he has 110 errors instead of 10.

reds44
06-12-2008, 02:26 PM
I didn't realize that he started off well but his May's are just awful. I wonder why he is just so bad in the month of May.
I have no idea. Maybe he gets tired from playing winter ball before finding his second wind. He did OPS .842 in May last year in limited ABs (63). Really, it's tough to get any kind of pattern from EE. He is just a really streaky player and it's hard to figure out why

RedsManRick
06-12-2008, 02:28 PM
I didn't realize that he started off well but his May's are just awful. I wonder why he is just so bad in the month of May.

The trick is realizing that there is no "he is so bad in the month of May" -- just a few examples of was. Despite our desperate instinct to see patterns everywhere and infer future probability, which has been quite evident throughout this thread, (and I don't mean this derogatively, this is the way our brains are wired to work) past monthly splits just aren't predictive of future monthly performance.

FWIW, I am looking to find a citation for this assertion, and would encourage those who disagree with it to do the same for theirs. I admit the possibility that I am mistaken.

Spring~Fields
06-12-2008, 02:32 PM
I was joking. You listen to some people and it seems like he has 110 errors instead of 10.

Sending you de bill for 5 minutes of additional looking, $125.00 ;) Mugs, and Knuckles are on their way to pick up. :cool:

It is like you said on the other thread. When the Reds are losing the beer is warm, and we could say that EE makes 110 errors and bats lower than Corey Patterson does leading off. It just seems that way, but it is false.

I did have his errors understated in 2006 according to his career stats on fielding.

bucksfan2
06-12-2008, 02:44 PM
The trick is realizing that there is no "he is so bad in the month of May" -- just a few examples of was. Despite our desperate instinct to see patterns everywhere and infer future probability, which has been quite evident throughout this thread, (and I don't mean this derogatively, this is the way our brains are wired to work) past monthly splits just aren't predictive of future monthly performance.

FWIW, I am looking to find a citation for this assertion, and would encourage those who disagree with it to do the same for theirs. I admit the possibility that I am mistaken.

RMR I am confused by this notion. You say that Edwin's past may performance doesn't have a correlation on his current or future performance (IS vs. WAS). That confuses me because a system such as Petoca uses past performance in order to try and predict future performance. Maybe this is a little exageration but I find Edwin's "early" season struggles problematic. Slow or Fast starts really don't do a whole lot for me. There are noted slow starters (Larkin) and there are fast starters (Chris Shelton from a few years back). Also I don't think you can damage your season all that much if you have a bad April because there is still a lot of games left to be played. The problem I have with Edwin is that it seems as if when you start to get into the daily grind of the season he goes into a serious slump. It also seems that by the month of June Edwin is ready for that yearly trip down to Louisville to get his game back together. Edwin largely for the last month and a half has not been a very productive player either with his bat or glove. The problem that I have is this is the timeframe in which you can really fall out of contention for anything.

On another note is there a measure for consistance? I wonder this when comparing a guy like Keppinger and Edwin. When you look at a season Edwin may have better offensive numbers than Keppinger but if you looked closer Keppinger may have been the more productive player. I wonder if there is more value to a guy who stays consistant over the course of a season or one that runs hot and very cold.

cincrazy
06-12-2008, 02:47 PM
Really, it's tough to get any kind of pattern from EE.


Therein lies the problem my friend

Mario-Rijo
06-12-2008, 02:59 PM
:oops: I've been reading Dusty quotes too much and his analysis is starting rub off on me.........I guess that I errored on 2006, I was using the sortables at espn, don't know how that happened.


2005
Cin 3B 10 .944 3.20 .794
2006 Cin 3B 25 .916 2.62 .741
2007 Cin 3B 16 .953 2.50 .777
2008 Cin 3B 9 .935 2.20 .774

So Encarnacion's defense has been progressing since 2006 if we only look at the error totals.

That's the whole point right there he has improved every year up until this one. His pace this year shows him to be regressing, however a closer look at last season shows he did the same thing. Started off bad defensively and then bounced back nicely.

And then when you look at David Wright's '07 Fldg Percentage (.954) and his errors (21) and then you realize that he won the Gold Glove last year you should really start to re-examine what a bad defender at 3B is.

