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PuffyPig
02-08-2012, 07:28 AM
Victories aren't given to the team whose pitcher strikes out the most opposing batters, it's given to the team that scores more runs than their opponent. Strikeouts are exciting and sexy, but you guys really do put too much emphasis on them.

More strikeouts mean less hits and less hits mean less runs. Less runs will correlate to more wins.

REDREAD
02-08-2012, 08:49 AM
So, you think Bailey is going to pitch 200 innings in 2012? What would you base that on? Luck?

Bum

I think it's a toss up on who will pitch more innings next year (Oswalt or Homer).. I would give a slight edge to Homer, as he's got youth and a healthy back on his side.

I'm all for going for it this year, but I can understand why the Reds can't spend 10 million on Oswalt for depth. If Homer and Masset have to be traded to make space in the payroll, it could be a net loss. Trading Homer also leaves a big hole on the roster for 2013.

Patrick Bateman
02-08-2012, 09:19 AM
I don't think anyone did that, although that's what people seem to want to make it appear as what I'm doing. I'm looking at the full package, end results and not just cherry picking stats here and there to make an argument that Bailey has been the better pitcher when the full body of their work shows Arroyo to have been more valuable to his team. Others are saying, yes, but Bailey could be better or that he should be better, while I'm pointing out that he hasn't been, yet no one seems to want to concede that fact.

Who's saying he's had a better career than Arroyo? That's cherry picking quotes that don't even exist........

Homer has not been a terrible major league pitcher the last 2 years, at least no less terrible than Arroyo. It's about projecting the future, and I think you are missing the cart with Homer if you are basing him on his previous 5 years, 2.5 of which he probably shouldn't have been in the majors.

savafan
02-08-2012, 01:44 PM
More strikeouts mean less hits and less hits mean less runs. Less runs will correlate to more wins.

This is not an absolute statement.

Pitcher X could give up 9 hits in an inning and allow 7 runs while striking out 3 batters. Heck, he could strike out 4 batters if someone swings on strike 3 and the ball goes to the backstop with the batter making it to first base before the catcher retrieves the ball. In theory, Pitcher X could give up a large number of hits and allow a large number of runs to score per inning every time out while still striking out 3 batters per inning to eventually get out of the inning. In no way does more strikeouts equal less hits or runs given up.

savafan
02-08-2012, 01:45 PM
Who's saying he's had a better career than Arroyo? That's cherry picking quotes that don't even exist........



Many are saying that Bailey is the better pitcher of the two. Outside of 2011, that's not been the case.

PuffyPig
02-08-2012, 02:11 PM
This is not an absolute statement.

Pitcher X could give up 9 hits in an inning and allow 7 runs while striking out 3 batters. Heck, he could strike out 4 batters if someone swings on strike 3 and the ball goes to the backstop with the batter making it to first base before the catcher retrieves the ball. In theory, Pitcher X could give up a large number of hits and allow a large number of runs to score per inning every time out while still striking out 3 batters per inning to eventually get out of the inning. In no way does more strikeouts equal less hits or runs given up.

Assuming equal luck, more K's means less hits means less runs. It is an absolute statement, other than randomness.

savafan
02-08-2012, 02:24 PM
Assuming equal luck, more K's means less hits means less runs. It is an absolute statement, other than randomness.

But baseball is random, you can't discount that. In the same situation as Pitcher X giving up 9 hits and 7 runs, let's throw in Pitcher Y.

Pitcher Y allows 3 consecutive singles to start the first inning. He should go for the strikeout on batter # 4 according to your theory to best keep his team in the game. However, on the very first pitch to batter # 4, he gives up a sharply hit ground ball. 4-6-3 double play, runner on 3rd scores. Now there are 2 outs and you're down 1-0. Of course, Pitcher Y could press and try to force the strikeout and overthrow, leading to wild pitch, or worse, a passed ball by the catcher which is out of his control. If that happens, then you have a run in with men on 2nd and 3rd and 0 outs. Of course, it's all random.

You can't say something is an absolute statement other than randomness, because it's all randomness which means that it can't be absolute.

Patrick Bateman
02-08-2012, 02:33 PM
Many are saying that Bailey is the better pitcher of the two. Outside of 2011, that's not been the case.

Those are two completely different statements.

For example, I also think Homer Bailey is a better pitcher than Tom Seaver, but at the same time, Seaver has clearly had the better career.

It's a current statement, not one to suggest that Arroyo hasn't had a productive career.

REDREAD
02-08-2012, 02:36 PM
This is not an absolute statement.

Pitcher X could give up 9 hits in an inning and allow 7 runs while striking out 3 batters. Heck, he could strike out 4 batters if someone swings on strike 3 and the ball goes to the backstop with the batter making it to first base before the catcher retrieves the ball. In theory, Pitcher X could give up a large number of hits and allow a large number of runs to score per inning every time out while still striking out 3 batters per inning to eventually get out of the inning. In no way does more strikeouts equal less hits or runs given up.

Yep, we've all seen Edwin Volquez. K/9 is not the entire story.

nate
02-08-2012, 02:50 PM
Yep, we've all seen Edwin Volquez. K/9 is not the entire story.

No one is saying it is. It's one component of individual pitching skill.

We all saw Arroyo last year. Poor peripherals and no extraordinary "look over here" BABIP to cover it up with a shiny ERA.

REDREAD
02-08-2012, 02:59 PM
Assuming equal luck, more K's means less hits means less runs. It is an absolute statement, other than randomness.


But you are assuming that any ball put into play has an equal chance of becoming a hit. That is simply not true.

When we had Jimmy Anderson, I bet his balls in play turned out to be hits more often than average, because he stunk. Likewise, if I took the mound, I'd have a much higher BABIP against, and it wouldn't be due to bad luck.

Bumstead
02-08-2012, 03:00 PM
No one is saying it is. It's one component of individual pitching skill.

We all saw Arroyo last year. Poor peripherals and no extraordinary "look over here" BABIP to cover it up with a shiny ERA.

Arroyo has operated outside normal parameters for most of his career. Last year he didn't. He doesn't fit into the box that those type of metrics want to lock him into. That's why there is more to it than just reading the metrics.

Bum

REDREAD
02-08-2012, 03:39 PM
No one is saying it is. It's one component of individual pitching skill.

We all saw Arroyo last year. Poor peripherals and no extraordinary "look over here" BABIP to cover it up with a shiny ERA.

Yep, Arroyo was bad last year.
But the other extreme is that people have been claiming Arroyo has been "lucky" ever since he came to Cincy, and "things are finally evening out".
That's just silly.
Arroyo was bad last year, but he was very good until then.

The reason why there's generally small variation in BABIP when you average all major leauge pitchers is because you have to be good to stay in the major leagues. If a pitcher has a good BABIP year, it's not necessarily due to luck.
He had a good year. How come he can't repeat it? Well no matter how many K's Cueto has next year, it's going to be difficult for him to repeat last year's performance, because he had an awesome year last year.

I've seen too many posts that trot out BABIP for pitchers and hitters as the sole explanation for everything. BABIP isn't worthless, but it's overrated.
Likewise with FIP. It's useful, but not the end all.

At this point, I think it's hard to say whether Bailey or Arroyo will be more valuable next year. Bailey has age on his side, but injury concerns and has generally been an enigma. Arroyo is getting older, but was sick last year.
I value Arroyo's ability to pile up a lot of innings, but I agree they have to be quality innings in order to help us next year.

Patrick Bateman
02-08-2012, 03:51 PM
But you are assuming that any ball put into play has an equal chance of becoming a hit. That is simply not true.

When we had Jimmy Anderson, I bet his balls in play turned out to be hits more often than average, because he stunk. Likewise, if I took the mound, I'd have a much higher BABIP against, and it wouldn't be due to bad luck.

Jimmy had a BAPIP in his career right around league average.

He stunk because he stunk. We don't need to make up fictional reasons for him sucking. He did it all on his own.

dougdirt
02-08-2012, 06:30 PM
Yep, we've all seen Edwin Volquez. K/9 is not the entire story.

Edinson Volquez also walked 5 guys per 9 innings. Strikeouts and walks ARE most of the story. Not all of it, but about 80% of it. Guys with good K/BB ratios tend to have success. Guys without them, tend not to. There are always outliers, but the better a pitchers K/BB ratio is, the better pitcher they tend to be. History shows us that, especially in more recent era's where hitters don't range from AA scrub with a glove to Hall of Famer in the same line up.

savafan
02-08-2012, 06:45 PM
I'm not going to say that these advanced metrics that you claim to be the best tools of evaluation are without merit, because I believe that they do serve a purpose. I just don't feel that they tell the whole story. Baseball is far too complicated a sport to break everything down to just the numbers. Everytime I see someone relying heavily on the new stats to make their arguments, I'm reminded of how many championships Billy Beane's Oakland A's have won.

dougdirt
02-08-2012, 06:51 PM
I'm not going to say that these advanced metrics that you claim to be the best tools of evaluation are without merit, because I believe that they do serve a purpose. I just don't feel that they tell the whole story. Baseball is far too complicated a sport to break everything down to just the numbers. Everytime I see someone relying heavily on the new stats to make their arguments, I'm reminded of how many championships Billy Beane's Oakland A's have won.

You think the A's are the only team using "new stats" or were even the only team doing so at the time of "Moneyball"? They weren't. In fact, some teams were shocked to find out that he was letting out "secrets" because it took away from what they were doing as well.

No stat is ever going to tell "the whole story". Nothing will. But some stats will tell us 90% of the story.

PuffyPig
02-08-2012, 06:56 PM
Everytime I see someone relying heavily on the new stats to make their arguments, I'm reminded of how many championships Billy Beane's Oakland A's have won.

Everytime I see someone relying on how many championships Billy Beane has won, it reminds of how much it makes me want to throw up.

savafan
02-08-2012, 06:58 PM
But some stats will tell us 90% of the story.

Stats may make up 50% of the story. There are too many other variables at play including luck, chemistry and the human element to make it as simple as saying any one stat or stats can tell us 90% of the story and shouting down anyone who tries to say that you have to allow more room for error without pausing to think that there might be something to what they're saying.

savafan
02-08-2012, 07:01 PM
Everytime I see someone relying on how many championships Billy Beane has won, it reminds of how much it makes me want to throw up.

