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Thread: Votto is not the issue. (Buster Olney Explains)

  1. #76
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Votto is not the issue. (Buster Olney Explains)

    Quote Originally Posted by RadfordVA View Post
    NL this season is slugging .259 with 2 strikes. Phillips is the outlier here not Votto.
    Yes, Phillips has hit particularly well with 2 strikes, certainly better than he has throughout his career (.214/.269/.302). But to the point of the thread, Votto has a track record of slugging much better than league average. Votto 2013 vs. Votto career is the appropriate comparison point here, not Votto vs. league average.

    For his career, Votto has hit .214/.318/.341 with 2 strikes. Compared to his 2013 line of .179/.311/.256, that's 85 points of slugging that have "gone missing" if you will.

    A good part of that is his lower 2 strike BABIP (.310 this year, .352 career). Whether that is a function of a change in his approach or simple small-sample BABIP randomness can be debated. But it is undeniable that he has done less damage in deep counts this year than he has in prior years.

    Don't get me wrong. In the big picture of what the Reds need to do to improve, Votto is among the last places you need to look. Despite the lull in slugging, he's still been enormously productive. But, beyond the unfortunately reality that it detracts from larger, more readily addressed issues, it does relatively little harm to recognize that we're not getting quite as much from him in the slugging the department as we had expected.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 09-04-2013 at 01:49 PM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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  4. #77
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Votto is not the issue. (Buster Olney Explains)

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Despite your assertions, we simply do not know this to be true. I assert that Joey Votto would rather drive a pitch than take a walk. He is never looking to walk; he is merely more willing to walk/risk the strikeout than to make it a habit of swinging at pitches he doesn't think he can drive. If he is letting what we deem as "good, driveable" pitches go by, it is not because he wants to walk. Rather it because he simply is not ready or not able to reliably drive that pitch. In other words, while we think it was a "good, driveable" pitch, it was not a "good, driveable" pitch in his eyes.

    Asking him to expand his definition of what a "good, driveable" pitch is suggests we know his swing and abilities to judge pitches better than he does. I would emphasize the readiness piece here. One of the distinctive characteristics of the Votto/Bonds/Williams approach is proactively readying themselves to hit certain pitches in certain situations instead of simply reacting to a generic definition of a "good, driveable pitch."

    Consider using a broader definition of "good, driveable" pitch would require Votto to be more reactive and less anticipatory. This would likely result in more at bats ending in contact, but with worse quality contact on average. And because it would also include more swing & misses, it would likely have a bigger negative effect on his walk rate than the positive effect it would have on his strikeout rate. Of course, the latter point is somewhat a function of the player's hand-eye coordination, though also of their unique swing. Or described different, if Votto had the physical ability to make good contact on a broader definition of "good, driveable" pitches, he'd probably be doing that.
    We don't know it to be incorrect either. What we do know is Votto isn't swinging at as many pitches in the zone, especially in favorable pitch counts, than as you provided Phillips.

    All we know is what the numbers provide. We aren't Joey Votto and really can't understand his philosophy of hitting when it comes to hitting a 95 MPH fastball or a 87 MPH slider that starts out looking like a fastball. If he is, and its a big IF, letting good hitting pitches go by because he wants to work the count more than that is a problem. The only criticism that I have heard about Votto had to deal with him being more aggressive in the zone. No one is suggesting that he swings at bad pitches because his RBI's are low. I think everyone is perfectly content with him having a massive OBP when he just doesn't get good pitches to hit.

    Here is what we know so far about Votto. He is leading the world in OBP, his power numbers are down, he is going to set career numbers in both walks and strikeouts, and he isn't swing at as many pitches in the zone as he has in the past.

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    RaisorZone Raisor's Avatar
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    Re: Votto is not the issue. (Buster Olney Explains)

    Quote Originally Posted by bengalsown View Post
    That amazing season is probably what earned him a $225 million contract. I think if he didn't have the fourth biggest contract in baseball history, this discussion wouldn't be happening.
    People need to forget the money. Seriously.
    "But I do know Joey's sister indirectly (or foster sister) and I have heard stories of Joey being into shopping, designer wear, fancy coffees, and pedicures."

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    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Votto is not the issue. (Buster Olney Explains)

    dp
    Last edited by bucksfan2; 09-04-2013 at 02:22 PM.