Spring~Fields
06-12-2008, 03:00 PM
The problem I have with Edwin is that it seems as if when you start to get into the daily grind of the season he goes into a serious slump. It also seems that by the month of June Edwin is ready for that yearly trip down to Louisville to get his game back together. Edwin largely for the last month and a half has not been a very productive player either with his bat or glove.

2006
Batting#4 144 .299 .374 .569 .943
Batting#5 59 .237 .343 .356 .699
Batting#6 92 .293 .375 .543 .918
Batting#7 47 .298 .393 .489 .882

The rest of the position batting was even smaller samples than these from 2006 to the present.

2007
Batting#4 41.244 .367 .415 .782
Batting#5 134 .231 .309 .313 .622
Batting#6 147 .286 .361 .442 .803
Batting#7 126 .357 .400 .476 .876
Batting#8 49 .306 .346 .571 .917

2008
Batting#4 12 .083 .154 .083 .237 only 12 AB here
Batting#5 26 .154 .267 .192 .459
Batting#6 144 .250 .331 .438 .769
Batting#7 40 .325 .413 .725 1.138


Can someone explain why Encarncions numbers would tail off so much batting in the 5 slot ? I don't understand that.

2005
Batting#2 6 .333 .333 .333 .666
Batting#3 0 chances
Batting#4 0 chances
Batting#5 2 .000 .000 .000 .000
Batting#6 5 .000 .000 .000 .000
Batting#7 61 .361 .443 .705 1.148
Batting#8 124 .185 .257 .355 .612 with the pitcher hitting behind him.
Batting#9 13 .154 .267 .231 .498 only 13 chances here

3 Year stats 2005-2007
Batting #4 185 .286 .373 .535 .908
Batting #5 195 .231 .317 .323 .640
Batting #6 244 .283 .360 .471 .831
Batting #7 234 .346 .410 .538 .948
Batting #8 180 .222 .286 .422 .708

RedsManRick
06-12-2008, 03:06 PM
RMR I am confused by this notion. You say that Edwin's past may performance doesn't have a correlation on his current or future performance (IS vs. WAS). That confuses me because a system such as Petoca uses past performance in order to try and predict future performance.

The issue is a combination of sample size and of the (likely) lack of any actual cause. Let me use an analogy to explain.

Since I started my new job, I tend to get up for work at 7:40

Last week, I got up at the follow times:

Monday: 7:25
Tuesday: 7:15
Wednesday: 7:35
Thursday: 7:55
Friday: 7:45
(average: 7:35)

This week, I got up at the following times:
Monday: 7:40
Tuesday: 7:10
Wednesday: 7:55

Now, you could look at that and say, huh, Tuesday's must be different for some reason because you keep getting up earlier than average. But it's only a few Tuesdays. It could very easily just be "luck" that I happened to get up early two Tuesdays in a row. Now, if it happened in say, 17 of 20 Tuesdays, and was consistently in the 7:15 range (the further away from the mean, the less likely it's due to chance), then we'd have a pretty strong body of evidence suggesting it's not just random. The odds of that happened out of random variation would be quite unlikely.

So, if you want to know what time I'm likely to wake up next Tuesday, your best answer isn't 7:12 (the average of the observed, or sample, times), it's 7:40. We simply have not seen enough yet to establish any Tuesday effect. And futhermore, the lack of any clear, fact-based causation mechanism helps to reinforce this non-conclusion.

What makes PECOTA different is three fold:
1.) It uses a lot of information. EE's projection is based off his entire career, including it's component pieces, skill sets, etc. There's a lot going in to the formula.
2.) It uses big samples. EE is compared against 1000's of players in MLB history. It find the players who most resemble EE and weighs them most heavily, but it factors in the career trajectories of many, many players.
3.) It passes the sniff test. That is, it makes sense. Players perform the way they do because they have certain skills. By and large, players with similar skills perform similarly. This is especially true if you look at a big group of similar players.

In the case of EE, let's assume for a minute that he's an .800 OPS guy -- that's his true ability. In any given month, we might expect his OPS to range between .600 and 1.000. Given 3 months out of the 15(?) that's he played, what are the odds that all three are below average. If we assume his months are normally distrusted, half will be above average and half will be below. And if, as you suggest, he's particularly streaky on the high end, perhaps 60% of his months will be below average. That would mean that given a set of 3 months, there's a 22% (.6^3) chance that they're all below average. So you're starting to get some evidence that those 3 months are suffering from some related effect, but it's hardly conclusive. This is obviously a gross simplification of the math involved, but I hope you can see how it works generally.

