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Thread: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

  1. #226
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    I want to watch a game wherein Arroyo faces Leake with neither pitcher having a defense behind him. Preferably in an airless terrarium with park effects magnetically neutralized.

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  4. #227
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo View Post
    If Tony Gwynn was good at hitting where they ain't, then why did he .310 in some seasons and .394 in his best season? If he had a replicable skill, why didn't he hit .394 every season? That's the logic you're putting out there.
    Hitters only hit for themselves. Pitchers pitch against everyone. Hitters don't have any place in a discussion about pitching.
    "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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  5. #228
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    Whether you remove the outliers or not, most people will look at those stats and conclude that Arroyo spent his career producing a lower than average BABIP, even when you factor in the defense behind him.

    Basically, Arroyo stumped the saber guys who predicted that he would eventually fail, but he instead continued to provide solid, predictable production for close to a decade. They will never be convinced that he was an above average pitcher, and spin narrative after narrative to prevent themselves from admitting that they got it wrong on Arroyo.

    I admire both JoJo and Steel for the the solid work with stats that they do and their perspective on the game and enjoy debating with both of them. But they got this one wrong, the stats show it. It's time to move on.
    Actually the issue at hand is that you're wrong concerning the notion Arroyo possesses a skill that allows him to suppress his ERA by suppressing his BABIP. You're giving him too much credit and it really isn't a mystery. That you got it wrong isn't that unusual, lots of people do when evaluating pitchers via ERA.
    Last edited by jojo; 04-19-2014 at 09:41 AM.
    "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

  6. #229
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Schuler View Post
    In the spirit of the challenge mode in Sim City where you would inherit a city destroyed by a disaster or other tough, impossible situation and challenge yourself to see if you could make it work, I want to assign a tough, impossible argument and see if Jojo is talented enough to argue for it.

    Jojo, pick the stats that will prove best that Joey Votto is below average.
    Joey Votto isn't below average. But just like some get him completely wrong by looking at RBI, some get Arroyo completely wrong by looking at ERA.
    Last edited by jojo; 04-19-2014 at 09:40 AM.
    "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

  7. #230
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo View Post
    If Tony Gwynn was good at hitting where they ain't, then why did he .310 in some seasons and .394 in his best season? If he had a replicable skill, why didn't he hit .394 every season? That's the logic you're putting out there.

    Large sample sizes are the bread and butter of sabre, but you're breaking Arroyo's demonstrable record over a metric ton of innings into bit-sized seasons so that you can say claim a 65% "failure" rate (even though he beat the team BABIP even in those seasons).

    I was against all of Arroyo's extensions because of his low k-rate. And, you know what, I was wrong. I'm refining my thinking. That's what makes it an interesting game.
    Actually, I examined Arroyo in his totality and asked why his magic skill only worked a couple of times. It's a rate stat that can vary wildly-the median is a very important aspect of interpreting the mean in other words. Or, not be flip for the sake of alliteration (because it's actually the variance or spread around the mean that matters), the pattern is really important for actually understanding the whole, just like an effect of environment. In other words, looking at fangraphs, Arroyo has a career BABIP of .281 while mlbave was .294. Did Arroyo suppress his BABIB (are the two numbers different)? Well Arroyo's data actually looks like this compared to mlb: Arroyo .281 +/- .034; mlbave=.294 +/- .003. If you want to talk about sample size this is kind of important. Did Arroyo suppress his BABIP versus the mlbave? Arroyo's sample is small enough to let a few extreme seasons influence his career mean whereas extremes are smoothed over in the much bigger sample size that comprises the mlb mean. Lets ignore single season altogether to eliminate what is a sticking point for you and just examine career averages. Is .281+/= .034 different than .294 +/- .003?

    Really what is at issue is why has Arroyo's ERA been lower than his FIP? Is it ARROYO or something else? In other words, do you pay Arroyo for it or not? His ERA has outperformed his FIP largely because his ERA has been LOB% and to a lesser extent BABIP-driven and both of those aspects have been driven by his teammates in a fashion such that Arroyo does not deserve to be paid for it.

    Do you trust a .290 batting average as the player enters the market when it was driven by being .340 at home? As is always the case, the devil turns out to be in the details.

    You're arguing "sign him long term Walt!" BTW, there isn't anything wrong with looking at BABIP for a starting pitcher on a yearly basis.
    Last edited by jojo; 04-19-2014 at 10:14 AM.
    "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

  8. #231
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    There are going to be some extremely close games played in the Singularity.

