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Thread: The Intangible Effect of Drew Stubbs

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    The Intangible Effect of Drew Stubbs

    Over and over in posts I see a debate on whther or not Drew Stubbs was a plus CF defender. Those who critique him say that statistically, he was not elite or even excellent. He did make it look easy and smooth, but he didnt get to more balls than most, and his particular weakness was for balls hit in front of him.

    Let's assume that's true. I propose that maybe this was irrelevant. Maybe Stubbs' value to the team in terms of defense depended more on how he was perceived than his actual performance.

    If they BELIEVE you have an elite CF behind you that is going to get to anything hit hard in the center of the field, I gotta believe that this will give pitchers more confidence towards challenging hitters in the middle of the plate. A bloop single that drops in front of Stubbs just stuff that happens in baseball. But when he is there to camp in front of a hard hit line drive off a mistake pitch, you feel that someone truly has your back.

    For those that discount the mental aspect,.. think how often pitchers melt after an error. If a pitcher thinks they have to do it all alone, they start trying to throw the perfect pitch... they start nibbling, and then the walks come.

    IF I am right about this... it is a huge cause for concern. It means that even if Choo or Bruce put up equal defense in center, if they don't look pretty doing it, the Reds run prevention is going to suffer.

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    .377 in 1905 CySeymour's Avatar
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    Re: The Intangible Effect of Drew Stubbs

    I always wondered if playing in a small ballpark hurt Stubbs advanced metrics.
    ...the 2-2 to Woodsen and here it comes...and it is swung on and missed! And Tom Browning has pitched a perfect game! Twenty-seven outs in a row, and he is being mobbed by his teammates, just to the thirdbase side of the mound.

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    Re: The Intangible Effect of Drew Stubbs

    We often take the human element out when discussing baseball, ie the closer and how important/unimportant having a shut down closer really is. But people gravitate to roles, and need a certain comfort level. I'd be pretty happy if Billy Hamilton forced his way onto the Reds as the starter based on his defense as well as his offense.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: The Intangible Effect of Drew Stubbs

    Quote Originally Posted by CySeymour View Post
    I always wondered if playing in a small ballpark hurt Stubbs advanced metrics.
    isn't the entire NL Central a small ballpark?
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Re: The Intangible Effect of Drew Stubbs

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    isn't the entire NL Central a small ballpark?
    PNC has a huge left center field gap and is a pitcher's park. Busch is also a run suppresser and has significant gaps. Wrigley and GAB are similar in size, small gaps. Miller would seem to be similar to Riverfront in size, but it has always played as a hitters park.
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    .377 in 1905 CySeymour's Avatar
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    Re: The Intangible Effect of Drew Stubbs

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    isn't the entire NL Central a small ballpark?
    Pittsburgh isn't.
    ...the 2-2 to Woodsen and here it comes...and it is swung on and missed! And Tom Browning has pitched a perfect game! Twenty-seven outs in a row, and he is being mobbed by his teammates, just to the thirdbase side of the mound.

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    Re: The Intangible Effect of Drew Stubbs

    it just seems the NL parks as a whole are small. Minutemaid has a big CF in one spot, but overall was a bandbox. But that is the AL's problem. The AL West and Central seem to play big. The Mets' park is big as is that monstrosity in Miami, but ATL is hitter friendly, philly too.

    Maybe it just seems the NL parks are smaller.
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    Re: The Intangible Effect of Drew Stubbs

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    it just seems the NL parks as a whole are small. Minutemaid has a big CF in one spot, but overall was a bandbox. But that is the AL's problem. The AL West and Central seem to play big. The Mets' park is big as is that monstrosity in Miami, but ATL is hitter friendly, philly too.

    Maybe it just seems the NL parks are smaller.
    That's do look smaller... but I think that is just because they are farther away.

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    Re: The Intangible Effect of Drew Stubbs

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    it just seems the NL parks as a whole are small. Minutemaid has a big CF in one spot, but overall was a bandbox. But that is the AL's problem. The AL West and Central seem to play big. The Mets' park is big as is that monstrosity in Miami, but ATL is hitter friendly, philly too.

    Maybe it just seems the NL parks are smaller.
    I think you can find equally the number of small parks in the AL. The AL West does have some large parks but they also have some very hitter friendly parks like both Texas stadiums. The NL West might have some of the biggest parks in the majors with AT&T Park and Petco. While the Rockies technically have a bandbox, that centerfield is massive. Dodgers Stadium has always been either hitter neutral or pitcher friendly. Busch Stadium III since it opened has been one of the more hitter neutral parks in the majors.
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    Re: The Intangible Effect of Drew Stubbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Brisco View Post
    Over and over in posts I see a debate on whther or not Drew Stubbs was a plus CF defender. Those who critique him say that statistically, he was not elite or even excellent. He did make it look easy and smooth, but he didnt get to more balls than most, and his particular weakness was for balls hit in front of him.

