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Thread: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

  1. #286
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    If I guy plays in front of a great defense for his entire career, at what point does the added benefit that affords his stats go away?

    The question is pretty straight forward. How much of Leake's ERA being lower than his FIP is a function of his defense, how much is luck and how much is Leake's unique skill? You can make a legitimate case that a bigger portion of that is Leake than Jojo is willing to credit him. And you can make a case that the sample size is such that luck is probably not a primary factor. But I see no reason why we should think that the contribution of defense would somehow shrink over time even if the defense stayed top notch, which is what you seem to be suggesting.
    What proportion for each can you make a case for-Leake, defense, luck?
    "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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  3. #287
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    How much of Leake's ERA being lower than his FIP is a function of his defense, how much is luck and how much is Leake's unique skill? You can make a legitimate case that a bigger portion of that is Leake than Jojo is willing to credit him. And you can make a case that the sample size is such that luck is probably not a primary factor. But I see no reason why we should think that the contribution of defense would somehow shrink over time even if the defense stayed top notch, which is what you seem to be suggesting.

    Of the three factors, nobody doubts defense. I don't think anyone doubts luck can play a role (round bat, round ball, all that). So really it's the newly age-old argument about controlling BABIP. The guys who take the mound say they can. That doesn't mean players aren't immune to observational bias and that's the final word. But I'm not going to be cavalier about dismissing their thoughts.

    Jury's still out on Leake for me. For Arroyo, you have a lot of years that's harder to dismiss. He's a FB guy and a lot of those FB's are in the infield. That may explain lower than expected BABIP's.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

  4. #288
    Flash the leather! _Sir_Charles_'s Avatar
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    If I guy plays in front of a great defense for his entire career, at what point does the added benefit that affords his stats go away?

    The question is pretty straight forward. How much of Leake's ERA being lower than his FIP is a function of his defense, how much is luck and how much is Leake's unique skill? You can make a legitimate case that a bigger portion of that is Leake than Jojo is willing to credit him. And you can make a case that the sample size is such that luck is probably not a primary factor. But I see no reason why we should think that the contribution of defense would somehow shrink over time even if the defense stayed top notch, which is what you seem to be suggesting.
    I really don't think you can answer that question. You can make guesses, but I've never seen a defensive metric that is close to accurate IMO and all of the FIP stuff is based off of that, correct? There's just too many factors at play here. BABIP jumps to mind

    I'm not saying that Leake is anything other than a solid MLB starting pitcher who's put up solid numbers for 4 years. My beef was that when the stats couldn't attribute his good numbers due to him being a good pitcher, they went to the luck factor almost immediately. (I'm referring to that article posted yesterday or the day before...I'll see if I can find the link again)

    ~edit~ http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2...ak-than-bright
    Last edited by _Sir_Charles_; 04-22-2014 at 02:00 PM. Reason: added link
    2014 predictions:
    99-63 WS champs (Cards take 2nd WC, Mil 3rd, Pit 4th, Chi 5th)
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  5. #289
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Quote Originally Posted by _Sir_Charles_ View Post
    I really don't think you can answer that question. You can make guesses, but I've never seen a defensive metric that is close to accurate IMO and all of the FIP stuff is based off of that, correct? There's just too many factors at play here. BABIP jumps to mind

    I'm not saying that Leake is anything other than a solid MLB starting pitcher who's put up solid numbers for 4 years. My beef was that when the stats couldn't attribute his good numbers due to him being a good pitcher, they went to the luck factor almost immediately. (I'm referring to that article posted yesterday or the day before...I'll see if I can find the link again)

    ~edit~ http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2...ak-than-bright
    FIP attempts to be defense independent.
    "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. #290
    Bread Gloves Razor Shines's Avatar
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    I'm partial to Leake. He's a good athlete, his instincts for the game are excellent, he can swing it a little.....he's a baseball player who happens to pitch. I think that appeals to a lot of us. But I hope someone other than the Reds give him his long term deal when it comes time.

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  8. #291
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    I'm not closed minded, but the first thing I wonder is, "if he (whoever) is so good at stranding runners, why does he let them on base to begin with?"
    One possible explanation. I have heard pitchers say this.
    With the bases open, they pitch to contact. If a runner gets on base (or in scoring position), they then "bear down" or "reach back for that extra something".
    The reasoning is that a pitcher doesn't want to give 100% effort on each pitch so he can go deeper in the game and/or save some "stuff" for when he really needs it.


    Anecodal evidence:
    Leake will often go to his sinker with men on base to try and induce a double play (as opposed to showing it to every hitter and trying to do it every time).

    Cueto went through a transformation when his K/9 went down and said he was pitching more to contact to go deeper into games.

    One of Maddux's catchers said that most pitchers show their best pitch to the hitters at least once per at bat. He said Maddux would only show his best pitch maybe 3-4 times per game, when he really needed it.

