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Thread: Wayne Krivsky and On-Base Percentage

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    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    Wayne Krivsky and On-Base Percentage

    As I sit here contemplating what in the world Wayne Krivsky must be thinking by not cashing in certain chips, and also contemplating what in the world Wayne Krivsky sees in Jorge "Out Machine" Cantu, I got to thinking about Wayne Krivsky and on-base percentage. And I've also noticed one disheartening trend since Krivsky was hired, and now I'm wondering where in the world this future offense could be headed.
    Code:
    
    On-Base Percentage
    
                    Reds     NL
    
    Full Yr  2005: .339    .330
    ----------------------------
    1st Half 2006: .342    .334
    2nd Half 2006: .328    .334
    Thus Far 2007: .324    .330
    The National League has hovered around the .330 to .334 mark for on-base percentage during the last two plus seasons. In 2005, the Reds were well above average with a .339 on-base percentage. During the first half of 2006, the Reds were still well above average with a .342 on-base percentage.

    But something happened last July, and it's still happening now: this team just flat out cannot get on base anymore.

    The Reds' on-base percentage during the second half of 2006 dipped all the way down to .328, below league average, and it's dropped even further down to .324 thus far in 2007. Granted, the National League on-base percentage also dipped a tad from .334 last season to .330 this season, but it's a bad sign when a team's fuel for an offense is disappearing into thin air. If a team isn't getting on base, then it's choking its own ability to score runs and win games. Usually where on-base percentage goes, run scoring soon follows.

    What's happened? Well since the beginning of 2006, here's some notable lost on-base percentage ...

    Austin Kearns: .351 on-base percentage in 2006 1st half
    Felipe Lopez: .355 on-base percentaeg in 2006 1st half
    Rich Aurilia: .349 on-base percentage in 2006
    Chris Denorfia: .356 on-base percentage in 2006

    Those four players combined for around 1,350 plate appearances in 2006, and their combined on-base percentage was up over .350. All of them are gone now as a result of trades or free agency.

    Now, I'm not highlighting those four players and criticizing Krivsky over getting rid of those players. Even if the move is wholly necessary, such as letting Rich Aurilia walk after last season, the main point is when you lose such a key ingredient to run production and team success as on-base percentage, you better figure out a way to replace it. What we're seeing now is with the departure of those players above, there has been very little in the way of replacing all that lost on-base percentage.

    How about the future? Well, this is interesting ...

    Ken Griffey, Jr.: .386 on-base percentage
    Scott Hatteberg: .406 on-base percentage
    Adam Dunn: .361 on-base percentage

    Their combined on-base percentage for 2007? Try a whopping .382 over 1,166 plate appearances. And those 1,166 plate appearances represent nearly 30 percent of the Reds' total offensive plate appearances.

    Now what's the team on-base percentage excluding those three players? Did you guess a dismal .300 on-base percentage? Doubtful, but that's what it is. Pretty ugly, eh?

    But here's the ugly aspect, which is what do those three players have in common? The answer is they're all likely to not be in Reds uniforms and/or playing key roles for the Reds by 2009.

    Griffey is 37-years-old, and I can't see this team picking up his $16 million option in 2009 when he'll be 39-years-old. He's likely gone.

    Hatteberg is also 37-years-old, and with a combination of Joey Votto pushing him from the minors, his age, and only having a team option for 2008, it's not likely he'll be around in 2009 either.

    And Adam Dunn, well apparently Krivsky's been trying to trade him for quite some time now. Fortunately he hasn't yet done so, but given his contract status I'd still be shocked if he's around in 2009 (the Reds should make sure he is around then, but that's another topic).

    Now I'm high on both Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, and I like them as hitting prospects, but this team really has little to no other means of hitting in its upper minors. Plus, those two players alone won't encompass 30 percent of the team's total plate appearances, and if anybody is expecting them to combine for a .382 on-base percentage, then they'll just be setting themselves up for disappointment. They could both hold their own very well early in their big league careers and still only toss up .350ish on-base percentages. And that means this offense is going to need significantly more on-base percentage help than just Joey Votto and Jay Bruce.