Now, consider that we're actively looking for patterns. If you take all possible sets of months (April, May, June, July, August, Sept), there are 6 sets of months. Given that the odds the 3 months all being below average are around 22% (1/4) and given that we have sets of months, we're almost guaranteed to find at least 1 month set (May in our case) in which EE has consistently struggled. And that's just due to random variation. It does not imply at all that there's something about EE which causes him to struggle in May. (though it certainly doesn't preclude the possibility).

I believe there have been large scale studies which look at this for a lot of players to see if they can find anybody for whom there is a significant relationship on a monthly basis, year-to-year. The conclusions I've seen say that the is answer is no, the is not evidence suggesting month-level effects. Even pre and post-ASB effects, which would be more likely since the sample sizes are bigger, are fairly weak.

If this still doesn't help, I strongly suggest reading up a bit on basic statistical methods. I've found this site (http://www.statsoft.com/textbook/stathome.html) quite useful for my own education. It's quite accessible and some of the basic concepts are crucial for understanding certain claims.

Kc61
06-12-2008, 03:09 PM
As soon as Keppinger is back, there are two things I believe to be true:
1. An EE-Kepp arrangement is stronger both offensively and defensively in the short term, compared to a Kepp-Hairston or Hairston-Kepp arrangement.
2. EE has more upside than many people here seem to be considering. At 25, it's not likely that he's reached his ceiling and most projections suggest he'll settle in at a level of production solidly above average. Benching him in the short-term could significantly decrease his chances of reaching that ceiling.


I think EE and Keppinger on the left side is a fair conclusion. In addition, I would sit Junior against lefties for the rest of the year and let Hairston play right field against them. Just in case the hot streak really isn't over.

bucksfan2
06-12-2008, 03:22 PM
The issue is a combination of sample size and of the (likely) lack of any actual cause. Let me use an analogy to explain.

Since I started my new job, I tend to get up for work at 7:40

Last week, I got up at the follow times:

Monday: 7:25
Tuesday: 7:15
Wednesday: 7:35
Thursday: 7:55
Friday: 7:45
(average: 7:35)

This week, I got up at the following times:
Monday: 7:40
Tuesday: 7:10
Wednesday: 7:55

Now, you could look at that and say, huh, Tuesday's must be different for some reason because you keep getting up earlier than average. But it's only a few Tuesdays. And furthermore, there's no good explanation, other than one based on pure speculation, which would explain why I get up earlier on Tuesdays.

So, if you want to know what time I'm likely to wake up next Tuesday, your best answer isn't 7:12, it's 7:40. We have not established any Tuesday effect due to a small sample of Tuesdays preventing us from ruling out the likelihood that it's just due to random variation (meaning it's highly likely that I just so happened to get up early twice for no consistently particular reason). The lack of any clear, fact-based causation mechanism also supports this (though we don't need to explain why to believe that there's a real effect).


RMR well said but let me ask you this. Lets use the waking up example because I liked it. Now lets assume that every time the time changes your waking up time is effected. Lets assume that you wake up on average at 7:35 but when in the spring when the time rolls forward you wake up 10 minutes later and in the fall you wake up 10 minutes earlier. This isn't some random occurance rather an common occurance that happens twice a year. Could it be coincidental or is it rather a reaction to the environment around you. I would wonder if Edwin's bad stretch from games 20-40 have more to do with adjusting to the daily grind or fatiguing before he catches his second wind. Who knows.

oregonred
06-12-2008, 03:23 PM
It's much easier (and cheaper) to upgrade poor or below average performance to merely average performance than it is to try to upgrade average performance to good performance. The best teams typically aren't the teams with the most star players; they're the teams with the fewest weaknesses.

This is such an important and well stated thought.

The Adam Dunn LTC debate comes down to whether the Reds should use the $15M/yr. commitment required to secure Dunn's above average OPS services for the next 5-6 seasons or instead prorate that $15M/yr into systematically upgrading some of the other club needs (including the big one that would then be created in LF) from 1) below average to average, 2) from below average to above average or 3) from average to above average.

