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Thread: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

  1. #196
    Member tommycash's Avatar
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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderful Monds View Post
    To turn this another direction here...

    Does anyone think the Reds offense is seriously flawed? And if so, do those serious flaws have a lot to do with strikeouts?
    I personally think the problem is a lack of a formidable right handed hitter this year. Doesn't mean we have to have 50 HR hitter, just someone that can have a better than average OPS to protect Votto and allow for Jay Bruce to see better pitches because a pitcher can't pitch around Votto and another good hitter behind him. Phillips is not a four hitter, Frazier regressed this year, and Mes and Cozart are not top or middle of the lineup hitters. Last year Frazier and Ludwick helped out a lot. Rolen helped us 2010. We need to address that in the offseason more than anything else, IMO.
    Jack Eliot: I'm a World Series MVP!
    Skip: That was four years ago, Jack. Last season, you hit .235.
    Jack Eliot: LAST SEASON, I led this team in ninth-inning doubles in the month of August!

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by _Sir_Charles_ View Post
    Ummmm...what? :O) (just kidding, but the wording on that was nearly a lawyers' response)

    Okay, simple question. If a player is in a 2 strike count with men in scoring position...do you want him protecting the plate or swinging for the fences?
    I want him to do what he's best at.
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch thatís over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.Ē
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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by tommycash View Post
    I personally think the problem is a lack of a formidable right handed hitter this year. Doesn't mean we have to have 50 HR hitter, just someone that can have a better than average OPS to protect Votto and allow for Jay Bruce to see better pitches because a pitcher can't pitch around Votto and another good hitter behind him. Phillips is not a four hitter, Frazier regressed this year, and Mes and Cozart are not top or middle of the lineup hitters. Last year Frazier and Ludwick helped out a lot. Rolen helped us 2010. We need to address that in the offseason more than anything else, IMO.
    I can see why you would say that. Certainly having another good hitter (RH or LH) would help the lineup. There is no doubt about that.

    But I don't really think "protection" is the issue here, and neither are RH/LH splits. Actually, Bruce is one of the better LH hitters in the league against LH pitching, so now that he is hitting behind Votto, we've already got a pretty darn good combo. But yeah, throwing in another .800+ bat would really help things out. The Ludwick injury looms huge in that regard (assuming he'd have been able to keep being that).

  7. #199
    Member Wonderful Monds's Avatar
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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    I personally don't think it's seriously flawed. To the extent they've had problems, though, have come largely from not getting the ball in play with runners in scoring position.

    People like to reference the Cards' BABIP with runners in scoring position, but that only matters if you actually put it in play. With the Cardinals, they're only striking out 15% as a team w/RISP. They're giving themselves a chance to capitalize on more opportunities.

    I don't think the Reds have a huge flaw, though. I'm also not suggesting guys like Jay Bruce should become slap hitters, nor do I think anyone else wants that. But with two strikes and RISP, I think hitters should do a better job of shortening their swings and getting the ball in play, especially with guys on base.

    For the record, since I mentioned Jay Bruce's .526 career OPS with two strikes... Marco Scutaro, another guy I've referenced a few times, has a .662 career OPS with two strikes. So yes, it is possible to do better by shortening your swing in certain situations. A guy like Jay Bruce, overall, is more valuable than Scutaro because of the runs the power creates over a period of time. That doesn't mean Bruce can't be more effective with two strikes and improve. The difference between he and a Joey Votto is that Votto does shorten up and is willing to make contact when the situation calls for it.
    I see what you're saying, that makes sense to me.

    I have to wonder though, how much the Cards success has to do with their 2 strike approach or how much it has to do with their overall hitting ability.

    To me, it seems that if your offense is heavily relying on its 2 strike hitting ability (by nature, a very low scoring situation), they're probably by nature very flawed and that a lot of success based on that has to do with the random variability of balls in play falling in for hits (ie BABIP luck).
    They don't think it be like it is, but it do.
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    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: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    A guy like Jay Bruce, overall, is more valuable than Scutaro because of the runs the power creates over a period of time. That doesn't mean Bruce can't be more effective with two strikes and improve. The difference between he and a Joey Votto is that Votto does shorten up and is willing to make contact when the situation calls for it.
    Okay, thanks for finally responding -- obliquely albeit -- to the macro question. So basically the crux of this whole "strike outs vs. in-play" argument for you is that every player should try to be Joey Votto. Thing is... don't you think they are already trying to? That contract is pretty fat.

