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Thread: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

  1. #166
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    This is a perfect example of how big overall theoretical numbers fall apart when analyses in more detail.
    Is there anything more theoretical than clutch?
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

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  3. #167
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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by MWM View Post
    Is there anything more theoretical than clutch?
    There is nothing theoretical about a players numbers with runners in scoring position, late in close games, or in high leverage situations. Call it what you want, but those are hard numbers, that reveal actual production.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    There is nothing theoretical about a players numbers with runners in scoring position, late in close games, or in high leverage situations. Call it what you want, but those are hard numbers, that reveal actual production.
    Correct. But I think Votto has to be defended here. The guy found himself last year under great, great pressure to produce because almost nobody else did. The RISP situations were magnified because it was usually Votto or nothing. And teams pitched around him as reflected by all the walks.

    Early on Phillips did well, and Bruce had a reasonably good year. But this was a shallow lineup.

    Obviously it would be better if Joey was oblivious and just hit at his best regardless of circumstances. But the guy was given very little support last year.
    Last edited by Kc61; 10-24-2013 at 01:31 PM.

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  6. #169
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    There is nothing theoretical about a players numbers with runners in scoring position, late in close games, or in high leverage situations. Call it what you want, but those are hard numbers, that reveal actual production.
    But attributing those numbers to "clutch" is entirely theoretical.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Correct. But I think Votto has to be defended here. The guy found himself last year under great, great pressure to produce because almost nobody else did. The RISP situations were magnified because it was usually Votto or nothing. And teams pitched around him as reflected by all the walks.

    Early on Phillips did well, and Bruce had a reasonably good year. But this was a shallow lineup.

    Obviously it would be better if Joey was oblivious and just hit at his best regardless of circumstances. But the guy was given very little support last year.
    There are probably a plethora a reasons explaining why Votto did so poorly in the clutch in 2013. But the facts are clear, he performed well below his normal performance level in those situations. I think Walt is well within his duties as GM to investigate these reasons and see if something can be done about it.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    There is nothing theoretical about a players numbers with runners in scoring position, late in close games, or in high leverage situations. Call it what you want, but those are hard numbers, that reveal actual production.
    More to the point, whether you attribute it to "bad luck" or "random variation" or "skill", it shows 1 reason why the actual production doesn't quite match up to the projected production associated with a the OPS, RC, WAR, etc..

    Understanding the variance between the number of runs actually produced, and those that you would project to be produced given his stats is important. But first you have to recognize that the number of runs actually produced WAS below what the projection.

    In general, I think it's mainly a result of random variation, and perhaps the early lack of RBI getting into Joey's head a little bit.
    When people say that I donít know what Iím talking about when it comes to sports or writing, I think: Man, you should see me in the rest of my life.
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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    There are probably a plethora a reasons explaining why Votto did so poorly in the clutch in 2013. But the facts are clear, he performed well below his normal performance level in those situations. I think Walt is well within his duties as GM to investigate these reasons and see if something can be done about it.
    I think Walt has every reason to question Votto particularly his defense and baserunning. Does anyone think the reds are having buyers remorse on his contract?
    When I see the 2015 Reds, I see a 100 loss team.

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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by junkhead View Post
    You're exactly right. In contrast to common belief, Votto is not a power hitter.
    Instead, he's just one of the best pure hitters in baseball.

    Below are active career leaders for LD% with at least 3500 PA.

    I'm not sure anyone has argued that Votto (by his own admission) underachieved because he didn't hit enough home runs. Look at his extra base hits. He had 57 extra base hits this year. That's a career low, despite having more plate appearances than he had in any other season. He had 58 extra base hits last season despite missing 50 games with an injury and not being 100 percent even after he came back. His slugging percentage was a career low by a significant margin.

    So you can talk about cumulative value measures all you want, but his value in 2013 was driven by walks. And it's not a protection issue, unless I missed all those seasons when he had Babe Ruth batting behind him. Walks have value. Not arguing that. But that's not the role the Reds ask Votto to play -- or the role he has played for the first half of his career. He was Shin Soo Choo this year, minus a few singles. That's not a bad player at all. But does anyone want to pay Choo $220 million?

    And, as others have said, the dip in offensive production is only part of the story -- he was terrible in the field and on the basepaths. Just a down year all around.

    I've said this before: Is it just a blip, or is it the new normal?

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  12. #174
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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    Just on the eyeball test, the problem with Votto (if you can even call it a problem) is that he didn't do enough damage on mistake pitches this year. About the only difference I noticed from 2012 to 2013 is that he was more likely to foul those pitches off this season than he was to drive them. You could see him becoming frustrated with that as the year wore on.

