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Thread: Why the offense was so offensive Pt II

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Why the offense was so offensive Pt II

    Back in July I started a thread about the real reason why the offense stunk. http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=70334 It had nothing to do with Dunn's strike outs or the whether OBP was valuable or not.

    It had everything to do with giving away too many plate appearances to ballplayers who didn't deserve to be on the local youth team, let alone a MLB club.

    The trend that had been clear in July didn't change much by the end of the year. Injuries and manager incompetance meant CPatt and Bako kept getting time at the plate. Votto finished strong. Keppenger continued to struggle.

    Here's the good, bad and ugly...

    Code:
    #  YEAR NAME           AGE POS  PA   EqA  OBP  SLG  VORP  RAR   RAP 
    1. 2008 Joey Votto     24   1b  589 .291 .368 .506  34.0  38.5   5.9 
    2. 2008 Jerry Hairston 32   ss  297 .298 .384 .487  27.0  21.8  11.2 
    3. 2008 Adam Dunn      28   lf  464 .299 .373 .528  26.1  34.5  13.2 
    4. 2008 E Encarnacion  25   3b  582 .273 .340 .466  20.1  26.3   1.8 
    5. 2008 B Phillips     27   2b  609 .257 .312 .442  15.0  17.2  -5.4 
    6. 2008 C Dickerson    26   lf  122 .325 .413 .608  13.0  13.0   7.8
    The real production at the plate came from this group. They produced 2,663 plate appearances of honest to goodness baseball. Unfortunatley Dunn is gone, Hairston is an injury riddled fluke and Dickerson is a small sample best not planned around. But still, this is 46% of the total PA's.

    Code:
    #   YEAR NAME            AGE POS PA   EqA  OBP  SLG  VORP  RAR    RAP 
    7.  2008 Ken Griffey Jr. 38  rf  425 .271 .355 .432  8.1  17.7   -2.9 
    9.  2008 Jay Bruce       21  rf  452 .255 .314 .453  4.6  11.9  -10.0 
    10. 2008 David Ross      31   c  173 .267 .381 .366  4.6   6.4    2.2 
    11. 2008 Ryan Hanigan    27   c   98 .260 .367 .365  2.6   2.8    0.7 
    12. 2008 Javier Valentin 32  ph  144 .254 .326 .411  2.3   3.4   -4.0 
    13. 2008 Ryan Freel      32  cf  143 .245 .340 .359  1.3   2.1   -4.2 
    14. 2008 Jolbert Cabrera 35  lf  126 .247 .310 .400  0.8   2.1   -3.8 
    15. 2008 Jeff Keppinger  28  ss  502 .230 .310 .346  0.6   0.1  -14.2
    Here's the bad. 2,063 PA's (36% of total) of medicore hitting of various types. If you don't understand the numbers think of it this way: These are the players that gave you the same production you might expect out of a faceless AAA guy that plays for a couple of years and is gone.

    I put Jr and Bruce in this category because while they produced better than a scrub, their production relative to other RF's is pretty low. You could make a case, I suppose, that they'd be considered somewhere between "good" and "bad" but not really in either category. But for this exercise, they fall in the medicorce category.

    Obviously Ross and Jr are gone. Javy and Freel may or may not be gone.

    The big sore thumb is Keppenger. This is what happens when a decent fill-in/platoon guy is exposed when played everyday. The next time you hear yourself saying, "why doesn't ____________ get more playing time, he hits the cover off the ball" remember Keppenger.