    So, there's 3 quick examples off the top of my head.
    This kind of runs counter to saber analysis, because the assumption in a lot of saber analysis is that the pitcher is doing everything in his power to prevent a base runner at every at bat.
    But actual pitchers have said they approach it differently. So it muddies the water a bit when you try to mix situations of no one on (especially with a lead) or a guy in scoring position.

    I'm not saying this is proof that stranding base runners is a skill or trying to prove anything, but it's a point to consider.. the pitchers don't always give max effort, according to interviews.
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

    Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!

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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Harang was the ACE of the staff for several seasons, but Mike Leake is a better pitcher who is having a better career and should end up with a better career. Harang can get strikeouts. Leake just gets outs without the stupid innings that Harang would always serve up. Harang never hesitated to serve up the meatball with multiple men on base. He's smarter as a pitcher now than he's ever been and is doing great things with the Braves this season. Glad he's not a RED, though, anymore.
    "One problem with people who have no vices is that they're pretty sure to have some annoying virtues."

  11. #293
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD View Post
    This kind of runs counter to saber analysis, because the assumption in a lot of saber analysis is that the pitcher is doing everything in his power to prevent a base runner at every at bat.
    That's not a sabermetric assumption.
    "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. #294
    Member Wonderful Monds's Avatar
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingspoint View Post
    Harang was the ACE of the staff for several seasons, but Mike Leake is a better pitcher who is having a better career and should end up with a better career. Harang can get strikeouts. Leake just gets outs without the stupid innings that Harang would always serve up. Harang never hesitated to serve up the meatball with multiple men on base. He's smarter as a pitcher now than he's ever been and is doing great things with the Braves this season. Glad he's not a RED, though, anymore.
    Harang was a legitimately very good pitcher, not sure what you're talking about.
    They don't think it be like it is, but it do.
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderful Monds View Post
    Harang was a legitimately very good pitcher, not sure what you're talking about.
    Average, at best, for a career. I'd rather have Leake's career than Harang's, without a second thought.
    "One problem with people who have no vices is that they're pretty sure to have some annoying virtues."

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

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD View Post
    One possible explanation. I have heard pitchers say this.
    With the bases open, they pitch to contact. If a runner gets on base (or in scoring position), they then "bear down" or "reach back for that extra something".
    The reasoning is that a pitcher doesn't want to give 100% effort on each pitch so he can go deeper in the game and/or save some "stuff" for when he really needs it.


    Anecodal evidence:
    Leake will often go to his sinker with men on base to try and induce a double play (as opposed to showing it to every hitter and trying to do it every time).

    Cueto went through a transformation when his K/9 went down and said he was pitching more to contact to go deeper into games.

    One of Maddux's catchers said that most pitchers show their best pitch to the hitters at least once per at bat. He said Maddux would only show his best pitch maybe 3-4 times per game, when he really needed it.

    So, there's 3 quick examples off the top of my head.
    This kind of runs counter to saber analysis, because the assumption in a lot of saber analysis is that the pitcher is doing everything in his power to prevent a base runner at every at bat.
    But actual pitchers have said they approach it differently. So it muddies the water a bit when you try to mix situations of no one on (especially with a lead) or a guy in scoring position.

    I'm not saying this is proof that stranding base runners is a skill or trying to prove anything, but it's a point to consider.. the pitchers don't always give max effort, according to interviews.
    Here's some not anecdotal evidence (i.e. pitch f/x data for Leake's career with pitch type expressed as percent thrown by situation and handedness of batter):

    Code:
    vs LHH						
    	FS	Sink	Cut	SL	CB	CH
    empty	4	39	24	6	11	15
    1b	4	43	25	7	8	13
    2b	3	29	31	9	12	16
    3b	4	30	37	7	9	13
    1b 2b	3	31	32	8	11	15
    1b 3b	2	28	33	11	8	17
    2b 3b	1	21	44	12	7	15
    1b2b3b	3	33	35	9	7	12
    RISP	3	21	44	9	9	14
    						
    vs RHH						
    	FS	Sink	Cut	SL	CB	CH
    empty	4	43	19	18	8	8
    1b	5	41	20	19	7	8
    2b	5	40	16	24	8	8
    3b	5	43	15	23	7	8
    1b 2b	4	41	15	24	8	7
    1b 3b	6	41	16	24	6	8
    2b 3b	2	41	17	25	2	14
    1b2b3b	2	47	15	22	6	8
    RISP	3	37	18	25	4	11
    If anything Leake throws fewer sinkers with men on base. But the reality is that it's tough to see any discernible pattern that suggests Leake changes his approach to the hitter dramatically in a situational sense. It's actually remarkable how similar his pitch selection is across situations.

