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flyer85
08-15-2008, 03:45 PM
There has been plenty of talk about the 2009 catcher, SS, this and that.

Current OBPs
Keppinger 312
Bruce 310
Phiilips 318

The current Reds team is seriously OBP challenged. I don't care as much how the do it but it is a huge problem that needs to be fixed to move forward. Guys like Bruce and Phillips at this stage are 6-7 type hitters, not top of the order guys. Phillips will never be one although Bruce could develop into a 3-4-5 type hitter over time.

Cyclone792
08-15-2008, 03:52 PM
The Reds team OBP for the season, excluding Dunn and Griffey, is around .310 this year. Two things need to happen heading into 2009: current hitters who will be around next season must improve their OBP, and Walt needs to fill the team's holes with some guys who can post a solid OBP.

Otherwise, this offense will be a black hole of boredom and tears while the losses mount.

RedsManRick
08-15-2008, 03:54 PM
There has been plenty of talk about the 2009 catcher, SS, this and that.

Current OBPs
Keppinger 312
Bruce 310
Phiilips 318

The current Reds team is seriously OBP challenged. I don't care as much how the do it but it is a huge problem that needs to be fixed to move forward. Guys like Bruce and Phillips at this stage are 6-7 type hitters, not top of the order guys. Phillips will never be one although Bruce could develop into a 3-4-5 type hitter over time.

Agreed 100%. For all the talk about losing Dunn's 40 HRs, the loss of his OBP may be even more devastating. I think Phillips will always struggle with the OBP, but I expect Keppinger, Bruce, Votto, and EE all to produce .340+. That, combined with getting rid of the horrifically low OBP from Patterson and Bako would go a long ways.

top6
08-15-2008, 03:54 PM
Dunn's OBP was .371 his rookie year. Kearns's was .407. Just to compare Bruce to previous saviors.

flyer85
08-15-2008, 03:56 PM
Dunn's OBP was .371 his rookie year. Kearns's was .407. Just to compare Bruce to previous saviors.Bruce is a different type hitter but his minor league numbers showed a tendency to hack which major league pitchers have taken full advantage of. For him to reach his potential a lot more plate discipline is needed ... but Dusty loves hackers.

BTW, Bruce's debut has certainly been much less impressive than Dunn/Kearns ... hmm.

I honestly don't think this organization values OBP much at all.

Cyclone792
08-15-2008, 03:57 PM
Dunn's OBP was .371 his rookie year. Kearns's was .407. Just to compare Bruce to previous saviors.

I'm not worried about Bruce's OBP this year, but people need to realize it has to go up ... otherwise his slugging will have a very low ceiling and people will be very disappointed. If he can boost his OBP, his SLG will explode. That's pretty much as safe a guarantee as you can get.

If you're OBP'ing .370, you have a decent chance to slug .550. If you're OBP'ing .340, you have almost no chance to slug .550. With extreme rare exception, guys who OBP low but slug high just don't exist.

top6
08-15-2008, 03:57 PM
I think I said this before, but the hiring of Dusty was not terrible only because Dusty is a bad manager. It was far more troubling because it was a symptom of major problems at the heart of the organization - and one of those problems is a complete failure to place the proper value on OBP.

So, yeah, I pretty much tried to turn this into a Dunn and Dusty thread. Because God knows Redzone needs more of those. But I do think Dunn and Dusty "clog the bases" Baker are the symbols of this team's failure to understand OBP.

top6
08-15-2008, 04:23 PM
I'm not worried about Bruce's OBP this year, but people need to realize it has to go up ... otherwise his slugging will have a very low ceiling and people will be very disappointed. If he can boost his OBP, his SLG will explode. That's pretty much as safe a guarantee as you can get.

If you're OBP'ing .370, you have a decent chance to slug .550. If you're OBP'ing .340, you have almost no chance to slug .550. With extreme rare exception, guys who OBP low but slug high just don't exist.

OK, just a little experiment to see how concerned we should be. Because I think OBP is something that is fairly predictable, and is something that we should be extremely concerned about with Bruce.

We obviously expect Bruce to be a star hitter. Here are the top 20 MLB hitters by OPS - the kind of hitter we expect Bruce to be - and their rookie year OBP. (I'm arbitrarily decreeing that the first year with 30+ games is their rookie year.)


Chipper Jones - .353 (1995)
Albert Pujols - .403 (2001)
Lance Berkman - .321 (1999)
Milton Bradley - .288 (2000)
Matt Holliday - .349 (2004)
Alex Rodriguez - .264 (1995) (but it was .414 next year)
Ryan Ludwick - .299 (2003)
Manny Ramirez - .357 (1994)
Kevin Youkilis - .367 (2004)
Carlos Quentin - .342 (2006)
Xavier Nady - .321 (2003)
Chase Utley - .322 (2003)
Pat Burrell - .359 (2000)
Carlos Lee - .312 (1999)
Jermaine Dye - .304 (1996)
J.D. Drew - .340 (1999)
Brian McCann - .345 (2005)
Ryan Braun - .370 (2007)
Mark Teixeira - .331 (2003)
Josh Hamilton - .368 (2007)

So to the extent we can tell anything from this pointless exercise, and we can't really tell anything, it's that most star hitters have a decent OBP their rookie year, although a few (such as the ones in bold) don't. Obviously, it's not time to give up, but I think showing some concern Bruce's inability to get on base thus far is appropriate.

RedsManRick
08-15-2008, 04:27 PM
With Bruce in particular, I think it's important to consider age here. Plate discipline is often a late developing skill and the guys is still extremely young. Yes, it needs to improve, but I have every confidence it will.

camisadelgolf
08-15-2008, 04:32 PM
Look at the players who are (hopefully) gone after this year: Javier Valentin, Andy Phillips, Jolbert Cabrera, Jerry Hairston, Corey Patterson, Paul Bako, etc.

That should help quite a bit.

flyer85
08-15-2008, 04:56 PM
Look at the players who are (hopefully) gone after this year: Javier Valentin, Andy Phillips, Jolbert Cabrera, Jerry Hairston, Corey Patterson, Paul Bako, etc.

That should help quite a bit.not if the three guys named above are playing everyday and continue to bat 2-3-4. I don't mind if they want to play them everyday but they ought to be 5-6-7.

Rojo
08-15-2008, 05:08 PM
Not putting it all at his feet, but Jacoby needs to go. There's no reason to throw these hitters anything close to the plate.

flyer85
08-15-2008, 05:11 PM
the entire staff needs to go. Let Jocketty bring in his own people, that's the way it is supposed to work.

When Castellini fired Krivsky he should have known he was signing up for an entirely new field staff for 2009.

OnBaseMachine
08-15-2008, 05:13 PM
With Bruce in particular, I think it's important to consider age here. Plate discipline is often a late developing skill and the guys is still extremely young. Yes, it needs to improve, but I have every confidence it will.

100% agreed.

Spring~Fields
08-15-2008, 07:06 PM
Agreed 100%. For all the talk about losing Dunn's 40 HRs, the loss of his OBP may be even more devastating. I think Phillips will always struggle with the OBP, but I expect Keppinger, Bruce, Votto, and EE all to produce .340+. That, combined with getting rid of the horrifically low OBP from Patterson and Bako would go a long ways.


Aren’t most of these below their career norms or three year stats?
I don’t understand how so many can go bad at the same time, any theories?



August
BA OBP SLG OPS
J. Keppinger .167 .212 .229 .441
B. Phillips .184 .245 .429 .674
E. Encarnacion .156 .255 .311 .566
Jay Bruce .250 .264 .577 .841
Paul Bako .211 .286 .263 .549
C. Patterson .268 .286 .488 .774
Joey Votto .333 .355 .467 .822
Opponents .307 .367 .504 .871

July
BA OBP SLG OPS
C. Patterson .111 .158 .111 .269
J. Keppinger .206 .238 .258 .495
Paul Bako .196 .260 .217 .477
Jay Bruce .253 .282 .384 .665
B. Phillips .278 .330 .402 .732
Joey Votto .261 .337 .352 .689
E. Encarnacion .291 .367 .620 .987
Opponents .277 .342 .445 .788

June
BA OBP SLG OPS
C. Patterson .156 .156 .311 .467
Paul Bako .151 .224 .283 .507
Jay Bruce .223 .274 .340 .614
B. Phillips .262 .304 .374 .678
Joey Votto .257 .315 .386 .701
J. Keppinger .296 .406 .370 .777
E. Encarnacion .294 .422 .603 1.025
Opponents .274 .344 .461 .805

June
BA OBP SLG OPS
C. Patterson .180 .180 .197 .377
E. Encarnacion .172 .228 .247 .475
Paul Bako .186 .262 .305 .567
B. Phillips .292 .342 .557 .898
Joey Votto .281 .385 .528 .913
J. Keppinger .400 .447 .543 .990
Jay Bruce .579 .680 .895 1.575
Opponents .278 .347 .455 .802




Career
BA OBP SLG OPS
J. Keppinger .289 .343 .400 .744
B. Phillips .264 .309 .428 .737
E. Encarnacion .266 .344 .457 .802
Joey Votto .287 .348 .466 .814
Javier Valentin .252 .309 .402 .711
C. Patterson .254 .293 .409 .702
Hairston Jr. .260 .329 .367 .696
Paul Bako .231 .304 .318 .622
Jay Bruce rookie

mbgrayson
08-15-2008, 08:48 PM
I always have been interested in the correlation between OBP and runs scored. OBP has a 0.8340 correlation with runs scored, and batting average has a 0.7244 correlation to runs scored.

These numbers are from JinAZ's web site: http://jinaz-reds.blogspot.com/2008/06/why-do-i-keep-using-ops.html

Right now, the Reds are 13th in the NL in OBP, and 12th in runs scored.

