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Thread: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

  1. #61
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    Lidle was also used sparingly during the first half of his two seasons in Oakland (well under 6 IP per start). Might have been some cause and effect there in addition luck, park and defense, his arm may have been fresh for the stretch. When the Jays leaned on him hard in the first half of 2003, much the same way the Reds are doing this season, he was ineffective and then gimpy.
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  3. #62
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    As for the contention that it's easier to win well-pitched games than lose poorly pitched outings, I whole-heartedly disagree.
    Well, this is pretty darn close to the Koufax/Don Sutton debate that Bill James carries out in his Hall of Fame book. From what I gather, you are taking the position that a steady performer (i.e., Sutton) would be more valuable than a highly volatile one (Koufax). [Koufax had great years mixed with pretty crummy ones, whereas Sutton was very steady performer year in and year out.] I can't disprove your contention in this space--I have neither the time nor inclination to run a simulation--but I trust what Bill James said about the issue. He concluded from this study that the winning percentage for a team of Koufaxes (highly variable seasonal performances) would have a .550-.600 winning percentage, whereas a team of Suttons with the same ERA would be ~.500. By inference, I believe it is safe to say that peak performances, with respect to winning and losing ballgames, will be undervalued on a game-to-game basis.

    [Aside: the 4.50 ERA was in place for ease of illustration--it was laziness (on my behalf) in making my point.]

    As for the IP issue, let me ask you this: is it any coincidence that the late-90s ATL team easily constructed good (great?) bullpens with Glavine and Maddux eating 450+ innings at the front of the rotation? Never mind that those bullpens were always cobbled together with a cast of Darren Holmeses and Chris Hammonds, and yet, they always turned out consistently strong performances. Leo Mazzone gets more than his fair share of the credit for the success of the bullpen, but I don't think is necessarily fair when you have two innings eaters at the front of the rotation. That allows Mazzone to find spots where Hammond and pitchers of his ilk could be successful (and well-rested). I realize that many do not share my viewpoint, but cheap IP (e.g., not coming from a great performer) are significantly undervalued on the market. And that is what Lidle gives the staff--he relieves the pressure valve that builds up in a bullpen.

    Finally, I just want to be clear: I am not saying Lidle is a "good pitcher" by conventional standards; I am saying that his contributions have "value" to this club.
    Last edited by D-Man; 06-25-2004 at 03:58 PM.

  4. #63
    Member Eric_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    I like Lidle. He has upside still. He'll do better the last 3/5th's of the year than he did the first 2/5th's.

  5. #64
    Member Eric_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    Only once all year has Lidle thrown back-to-back non-quality starts.

    June 7th, and June 13th.

    So, what does the guy do?

    He follows that up with back-to-back quality starts June 18th, and June 24th,
    throwing 15 innings giving up 15 hits, 4 earned runs, 2 walks, with 15 strikeouts.

    He's on the verge of putting together a streak of 10 games with 8 quality starts among them. That could be right now.

    He hasn't had 3 quality starts in a row all year. Let's see what he does on Tuesday against the Mets as he faces Glavine again.

    His last start against the Mets was a day game. His next one will be a night game. This year:

    Days 4-1, 3.43 ERA
    Night 1-4, 7.33 ERA


    Here's also four games where Lidle got a No Decision (all road games with three of them against our main rivals):

    @CHI 4/17, 7IP, 2 Runs, 2 Earned Runs
    @HOU 5/02, 7IP, 3 Runs, 3 Earned Runs
    @FLA 6/02, 7IP, 1 Run, 1 Earned Run
    @STL 6/18, 7IP, 2 Runs, 2 Earned Runs

    He's proven time and again that he has no problem pitching well against good teams in big games.
    Last edited by Eric_Davis; 06-25-2004 at 04:33 PM.

  6. #65
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    Boone to sign with Cleveland!

    Great move Danny Boy! :mad:

  7. #66
    Lover of Trivialities Doc. Scott's Avatar
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    Actually, it was. Doc would much rather see a trade for an Ensberg or the callup of Encarnacion than pay Boone a crapload to maybe be a shadow of his former self.

  8. #67
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    D-Man, I agree IP are valuable. I got sold on the concept back in 1986 after the Cardinals lost Joaquin Andujar, but I think the Reds overpaid with Lidle, who's offered nothing beyond the IP. Had you just wanted IP you could have paid $1M for Jeff Suppan (who's pitched more IP than Lidle every season of their lives).

    If the Reds had three good pitchers and $2.75M to blow on Lidle's IP for the cause of keeping the pen stable then I wouldn't have a problem with that. Unfortunately that's not the model they've got. They needed to find a keeper with that money. One of the great sins of the Lidle signing, to me at least, is it put off that search another year.

    IMO, Lidle's fish nor fowl in the Koufax/Sutton debate. Lidle's never going to have a great year. In fact, the Dr. Cory & Mr. Lidle act this season has pretty much prevented him from even having great weeks. The ability to toss six really good games a year with 15 stinkbombs and 12 good-to-mediocre offerings thrown in shouldn't impress much of anybody. Almost every pitcher can give you six really good games a year. So I don't see where Lidle's doing anything all that special. For comparison, Ron Villone did it in 1999 and he pitched far better in his "off" starts as well.

