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Thread: Is the pitching a coincidence?

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    Is the pitching a coincidence?

    When Dunn was traded on Aug 11, less than two weeks after Griffey was dealt away, the Reds, at 52-67, were giving up an average of 5.12 runs per game. In the 32 games (small sample) since then -- during which time they're 18-14 -- they've allowed an average of 3.97. The obvious improvement is over a run a game. Do you think that's merely a function of Harang and Arroyo getting their stuff together, or does it also have to do -- perhaps a lot to do -- with the better range and defense in the outfield?

    Another apparent outcome (again, sample size) is that the team, with better defense and less reliance on the big bang, is conspicuously more consistent, as evidenced by the spate of one-run games. Consistency, at the least, gives a general manager something solid to work with.

    And one more thing worth noting: Tonight, the Reds' only complete-game shutout of the season was caught by Ryan Hanigan. Although I don't have the numbers rounded up (and don't intend to round them up), it seems that pitchers have thrown exceedingly well to Hanigan. Does anybody have the ERA of the games/innings he's caught?

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    Re: Is the pitching a coincidence?

    Hanigan and his nice OBP, average, and game-calling skills, appear, to be the solution at catcher. Have we seen a big enough sample size? Hardly. But my gut tells me he is the answer.
    Who's on first?

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    Re: Is the pitching a coincidence?

    I tend to agree. In a platoon, at the least.

    I see, chatter, that we started similar threads eight minutes apart. You did a nice job detailing the run of the starting pitchers. It certainly seems that the upticks in pitching and defense are distinctly related events.

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    Joey Votto Fangirl HeatherC1212's Avatar
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    Re: Is the pitching a coincidence?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChatterRed View Post
    Hanigan and his nice OBP, average, and game-calling skills, appear, to be the solution at catcher. Have we seen a big enough sample size? Hardly. But my gut tells me he is the answer.
    He did well when the Reds brought him up late last year too IIRC so I definitely want to see him get a chance to win the job outright in spring training. He does a nice job behind the plate, has a great arm for throwing out base runners, actually hits above the Mendoza line, and the pitchers are giving him some high props too which tells me that they like pitching to him. He works SO hard as his craft too and it really shows. I'd like the Reds to give him a shot next year.
    "I tried to play golf, but I found out I wasn't very good." -Joey Votto on his offseason hobby search

    An MLB.com reporter asked what one thing Votto couldn’t do. “I can’t skate or play hockey,” Votto said. “Well, I can skate ... but I can’t stop.”

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    Re: Is the pitching a coincidence?

    All of the above.

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    1st pick 2022 B.B. draft George Foster's Avatar
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    Re: Is the pitching a coincidence?

    Normally when you clean out problems in the locker room, things get better. Dunn is not exactly helping win a lot of games in Arizona.

    A lot of guys on this team are hungry, they are fun to watch....again.
    Not this year...maybe a Wild Card

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    Re: Is the pitching a coincidence?

    There was a lot of concern that the Reds would be sacrificing offense for defense. Again, a small sample, but the 32 games since the Dunn trade do not support this. K's are down from 7.01/Gm to 6.78. HR's are down from 1.16/GM to 1.06. Yet, runs per game are up from 4.28 to 4.53.

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    Re: Is the pitching a coincidence?

    I like what I see of Hanigan, but would like to see some Castillo behind the plate also. From what I've seen--yes, a rather small sample--Hanigan has the skills, both as a batter and as a catcher, to be our starting catcher next year. If I were GM BAko and Valentin would be gone next year. Valentin isn't a catcher, just a pinch hitter and occasional first baseman. If there is a decent catcher FA sign him or use one of our extra pitchers in a trade as a platoon or back up to Hanigan as insurance. Pitchers have responded well to Hanigan. Give him the job in Spring Training.

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    Re: Is the pitching a coincidence?

    People overrate defense around here. It's mostly just Harang and Arroyo. Those two have given up more than 3 runs all of one time since the trade (12 starts). But Arroyo had things turned around a few games before Dunn left and Harang bounced back when he got the rest he sorely (no pun intended) needed with the injury rehab.

    But look at the other starters: Cueto's been pitching a lot better, but it's not the defense. Outside of the Cubs game a few weeks ago, (which he lost) he's only given up 1 HR in 4 starts since the trade. Ramon Ramirez has been lights-out in his starts as well. Compare that to the garbage we got from Bailey, Belise, Fogg, etc. You can't tell me the difference between him and those guys (7+ ERA vs. 2.25) is defense.

    You're talking about all of the sudden getting quality starts from 70%-80% of your starters. Guys who were putting up 5+ ERAs before.

