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Thread: Is it possible that we want fly ball pitchers?

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    Is it possible that we want fly ball pitchers?

    Is it possible for fly ball pitchers to have success at GABP?
    I don't want to get into the ideas of "rally killers" and the like but is it possible that although fly ball pitchers give up more "cheap"
    home runs, they also get outs out of balls that would become hits and lead to bigger innings?

    Just something percolating in my brain and I'm trying to piece together some statistical justification.
    If say Cueto gives up X more home runs than a similarly skilled ground ball pitcher, how many fewer
    hits would he need to give up to make up for it.
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    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: Is it possible that we want fly ball pitchers?

    Timely mention!

    They Reds play in a tiny park that inflates home run rates by 12%, one of the highest in the league. In such a context fly-ball pitchers would be even worse than in an average context. But the Redsís rotation is stocked with such pitchers.
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    Re: Is it possible that we want fly ball pitchers?

    I bang that gong a lot, but yeah, this park is pretty much death for non-Halladay/Volquez type pitchers. If this team is going to matter, Bailey, Chapman, and Volquez are going to have to be healthy and performing.

    I'd be pressing hard to trade Arroyo, Harang, or maybe even Cueto if the right young bat comes along.
    Last edited by Falls City Beer; 03-23-2010 at 11:10 AM.

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    Re: Is it possible that we want fly ball pitchers?

    GABP's run factor is almost neutral, suggesting that while you do give up more homers, you can get more outs on the balls that do stay in the yard. I imagine there's some benefit to having guys play in a few bit more than they might in a bigger park. Sure, you trade some would be doubles or triples for homers, but you also trade some singles for outs.

    I think it might be a much smaller issue than it get plays up to be.
    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: Is it possible that we want fly ball pitchers?

    A high Krate/low walk rate can mitigate negative batted ball tendencies...

    So the answer is it depends....
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    Re: Is it possible that we want fly ball pitchers?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    A high Krate/low walk rate can mitigate negative batted ball tendencies...

    So the answer is it depends....

    That's a valid point. The downside of having groundball pitchers is that for the most part, they tend to give up a lot of base hits. If you have an IF that is not great defensively or not too rangy, those ground balls could lead to more runs scoring. Having a staff of Greg Madduxes would be outstanding but so would a staff of Randy Johnsons.
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    Re: Is it possible that we want fly ball pitchers?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    GABP's run factor is almost neutral, suggesting that while you do give up more homers, you can get more outs on the balls that do stay in the yard. I imagine there's some benefit to having guys play in a few bit more than they might in a bigger park. Sure, you trade some would be doubles or triples for homers, but you also trade some singles for outs.

    I think it might be a much smaller issue than it get plays up to be.
    That's kind of what I was getting to, I guess it comes down to a calculus of;

    How many more HR's does pitcher X give up over average pitcher in neutral park+How many more HR's does pitcher X give up over average pitcher in GABP-How many more outs does Pitcher X get than average pitcher+How many more outs does GABP create over average park.

    When I'm speaking of HR's given up and Outs created I'm speaking only due to their flyball tendencies.

    1) Is there anyway to measure this and 2) What would be the necessary number of extra outs created to home runs given up for it to not be an issue.
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    Re: Is it possible that we want fly ball pitchers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    I bang that gong a lot, but yeah, this park is pretty much death for non-Halladay/Volquez type pitchers. If this team is going to matter, Bailey, Chapman, and Volquez are going to have to be healthy and performing.

    I'd be pressing hard to trade Arroyo, Harang, or maybe even Cueto if the right young bat comes along.
    I'd personally like to see the Reds keep Harang, but I may be in the minority on that. He may be too expensive for them anyhow.

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    Re: Is it possible that we want fly ball pitchers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    I bang that gong a lot, but yeah, this park is pretty much death for non-Halladay/Volquez type pitchers. If this team is going to matter, Bailey, Chapman, and Volquez are going to have to be healthy and performing.

    I'd be pressing hard to trade Arroyo, Harang, or maybe even Cueto if the right young bat comes along.
    In 2009 , I think Arroyo, Harang, and Cueto actually gave up about the same number of home runs on the road as they did at GABP. I'm not certain the ball park hurt them that badly.
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    Re: Is it possible that we want fly ball pitchers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    That's a valid point. The downside of having groundball pitchers is that for the most part, they tend to give up a lot of base hits.
    If that is true, wouldn't groundball pitchers have a higher BABIP than flyball pitchers?

    Which they don't.

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    Re: Is it possible that we want fly ball pitchers?

    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    If that is true, wouldn't groundball pitchers have a higher BABIP than flyball pitchers?

    Which they don't.
    I believe you, but wonder about how you are using this statistic. Are you actually comparing all ground ball pitchers against all fly ball pitchers, or are we looking at all ground balls (all pitchers) versus all flyballs (all pitchers)? If you do lump all pitchers together and just look at the type of ball in play, where do line drives fit into the equation? Are they considered fly balls? If they are, I'd say that would seriously skew the statistics for comparing ground ball pitchers to fly ball pitchers.
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    Re: Is it possible that we want fly ball pitchers?

    At the extremes, GB and FB pitchers have different BABIPs.
    "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: Is it possible that we want fly ball pitchers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosier Red View Post
    Is it possible for fly ball pitchers to have success at GABP?
    I don't want to get into the ideas of "rally killers" and the like but is it possible that although fly ball pitchers give up more "cheap"
    home runs, they also get outs out of balls that would become hits and lead to bigger innings?

    Just something percolating in my brain and I'm trying to piece together some statistical justification.
    If say Cueto gives up X more home runs than a similarly skilled ground ball pitcher, how many fewer
    hits would he need to give up to make up for it.

    Maybe I'm over simplifying this in my own head but wouldn't opponents OPS tell you this? It still comes back to the basic premise of I don't care how you induce outs I care how often you induce them and how few total bases you surrender when you don't.

    If I were the GM and commissioning my stat heads to do some research I wouldn't care so much about any kind of league average because batted ball tendencies are so defense dependent. I would want to know for this teams defense, in this park do all but the most effective fly ball pitchers face a real disadvantage? Can average fly ball pitchers survive or do I have to avoid them?

    Just a quick scan of last years home splits show Rhodes for instance had the 3rd worst GB/FB ratio on the staff but the lowest OPSA. Obviously that's a small sample but intuitively I think it just comes down to how effective the individual pitcher is (along with the defense you put behind him) not the style with which he records outs.

    Also, I don't know the exact method with which they compile the ball park effect stats but I can't help but think GABP's numbers would be inflated due to its short history and the type of teams that have called it home for that short history. They probably allow for that somehow but that's always been my concern when I hear GABP is a homer friendly park. A decade of Adam Dunn and company on offense with Miltonesque pitching would make Yellowstone look like a homer friendly park.

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    Re: Is it possible that we want fly ball pitchers?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    At the extremes, GB and FB pitchers have different BABIPs.
    So, looking at the top third versus the bottom third, am I not looking a BABIP of .292 for fly balls in 2009 and .305 for ground balls? Though not a great margin, it would seem to favor fly ball rates.
    Last edited by Spitball; 03-25-2010 at 11:27 AM.
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    Re: Is it possible that we want fly ball pitchers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spitball View Post
    So, looking at the top third versus the bottom third, am I not looking a BABIP of .292 for fly balls in 2009 and .305 for ground balls? Though not a great margin, it would seem to favor fly ball rates.
    An important thing to remember is that FB pitchers tend to give up more homers but homers aren't part of the calculation for BABIP (the homers are subtracted from the hits).
    "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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