    And, though I haven't cataloged it, everytime I've looked at team W-L records in games where they've allowed a lot of runs, the winning percentages are frightfully low. I believe it's axiomatic in both the old school and number crunching communities that the easiest way to lose a game is to allow a lot of runs. It's no coincidence that above-.500 teams generally have better-than-average team ERAs and that bottom-quarter ERA clubs (barring a few exceptions with the Rockies, who play in a parallel universe) always have losing records. Certainly no team I can find has been able to pitch as poorly as Lidle for a season and overcome it with spot quality.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  9. #68
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    guernsey suspects M2 will like one move of DanO's following the season. Tim Naehring isn't likely to be re-hired by DanO.
    "People that frequent Internet forums resemble the cast of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest!" - C. J. Cregg, The West Wing

  10. #69
    Making sense of it all Matt700wlw's Avatar
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    Perhaps DanO knew something about Bong that we didn't

    I was a little upset that after a shut out, they sent him back to Louisville...tonight, the Bong got smoked.

    As far as thinking DanO is a good GM...the jury is still out on that one

  11. #70
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by guernsey
    guernsey suspects M2 will like one move of DanO's following the season. Tim Naehring isn't likely to be re-hired by DanO.
    You think so? I was under the impression that Naehring was part the cabal that hired DanO. I'd think Allen and possibly Lindner would have to sign off on that move.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  12. #71
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    You think so? I was under the impression that Naehring was part the cabal that hired DanO. I'd think Allen and possibly Lindner would have to sign off on that move.
    Rumor has it that they aren't seeing eye-to-eye at all. Probably because Tim likes to push guys through the system and DanO is more patient.
    "People that frequent Internet forums resemble the cast of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest!" - C. J. Cregg, The West Wing

  13. #72
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by guernsey
    Rumor has it that they aren't seeing eye-to-eye at all. Probably because Tim likes to push guys through the system and DanO is more patient.
    Wow, first I'd heard of that. You, sir, sound like a man who knows people.

    If that's the point of contention, then good for DanO. I think I mentioned it somewhere in this thread that promotional patience would mark a major, and welcome in my case, departure from the JimBo regime. Naehring certainly seemed to be eager to promote guys in that recent article where he sung DMos' praises. DanO seemed to feel simpatico with the one wrung at time guru Brian Graham (wonder if he'd be in line for Naehring's job if Tim got the ax).
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

  14. #73
    Member Eric_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    IMO, Lidle's fish nor fowl in the Koufax/Sutton debate. Lidle's never going to have a great year. In fact, the Dr. Cory & Mr. Lidle act this season has pretty much prevented him from even having great weeks. The ability to toss six really good games a year with 15 stinkbombs and 12 good-to-mediocre offerings thrown in shouldn't impress much of anybody. Almost every pitcher can give you six really good games a year.
    I hate when people make up lies. Get off of Lidle's back and tell the truth if you're going to quote statistics about him!!!!!

    Lidle has thrown 8 quality starts this year and 7 non-quality starts. How in the heck do you go around claiming that he's tossing six really good games, 15 stinkbombs, and 12 good-to-mediocre offerings.

    He's had seven starts of six innings pitched while allowing three runs or less. That's a quality start. He also had a complete game 5-inning victory against the Braves where he won the game 5-3. That's another start you can say was quality.

    Give the guy a break. Say he's bad. Say he's good. Say you don't like him, but don't say he throw 15 stinkbombs with 6 good starts when that's not what he's doing.

  15. #74
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_Davis
    I hate when people make up lies. Get off of Lidle's back and tell the truth if you're going to quote statistics about him!!!!!

    Lidle has thrown 8 quality starts this year and 7 non-quality starts. How in the heck do you go around claiming that he's tossing six really good games, 15 stinkbombs, and 12 good-to-mediocre offerings.

    He's had seven starts of six innings pitched while allowing three runs or less. That's a quality start. He also had a complete game 5-inning victory against the Braves where he won the game 5-3. That's another start you can say was quality.

    Give the guy a break. Say he's bad. Say he's good. Say you don't like him, but don't say he throw 15 stinkbombs with 6 good starts when that's not what he's doing.
    First off, Lidle has 16 starts this year -- 8 QS and 8 non-QS.

    Second off, D-Man brought up the value of "alternating shutouts with awful performances." I then noted Lidle, in roughly half a season, has three shoutout/one-run starts (let's call those "really good" starts). So he's rarely stupendous. He has six other starts of two-and three-runs (let's call those "good-to-mediocre" starts). Then he's got seven starts where he gave up 5+ runs (let's call those "stinkbombs").

    Now multiply by two. I'll admit, I projected one extra stinkbomb. Feel free to slide it into the "good-to-mediocre" column if it makes you feel better, but what I listed is exactly the pace he's on at the moment. It adds up to a lousy season.

    That I used the words "The ability to ..." before listing those numbers should have made it obvious that I was projecting his current numbers and not claiming that's where the numbers are at the moment.

    You caught up now?
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.


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