As far as the EE debate, let him play everyday. Although I will say that I believe he's been given a pretty long leash over the past couple of seasons to make the 3B argument moot.

RedsManRick
06-12-2008, 03:34 PM
RMR well said but let me ask you this. Lets use the waking up example because I liked it. Now lets assume that every time the time changes your waking up time is effected. Lets assume that you wake up on average at 7:35 but when in the spring when the time rolls forward you wake up 10 minutes later and in the fall you wake up 10 minutes earlier. This isn't some random occurance rather an common occurance that happens twice a year. Could it be coincidental or is it rather a reaction to the environment around you. I would wonder if Edwin's bad stretch from games 20-40 have more to do with adjusting to the daily grind or fatiguing before he catches his second wind. Who knows.

In short, the answer is yes. But what you've done here is used a larger aggregate unit (more samples within the season), of which there are fewer (only 4 seasons instead 5 days a week). Similarly if you look at pre- and post-ASB instead of months, you can start to see a statistically significant effect take shape.

However, in order to establish a statistically significant effect, you'd still want to collect a lot of season worth of data. The other thing to consider is that season isn't the only thing affecting my sleep pattern. It could be that temperature is the cause, and it just so happens that temperature is highly correlated with season. But if we had an unseasonably warm fall, you'd still predict that I'd be getting up early even though the cause of my sleep pattern was changed.

This is why you need to have big samples. If you collect enough samples, all of the other things which can affect the thing you're observing eventually balance out by becoming randomly distributed across your samples. But the more strongly correlated those things are with the thing you're controlling for, the more samples you need to get to factor them out.

So again in the EE case, maybe your hypothesis is right. Maybe he struggles after the first 100 PA due to fatigue and suffers a "catch-my-breath" slump. Well, this isn't due to it saying May on the calendar. It's just that May strongly correlates with when he tends to hit that fatigue threshold. The point is that there are a ton of possible explanations, including the one I discussed at length above -- that it's just plain old random. It takes a whole heck of a lot more data than 3 Mays to arrive at any conclusion.

In this sort of case, we're better off ignoring the statistical approach to divine why he struggled. We simply cannot collect enough data to uncover an affect in a rigorous way. I'd recommend hearing from scouting people. What was EE doing differently in May? Scouts can collect 100's of minute data points that we simply cannot capture in "stats".

SMcGavin
06-12-2008, 04:41 PM
Take a look at ESPN's sortable stats. IMO, they still have the best interface for this type of querying.

I think the key point not being explicitly discussed is that benching EE today isn't just a straight exchange of his production for somebody else's. What you are doing by benching him is essentially putting him on a trajectory in which he is unlikely to ever give you the sort of value you're looking for. You deprive him of the opportunity to become better and create a slippery slope whereby it's hard for him to ever get back on track to be an everyday regular.

It's one thing to do that with a 29 year old with 2,500 PA who has gone through his peak and never arrived, it's quite another to do it to a 25 year old with 1,500 PA. This is the point when he should be turning the corner, give or take a year. You cut bait after he's failed to turn the corner, not in the middle of the process, and certainly not when you don't have a notably better option.

I'm not advocating benching EE. Only pointing out the danger of this "league average" comparison. If all of your team's starters are exactly league average, your team is going to be below average at scoring runs (unless all your starters play 162 games and never get injured).

As far as EE goes, I think it's pretty clear benching him to play Hairston is a dumb move. But when Kepp and Gonzalez are both back, I think you need to at least have the conversation.

SMcGavin
06-12-2008, 04:48 PM
I can't echo this enough. Failure to do this means you ignore the reality of how the game works. Every team is going to get 162 games worth of plate appearances from somebody playing 3B. 650 PA of an .800 OPS from one guy is more valuable than 450 PA of an .840 OPS and 200 of a replacement level OPS from a backup. Those plate appearances are real, they count just as much.

If Edwin is slightly less productive on a per time unit bases than another guy but is able to get more plate appearances because he's more durable, then he is the more valuable player -- if not the "better" one.

But what makes you think Edwin is this 650 PA guy who is more durable than his peers? He has never even gotten within 100 PAs of that (combining AAA and MLB appearances the last three seasons).

