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Thread: Pitching:Defense

  1. #1
    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Pitching:Defense

    How much of run prevention is pitching and how much is defense? I'm guessing it "depends" on both and pitching is probably the bigger part of it but what is the general range of effect defense has in run prevention?
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

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  3. #2
    Socratic Gadfly TheNext44's Avatar
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    Re: Pitching:Defense

    I am not smart enough to answer that question, but I tried to figure out how much an effect elite defense has on overall run prevention. I could be way off here, but it seems like at most it can effect it by around 14%.

    Here's how I figured it.

    If you had a team of gold glovers, they would probably each have a UZR/150 of +10, that adds up to a team UZR of around 100 including all the bench players and pitchers. That's for the best possible fielding team.

    The league average in 2009 for runs scored was 727 for the season. So assuming that that league average team had league average defense, if you gave them elite defense, they would save 100 runs, and 100 is 14% of 727.

    I could be way off, but that seems like the effect of elite defense on a team's overall run production.

    Just for the record, the Reds defense in 2009, according to Fangraphs, was 51 runs better than average, which is damn good. That's half of the very best it could be.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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    Re: Pitching:Defense

    Are they separable? Or, to what extent does having a defense of particular caliber/strengths enable a team to pitch in certain ways? or build a particular kind of pitching staff?

  5. #4
    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: Pitching:Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNext44 View Post
    I am not smart enough to answer that question, but I tried to figure out how much an effect elite defense has on overall run prevention. I could be way off here, but it seems like at most it can effect it by around 14%.

    Here's how I figured it.

    If you had a team of gold glovers, they would probably each have a UZR/150 of +10, that adds up to a team UZR of around 100 including all the bench players and pitchers. That's for the best possible fielding team.

    The league average in 2009 for runs scored was 727 for the season. So assuming that that league average team had league average defense, if you gave them elite defense, they would save 100 runs, and 100 is 14% of 727.

    I could be way off, but that seems like the effect of elite defense on a team's overall run production.

    Just for the record, the Reds defense in 2009, according to Fangraphs, was 51 runs better than average, which is damn good. That's half of the very best it could be.
    Whoa, I forgot I posted this and I wasn't even drinking! Senility looms!

    That's not a bad analysis. The Mariners were almost at that 100 run figure with 85.4. In my head with absolutely no analysis or research whatsoever, I had it at around 25%.

    This past season, I've been look at ERA-FIP as a rough indicator of how much defense "helps" pitching. The Reds had one of the lowest E-F this year with -0.45 which was second only to the aforementioned Mariners at -0.52. In terms of ERA, the Reds were 8th best but in terms of FIP, they were 5th worse. So, to me, improving the pitching with similar defense would really do wonders for the run difference.

    I think...
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"


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