Thanks for adding to the discussion. I'm sorry that you're not feeling well.

dougdirt
02-08-2012, 07:04 PM
Stats may make up 50% of the story. There are too many other variables at play including luck, chemistry and the human element to make it as simple as saying any one stat or stats can tell us 90% of the story and shouting down anyone who tries to say that you have to allow more room for error without pausing to think that there might be something to what they're saying.

We are now both just making up numbers.

Here is what I know though, The pythagorean theorum has never been off by 50%. Linear weights translating to runs has never been off by 50%. Luck comes into play, but it is usually by a small amount. Chemistry doesn't come into play when evaluating stats. If the second baseman hates his left fielder so much so that it keeps him from fielding the ball or approaching his at bats correctly, sure, that could lead to a step backwards in production.... but that doesn't likely happen. This isn't football or basketball, where you rely on someone else to help you out. No one is at the plate with you trying to help you get a hit. On 95% of balls put in play, only one guy is able to get to that ball. Chemistry simply doesn't come into play all that much in baseball.

One stat doesn't tell us the whole story, but several good ones can tell us a very significant part of it.

savafan
02-08-2012, 07:12 PM
We are now both just making up numbers.

At least we agree on this. ;)




One stat doesn't tell us the whole story, but several good ones can tell us a very significant part of it.

I'll concede this statement because it's vague enough to satisfy the argument.

Patrick Bateman
02-08-2012, 08:15 PM
Stats may make up 50% of the story. There are too many other variables at play including luck, chemistry and the human element to make it as simple as saying any one stat or stats can tell us 90% of the story and shouting down anyone who tries to say that you have to allow more room for error without pausing to think that there might be something to what they're saying.

The funny thing is, you are also using numbers to make the basis for your argument. Just instead you are using stats that correlate worse to future success.

I haven't actually seen a lot fo scouting and other analysis coming from your way, otherwise I think more people would be more open to your thoughts. Instead, you are being hyopcritic, and largely factually incorrect.

And for the record, there are lots of stats based organizations that have just fine, and lots of scouting based organizations that have done poorly. In the end, the technology is there to be used, and more teams are using it.

RedsManRick
02-08-2012, 08:19 PM
Stats may make up 50% of the story. There are too many other variables at play including luck, chemistry and the human element to make it as simple as saying any one stat or stats can tell us 90% of the story and shouting down anyone who tries to say that you have to allow more room for error without pausing to think that there might be something to what they're saying.

In an individual game, luck plays a massive role. Over the course of a season, it plays a pretty small one. If a guy gives you 200 innings, he might luck his way to an ERA that is (at the extremes) 0.50 higher or lower than it "should" be. But skill is the determining factor. Just look at the correlation between FIP and ERA -- you can predict a guy's ERA for next year better by just looking at his past Ks, BBs and HRs than you can by looking as his past ERA.

Sure, there's plenty of room for error in projections. But arguing that hits allowed are the primary thing to be looking at when evaluating pitcher talent (e.g. how well a guy is likely to perform moving forward) is simply wrong. At the major league level, the largest consistent differences between pitchers are their ability to get strikeouts and limit walks. The rate at which guys allow hits is driven mostly by how often they allow balls in play. And the rate at which a guy allows balls in play is driven primarily by his strikeout rate.

Don't confuse refuting incorrect statements of fact with "shouting down". Yes, hit rates matter. But history has shown us that most of the variance in hit rates is a function of strikeout rates and luck. And looking at hits first, ahead of strikeouts, walks and homers gives luck way too much weight in the assessment.

nate
02-08-2012, 08:38 PM
Arroyo has operated outside normal parameters for most of his career. Last year he didn't. He doesn't fit into the box that those type of metrics want to lock him into. That's why there is more to it than just reading the metrics.

Bum

What are "normal parameters?"

Arroyo was an average pitcher that's gotten worse over the years. His "traditional" stats are shiny due to unsustainably low BABIP. It's likely he will continue to decline. Therefore, in a scenario where Roy Oswalt signs with the Reds, the biggest net plus to the team is replacing Arroyo with Oswalt.

savafan
02-08-2012, 08:46 PM
The funny thing is, you are also using numbers to make the basis for your argument. Just instead you are using stats that correlate worse to future success.

I haven't actually seen a lot fo scouting and other analysis coming from your way, otherwise I think more people would be more open to your thoughts. Instead, you are being hyopcritic, and largely factually incorrect.

And for the record, there are lots of stats based organizations that have just fine, and lots of scouting based organizations that have done poorly. In the end, the technology is there to be used, and more teams are using it.

You can predict the potential for future success, but you can't promise it. It's not a science.

PuffyPig
02-08-2012, 08:57 PM
You can predict the potential for future success, but you can't promise it. It's not a science.

It's not a question of promising anything. It's utilizing stats in the best possible way to increase their predictive ability.

savafan
02-08-2012, 09:00 PM
Arroyo was an average pitcher that's gotten worse over the years. His "traditional" stats are shiny due to unsustainably low BABIP. It's likely he will continue to decline. Therefore, in a scenario where Roy Oswalt signs with the Reds, the biggest net plus to the team is replacing Arroyo with Oswalt.

Yet, aside from last year where we have to agree that he was sick, he hasn't "gotten worse" over the years. His numbers may have had a small drop off in some areas, while he improved in others. Mostly though, he's been pretty consistent, not counting 2011. Sure, he doesn't light the world on fire with the sexy strikeout stats, but he's been an all-star (not picked by the fans, as he's a pitcher), won a gold glove and received votes for Cy Young and MVP. He's been better than average.

savafan
02-08-2012, 09:03 PM
It's not a question of promising anything. It's utilizing stats in the best possible way to increase their predictive ability.

Yes, but predictions are often wrong.

PuffyPig
02-08-2012, 09:09 PM
Yes, but predictions are often wrong.

That's not relevant to this discussion.

It's what is a better method of predicting the future.

The fact that neither is perfect matters little if one is much better.

Patrick Bateman
02-08-2012, 09:09 PM
You can predict the potential for future success, but you can't promise it. It's not a science.

It's difficult to even have a conversation with you at this point.

That is such an egregiously obtuse comment, I have trouble comprehending that you even typed it.

I challenge you to find one comment in this thread that your comment is even close to addressing. I didn't say anything like that. I commented on the fact that you degraded those who use stats, yet have paraded numerous stats throughout this thread that correlate very poorly to future success. Just because the stats you like have been around longer do not make them better.

There are arguments to be made that would suggest Oswalt should be added even if it means trading Bailey. You have not made them. And irrelevent one liners will not change that fact.

savafan
02-08-2012, 09:21 PM
It's difficult to even have a conversation with you at this point.

That is such an egregiously obtuse comment, I have trouble comprehending that you even typed it.

I challenge you to find one comment in this thread that your comment is even close to addressing. I didn't say anything like that. I commented on the fact that you degraded those who use stats, yet have paraded numerous stats throughout this thread that correlate very poorly to future success. Just because the stats you like have been around longer do not make them better.

There are arguments to be made that would suggest Oswalt should be added even if it means trading Bailey. You have not made them. And irrelevent one liners will not change that fact.

I haven't "degraded" anyone in this conversation, yet my comments have been called obtuse, vomit inducing and apparently not bright enough to properly know how to use a keyboard. I'm not pointing fingers, but I don't think I've been the one doing the degrading in this conversation.

The stats that you claim that I like show what has happened. The stats that you say that you like, and unwaveringly declare as indisputable proof that they are the more superior stats, show what may happen. In the end, what has happened and what may happen hold little consequence to what will happen which is usually somewhere in the middle.

The history of the game of baseball is full of players who never lived up to their potential, never met their projections and faded from the limelight. Ignoring that and refusing to believe that it's possible that Homer Bailey may never achieve the level of success that his numbers and his stuff say that he should is being obtuse. Ignoring that Bronson Arroyo has been the more consistent and better pitcher of the two is being obtuse. Ignoring that Roy Oswalt has been a better pitcher than both, with Bailey being the least successful of the three, is being obtuse. These three things are not being done by me in this thread.

Patrick Bateman
02-08-2012, 10:05 PM
I haven't "degraded" anyone in this conversation, yet my comments have been called obtuse, vomit inducing and apparently not bright enough to properly know how to use a keyboard. I'm not pointing fingers, but I don't think I've been the one doing the degrading in this conversation.

The stats that you claim that I like show what has happened. The stats that you say that you like, and unwaveringly declare as indisputable proof that they are the more superior stats, show what may happen. In the end, what has happened and what may happen hold little consequence to what will happen which is usually somewhere in the middle.

The history of the game of baseball is full of players who never lived up to their potential, never met their projections and faded from the limelight. Ignoring that and refusing to believe that it's possible that Homer Bailey may never achieve the level of success that his numbers and his stuff say that he should is being obtuse. Ignoring that Bronson Arroyo has been the more consistent and better pitcher of the two is being obtuse. Ignoring that Roy Oswalt has been a better pitcher than both, with Bailey being the least successful of the three, is being obtuse. These three things are not being done by me in this thread.

You're opinions aren't obtuse. It's the arguments behind them IMO. You say the stats that you prefer "show what happened", but all stats are actually based on something that has happened. They simply tell a different story of what actually happened, and each one has carying levels of ability to predict the future, which of course, none of them are indisputable. Which if course isn't the point (Beane never winning a World Championship actually has nothing to do with Bailey posting a 3.50 ERA next year believe it or not.

If I was going to make the argument for Roy Oswalt at the expense of Bailey, it would probably go something like this:

Roy Oswalt was a better pitcher than Homer Bailey last season
1. That is based on virtually any metric you choose.
2. Although Roy has had some recent injuries, he has still been very durable over his career, Bailey has not

Some stats may over value Homer Bailey
Bailey has appeared to pitch poorly with runners on base, perhaps because he pitches better out of the stretch, perhaps it's because he loses focus, perhaps he simply makes too many "dud" pitches, as such, stats such as XFIP and FIP may overvalue his recent season, and for those reasons he may not actually be particularly good (not because of what he did 5 years ago, or because of what his defense has done behind him).