The Cards are 2nd in the NL in OBP, and 3rd in runs scored. There is clearly a strong correlation.

Until the Reds, and their fans, learn this, we will not properly evaluate players. That is why it is troubling to lose Dunn, Ross, and Griffey. These guys were 3 of our top 4 OBP guys. Look at THIS L (http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/2008.shtml)IST of the Reds on the Baseball Reference web site.

Blitz Dorsey
08-15-2008, 10:42 PM
Dunn's OBP was .371 his rookie year. Kearns's was .407. Just to compare Bruce to previous saviors.

So your point is that Kearns got really lucky as a rookie and didn't prove what kind of player he was until future seasons?

RedsBaron
08-16-2008, 08:19 AM
What I find to be particularly aggravating is that the importance of OBP isn't a new concept. Ted Williams was advocating, and practicing, the importance of getting a good pitch to hit, and taking a walk, six decades ago.
The studies by Bill James and others that demonstrated the importance of OBP were initially published two decades ago--this isn't a new concept, yet many in Cincinnati, including its manager and much of its media and fan base, still do not understand it. A series of Reds managers have been utterly unable to grasp the simple concept that you should give as many at bats as possible to your best hitters, the guys who get on base the most. Adam Dunn consistently batted fifth or lower in the Reds lineup, a failure to take advantage of the fact that year in, year out, he got on base more often more than anyone else on the team.
In their 2000 book on "Baseball Dynasties," Rob Neyer and Eddie Epstein, in dicussing the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, noted that the Dodgers, between 1946 and 1956, lead the NL in OBP 9 of 11 seasons. During those 11 seasons, the Dodgers won 6 pennants (1947, 49, 52, 53, 55 and 56), tied for two other pennants, only to lose in NL playoffs (1946 and 51), and lost another pennant on the last day of the season (1950). They then wrote: "On-base percentage correlates better with winning than any other percentage or rate statistic, including ERA."

GAC
08-16-2008, 08:51 AM
What I find to be particularly aggravating is that the importance of OBP isn't a new concept. Ted Williams was advocating, and practicing, the importance of getting a good pitch to hit, and taking a walk, six decades ago.
The studies by Bill James and others that demonstrated the importance of OBP were initially published two decades ago--this isn't a new concept, yet many in Cincinnati, including its manager and much of its media and fan base, still do not understand it. A series of Reds managers have been utterly unable to grasp the simple concept that you should give as many at bats as possible to your best hitters, the guys who get on base the most. Adam Dunn consistently batted fifth or lower in the Reds lineup, a failure to take advantage of the fact that year in, year out, he got on base more often more than anyone else on the team.
In their 2000 book on "Baseball Dynasties," Rob Neyer and Eddie Epstein, in dicussing the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, noted that the Dodgers, between 1946 and 1956, lead the NL in OBP 9 of 11 seasons. During those 11 seasons, the Dodgers won 6 pennants (1947, 49, 52, 53, 55 and 56), tied for two other pennants, only to lose in NL playoffs (1946 and 51), and lost another pennant on the last day of the season (1950). They then wrote: "On-base percentage correlates better with winning than any other percentage or rate statistic, including ERA."

I found this article... :lol:

When Dusty Baker Starts Channeling Bill James

http://seamheads.com/blog/2008/03/12/when-dusty-baker-starts-chanelling-bill-james/

And then there is these famous comments...

http://www.cubschronicle.com/wp/posts/2004/03/10/dusty-baker-on-walks/

There’s nothing to be surprised about, but here’s Dusty Baker ruminating about why the Cubs haven’t taken many bases on balls yet this spring, as quoted by MLB.com:

“No. 1, I’ve let most guys hit 3-0 (in the count). That’s one reason. . . . I think walks are overrated unless you can run. If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps, but the guy who walks and can’t run, most of the time he’s clogging up the bases for somebody who can run.”

Are singles then overrated unless you can run?

More Baker:

“Who have been the champions the last seven, eight years? Have you ever heard the Yankees talk about on-base percentage and walks? . . . Walks help. They do help. But you aren’t going to walk across the plate, you’re going to hit across the plate. That’s the school I come from.”

Mr. Baker, meet Google, which turns up this AP article from 2002, which quotes Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman as saying: “It’s just practical. If you want to score runs, you need to get guys on base. The best way to measure that is on-base percentage, because batting average can be very deceiving.”

There’s also this small fact: Over the last eight years, the Yankees have finished 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th, 1st, and 2nd in OBP% in the American League.

It’s one thing to say that’s not the school you came from. It’s another to say that’s not the school anyone else came from either.

And finally:

“Everybody can’t hit with two strikes, everybody can’t walk,” Baker said. “You’re taking away some of the aggressiveness of a kid if you’re telling him to go up there and try to work for a walk. . . . It’s like when I see kids in Little League and they make the small kids go up there and try to get a walk. That’s not any fun. . . . Do you ever see the top 10 walking (rankings)? You see top 10 batting average. A lot of those top 10 do walk, but the name of the game is to hit.”

The Cubs have a manager who doesn’t understand the correlation between strike zone judgement and batting average. It’s as if he never coached Barry Bonds.

Reading this, it’s amazing Mark Bellhorn lasted even as long as he did.

In the Cubs roundtable I said Dusty Baker both inspired confidence and inspired dread. I forgot to mention that there are times when “dread” is too insufficient a word.

-----------------------------

And that is my problem with Baker - he speaks out of both sides of his mouth. It's all about what is convenient to say at the moment.

Ltlabner
08-16-2008, 09:20 AM
I guess I've never understood why anybody can logically try to dimiss the importance of getting on base in a game where the only way to score runs starts with getting on base.

Forget correlation to runs scored. Forget clogging the bases. Forget comfort level with batting average. Forget that hitting is more exciting. Forget how batting average is calculated.

How can anybody argue against getting on base?

What it all boils down to is that some folks think walks aren't "manly" enough, or somehow a cheap way of getting on base. Only "real men" get to 1B with hits, I guess. I mean, if you are going to get a cheap trip to 1B at least lean into a pitch and be a man about it.

Why some people distain walks, and consequently getting to first base, is beyond me.

Spring~Fields
08-16-2008, 10:23 AM
Can we say that the 2008 Cincinnati Reds have made the worst offensive showing of the decade?



By date August 16
Year G RS RS/G
2008 123 523 (4.25)
2007 120 568 (4.73)
2006 120 593 (4.94)
2005 119 608 (5.11)
2004 118 561 (4.75)
2003 122 554 (4.54)
2002 120 558 (4.65)

Season
2001 735 (4.54)
2000 825 (5.06)


Knowing that the defense for the 2008 Cincinnati Reds is one of the worst in the league, can we say that the 2008 pitching staff is one of their best of the decade and their most improved since 2002?



By date August 16
Year G RA RA/G
2008 123 622 (5.06)
2007 120 635 (5.29)
2006 120 622 (5.18)
2005 119 670 (5.63)
2004 118 676 (5.73)
2003 122 672 (5.51)
2002 120 562 (4.68)
Season
2001 850 (5.25)
2000 765 (4.69)

By date August 16
Year W L G RS RS/G RA RA/G DIFF
2008 54 69 123 523 (4.25) 622 (5.06) -99
2007 52 68 120 568 (4.73) 635 (5.29) -67
2006 62 58 120 593 (4.94) 622 (5.18) -29
2005 54 65 119 608 (5.11) 670 (5.63) -62
2004 56 62 118 561 (4.75) 676 (5.73) -115
2003 54 68 122 554 (4.54) 672 (5.51) -118
2002 62 58 120 558 (4.65) 562 (4.68) -4

Season
2001 735 (4.54) 850 (5.25)
2000 825 (5.06) 765 (4.69)

puca
08-16-2008, 10:31 AM
Those comments by Baker are completely moronic of course.

Walks are good. They avoid outs and create baserunners.

No hitter that goes up to the plate 'looking for a walk' will ever reach the major leagues. They go to the plate looking for a pitch they can hit. This is a way complicated process that involves pitch recognition, knowing the pitcher, the situation and their own strengths/weaknesses.

Very often hits are better than walks because hits advance runners more often and typically farther than walks. But of course it isn't a choice between a hit and a walk. Swinging at pitches you cannot hit (see above) will way more often result in outs than hits.

While I agree walks to slow baserunners are less valuable than walks to fast baserunners, they are still more valuable than outs.

Spring~Fields
08-16-2008, 10:36 AM
What I find to be particularly aggravating is that the importance of OBP isn't a new concept. Ted Williams was advocating, and practicing, the importance of getting a good pitch to hit, and taking a walk, six decades ago.
The studies by Bill James and others that demonstrated the importance of OBP were initially published two decades ago--this isn't a new concept, yet many in Cincinnati, including its manager and much of its media and fan base, still do not understand it. A series of Reds managers have been utterly unable to grasp the simple concept that you should give as many at bats as possible to your best hitters, the guys who get on base the most. Adam Dunn consistently batted fifth or lower in the Reds lineup, a failure to take advantage of the fact that year in, year out, he got on base more often more than anyone else on the team.
In their 2000 book on "Baseball Dynasties," Rob Neyer and Eddie Epstein, in dicussing the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, noted that the Dodgers, between 1946 and 1956, lead the NL in OBP 9 of 11 seasons. During those 11 seasons, the Dodgers won 6 pennants (1947, 49, 52, 53, 55 and 56), tied for two other pennants, only to lose in NL playoffs (1946 and 51), and lost another pennant on the last day of the season (1950). They then wrote: "On-base percentage correlates better with winning than any other percentage or rate statistic, including ERA."