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    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: Votto is not the issue. (Buster Olney Explains)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raisor View Post
    People need to forget the money. Seriously.
    It's hard for fans to forget it when certain Reds broadcasters mention it so routinely.
    /r/reds

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Votto is not the issue. (Buster Olney Explains)

    Quote Originally Posted by Unassisted View Post
    It's hard for fans to forget it when certain Reds broadcasters mention it so routinely.
    I think it's hard for Cincinnati fans to get past money yes, don't hear the gripes myself from other camps. Maybe it's the source as you stated.

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    Re: Votto is not the issue. (Buster Olney Explains)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raisor View Post
    People need to forget the money. Seriously.
    Nobody that was on these boards during the Griffey years should expect that to happen anytime soon.

  12. #83
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Votto is not the issue. (Buster Olney Explains)

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    We don't know it to be incorrect either. What we do know is Votto isn't swinging at as many pitches in the zone, especially in favorable pitch counts, than as you provided Phillips.

    All we know is what the numbers provide. We aren't Joey Votto and really can't understand his philosophy of hitting when it comes to hitting a 95 MPH fastball or a 87 MPH slider that starts out looking like a fastball. If he is, and its a big IF, letting good hitting pitches go by because he wants to work the count more than that is a problem. The only criticism that I have heard about Votto had to deal with him being more aggressive in the zone. No one is suggesting that he swings at bad pitches because his RBI's are low. I think everyone is perfectly content with him having a massive OBP when he just doesn't get good pitches to hit.

    Here is what we know so far about Votto. He is leading the world in OBP, his power numbers are down, he is going to set career numbers in both walks and strikeouts, and he isn't swing at as many pitches in the zone as he has in the past.
    FWIW, while is in-zone swing % is below his career average, it's actually up from 62.3% last year to 66.6% this year. (this is the BIS data, the pitch f/x data shows a similar trend, but different numbers).

    In the context of his first few years in the league, when he was swinging at more than 70% of pitches in the zone, he's definitely been more discriminating. But ironically, his best slugging year, 2010, came in the year with his highest rate of swinging at pitches out of the zone, but among his lower rates of swinging at pitches in the zone.

    Code:
    	O-Swing%	Z-Swing%	BABIP	ISO
    2008	24.7%		72.8%		.328	.209
    2009	24.4%		74.0%		.372	.245
    2010	29.9%		72.9%		.361	.276
    2011	25.5%		68.7%		.349	.222
    2012	21.2%		62.3%		.404	.230
    2013	20.5%		66.6%		.362	.190
    				
    	Correlation w/ O-Swing%		-0.39	0.78
    	Correlation w/ Z-Swing%		-0.63	0.41
    The data shows that, in short, fewer swings has resulted in higher BABIPs but lower ISOs. And while the scale of the correlation is a bit different, the basic dynamic is the same whether its swings out of the zone or within them. meanwhile, there is a small positive correlation between BABIP and ISO (0.24, not shown). Make of that what you will.

    Personally, it says to me that we shouldn't be reading too much in to these data, that the dynamics at play here can't be explained as simply as "he's not aggressive enough within the zone" -- unless of course you advocate him being more aggressive out of the zone as well.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  13. #84
    Member Old school 1983's Avatar
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    Re: Votto is not the issue. (Buster Olney Explains)

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    2010 was his MVP season and 2012 he was putting up monster numbers until he got hurt. In those seasons he carried the offense and the team easily mad e the playoffs. When Votto has been good the team has struggled to make the playoffs.

    When a team needs a boost you look to your best player to turn it up. Votto is hands down the teams best player. It would be unfair to say the Reds need to go on a roll and they need Cozart and Frazier to step up. If the Reds want to win the Central they need Votto to return to the MVP caliber level. At the current pace this teams looks destined to be the 2nd wild card team. Which sure beats being the 3rd wild card team, but it isn't as good as we fans expected at the start of the season. By no means is this Votto's fault, but if he can kick it up a gear and carry the team they have a chance to win the Central.

    Hmm. What do the 2010 and 2012 seasons have in common? The reds had a right handed clean up hitter who was on fire. Granted ludwick heated up while votto was out. But let's get a guy with some pop to protect votto so he gets more pitches he can drive plus it's help turn his obp into runs.

    This whole votto isn't an issue things reminds me of those million dollar studies that show something obvious like smoking is bad. No crap! Votto isn't an issue. Getting consistent performance in front of him, namely the two hole this year, and someone with some pop behind him to make a walk scarier, because it could instantly turn into two runs, would help. Now that BP is in the two slot and either Bruce or ludwick is in the 4 maybe the offense can be a bit more solid.