    Code:
    #   YEAR NAME           AGE POS PA   EqA   OBP   SLG  VORP   RAR    RAP 
    16. 2008 Andy Phillips   31 ph  80  .237  .300  .397  -0.4   0.6    -3.9 
    18. 2008 Norris Hopper   29 ph  58  .180  .286  .200  -4.1  -2.4    -5.5 
    21. 2008 Paul Janish     25 ss  89  .177  .270  .250  -4.7  -4.0    -6.6 
    22. 2008 Scott Hatteberg 38 ph  61  .173  .262  .231  -5.7  -3.0    -7.0 
    23. 2008 Paul Bako       36 c  338  .217  .299  .328  -7.5  -4.1   -12.1 
    24. 2008 Corey Patterson 28 cf 392  .200  .238  .344 -19.6 -11.7   -30.6
    And, of coruse, here's the ugly. 1,019 or 18% of the total plate apperances in 2008 went to guys who were light-years below medicore. These numbers, if you don't know what they are, are saying these guys are FAR below average ballplayers.

    Every team has a couple of stiffs. But when you start giving away 18% of your total PA's to these losers, you are guarenteed to not win baseball games. If you give away nearly 13% of your total PA's to Paul Bako and Corey Patterson your manager should be fired for incompetance.

    Patterson and Bako have been beaten to death. I know people are tired of hearing about them but they are exhibit A in why giving 730 PA's away to guys who couldn't play for the Hellen Keller league is a bad idea. No amount of defense or "handling the pitchers well" can make up for this disaster.

    I will take some time to look at other teams and see what their percentages are of good, bad and ugly batters but will have to do so later tonight.

    For now....

    Total PA's: 5744
    Good: 2663 or 46%
    Bad: 2063 or 36%
    UGLY: 1018 or 18%
    Last edited by Ltlabner; 10-06-2008 at 11:32 AM.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    Boom Goes the Dynamite Screwball's Avatar
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    Re: Why the offense was so offensive Pt II

    I'd suggest switching Keppinger and A. Phillips in the bad and ugly categories. Kepp was a big bucket of suck for a long, long time, whereas Phillips only had 80 PAs and their numbes were comparable (Phillips even has a better OPS). This would also change the bad and ugly percentages to better reflect just how frustrating this offense felt during the season.

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    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    Re: Why the offense was so offensive Pt II

    Keppinger should pretty much never, ever start against a right-handed pitcher. And the only time he should ever hit against a righty is if the game's in extra innings and the choice is between Keppinger and a pitcher.

    He's a utility, platoon infielder who can have some nice success against lefties, but keep him far far away from the batter's box if a righty is on the mound.
    Barry Larkin - HOF, 2012

    Put an end to the Lost Decade.

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    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Why the offense was so offensive Pt II

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    Every team has a couple of stiffs. But when you start giving away 18% of your total PA's to these losers, you are guarenteed to not win baseball games. If you give away nearly 13% of your total PA's to Paul Bako and Corey Patterson your manager should be fired for incompetance.
    You might want to check a few other 2008 teams:

    BoSox - Varitek / Lugo / Cash / Ellsbury

    Philly - Ruiz / Feliz

    LA - Pierre / Berroa / Young / A Jones / DeWitt

    I think the difference here is that they have some higher end guys to offset the stiffs.

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Why the offense was so offensive Pt II

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    You might want to check a few other 2008 teams:

    BoSox - Varitek / Lugo / Cash / Ellsbury
    Actually I think actually understanding the difference between medicore and horrable is what's important. There's actually a difference for those able to grasp the concept.

    Code:
    #   YEAR NAME            AGE POS   PA  EqA  OBP  SLG  VORP   RAR   RAP 
    6.  2008 Jacoby Ellsbury 24   cf  609 .263 .336 .394  17.8  21.4  -6.6 
    12. 2008 Julio Lugo      32   ss  307 .255 .355 .330   6.9   7.5  -0.2 
    16. 2008 Jason Varitek   36    c  483 .237 .313 .359  -1.0   3.2  -7.4 
    17. 2008 Kevin Cash      30    c  162 .231 .309 .338  -1.5   0.2  -3.6
    I'd put amost of those guys in the bad catigory, not the horrable. And Ellsbury isn't bad.

