Turn Off Ads?
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 27

Thread: Dave Williams and (more) Reasons to be Pessimistic

  1. #1
    Lark11 11BarryLarkin11's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    244

    Dave Williams and (more) Reasons to be Pessimistic

    I've been reading the 2006 Hardball Times Annual and came across a couple of interesting tidbits. I thought I'd take a look at Dave Williams' stats and see if it is possible to determine what we can reasonably expect from Williams. My previous post on the subject wasn't optimistic and this more detailed look isn't much better.

    The first tool we can use is DER(Defense Efficiency Ratio), which is simply the percent of times a batted ball is turned into an out by the team's fielders, not including homeruns. It is similar to BABIP, but from the defensive team's perspective.

    As a team, the Reds were tied for second to last in the NL in DER in 2005. The Reds and Marlins posted a .678 DER, while the Rockies posted the worst at .671. Given the altitude problem, I think it is fair to say that the Reds had one of the worst two defenses in the NL. Houston was the best at .706.

    Now, if we look at Pittsburgh, Dave Williams' 2005 team, they posted a DER of .695. So, Pittsburgh at .695 was much better at converting balls in play into outs than was Cincy at .678. Pittsburgh had the better defense in 2005.

    If we take it one step further, we can see what the DER was for Dave Williams during his 2005 starts. In 2005, the Pirates DER when Williams was pitching was .725. So, in 2005, the Pirates posted a .695 DER overall, but a .725 DER while Williams was pitching. The Pirates had a significantly higher percentage of outs on balls in play while Williams was pitching than when he wasn't.

    For comparison, here are Pittsburgh's other main starters and their respective DERs in 2005:

    D.Williams: .725
    Z.Duke: .702
    I.Snell: .696
    M.Redman: .704
    O.Perez: .713
    J.Fogg: .704
    K.Wells: .710

    None of the other starters for Cincy or Pittsburgh approaches Williams' lofty .725 DER. Chalk it up to random variation, the heavens above, or just dumb luck. Whatever the reason, a greater percentage of the balls that Williams allowed to be put into play in 2005 were turned into outs than should have been, statistically speaking.

    The second tool we can use is FIP(Fielding Independent Pitching), which is a measure of all those things for which a pitcher is specifically responsible (HR, BB, HBP, Ks). FIP helps you understand how well a pitcher pitched, regardless of how well his fielders fielded. The FIP stat is on an equivalent scale to ERA (2.00 is HOF quality, 3.00 is very good, 4.00 is league average, etc).

    In 2005, Dave Williams posted an ERA of 4.41, but a FIP of 5.02. The four events that are totally within the control of the pitcher (HR, HBP, BB, K), weren't controlled very well by Dave Williams. This is another example of Williams being bailed out by random variation/luck and good defense.

    For comparison sake, here is how he stacks up in FIP with some of his 2005 and 2006 teammates:

    D.Williams: 5.02
    Z.Duke: 2.96
    O.Perez: 6.22 (No wonder he killed my 2005 fantasy team!)
    M.Redman: 4.14
    A.Harang: 3.63
    B.Claussen: 4.55
    R.Ortiz: 5.46
    E.Milton: 5.40

    In essence, Williams wasn't very effective in the events that he could control and was lucky to receive better than average defensive play from a defense, that was itself, already above average.

    In 2006, Williams will say hello to the Cincy defense, which was significantly worse in 2005 than Pittsburgh (.678 to .695). And, a case could be made that the Reds defense in 2006 will be WORSE than it's 2005 incarnation. As such, it is HIGHLY unlikely that Williams will receive as much help as he did in 2005 from the Reds defense. For comparison, here are the following DER for the Reds starters in 2005:

    A.Harang: .697
    B.Claussen: .705
    L.Hudson: .726
    R.Ortiz: .697
    E.Milton: .689
    Elizardo: .667
    P.Wilson: .644
    R.Keisler: .700

    It's very likely that Williams will be unable to have the defense bail him out. And, with his poor FIP, it's not likely that he'll be able to offset the poor defense by controlling those four events which occur independent of defense.

    With a lesser defense behind him to make up for his shortcomings, an inability to dominate a game on his own, and the likelihood that he won't a DER that is so much higher than the team's DER Williams looks likely to struggle. If his "luck" deserts him and he posts a DER that isn't higher than the team's overall DER in 2006, while playing for a team that will already have a significantly lower DER, then Williams is likely to struggle. In 2006, a combination of bad "hit luck" (or, random variation, if you prefer) and a less rangy defense will result in a huge increase in the number of hits allowed. More hits means more baserunners, more baserunners means more runs allowed.