    I suspect it's a one year abberation and that he'll be back to his old self next season. The important thing was that he never let any of this change his approach or impact his pitch selectivity. That's a good thing. Anyone who says otherwise needs to learn more about how runs are scored.
    Quote Originally Posted by malcontent View Post
    That was about all I saw from Votto this year. Fouling relative meatballs off. Always to the left.
    Yep, and that's probably why he doesn't think he had a good year. It's probably the root of what they're talking about with adjustments.

    But if it's not an aberration but a trend, that would be a problem. That super-high walk-rate-driven OBP is not just a product of his eye and discipline, it's also a product of pitchers being afraid to throw him strikes. If he's not crushing the stuff they do throw over the plate, the walk rate's going to come down eventually.
    For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible

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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by osuceltic View Post

    So you can talk about cumulative value measures all you want, but his value in 2013 was driven by walks. And it's not a protection issue, unless I missed all those seasons when he had Babe Ruth batting behind him. Walks have value.

    I've said this before: Is it just a blip, or is it the new normal?
    I think it is a protection issue in large part. The Reds were never as hitting thin as in 2013, not in recent years.

    Ludwick went down. Phillips' hitting declined likely due to injury. Frazier hit, what, .234 or something.

    Don't think it's an accident that Votto led the major leagues (by far) in drawing walks. It's not just his approach, a walk requires the pitcher to throw four balls when you're up there.

    I can understand Walt wanting to look into all this; the team has a fortune of money on the line. And there may be other factors. But I think Votto's production is not nearly the biggest baseball problem facing Jocketty right now and he should concentrate on the other slots in the lineup.

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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    This has been pointed out, I'm sure....but why the lengthy conversations around a guy who led the league in runs created?

    Isn't the discussion kinda over when you lead the league in the one commodity that makes you win?

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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom Heffner View Post
    This has been pointed out, I'm sure....but why the lengthy conversations around a guy who led the league in runs created?

    Isn't the discussion kinda over when you lead the league in the one commodity that makes you win?
    Yeah, it should be until someone poo-poos RC as being 'theoretical' and then tangents into a discussion of 'clutch'; a concept involving a ton more fairy dust, magical jelly beans, and unicorns than RC does.
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by junkhead View Post
    "There is no such thing as clutch in the real world."
    So, how do you explain guys like Bonds shrinking in the playoffs and guys like Robert Horry almost always hitting the big shot?

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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by dubc47834 View Post
    So, how do you explain guys like Bonds shrinking in the playoffs and guys like Robert Horry almost always hitting the big shot?
    Media narrative and small samples.
    Randy Johnson was known as a guy who shrunk in the post season, until he and Schilling pitched the D-backs to the World Championship.

    The media narrative said the Cardinals got where they are because they "play the game the right way."
    Not sure that last night was the right way to do anything.
    When people say that I donít know what Iím talking about when it comes to sports or writing, I think: Man, you should see me in the rest of my life.
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    Re: Walt interview (with Cunningham)

    Quote Originally Posted by junkhead View Post
    You're exactly right. In contrast to common belief, Votto is not a power hitter.
    Instead, he's just one of the best pure hitters in baseball.

    Below are active career leaders for LD% with at least 3500 PA.
    I think Votto's 2013 is the rare year where the subjective eye test jibes with the results. From my viewing, Votto was super patient and hitting lots of line drives, but wasn't driving the ball with the authority he has in the past. A lot of mistake and hittable pitches were either fouled off or driven for solid singles rather than being ripped into the gap or the stands. And if you look at the stats, I think it bears that out:

    08: 589 PA, 63 XBH
    09: 544 PA, 64 XBH
    10: 648 PA, 75 XBH
    11: 719 PA, 72 XBH
    12: 475 PA, 58 XBH (good gravy)
    13: 726 PA, 57 XBH

    In 2013, Votto had virtually an identical number of extra base hits as 2012 but in 251 fewer plate appearances. His SLG in 2013 (.491) was the lowest in a full season for his career and fully 50 points off his career total.

    Whether it's residue from the knee injury, a lack of lineup protection, more sophisticated outfield positioning, better advance scouting, bad luck, or a combination of all of them, Votto did not produce the power numbers we've come to expect last season.

    That doesn't mean he needs to change his approach, or hit behind the runner, or stop cursing, or start cursing, or whatever. All the guy needs to do is punish bad pitches the way he did the first five full seasons of his career, and he'll be completely dominant instead of "merely" elite.
    Last edited by dsmith421; 10-24-2013 at 02:58 PM.

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