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Thread: Fangraphs: Letting others do the work

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    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Fangraphs: Letting others do the work

    Excerpt:

    I got on the subject of looking up pitchers whose ERAs wildly differ from their actual performance level today so I decided to share. We hopefully all know by now that ERA is a very flawed measurement of a pitcher’s performance and that is why we defer to metrics like FIP, DERA or tRA. Using a combination of the three, I decided to pull the top five pitches on each side of the luck spectrum and present them.

    First, a word of explanation on what I mean when I use the term luck. It actually comprises three distinct realms: defense, park and noise. A pitcher may change his or her approach depending on the quality of the defense behind him, though I am not sure if we have ever seen an extensive study really delve into the topic, but I consider the presence of a good or bad defense behind the pitcher to be outside of his control and thus, a pitcher is lucky if he has a good one and unlucky if he does not. Ditto on pitcher’s versus hitter’s parks. The last part is the actual luck, or noise as we statisticians are more apt to label it.
    You can read the rest at the link above.

    I've found this interesting because the Reds have some pitchers who've been helped and hurt by their defense. Rhodes and Cueto seem to have been "picked up" by the defense most often while Homer Bailey and Jared Burton have been "let down."

    As a team, the Reds defense has helped their pitchers out quite a bit. On the other end of the spectrum, it looks like the Indians D has let their pitchers down regulary.

    Any thoughts?
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

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    Re: Fangraphs: Letting others do the work

    As a team, the Reds defense has helped their pitchers out quite a bit. On the other end of the spectrum, it looks like the Indians D has let their pitchers down regulary.

    Any thoughts?
    Hasn't it been an article of faith that the Reds FO knows little about defense while the Indians front office is cutting edge? If so, how to explain these results?
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Re: Fangraphs: Letting others do the work

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    Hasn't it been an article of faith that the Reds FO knows little about defense while the Indians front office is cutting edge?
    No-that would be a gross and inflammatory over generalization that might otherwise poison a thread that offers a potentially interesting break from Willy Taveras discussion.
    "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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    Re: Fangraphs: Letting others do the work

    No-that would be a gross and inflammatory over generalization that might otherwise poison a thread that offers a potentially interesting break from Willy Taveras discussion.
    Disagree. Nate cites 2 teams whose approach to roster building have been generalized about plenty, with consideration for defense included as an important element in the assessments of the teams' roster building abilities. One can choose to re-examine one's position on how well those teams have constructed those rosters, or on what strategies those teams have used in constructing those rosters, or one can look at other ramifications of the data. In either case, there's no need to become inflamed.
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    Re: Fangraphs: Letting others do the work

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    Disagree. Nate cites 2 teams whose approach to roster building have been generalized about plenty, with consideration for defense included as an important element in the assessments of the teams' roster building abilities. One can choose to re-examine one's position on how well those teams have constructed those rosters, or on what strategies those teams have used in constructing those rosters, or one can look at other ramifications of the data. In either case, there's no need to become inflamed.
    For the sake of argument, i'll retract the inflammatory part of the gross and inflammatory over generalization.
    "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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    Re: Fangraphs: Letting others do the work

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    Hasn't it been an article of faith that the Reds FO knows little about defense while the Indians front office is cutting edge? If so, how to explain these results?
    No.
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    Re: Fangraphs: Letting others do the work

    The Indians defense probably takes a pretty big hit with Sizemore and Cabrera on the DL.
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    Re: Fangraphs: Letting others do the work

    No.
    Was the Reds roster construction strategy foreseen as being as effective as it has been, in terms of employing plus defenders? My sense is no. And if not, what did people miss?
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Re: Fangraphs: Letting others do the work

    Quote Originally Posted by blumj View Post
    The Indians defense probably takes a pretty big hit with Sizemore and Cabrera on the DL.
    True. I think they've just recently taken the "lead" away from the Nats.
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    Re: Fangraphs: Letting others do the work

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    Was the Reds roster construction strategy foreseen as being as effective as it has been, in terms of employing plus defenders? My sense is no. And if not, what did people miss?
    I think it was. Replacing Jr. with Bruce was an immediate upgrade on OF D. Replacing Kepp/Hairston with Alex G was an immediate upgrade at SS D. Love Dunn, but he can't make the plays out there that Nix has ended up making. Same upgrade, and people saw that coming.

    I don't think the D and potential D improvement was missed in the least. The only fuss I have is that they didn't do as good a job in CF, but let's leave that alone for now as there are other threads for that...