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    I do believe the Reds offense is seriously flawed. It isn't a terrible offense. But it is very flawed.

    The reason is that it doesn't have enough productive hitters. Period.

    Not because of Ks. Cozart and Mesoraco don't have very high K rates, but neither has hit much. Frazier's K rate is a bit higher, but not bad for a power man; he just hasn't hit much.

    The only real high K guy this year is Bruce and he compensates to some extent with power.

    The reason the offense is seriously flawed is that LF, 3B, 2B, and C haven't hit sufficiently well. In each case there are other reasons. For example, all the grounders Frazier and Cozart have hit this year, particularly Frazier whose ground ball rate has hurt his power production. Hanigan's lack of power is another example.

    Any team so dependent on about three hitters, sometimes four, is flawed. It's not a recipe for success ultimately. But it's more than just K rates in this case.
    Last edited by Kc61; 09-14-2013 at 11:06 PM.

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderful Monds View Post
    I think the answer has to do with this

    Because the "strikeout approach" leads to a lot of runs (via hitting for power and walks) that would not happen if those strikeout prone hitters started trying to not strike out. By doing so, they would end up hitting for less power and walking less, leading to fewer runs scored overall in all situations.
    In general I agree with this. But what prompted Dusty's comment was seeing his hitters striking out on pitches in the dirt and seeing his hitters striking out looking. I couldn't care less HOW much power you've got...it's not going to help you in any way, shape or form in those situations.

    Dusty's not suggesting that guys shorten their swings, he's not suggesting that they stop swinging hard....he's suggesting that they stop swinging and missing at balls out of the zone and that when it's 2 strikes and it's in the zone...take the bat off your shoulder. In what way is that going to hurt ANY players production? He's not promoting a change to overall approach at all. But letting strike 3 sail past you and you just keep your bat on your shoulder...that's extremely unacceptable. How that can be argued is beyond me.
    2014 predictions:
    99-63 WS champs (Cards take 2nd WC, Mil 3rd, Pit 4th, Chi 5th)
    Bruce/Votto neck and neck MVP race (neither takes it)
    Bailey CYA winner
    Hamilton ROY & GG

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    I do believe the Reds offense is seriously flawed. It isn't a terrible offense. But it is very flawed.

    The reason is that it doesn't have enough productive hitters. Period.

    Not because of Ks. Cozart and Mesoraco don't have very high K rates, but neither has hit much. Frazier's is a bit higher, not bad for a power man, but he hasn't hit much.

    The only real high K guy this year is Bruce and he compensates to some extent with power.

    The reason the offense is seriously flawed is that LF, 3B, 2B, and C haven't hit sufficiently well. In each case there are reasons. For example, all the grounders Frazier and Cozart have hit.

    Any team so dependent on about 3 hitters, sometimes four, is flawed. It's not a recipe for success ultimately. But it's more than just K rates in this case.
    I could quibble over your adjectives, but I basically agree with this assessment 100%. Whether or not it is realistic to expect them to get a lot better soon is another question, however. I'm not sure Walt has that many options (though adding a DeJesus or Byrd might have helped a bit).

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    Seems pretty simple. You can't score if you don't make contact. You can if you do.

    Not really an a-ha, just simple 2+2=4
    This is actually a completely inaccurate statement.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    This is actually a completely inaccurate statement.
    True. I suppose a team that just walks constantly without making contact would be a run machine!

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    You guys can pee for a really long time.

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post
    I want him to do what he's best at.
    Play defense?

    To be clear, I'm not talking about any changes mechanically like Joey does. I'm talking about choosing what pitches to swing at. I'm talking about K's looking specifically. Do you want him to be choosy with 2 strikes...or expand the zone?
    2014 predictions:
    99-63 WS champs (Cards take 2nd WC, Mil 3rd, Pit 4th, Chi 5th)
    Bruce/Votto neck and neck MVP race (neither takes it)
    Bailey CYA winner
    Hamilton ROY & GG

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by RedEye View Post
    Okay, thanks for finally responding -- obliquely albeit -- to the macro question. So basically the crux of this whole "strike outs vs. in-play" argument for you is that every player should try to be Joey Votto. Thing is... don't you think they are already trying to? That contract is pretty fat.
    Not sure what you mean as I referenced this very early in the thread. I already mentioned I think, overall, higher strikeout guys with power tend to produce more runs than lower strikeout guys without power. A home run is going to plate, on average, about 1.8-2.1 runs at a time. A single is worth roughly .3-.5 runs. That said, in the macro, if you were to take every strike out and put it in play, you get a whole different story.