    Let's assume that's true. I propose that maybe this was irrelevant. Maybe Stubbs' value to the team in terms of defense depended more on how he was perceived than his actual performance.

    If they BELIEVE you have an elite CF behind you that is going to get to anything hit hard in the center of the field, I gotta believe that this will give pitchers more confidence towards challenging hitters in the middle of the plate. A bloop single that drops in front of Stubbs just stuff that happens in baseball. But when he is there to camp in front of a hard hit line drive off a mistake pitch, you feel that someone truly has your back.

    For those that discount the mental aspect,.. think how often pitchers melt after an error. If a pitcher thinks they have to do it all alone, they start trying to throw the perfect pitch... they start nibbling, and then the walks come.

    IF I am right about this... it is a huge cause for concern. It means that even if Choo or Bruce put up equal defense in center, if they don't look pretty doing it, the Reds run prevention is going to suffer.
    If this is the case that you want to make, and I think that's fine, one has to acknowledge that the same principle-perception-is at work in many other aspects of the game. Along these lines one might say that Chapman should close because he would be a presence in nearly every game played and would have to be accounted for in opponents' strategy. Sabermetrics says otherwise. One could argue that strikeouts demoralize an opponent and make them feel dominated by a pitcher, causing them to lose an edge as the game progresses. Sabermetrics says otherwise. If one wants to incorporate a mental aspect into evaluating the game and its players, one has to acknowledge that SABR is a only a partial measure of performance.
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    Re: The Intangible Effect of Drew Stubbs

    I don't buy it. There's bound to be a lot of different things going on in a pitcher's head at any time during a game. He also has seven guys playing behind him. Maybe if his team's defense is generally very good or generally very bad it might affect his disposition on the mound one way or another. I don't see one guy impacting a pitcher's confidence, though.
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    Re: The Intangible Effect of Drew Stubbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Brisco View Post
    Over and over in posts I see a debate on whther or not Drew Stubbs was a plus CF defender. Those who critique him say that statistically, he was not elite or even excellent. He did make it look easy and smooth, but he didnt get to more balls than most, and his particular weakness was for balls hit in front of him.

    Let's assume that's true. I propose that maybe this was irrelevant. Maybe Stubbs' value to the team in terms of defense depended more on how he was perceived than his actual performance.

    If they BELIEVE you have an elite CF behind you that is going to get to anything hit hard in the center of the field, I gotta believe that this will give pitchers more confidence towards challenging hitters in the middle of the plate. A bloop single that drops in front of Stubbs just stuff that happens in baseball. But when he is there to camp in front of a hard hit line drive off a mistake pitch, you feel that someone truly has your back.

    For those that discount the mental aspect,.. think how often pitchers melt after an error. If a pitcher thinks they have to do it all alone, they start trying to throw the perfect pitch... they start nibbling, and then the walks come.

    IF I am right about this... it is a huge cause for concern. It means that even if Choo or Bruce put up equal defense in center, if they don't look pretty doing it, the Reds run prevention is going to suffer.
    By the same token, pitchers should get a nice mental pick-me-up when they take the mound with a 2-1 lead instead of a 1-1 tie, for example, thanks to the offensive boost Choo gives the team over Stubbs.
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    Re: The Intangible Effect of Drew Stubbs

    Quote Originally Posted by RichRed View Post
    By the same token, pitchers should get a nice mental pick-me-up when they take the mound with a 2-1 lead instead of a 1-1 tie, for example, thanks to the offensive boost Choo gives the team over Stubbs.
    Correct. Or otherwise put, what is the intangible effect of a below .700 OPS hitter (.610 last season) getting over 1200 plate appearances over the last two seasons?

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    Re: The Intangible Effect of Drew Stubbs

    I would be amazed if Reds pitchers were not FULLY aware of Stubbs' routinely pulling up on fly balls. During game threads on this site, it was pointed out every time it happened. I think that would be extremely irritating and possibly lead to a meltdown by the pitcher who was on the mound and a "beneficiary" of Stubbs fielding.

    Stubbs kinda reminds me of that line in Major League about Willie Mays Hayes: "You may run like Hayes, but you hit like [crap]"

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    Re: The Intangible Effect of Drew Stubbs

    What about the intangible effect of Joey Votto knowing that he has arguably the worst leadoff or 2 hole hitter in baseball and that he's not going to get a lot of opportunities to help the team out by driving in runs?
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