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View Poll Results: Who is Redszone's #7 prospect?

Voters
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  • RHP Brad Boxberger

    18 22.50%
  • LHP Tony Cingrani

    2 2.50%
  • UT Todd Frazier

    3 3.75%
  • RHP Kyle Lotzkar

    0 0%
  • OF Yorman Rodriguez

    5 6.25%
  • OF Dave Sappelt

    4 5.00%
  • 1B Neftali Soto

    13 16.25%
  • RHP Robert Stephenson

    23 28.75%
  • 2B Ron Torreyes

    12 15.00%
  • other (please list below)

    0 0%
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Thread: Who is Redszone's #7 prospect?

  1. #61
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #7 prospect?

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    Papelbon says hi. so does Feliz. Joba says hello.

    all three were groomed as starters, all three are in the pen. They could have been effective starters. they are much better in relief. IMO it is a matter of mental makeup more than talent.
    I tend to agree and would posit that if their teams felt they could have been comparably effective as starters over 200 IP, they'd be using them that way. A good starter is much harder to come by than a good reliever and teams know this. But is a good starter harder to come by than an elite reliever?

    There's definitely a bias in the .5 ERA adjustment. Teams simply don't make starters out of guys who they don't think have a chance of succeeding there. So you can't fairly just take a reliever and add half a run to his ERA and claim that's how he'd be as a starter. The pool of pitchers who display that .5 difference are the ones who teams felt had a good shot at succeeding. It selects out those who teams felt were not worth the attempt.

    I don't know about the other guys, but I know there were concerns about Joba's ability to get deep enough in to games a starter. There was also a concern that his stuff dropped off significantly in that role. In some ways, he reminds of Chapman. It may not be appropriate to look at the standard ERA adjustment if Joba is not comparable to pitchers who usually make the switch.

    I think this can get clouded though because of how things play out sometimes. A guy who came up in the minors as a starter is ready, but there isn't initially a spot in the rotation for him, so he starts in the bullpen. There was always some doubt about his eventual role, so there's not really any push-back at the time -- or it was simply an issue of getting some value from him and not holding him back. He then does quite well in relief. In subsequent seasons, rotation opportunities arise. However, the "fit" questions haven't gone away and now there's a risk associated with the move, as you'd have to bring in somebody to fill his spot in the pen. Your options there are comprised of:
    - Expensive FA who is supposedly a "sure thing" in terms of performance, but who basically closes the door to the relief spot, which could leave the reliever-cum-starter in limbo of cost somebody else on your team a job
    - Cheap FA who is likely a step down in performance, but who could be displaced easily if the starting experiment doesn't work out
    - Cheap in-house option who either represents a likely step down in performance or who is a very comparable guy (minor league starter looking to break-in)

    So unless the guy blows the doors off in a limited trial (ST, spot starts, etc.), the team sticks with what it knows works and what causes the least amount of uncertainty.

    I'm as liable as anyone to assume I know better and that said great reliever could have been more valuable as a good starter. And I cite the above dynamic as evidence that the team is making a decision based on risk-aversion rather than value-maximization. But I think it's probably worth giving teams the benefit of the doubt. The Red Sox were desperate for SP, had a closer in waiting and had a very smart brain trust. If they had any belief that Papelbon could have converted and performed well, I think they would have tried. Maybe it's a mental thing. Maybe it's a physical thing. None of us really knows. But the answer is sort of beside the point.

    Another case to think of is this:

    Pitcher A could be a 4.00 ERA starter or a 3.00 ERA closer. Pitcher B could be a 4.00 ERA starter or a 3.75 ERA closer. Therefore, the team uses pitcher A as a closer. It may not maximize his individual value in a bubble, but it's the best move for the team. Obviously that's simplified, but essentially the notion is that the guy would be harder to replace as a very good closer than as a pretty good starter.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 11-03-2011 at 01:16 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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  3. #62
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    Re: Who is Redszone's #7 prospect?

    Based on... assertion? I would posit that if their teams felt they could have been comparably effective as starters over 200 IP, they'd be using them that way. A good starter is much harder to come by than a good reliever.

    Perhaps the case you're making is this:

    Pitcher A could be a 4.00 ERA starter or a 3.00 ERA closer. Pitcher B could be a 4.00 ERA starter or a 3.75 ERA closer. Therefore, the team uses pitcher A as a closer. It may not maximize his individual value in a bubble, but it's the best move for the team. Obviously that's simplified, but essentially the notion is that the guy would be harder to replace as a very good closer than as a pretty good starter.

    There's definitely a bias in the .5 ERA adjustment as teams don't make starters out of guys who they don't think have a chance of succeeding. So you can't fairly just take a reliever and add half a run to his ERA and claim that's how he'd be as a starter.

    I don't know about the other guys, but I know there were concerns about Joba's ability to get deep enough in to games a starter. There was also a concern that his stuff dropped off significantly in that role. In some ways, he reminds of Chapman. You're not looking at your standard ERA adjustment but rather a much larger one. From a process standpoint, I think you see how it plays out pretty regularly. When the guy is ready, there isn't initially a spot in the rotation for him, so he starts in the bullpen. There was always some doubt about his eventual role, so there's not really any push-back. He does well there. In subsequent seasons, rotation opportunities arise. However, the "fit" questions haven't gone away and now there's a risk associated with the move, as you have to bring in somebody to fill his spot in the pen. So unless the guy blows the doors off in a limited trial (ST, spot starts, etc.), the team sticks with what it knows works.

    I'm as liable as anyone to assume I know better and that said reliever could have been a good starter. And I cite the above dynamic as evidence that the team is making a decision based on risk-aversion rather than value-maximization. But I think it's probably worth giving teams the benefit of the doubt. The Red Sox were desperate for SP, had a closer in waiting and had a very smart brain trust. If they had any belief that Papelbon could have converted and performed well, I think they would have tried.
    Solid post.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini


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