The Reds have the depth to lose Bailey now and in future seasons
1. The Reds signed Jeff Francis, who was reasonably decent last season, therefore if Owalt's back is cranky, there are replacements available.
2. The Reds have Aroldis Chapman who may be a factor in future seasons.
3. The market has currently been set that has shown that teams are willing to trade young, talented starters for a reasonable package of talent, meaning that there will be options for similar pitchers in the future.
4. The free agent market has yielded averagish pitchers to reasonable contracts meaning that it may not be difficult to replace Oswalt if and when he leaves via free agency.

The Reds lost numerous prospects in improving the 2012 team and could use Bailey to restock without hindering the performance of the 2012 team
Bailey could easily be dangled as bait to retool the farm, and the Reds could conceivably have the cash available over the next 3 years to replace Bailey's productions at a reasonable rate.

The marginal cost of upgrading from Bailey to Oswalt this season far outweighs the cost of losing Bailey in future seasons and the extra monetary commitment in 2012
Assuming that both pitchers reach their projections this season, it would be fair to say that Oswalt is worth about 1-1.5 wins more than Bailey. Considering the Reds have strategically positioned the Reds to contend for a WS this season, and perhaps this season only, meaning that spending the extra dough on Oswalt at the cost of Bailey could be worth significantly more than the marginal cost of the upgrade as it could mean the difference between playoffs and not, therefore at this point, an extra $7M could potentially be incredibly important even if it only buys you 1 win.


Overall, it's not obtuse to have opinions out there, but in my mind, what I have argued above uses logical reasoning to make a point without having to resort to relying on archaic stats (while at the same time suggesting that stats are more or less overrated), alluding to situations that don't matter (and are heavily popualirized by people who haven't actually read Moneyball, or simply misunderstood the point), or suggesting that there is only one way to skin a cat.

I happen to be of the opinion that in consideration of Oswalt's age, Bailey's peripherals, youth, and contract situation that he is an overall better fit for the next few seasons on the Reds than Oswalt is. I very well understand that could be wrong, but I am confortable with the fact that I have considered both sides of the equation, and have come to a logical conclusion without criticizing ideals that I haven't taken the time to fully appreciate.

nate
02-08-2012, 10:09 PM
Yep, Arroyo was bad last year.
But the other extreme is that people have been claiming Arroyo has been "lucky" ever since he came to Cincy, and "things are finally evening out".
That's just silly.

It's silly to argue for/against things "people" "claim."


Arroyo was bad last year, but he was very good until then.


No, he wasn't. He started out average when he was traded to the Reds and has been in decline ever since. His main problem is he's been striking out less and giving up WAY more HR. Not a good combo at GABP.


The reason why there's generally small variation in BABIP when you average all major leauge pitchers is because you have to be good to stay in the major leagues. If a pitcher has a good BABIP year, it's not necessarily due to luck.

What measures a "good" year?


He had a good year. How come he can't repeat it? Well no matter how many K's Cueto has next year, it's going to be difficult for him to repeat last year's performance, because he had an awesome year last year.

This is a strawman argument.


I've seen too many posts that trot out BABIP for pitchers and hitters as the sole explanation for everything. BABIP isn't worthless, but it's overrated.
Likewise with FIP. It's useful, but not the end all.

This is simply tilting at windmills.

Arroyo's decline has manifested itself in reduced strikeouts and increased HR. Shiny ERA in 2009 is largely explained by BABIP. Maybe 3% of said shine is explained by trading 7-8 line drives for ground balls.


At this point, I think it's hard to say whether Bailey or Arroyo will be more valuable next year. Bailey has age on his side, but injury concerns and has generally been an enigma. Arroyo is getting older, but was sick last year.
I value Arroyo's ability to pile up a lot of innings, but I agree they have to be quality innings in order to help us next year.

I'll say it yet again. Arroyo has been declining for years. It's likely that will continue, even if he rebounds from his bout with mono. Replacing his innings with Oswalt is likely to affect the win/loss column more positively than replacing Bailey's innings with Oswalt.

I, Nate, not "people" or "Redszone" approve this message.

savafan
02-08-2012, 10:15 PM
You're opinions aren't obtuse. It's the arguments behind them IMO. You say the stats that you prefer "show what happened", but all stats are actually based on something that has happened. They simply tell a different story of what actually happened, and each one has carying levels of ability to predict the future, which of course, none of them are indisputable. Which if course isn't the point (Beane never winning a World Championship actually has nothing to do with Bailey posting a 3.50 ERA next year believe it or not.

If I was going to make the argument for Roy Oswalt at the expense of Bailey, it would probably go something like this:

Roy Oswalt was a better pitcher than Homer Bailey last season
1. That is based on virtually any metric you choose.
2. Although Roy has had some recent injuries, he has still been very durable over his career, Bailey has not

Some stats may over value Homer Bailey
Bailey has appeared to pitch poorly with runners on base, perhaps because he pitches better out of the stretch, perhaps it's because he loses focus, perhaps he simply makes too many "dud" pitches, as such, stats such as XFIP and FIP may overvalue his recent season, and for those reasons he may not actually be particularly good (not because of what he did 5 years ago, or because of what his defense has done behind him).

The Reds have the depth to lose Bailey now and in future seasons
1. The Reds signed Jeff Francis, who was reasonably decent last season, therefore if Owalt's back is cranky, there are replacements available.
2. The Reds have Aroldis Chapman who may be a factor in future seasons.
3. The market has currently been set that has shown that teams are willing to trade young, talented starters for a reasonable package of talent, meaning that there will be options for similar pitchers in the future.
4. The free agent market has yielded averagish pitchers to reasonable contracts meaning that it may not be difficult to replace Oswalt if and when he leaves via free agency.

The Reds lost numerous prospects in improving the 2012 team and could use Bailey to restock without hindering the performance of the 2012 team
Bailey could easily be dangled as bait to retool the farm, and the Reds could conceivably have the cash available over the next 3 years to replace Bailey's productions at a reasonable rate.

The marginal cost of upgrading from Bailey to Oswalt this season far outweighs the cost of losing Bailey in future seasons and the extra monetary commitment in 2012
Assuming that both pitchers reach their projections this season, it would be fair to say that Oswalt is worth about 1-1.5 wins more than Bailey. Considering the Reds have strategically positioned the Reds to contend for a WS this season, and perhaps this season only, meaning that spending the extra dough on Oswalt at the cost of Bailey could be worth significantly more than the marginal cost of the upgrade as it could mean the difference between playoffs and not, therefore at this point, an extra $7M could potentially be incredibly important even if it only buys you 1 win.


Overall, it's not obtuse to have opinions out there, but in my mind, what I have argued above uses logical reasoning to make a point without having to resort to relying on archaic stats (while at the same time suggesting that stats are more or less overrated), alluding to situations that don't matter (and are heavily popualirized by people who haven't actually read Moneyball, or simply misunderstood the point), or suggesting that there is only one way to skin a cat.

I happen to be of the opinion that in consideration of Oswalt's age, Bailey's peripherals, youth, and contract situation that he is an overall better fit for the next few seasons on the Reds than Oswalt is. I very well understand that could be wrong, but I am confortable with the fact that I have considered both sides of the equation, and have come to a logical conclusion without criticizing ideals that I haven't taken the time to fully appreciate.

Well thank you for showing me how to properly post on Redszone. It's a good thing I was grandfathered into the ORG, or my level of discussion wouldn't be high enough to your groups' standards to allow me to post here. I'll try to format my posts better to the rules in the future. Sorry for not living up to the high standards of conformity that you've established.

nate
02-08-2012, 10:16 PM
You can predict the potential for future success, but you can't promise it. It's not a science.

I doubt I've ever used the word "promise" in my posts.

I think the word you'll find I use most often is "likely." That's on purpose. "So and so is likely to do this based on this."

Hardly a promise.

Vottomatic
02-08-2012, 10:18 PM
Wow. This thread has gotten ugly.

Cedric
02-08-2012, 10:18 PM
Well thank you for showing me how to properly post on Redszone. It's a good thing I was grandfathered into the ORG, or my level of discussion wouldn't be high enough to your groups' standards to allow me to post here. I'll try to format my posts better to the rules in the future. Sorry for not living up to the high standards of conformity that you've established.

I think BABIP is overused/not properly used often. That said it's a very useful tool at times and not at all what you have positioned in this thread. You haven't been fair to other posters and I don't think it's wrong that people have politely pointed that out.

savafan
02-08-2012, 10:20 PM
I doubt I've ever used the word "promise" in my posts.

I think the word you'll find I use most often is "likely." That's on purpose. "So and so is likely to do this based on this."

Hardly a promise.

Yet we've been saying that Homer's been likely to be an ace almost since he arrived in the organization. We haven't seen that come to fruition. At best right now, Homer would be labeled a #5 starter. Oswalt would probably be the Reds 3rd best pitcher, with Leake and Arroyo coming in ahead of Bailey. I don't think that many organizations would have been as patient with Bailey's development as Cincinnati has been.

nate
02-08-2012, 10:20 PM
Yet, aside from last year where we have to agree that he was sick, he hasn't "gotten worse" over the years. His numbers may have had a small drop off in some areas, while he improved in others.

Which numbers? When?

I've already explained mine.


Mostly though, he's been pretty consistent, not counting 2011.

Yet again, measured how?


Sure, he doesn't light the world on fire with the sexy strikeout stats,


He sure lights baseballs on fire with his HR/9 rate. The point being, I'm using more than K-rate to analyze his decline from average to poor.


but he's been an all-star (not picked by the fans, as he's a pitcher), won a gold glove and received votes for Cy Young and MVP. He's been better than average.

Past tense is correct, "better than" - I disagree.

Vottomatic
02-08-2012, 10:28 PM
Yet we've been saying that Homer's been likely to be an ace almost since he arrived in the organization. We haven't seen that come to fruition. At best right now, Homer would be labeled a #5 starter. Oswalt would probably be the Reds 3rd best pitcher, with Leake and Arroyo coming in ahead of Bailey. I don't think that many organizations would have been as patient with Bailey's development as Cincinnati has been.

Yeah, I agree. The Sabermatricians have been proclaiming Bailey to break out "next year" for years now based on his peripherals, Xfip, etc.