Edit - he did play 150 games last year and cross the 550 PA mark. Still, I don't see how EE gets labeled a particularly durable player.

Cyclone792
06-12-2008, 04:52 PM
I'm not advocating benching EE. Only pointing out the danger of this "league average" comparison. If all of your team's starters are exactly league average, your team is going to be below average at scoring runs (unless all your starters play 162 games and never get injured).

There's nothing dangerous at all about it.

In fact, what you're arguing for goes against many simple, basic sabermetric concepts of contextualizing a player's performance. Not only that, but it also goes against many simple, basic data analysis concepts. It'd be akin to me dropping the bottom feeders in a quality indicator analysis, then using that "data" to proclaim everyone is performing admirably.

That is dangerous.

SMcGavin
06-12-2008, 04:55 PM
There's nothing dangerous at all about it.

In fact, what you're arguing for goes against many simple, basic sabermetric concepts of contextualizing a player's performance. Not only that, but it also goes against many simple, basic data analysis concepts. It'd be akin to me dropping the bottom feeders in a quality indicator analysis, then using that "data" to proclaim everyone is performing admirably.

That is dangerous.

Is the following statement correct or incorrect:

If all of your team's starters are exactly league average, your team is going to be below average at scoring runs (unless all your starters play 162 games and never get injured).

RedsManRick
06-12-2008, 05:00 PM
But what makes you think Edwin is this 650 PA guy who is more durable than his peers? He has never even gotten within 100 PAs of that (combining AAA and MLB appearances the last three seasons).

Edit - he did play 150 games last year and cross the 550 PA mark. Still, I don't see how EE gets labeled a particularly durable player.

For the purposes of this part of the discussion, I was (intending) to speak in the abstract only -- that durability matters when considering overall value.

For EE, his PA total the last three seasons are:
05: 564
06: 505
07: 607

I was not meaning to imply that EE was (or was not) particularly durable. Just that if we want to use rate stats in considering a players' value, we must standardize the amount of playing time.

Cyclone792
06-12-2008, 05:03 PM
Is the following statement correct or incorrect:

If all of your team's starters are exactly league average, your team is going to be below average at scoring runs (unless all your starters play 162 games and never get injured).

You're not asking the right question.

SMcGavin
06-12-2008, 05:09 PM
You're not asking the right question.

Haha. So basically your answer is, yes it is a correct statement.

If Edwin Encarnacion finishes 2008 with an exactly league average OPS, the Reds will have received below average production from third base for the season. Why you would strive for that, I don't know.

SMcGavin
06-12-2008, 05:12 PM
For the purposes of this part of the discussion, I was (intending) to speak in the abstract only -- that durability matters when considering overall value.


My bad then. I certainly agree that durability is a factor when evaluating a player's worth.

Cyclone792
06-12-2008, 05:19 PM
Haha. So basically your answer is, yes it is a correct statement.

If Edwin Encarnacion finishes 2008 with an exactly league average OPS, the Reds will have received below average production from third base for the season. Why you would strive for that, I don't know.

Nope, that's my answer at all. My answer is actually you're still not getting it.

You're deliberately excluding valid data in order to create a skewed conclusion. So until we get past this point, this discussion really isn't going to go anywhere. You'll either figure out that you need to use valid data, or you won't.

It's really that simple.

RedsManRick
06-12-2008, 05:24 PM
Haha. So basically your answer is, yes it is a correct statement.

If Edwin Encarnacion finishes 2008 with an exactly league average OPS, the Reds will have received below average production from third base for the season. Why you would strive for that, I don't know.

You wouldn't "strive" for that. That's not what he's advocating at all. He's saying that given that you have above average production in a number of other places, getting league average production at positions where we're getting less (and expect to continue to get less) would be sufficient for the Reds to be competitive.

His point is that the Reds don't need more than league average production out of EE, particularly given his salary. Not that we shouldn't strive for it. And furthermore, as Cyclone discussed, is that if you have resources available to improve your team, you get a higher ROI by improving on your weak than you do by improving on average ones. Thus, we'd be better off focusing on improving the soft underbelly of the pen, CF (or RF), Catcher, and the back of the rotation.