:clap:

I don't think that they grasp that H is a part of the formula for OBP
and that it would make complete sense for the batters that can get the most H and BB to get the most AB/PA over those who don't.

OBP
On-base percentage
(H + BB + HBP) divided by (AB + BB + HBP + SF)

GAC
08-16-2008, 12:10 PM
What it all boils down to is that some folks think walks aren't "manly" enough, or somehow a cheap way of getting on base.

Only in slow pitch softball. Especially those nasty intramural leagues. ;)

RedsManRick
08-16-2008, 12:45 PM
Of all the things Dusty says regarding OBP, the one that always stands out to me is the phrase "trying to walk". He must think that certain guys don't swing because they'd rather walk than get a hit. For some reason, he doesn't seem to get that walks come largely at the "cost" of guys getting themselves out by swinging at pitches out of the zone. He sees walks as "not-hits" as opposed to "not-outs". That's the problem.

Spring~Fields
08-16-2008, 01:10 PM
Central Hits BB Runs OBP SLG OPS
Chicago Cubs 1194 486 662 .358 .448 .806
St. Louis 1210 458 595 .348 .428 .775
Houston 1104 351 557 .325 .420 .746
Milwaukee 1063 413 575 .325 .439 .763
Pittsburgh 1112 368 574 .324 .412 .736
Cincinnati 1017 430 523 .319 .407 .726

LEAGUE AVERAGES
National League 1088 414 552 .329 .412 .741

Central Division
Cincinnati last in hits
Cincinnati third in walks
Cincinnati last in OBP
Cincinnati last in SLG
Cincinnati last in runs

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/teams/batting?team=cin&cat=plateAppearances&season=2008&split=0&seasonType=2&type=exp
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/teams/batting?team=cin&cat=atBats&season=2008&split=0&seasonType=2&type=exp

_Sir_Charles_
08-16-2008, 02:01 PM
I guess I've never understood why anybody can logically try to dimiss the importance of getting on base in a game where the only way to score runs starts with getting on base.

Forget correlation to runs scored. Forget clogging the bases. Forget comfort level with batting average. Forget that hitting is more exciting. Forget how batting average is calculated.

How can anybody argue against getting on base?

What it all boils down to is that some folks think walks aren't "manly" enough, or somehow a cheap way of getting on base. Only "real men" get to 1B with hits, I guess. I mean, if you are going to get a cheap trip to 1B at least lean into a pitch and be a man about it.

Why some people distain walks, and consequently getting to first base, is beyond me.

Do you seriously believe that Dusty is AGAINST men getting on base? Whether it's via the walk or the hit? No. I think we've all learned by now that Dusty is not a very good public speaker. Meaning he says things before he thinks them through. He talks from his emotion rather than from his brain. And due to the wonderful world of the internet, those off the cuff remarks turn into his baseball philosophy. IMO it's a bunch of bull. When Dusty says he wants Votto to swing more...I agree with him. Hitters need to stay aggressive. Staying aggressive doesn't mean that Dusty wants his players swinging at bad pitches. He's simply saying he doesn't want them to go up there LOOKING for a walk. He doesn't want them automatically stareing at a 3-0 pitch or a 3-1 pitch instead of looking to drive it. The problem the Reds have this season is not due to Dusty having the hitters swinging away at everything. Strike zone vision or whatever you want to call it is the department of Jacoby. While I loved Adam Dunn, I really wished he had gotten more work on making actual CONTACT. A player with his strikezone vision and prodigious power should be striving to make more contact. But, as Dusty insists, he (and other Reds) goes up there with a non-aggressive attitude. It's almost as if he's looking for the walk rather than a pitch he can drive.

In regards to his "clogging the bases" statement, again, people are reading too much into it. In fact I agree with him on it because I'm looking at it in the way he intended it rather than the way it's interpretted on the net. He's not saying that a walk is a bad thing. He's saying that he prefers a HIT to a walk. People are taking that statement from the perspective of that one single batter getting a walk. Dusty's looking at it from the perspective of already haveing someone on base when that batter gets a walk. If a man is on first and a batter takes a walk, the man on first only moves up one base. Another walk and they move up one more. Sure, you're getting men on base and thats a good thing, but it's a slow moving process that "clogs" up the basepaths. If that batter had gotten a single instead of a walk, you're looking at 1st and third. He's saying that staying aggressive opens things up more. Linking "clogging the bases" and walks as being a bad thing is just misinterpreting him IMO.

The only problem I have with Dusty Baker is his lineup construction. Now that Dunn & Griffey are gone, I see that getting better already. I think he felt compelled to hit Junior third at Junior's request. He was pretty hampered with what he could do with this club in tems of personel. If we see the same problems next season, I'd be tempted to cut the cord. But I'll give him the benefit of the doubt once he has some flexible tools to work with come this offseason. The biggest worry everyone had with Dusty when he came over was how he'd handle the young pitchers. IMO he's handled them nearly perfectly. We had that one wierd game in SD when his starters were offering to pitch...he should've turned their offers down. But otherwise, I've been pleased. I didn't expect to contend/win this season. Only to improve and develop players. Other than the roster turnover, I've seen that in many aspects.

BCubb2003
08-16-2008, 02:47 PM
The correlation is a powerful argument. Sir Charles has done a good job of describing the counter-argument it has to overcome. As much as I understand the true value of OBP, it's still hard for me to look at it outside the context of the current inning. In some innings with some lineups, the concept of avoiding outs becomes more a matter of transferring or delaying the inevitable outs. Yeah, you got on base, but all you did was leave the job to Corey Patterson. This leads to the dark side of OBP: LOB.

mth123
08-16-2008, 02:54 PM
The correlation is a powerful argument. Sir Charles has done a good job of describing the counter-argument it has to overcome. As much as I understand the true value of OBP, it's still hard for me to look at it outside the context of the current inning. In some innings with some lineups, the concept of avoiding outs becomes more a matter of transferring or delaying the inevitable outs. Yeah, you got on base, but all you did was leave the job to Corey Patterson. This leads to the dark side of OBP: LOB.

I completely understand this point, the problem I have with it is that for most people the thought process leads to a conclusion that the guy who got on base failed when the real failing was the guy who made the out behind him (or the "architect" who designed the team so that the few good hitters were surrounded by junk).

nate
08-16-2008, 03:29 PM
Do you seriously believe that Dusty is AGAINST men getting on base? Whether it's via the walk or the hit? No. I think we've all learned by now that Dusty is not a very good public speaker. Meaning he says things before he thinks them through. He talks from his emotion rather than from his brain. And due to the wonderful world of the internet, those off the cuff remarks turn into his baseball philosophy. IMO it's a bunch of bull. When Dusty says he wants Votto to swing more...I agree with him.

I think RMR said it best:

"(Dusty) sees walks as "not-hits" as opposed to "not-outs"."


But, as Dusty insists, he (and other Reds) goes up there with a non-aggressive attitude. It's almost as if he's looking for the walk rather than a pitch he can drive.

You're arguing against yourself. Is Dusty insisting people walk or hit?


In regards to his "clogging the bases" statement, again, people are reading too much into it. In fact I agree with him on it because I'm looking at it in the way he intended it rather than the way it's interpretted on the net. He's not saying that a walk is a bad thing. He's saying that he prefers a HIT to a walk.

This is key. Yes, a hit is better than a walk. But the majority of the time, a walk is better than an out.


People are taking that statement from the perspective of that one single batter getting a walk. Dusty's looking at it from the perspective of already haveing someone on base when that batter gets a walk.

I'm a "people" and I'm taking it from the perspective that I prefer, in this order:

1. hits
2. walks
99. outs

If I can't get 1 because the pitcher won't throw my guy something he can hit, I'll take 2 rather than swing at a pitch I can't hit and make a 99.


If a man is on first and a batter takes a walk, the man on first only moves up one base. Another walk and they move up one more. Sure, you're getting men on base and thats a good thing, but it's a slow moving process that "clogs" up the basepaths.

Since the only "timer" in baseball is "outs", I don't really care about how quickly the men move around the bases, only that they do without bringing about the end of the game while on the frowning side of the scoreboard.


If that batter had gotten a single instead of a walk, you're looking at 1st and third. He's saying that staying aggressive opens things up more. Linking "clogging the bases" and walks as being a bad thing is just misinterpreting him IMO.

That's great but what the batter can do isn't entirely up to him. It's up to the pitcher too. The pitcher can try to get the guy out, try to get the guy to get himself out or pitch around him to face the next guy.

_Sir_Charles_
08-16-2008, 03:47 PM
I think RMR said it best:

"(Dusty) sees walks as "not-hits" as opposed to "not-outs"."

No, you're (or RMR is) ASSUMING that's how he perceives them. That perception has been perpetuated via the internet. Dusty values walks. Every baseball player does.


You're arguing against yourself. Is Dusty insisting people walk or hit?

Neither. He's insisting that his hitters stay aggressive...REGARDLESS of the count. Many Reds hitters (or hitters in general) tend to become completely passive if it's a 3-0 or a 3-1 count. They want to make the pitcher "prove" he can throw a strike. Instead of realizing that the pitcher is FORCED to throw a strike and that the hitter should look to tee off on a pitch that's pretty much guarenteed to be in the heart of the zone. Dusty doesn't like the idea of "taking" a pitch. Lots of fans here also bash Dusty/reds players for swinging at the first pitch too. Same concept. If the pitcher grooves one right down broadway...should the hitter let it sail past JUST SO HE CAN WORK THE COUNT? No. If it's a strike...swing at it. If it's a ball, watch it sail past. Now what they do with that swing is between the hitter and Jacoby. Dusty just doesn't want that passive approach at the plate. Clearer?


This is key. Yes, a hit is better than a walk. But the majority of the time, a walk is better than an out.