    The Redsox have one guy who comes close to my defintion of "horrable" based on the selection catigory of at least 50 PA's. He got 91 PA's.
    Last edited by Ltlabner; 10-06-2008 at 02:33 PM.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Why the offense was so offensive Pt II

    In 2007, Keppinger had a 21.3 LD% and a .335 BABIP. In 2008, Keppinger had a 21.0 LD% and a .275 BABIP.

    Now, going off LD% alone is a pretty rough measure of how well a guy hit the ball. But those 2008 numbers just aren't right. Keppinger hit liners at roughly the same rate and saw his batting average drop precipitously. His contact and swing rates were almost identical as well. That just doesn't make sense. Now, he traded some flyballs for grounders, but if anything that should help your batting average when you aren't a slugger. The increase in IF FB and decrease in HR/FB cannot nearly account for it, though perhaps they hint at the quality of his contact changing.

    Cyclone, your point is well taken given the handedness splits we saw from Keppy. However, given how he hit righties in 2007, I'm not convinced that's the bulk of the problem. Obviously it's shades of gray. He hits righties worse than lefties and was possibly overexposed. But he also was the recipient of a fair amount of bad luck. I think you see him back around .300/.350/.425 in 2009.

    If we want to talk proven inability to hit righties, we should probably bring up BP. Though unlike Keppinger, his glove merits a full time job regardless of his platoon split.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 10-06-2008 at 02:58 PM.
    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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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Why the offense was so offensive Pt II

    The problem with Keppy is that he was more "lucky" in '07 than he was "unlucky" in '08 and he really is a glove without a position (or better put, a position without a glove).
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Why the offense was so offensive Pt II

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    The problem with Keppy is that he was more "lucky" in '07 than he was "unlucky" in '08 and he really is a glove without a position (or better put, a position without a glove).
    Really, Jojo?

    I thought BABIP can be expected to track roughly to LD% +.120.

    In 2007, that would translate to .333 (compared to his actual of .335). What am I missing that would suggest that his .335 (.333 projected) was more lucky than than his .275 (.330 projected) is unlucky?

    I don't argue the ultimate conclusion, particularly with the way this team is constructed. But I don't understand your assessment.
    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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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Why the offense was so offensive Pt II

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Really, Jojo?

    I thought BABIP can be expected to track roughly to LD% +.120.

    In 2007, that would translate to .333 (compared to his actual of .335). What am I missing that would suggest that his .335 (.333 projected) was more lucky than than his .275 (.330 projected) is unlucky?

    I don't argue the ultimate conclusion, particularly with the way this team is constructed. But I don't understand your assessment.
    There is something about those 241 AB in '07 that weren't quite like his career up to that point (and beyond)..... for instance, the .332/.400/.477. The most important number seems to be 241......

    Just sayin'....
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Why the offense was so offensive Pt II

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    Actually I think actually understanding the difference between medicore and horrable is what's important. There's actually a difference for those able to grasp the concept.

    Code:
    #   YEAR NAME            AGE POS   PA  EqA  OBP  SLG  VORP   RAR   RAP 
    6.  2008 Jacoby Ellsbury 24   cf  609 .263 .336 .394  17.8  21.4  -6.6 
    12. 2008 Julio Lugo      32   ss  307 .255 .355 .330   6.9   7.5  -0.2 
    16. 2008 Jason Varitek   36    c  483 .237 .313 .359  -1.0   3.2  -7.4 
    17. 2008 Kevin Cash      30    c  162 .231 .309 .338  -1.5   0.2  -3.6
    I'd put amost of those guys in the bad catigory, not the horrable. And Ellsbury isn't bad.

    The Redsox have one guy who comes close to my defintion of "horrable" based on the selection catigory of at least 50 PA's. He got 91 PA's.

    I'll be done after this since I'm not really into taking cheap shots, but please explain the difference btw Varitek and someone like Andy Phillips, who you described as being "light years below mediocre" when Varitek is just "bad" in this case? Not sure if "light years below medicore" is better or worse than bad.