This is the result of something called marginal cost -- every progressive unit of production is more expensive than the one before it. However, the runs you gain by improving are the same.

For example, let's say that Player A (average) is 20 runs above replacement and that Player S (star) is worth 40 runs above replacement.

Player R (replacement) will cost you $400K for 0 RAR
Player A (average) will cost you $6.4M for 20 RAR
Player S (star) will cost you $15.4M for 40 RAR

So if you look at your team and you have the ability to spend some cash or trade young players for an upgrade, you get more bang for your buck by moving from player R to player A ($6M to add 20 RAR) than you do going from A to S ($9M to add 20 RAR).

SMcGavin
06-12-2008, 05:51 PM
You wouldn't "strive" for that. That's not what he's advocating at all. He's saying that given that you have above average production in a number of other places, getting league average production at positions where we're getting less (and expect to continue to get less) would be sufficient for the Reds to be competitive.

His point is that the Reds don't need more than league average production out of EE, particularly given his salary. Not that we shouldn't strive for it. And furthermore, as Cyclone discussed, is that if you have resources available to improve your team, you get a higher ROI by improving on your weak than you do by improving on average ones. Thus, we'd be better off focusing on improving the soft underbelly of the pen, CF (or RF), Catcher, and the back of the rotation.

This is the result of something called marginal cost -- every progressive unit of production is more expensive than the one before it. However, the runs you gain by improving are the same.

For example, let's say that Player A (average) is 20 runs above replacement and that Player S (star) is worth 40 runs above replacement.

Player R (replacement) will cost you $400K for 0 RAR
Player A (average) will cost you $6.4M for 20 RAR
Player S (star) will cost you $15.4M for 40 RAR

So if you look at your team and you have the ability to spend some cash or trade young players for an upgrade, you get more bang for your buck by moving from player R to player A ($6M to add 20 RAR) than you do going from A to S ($9M to add 20 RAR).

I agree with all of this. I know what marginal cost is. In fact I've argued in the past that the Reds pitching is in a good position for the future because we already have the star players. The next step is replacing the bad ones with average guys, and that's something you can do reasonably cheaply.

However, it doesn't do anything to disprove what I am saying. In the micro sense, EE is a very small problem for this Reds team. I agree with that. He's not one of the guys I'd be looking to replace.

What I am saying is that if you want to get average production from 3B for the season, your starter needs to give you a little better than league average production. It's a pretty simple concept. Why Cyclone chooses to dismiss it doesn't make much sense to me. If you assemble a team of starters whose +/- deviations from "league average" total out to 0, the definition of league average you guys have been using would lead someone to believe that team would be right at the league average in scoring runs. In reality, they would not be.

The following link explains this in more detail: http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/average-is-as-average-does/

RedsManRick
06-12-2008, 05:59 PM
I agree with all of this. I know what marginal cost is. In fact I've argued in the past that the Reds pitching is in a good position for the future because we already have the star players. The next step is replacing the bad ones with average guys, and that's something you can do reasonably cheaply.

Fair enough. FWIW, I was describing marginal value for the sake of anybody reading the thread, not particularly aimed at you.



However, it doesn't do anything to disprove what I am saying. In the micro sense, EE is a very small problem for this Reds team. I agree with that. He's not one of the guys I'd be looking to replace.

What I am saying is that if you want to get average production from 3B for the season, your starter needs to give you a little better than league average production. It's a pretty simple concept. Why Cyclone chooses to dismiss it doesn't make much sense to me. If you assemble a team of guys whose +/- deviations from "league average" total out to 0, the definition of league average you guys have been using would lead someone to believe that team would be right at the league average in scoring runs. In reality, they would not be.

I think everybody is in violent agreement here. Cyclone thought you were asserting the issue which you've clarified that you agree with. Just a confusion on the basis of your clarification.

If EE were perfectly league average, and he only got 85% of the PA at 3B, the rest going to a replacement level player, the Reds would be receiving below average production from 3B on balance. And if this were true for all starters, with the balance of PA going to league-wide replacement level bats by position, the Reds would have a below average offense.