    In short, it still looks like it'll be a LONG year in Cincy for Williams. Let's hope this isn't Eric Milton Part II.

    Of course, I could easily be wrong. And, I hope I am.
    Last edited by 11BarryLarkin11; 02-11-2006 at 06:58 PM.

  2. Turn Off Ads?
  3. #2
    Pagan/Asatru Ravenlord's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Williamsburg, OH and the wilds.
    Posts
    8,994

    Re: Dave Williams and (more) Reasons to be Pessimistic

    great post.

    Quote Originally Posted by 11BarryLarkin11
    In short, it still looks like it'll be a LONG year in Cincy for Williams. Let's hope this isn't Eric Milton Part II.
    naw, Milton has better stuff, degenerative knee and all.
    the store for all your blade, costuming (in any regard), leather (also in any regard), and steel craft needs.www.facebook.com/tdhshop


    yes, this really is how we make our living.

  4. #3
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    16,601

    Re: Dave Williams and (more) Reasons to be Pessimistic

    Excellent analysis
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

  5. #4
    Member PickOff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,338

    Re: Dave Williams and (more) Reasons to be Pessimistic

    Nice Post.

    The FIP is telling, and not very encouraging, but the DER can be misleading. The DER accounts only for balls in play. If one pitcher is more apt to get hit hard, I would imagine his DER would be lower. If he coaxed more lazy fly balls and easy grounders than the DER would be higher. I don't think you can look at DER and say the pitcher had nothing to do with it, necessarily. It could be more indicative of whether he was getting hit hard consistently - so Duke could have a low FIP because he didn't walk many, stroke out a good amount, maintained his control, but still have a lower DER because he got hit hard.

    Secondly - I think it is interested to note how much better Williams has done on the road over his career, vs at PNC. Over the last 2 years Williams has a 3.29 era away, and a 5.59 era at home. I couldn't find stats for GAB but against the Reds in three starts he has an ERA of 4.50. I'm hoping that Williams has just had a PNC mental block.

    His stats are interesting away vs home the last three years.

    By Breakdown ERA W L SV SVO G GS CG IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
    Away 3.29 7 6 0 0 17 15 1 90.1 72 36 33 8 41 55 .222

    Home 5.59 5 8 0 0 18 16 0 87.0 96 59 54 16 30 66 .279

    More strikeouts and less walks at home, but twice as many homers and a much higher average against. Seems pretty counterintuitive, but it would seem that Williams may have challenged pitchers more at PNC then when he was on the road. Either that or he got too comfortable and hung too many.

    To compound the issue PNC is rated 24/30 most homer friendly park, and 16/30 run friendly. (GAC is 8/30 hr, and 18/30 run.) It would stand to reason that he would not have given up twice as many homers at PNC, or have that much higher AVG against.

    Here's hoping it is just bad PNC mojo!
    Thank goodness for baseball.

  6. #5
    Porkchop Sandwiches DoogMinAmo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Homebase, Ohio
    Posts
    2,540

    Re: Dave Williams and (more) Reasons to be Pessimistic

    Quote Originally Posted by PickOff

    Secondly - I think it is interested to note how much better Williams has done on the road over his career, vs at PNC. Over the last 2 years Williams has a 3.29 era away, and a 5.59 era at home. I couldn't find stats for GAB but against the Reds in three starts he has an ERA of 4.50. I'm hoping that Williams has just had a PNC mental block.

    His stats are interesting away vs home the last three years.

    By Breakdown ERA W L SV SVO G GS CG IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
    Away 3.29 7 6 0 0 17 15 1 90.1 72 36 33 8 41 55 .222

    Home 5.59 5 8 0 0 18 16 0 87.0 96 59 54 16 30 66 .279

    More strikeouts and less walks at home, but twice as many homers and a much higher average against. Seems pretty counterintuitive, but it would seem that Williams may have challenged pitchers more at PNC then when he was on the road. Either that or he got too comfortable and hung too many.

    To compound the issue PNC is rated 24/30 most homer friendly park, and 16/30 run friendly. (GAC is 8/30 hr, and 18/30 run.) It would stand to reason that he would not have given up twice as many homers at PNC, or have that much higher AVG against.