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    Re: Fangraphs: Letting others do the work

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    Was the Reds roster construction strategy foreseen as being as effective as it has been, in terms of employing plus defenders? My sense is no. And if not, what did people miss?
    I thought the team would be improved defensively. The biggest question was SS. Could Gonzo make it back or would we see Hairston out there? Gonzo did make it back and he's been OK. Nix is a better defender than Dunn in LF, Jay Bruce is awesome in RF. Hernandez and Hanigan seem to be able to catch balls that are thrown right at them which is an improvement. Rosales plays nice D at 3B. BP is great at 2B and Votto has shown improvement at 1B. Hernandez has been an acceptable backup while Votto's been gone.

    As for what "people" missed, who knows and frankly, who cares? Let's talk about what we think rather than assign an abstract to what they think.
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    Re: Fangraphs: Letting others do the work

    In the thread, most people agreed the Reds would be improved defensively, but argued about how much. Most said the improvement would be obvious, but not worth more than 10-20 runs over the course of the year.

    That has proven extremely conservative so far. If the Reds continue to play as they have so far this season defensively, they should be among the top five or six teams in the majors.

    Too, as the Reds were constructing the team, many on this site insisted Cleveland had the superior front office and their approach was praised as among the best in the game. Most agreed that Cleveland used numbers much better and more effectively than Cincinnati in constructing a team.

    When discussing team defense, however, Cleveland was not mentioned.

    Of course, most would rather ram a sharp stick in their eye than admit being wrong on message boards anyway.
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    Re: Fangraphs: Letting others do the work

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    In the thread, most people agreed the Reds would be improved defensively, but argued about how much. Most said the improvement would be obvious, but not worth more than 10-20 runs over the course of the year.

    That has proven extremely conservative so far. If the Reds continue to play as they have so far this season defensively, they should be among the top five or six teams in the majors.

    Too, as the Reds were constructing the team, many on this site insisted Cleveland had the superior front office and their approach was praised as among the best in the game. Most agreed that Cleveland used numbers much better and more effectively than Cincinnati in constructing a team.

    When discussing team defense, however, Cleveland was not mentioned.

    Of course, most would rather ram a sharp stick in their eye than admit being wrong on message boards anyway.
    Arguing for and against "most people," "Most" and "many on this site" is what makes me ram a sharp stick in my eye.

    I'd rather discuss the article than engage in another epic strawman war.

    Can we try it?
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    Re: Fangraphs: Letting others do the work

    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    Excerpt:

    You can read the rest at the link above.

    I've found this interesting because the Reds have some pitchers who've been helped and hurt by their defense. Rhodes and Cueto seem to have been "picked up" by the defense most often while Homer Bailey and Jared Burton have been "let down."

    As a team, the Reds defense has helped their pitchers out quite a bit. On the other end of the spectrum, it looks like the Indians D has let their pitchers down regulary.

    Any thoughts?
    My 1st thought is tough to help a couple guys who seem to have found a way to stay right smack in the middle of the plate whenever they are not clearly outside it. Those guys will likely have a higher than normal LD% is my assumption. Tough to stop a bullet LD over the IF's heads and dropping before it reaches the OF. 2 other thoughts on Homer, hitters seem to hit the ball right back up the gut on him more than any other guy we have and with authority. Tough to defend that. And the other would be that it's such a small sample size for Homer that we can't really make anything of it. Just seems to me when I think of all the times Homer has pitched I see that hard 2 hopper right back up the middle time and again.
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    Re: Fangraphs: Letting others do the work

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    Was the Reds roster construction strategy foreseen as being as effective as it has been, in terms of employing plus defenders? My sense is no. And if not, what did people miss?
    Which roster?

    Here's some comments about the defense taken from the thread below:

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Assume Bruce can be roughly a 2.5 win OFer this year (which is what he's basically projected to be assuming he's a neutral defender). It would be pretty tough for the rest of the outfield not to be better than Jr+Corey circa '08.

    The improvement is likely to come from the defense. Taveras is a push over Patterson/Hairston. So the gains will be on the corners vs Jr and Dunn from last year. Of course that is if Gomes isn't getting significant defensive innings as a platoon partner.

    Given the production the Reds actually got last season, the Reds in reality aren't looking at a 4 win upgrade in their outfield over last season unless something truly extraordinary happens (Lord Bruce is anointed, cough, cough).
    Here's the thread talking about the outfield...

    Basically, the outfield would be improved significantly through defense but the associated offensive trade off would decrease the magnitude of the outfield upgrade.

    Concerning shortstop, Gonzo was a wildcard and I think it's fair to characterize most peoples opinion by saying he would have to prove he could do it.

    Hernandez probably had the biggest spread concerning people's opinion about his impact.

    Here's a look at what their defense was projected to look like....

    Those would suggest a roughly 40 to 45 run defensive upgrade just by kicking Dunn, Jr and Keppy to the curve given in house replacement options.
    "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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