The point being asserted by numerous people is that for the Reds to receive league average production from 3B, they need EE to be better than just the league average of all 3B, and closer to league average of other starting 3B (though the assertion is a bit rough due to variances in playing time across "starting 3B"). The amount over league-wide average he needs to be for the Reds to get average production depends on how much he's out and how well his replacements play. So unless he plays all 162 games, which he won't, or the Reds get even better production from his replacement when he's not playing, which they won't, EE needs to be better than league-wide average for 3B.

Cyclone792
06-12-2008, 06:08 PM
What I am saying is that if you want to get average production from 3B for the season, your starter needs to give you a little better than league average production. It's a pretty simple concept. Why Cyclone chooses to dismiss it doesn't make much sense to me. If you assemble a team of starters whose +/- deviations from "league average" total out to 0, the definition of league average you guys have been using would lead someone to believe that team would be right at the league average in scoring runs. In reality, they would not be.

The following link explains this in more detail: http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/average-is-as-average-does/

I'm not dismissing any of that above.

What I am dismissing is the idea that we should throw out all non-qualified third basemen in an attempt to determine what constitutes league average production simply because they didn't get the necessary qualifying PAs. If a guy goes down with a season ending injury at the all-star break, he won't qualify. But that doesn't mean we should toss out the contributions he did make to determining league average either. And that's precisely what you've been doing.

boognish
06-12-2008, 06:37 PM
Taking an alternate view of the laegue average discussion (which is an extremely valuable perspective for fans to take, by the way), how much does the PATH to league average--which has been contextualized in terms of 3B OPS in this discussion aside from one post by Cyclone--matter? To provide context into my series of statements, I firmly believe EE has become a plus defender at 3B this season, wholly dismissing throwing gaffes in early April during cold and wet weather, but I do not think he will develop the power to be a plus contibutor with the bat for a corner infielder. The correct perspective (sorry no citation, but I forget who posited this initially) is to give EE until Frazier is ready; or, more accurately, until his service time makes him expensive, to prove he can be a contributor on the next relevant Reds team. I do not think this is a foregone conclusion and is a very serious question for Reds brass.

My central point about the path to a ~.780 OPS: EE does not have plus power or patience. His OBP has been consistently bolstered by high HBP totals, and his power could turn out to be less that the 2006 season we fondly remember. In other words, where have all the doubles gone?

2005: 16 doubles, 234 PA; 1 per 14.63 PA, .436 SLG
2006: 33 doubles, 463 PA; 1 per 14.03 PA, .473 SLG
2007: 25 doubles, 556 PA; 1 per 22.24 PA, .438 SLG
2008: 12 doubles, 255 PA; 1 per 21.25 PA, .436 SLG

Now, EE hits the exact number of HR (and very close HR/PA) home and away, so he is not a singles hitter with GABP-induced HR power, but it is within the realm of possibility that we are currently seeing the lion's share of the power he is going to develop. His development as a Red is entirely contingent on the next 700 or so PA, in my opinion. If he can slug .470, he could be a reliable bat at a corner. If he is in the .430s, he will not be worth arbitration dollars. Hopefully, the below-league average holes will be patched by that time.

At some point when I am not on the beach, I will look at fangraphs to see if he is a "dead pull" hitter and pops up more than average as my eyes suggest.

RedsManRick
06-12-2008, 06:43 PM
My central point about the path to a ~.780 OPS: EE does not have plus power or patience. His OBP has been consistently bolstered by high HBP totals, and his power could turn out to be less that the 2006 season we fondly remember. In other words, where have all the doubles gone?

At some point when I am not on the beach, I will look at fangraphs to see if he is a "dead pull" hitter and pops up more than average as my eyes suggest.

If you look at fangraphs, the one thing that should jump off the page is the ridiculously high FB% (51.1%, career 41.8%) and IFFB% (22.8%, career 16.9%) this year. This also matches the amateur scouting report.

I'm not much of a scout, but my understanding is that popups are often the result of "pulling-off" the ball, a combination of being out ahead of pitches, reaching, and a timing issue where the kinetic chain is fragmented (hips not opening at the right time).

He's traded roughly 1/3 of his line drives (read: doubles) for fly balls. It's kept his HR rate up, but his doubles rate is way down because of it. I also noticed he's swinging at pitches in the zone much less often and is making better contact with balls out of the zone. This tells me he's trying to be more aggressive, chasing and weakly hitting balls than he can't really drive and probably shouldn't be swinging at.