    Here's hoping it is just bad PNC mojo!

    Or it could just be starting the game off vs. sitting for the first half inning, maybe nerves?

    One way to find this out would be to compare 1st inning to all other innings.

    Unfortunately, if nerves are a problem, it would rule out a bullpen switch.
    "I'm a Cucumber, I'm a cucumber. I'm a cucumber, I'm a cucumber. I'm a cucumber, I'm a cucumber. Please don't send me to the pickle farm, bum." - Brak

    Record In Games Attended, 2007: 2-1 (1-0 GAB, 1-1 Jake)

  7. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    1,870

    Re: Dave Williams and (more) Reasons to be Pessimistic

    So what is the difference between Claussen and Williams? Seems like some have high hopes for Claussen but not for Williams and to me they seem like two very similar pitchers.

  8. #7
    Pagan/Asatru Ravenlord's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Williamsburg, OH and the wilds.
    Posts
    8,994

    Re: Dave Williams and (more) Reasons to be Pessimistic

    Quote Originally Posted by DoogMinAmo
    Or it could just be starting the game off vs. sitting for the first half inning, maybe nerves?

    One way to find this out would be to compare 1st inning to all other innings.

    Unfortunately, if nerves are a problem, it would rule out a bullpen switch.
    if nerves are a problem, i'd rule out the major leagues.
    the store for all your blade, costuming (in any regard), leather (also in any regard), and steel craft needs.www.facebook.com/tdhshop


    yes, this really is how we make our living.

  9. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    4,673

    Re: Dave Williams and (more) Reasons to be Pessimistic

    Milton doesn't have better stuff than Williams. Williams is a 5 starter wannabe. Milton's career is over.

    Please.

  10. #9
    Lark11 11BarryLarkin11's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    244

    Re: Dave Williams and (more) Reasons to be Pessimistic

    Quote Originally Posted by PickOff
    Nice Post.

    The FIP is telling, and not very encouraging, but the DER can be misleading. The DER accounts only for balls in play. If one pitcher is more apt to get hit hard, I would imagine his DER would be lower. If he coaxed more lazy fly balls and easy grounders than the DER would be higher. I don't think you can look at DER and say the pitcher had nothing to do with it, necessarily. It could be more indicative of whether he was getting hit hard consistently - so Duke could have a low FIP because he didn't walk many, stroke out a good amount, maintained his control, but still have a lower DER because he got hit hard.
    I don't think that DER is as misleading as you might think, but, then again, I'm firmly entrenched in the camp that believes that pitchers have very little, if any, control over whether or not a ball in play is a hit. In other words, no pitcher is more likely to have the balls put in play against him fall in for hits than another.

    On the season, a certain percentage of a team's pitches will be put into play. Some of them will fall in and some of them will be turned into outs. I think chance/luck plays a big part in determining which pitcher throws the pitches that fall in for hits.

    But, the premise that underlies all the defense independent statistics is the idea that the pitcher has little to no control over whether or not a ball in play falls in for a hit. To me, it makes logical sense, but I'm sure many disagree with the theory. The way I see it, once the ball leaves the pitcher's hand, he can no longer impart anything to it. The pitcher acts, the batter reacts. How can the pitcher control the type of contact that is made if he acts first? The ball is out of his hand. How can he have control over events that occur after his action is complete? Only Bugs Bunny can do that, and that is due in no small part to the string tied to the ball.

    To me, at least, it's similar to a quarterback's lack of control over whether or not a receiver catches his accurate pass. If he throws the ball relatively on the money (in baseball terms, if he throws it in the strikezone), he has no control over whether or not the receiver catches it. He can hit the receiver between the numbers, but it's up to the receiver to catch it. The quarterback just gets to watch the receiver react to his actions.

    Now, of course, no theory is perfect. There are exceptions. And, there does seem to be one for the balls in play theory. And, that exception is the knuckleball pitcher. The knuckleball pitcher seems to have a greater ability to limit hits on balls in play than other pitchers.

    For example, Boston's team DER in 2005 was a pedestrian .683. However, Tim Wakefield's DER was an impressive .742, which is by far the largest improvement that I've come across. It's harder to make good, solid contact on the fluttering knuckleball. Of course, anyone who has ever tried to hit one of those damn things can tell you that.