    I'm at work and don't have time to rip apart the numbers so I might be missing something obvious. Which might be causing me to be unable to "grasp the concept."

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Why the offense was so offensive Pt II

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    I'll be done after this since I'm not really into taking cheap shots, but please explain the difference btw Varitek and someone like Andy Phillips, who you described as being "light years below mediocre" when Varitek is just "bad" in this case? Not sure if "light years below medicore" is better or worse than bad.

    I'm at work and don't have time to rip apart the numbers so I might be missing something obvious. Which might be causing me to be unable to "grasp the concept."
    You are right that Varitek and Phillips posted similuar numbers. Phillips probably could be bumped up into the bad catigory from ugly. Doesn't do much, however, to change that the RedSox have few mediocre players and almost no hideous ones.

    None, the less, it shouldn't be a mystery that having a medicore player can be overcome. Either that player is carried by a better player on the team, or they do something else really well (typically defense) to offset their humdrum work at the plate.

    A team can survive having a number of mediocre players, or good players with mediocre years. As long as they aren't exposed for long periods of time, or aren't giving 1000 plate appearances the team will survive.

    But mediocre and hideous are two different things.

    I know that doesn't fit into your tidy black & white box where every player is a hall-of-famer or they suck, but the reality is most teams have to carry mediocre players. The good teams, however, eliminate hideous players and minimise exposure of the mearly bad players.

    The Reds, on the other hand, hand out long term contracts to the bad players and give away 600+ PA's to the hideous ones.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    Member cincrazy's Avatar
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    Re: Why the offense was so offensive Pt II

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    Actually I think actually understanding the difference between medicore and horrable is what's important. There's actually a difference for those able to grasp the concept.

    Code:
    #   YEAR NAME            AGE POS   PA  EqA  OBP  SLG  VORP   RAR   RAP 
    6.  2008 Jacoby Ellsbury 24   cf  609 .263 .336 .394  17.8  21.4  -6.6 
    12. 2008 Julio Lugo      32   ss  307 .255 .355 .330   6.9   7.5  -0.2 
    16. 2008 Jason Varitek   36    c  483 .237 .313 .359  -1.0   3.2  -7.4 
    17. 2008 Kevin Cash      30    c  162 .231 .309 .338  -1.5   0.2  -3.6
    I'd put amost of those guys in the bad catigory, not the horrable. And Ellsbury isn't bad.

    The Redsox have one guy who comes close to my defintion of "horrable" based on the selection catigory of at least 50 PA's. He got 91 PA's.
    Actually my friend, Jason Varitek has been beyond terrible this season. He's a poor man's Paul Bako at this point in his career.

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    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Why the offense was so offensive Pt II

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    I know that doesn't fit into your tidy black & white box where every player is a hall-of-famer or they suck, but the reality is most teams have to carry mediocre players. The good teams, however, eliminate hideous players and minimise exposure of the mearly bad players.

    The Reds, on the other hand, hand out long term contracts to the bad players and give away 600+ PA's to the hideous ones.
    We are both headed towards the same end (see bold). No reason to take shots.

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Why the offense was so offensive Pt II

    Quote Originally Posted by cincrazy View Post
    Actually my friend, Jason Varitek has been beyond terrible this season. He's a poor man's Paul Bako at this point in his career.
    Varitek was bad this season, but by no means, and on no planet was he as the hideous blackhole of suckitude that is Paul Bako.

    Varitek, acording to these numbers was right at replacement level.

    Bako was right at 5th grade youth league level.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    Member blumj's Avatar
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    Re: Why the offense was so offensive Pt II

    Quote Originally Posted by cincrazy View Post
    Actually my friend, Jason Varitek has been beyond terrible this season. He's a poor man's Paul Bako at this point in his career.
    Actually, Bako was even worse than Varitek's beyond terrible backup.
    "Reality tells us there are no guarantees. Except that some day Jon Lester will be on that list of 100-game winners." - Peter Gammons


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