Here's my problem with all the dusty bashing. Statements like that. Who's saying that a walk ISN'T better than an out. You're implying that he thinks the hit is the be-all/end-all of accomplishments at the plate. People keep perpetuating this notion that Dusty hates walks due to his misinterpreted "clogging the bases" comment. That's BS im my opinion.


I'm a "people" and I'm taking it from the perspective that I prefer, in this order:

1. hits
2. walks
99. outs

If I can't get 1 because the pitcher won't throw my guy something he can hit, I'll take 2 rather than swing at a pitch I can't hit and make a 99.

Ummm...okay. Is this trying to imply that Dusty doesn't agree with that? I think it's kinda silly to assume so. Hopefully you're not.


Since the only "timer" in baseball is "outs", I don't really care about how quickly the men move around the bases, only that they do without bringing about the end of the game while on the frowning side of the scoreboard.

Neither do I. I shouldn't have used the word slow I guess. I was only using it to describe the way they move around the bases as what he meant by "clogging". People keep thinking that he meant "clogging" as a bad thing. He didn't. Only as a description of how we were moving men around.


That's great but what the batter can do isn't entirely up to him. It's up to the pitcher too. The pitcher can try to get the guy out, try to get the guy to get himself out or pitch around him to face the next guy.

Of course. But I'm not suggesting that our hitters swing at bad pitches...and neither is Dusty. I (and he) don't want our hitters to "look for" the walk in a 3-1 or 3-0 count. If that pitch IS a ball...fine, take the walk. That's great. But...if that pitch is grooved down the plate...STAY AGGRESSIVE and go for the HIT....even if that results in a double play. If the hitter stings the ball but the defense just makes a great play...then the hitter did the right thing by not "taking" the pitch. The only time I'll disagree with swinging at a pitch is when it's a ball.

nate
08-16-2008, 04:25 PM
Neither. He's insisting that his hitters stay aggressive...REGARDLESS of the count. Many Reds hitters (or hitters in general) tend to become completely passive it's a 3-0 or a 3-1 count. They want to make the pitcher "prove" he can throw a strike.

What's wrong with that?


Instead of realizing that the pitcher is FORCED to throw a strike and that the hitter should look to tee off on a pitch that's pretty much guarenteed to be in the heart of the zone.

That's not guaranteed at all.


Dusty doesn't like the idea of "taking" a pitch.

I think that's a big problem.


Lots of fans here also bash Dusty/reds players for swinging at the first pitch too. Same concept. If the pitcher grooves one right down broadway...should the hitter let it sail past JUST SO HE CAN WORK THE COUNT? No. If it's a strike...swing at it. If it's a ball, watch it sail past.

I'm not arguing that batters shouldn't swing at "fat ones." However, "fat ones" don't occur very often in the major leagues because the distance they travel in the opposite direction is far.


Now what they do with that swing is between the hitter and Jacoby. Dusty just doesn't want that passive approach at the plate. Clearer?

I don't see the ability to work the count and take a walk if you don't get a pitch you can drive as being passive. I see it as being disciplined.


Here's my problem with all the dusty bashing. Statements like that. Who's saying that a walk ISN'T better than an out. You're implying that he thinks the hit is the be-all/end-all of accomplishments at the plate. People keep perpetuating this notion that Dusty hates walks due to his misinterpreted "clogging the bases" comment. That's BS im my opinion.

It was a pretty dumb comment though. Does a single, a "Texas Leaguer" to LF and an infield hit "clog" the bases any more or less than 3 walks?

To be honest, I don't really bash Dusty. I think he's an average manager that's good with players and has a lot of really neat stories about Hank Aaron. But these hitting concepts extend to his, in my opinion, non-optimized lineup construction. Now that Dunn and Jr. are gone, Dusty must be in lineup Nirvana because he's got a team that certainly looks to be "aggressive."


Of course. But I'm not suggesting that our hitters swing at bad pitches...and neither is Dusty. I (and he) don't want our hitters to "look for" the walk in a 3-1 or 3-0 count. If that pitch IS a ball...fine, take the walk. That's great. But...if that pitch is grooved down the plate...STAY AGGRESSIVE and go for the HIT.

Sometimes, hitters fail at their jobs but I'm pretty sure that every hitter, given the opportunity is looking to do exactly what you described.

There's another aspect about being overly aggressive at the plate and that's not making the opposing pitcher work. In my previous example with the 3 hits, the pitcher could've thrown 3 pitches. With the walk, he could've thrown 12. Although secondary to scoring runs, this is an important meta-game because it wears down the opposing pitcher and let's him know that we're not going to swing at bad pitches. The Reds, especially these new, young Reds, are bad at playing it.

bucksfan2
08-16-2008, 05:12 PM
No, you're (or RMR is) ASSUMING that's how he perceives them. That perception has been perpetuated via the internet. Dusty values walks. Every baseball player does.

Neither. He's insisting that his hitters stay aggressive...REGARDLESS of the count. Many Reds hitters (or hitters in general) tend to become completely passive if it's a 3-0 or a 3-1 count. They want to make the pitcher "prove" he can throw a strike. Instead of realizing that the pitcher is FORCED to throw a strike and that the hitter should look to tee off on a pitch that's pretty much guarenteed to be in the heart of the zone. Dusty doesn't like the idea of "taking" a pitch. Lots of fans here also bash Dusty/reds players for swinging at the first pitch too. Same concept. If the pitcher grooves one right down broadway...should the hitter let it sail past JUST SO HE CAN WORK THE COUNT? No. If it's a strike...swing at it. If it's a ball, watch it sail past. Now what they do with that swing is between the hitter and Jacoby. Dusty just doesn't want that passive approach at the plate. Clearer?

Here's my problem with all the dusty bashing. Statements like that. Who's saying that a walk ISN'T better than an out. You're implying that he thinks the hit is the be-all/end-all of accomplishments at the plate. People keep perpetuating this notion that Dusty hates walks due to his misinterpreted "clogging the bases" comment. That's BS im my opinion.

Ummm...okay. Is this trying to imply that Dusty doesn't agree with that? I think it's kinda silly to assume so. Hopefully you're not.

Neither do I. I shouldn't have used the word slow I guess. I was only using it to describe the way they move around the bases as what he meant by "clogging". People keep thinking that he meant "clogging" as a bad thing. He didn't. Only as a description of how we were moving men around.

Of course. But I'm not suggesting that our hitters swing at bad pitches...and neither is Dusty. I (and he) don't want our hitters to "look for" the walk in a 3-1 or 3-0 count. If that pitch IS a ball...fine, take the walk. That's great. But...if that pitch is grooved down the plate...STAY AGGRESSIVE and go for the HIT....even if that results in a double play. If the hitter stings the ball but the defense just makes a great play...then the hitter did the right thing by not "taking" the pitch. The only time I'll disagree with swinging at a pitch is when it's a ball.

I agree with this statement. As the season progresses I am starting to become more annoyed with Dusty and his management of the baseball team. But at the same time the guy isn't an idiot. He didn't make as far as he did in baseball being stupid.

IMO Dusty's statement about walks has been blown way out of proportion. Dusty obviously is going to prefer a base hit to a walk but at the same time he is going to prefer a walk to an out. If I were a manager I would want a more aggressive hitter than a passive hitter. I think there are times in each game that dictate what to do in a certain count.

One of the Reds biggest problems is not only strike zone judgement but also game management. Hitters that are counted upon, Votto and Phillips especially, tend to take every at bat the same instead of making slight changes due to certain situations. I hate how Phillips swings at the first pitch all the time. If here were a little more passive in that situation he would become an all around better hitter. That doesn't mean I want him passive during the count just to take a better approach on the first pitch. I think Votto also likes to swing away often and doesn't take the situation into play. Too many times there have been runners on or a wild pitcher and Votto has swung at an early pitch.

I don't think Dusty is a awful manager just not a very good manager. I think he needs a strong GM who gives his imput in order to become successful. I don't like the way he has handled this club and his disassociation from the club would be a very good reason to fire him. I think too often Dusty makes perceptions upon players that are just wrong (see Corey Patterson) which leads to him making poor decisions. But then again Dusty has had success as a manager at the major league level, something that none of us have accomplished.

_Sir_Charles_
08-16-2008, 05:37 PM
@ Nate

I'm not going to quote everything again, I'll just try to reply to the main parts.

People have come to think of "working a count" as being the same thing as "taking a pitch" in some regards. They're not. Taking a pitch is simply not swinging regardless of where the ball is thrown. That's a BAD thing. I don't care WHAT the count is. If the ball is a strike, swing at it. Period. How does it help your team to let a strike go by and you not take a whack at it? Just to add one more pitch to the opposing pitchers' pitch count? That's a HORRIBLE decision. If it's a strike, swing at it. Period. If it's a strike that's on the outside edge of the plate, you foul it off or fight it off...however you want to word it. But not swinging and giving the pitcher a free strike is simply put...stupid. Now, working a count is a bit different. Working a count is being more selective of what you swing at depending upon the count. If it's a borderline strike and it's a hitters count...be a bit more sceptical about swinging at it. If it's a pitchers count...fight it off. That's working the count. But taking a pitch just because the count is 3-0 or 3-1 is a bad call. I know it's not guarenteed to be in the heart of the zone, but in a count like that...that's what you gear up for and look for. You don't "hope" for a ball and simply decide NOT to swing before the ball is even thrown.

In regards to getting walks versus hits in respect to building up an opposing pitchers' pitch count....I simply don't look at it that way. If the pitcher throws 12 balls out of the zone...fine...don't swing at them. Even if you ARE able to get a hit on one. But if 3 straight batters swing at first pitch strikes and get hits...I'm definitely NOT going to complain that we're not making the pitcher work. If you get a pitch you can handle...then you take it, regardless of which pitch it was.