    Wrap all the above together, and what we know is within 18 months that fuel for the team offense is likely gone. That big .382 on-base percentage from three guys who represent nearly 30 percent of our offense will no longer be around. And this is on the heels of losing other key on-base contributors in the last 12-13 months.

    Wayne Krivsky has found a few guys under rocks who have worked out well, but he needs to stop screwing around with high out machine stiffs such as Jorge Cantu and start focusing on finding guys who have an ability to get on base. The on-base percentage void has already appeared with a 15-20 point drop since the first half of 2006, and if the on-base abilities of Dunn, Griffey, and Hatteberg are all gone by 2009, then that team on-base percentage void will grow even larger. And as much as I like Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, they won't come close to filling that massive void by themselves.
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  3. #2
    post hype sleeper cincinnati chili's Avatar
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    Re: Wayne Krivsky and On-Base Percentage

    I've had the same concerns, cyclone. I'm hoping that Wayne's pitching evaluation skills are strong enough to offset his apparent underappreciation of the value of on-base skills.

    I don't ever advocate going after low-obp "rbi guys" like Cantu of 2005.

    I also don't advocate overpaying for "athletes" whom one hopes will turn into effective hitters. It's fine to pick up a guy like Brandon Phillips, just don't pay too much for them. For every Brandon Phillips, there's 3 or 4 Corey Pattersons.

    The guys on this team with secondary skills (Dunn/Griffey) are not the problem. Their on-base and power skills offset their defensive deficiencies.
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    Puffy 3:16 Puffy's Avatar
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    Re: Wayne Krivsky and On-Base Percentage

    I said this very thing, in many, many less words, in the Cantu thread.
    "I came here to kick ass and chew bubble gum... and I'm all out of bubble gum."
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    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: Wayne Krivsky and On-Base Percentage

    Cyc, great post, I'd rep you if I could.

    Not making outs is certainly the name of the game.

    What kind of effect has Jacoby had on this team, rather than Chris Chambliss? Can that be the cause of some of the drop in OBP?

    The more I see of Kriv, the more I believe that he is a truly a scout at heart, and has no use for numbers. If he sees it with his eyes, it's true, and that's all.

    The perfect GM is a blend between the two, I think. A guy who can use the numbers to tell you if your eyes are lying to you or not.

    I certainly do no expect perfection of Wayne Krivsky. But this is a team that needs to make some moves. Doing nothing is not an option, is it? No one wants bad trades, or trading just for trading's sake, but it's a GM's responsibility to improve his team, especially when they're mired in 5th place.

    Not improving your team on a day when the market was right for getting a good price for certain parts is a failure.

    Not realizing the importance of OBP is a failure, too.

    I've been very gentle with Kriv to this point. I have to think he's on his way out. The only way this would be acceptable (ie- not improving the Reds today) is if Castellini put the brakes on moves that Krivsky proposed. We will never know that, of course. If Cast stopped Krivsky from trading today, it can only mean that Wayne is gone after this year, and Cast no longer trusts him with his team.

    And if Wayne has done this on his own (ie- doing nothing today), then he needs to be shown the door, and someone who can improve this team needs to be brought in, STAT.

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    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Wayne Krivsky and On-Base Percentage

    Quote Originally Posted by Always Red View Post
    someone who can improve this team needs to be brought in, STAT.
    Cast is waiting so Jocketty and Larussa can save the team.
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    Re: Wayne Krivsky and On-Base Percentage

    it's a shocker that as we put more emphasis on defense and pitching, the offense begins to slide.

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    Re: Wayne Krivsky and On-Base Percentage

    He needs to focus more on pitching, if possible.

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    Re: Wayne Krivsky and On-Base Percentage

    Quote Originally Posted by princeton View Post
    it's a shocker that as we put more emphasis on defense and pitching, the offense begins to slide.
    The Reds are 7th in the NL in runs scored this year, as opposed to 9th last year. The shocking thing is that the pitching has slid after putting so much "attention" on it and the defense.

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    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Wayne Krivsky and On-Base Percentage

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    The Reds are 7th in the NL in runs scored this year, as opposed to 9th last year.
    ... that is while playing in a hitters park.
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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Wayne Krivsky and On-Base Percentage

    SLG actually correlates more highly with run scoring than does OBP. Of course, we're down across the board...

