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Thread: Scott Freaking Rolen

  1. #31
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Scott Freaking Rolen

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    But traderumor, the question is not, does Rolen make the Reds better when he is in the lineup, that is a simple question.

    The question is based on the fact that we have a 5.0 WAR player, but based on W-L, he is more like a 20+ (or more) WAR player. Of course that is absurd and there is luck involved, but is there more than meets the eye to it?
    As I understand it, you are begging the question since WAR isn't a measure of a team's record with a particular player in the lineup, but how many wins he will contribute to the bottom line of the team by being in the lineup. Trying to extrapolate from the team's record his contribution seems about like catcher's ERA to me, whereby you are trying to make a correlation where there is not one.

    The argument might be better stated that adding a 5 WAR player to a good team might have an exponential effect on the team's record. Add that 5 WAR player to a below average team, and they will improve, but not as dramatically. And I state that as a hypothesis.
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  3. #32
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Scott Freaking Rolen

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    If the difference is significantly bigger than what his talent would dictate, I don't see how one cannot at least look to see if there is something else going on.

    But what I get most out of that is that there are enough games on both sides for it to be important. We can't make the same judgement on say Votto or Phillips, because they aren't missing from the lineup enough.
    Something else? Maybe. But is that something else Rolen specifically? We don't know. Just because his absence is correlated with a substantially lower win percentage doesn't mean his absence caused it.

    Sample size is very important, but the law of large numbers includes an assumption of random sampling. If your sample of games is biased (not representative of the full population of games), then no sample size will make it so.

    It could very well be that Rolen's absences have corresponded with other things that contribute to the Reds playing worse: other players' absences, tough schedules, poor pitching performances, etc.

    And even with that sample size and even if the sample is representative, it could still just be "dumb luck" -- random variation. There's a science to sample size having to do with the amount of variance in the distribution of possible outcomes. Over a full season, most projection systems observe a SD of about 6 games. That is, even if your best guess says a team is an 86 win team, that's actually saying that there's a 68% chance the team is an 80-92 win team and a 95% chance it's a 74 to 98 win team.

    I haven't seen the Rolen win% posted here, but what might look like a difference that can't be explained by randomness could very well fall in that reasonable range. And again, you can only really look at that if and when you've established that there aren't any other correlative factors (or accounted for their effect).

    As for the idea that there's some positive contribution a guy makes not measurable in his performance, I'd certainly concede the possibility. However, I seriously doubt it would be any where remotely close the scale it would need to be to account for that additional observed difference. I'd also question whether the effect was limited to when the guy was actually in the lineup (as opposed to being on the team/in the clubhouse). It strikes me that if it does exist, a good deal of it would occur whether or not the guy was in the lineup on a given day.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 05-14-2011 at 10:21 AM.
    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.

  4. #33
    One and a half men Patrick Bateman's Avatar
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    Re: Scott Freaking Rolen

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    How do you know that the Cardinals during Rolen's weren't really 80 win teams without him?

    This is pure speculation, but one factor may be that having Rolen in the lineup changes the way that pitchers approach the other players? I don't think we have to dismiss this effect as magic or luck just because we can't find a specific stat to tie it to.
    Because adter Rolen left, the Cardinal players did not play like chickens with their head cut-off. Their players did not all magically get worse. They were not 20 wins worth.

    There's a reason that Scott Rolen is not paid upwards of 100M a year which is what is suggested free agent worth would be right now annually.

    I think there might be some effect. I don't have enough info., and neither does anyone here to make a conclusive determination. But I think we need to dig a little deeper than about 2 seasons worth of stats to claim that this outlier makes Scott Rolen the first 20 win player in baseball history.

  5. #34
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Scott Freaking Rolen

    No one has said he is a 20 win player.

  6. #35
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Scott Freaking Rolen

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    No one has said he is a 20 win player.
    Sure they did. Someone said how do we know the Cardinals weren't an 80 win team without Rolen? Given that they won 100 games, that suggests he was worth 20 wins.

