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Thread: Can Eric Milton get better?

  1. #16
    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Can Eric Milton get better?

    He could get better. If he were to develop a nasty change-up. Of course it seems unlikely but he is supposed to be a competitor. So if he finally comes to the conclusion that his FB isn't fast enough anymore he could possibly decide to work on that nasty change, thus making that 'ole heater look somewhat hot again! But chances are that he will be nearly but not quite as bad this year as he was last yr. It's all in his approach IMHO!
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

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  3. #17
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Can Eric Milton get better?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGARB
    These aren't "official" numbers, but doing some quick and dirty calculations, I get a DIPS of 5.14 and a FIP of 5.26 for Milton for 2004. But those are statistics on paper, they're obviously not indicators of future performance.
    But the indicator remains that he actually performed at a level of a 5.20 ERA rather than a 4.80. That difference isn't that big, but a 4.80 ERA suggests that he was able to compensate in some way for the increase in homers, when in fact, it wasn't him at all, but a luck and/or a good defense that held his ERA under 5.00. He actually WAS a worse pitcher in 2004 than he was in Minnesota, but it was hidden by luck and defense. Last year his luck ran out and his defense was horrible -- and so while his 2004 and 2005 DIPS were nearly identical (suggesting he was pretty much the same pitcher), his ERA crashed. I think we can expect him to improve over last year -- but I think the increase will be from 6.61 to 5.61. That's nothing to look forward to.

  4. #18
    Member kbrake's Avatar
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    Re: Can Eric Milton get better?

    OK someone one want to give me a quick run down of what some of this is? DIPS? and just maybe some other stats that common fans might not know.

  5. #19
    Member SteelSD's Avatar
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    Re: Can Eric Milton get better?

    Quote Originally Posted by vaticanplum
    I always put forth the argument that a DIPS is all well and good in taking into account factors of a ballpark, but the fact remains that Eric Milton will be pitching half his games at GABP for as long as he is haunting my nightmares.
    Good post and well researched! Kudos.

    If you got those numbers from espn.com (and they look familiar so I expect you did), the DIPS formula they use doesn't take Park Factors into consideration.

    And as to your comment about defense, you're right- you take a guy who we could expect to put up a 5.25 ERA with an average defense and plop him down in front of a below-average defense, and you're most likely going to see a higher ERA than what the DIPS shows up.

    In 2004, Milton posted a 5.23 DIPS ERA while playing in front of third-best defensive team in MLB (Phillies- .704 Defensive Efficiency). Then he got to play in front of the third worst defensive team in 2005 (Reds- .678 Defensive Efficiency). Good defense accounted for much of Milton's ERA-luck in 2004 and he ended up ERA-unlucky in 2005 for the reverse reason.

    But that's also augmented by Eric Milton being the kid of pitcher he is. He's always been very extra-base Hit prone. And, as could have been expected, he gave up over 100 extra-base Hits in 2005. And it's not just the balls falling between outfielders who lack great range. It's the balls banging off walls that those OF's couldn't get to with boot jets and stepladders.

    Simply put, Milton was a bad starter who got plopped in front of a bad defense and then actually further exacerbated the situation by pitching worse than he did the year prior. If his ERA ends up below 5.50 in 2006, I'll consider that an act of God.
    "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 that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

  6. #20
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    Re: Can Eric Milton get better?

    Quote Originally Posted by kbrake
    OK someone one want to give me a quick run down of what some of this is? DIPS? and just maybe some other stats that common fans might not know.
    With an assist from espn.com:

    DIPS ERA: A pitcher's ERA, independent of the defense behind him. This formula, based on essays by Voros McCracken, assumes that all pitchers have consistent BIPA (See Above), and adjusts accordingly

    BIPA (or BABIP): Balls In Play Average. Batting Average Against, not including home runs or strikeouts.

    The general assumption is that pitchers cannot control what happens to a ball hit into play after it leaves the bat. That's not completely the case and there are pitchers (knuckleballers, some LHP, and rare RH guys like Greg Maddux) who can coax less productive contact resulting in lower-than-average BABIP numbers on a semi-consistent basis.

    Basically, what DIPS is trying to do is adjust for defense. It looks at a player's numbers and asks, "What could we have reasonably expected from him if he played in front of a league-average defensive team?" That's a slight oversimplification of course, but it's the best way I know how to explain it.
    Last edited by SteelSD; 02-01-2006 at 10:53 PM.
    "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 that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

  7. #21
    Member kbrake's Avatar
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    Re: Can Eric Milton get better?

    Thank you very much Steel.

  8. #22
    Mon chou Choo vaticanplum's Avatar
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    Re: Can Eric Milton get better?

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD
    you take a guy who we could expect to put up a 5.25 ERA with an average defense and plop him down in front of a below-average defense, and you're most likely going to see a higher ERA than what the DIPS shows up.