    2007 (NL Rank)
    BA: .253 (11)
    OBP: .324 (11)
    SLG: .424 (5)
    R/G: 4.61 (8)

    2006
    BA: .257 (15)
    OBP: .336 (7)
    SLG: .432 (6)
    R/G: 4.62 (9)

    The offense, especially adjusted for park is league average. As Cyclone said, it doesn't look promising. And for me, I'm not convinced that Krivsky understands at all that this is a problem.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    Re: Wayne Krivsky and On-Base Percentage

    Quote Originally Posted by princeton View Post
    it's a shocker that as we put more emphasis on defense and pitching, the offense begins to slide.
    Apparently that emphasis isn't working.
    Code:
    
    Pythag Winning %
    
    2005             .463
    -----------------------
    2006 1st Half    .469
    2006 2nd Half    .470
    2007             .449
    It's never a good sign when the pythag winning percentage is going backwards rather than forwards.

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    The Reds are 7th in the NL in runs scored this year, as opposed to 9th last year.
    They're merely league average thanks only to a big time hitter's park. Their 95 OPS+, which is tied for 12th in the NL, does a pretty good job assessing how lousy the offense has been.

    Additionally, the Reds average 4.28 runs per game on the road, which is bad enough to rank 12th in the National League. Despite an emphasis on pitching that isn't working (and I agree, it isn't working), the team on-base percentage is heading squarely in the wrong direction, and as a result, the team offense is also heading squarely in the wrong direction itself.
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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Wayne Krivsky and On-Base Percentage

    Quote Originally Posted by princeton View Post
    it's a shocker that as we put more emphasis on defense and pitching, the offense begins to slide.
    Now if only the pitching and defense had actually improved. At this point, all he's done is sacrificed offense for nothing.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Re: Wayne Krivsky and On-Base Percentage

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclone792 View Post
    Apparently that emphasis isn't working.
    Code:
    
    Pythag Winning %
    
    2005             .463
    -----------------------
    2006 1st Half    .469
    2006 2nd Half    .470
    2007             .449
    It's never a good sign when the pythag winning percentage is going backwards rather than forwards.



    They're merely league average thanks only to a big time hitter's park. Their 95 OPS+, which is tied for 12th in the NL, does a pretty good job assessing how lousy the offense has been.

    Additionally, the Reds average 4.28 runs per game on the road, which is bad enough to rank 12th in the National League. Despite an emphasis on pitching that isn't working (and I agree, it isn't working), the team on-base percentage is heading squarely in the wrong direction, and as a result, the team offense is also heading squarely in the wrong direction itself.
    I can't help but think that even the offensive performance is a bit of a mirage. You've pointed out the OBP woes, but how much of the SLG boon has come from unlikely (sources) performances? I, personally, consider the power numbers players such as Gonzalez, Phillips, Hamilton (at least at this juncture), and even Ross to some degree, to be marginally "fluky". Sure, any of them are capable of that, but for all of them to do it at largely the same time, with really only Encarnacion under performing power expectations, seems to be something less than an ideal foundation for the future of the offense, particularly if the OBP trend continues downward in the aggregate.
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    Re: Wayne Krivsky and On-Base Percentage

    Addition by subtraction:

    Kearns OBP 2007: .335 (not to mention that ugly .373 SLG )

    Lopez OBP 2007: .296 (not to mention his putrid .343 SLG )

    Denorfia OBP 2007: broken body completely useless

    Aurilia OBP 2007: .293 (not to mention his ugly .368 SLG )

    Four players you can say, "Good Riddance".
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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Wayne Krivsky and On-Base Percentage

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_Davis View Post
    Addition by subtraction:

    Kearns OBP 2007: .335 (not to mention that ugly .373 SLG )

    Lopez OBP 2007: .296 (not to mention his putrid .343 SLG )

    Denorfia OBP 2007: broken body completely useless

    Aurilia OBP 2007: .293 (not to mention his ugly .368 SLG )

    Four players you can say, "Good Riddance".
    Going from one of the best hitters park in a solid lineup to two of the best pitchers in weak lineups don't help.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.


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