I don't really think we totally disagree, other than on the concept of taking a pitch in order to make the pitcher work more. Taking that pitch for a strike only increases the odds of you getting out and works the advantage closer to the pitchers favor. I guess we'll agree to disagree on that point. :O)

nate
08-16-2008, 05:54 PM
@ Nate

I'm not going to quote everything again, I'll just try to reply to the main parts.

People have come to think of "working a count" as being the same thing as "taking a pitch" in some regards. They're not. Taking a pitch is simply not swinging regardless of where the ball is thrown. That's a BAD thing. I don't care WHAT the count is. If the ball is a strike, swing at it. Period. How does it help your team to let a strike go by and you not take a whack at it? Just to add one more pitch to the opposing pitchers' pitch count? That's a HORRIBLE decision. If it's a strike, swing at it. Period. If it's a strike that's on the outside edge of the plate, you foul it off or fight it off...however you want to word it. But not swinging and giving the pitcher a free strike is simply put...stupid. Now, working a count is a bit different. Working a count is being more selective of what you swing at depending upon the count. If it's a borderline strike and it's a hitters count...be a bit more sceptical about swinging at it. If it's a pitchers count...fight it off. That's working the count. But taking a pitch just because the count is 3-0 or 3-1 is a bad call. I know it's not guarenteed to be in the heart of the zone, but in a count like that...that's what you gear up for and look for. You don't "hope" for a ball and simply decide NOT to swing before the ball is even thrown.

In regards to getting walks versus hits in respect to building up an opposing pitchers' pitch count....I simply don't look at it that way. If the pitcher throws 12 balls out of the zone...fine...don't swing at them. Even if you ARE able to get a hit on one. But if 3 straight batters swing at first pitch strikes and get hits...I'm definitely NOT going to complain that we're not making the pitcher work. If you get a pitch you can handle...then you take it, regardless of which pitch it was.

I don't really think we totally disagree, other than on the concept of taking a pitch in order to make the pitcher work more. Taking that pitch for a strike only increases the odds of you getting out and works the advantage closer to the pitchers favor. I guess we'll agree to disagree on that point. :O)

To say "it's never a good idea to take a pitch that's a strike," isn't, to me, a good rule.

BCubb2003
08-16-2008, 06:00 PM
There are strikes you can hit, and strikes you can't hit. One problem with swinging at the first pitch might be that these guys are swinging at pitches they think they can hit, and they're too often wrong.

westofyou
08-16-2008, 06:07 PM
To say "it's never a good idea to take a pitch that's a strike," isn't, to me, a good rule.

Know your zone, know you're strength, make the pitcher beat your game, don't just play into his.

nate
08-16-2008, 06:20 PM
There are strikes you can hit, and strikes you can't hit. One problem with swinging at the first pitch might be that these guys are swinging at pitches they think they can hit, and they're too often wrong.

Were you looking at Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce when you wrote that?

;)

mbgrayson
08-16-2008, 06:34 PM
Just remember that with Dusty, it is not just one quote. He has repeatedly pushed players to walk less(like he did with Votto in spring training). He has often put guys at lead off with low OBP (Not just with the Reds). His teams, aside from having a couple guys named guys like Bonds or Dunn, have been lower in the league in OBP than other teams.

The other thing that walks and plate discipline help do is run up the pitch count on the other team's pitchers. We get the good starters out sooner, and hopefully get into the weak middle inning guys. Right now, almost every opposing starter makes it through the 7th, and all we see is the set up guy, and then the closer. That is a hard way to win a game.

I watch this team day after day, and I see us lose a 9 inning game where opposing pitchers get us out on less than 110 pitches. I watch batter after batter hack away at the first pitch, and Dusty lets it keep happening. We end up with 4 hits against pitchers that look like Cy Young against us, but have 5+ ERAs against the league.

I have been a Reds fan since 1970 and this is the most frustrated I have been. I thought we had the talent to win half or a little better this year. Not with Dusty we don't. I like the man, but I dislike him as a manager.

RedsManRick
08-16-2008, 06:35 PM
Were you looking at Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce when you wrote that?

;)

Bruce has improved his recognition and approach to the low and away offspeed/breaking pitch more in 3 months than Phillips has in 3 years.

Falls City Beer
08-16-2008, 06:38 PM
Dusty likes hits and walks. But he prefers Pujols and Bonds to Dunn and Burrell.

So does Jocketty.

I can get on board with that. I think this isn't an either/or argument, as many would have it.

This team needs OBP like crazy. But mostly it needs much more talented hitters. And speed.

Falls City Beer
08-16-2008, 06:40 PM
I thought we had the talent to win half or a little better this year. Not with Dusty we don't. I like the man, but I dislike him as a manager.

This is one of the more detached-from-reality quotes I've read in here in a while.

RFS62
08-16-2008, 07:28 PM
Not all strikes are created equal.

Plate discipline 101

SteelSD
08-16-2008, 07:36 PM
Not all strikes are created equal.

Plate discipline 101

Thank you kindly. :thumbup:

RFS62
08-16-2008, 07:58 PM
Thank you kindly. :thumbup:


Hey, I do what I can. It's just not much, anymore.

That famous chart by Ted Williams is different for every player. All hitters have holes or weak spots in their swings, even in the strike zone. And all hitters have areas of their strike zone which are in their wheelhouse or "happy zone" as Williams called it.

But that's just part of the puzzle.

One thing that is very hard to articulate is the importance of a hitters attitude and mental approach at the plate. I think this is a lot of the motivation for posts which address a hitters aggressiveness at the plate.

When we see an accomplished hitter who is able to lay off marginal strikes or strikes in the weak part of their zone, we often imagine that it is a quality or skill which can be taught and that every player should have. To a degree, that's true. But the great hitters seem to have a talent for this that exceeds the abilities of lesser players. Just as a fielder may have a plus arm, a hitter can have plus plate discipline.

It's a talent and an acquired skill, just as surely as running, throwing and fielding are talent based. And some guys who can knock the cover off the ball just aren't wired to think this way.

I posed a question to a good friend of mine while discussing Tony Gwynn. Gwynn hated to walk. He went to the plate to put the ball in play. My buddy questioned if that could possibly be the best approach, even with a hitter of his ability. On paper, one could easily make the case that if only he had taken more walks he'd have been even greater. My opinion is that even though that may be possible, it would have taken a drastic change in the way Gwynn approached his plate appearances. It would have required him to be less aggressive, and to abandon his lifelong mental approach.

He would have to abandon his "Tony Gwynness", which was part of what made him great.

My point was that in some cases, with some players, you can do more harm than good if you take away their aggressive approach.

Obviously, most players would benefit from improving their plate discipline. But it's not always the case.

But because it deals with the mind and your ability to control your thoughts, it's misunderstood by most people, IMO.

There is a tremendous range of mental abilities among players, not only in the major leagues, but throughout baseball. Some are easily able to make changes in their mental approach, some aren't.

Myself, I like the stylists. I love watching Ichiro hit, even though many sabermetricans don't like his game. I loved watching Carew and Gwynn too, along with a long list of other hitters with different styles and approaches.

_Sir_Charles_
08-16-2008, 10:18 PM
To say "it's never a good idea to take a pitch that's a strike," isn't, to me, a good rule.

Just to clarify, I'm not saying that it's never a good idea to not swing at a strike. Just not to "take" a strike. As in to not swing as the thought going into the pitch before you even know what it's going to be.

mth123
08-16-2008, 10:20 PM
Just to clarify, I'm not saying that it's never a good idea to not swing at a strike. Just not to "take" a strike. As in to not swing as the thought going into the pitch before you even know what it's going to be.

The take sign on 3-0 has been around a long time. You swing at 3-0 it better be right in the wheelhouse.

_Sir_Charles_
08-16-2008, 10:23 PM
Just remember that with Dusty, it is not just one quote. He has repeatedly pushed players to walk less(like he did with Votto in spring training). He has often put guys at lead off with low OBP (Not just with the Reds). His teams, aside from having a couple guys named guys like Bonds or Dunn, have been lower in the league in OBP than other teams.

Sorry, but I completely disagree with that one. He never pushed Joey to walk less. He was pushing Joey to be more aggressive at the plate. To not be passive in high-leverage hitters counts. To assume that he wanted Joey to "swing more" is the same as saying he wants him to "walk less" is a pretty big stretch IMO. And another example of exaggerating Dusty's philosophies and approach towards hitting.

_Sir_Charles_
08-16-2008, 10:24 PM
Dusty likes hits and walks. But he prefers Pujols and Bonds to Dunn and Burrell.

So does Jocketty.

I can get on board with that. I think this isn't an either/or argument, as many would have it.

This team needs OBP like crazy. But mostly it needs much more talented hitters. And speed.

Now that's an accurate statement. :thumbup::beerme::thumbup:

_Sir_Charles_
08-16-2008, 10:27 PM
The take sign on 3-0 has been around a long time. You swing at 3-0 it better be right in the wheelhouse.

Yes, I know. And if a player is TOLD to take...fine. But it's in situations where they're NOT told one way or the other and they approach it with a take attitude that Dusty hates. I'm not suggesting that we swing at 3-0 and 3-1 pitches by default. But only if it's, as you said, in the wheelhouse. That's an aggressive approach not passive in regards to those counts.

mth123
08-16-2008, 10:47 PM
Yes, I know. And if a player is TOLD to take...fine. But it's in situations where they're NOT told one way or the other and they approach it with a take attitude that Dusty hates. I'm not suggesting that we swing at 3-0 and 3-1 pitches by default. But only if it's, as you said, in the wheelhouse. That's an aggressive approach not passive in regards to those counts.