    As for variables other than random chance and knuckleballs, I think a good defense is about the only factor that can reduce the percentage of balls in play that fall in for hits. And, DER measures the defense.

    So, I think you CAN say that the defense, not the pitcher, is responsible for the low DER, because the pitcher can't control what happens to the ball after it leaves his hand. He certainly can't control what kind of contact is made or where the ball ends up off of the bat. He can limit contact, walks, and HRs, but those are FIP components. DER is all about the defense and their ability(or lack thereof) to turn balls in play into outs.

    But, back to Dave Williams, whose problem is that his production last year seems to have been built upon a foundation of good luck and stellar defense.

    In 2006, he's unlikely to have either.

    A poor FIP and a poor DER spells trouble.
    Last edited by 11BarryLarkin11; 02-12-2006 at 02:16 AM.

  11. #10
    Member icehole3's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    3,109

    Re: Dave Williams and (more) Reasons to be Pessimistic

    This post wins my award for fancy pants stat of the week.


  12. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ona,WV
    Posts
    117

    Re: Dave Williams and (more) Reasons to be Pessimistic

    Quote Originally Posted by 11BarryLarkin11
    I don't think that DER is as misleading as you might think, but, then again, I'm firmly entrenched in the camp that believes that pitchers have very little, if any, control over whether or not a ball in play is a hit. In other words, no pitcher is more likely to have the balls put in play against him fall in for hits than another.

    On the season, a certain percentage of a team's pitches will be put into play. Some of them will fall in and some of them will be turned into outs. I think chance/luck plays a big part in determining which pitcher throws the pitches that fall in for hits.

    But, the premise that underlies all the defense independent statistics is the idea that the pitcher has little to no control over whether or not a ball in play falls in for a hit. To me, it makes logical sense, but I'm sure many disagree with the theory. The way I see it, once the ball leaves the pitcher's hand, he can no longer impart anything to it. The pitcher acts, the batter reacts. How can the pitcher control the type of contact that is made if he acts first? The ball is out of his hand. How can he have control over events that occur after his action is complete? Only Bugs Bunny can do that, and that is due in no small part to the string tied to the ball.


    So, I think you CAN say that the defense, not the pitcher, is responsible for the low DER, because the pitcher can't control what happens to the ball after it leaves his hand. He certainly can't control what kind of contact is made or where the ball ends up off of the bat. He can limit contact, walks, and HRs, but those are FIP components. DER is all about the defense and their ability(or lack thereof) to turn balls in play into outs.

    The pitcher has lots of control if his pitches fall in for hits. Velocity, movement, location, change of speed, scouting the hitters. A pitcher who knows how to pitch and is blessed with God given talent is much more likely to have balls hit against him be recorded as outs. Chances are even greater if you have your fielders positioned correctly. Granted there will be some flairs and squibblers that are luck but generally if you pitch well enough to keep batters from getting good wood (that sounds bad for some reason) you are going to be much more successful.

  13. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    855

    Re: Dave Williams and (more) Reasons to be Pessimistic

    I think your misunderstanding him fourrun, he's not saying that a pitcher doesn't have control over whether or not the batter makes contact. Because IMO he does for the reasons you stated above.

    What he is saying that once the contact is made, and lets face it even the best get hit, the pitcher has very little to do with whether or not it will be an out or a hit. Obviously he has some input on that because once he lets go of the ball he then becomes a fielder. Honestly though how many outs in a game are recorded on the fielding skills of the pitcher? Very few but sometimes you get the gorgeous comebacker.

    EDIT: OH yeah and 11BarryLarkin11, Great analysis!!!

  14. #13
    breath westofyou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    PDX
    Posts
    42,389

    Re: Dave Williams and (more) Reasons to be Pessimistic

    Honestly though how many outs in a game are recorded on the fielding skills of the pitcher? Very few but sometimes you get the gorgeous comebacker.
    This is a good question, one I pondered before. If you were to look at the all time assists in a season leaders for pitchers you'd see that the top ten is full of Deadball era guys who threw either a spitball or junk. The huge number is skewed by the bunting practices of the day, but the list is awash with junk.

    If you were to look at the same list since the 50's it will be full of guys with strong sliders and curves and assorted junk. If you look at the last 15 years the list is mainly Maddux and Kenny Rogers, guys who upset the timing of the batter, causing him to just get a piece of it as it trickles back to the mound.