    I think it's pretty thin to suggest every hitter is going up to the plate changing his approach in certain situations. I think most people are too hard on Chris Heisey, but let's be honest, Heisey goes up looking for a pitch to rip at and does. He's really not changing his approach very often. Jay Bruce usually is trying to whack it 500 feet most of the time (and very nearly does sometimes). I don't think Bruce very consistently shortens up his swing in those situations. Too often he's looking for a 3-run dinger. That's not to say he hasn't done better and isn't trying ever, but I don't think he does it nearly as often as he could.

    Guys like Jay Bruce don't have to cease being Jay Bruce. With two strikes, they could shorten up and be even more productive than before. The fact is that guys at this level should be good enough to make that adjustment, since even the free swingers swing and miss only 15-18% of the time on strikes. I also think sometimes this whole "inflate the opposing pitcher's pitch count" approach has conditioned too many hitters to miss some really fat pitches early in the count that otherwise could be deposited down the line or in the outfield bleachers. Point is, sometimes the biggest damage being done with strikeouts is being too selective to begin with.
    Last edited by Brutus; 09-14-2013 at 11:15 PM.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by RedEye View Post
    I could quibble over your adjectives, but I basically agree with this assessment 100%. Whether or not it is realistic to expect them to get a lot better soon is another question, however. I'm not sure Walt has that many options (though adding a DeJesus or Byrd might have helped a bit).
    For next season, all I ask is that the Reds seriously and objectively assess the hitting potential and ability of the guys who failed this season. If they leave this group together, I hope they know what they are doing.

    One area in particular is catching. The Reds catching has among the worst offensive numbers in the major leagues. It may be a defensive position, but other clubs are getting much more hitting from their backstops.

    Obviously, there are other weak areas too, catching just would be high on my list to think about.

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    Re: "No matter what the stat boys say, you put the ball in play." - Dusty

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    Not sure what you mean as I referenced this very early in the thread. I already mentioned I think, overall, higher strikeout guys with power tend to produce more runs than lower strikeout guys without power. A home run is going to plate, on average, about 1.8-2.1 runs at a time. A single is worth roughly .3-.5 runs. That said, in the macro, if you were to take every strike out and put it in play, you get a whole different story.

    I think it's pretty thin to suggest every hitter is going up to the plate changing his approach in certain situations. I think most people are too hard on Chris Heisey, but let's be honest, Heisey goes up looking for a pitch to rip at and does. He's really not changing his approach very often. Jay Bruce usually is trying to whack it 500 feet most of the time (and very nearly does sometimes). I don't think Bruce very consistently shortens up his swing in those situations. Too often he's looking for a 3-run dinger. That's not to say he hasn't done better and isn't trying ever, but I don't think he does it nearly as often as he could.

    Guys like Jay Bruce don't have to cease being Jay Bruce. With two strikes, they could shorten up and be even more productive than before. The fact is that guys at this level should be good enough to make that adjustment, since even the free swingers swing and miss only 15-18% of the time on strikes. I also think sometimes this whole "inflate the opposing pitcher's pitch count" approach has conditioned too many hitters to miss some really fat pitches early in the count that otherwise could be deposited down the line or in the outfield bleachers. Point is, sometimes the biggest damage being done with strikeouts is being too selective to begin with.
    Okay, well if you mentioned it earlier in the thread, I obviously missed it. You certainly haven't mentioned it over the past several pages that I've seen when you've been beating the drum of a false choice b/t K's and putting the ball in play. We both know it really isn't that simple. Dusty may too... though my confidence is waning on that count.

    I guess we disagree on these hitters and what they can realistically do to improve. I don't pretend to know what Heisey and Bruce are thinking or doing in each and every situation, but I assume that if they could be .900+ OPS guys they would. They aren't idiots.


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