    In 2004, Milton posted a 5.23 DIPS ERA while playing in front of third-best defensive team in MLB (Phillies- .704 Defensive Efficiency). Then he got to play in front of the third worst defensive team in 2005 (Reds- .678 Defensive Efficiency). Good defense accounted for much of Milton's ERA-luck in 2004 and he ended up ERA-unlucky in 2005 for the reverse reason.
    Yeah...I kind of take DIPS with a grain of salt in general. I appreciate that it tries to allow for a few more factors than a straight ERA does, but I don't think I buy the whole "a pitcher has no control over what happens to a ball once it's in play" thing even in theory, for a number of little circumstantial reasons that add up. Like the fact that a pitcher IS a part of the defense the second a ball is put into play (well, he is before that too, but you know what I mean), and the very intangible fact that a good pitcher knows HOW he needs to put a ball into play given the the defense behind him and which batter he's facing. I think you kind of said that in your second post, with Maddux and all that.

    I think it can be a useful thing to look at when a pitcher in some cases -- I do think Vazquez is due to realize his heretofore unimagined heights as a talented pitcher due to the switch he's making, the better defense he'll have behind him and the fact that he was very unlucky in the Arizona park. But for pitchers who aren't going anywhere, whose defense hasn't gotten significantly better (or even gotten worse by, say, deciding to split the second base position between Rich Aurilia and Tony Womack) -- I don't know that there can really be hope for his ERA changing that much unless he changes his technique or something. It's all part of why my brain can only go so far with stats -- I feel like for everything that a new stat accounts for, there's something else left out. It's a very imperfect science, that is why it's such a rad game.

    Tomorrow I'll explore a whole new stat that will allow me to believe for a couple hours that Eric Milton will get better.
    There is no such thing as a pitching prospect.

  9. #23
    Member SteelSD's Avatar
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    Re: Can Eric Milton get better?

    Quote Originally Posted by vaticanplum
    Yeah...I kind of take DIPS with a grain of salt in general. I appreciate that it tries to allow for a few more factors than a straight ERA does, but I don't think I buy the whole "a pitcher has no control over what happens to a ball once it's in play" thing even in theory, for a number of little circumstantial reasons that add up. Like the fact that a pitcher IS a part of the defense the second a ball is put into play (well, he is before that too, but you know what I mean), and the very intangible fact that a good pitcher knows HOW he needs to put a ball into play given the the defense behind him and which batter he's facing. I think you kind of said that in your second post, with Maddux and all that.
    Oh, I think you can at least buy in most of the way on the concept that pitchers don't have any control over what happens to a ball once it leaves the bat. A guy like Maddux is a possible exception (over the course of his career) because his unique combination of movement and pinpoint control played in such an extreme way to hitter weakness and allowed for a good deal of low-quality BIP contact.

    In short, Voros was mostly right. Only the oddities and true rarities need apply as exceptions to that rule.
    "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 that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

  10. #24
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Can Eric Milton get better?

    The second is that Eric Milton is pretty high on that list of pitchers whose 2006 ERAs may significantly improve if we use their 2005 DIPS as a barometer for potential improvement.
    His 2005 DIPS ERA was still over 5.50 -- miserable. If he approaches that number in 2006, he'll be a turd with slightly less stink.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

  11. #25
    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Re: Can Eric Milton get better?

    If we could get him to break his arm and have experimental surgery...

    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

  12. #26
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Can Eric Milton get better?

    ..and trade him to the cubs
    Go Gators!

  13. #27
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Can Eric Milton get better?

    Projected 9.6 VORP, just a shade above 1 million per unit.

  14. #28
    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Re: Can Eric Milton get better?

    Quote Originally Posted by KronoRed
    ..and trade him to the cubs
    Whatever we have to do. I'd even take Gary Busey back in return. :
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

  15. #29
    Score Early, Score Often gonelong's Avatar
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    Re: Can Eric Milton get better?

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD
    Oh, I think you can at least buy in most of the way on the concept that pitchers don't have any control over what happens to a ball once it leaves the bat. A guy like Maddux is a possible exception (over the course of his career) because his unique combination of movement and pinpoint control played in such an extreme way to hitter weakness and allowed for a good deal of low-quality BIP contact.

    In short, Voros was mostly right. Only the oddities and true rarities need apply as exceptions to that rule.
    I'd think that SLG% on BIP would be a very telling stat. When a guy DOES gets hit, is he giving up dribblers or rockets. It'd also give you some idea of how far a high K guy might drop as his K/9 began to come down.

    I'd sort of assume somebody already has thought of this.

    GL

  16. #30
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    Re: Can Eric Milton get better?

    If Eric was my dog, I would go into the back yard and shoot him. That should tell you how good Eric's "prospects" for improving are.


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