But I don't see players taking pitches in the wheelhouse. I see plenty of them swinging at ones out of the zone though. The leading offender is of course Mr. Patterson, followed by Phillips, EdE, Bruce, Kepp and even Votto after Baker got on him for not being aggressive enough.

Now to be fair, I've also heard Baker say that Bruce has not been selective enough and that the team could use some more walks and better OBP. I just wonder if Baker has confused what was in his "wheelhouse" when he played with what the actual "wheelhouse" is for his players.

_Sir_Charles_
08-16-2008, 10:53 PM
Oh, I agree completely that we've got a lot of players who swing at bad pitches and even strikes that they can't do anything with. But that's not on Dusty. Dusty's not promoting the idea that they do that. That's just poor hitting and that falls on the players and on Jacoby. IMO the first thing we need to do to turn our hitting woes around is to dump Brooke Jacoby. I saw in C-Trents blog that Eric the Red has been on the field yesterday and today and that the TV guys are calling him a "special assistant", could this be the beginning of a new hitting instructor? I can see Eric flourishing in that role. But whoever they choose, a change NEEDS to be made IMO. As I said before, the only problem I have with Dusty is his lineup construction (and that it's getting better once Jr. left, but still far from perfect).

mbgrayson
08-16-2008, 10:59 PM
This is one of the more detached-from-reality quotes I've read in here in a while.


Detached from reality to say that this spring I thought the Reds would win about half, or a little better, of their games? (Actually I picked 84...I was clearly too optimistic, as usual).

The ORG average prediction (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66389)was 81.65.

FCB: THis was your prediction back in March:

Everyone's taken my number. :confused: I don't know: 81

Hmmmm, a little detached from reality yourself, it seems like....:)

Falls City Beer
08-16-2008, 11:01 PM
Detached from reality to say that this spring I thought the Reds would win about half, or a little better, of their games? (Actually I picked 84...I was clearly too optimistic, as usual).

The ORG average prediction (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66389)was 81.65.

FCB: THis was your prediction back in March:


Hmmmm, a little detached from reality yourself, it seems like....:)

Detached from reality is blaming it on Baker--particularly when Harang and Arroyo have been completely removed from the picture as starters.

mth123
08-16-2008, 11:06 PM
Oh, I agree completely that we've got a lot of players who swing at bad pitches and even strikes that they can't do anything with. But that's not on Dusty. Dusty's not promoting the idea that they do that. That's just poor hitting and that falls on the players and on Jacoby. IMO the first thing we need to do to turn our hitting woes around is to dump Brooke Jacoby. I saw in C-Trents blog that Eric the Red has been on the field yesterday and today and that the TV guys are calling him a "special assistant", could this be the beginning of a new hitting instructor? I can see Eric flourishing in that role. But whoever they choose, a change NEEDS to be made IMO. As I said before, the only problem I have with Dusty is his lineup construction (and that it's getting better once Jr. left, but still far from perfect).

Jacoby may be part of the problem, but pardon me for seeing the obvious - a manager who is quoted as saying walks clog the bases and has said on the air multiple times this season that some guys need to swing more and a team that has a bunch of hackers and a poor on base percentage. Again, what I've witnessed is a manager publicly stating a philisophy of "swing more" on multiple occasions and a team full of guys who can't get on base or get themselves out fast enough. Sometimes the obvious answer is the right one.

mbgrayson
08-16-2008, 11:07 PM
Sorry, but I completely disagree with that one. He never pushed Joey to walk less. He was pushing Joey to be more aggressive at the plate. To not be passive in high-leverage hitters counts. To assume that he wanted Joey to "swing more" is the same as saying he wants him to "walk less" is a pretty big stretch IMO. And another example of exaggerating Dusty's philosophies and approach towards hitting.

Joey Votto Walk percentages
AA 13.3%
AAA 12.4%
2008 Reds 8.9%

The actual Dusty quote this spring on the Votto issue was:

On Votto: “He needs to swing some more. I talked to him about that. Strikeouts aren't the only criteria. I'd like to see him more aggressive.”

“A lot of this on-base percentage is taking away the aggressiveness of some young kids. Most of the time you’ve got to put handcuffs on a young to keep him from swinging.”

So regardless of how you try to spin the facts, here is a quote where Dusty DIRECTLY attacks OBP....

SteelSD
08-16-2008, 11:17 PM
So regardless of how you try to spin the facts, here is a quote where Dusty DIRECTLY attacks OBP....

Yup. Dusty gives lip service to OBP like...when Corey-freakin'-Patterson needs to be moved off the leadoff slot. But Baker's own mouth and actions demonstrate that he has little use for an OBP that isn't Hit-driven or backed by player speed.

The game has passed Baker by, but he's still there to remind us that stupid can still be highly paid.

mbgrayson
08-16-2008, 11:19 PM
Here is one more that Google turned up from Baker's Cubs days (http://www.cubschronicle.com/wp/posts/2004/03/10/dusty-baker-on-walks/)in 2004:


“You’re taking away some of the aggressiveness of a kid if you’re telling him to go up there and try to work for a walk. . . . It’s like when I see kids in Little League and they make the small kids go up there and try to get a walk. That’s not any fun. . . . Do you ever see the top 10 walking (rankings)? You see top 10 batting average. A lot of those top 10 do walk, but the name of the game is to hit.”

Sound familiar?

_Sir_Charles_
08-16-2008, 11:47 PM
So regardless of how you try to spin the facts, here is a quote where Dusty DIRECTLY attacks OBP....

So, are you seriously trying to tell me that regardless of what Dusty actually said, you think he wants Joey to cut down on his walks and swing at more pitches regardless of where those pitches are? Wouldn't the simpler explanation be that Dusty didn't clearly state what he meant in that quote or that people are cutting out what he says so it comes out of context and has a totally different connotation? We've heard him all season long now and he's a pretty bad public speaker. He says some stuff that make no sence what so ever. But come on, he's not an idiot. He knows how to play this game.

People are just looking for a scapegoat for the Reds woes. It's pretty simple, our hitters are struggling. If you've ever played the game then you know that there are times when you're just in the zone and the ball looks like a freakin' beach ball as it comes to the plate and you're able to get great reads on the ball as to how it's going to break and such. That being said, the opposite is also correct. We've got a BUNCH of guys struggling at the same time and now they're pressing. Keppinger is a perfect example. He is NOT this bad of a hitter. But it's mental right now and he's pressing and probably second-guessing himself and the pitches. Heck, when guys are struggling, they'll even start to tweek with things mechanically when there's nothing mechanically wrong. Kind of like when you get the Shanks in Golf. You've got to get around the mental block and trust your swing. With all the young kids we've got on the team, this is going to happen quite often. You've just got to ride it out. The easiest way to fight you're way through a slump is to stay aggressive and to keep swinging. If you recall, that quote from Dusty about Votto was when he was really struggling at the plate during S.T. Also, the beginning of that quote gives you the reference point...he's talking about taking a called third strike. When you're down 2 strikes, he wants his hitters to stay agressive. He's not wanting them to swing at pitches out of the zone, but to protect the plate. Again, people are reading too much into those sound bites.

In regards to the Little League quote...is there anyone here who disagrees with that quote? If you do then you're simply SEARCHING for something to pound on Dusty with. Is there EVER a time when you want a player to go up there LOOKING for a walk? Good lord. :rolleyes:

RedsBaron
08-17-2008, 12:05 AM
Not all strikes are created equal.

Plate discipline 101

I can recall Frank Howard being quoted in an article in "Sport" magazine after Ted Williams first year as Washington's manager that Ted had been trying to get Howard to be selective at the plate. Teddy Ballgame wanted Howard to take as many as two strikes before swinging if the first two strikes were not in Howard's "happy zone," an area where Howard was looking for a ball he could drive. Howard said he had compromised and had agreed to take the first strike if it wasn't a pitch he could handle.
I've long thought that Sean Casey may not have been selective enough. Casey had enough bat control to make contact with almost any strike, but by swinging at any strike he often hit the ball weakly, swinging at pitches that he could not hit with authority.

mbgrayson
08-17-2008, 12:20 AM
So, are you seriously trying to tell me that regardless of what Dusty actually said, you think he wants Joey to cut down on his walks and swing at more pitches regardless of where those pitches are?

Yeah, that's what I said, right. You are building a strawman, and then knocking it down. OF COURSE I didn't say that. He has told Votto to be more aggressive, and then this year we see a significant drop in his walk rate. Of course, this also Joey's first full year in MLB, and this may be a coincidence.

And yes, I went searching for quotes....because a while ago you claimed that there was just this ONE TIME that Baker talked about walks clogging the bases, and we were all blowing it up out of context.

I will say this, in the service of intellectual honesty: despite all the quotes (and there are PLENTY) where Dusty downplays walks, the Reds this year are 6th in the NL in walks at this point. Last year, they were 6th in the NL in walks.....no change at all.

I do think that there walk rates will drop without Dunn, Griffey, or Ross on board.

What is worse is scoring rates. Last year the Reds were 7th in the NL in runs scored, this year they are 12th. Last year they were 8th in batting average, this year they are 14th. Last year they were 8th in OBP, this year they are 13th. (Stats from HERE (http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/2008.shtml)).

So the portion of OBP that has dropped this year really isn't walks at all, it is batting average. And if Dusty's new, 'more aggressive' approach worked, shouldn't that part be going up?

Razor Shines
08-17-2008, 02:08 AM
[QUOTE=_Sir_Charles_;1724257]@ Nate

I'm not going to quote everything again, I'll just try to reply to the main parts.