    Below are his situational results/outcomes for his career. One would predict that conscious attempt to change approach by situation would be accompanied by different and corresponding outcomes. We've already seen that pitch f/x data doesn't support the notion that Leake dramatically changes his approach by situation. Do his results differ? Pay particular attention to his situational batted ball types. A dramatic shift to sinkers should correlate to a significantly higher GB%. Again the results just aren;t that different and if anything, he's more prone to induce FBs with runners on as his command seems to worsen. In other words, that's the exact opposite of the profile one would see if there were a dramatic shift to sinkers which induce ground balls and is a pitch type that is most likely to be thrown for a strike.

    Code:
    Situational		TBF	AVG	OBP	SLG	wOBA	K/9	BB/9	K/BB	HR/9	K%	BB%	BABIP	LOB%	FIP
    Bases Empty		1783	0.264	0.311	0.421	0.321	6.41	2.26	2.83	1.11	16.20%	5.70%	0.294	100.00%	4.06
    Men on Base		1183	0.268	0.332	0.455	0.338	5.23	2.4	2.18	1.26	14.70%	6.80%	0.286	29.80%	4.64
    Men In Scoring		656	0.26	0.341	0.472	0.343	6.37	3.51	1.82	1.64	16.60%	9.20%	0.277	-14.30%	5.34
    															
    Situational		GB/FB	LD%	GB%	FB%	IFFB%	HR/FB	IFH%	BUH%						
    Bases Empty		1.77	21.10%	50.40%	28.40%	8.40%	12.80%	3.60%	75.00%						
    Men on Base		1.52	21.10%	47.60%	31.30%	7.60%	15.30%	5.00%	2.80%						
    Men In Scoring		1.57	19.20%	49.40%	31.40%	9.50%	19.00%	6.90%	10.00%
    As to this notion that Leake can control his LOB%, where in the data above is evidence for such an ability?
    "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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  17. #297
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    REDREAD -

    You made 3 points.

    1) jojo showed Leake throws his sinker LESS when runners are on. That goes counterintuitive to your point. What say you?

    2) Cueto pitching to contact does not explain why you believe Leake lets runners on then bears down.

    3) Greg Maddux is in a league of his own. Are you suggesting Leake holds back some magical pitch to only be used 3-4 times a game?

  18. #298
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    That's not a sabermetric assumption.
    Ok, it is an assumption that the pitcher is doing everything in his power to get an out vs every hitter he faces in many simulations and analysis. (At least the ones I know of)
    I have yet to see a simulation for example where there's 1 out , bases empty, pitcher has a 3 run lead, so he tries to pitch to contact to save a few pitches, even though he has less of a chance of getting that runner out.

    If I misused the word "sabermatic", I apologize, not intentional. It wasn't intended to be a dig.
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

    Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!

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  20. #299
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    REDREAD -

    You made 3 points.

    1) jojo showed Leake throws his sinker LESS when runners are on. That goes counterintuitive to your point. What say you?

    2) Cueto pitching to contact does not explain why you believe Leake lets runners on then bears down.

    3) Greg Maddux is in a league of his own. Are you suggesting Leake holds back some magical pitch to only be used 3-4 times a game?
    1) He throws the sinker slightly more to LHH with a runner on first vs bases empty (43 vs 39). I do concede it's not a huge difference. But you are right, vs RHH batters, he throws it slightly less.

    I will back track a bit. I have never heard Leake specifically say much concrete about his pitching style.
    I have heard other pitchers talk about pitching to contact more with bases empty.
    So yes, maybe Leake is different than those guys that talk. So what I said doesn't apply to Leake. I will concede that.

    However, I have no reason to believe that the other pitchers lied. For example, Cueto said a couple years ago, he was making an effort to pitch to contact vs getting the strikeout. (Don't ask me to find a link to it, if you disagree that's fine )
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

    Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!

  21. #300
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Mike Leake, Best of the Bunch?

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD View Post
    However, I have no reason to believe that the other pitchers lied. For example, Cueto said a couple years ago, he was making an effort to pitch to contact vs getting the strikeout. (Don't ask me to find a link to it, if you disagree that's fine )
    Aren't you really arguing that Cueto has made a conscious choice to abdicate to his defense behind him? Why would Cueto get credit for his LOB% because he's made a decision to limit his pitch count? BTW, his LOB% correlates with the quality of the Reds defense too----it becomes higher than expected from 2009 forward.

    BTW, no one is arguing that pitching isn't an art. The battle between the pitcher and batter within an at bat and between miltuple at bats within a game is one of my favorite aspects of baseball and frankly there are alot of games where I'm really only interested in a few at bats. No one is arguing that pitchers are simply pitching machines. Pitching is an art and a science with an incredible amount of thought and strategy played out in a single at bat. But that doesn't mean Leake or Arroyo should get credit for their LOB% or BABIP by default.
    "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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