  7. #36
    One and a half men Patrick Bateman's Avatar
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    Re: Scott Freaking Rolen

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    As I said Cedric, the numbers were staggering. Much moreso than the 5 or so WAR that Rolen is at best. C'mon man bring something better than that to an honest question. I really don't know what angle you are getting at with an answer like that.

    Sorry if I'm curt people. I just sometimes hope for a good ole answer, not a condescending/mocking one. (You know what I mean)
    I was more or less responding to this when you suggested that Cedric was more or less being ridiculous to suggest that the Reds improved record has something to do with Rolen being better than his replacements.

    The records that you posted with Rolen vs. without him would suggest a 24 win difference over a 162 game schedule, which correct me if I'm wrong, but you have been arguing is mainly a result of Scott Rolen's influence rather than a statistical bump in the records.

    As well I am responding to this post made by a seperate poster:


    How do you know that the Cardinals during Rolen's weren't really 80 win teams without him?

    This is pure speculation, but one factor may be that having Rolen in the lineup changes the way that pitchers approach the other players? I don't think we have to dismiss this effect as magic or luck just because we can't find a specific stat to tie it to.
    Which is an argument that Scott Rolen is the influence causing this stat. So yes, it is being argued, and no, he's not a 24 win player worth $120M.

  8. #37
    Member 757690's Avatar
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    Re: Scott Freaking Rolen

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Bateman View Post
    Because adter Rolen left, the Cardinal players did not play like chickens with their head cut-off. Their players did not all magically get worse. They were not 20 wins worth.

    There's a reason that Scott Rolen is not paid upwards of 100M a year which is what is suggested free agent worth would be right now annually.

    I think there might be some effect. I don't have enough info., and neither does anyone here to make a conclusive determination. But I think we need to dig a little deeper than about 2 seasons worth of stats to claim that this outlier makes Scott Rolen the first 20 win player in baseball history.
    First, the Cards averaged 89 wins a season with Rolen, so I was only asking if they would gain around 9 wins by having him in the lineup. and with him being a 5 win player based on stats, that's only a 4 win extra difference based on his "presence."

    We'll never know, because the only way to know would be to get into a DeLorean and play this seasons with someone else as the Cards 3B. What they did after he left is rather meaningless, as their roster changed enough to make it impossible to attribute any difference in success on just one player.

    Now I wasn't even suggesting that this was true, just pointing out that we don't know that it isn't true. And that's my biggest point. We don't know the true effect that Scott Rolen or any one player has on a team's success. These stats that we create help us get a decent guess, but they are far from definitive and precise.
    "I donít know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody".
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  9. #38
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Scott Freaking Rolen

    That's for the clarification. Like I said no one said he IS a 20 win player. As for me, I wanted an answer from a statisical POV, which only Rick has obliged. Is the improvement within the margin of error?

  10. #39
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Scott Freaking Rolen

    I certainly don't think Rolen is a 20-win player, but understanding the psychology of the workplace should lead anyone to believe that there are far more affects on a lineup and its players than just what is physically brought to the field.

    The intangibles, and specifically, the presence of another individual, can absolutely be uplifting and inspiring to other individuals, and can have a contagious result. Sometimes it can help to achieve better max results in others. I alluded to this in the past in managerial discussions, but I once took a course on psychology for managing a group of phone retailers, and it was amazing to see how certain things can impact psyche, morale and production.

    That the Reds can be so much better than just Rolen's physical output is not only logical, but it's to be expected by human nature if he's the steadying force in the clubhouse it appears he is. Of course, that's under an assumption that he does have an affect on others, but if that's the case, it would make sense then that those players perform more closely to their maximum potential when they're in the right frame of mind.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

  11. #40
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Scott Freaking Rolen

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    Hey stat experts...is there anything to the gaudy difference of the Reds W-L percentage with and without Rolen in the lineup. I don't have it in front of me but FSN displayed it tonight. I gotta think the sample size is getting pretty big at this point.
    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
    The argument might be better stated that adding a 5 WAR player to a good team might have an exponential effect on the team's record. Add that 5 WAR player to a below average team, and they will improve, but not as dramatically. And I state that as a hypothesis.
    To test this hypothesis, letís put some numbers on this to see if the magnitude of the indirect/intangible effect is plausible.