People have come to think of "working a count" as being the same thing as "taking a pitch" in some regards. They're not. Taking a pitch is simply not swinging regardless of where the ball is thrown. That's a BAD thing. I don't care WHAT the count is. If the ball is a strike, swing at it. Period. How does it help your team to let a strike go by and you not take a whack at it? Just to add one more pitch to the opposing pitchers' pitch count? That's a HORRIBLE decision. If it's a strike, swing at it. Period. If it's a strike that's on the outside edge of the plate, you foul it off or fight it off...however you want to word it. But not swinging and giving the pitcher a free strike is simply put...stupid.
I know how I'd like to word my response to that, but I don't think those words are allowed. Swing at a strike no matter what? Fight/foul it off? Do you realize how many of those balls they try to "foul off" end up being weak outs?


Now, working a count is a bit different. Working a count is being more selective of what you swing at depending upon the count. If it's a borderline strike and it's a hitters count...be a bit more sceptical about swinging at it. If it's a pitchers count...fight it off. That's working the count. But taking a pitch just because the count is 3-0 or 3-1 is a bad call. I know it's not guarenteed to be in the heart of the zone, but in a count like that...that's what you gear up for and look for. You don't "hope" for a ball and simply decide NOT to swing before the ball is even thrown.
Who are you saying does this? Maybe pitchers and Corey Patterson should have this attitude, but certainly not any decent hitters. Good and great hitters go to the plate looking for a select few pitches that they know they can drive. They don't worry about "fouling/fighting" off strikes. It's either a pitch they can drive or they don't swing, until two strikes obviously.

The Reds have a lot of offensive problems. Hitters not swinging at pitches in the heart of the plate is not one of them. It'd be nice to see the Reds' hitters get more pitches in the heart of the plate. Unfortunately they swing at so many bad pitches that other teams realize they don't have to throw pitches in the heart of the plate to get the Reds' hitters out. Funny how that works.

Razor Shines
08-17-2008, 02:27 AM
Oh, I agree completely that we've got a lot of players who swing at bad pitches and even strikes that they can't do anything with. But that's not on Dusty. Dusty's not promoting the idea that they do that. That's just poor hitting and that falls on the players and on Jacoby. IMO the first thing we need to do to turn our hitting woes around is to dump Brooke Jacoby. I saw in C-Trents blog that Eric the Red has been on the field yesterday and today and that the TV guys are calling him a "special assistant", could this be the beginning of a new hitting instructor? I can see Eric flourishing in that role. But whoever they choose, a change NEEDS to be made IMO. As I said before, the only problem I have with Dusty is his lineup construction (and that it's getting better once Jr. left, but still far from perfect).

I wouldn't mind seeing ED in that role either, he's someone that knew how to take a walk when he played, unlike Jacoby and Baker.

kaldaniels
08-17-2008, 02:59 AM
@ Nate

I'm not going to quote everything again, I'll just try to reply to the main parts.

People have come to think of "working a count" as being the same thing as "taking a pitch" in some regards. They're not. Taking a pitch is simply not swinging regardless of where the ball is thrown. That's a BAD thing. I don't care WHAT the count is. If the ball is a strike, swing at it. Period. How does it help your team to let a strike go by and you not take a whack at it? Just to add one more pitch to the opposing pitchers' pitch count? That's a HORRIBLE decision. If it's a strike, swing at it. Period. If it's a strike that's on the outside edge of the plate, you foul it off or fight it off...however you want to word it. But not swinging and giving the pitcher a free strike is simply put...stupid. Now, working a count is a bit different. Working a count is being more selective of what you swing at depending upon the count. If it's a borderline strike and it's a hitters count...be a bit more sceptical about swinging at it. If it's a pitchers count...fight it off. That's working the count. But taking a pitch just because the count is 3-0 or 3-1 is a bad call. I know it's not guarenteed to be in the heart of the zone, but in a count like that...that's what you gear up for and look for. You don't "hope" for a ball and simply decide NOT to swing before the ball is even thrown.

In regards to getting walks versus hits in respect to building up an opposing pitchers' pitch count....I simply don't look at it that way. If the pitcher throws 12 balls out of the zone...fine...don't swing at them. Even if you ARE able to get a hit on one. But if 3 straight batters swing at first pitch strikes and get hits...I'm definitely NOT going to complain that we're not making the pitcher work. If you get a pitch you can handle...then you take it, regardless of which pitch it was.

I don't really think we totally disagree, other than on the concept of taking a pitch in order to make the pitcher work more. Taking that pitch for a strike only increases the odds of you getting out and works the advantage closer to the pitchers favor. I guess we'll agree to disagree on that point. :O)

If you are looking for a pitch middle-in the first pitch of an at-bat and an outside corner strike comes heading towards you, you take the pitch...unless as a hitter you are confident you can do something with it. Many hitters probably would weakly ground out if they swung.

You back track from that bolded post further down I see, but on many more occasions than I think you realize it is more beneficial for your team to let a strike go by.

BCubb2003
08-17-2008, 03:26 AM
I wouldn't mind seeing ED in that role either, he's someone that knew how to take a walk when he played, unlike Jacoby and Baker.

And yet people used to talk about how Eric Davis had such a big hitch in his swing ...

hebroncougar
08-17-2008, 04:17 AM
Just read through this thread for the first time. I don't think there is any question between walks/obp and runs, as has been indicated. I'm not sure why anyone would try and defend Baker's statements, as he clearly doesn't understand that going up and working a walk when you are a good hitter can be part of a strategy in modern baseball, with the bandbox parks, and pitchers either A. being afraid to throw strikes in that environment or B. pitchers not having the ability to throw strikes. Here's a great mini part of an article over at BP from today:

Going into the draft, everyone knew that San Diego supplemental first-round pick Jaff Decker was a kid with an advanced approach, but this is getting ridiculous. Currently with the Padres' Rookie-level Arizona squad, Decker is batting .348/.534/.513, with the high (to put it mildly) on-base percentage the result of 44 walks in just 115 at-bats. Against left-handers, he's drawn 12 walks in 22 at-bats, and when leading off an inning he has a .731 on-base percentage, going 7-for-11 while drawing 11 free passes. This being said, the Padres are clearly working on their plate discipline, and their team total of 260 bases on balls is almost fifty percent higher than any other team in the league, and gives them a team on-base percentage of .396.

Now, what would you guess that team's record is? And what do you think Baker would tell that young hitter, Decker?

mth123
08-17-2008, 05:15 AM
[QUOTE]
IThe Reds have a lot of offensive problems. Hitters not swinging at pitches in the heart of the plate is not one of them. It'd be nice to see the Reds' hitters get more pitches in the heart of the plate. Unfortunately they swing at so many bad pitches that other teams realize they don't have to throw pitches in the heart of the plate to get the Reds' hitters out. Funny how that works.

Bingo. This is absolutely the core of this team's offensive woes. Fix this and everything will improve.

_Sir_Charles_
08-17-2008, 01:28 PM
Yeah, that's what I said, right. You are building a strawman, and then knocking it down. OF COURSE I didn't say that. He has told Votto to be more aggressive, and then this year we see a significant drop in his walk rate. Of course, this also Joey's first full year in MLB, and this may be a coincidence.

I wasn't deliberately misinterpreting you. That's why I asked if that's really what you meant. I didn't think it was. Sorry for the confusion. As for the drop in his walk rate...rookie facing big league pitching is the obvious reason in my mind.


So the portion of OBP that has dropped this year really isn't walks at all, it is batting average. And if Dusty's new, 'more aggressive' approach worked, shouldn't that part be going up?

No, it would be going up if the players were executing it and if Jacoby were properly instructing them on it. I think the thing people are misinterpreting me on is WHEN this aggressive approach kicks in. 2 times.

3 ball counts: You obviously need to be selective with EVERY pitch. But the concept of "taking" a pitch in a 3 ball count is the part I've got a problem with. In a 3 ball count, the pitcher is forced to throw a strike. The odds go up tremendously that the 3 ball pitch is going to be in the zone. Why plan to take it? Drive it if it's in the zone. I've got nothing against walks. But it's always better to put the bat on the ball if it's in the zone. It forces the defense to make a play. It puts pressure on the other team. If you don't swing, you've got 2 outcomes. Strike out or walk. If you DO swing you've got tons of options. Sure, some of those options are bad...but so is the strike out.

2 strike counts: Being aggressive here is different than in the 3 ball count scenerio. Here it's being aggressively defensive. No 3rd strikes looking. If it's close enough to be a called third strike, then put bat on ball. Could you weakly ground out to the pitcher? Sure. But if you didn't weakly ground out...you would've weakly struck out. Putting the ball in play gives you an opportunity to get to first, to advance a runner, even to get a sac fly...whatever. The other reason is because you'll foul off a good number of them thereby increasing the opposing pitchers pitch count.

_Sir_Charles_
08-17-2008, 01:31 PM
If you are looking for a pitch middle-in the first pitch of an at-bat and an outside corner strike comes heading towards you, you take the pitch...unless as a hitter you are confident you can do something with it. Many hitters probably would weakly ground out if they swung.

You back track from that bolded post further down I see, but on many more occasions than I think you realize it is more beneficial for your team to let a strike go by.

As I clarified in my previous post you'll see when I say you should be aggressive when we're normally not. And in regards to taking a pitch...I'm not saying you don't ever NOT swing at a pitch in the zone. I'm saying you don't go into that pitch planning to let it sail past before it's even thrown. As in a 3-0 and 3-1 count. That's what I mean by "taking" a pitch. Deliberately and premeditated non-swing based upon the count.

Ltlabner
08-17-2008, 06:08 PM
In regards to the Little League quote...is there anyone here who disagrees with that quote? If you do then you're simply SEARCHING for something to pound on Dusty with. Is there EVER a time when you want a player to go up there LOOKING for a walk? Good lord. :rolleyes:

No need to search for anything to bang Dusty around. He provides all the stupidity one can stomach.