    But Volquez has been bad, at least for him, but even when he's pitching poorly, he's still giving you quality starts that keep you in the game. Fogg, of course, has been awful, but if the defense was the difference, those two should look better as well.

    I might be inclined to think Hanigan has something to do with it, but supposedly Bako calls a good game and that didn't help much before. I don't think swapping Dickerson for Dunn has had that much effect.
    Last edited by kpresidente; 09-18-2008 at 10:07 AM.

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    Re: Is the pitching a coincidence?

    Quote Originally Posted by RED VAN HOT View Post
    There was a lot of concern that the Reds would be sacrificing offense for defense. Again, a small sample, but the 32 games since the Dunn trade do not support this. K's are down from 7.01/Gm to 6.78. HR's are down from 1.16/GM to 1.06. Yet, runs per game are up from 4.28 to 4.53.
    The Reds line pre trade was .246/.321/.406 and post trade is .244/.318/.405. There's probably a large amount of luck involved in the increase in runs scored.

    Another question; is the difference between 4.28 and 4.5 (what I got) runs per game even statistically significant? But I don't feel like doing T tests and determining standard errors this early in the morning.

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    Re: Is the pitching a coincidence?

    Quote Originally Posted by redsbuckeye View Post
    The Reds line pre trade was .246/.321/.406 and post trade is .244/.318/.405. There's probably a large amount of luck involved in the increase in runs scored.

    Another question; is the difference between 4.28 and 4.5 (what I got) runs per game even statistically significant? But I don't feel like doing T tests and determining standard errors this early in the morning.
    That we'd even maintain the line without Dunn is significant.

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    Re: Is the pitching a coincidence?

    Quote Originally Posted by kpresidente View Post
    I don't think swapping Dickerson for Dunn has had that much effect.
    It's not just Dickerson for Dunn. It's also Bruce for Griffey in RF and Patterson/Dickerson for Bruce in CF. The previous OF was Dunn-Bruce-Griffey. All three positions have been improved defensively.

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    Re: Is the pitching a coincidence?

    Quote Originally Posted by fitz1 View Post
    I like what I see of Hanigan, but would like to see some Castillo behind the plate also. From what I've seen--yes, a rather small sample--Hanigan has the skills, both as a batter and as a catcher, to be our starting catcher next year. If I were GM BAko and Valentin would be gone next year. Valentin isn't a catcher, just a pinch hitter and occasional first baseman. If there is a decent catcher FA sign him or use one of our extra pitchers in a trade as a platoon or back up to Hanigan as insurance. Pitchers have responded well to Hanigan. Give him the job in Spring Training.
    I don't understand why we haven't seen Castillo as a catcher. That's his value. If he doesn't catch, he's a utility guy without a plus. If he can do the job behind the plate, he's a catcher with remarkable versatility. If he's to have a chance to make the team next year, it will probably be as the third catcher. So why in the heck don't they take a look at him in that way? At least for a game or two.

    And while Edwin is nursing his wrist, can't we please see Rosales at 3B?

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    Re: Is the pitching a coincidence?

    Castillo = Biggio?
    Who's on first?

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    Re: Is the pitching a coincidence?

    I don't know how to quantify the effect of good defense on pitching. It stands to reason that with fewer fly balls falling in for hits instead of being run down as outs, the pitching numbers would improve. I don't know how to evaluate it objectively other than with large samples over the course of two successive seasons. Even then, it could be argued that any gain in pitching proficiency was attributable to improved command and not better defense. At the end of the season I will attempt to provide a statistical treatment. That will still be a small sample, but it will provide fodder for discussion over the winter months when there is little else to post.

    Just looking at the magnitude of the differences, my sense is that the pitching numbers might be significant and that runs scored would show no difference. From the pitching perspective, I would like to contrast H/9 and K/9 differences. Without looking at the numbers I would submit that the former is lower and the latter is about the same. This, however, remains to be seen. It would provide some indication as to how pitchers are now getting outs.

    As for hitting, I don't recall anyone on the board arguing that run production would go up without Dunn (or Griffey). I do recall some arguing that it would go down. Further, some on the board have commented that some hitters are going opposite field more often as opposed to trying to pull for power. Thus, any change in offensive production would be interesting to discuss. At this early stage it appears that the offense has not suffered.

    I don't think the combined pitching/hitting/defense effect has been mentioned, but runs the scored/runs allowed differential has changed sense mid August as well. At the time of the trade, the Reds were -100. Now they are -83. Thus, they have gone from a differential of -.84 runs per game to +.53 per game. Again, let's check in at the end of the season to see if the difference is significant.


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