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  10. #232
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    Great work. Anyone with a lick of sense about statistics know it's best to control your sample and you did that perfectly. Bravo!

    For the record, I believe that his seasons with Boston/Pitt would yield the same results. I don't see how anyone can pass it off as luck at this point.
    The thing about luck is that it breaks about the same for everyone. It's what you do with that luck - maximize the opportunity from good luck and minimize the damage from bad luck - that makes all the difference. I'd argue that Arroyo and Leake have something intangible (competitive fire?) that drives them to do just those things, when they get lucky or unlucky, in a way that's better than most other pitchers.
    Sabermetrics is this: A batter's goal is to extend the inning. Extend enough innings and you're going to score runs. Extend more innings than your opponent and you're going to score more runs than him.

    Forget the rain. It's never an official game until the Reds piss away a run between third base and home plate. - Bluegrass Redleg

  11. #233
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    The thing about luck is that it breaks about the same for everyone. It's what you do with that luck - maximize the opportunity from good luck and minimize the damage from bad luck - that makes all the difference. I'd argue that Arroyo and Leake have something intangible (competitive fire?) that drives them to do just those things, when they get lucky or unlucky, in a way that's better than most other pitchers.
    They give up more contact but have been in front of a defense that has consistently ranked as one of the best in the majors. That is the face of the mythical intangible.
    "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

  12. #234
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Joey Votto isn't below average. But just like some get him completely wrong by looking at RBI, some get Arroyo completely wrong by looking at ERA.
    "Some people totally get this pitcher wrong by looking at how many runs he actually gave up."
    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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  14. #235
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderful Monds View Post
    "Some people totally get this pitcher wrong by looking at how many runs he actually gave up."
    "Some people still cling to the notion that the number of runs scored while a pitcher was on the mound is completely attributed to the pitcher."

    BTW, the ERA of the Reds staff as a whole has outperformed it's FIP 6 out of 8 seasons and every year after the defensive transition for the period between 2006-2013.
    Last edited by jojo; 04-19-2014 at 10:28 AM.
    "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: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    "Some people still cling to the notion that the number of runs scored while a pitcher was on the mound is completely attributed to the pitcher."
    ERA- > ERA+ > ERA > FIP
    b-WAR > f-WAR

  16. #237
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    They give up more contact but have been in front of a defense that has consistently ranked as one of the best in the majors. That is the face of the mythical intangible.
    But isn't the essence of pitching to disrupt the hitter's timing? And if the ball is hit fair when that timing is disrupted, AND you have better defenders, isn't that going to result in more outs? A flare that is hit toward CF is going to be caught by Hamilton or Stubbs, but not perhaps by Freel, for instance.

    In other words, yes, having better defenders helps. But it also helps when the pitcher can better disrupt a hitter's timing. It's a mix, and probably very difficult to distill the true stats out of it.
    Last edited by Dan; 04-19-2014 at 01:17 PM.
    Sabermetrics is this: A batter's goal is to extend the inning. Extend enough innings and you're going to score runs. Extend more innings than your opponent and you're going to score more runs than him.

    Forget the rain. It's never an official game until the Reds piss away a run between third base and home plate. - Bluegrass Redleg

  17. #238
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Arroyo hasn't mystified sabermetrics and he's really not much of a mystery.

    First to this notion that he has shown an ability to control his luck metrics throughout his career. He actually hasn't shown such an ability throughout his career. Neither has his ERA out performed his FIP throughout his career. In other words, the funny stuff with the Reds really wasn't going on with Pittsburgh or Boston.

    Code:
    	2000-2005					
    	BABIP	LOB%	GB%	HR/FB	ERA	FIP
    Arroyo	0.289	65.4%	39.3%	7.0%	4.59	4.36
    mlb	0.292	71.2%	43.8%	10.9%	4.44	4.44
    						
    	2006-2013					
    	BABIP	LOB%	GB%	HR/FB	ERA	FIP
    Arroyo	0.278	75.1%	40.9%	12.0%	4.05	4.60
    mlb	0.295	72.0%	44.1%	10.2%	4.19	4.19
    I know it's tempting to look at Arroyo's aggregate BABIP and see something meaningful in it during his stint with the Reds because it looks different. Those in favor of an approach for evaluating pitchers that relies on Hits/ERA certainly have pointed to BABIP as a way to try and discredit the conclusions of a multifaceted sabermetric approach to evaluating pitchers that relies upon a pitcher's peripherals/batted ball tendencies/luck metrics/quality of defense behind the pitcher/environment. But there are some problems with claiming Arroyo can suppress his BABIP and this ability explains why his ERA has tended to outperform his FIP. The first problem is that it's not true. His BABIP wasn't meaningfully different from his teammates in 4 out of the 6 seasons that his ERA was lower than his FIP. How then can his BABIP explain the difference between his ERA/FIP?