Yes, there is a time when I want a player going to the plate LOOKING for a walk. Game on the line (tie score), bases loaded, with a wild pitcher on the mound. A guy who's struggled and maybe put on 1 or 2 of the runners ahead of the batter as a result of being wild.

The last thing in the world I'd want at that time is a hack-o-matic, Dusty aproved "agressive" approach at the plate. In fact, I'd say it would be STUPID to go up there all macho and manly like swinging like a wildman. Let the pitcher sink himself.

But it all gets back to this outdated idea that walks are shamefull. It's not an either-or situation. You can go to the plate looking for a hit OR a walk.

Ltlabner
08-17-2008, 06:10 PM
I'm saying you don't go into that pitch planning to let it sail past before it's even thrown. As in a 3-0 and 3-1 count. That's what I mean by "taking" a pitch. Deliberately and premeditated non-swing based upon the count.

Yea, God-forbid you let it sail past for a free trip to 1B instead of taking a wack and weakly grounding out to 2B (or worse, popping up).

RedsManRick
08-17-2008, 06:17 PM
3 ball counts: You obviously need to be selective with EVERY pitch. But the concept of "taking" a pitch in a 3 ball count is the part I've got a problem with. In a 3 ball count, the pitcher is forced to throw a strike. The odds go up tremendously that the 3 ball pitch is going to be in the zone. Why plan to take it? Drive it if it's in the zone. I've got nothing against walks. But it's always better to put the bat on the ball if it's in the zone. It forces the defense to make a play. It puts pressure on the other team. If you don't swing, you've got 2 outcomes. Strike out or walk. If you DO swing you've got tons of options. Sure, some of those options are bad...but so is the strike out.

The part I've bolded is just wrong. Not all pitches in the strike zone are created equal - as has been shown clearly in the thread. Certain strikes are very difficult to hit well. A pitch not hit well (a non LD) has a 75% chance of becoming an out. A pitch hit well (LD) has a 72% chance of becoming a hit. It's worth it to work the count and get a pitch you can hit well. Taking a pitch isn't the same as striking out and merely putting the ball in play is not always better than taking a strike. Unless it is strike 3, it's better to force that pitcher to throw another pitch than to swing at a pitch you can't hit well. Another pitch could be a strike that is easier to hit, it could be a ball, or it could be another tough strike -- in which case you're no worse off where you were on the pitch before.

If you've got strikes to play with and the pitch coming isn't one you're good at hitting well, then take it and give yourself an opportunity to get a better pitch to handle -- or take a walk if the pitcher doesn't give it to you.

The idea of "putting pressure on the defense" is all well and good, but it's overrated. A weak grounder to 2B doesn't create nearly enough "pressure" to justify swinging a pitch likely to produce it. Not if you have the opportunity to see another pitch.

It only takes 1 mistake from that pitcher to get a great pitch to hit. The more pitches you see, the better chance you have of seeing that pitch -- or getting put on first base for free before it comes.

_Sir_Charles_
08-17-2008, 10:50 PM
Okay, I'm out of this conversation. Feel free to continue to think Dusty Baker HATES walks. That walks are a wimps way out of an at bat. That real men HIT the ball and don't SETTLE for walks. Feel free to continue to think that letting balls fly past the hitter and looking for that walk is the way to succeed. Feel free to keep thinking that it's better to take that strike 3 than to try to hit the ball that MIGHT end up being a double play ball. And keep enjoying the view from the bottom of the division too.

It's almost looking like I'm coming off as some crazed Dusty defender. But I guess that's what happens when I'm in a crowded room with Dusty bashers. Dusty's not the problem with this team...it's our players. There's more to this game than statistics and not everything can be broken down to a percentage.

Razor Shines
08-17-2008, 11:36 PM
Okay, I'm out of this conversation. Feel free to continue to think Dusty Baker HATES walks. That walks are a wimps way out of an at bat. That real men HIT the ball and don't SETTLE for walks. Feel free to continue to think that letting balls fly past the hitter and looking for that walk is the way to succeed. Feel free to keep thinking that it's better to take that strike 3 than to try to hit the ball that MIGHT end up being a double play ball. And keep enjoying the view from the bottom of the division too.

It's almost looking like I'm coming off as some crazed Dusty defender. But I guess that's what happens when I'm in a crowded room with Dusty bashers. Dusty's not the problem with this team...it's our players. There's more to this game than statistics and not everything can be broken down to a percentage.

Who were you having a conversation with? I don't think that anyone was arguing most of the things you just listed.

Nobody thinks that a hitter should go up to the plate only looking for a walk. I think most of us just think that hitters should go up to the plate and have the discipline to only swing at pitches that they know they can drive and not be afraid to hit with two strikes.

Again the Reds don't have a problem with hitters not swinging at good pitches. One of the biggest offensive problems they have is that right now is that we have a lineup full of hackers. Is it Dusty's fault? No, not completely BP was a hacker long before Dusty came to town, but he certainly doesn't help. We have some young hitters that are still impressionable and I hope they remember more of what they learned from Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr than of what they learn from Dusty or Jacoby.

nate
08-18-2008, 08:37 AM
Okay, I'm out of this conversation. Feel free to continue to think Dusty Baker HATES walks. That walks are a wimps way out of an at bat. That real men HIT the ball and don't SETTLE for walks. Feel free to continue to think that letting balls fly past the hitter and looking for that walk is the way to succeed. Feel free to keep thinking that it's better to take that strike 3 than to try to hit the ball that MIGHT end up being a double play ball. And keep enjoying the view from the bottom of the division too.

Ironically, the teams that lead the league in runs (Boston, Cubs, Texas) also lead the league in OBP. The Cubs lead the entire major league in walks and seem to score a lot of runs.


It's almost looking like I'm coming off as some crazed Dusty defender. But I guess that's what happens when I'm in a crowded room with Dusty bashers. Dusty's not the problem with this team...it's our players. There's more to this game than statistics and not everything can be broken down to a percentage.

Again, no one's saying Dusty is _THE_ problem. Some are saying he's _A_ problem and that, because of the hitting philosophies he holds, fails to maximize the potential of the roster he's given.

Ltlabner
08-18-2008, 10:18 AM
Okay, I'm out of this conversation. Feel free to continue to think Dusty Baker HATES walks. That walks are a wimps way out of an at bat. That real men HIT the ball and don't SETTLE for walks. Feel free to continue to think that letting balls fly past the hitter and looking for that walk is the way to succeed. Feel free to keep thinking that it's better to take that strike 3 than to try to hit the ball that MIGHT end up being a double play ball. And keep enjoying the view from the bottom of the division too.

It's almost looking like I'm coming off as some crazed Dusty defender. But I guess that's what happens when I'm in a crowded room with Dusty bashers. Dusty's not the problem with this team...it's our players. There's more to this game than statistics and not everything can be broken down to a percentage.

Let me ask you this....if you are truely ok with walks, why is it bad to be at the plate looking for one?

I'm not advocating players do this, but if a player were to take a pitch in a 3-0 count from a wild pitcher (who's been shakey all day) what is wrong with that?

I'm assuming your answer will be that because it's 3-0 the pitcher is "guarenteed" to throw a strike?

nate
08-18-2008, 10:28 AM
Let me ask you this....if you are truely ok with walks, why is it bad to be at the plate looking for one?

I'm not advocating players do this, but if a player were to take a pitch in a 3-0 count from a wild pitcher (who's been shakey all day) what is wrong with that?

I'm assuming your answer will be that because it's 3-0 the pitcher is "guarenteed" to throw a strike?

In a 3-0 count, I'd bet hitters walk greater than 90% of the time.

Cyclone792
08-18-2008, 10:41 AM
In a 3-0 count, I'd bet hitters walk greater than 90% of the time.

In 2008 across MLB, 3408 plate appearances have gone to a 3-0 count and then ended on the very next pitch. Of those 3408, 3208 resulted in ball four, or 94.1 percent. The BA on balls in play on a 3-0 pitch is only .369.

If you're swinging on 3-0, you better shrink your zone down to your absolute crush zone. This may encompass only 30 or 40 percent of the actual strike zone. That being said, I can probably count on one hand the number of hitters in MLB who I wouldn't have a problem swinging on a 3-0 count. And none of those guys play for the Reds either.

flyer85
08-18-2008, 11:21 AM
I've long thought that Sean Casey may not have been selective enough. Casey had enough bat control to make contact with almost any strike, but by swinging at any strike he often hit the ball weakly, swinging at pitches that he could not hit with authority.Brandon Phillips says hi

bucksfan2
08-18-2008, 11:43 AM
In 2008 across MLB, 3408 plate appearances have gone to a 3-0 count and then ended on the very next pitch. Of those 3408, 3208 resulted in ball four, or 94.1 percent. The BA on balls in play on a 3-0 pitch is only .369.

If you're swinging on 3-0, you better shrink your zone down to your absolute crush zone. This may encompass only 30 or 40 percent of the actual strike zone. That being said, I can probably count on one hand the number of hitters in MLB who I wouldn't have a problem swinging on a 3-0 count. And none of those guys play for the Reds either.

Of those 3408 appearances how many walks drove in runs? How many hits drove in runs? How many of those outs drove in runs? How many of those walks scored runs? How many hits scored runs? How many of those hits were XBH?

You can throw out a stat like that and on the surface it looks like you should never swing at a 3-0 pitch. But I would argue that most atbats are very situation dependent. I am not advocating swinging at every pitch when you have a 3-0 count. I think you should shrink your strike zone and only swing at a pitch that is in your wheel house.

Cyclone792
08-18-2008, 12:11 PM
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