It gets really old. I like your "dud" theory. The eyes can tell you more than stats alot of the times. But those guys don't like to hear it.

nate
02-08-2012, 10:29 PM
Yet we've been saying that Homer's been likely to be an ace almost since he arrived in the organization.

I don't discuss what "we" have said because "I" have no way to read or understand all the unique personalities that make up Redszone.

I don't think he's been an "Ace" - I have no idea what an "Ace" actually is so I wouldn't make such a statement. I think it's likely that Homer can be useful and better than Arroyo while being average to above average.

Jay Bruce
02-08-2012, 10:48 PM
Well thank you for showing me how to properly post on Redszone. It's a good thing I was grandfathered into the ORG, or my level of discussion wouldn't be high enough to your groups' standards to allow me to post here. I'll try to format my posts better to the rules in the future. Sorry for not living up to the high standards of conformity that you've established.

It's nice too see some self awareness on your behalf. :beerme:

Patrick Bateman
02-08-2012, 11:52 PM
Well thank you for showing me how to properly post on Redszone. It's a good thing I was grandfathered into the ORG, or my level of discussion wouldn't be high enough to your groups' standards to allow me to post here. I'll try to format my posts better to the rules in the future. Sorry for not living up to the high standards of conformity that you've established.

I could have predicted you would respond with something like that. It has nothing to do with high standards, all I'm trying to say is that I think it can be incredibly difficult to gain traction in a debate when rather trying to develop your viewpoints, you would rather make sweeping (and inaccurate) generalizations about the opposition's argument. It's an intellectually dishonest thing to do.

I'm sorry if you find that to be condescending, but really, how I am supposed to repond when I suggest that there are some stats available that suggest that Bailey might actually be better than his ERA would indicate, and the response is "well Billy Beane has never won a WS"?

That is a completely lazy argument, that was considered laughable 5 years ago when Joe Morgan used it umpteen times without even reading Moneyball, and really, if you understood Moneyball, you would know that the book was not about stats... it was about market ineffiencies of which were tried to be exploited by finding undervalued commodities with the aid of statistical analysis.

What I was trying to demonstrate with my previous post is that to me, there are always reasonable ways to back one's opinion, and I was trying to illustrate that by doing so on an opinion that I don't even agree with. Rather than baiting the opposition by mischaracterizing their opinion, attempting to actually understand both viewpoints can go a long way in having an intelligent discourse without getting stuck in a back and fourth argument where there is clearly going to be zero traction.

Homer Bailey
02-09-2012, 12:17 AM
Yeah, I agree. The Sabermatricians have been proclaiming Bailey to break out "next year" for years now based on his peripherals, Xfip, etc.

It gets really old. I like your "dud" theory. The eyes can tell you more than stats alot of the times. But those guys don't like to hear it.

The "Sabermatricians" as you call it, also proclaimed that Arroyo's BABIP would normalize last year. It did.

It's easy to play that game.

savafan
02-09-2012, 12:26 AM
The "Sabermatricians" as you call it, also proclaimed that Arroyo's BABIP would normalize last year. It did.

It's easy to play that game.

But did they proclaim that Arroyo would come down with mono and never be able to get back on track? It's easy to get lucky with a proclamation when an outside variable such as an illness comes into play. I don't see what trends one could point to from 2006 to 2010, save for perhaps the parties on Bronson's boat or his evenings at Jefferson Hall, to predict where he would come down with mono.

savafan
02-09-2012, 12:34 AM
I could have predicted you would respond with something like that. It has nothing to do with high standards, all I'm trying to say is that I think it can be incredibly difficult to gain traction in a debate when rather trying to develop your viewpoints, you would rather make sweeping (and inaccurate) generalizations about the opposition's argument. It's an intellectually dishonest thing to do.

I'm sorry if you find that to be condescending, but really, how I am supposed to repond when I suggest that there are some stats available that suggest that Bailey might actually be better than his ERA would indicate, and the response is "well Billy Beane has never won a WS"?

That is a completely lazy argument, that was considered laughable 5 years ago when Joe Morgan used it umpteen times without even reading Moneyball, and really, if you understood Moneyball, you would know that the book was not about stats... it was about market ineffiencies of which were tried to be exploited by finding undervalued commodities with the aid of statistical analysis.

What I was trying to demonstrate with my previous post is that to me, there are always reasonable ways to back one's opinion, and I was trying to illustrate that by doing so on an opinion that I don't even agree with. Rather than baiting the opposition by mischaracterizing their opinion, attempting to actually understand both viewpoints can go a long way in having an intelligent discourse without getting stuck in a back and fourth argument where there is clearly going to be zero traction.

I'm sorry that I wasn't smart enough to understand your superior logic. I guess I was too busy romanticizing about the days when this used to be a place where people could come and discuss Reds baseball, respecting one another as fans and friends with varying different views and opinions and not be made to feel that their opinion is inferior because there is one overwhelming philosophy now that controls how we have to look at the game, and all other analysis is wrong because at one time it became a contest of who had the biggest ego, and many of those people who I used to be able to have actual discussions and debate with here on Redszone have moved on because their views were constantly shouted down by the popular party in power. My apologies.

Homer Bailey
02-09-2012, 12:48 AM
This article will help with the BABIP discussion.

http://mlb.sbnation.com/2011/8/3/2340803/position-players-pitching-babip-stats

757690
02-09-2012, 01:08 AM
The "Sabermatricians" as you call it, also proclaimed that Arroyo's BABIP would normalize last year. It did.

It's easy to play that game.

They had been proclaiming that for five years. It finally did when he got older and mono.

FIP is definitely better at predicting future performance than ERA, but it still really isn't all that good at it. The problem I have with how some people use it is that they act like it's more definitive than it actually is.

If you want to project 100 pitcher's future performance, a quick, easy way is to use FIP. It will be right more often than any other single stat, but it still will be wrong a lot of the time.

The best way to project future performance is to use all the stats and information available, which is possible when comparing just two pitchers, like Arroyo and Bailey. That is what I believe the other side is saying. Not to ignore FIP, but just to use it along with all the other information available. When you do that, a strong argument can be made that Arroyo and Bailey project to have similar 2012 seasons in terms of overall production.

AtomicDumpling
02-09-2012, 01:27 AM
Wow. This thread has gotten ugly.

Yes it has. It would be nice if everyone would just share their thoughts and enjoy some pleasant discussion without feeling the need to attack and shred someone else's opinion.

dougdirt
02-09-2012, 01:29 AM
Yet we've been saying that Homer's been likely to be an ace almost since he arrived in the organization. We haven't seen that come to fruition. At best right now, Homer would be labeled a #5 starter. Oswalt would probably be the Reds 3rd best pitcher, with Leake and Arroyo coming in ahead of Bailey. I don't think that many organizations would have been as patient with Bailey's development as Cincinnati has been.

While I think some have said Bailey have ACE potential, I can't recall anyone actually suggesting Bailey was going to be an ACE in year 20XX.

If the Reds added Oswalt, and I had to put the Reds starters in order of who I think would be the best 5 guys, I would put Homer Bailey at #3 behind Mat Latos and Johnny Cueto, but ahead of Mike Leake and Roy Oswalt.

We have seen Bailey improve, each and every season of his career thus far. I think every organization sans the Yankees would have been just as patient with Baileys development as the Reds have been. Most teams have had a similar "guy" to Bailey in which they showed plenty of patience.

Brutus
02-09-2012, 01:49 AM
I think BABIP is overused/not properly used often. That said it's a very useful tool at times and not at all what you have positioned in this thread. You haven't been fair to other posters and I don't think it's wrong that people have politely pointed that out.

I hate to even say this, because it further derails the thread, but actually I think BABIP has outlived its usefulness (at least for hitters) when we have xBABIP that takes everything a step further by weeding out the hit types. At least, BABIP isn't necessary when the xBABIP data is available. If nothing else, there are shorthand methods of estimating xBABIP simply by having access to LD%. Of course, for pitchers, I'd argue BABIP isn't as useful without knowing what the BABIP is for the rest of the staff, as you'd expect some fluctuation based on defense and should compare to what other pitchers experienced.

PuffyPig
02-09-2012, 06:03 AM
You're opinions aren't obtuse. It's the arguments behind them IMO. You say the stats that you prefer "show what happened", but all stats are actually based on something that has happened. They simply tell a different story of what actually happened, and each one has carying levels of ability to predict the future, which of course, none of them are indisputable. Which if course isn't the point (Beane never winning a World Championship actually has nothing to do with Bailey posting a 3.50 ERA next year believe it or not.

If I was going to make the argument for Roy Oswalt at the expense of Bailey, it would probably go something like this:

Roy Oswalt was a better pitcher than Homer Bailey last season
1. That is based on virtually any metric you choose.
2. Although Roy has had some recent injuries, he has still been very durable over his career, Bailey has not

Some stats may over value Homer Bailey
Bailey has appeared to pitch poorly with runners on base, perhaps because he pitches better out of the stretch, perhaps it's because he loses focus, perhaps he simply makes too many "dud" pitches, as such, stats such as XFIP and FIP may overvalue his recent season, and for those reasons he may not actually be particularly good (not because of what he did 5 years ago, or because of what his defense has done behind him).

The Reds have the depth to lose Bailey now and in future seasons
1. The Reds signed Jeff Francis, who was reasonably decent last season, therefore if Owalt's back is cranky, there are replacements available.
2. The Reds have Aroldis Chapman who may be a factor in future seasons.
3. The market has currently been set that has shown that teams are willing to trade young, talented starters for a reasonable package of talent, meaning that there will be options for similar pitchers in the future.
4. The free agent market has yielded averagish pitchers to reasonable contracts meaning that it may not be difficult to replace Oswalt if and when he leaves via free agency.

The Reds lost numerous prospects in improving the 2012 team and could use Bailey to restock without hindering the performance of the 2012 team
Bailey could easily be dangled as bait to retool the farm, and the Reds could conceivably have the cash available over the next 3 years to replace Bailey's productions at a reasonable rate.