    The "secret" to understanding Arroyo largely is that where his LOB% goes so too does his ERA. In other words, when his ERA outperforms his FIP, there is a significant interaction between Arroyo, his teammates, and sequence of events. If one wants to argue that Arroyo has a unique ability to elevate his LOB% then one has to first explain why his LOB% largely mirrors that of the Reds staff from 2006-2013 (Arroyo's LOB% = 75.2%; Reds LOB%=74%; mlb LOB%= 71.5%).

    Code:
    	ERA	FIP	BABIP	LOB%
    06-'08	4.10	4.41	0.298	74.0%
    09-'13	3.79	4.49	0.267	76.0%
    Second, one has to explain why he should get the credit (rather than his defense) for the LOB% because it's really only high strikeout pitchers who have shown an ability to maintain elevated LOB% versus the league (and Arroyo ain't one of those). Below is Arroyo relative to his teammates and mlb. Remember, before joining the Reds, his LOB% was consistently bad. During his first three years with the Reds while he was in front of poor defenses, his LOB% fluctuated wildly. Once the defense transformed into one of the league's best, suddenly Arroyo's LOB% became consistently higher than the league at the same time his teammates as a whole were posting almost identical LOB% rates as Arroyo. This correlates to the period where Arroyo's ERA significantly outperformed his FIP. It isn't surprising that a high LOB% associates with a lower ERA because when high percentages of base runners are stranded on base, they aren't scoring and thus an artificially lower ERA. Again, guys who don't miss bats and give up lots of contact really aren't known for stranding runners (remember the reds bullpens in 2006 and 2007?!?). Things like the quality of defense and environment can influence the results of contact however and we know there is a big reason to consider the quality of the Reds defense between '06 and '13. Anyway here's a summary table:

    LOB% and difference between Arroyo's ERA and FIP (ERA-FIP)
    Code:
    Year	BA	Reds	mlb	ERA-FIP
    2006	78.0%	72.1%	70.9%	-0.86
    2007	74.0%	69.4%	70.7%	-0.34
    2008	70.1%	72.5%	71.4%	0.27
    2009	76.5%	74.4%	71.9%	-0.94
    2010	74.4%	73.6%	72.2%	-0.73
    2011	74.4%	73,7%	72.5%	-0.64
    2012	76.7%	76.9%	72.5%	-0.34
    2013	77.9%	77.5%	73.5%	-0.70
    Arroyo had a great season in 2006 that was largely driven by happy swings in luck/random metrics. He was gifted a great defense during his later years as a Red and it's the effect of his teammates that makes it so tempting for the anti-peripheral crowd to become enamored by Arroyo's ERA and essentially argue that Arroyo is a historical outlier that they had pegged all along. But why again should he get the credit?

    One also wonders if Arroyo's ERA should be solely credited to his unique skill, why then didn't he seem to have much trade value and why did he end up settling for a contract that should've been a slap in the face for a guy coming off of almost a decade of burning 200 IP/year and a five year stretch where he posted a sub-4.00 ERA in four of the five seasons?
    Last edited by jojo; 04-19-2014 at 08:42 PM.
    "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

  18. #239
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Quote Originally Posted by markymark69 View Post
    Of the five starters in the Reds rotation (counting Latos and not Simon), Mike Leake could be the best of the bunch before their careers are all said and done. He doesn't have the power arm, but he can pitch and has a huge ticker. Not bad with the bat in his hands either.
    Just want to say that it can be dangerous for a person with an enlarged heart to participate in competitive sports.

  19. #240
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Quote Originally Posted by marcshoe View Post
    Just want to say that it can be dangerous for a person with an enlarged heart to participate in competitive sports.
    I'd suggest he lose some weight but he's kind of scrawny.
    "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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