  14. #85
    Member Wonderful Monds's Avatar
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    Re: Votto is not the issue. (Buster Olney Explains)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raisor View Post
    People need to forget the money. Seriously.
    Why though? If a player is making a certain amount of money, they need to be providing a certain amount of value. If a player is taking up a very large percentage of the payroll, he needs to provide a very large percentage of the production. Otherwise the team will fail.

    Joey is mostly doing that, in one sense, but in another, he's coming up just a little short.
    They don't think it be like it is, but it do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Schuler View Post
    He has also taught me that even when the Reds win it is important to focus on the fact that they could have lost.

  15. #86
    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: Votto is not the issue. (Buster Olney Explains)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderful Monds View Post
    Why though? If a player is making a certain amount of money, they need to be providing a certain amount of value. If a player is taking up a very large percentage of the payroll, he needs to provide a very large percentage of the production. Otherwise the team will fail.

    Joey is mostly doing that, in one sense, but in another, he's coming up just a little short.
    So if Votto was making 100 million instead of 200 million it somehow makes him a better player?
    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    Let's face it, you mis-hit the bun with the mustard squirter, no one will really care.

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    Member Wonderful Monds's Avatar
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    Re: Votto is not the issue. (Buster Olney Explains)

    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    So if Votto was making 100 million instead of 200 million it somehow makes him a better player?
    Not in the abstract, but if he's making less money, it becomes easier to surround him with better players. The more money he makes, the more he needs to do to be worth all of it, in the context of how the team is constructed.
    They don't think it be like it is, but it do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Schuler View Post
    He has also taught me that even when the Reds win it is important to focus on the fact that they could have lost.

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  18. #88
    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: Votto is not the issue. (Buster Olney Explains)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderful Monds View Post
    Not in the abstract, but if he's making less money, it becomes easier to surround him with better players. The more money he makes, the more he needs to do to be worth all of it, in the context of how the team is constructed.
    I don't really disagree with this, nor do I will disagree that Votto is having a bit of a down year this year. However, a .925 OPS is not "down" enough to make him as big of a target as he has been this year.
    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    Let's face it, you mis-hit the bun with the mustard squirter, no one will really care.

  19. #89
    Member Wonderful Monds's Avatar
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    Re: Votto is not the issue. (Buster Olney Explains)

    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    I don't really disagree with this, nor do I will disagree that Votto is having a bit of a down year this year. However, a .925 OPS is not "down" enough to make him as big of a target as he has been this year.
    Yeah I'm not gonna disagree with that. 99.9% of the criticism about Joey has been completely unfounded.
    They don't think it be like it is, but it do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Schuler View Post
    He has also taught me that even when the Reds win it is important to focus on the fact that they could have lost.

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    Re: Votto is not the issue. (Buster Olney Explains)

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    FWIW, while is in-zone swing % is below his career average, it's actually up from 62.3% last year to 66.6% this year. (this is the BIS data, the pitch f/x data shows a similar trend, but different numbers).

    In the context of his first few years in the league, when he was swinging at more than 70% of pitches in the zone, he's definitely been more discriminating. But ironically, his best slugging year, 2010, came in the year with his highest rate of swinging at pitches out of the zone, but among his lower rates of swinging at pitches in the zone.

    Code:
    	O-Swing%	Z-Swing%	BABIP	ISO
    2008	24.7%		72.8%		.328	.209
    2009	24.4%		74.0%		.372	.245
    2010	29.9%		72.9%		.361	.276
    2011	25.5%		68.7%		.349	.222
    2012	21.2%		62.3%		.404	.230
    2013	20.5%		66.6%		.362	.190
    				
    	Correlation w/ O-Swing%		-0.39	0.78
    	Correlation w/ Z-Swing%		-0.63	0.41
    The data shows that, in short, fewer swings has resulted in higher BABIPs but lower ISOs. And while the scale of the correlation is a bit different, the basic dynamic is the same whether its swings out of the zone or within them. meanwhile, there is a small positive correlation between BABIP and ISO (0.24, not shown). Make of that what you will.

    Personally, it says to me that we shouldn't be reading too much in to these data, that the dynamics at play here can't be explained as simply as "he's not aggressive enough within the zone" -- unless of course you advocate him being more aggressive out of the zone as well.
    I think all of this is interesting. I'd like to see even more detailed information. For example, comparing his results to pitch location -- not just strike/non-strike, but inside/outside/center, high/low -- and pitch type. Have scouting reports on Votto changed to the point that he's seeing more of certain types of pitches in certain locations? All strikes aren't created equal, and there are times when pitches out of the zone are great to hit (a high, hanging breaking ball, for example).

    My point is this: I don't think the numbers we have -- at least the ones presented here -- tell the whole story.


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