The marginal cost of upgrading from Bailey to Oswalt this season far outweighs the cost of losing Bailey in future seasons and the extra monetary commitment in 2012
Assuming that both pitchers reach their projections this season, it would be fair to say that Oswalt is worth about 1-1.5 wins more than Bailey. Considering the Reds have strategically positioned the Reds to contend for a WS this season, and perhaps this season only, meaning that spending the extra dough on Oswalt at the cost of Bailey could be worth significantly more than the marginal cost of the upgrade as it could mean the difference between playoffs and not, therefore at this point, an extra $7M could potentially be incredibly important even if it only buys you 1 win.


Overall, it's not obtuse to have opinions out there, but in my mind, what I have argued above uses logical reasoning to make a point without having to resort to relying on archaic stats (while at the same time suggesting that stats are more or less overrated), alluding to situations that don't matter (and are heavily popualirized by people who haven't actually read Moneyball, or simply misunderstood the point), or suggesting that there is only one way to skin a cat.

I happen to be of the opinion that in consideration of Oswalt's age, Bailey's peripherals, youth, and contract situation that he is an overall better fit for the next few seasons on the Reds than Oswalt is. I very well understand that could be wrong, but I am confortable with the fact that I have considered both sides of the equation, and have come to a logical conclusion without criticizing ideals that I haven't taken the time to fully appreciate.

Boom.

Baseballed.

RANDY IN INDY
02-09-2012, 06:34 AM
I'm sorry that I wasn't smart enough to understand your superior logic. I guess I was too busy romanticizing about the days when this used to be a place where people could come and discuss Reds baseball, respecting one another as fans and friends with varying different views and opinions and not be made to feel that their opinion is inferior because there is one overwhelming philosophy now that controls how we have to look at the game, and all other analysis is wrong because at one time it became a contest of who had the biggest ego, and many of those people who I used to be able to have actual discussions and debate with here on Redszone have moved on because their views were constantly shouted down by the popular party in power. My apologies.

:beerme:

Vottomatic
02-09-2012, 07:27 AM
Yes it has. It would be nice if everyone would just share their thoughts and enjoy some pleasant discussion without feeling the need to attack and shred someone else's opinion.

Since moving up to the ORG, I've noticed that sometimes you feel like you can't say anything without someone jumping in to discredit your opinion or insult you.

People should learn to agree to disagree in a civil fashion. This is a board of ideas and opinions. It's not a competition to soothe your ego's.

RedLegSuperStar
02-09-2012, 08:35 AM
Since moving up to the ORG, I've noticed that sometimes you feel like you can't say anything without someone jumping in to discredit your opinion or insult you.

People should learn to agree to disagree in a civil fashion. This is a board of ideas and opinions. It's not a competition to soothe your ego's.

I totally agree and is my reasoning for not nearly posting as much as I'd like to. Most of the times my post go unnoticed or are corrected and or given some reason why it's wrong.

But in spirit of getting the thread back to normalcy.. I read that Buster Olney is reporting the Cards are just waiting to see if Oswalt will accept the deal they've proposed.

I cringe as a Reds fan when the Cards get a player of a Oswalt caliber. I hated when they acquired Holliday, Chuck Finley, & Scott Rolen. They can have Beltran because I really feel he will be a non factor and John Jay is really the real deal. But Oswalt has something to prove and he wants one more big deal before he retires I'm sure.

Patrick Bateman
02-09-2012, 09:18 AM
I'm sorry that I wasn't smart enough to understand your superior logic. I guess I was too busy romanticizing about the days when this used to be a place where people could come and discuss Reds baseball, respecting one another as fans and friends with varying different views and opinions and not be made to feel that their opinion is inferior because there is one overwhelming philosophy now that controls how we have to look at the game, and all other analysis is wrong because at one time it became a contest of who had the biggest ego, and many of those people who I used to be able to have actual discussions and debate with here on Redszone have moved on because their views were constantly shouted down by the popular party in power. My apologies.

EDIT: sorry I see Bosshog's post above now, I will refrain from trying any further.

jojo
02-09-2012, 02:15 PM
I'm not going to say that these advanced metrics that you claim to be the best tools of evaluation are without merit, because I believe that they do serve a purpose. I just don't feel that they tell the whole story. Baseball is far too complicated a sport to break everything down to just the numbers. Everytime I see someone relying heavily on the new stats to make their arguments, I'm reminded of how many championships Billy Beane's Oakland A's have won.

Everytime I see someone relying upon old school methods to make their arguments, I'm reminded of how many championships the Reds won during the lost decade.

See what I did there? :beerme:

_Sir_Charles_
02-09-2012, 02:21 PM
Everytime I see someone relying upon old school methods to make their arguments, I'm reminded of how many championships the Reds won during the lost decade.

See what I did there? :beerme:

LOL. Somebody's feeling a bit snarky today. :O)

nate
02-09-2012, 08:51 PM
So is your stuff, but we all give you slack,,,, buh bum bump.... :D

I assume the second show isn't the same as the first.

:cool:

jojo
02-09-2012, 09:28 PM
I assume the second show isn't the same as the first.

:cool:

Is this thing on? Tap, tap, tap....

REDREAD
02-13-2012, 12:17 PM
Jimmy had a BAPIP in his career right around league average.

He stunk because he stunk. We don't need to make up fictional reasons for him sucking. He did it all on his own.

I'm not talking about Anderson's career BABIP.
I'm talking about Anderson during his time with the Reds (2003)
Look at the graph
http://www.fangraphs.com/comparison.aspx?playerid=977&playerid2=&playerid3=&position=P&page=7&type=full

His BABIP was significantly above average in 2003.
That's because he stunk in 2003, not due to "Bad luck".

Please don't accuse people of "making up fictional reasons".
Sorry that you are clinging to a theory (not a fact) that even the originator admits is flawed.

A bad BABIP can not simply be a rationalized away as "Bad luck" every time.
Some people have a hard time accepting that.

REDREAD
02-13-2012, 12:25 PM
Edinson Volquez also walked 5 guys per 9 innings. Strikeouts and walks ARE most of the story. Not all of it, but about 80% of it. Guys with good K/BB ratios tend to have success. Guys without them, tend not to. There are always outliers, but the better a pitchers K/BB ratio is, the better pitcher they tend to be. History shows us that, especially in more recent era's where hitters don't range from AA scrub with a glove to Hall of Famer in the same line up.

The problem is that there's a shortage of guys with high K/9 and low BB/9.
Most of them are highly paid or not available in trade.
A team like the Reds can not fill their entire pitching staff with people like that. They need to find a way to find pitchers that are effective with less sexy ratioes.
The point is that there are some pitchers than can do it. Arroyo (other than last year) is one. Cueto had a declining K/9 this year, but was more effective. I don't agree that pitching is 80% maxing out Ks and minimizing walks. Not true.

Starting Pitchers that can get outs without Ks generally go deeper into games. Ideally, you only want the pitcher to "go for" a K when the game situation warrants it. Naturally as a general rule, BB should be minimized, but there's times when even that is not true.. Adam Dunn during the Reds is a perfect example. If there's a close game with runners on base, the pitcher would just nibble. Dunn would either walk or K. Either one is preferable to giving up an extra base hit, especially since there was usually a weak hitter behind him. That's why Dunn got so many walks when his power was working.
Last year, when his hitting ablity tanked, his "ability" to get walks also decreased.

Patrick Bateman
02-13-2012, 12:36 PM
I'm not talking about Anderson's career BABIP.
I'm talking about Anderson during his time with the Reds (2003)
Look at the graph
http://www.fangraphs.com/comparison.aspx?playerid=977&playerid2=&playerid3=&position=P&page=7&type=full

His BABIP was significantly above average in 2003.
That's because he stunk in 2003, not due to "Bad luck".

Please don't accuse people of "making up fictional reasons".
Sorry that you are clinging to a theory (not a fact) that even the originator admits is flawed.

A bad BABIP can not simply be a rationalized away as "Bad luck" every time.
Some people have a hard time accepting that.

Right because Jimmy Anderson his 3.0K rate was only a bad pitcher with the Reds. Before that he was perfectly fine, and nobody saw his progression into becoming a high ERA pitcher, it was simply due to the BAPIP gods shaking there heads.

Yes, it is a fictional reason. There were 100 reasons why Jimmy sucks, your argument is perhaps #99. He would hardly be the first pitcher to have a below average BAPIP over a 70 inning sample (there are guys like that every year). Overall, he did not show the tendencies you are suggesting. He just wasn't a good pitcher, whom like most guys did not haver discernable BAPIP tendencies.

In this case, the bad BAPIP in that season can surely be rationalized as "bad luck" in consideration that the Reds had a terrible defensive team. Due to the fact that the remainder of his career he was BAPIP average, it's pretty crystal clear that BAPIP was more of a Reds defense thing, than a Jimmy thing.

At the same time, I am not arguing that Jimmy had a bad season due to bad luck (as you incorrectly characterized), it was because he was a bad pitcher due to a myriad of other reasons far beyond BAPIP. Those are two very distinct points, which I think you may have confused based on your response to me.

Homer Bailey
02-13-2012, 12:37 PM
I'm not talking about Anderson's career BABIP.
I'm talking about Anderson during his time with the Reds (2003)
Look at the graph
http://www.fangraphs.com/comparison.aspx?playerid=977&playerid2=&playerid3=&position=P&page=7&type=full

His BABIP was significantly above average in 2003.
That's because he stunk in 2003, not due to "Bad luck".

Please don't accuse people of "making up fictional reasons".
Sorry that you are clinging to a theory (not a fact) that even the originator admits is flawed.

A bad BABIP can not simply be a rationalized away as "Bad luck" every time.
Some people have a hard time accepting that.

A bad BABIP can not be simply rationalized away as "Bad luck" in the same way that it can't be simply rationalized as "He stunk."

BABIP is a result of a pitchers ability to avoid surrendering line drives, as well as the ability of his defense to make plays behind him. One can never look at someone's BABIP and be able to conclude that, "he stunk."

REDREAD
02-13-2012, 12:45 PM
No, he wasn't. He started out average when he was traded to the Reds and has been in decline ever since. His main problem is he's been striking out less and giving up WAY more HR. Not a good combo at GABP.

.