    Since Rolen joined the Reds, they are 107-71 (Win%=.601) when he starts and 37-45 (Win%=.451) when he doesnít start. Since the number of games arenít the same for the condition in that split, lets assume this is a real, repeatable effect and extrapolate to a full season to get a sense of the magnitude of such an effect. With Rolen starting an entire 162 game season, the Reds would win 97 games. They would only win 73 without him in the starting lineup for a whooping difference of 24 wins (or think a swing of 240 runs for pythag). Thatís huge but nonetheless, is it possible? Remember the deal that brought Garza and Barrett to the Rays? By adding Bartlett, the Rays dramatically impacted their run prevention be realigning their defense as the addition of Bartlett allowed several players to move back to their natural positions. In other words, adding Bartlett lifted the production of several players and that trade probably resulted in pythag swing of close to 60 runs just due to the expected impact on the defense alone.

    But was the case with Rolen? He was pretty much a straight up swap with EE with little impact reverberating across the rest of the defense.

    To try and answer that, lets first look a little closer at the direct impact that Rolen has had on production at third for the Reds over the with/without him split. As a Red he has posted a slash line of 276/.356/.459 (OPS=.815; wOBA=.357) and a UZR/150=11.8. His replacements have posted a slash line of .261/.330/.364 (OPS= .695; wOBA= .313) with a UZR/150=-3 (an approximation based upon 770 defensive innings). Lets compare Rolen versus his replacements over a full season to see what his impact would be. Assuming his wOBA and UZR, Rolen would be a +14 run bat, a +11.8 run glove while heíd also get 20 runs for the difference between an average and replacement level bat and 2.5 runs for his position adjustment. This calculus would make Rolen a 48+run player (4.8 WAR) over a full season given what heís done as a Red. His replacements over a similar amount of playing time would be a mythical player with a -9 run bat, a -3 run glove while still getting 22.5 runs for position and the replacement adjustments making ďhimĒ a 10.5 run player or a 1.5 WAR player. In other words, the direct impact of Rolen upon production at third would equate to a roughly 3.3 WAR (win) upgrade. Thatís absolutely huge of course, but itís not anywhere near 24 wins (22 wins if one wants to normalize the season to be consistent with the playing time in the above analysis).

    So lets consider his indirect impact on the rest of the roster. Is it plausible that having him on the field could raise the performance of his teammates to the tune of 20+ wins especially given his addition basically doesnít dramatically realign the defense or even have a significant impact on the batting order? For perspective, that would mean his addition indirectly altered pythag by roughly 200 runs.

    Some have claimed itís intuitive that a positive work environment has a significant positive effect on everyoneís production. While I donít disagree per se that a positive environment certainly makes work more enjoyable, such a statement in the context of this issue frankly begs the question that Rolenís addition dramatically altered team chemistry and that team chemistry has a tremendous impact on winning percentage. Furthermore, even if it were true that Rolen positively impacted the clubhouse environment, why would that dramatically change when he wasnít starting? In other words, this just isnít a likely trigger that can explain the ďwith Rolen/without RolenĒ split.

    Iím willing to entertain an argument that suggests Rolen might have a 2 win effect on his teammates especially since having him start can impact bench usage and game theory etc but 20 wins? It just doesnít seem plausible. The split as it currently stands is interesting because of the eye popping disparity that is consistent with intuition and romance but itís a difference that is most likely to regress much closer to 3 wins given enough time. A roster is an extremely complicated beast so IMHO, trying to find underlying causes for the disparity beyond happy randomness is most likely chasing ghosts.
    "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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