    Junk and timing and being quick off the mound will help a pitcher without the stuff to blow em all away.

    Code:
    EASON
    MODERN (1900-)
    P
    GAMES displayed only--not a sorting criteria
    
    ASSISTS                       YEAR      A        G     
    1    Ed Walsh                 1907      227       56   
    2    Ed Walsh                 1908      190       66   
    3    Harry Howell             1905      178       38   
    4    Jack Chesbro             1904      166       55   
    5    George Mullin            1904      163       45   
    6    Ed Walsh                 1911      159       56   
    T7   Ed Walsh                 1910      154       45   
    T7   Frank Smith              1909      154       51   
    T9   Addie Joss               1907      143       42   
    T9   Harry Howell             1904      143       34   
    
    SEASON
    1950-2005
    P
    GAMES displayed only--not a sorting criteria
    
    ASSISTS                       YEAR      A        G     
    1    Mel Stottlemyre          1969       88       39   
    2    Larry Jackson            1964       85       40   
    3    Fred Newman              1965       83       36   
    T4   Wilbur Wood              1972       82       49   
    T4   Claude Osteen            1965       82       40   
    6    Randy Jones              1976       81       40   
    7    Bob Lemon                1952       79       42   
    T8   Mel Stottlemyre          1965       74       37   
    T8   Bob Lemon                1953       74       41   
    10   John Denny               1978       73       33   
    
    SEASON
    1990-2005
    P
    GAMES displayed only--not a sorting criteria
    
    ASSISTS                       YEAR      A        G     
    1    Greg Maddux              1996       71       35   
    2    Greg Maddux              2000       68       35   
    3    Kenny Rogers             1998       67       34   
    T4   Greg Maddux              1992       64       35   
    T4   Greg Maddux              1998       64       34   
    6    Kenny Rogers             1999       62       31   
    7    Livan Hernandez          2004       60       35   
    T8   Greg Maddux              1993       59       36   
    T8   Tom Glavine              1999       59       35   
    T10  Greg Maddux              1999       58       33   
    T10  Greg Maddux              2003       58       36   
    
    SEASON
    2005
    P
    GAMES displayed only--not a sorting criteria
    
    ASSISTS                          A        G     
    1    Mark Mulder                  52       32   
    T2   Jake Westbrook               49       34   
    T2   Greg Maddux                  49       35   
    4    Derek Lowe                   48       35   
    5    Kenny Rogers                 46       30   
    T6   Mark Buehrle                 45       33   
    T6   Livan Hernandez              45       35   
    8    Brandon Webb                 44       33   
    T9   Tom Glavine                  43       33   
    T9   Horacio Ramirez              43       33
    BTW Wiliams had 23 in 21 games last year.

  15. #14
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    16,601

    Re: Dave Williams and (more) Reasons to be Pessimistic

    I know it's impossible to quantify, but some pitchers are more prone to give up hard hit balls than others. Late movement causes the hitter to have a harder time squaring up.

    Seems like knowing the percentage of balls "squared up" would be an important subset of this metric.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

  16. #15
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    28,160

    Re: Dave Williams and (more) Reasons to be Pessimistic

    Not only has Williams been hit lucky and headed to a team with a lesser defense, he's also heading from one of the toughest parks on RH power to one where RH power thrives. It's a perfect storm. Williams will need to become a better pitcher in 2006 just to drag his ERA under 5.00.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.


Turn Off Ads?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Board Moderators may, at their discretion and judgment, delete and/or edit any messages that violate any of the following guidelines: 1. Explicit references to alleged illegal or unlawful acts. 2. Graphic sexual descriptions. 3. Racial or ethnic slurs. 4. Use of edgy language (including masked profanity). 5. Direct personal attacks, flames, fights, trolling, baiting, name-calling, general nuisance, excessive player criticism or anything along those lines. 6. Posting spam. 7. Each person may have only one user account. It is fine to be critical here - that's what this board is for. But let's not beat a subject or a player to death, please.

Thank you, and most importantly, enjoy yourselves!


RedsZone.com is a privately owned website and is not affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds or Major League Baseball


Contact us: Boss | GIK | BCubb2003 | dabvu2498 | Gallen5862 | LexRedsFan | Plus Plus | RedlegJake | redsfan1995 | The Operator | Tommyjohn25