We clearly have different parameters for what a "good" pitcher is.
In 6 years with the Reds, including his bad year last year, Arroyo has given us this:

1286 IP, 4.14 ERA

A starting pitcher's primary job is to give us quality innings.
The league average ERA is 4.50 (last I checked, but that should be close).
Above average ERA, averaging over 200 IP/year.
That's an above average starter.
I know you disagree, but that's ok.. Just explaining why I say he has been above average as a Red, even when last year is included.

REDREAD
02-13-2012, 12:48 PM
I'm sorry that I wasn't smart enough to understand your superior logic. I guess I was too busy romanticizing about the days when this used to be a place where people could come and discuss Reds baseball, respecting one another as fans and friends with varying different views and opinions and not be made to feel that their opinion is inferior because there is one overwhelming philosophy now that controls how we have to look at the game, and all other analysis is wrong because at one time it became a contest of who had the biggest ego, and many of those people who I used to be able to have actual discussions and debate with here on Redszone have moved on because their views were constantly shouted down by the popular party in power. My apologies.

Yep +1.

REDREAD
02-13-2012, 12:53 PM
Yes, it is a fictional reason. There were 100 reasons why Jimmy sucks, your argument is perhaps #99.



blah blah blah
You win dude, putting you on ignore, at least for awhile, since all you want to do is be confrontational.

REDREAD
02-13-2012, 01:00 PM
A bad BABIP can not be simply rationalized away as "Bad luck" in the same way that it can't be simply rationalized as "He stunk."

BABIP is a result of a pitchers ability to avoid surrendering line drives, as well as the ability of his defense to make plays behind him. One can never look at someone's BABIP and be able to conclude that, "he stunk."

I was saying the opposite.
Often, if someone stinks (like 2003 Anderson due to giving up a lot of hits), they will have an above average BABIP. I am not going to say "always" because I have not studied this in depth.

I agree with what you say. Just looking at BABIP doesn't tell you the guy stinks.

Homer Bailey
02-13-2012, 01:10 PM
I was saying the opposite.
Often, if someone stinks (like 2003 Anderson due to giving up a lot of hits), they will have an above average BABIP. I am not going to say "always" because I have not studied this in depth.

I agree with what you say. Just looking at BABIP doesn't tell you the guy stinks.

Yes, but giving up a lot of hits is the result of a high BABIP, not the cause.

jojo
02-13-2012, 01:26 PM
We clearly have different parameters for what a "good" pitcher is.
In 6 years with the Reds, including his bad year last year, Arroyo has given us this:

1286 IP, 4.14 ERA

A starting pitcher's primary job is to give us quality innings.
The league average ERA is 4.50 (last I checked, but that should be close).
Above average ERA, averaging over 200 IP/year.
That's an above average starter.
I know you disagree, but that's ok.. Just explaining why I say he has been above average as a Red, even when last year is included.

Just for accuracy's sake, the NL ave ERA for a starter last season was 3.94.

League average ERA hasn't been 4.50 for starting pitchers since 2007 at least.

Patrick Bateman
02-13-2012, 01:28 PM
Yes, but giving up a lot of hits is the result of a high BABIP, not the cause.

Yes... that argument essentially defeats the purpose how in numerous cases, analyzing BAPIP can be useful tool, however, there are a number of exceptions to the rule. I don't think anyone is suggesting that BAPIP is fool-proof.

It is interesting that of all position players that have pitcher (I believe the sample is something like 400-500 at bats) that the BAPIP of the position players is right around .300. Obviously, there are a number of factors to consider here, such as the fact that this is spread out over decades, therefore hitters would not be used to facing these guys, and BAPIP's were lower in some of the years of this sample, however, it does stick out that we would still expect these position players to have a BAPIP in at least the .400's based on most people's hypothesis' on BAPIP, and it goes to show that the theory is very conuter intuitive to how our brain would imagine the results should be. It's food for thought, and I think an argument as to why the whole BAPIP thing should not be dismissed out of hand, especially based on half a season's worth of data on a pitcher with no discernible BAPIP tendencies as a reason that the stat is junk...

jojo
02-13-2012, 01:32 PM
A higher than expected BABIP could be a sign of bad luck or it could be a sign of injury or it could mean an established pitcher has become toast or an up and comer simply isn't major league quality. The context of a pitcher's other peripherals really helps color the conclusion. This really isn't very controversial.

*BaseClogger*
02-13-2012, 03:07 PM
I think Bronson Arroyo is good! Homer Bailey stinks!

TRF
02-13-2012, 03:09 PM
The problem with using a bad pitcher as an example regarding luck and BABIP is you can't really prove luck isn't a factor.

Try using a pitcher that had significantly more success. I suggest Aaron Harang. And if someone could avoid dicussing that extra inning game, that'd be great.

Boss-Hog
02-13-2012, 03:18 PM
I think Bronson Arroyo is good! Homer Bailey stinks!

Just curious, but what does a post like this add to the discussion? IMO, it does a lot more harm than good.

*BaseClogger*
02-13-2012, 03:21 PM
Just curious, but what does a post like this add to the discussion? IMO, it does a lot more harm than good.

The Baumer would have liked it?

Boss-Hog
02-13-2012, 03:25 PM
The Baumer would have liked it?

The next time you have a thought like this, email it to him next time and save your posts for those that contribute to a thread. Thank you.

REDREAD
02-13-2012, 03:37 PM
Just for accuracy's sake, the NL ave ERA for a starter last season was 3.94.

League average ERA hasn't been 4.50 for starting pitchers since 2007 at least.

ok let's do it year by year then

2006 Bronson had 240.2 IP, 3.29 ERA -- MLB average ERA was 4.53 clearly above average
2007 Bronson had 210 IP, 4.23 ERA -- MLB average ERA was 4.47 Bronson above average
2008 Bronson had 200 IP, 4.77 ERA --MLB average ERA was 4.32
Bronson .4 below average in ERA.
2009 Bronson had 200 IP, 3.84 ERA MLB average ERA 4.20 above average
2010 Bronson had 215 IP, 3.88 MLB average ERA was 4.08 above average
2011 Bronson clearly below average MLB - 3.93 Bronson 5.07

No one is disputing Bronson sucked last year.
In other 5 years, he's clearly above average.

Differential of Bronson's ERA vs league average = 1.24 + .24 - .4 + .36 + .20 - 1.14
Even if you average in last year's disaster, he averages .083 ERA better than league average.
Combined with his inning load, he's clearly above average.

If anyone wants to make the case that Bronson has not been an above average starter since
he's joined the Reds, I'd like to hear it.

jojo
02-13-2012, 03:49 PM
ok let's do it year by year then

2006 Bronson had 240.2 IP, 3.29 ERA -- MLB average ERA was 4.53 clearly above average
2007 Bronson had 210 IP, 4.23 ERA -- MLB average ERA was 4.47 Bronson above average
2008 Bronson had 200 IP, 4.77 ERA --MLB average ERA was 4.32
Bronson .4 below average in ERA.
2009 Bronson had 200 IP, 3.84 ERA MLB average ERA 4.20 above average
2010 Bronson had 215 IP, 3.88 MLB average ERA was 4.08 above average
2011 Bronson clearly below average MLB - 3.93 Bronson 5.07

No one is disputing Bronson sucked last year.
In other 5 years, he's clearly above average.

Differential of Bronson's ERA vs league average = 1.24 + .24 - .4 + .36 + .20 - 1.14
Even if you average in last year's disaster, he averages .083 ERA better than league average.
Combined with his inning load, he's clearly above average.

If anyone wants to make the case that Bronson has not been an above average starter since
he's joined the Reds, I'd like to hear it.

He was clearly above average only if you look at his ERA and stop there. Bronson is kind of exhibit A for why ERA isn't a good place to stop when evaluating pitchers. Bronson owes Walt and his defense a set of Isotoners... Several people have made arguments for why your evaluation of Arroyo is too high. It's not like the discussion is just starting with post 79...

REDREAD
02-13-2012, 04:00 PM
He was clearly above average only if you look at his ERA and stop there. Bronson is kind of exhibit A for why ERA isn't a good place to stop when evaluating pitchers. Bronson owes Walt and his defense a set of Isotoners... Several people have made arguments for why your evaluation of Arroyo is too high. It's not like the discussion is just starting with post 79...

Well, at first you pointed out I had the wrong average ERA, which was correct. So I did a more thorough posting. Then I'm told to just look back through the thread to educate myself why I am wrong.

All I see is people saying over and over that their metrics are better than ERA, as if it is gospel. Even when their metrics disagree with the actual results in Bronson's case.

Bronson's job is to give up less runs than the opposing pitcher. He's done a good job of that over the past 6 years. He's done an amazing job of giving the team innings, which is his other job.

jojo
02-13-2012, 04:22 PM
Well, at first you pointed out I had the wrong average ERA, which was correct. So I did a more thorough posting. Then I'm told to just look back through the thread to educate myself why I am wrong.

All I see is people saying over and over that their metrics are better than ERA, as if it is gospel. Even when their metrics disagree with the actual results in Bronson's case.

Bronson's job is to give up less runs than the opposing pitcher. He's done a good job of that over the past 6 years. He's done an amazing job of giving the team innings, which is his other job.

You need to chill with the people are calling you dumb posturing. No one is. But you really do need to look deeper (notice I didn't say harder because it's not hard to do and i'm saying that sincerely for anyone contemplating eschewing ERA as the gold standard).

ERA is a lousy metric to evaluate a pitcher. There are much better ways. This isn't a matter of "my metric is better than yours". It's a matter of acknowledging the deep flaws inherent in ERA relative to other approaches. Even members of the BBWA are pretty dismissive of ERA which really should speak volumes (not because they're the gold standard but really because they've largely been forced to capitulate). If you're unwilling to look past ERA, it's probably unlikely that this discussion will move forward.

This has been reposted recently but you did say you'd like to hear an argument and the one below is BABIP-based which fits with Jimmy Haynes. Here's another view of Arroyo:

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showt...yo#post2511099




My take on Arroyo?

His ERA has been driven by his BABIP both of which have dramatically improved with the significant improvement of the defense behind him. In other words, significant interaction between his performance and the Reds defense is a large reason why he's outperformed his peripherals so dramatically (i.e. his ERA has been better than his FIP would predict) over the last several seasons. Or to say it another way, put him in front of the Reds defense of 2006-2008 and his ERA would be much closer to his FIP.

Why do I argue this?

Here is a breakdown of Arroyo by year showing his ERA, FIP and BABIP. When the FIP-ERA is positive, it means his ERA was lower than his peripherals would predict (i.e. his ERA outperformed his FIP):



Arroyo
Season ERA FIP FIP-ERA BABIP
2006 3.29 4.15 0.86 0.271
2007 4.23 4.57 0.34 0.309
2008 4.77 4.5 -0.27 0.314
2009 3.84 4.78 0.94 0.265
2010 3.88 4.61 0.73 0.239
2011 5.07 5.71 0.64 0.278

It's important to note that Arroyo's ERA has outperformed his FIP in 5 of the 6 seasons he's been a Red. But many would agree his 2006 ERA was an anomaly that was unsustainble. Certainly the magnitude of difference between his FIP and ERA spanning the 2009-2011 seasons would not have been expected based upon his prior performance or legitimately ascribed to a skillset. Realizing some may argue this point, below follow a few tables that hopefully demonstrate why one might make the above statement.

Here's the same breakdown for the Reds' pitching staff over the same years:





Reds
Season ERA FIP FIP-ERA BABIP
2006 4.51 4.63 0.12 0.31
2007 4.94 4.55 -0.39 0.31
2008 4.55 4.53 -0.02 0.312
2009 4.18 4.66 0.48 0.283
2010 4.01 4.18 0.17 0.288
2011 4.16 4.45 0.29 0.282

Here are the BABIP for the Reds staff and Arroyo for the two periods of his tenure as a Red (2006-2008 where the Reds had one of the worst defenses in the league and 2009-2011 where the Reds had one of the best defenses in the league):



BABIP by defensive performance
Reds Arroyo
2006-08 0.311 0.298
2009-11 0.284 0.261
Decrease -0.026 -0.037

The data above indicates that for the period of 2009-2011 when Arroyo's ERA has significantly outperformed his FIP despite declining peripherals, the Red's staff as a whole has consistently outtperformed it's FIP as well. The third table suggests the reason why-the dramatically improved defense has driven a large part of this outcome. So he did not outperform his FIP independent of significant influence by his defense.

So in other words, if the Reds were to pay market value for Arroyo's production over the last several seasons, they'd essentially be "paying double" for the cost associated with building their defense. This also can explain why Arroyo does not have a great deal of trade value despite his ERA's.

All of that said, a look at Arroyo as a Reds does seem to suggest he has outperformed his peripherals to a greater degree than can solely be explained by the impact of the defense behind him. So there may be room to poke at something interesting here, albeit a minor effect. However, when looking at his time as a Pirate and BoSock, he displayed no discernible ability to consistently outperform his peripherals.

The ultimate takehome? If they can get a legit arm for their rotation, they should. At least Arroyo should not be a rationale for preventing such a trade.

REDREAD
02-13-2012, 05:28 PM
You need to chill with the people are calling you dumb posturing. No one is. But you really do need to look deeper (notice I didn't say harder because it's not hard to do and i'm saying that sincerely for anyone contemplating eschewing ERA as the gold standard).


Ok, I did read what you just said.
You think Bronson benefited from the Reds defense, because Bronson's FIP says his ERA should be higher. I think that's a basic summary.
Ok, I can agree that if Bronson was on a team with lousy defense, his ERA would be higher.
I can even see the point that at the time, perhaps the Reds were overpaying him. I don't want to argue his salary though.

I'm just saying, if you look at his actual results.. even if he benefited from the defense, he's been above average. 1200+ innings of above average pitching since he's been here. Lots of quality starts.. I won't figure out the ratio, as I'm sure that will not be a convincing factor for people that think FIP is the best way to evaluate a pitcher.

Look at Cueto.. He said that this season, he focused on getting outs by means other than the K, to go deeper into the game. The results worked.
According to this link.. his XFIP has increased since 2008. Despite his xFIP increasing, his ERA went down 1.4... I am wondering.. is this a concern?
I don't think it is, but I believe people have been posting that Cueto has been lucky, due to declining K's.. Now I'm not saying that Ceuto will replicate his 2011 ERA next year, but I expect him to be quite good.
Anyhow Cueto said he was focusing on having the defense do the work for him, instead of trying to K everyone. I think that's worthy of praise, but it will show up as declining peripherals. That's all.

So Cueto got the job done last year. I don't think anyone would argue that.
On the same thread of thought, I think Bronson got the job done well 4 of his 6 years here. One year was marginal. The other year was bad.

I will agree that past ERAs are not necessarily the best predictor of future ERAs, but I think it's a useful measure in hindsight. Kind of like a test score.
One student might study 100 hours, another might study 10 hours. If they both get an "A", they did their job. We could surmise that the student that studied 100 hours is more likely to maintain that A.

TRF
02-13-2012, 05:52 PM
I will agree that past ERAs are not necessarily the best predictor of future ERAs, but I think it's a useful measure in hindsight. Kind of like a test score.
One student might study 100 hours, another might study 10 hours. If they both get an "A", they did their job. We could surmise that the student that studied 100 hours is more likely to maintain that A.

Or we could surmise that the student that studied 10 hours is just smarter.

dougdirt
02-13-2012, 06:02 PM
The problem is that there's a shortage of guys with high K/9 and low BB/9.

Yes, there are. But is there a shortage of guys who can post 2.5+ K/BB rates? I don't know, because we haven't exactly established what a "shortage" would be in terms of an actual number.



A team like the Reds can not fill their entire pitching staff with people like that. They need to find a way to find pitchers that are effective with less sexy ratioes.

Here are the K/BB ratios for the Reds projected 5 from last season:
Homer Bailey: 3.21
Mike Leake: 3.11
Mat Latos: 2.98
Bronson Arroyo: 2.40
Johnny Cueto: 2.21

Not all of those guys are high K/low BB guys. But three of them are significantly on the right side of 2.50 K/BB, Arroyo was close and Cueto needs to improve in that regard. I looked at all pitchers with 100 innings in 2011. There were 48 players with an ERA under 3.50. Of those 48, here is how those guys broke down by K/BB:

Over 4.00: 18.8%
3.00-3.99: 31.3%
2.50-2.99: 16.7%
Sub 2.50: 33.3%

So, a majority of the pitchers with low ERA's in the Majors had a K/BB rate over 2.50 with 50% of them being over 3.00.



The point is that there are some pitchers than can do it. Arroyo (other than last year) is one. Cueto had a declining K/9 this year, but was more effective. I don't agree that pitching is 80% maxing out Ks and minimizing walks. Not true.
But can they repeat it is the question? In normal environments with an average defense? They usually can't.



Starting Pitchers that can get outs without Ks generally go deeper into games. Ideally, you only want the pitcher to "go for" a K when the game situation warrants it. Naturally as a general rule, BB should be minimized, but there's times when even that is not true.. Adam Dunn during the Reds is a perfect example. If there's a close game with runners on base, the pitcher would just nibble. Dunn would either walk or K. Either one is preferable to giving up an extra base hit, especially since there was usually a weak hitter behind him. That's why Dunn got so many walks when his power was working.
Last year, when his hitting ablity tanked, his "ability" to get walks also decreased.
Dunn is a bad example, because you chose a guy who is an outlier to the process. Going to the extremes to make a point doesn't work when the point is that it applies to 90% of players. Dunn's walk rate decreased because he began expanding his zone about 50% more than he had ever done before over the last two seasons. His outside swing rate with the Reds was about 17-18% on average. The last two seasons it has been 28%. His walks dried up because he swung at a bunch more poor pitches than he had ever done in the past, not because guys were no longer trying to nibble against him.

As for the "starting pitchers that can get outs without K's generally go deeper into games" comment, it simply isn't true. Every pitcher in the Top 15 in innings pitched in 2011 had a K rate over 7 per 9ip. 25 of the 40 guys who threw 200 innings last year were over 7K/9ip. 27 of them had a K/BB over 2.50 as well.

RedsManRick
02-13-2012, 06:37 PM
I will agree that past ERAs are not necessarily the best predictor of future ERAs, but I think it's a useful measure in hindsight. Kind of like a test score.
One student might study 100 hours, another might study 10 hours. If they both get an "A", they did their job. We could surmise that the student that studied 100 hours is more likely to maintain that A.

But a test score is an individual result. The point about ERA is that it is a team result for which a single player is getting credit. The better example is to say that final grades in his class each year are assigned on a group basis. Arroyo has been on a lot of group projects that keep getting Bs (yeah, there's an A in there, as well as an F). But when Bronson turns in his homework that only he worked on, he quite reliably gets a C.

Now, it's possible that he really is a B student. But if we trying to figure out how smart he is, it would be unwise to ignore his homework and focus just on the group work. Or perhaps more to the point, if we were building a team for a project, we'd probably want to think of him more in terms of his homework grades than his past team projects.

PuffyPig
02-13-2012, 07:49 PM
Look at Cueto.. He said that this season, he focused on getting outs by means other than the K, to go deeper into the game. The results worked.


Becoming a better pitcher by trying to miss less bats sin't the way to go.

Pitching low in the strike zone and getting more ground balls and less FB's (and less HR's) is a good thing, but successful pitchers miss bats and throw strikes.

757690
02-14-2012, 12:34 AM
One point for consideration.

The DIPS theory was formulated using stats from the steroid era. Because of the high number of homers and extra base hits, K's and low walks were preferable, and putting the ball in play was not.

Now that homers a power are on a big decline, maybe we will start to see more variation in BABIP, it seems like we already are. It just makes logical sense that if less homers are being hit, contact would lead to less runs, and therefore pitching to contact would be more productive than during the steroid era.

Obviously K's are the best outs, but maybe as power decreases in MLB, the difference in production between K's and contact will decrease as well.

REDREAD
02-14-2012, 09:38 AM
I always forget to never make an analogy on Redszone without tons of qualifiers :lol: Not worth cleaning it up now. :lol:


Pitching low in the strike zone and getting more ground balls and less FB's (and less HR's) is a good thing, but successful pitchers miss bats and throw strikes.

Well, that's kind of what I am saying. There's other ways to effectively get outs than Ks.
Also, I think the game is about run prevention.
Other people say out prevention, and that's fine.

But when you talk to real pitchers.. let's do a situation. The Reds are up 4-0.
The other team is hitting. There's 2 outs. The #8 hitter for the other team is up. Should the Reds' pitcher try to strike out that guy, or try to induce weak contact (pop up, ground ball).. If he goes for contact, a hit might fall in, but then the pitcher is with 2 outs.. But, by going for contact, he may save himself from throwing a few pitches.. By practicing pitch economy over the game, he may be able to go an inning or two deeper into the game.
Anyhow, most real pitchers are not going for the K in that situation.
Also, when real pitchers are leading 10-0, they are not trying to get Ks.
Two extreme examples.. which I don't expect to change anyone's mind :)

TRF
02-14-2012, 09:42 AM
If he strikes that guy out, the pitcher is leading off the next inning.

jojo
02-14-2012, 10:02 AM
King Felix does not try to strike batters out but rather will induce contact in order to conserve pitches.

I prefer a K/9=8.55 and a BB=2.58 with a GB% of 50% (King Felix) to a k/9=4.88 and a BB= 2.04 with a GB% of 38% (Arroyo).

And that is what most are saying. It's one thing to praise the virtues of inducing contact but it doesn't trump true skill

dougdirt
02-14-2012, 11:14 AM
Should the Reds' pitcher try to strike out that guy, or try to induce weak contact (pop up, ground ball).. If he goes for contact, a hit might fall in, but then the pitcher is with 2 outs.. But, by going for contact, he may save himself from throwing a few pitches.. By practicing pitch economy over the game, he may be able to go an inning or two deeper into the game.
Anyhow, most real pitchers are not going for the K in that situation.
Also, when real pitchers are leading 10-0, they are not trying to get Ks.
Two extreme examples.. which I don't expect to change anyone's mind :)

The problem with that situation is that pitchers generally can't control "weak or "hard" contact, simply contact or no contact.

RedsManRick
02-14-2012, 12:44 PM
The problem with that situation is that pitchers generally can't control "weak or "hard" contact, simply contact or no contact.

And the thing is, physically speaking, weak contact is as close to no contact as it is to hard contact. Missing bats and inducing weak contact are a product of the same thing -- well located quality pitches. It seems some people want to treat trying to strike guys out with throwing balls outside of the zone in an effort to get them to chase. I don't think anybody is advocating that as a general strategy.

757690
02-14-2012, 01:00 PM
The problem with that situation is that pitchers generally can't control "weak or "hard" contact, simply contact or no contact.

An article from a Saber website was posted here on Redszone awhile back that documented that pitchers do control hard and weak contact, based on how fast balls came off of hitters bats that came from each pitcher. There was a wide variation between pitchers and that variation correlated to ERA as well or better as K/BB.

I can't find it, but maybe someone with better searching skills than me can.

REDREAD
02-14-2012, 01:35 PM
The problem with that situation is that pitchers generally can't control "weak or "hard" contact, simply contact or no contact.

That is your opinion. Real major league pitchers say otherwise.
Can they do it 100% of the time? of course not.

The best example is Mariano Rivera's cutter. That's an excellent pitch for inducing popups.

Other pitchers rely on a sinker.. Is it 100% effective? No. But if the bases are empty, it's worth an attempt to get an out with 1-2 pitches.

PuffyPig
02-14-2012, 01:58 PM
That is your opinion. Real major league pitchers say otherwise.



But their stats say something else.

757690
02-14-2012, 02:22 PM
But their stats say something else.

Found the article I mentioned in previous post.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15532


A major-league pitcher does not only control whether he gets ground balls or fly balls; he also has a significant degree of control over how hard the ball is hit, though the batter has somewhat more control over the quality of contact than the pitcher. I consider this an extremely significant finding.

REDREAD
02-14-2012, 02:48 PM
But their stats say something else.

Sigh.. that's your opinion, not a fact.
Real MLB pitchers disagree.

Patrick Bateman
02-14-2012, 03:26 PM
Sigh.. that's your opinion, not a fact.
Real MLB pitchers disagree.

That's actually an opinion.....

757690
02-14-2012, 03:36 PM
That's actually an opinion.....

Well, except for cogito ergo sum, it's all opinion ;)

TRF
02-14-2012, 03:43 PM
I always forget to never make an analogy on Redszone without tons of qualifiers :lol: Not worth cleaning it up now. :lol:


It's not the use of analogy. It's the idea that it is set in a vacuum. Your analogy was correct IF both kids were of equal intelligence.

But what if the kid that studied 10 hours was Stephen Hawking? I could study for 1000 hours and not get his grades.

This isn't about any one metric being better than ERA. Truth is, they all are better. Remember that Reitsma game in which he allowed something like 9 unearned runs to score? his ERA doesn't show them, but they scored. Now the defense was at fault initially, but the runs still scored following that error. So why does the pitcher get the benefit of both good and bad things happening behind him?

Strikeouts are important, very very important to pitchers. They remove almost completely the possibility of the hitter acquiring a base. A batted ball does not.

Lets' compare two pitchers from last year, Volquez and Arroyo. Both had bad seasons. Both were very HR prone. Volquez major problem was walks, Arroyo's was hits. Both had a high ERA. Now give Volquez Arroyo's walk rate and project him to 200 IP. He might still give up 40 bombs, but his hit rate was lower, K rate much much higher and now you are looking at a 1.25ish WHIP. That is in fact the pitcher most thought Volquez was going to mature into after 2008.

Now look at Arroyo. He's always given up a lot of hits. Always higher 9 H/9. He's always given up bunches of HR's. But he doesn't walk a lot of guys. Last year i wish he'd have walked a few more, because of those 20 or so walks he dropped a bunch turned into HR's.

Arroyo isn't going to suddenly have a low hit rate. He isn't suddenly going to allow less than 25 HR's. He's a guy that on an average season can either get you 15 wins or 15 losses. He pitched worse in 2008 than he did in 2007 and got 6 more wins. Arroyo wasn't a good pitcher, just a durable, consistent one. That has value. But at this point in his career he's probably entering Greg Swindell country. Time to convert to the bullpen or at least start thinking about it.

REDREAD
02-14-2012, 03:54 PM
It's not the use of analogy. It's the idea that it is set in a vacuum. Your analogy was correct IF both kids were of equal intelligence.


Yep, that's what I meant. I forgot to say "all other things are equal".
I left a hole in the analogy, my fault. :)

jojo
02-14-2012, 04:46 PM
Sigh.. that's your opinion, not a fact.
Real MLB pitchers disagree.

Some do. Some don't.

dougdirt
02-14-2012, 05:01 PM
Found the article I mentioned in previous post.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15532

I don't think this varies much from the BABIP theory. There are certain guys who can beat it, but most guys can't. The difference between the best group and the worst group is +/- two to three MPH on either side of average. Much like BABIP in any given season is usually 20 points to either side of average (.300) in any given year. With only one seasons worth of data, maybe a pitcher just happened to get lucky that season with a handful of extra pop ups to bring his average MPH down or was unlucky and he gave up a handful of extra line drives to push his MPH up (the guys who aren't talent outliers, you know, the 90% of guys that most statements apply to). It is an interesting start, but I am really hoping guys in the field can get their hands on more data and come out with more things like this.

TRF
02-14-2012, 05:15 PM
Yep, that's what I meant. I forgot to say "all other things are equal".
I left a hole in the analogy, my fault. :)

Actually that analogy then works the other way.

If, all other things being equal pitcher A strikes out 9 in 7 shutout inning and pitcher B strikes out 4 in 7 shutout innings, pitcher B had to rely on his defense more. In fact Pitcher B is more likely to toss a turd next time around. All things being equal.

If they both had 10 starts in a row like that where they each K at that same rate, walk batters at the same rate, which one is more LIKELY to give up more hits?

RedsManRick
02-14-2012, 05:34 PM
That is your opinion. Real major league pitchers say otherwise.
Can they do it 100% of the time? of course not.

The best example is Mariano Rivera's cutter. That's an excellent pitch for inducing popups.

Other pitchers rely on a sinker.. Is it 100% effective? No. But if the bases are empty, it's worth an attempt to get an out with 1-2 pitches.

Rivera's cutter is quite possibly the best pitch in major league history at inducing weak contact. Citing an extreme example hardly proves the rule.

It's not a question of whether pitchers have some influence over batted ball quality. They do. It's a question of degree. Just how much influence over batted ball outcomes do pitchers have?

And the answer is, the difference among pitchers in their ability to affect the quality of batted balls is much smaller than the differences between their ability to strike guys out and not walk guys.

The reality is that players can tell you what they're trying to do you, but they aren't very good at explaining the value of their results or exactly how what they do produces they results they get. It's sort of like Joe Morgan and walks. If you ask him, he'll tell he's always looking to get a hit. He would abhor you telling a hitter to walk more. But the reality is that a huge portion of his value as a hitter was his willingness and ability to take a walk, which was a function of his approach at the plate.

Pitchers absolutely try to induce weak contact, especially in certain circumstances. (Are they ever trying to induce strong contact?). But what determines their overall success more than anything else is how often they're able to get keep the ball in/near the zone while getting guys to swing and miss. And a lot of that comes to down to things the pitcher cannot actively control, like the quality of his stuff.

Players are focused, rightly so, on what they can control. And as such, they're inclined to chalk up their results to those things, to their specific execution -- even if their results are largely determined by their ability to do something. And Bronson Arroyo, for example, is never to analyze a pitch he throws in the context of its ability to miss a bit compared to a pitch thrown by King Felix.

jojo
02-14-2012, 06:18 PM
I don't think this varies much from the BABIP theory. There are certain guys who can beat it, but most guys can't. The difference between the best group and the worst group is +/- two to three MPH on either side of average. Much like BABIP in any given season is usually 20 points to either side of average (.300) in any given year. With only one seasons worth of data, maybe a pitcher just happened to get lucky that season with a handful of extra pop ups to bring his average MPH down or was unlucky and he gave up a handful of extra line drives to push his MPH up (the guys who aren't talent outliers, you know, the 90% of guys that most statements apply to). It is an interesting start, but I am really hoping guys in the field can get their hands on more data and come out with more things like this.

Also generally the "Fast" effect is only on the pitcher's best pitch.