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Thread: Is Cueto really an ace?

  1. #91
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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    We know that the velocity of a batted ball can effect the outcome of a batted ball, and we certainly can suppose a pitcher may be able to influence the outtcome of a batted ball with one of his pitches from work that guys like Fast, Kalk etc have done. But what we know for certain is that very few pitchers historically have lower than expected BABIP. That's a large regression elephant to have to step around when one wants to argue a narrative that pitchers command contact quality.
    You are assuming that there is a correlation between BABIP and inducing weak contact. I would think the more important correlation would be between slugging percentage and inducing weak contact, especially since that leads more to runs scored.

    Ask most pitchers who try to induce weak contact, and they will tell you their goal into reduce the number of extra base hits, especially home runs, not to limit the number of hits.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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  3. #92
    On the brink wolfboy's Avatar
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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    In other words, "aces."
    More like once in a generation types.
    How do we know he's not Mel Torme?

  4. #93
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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    You are assuming that there is a correlation between BABIP and inducing weak contact. I would think the more important correlation would be between slugging percentage and inducing weak contact, especially since that leads more to runs scored.

    Ask most pitchers who try to induce weak contact, and they will tell you their goal into reduce the number of extra base hits, especially home runs, not to limit the number of hits.
    Every pitcher tries to induce weak contact. Are you actually suggesting that some aren't?

    The correlation between slugging and weak contact could simply be related to slugging and GB rates. Groundballs aren't going for home runs, so their slugging is going to tend to be lower. Get more grounders, lower your slugging against.

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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Every pitcher tries to induce weak contact. Are you actually suggesting that some aren't?

    The correlation between slugging and weak contact could simply be related to slugging and GB rates. Groundballs aren't going for home runs, so their slugging is going to tend to be lower. Get more grounders, lower your slugging against.
    Well, I did spend the last decade watching Reds pitchers, so I have to say that it seemed like some pitchers weren't trying that hard. lol

    Good point about GB and SLG. I just think that that is only part of the story. If you get a hitter off balance, you'll get as many week flyballs as weak ground balls. And there are a lot of ground balls that are scorched.

    I don't know what better data about types of contact will reveal, but I think it's worth pursuing.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    I think it's important to remember that it's both the what and the how much. Roy Halladay and Greg Maddux walk less than half the number of runners Cueto does. Brandon Webb had a GB:FB ratio more than twice Cueto's. Yes, there are similarities between their styles, but it's like comparing Jeff Keppinger to Pete Rose. The details matter.

    And the thing is, it shows in their peripheral-based ERA estimators like FIP. Halladay has a career ERA of 3.22 and a career FIP of 3.30 (xFIP of 3.15). Webb's FIPs during his peak were in the 3.25 range. Maddux's was down in the 2s. Can pitchers sustain ERAs less than their FIP/xFIP/SIERA? Sure. But it's by a few tenths of a point, not a full run.

    The reality is that the things a pitcher can do to induce weak contact are the exact same things he does to minimize walks and homers and maximize strikeouts. All of the deception and off-balance and so forth is absolutely true/real -- but by-and-large, it shows up in the peripherals.

    Just consider, does the pitcher really control whether the batter swings and misses completely or swings and just catches the edge of his bat on the ball -- an inch worth of difference? Can he choose which one happens? And more to the point, could he choose to start inducing more weak contact without it affecting his other peripherals?
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 04-06-2012 at 05:52 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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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    Maddux, Webb, and Halladay also tended to put up K/9 over or near 7 in their most dominant years.
    I would expect that 10 years from now we'll be saying the same thing about Cueto (though Maddux, Webb and Halladay all won Cy Youngs with sub-7.0 K/9s). Cueto has a career K/9 of 7.0 and I'd expect him to be somewhere within a normal variance of that number this season. Cueto's not posting red flag K/9s. His 2011 K/9 was a bit lower than normal and it was more than offset by his HR/9 dropping to 0.5.

    Point being, I don't see anything preventing Cueto from having dominant seasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick
    Just consider, does the pitcher really control whether the batter swings and misses completely or swings and just catches the edge of his bat on the ball -- an inch worth of difference? Can he choose which one happens? And more to the point, could he choose to start inducing more weak contact without it affecting his other peripherals?
    I don't think it's a matter of choice, so much as a matter of stuff. Cueto's got stuff. He throws pitches with lots of movement and he can locate them.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    Cueto's career k/9 is a tad under 7 but it hasn't been 7 or above since 2008 having decreased each year since being promoted to the majors. At this point it would probably be surprising for him to have a k/9 of 7 or greater.
    "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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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    I would expect that 10 years from now we'll be saying the same thing about Cueto (though Maddux, Webb and Halladay all won Cy Youngs with sub-7.0 K/9s). Cueto has a career K/9 of 7.0 and I'd expect him to be somewhere within a normal variance of that number this season. Cueto's not posting red flag K/9s. His 2011 K/9 was a bit lower than normal and it was more than offset by his HR/9 dropping to 0.5.

    Point being, I don't see anything preventing Cueto from having dominant seasons.

    I don't think it's a matter of choice, so much as a matter of stuff. Cueto's got stuff. He throws pitches with lots of movement and he can locate them.
    You're right, his K/9 is fine. He can be a dominant starter with his strikeout rate. however, in order to be dominant with a strikeout rate like his, you have to be stellar on the walks and homers front. He's good, but not great in terms of walks. And while he was very good in terms of HRs in 2011, that low HR rate was only partly due to his higher GB rate. There was a healthy dose of luck. Pick whatever weak-contact guy you want and check out his HR/FB. Cueto can limit how many flyballs he gives up, but he can't control how many of those FBs turn in to HRs -- not to the extent that he appeared to in 2011.

    If he can lower the BBs and sustain a very high GB rate, he can be dominant. But if he keeps putting up the same peripherals this year that he put up last year, he will not be dominant.
    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 Cueto really an ace?

    FWIW, Maddox kept his HR/FB% well below ML average during his prime years.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    You are assuming that there is a correlation between BABIP and inducing weak contact. I would think the more important correlation would be between slugging percentage and inducing weak contact, especially since that leads more to runs scored.

    Ask most pitchers who try to induce weak contact, and they will tell you their goal into reduce the number of extra base hits, especially home runs, not to limit the number of hits.
    I'm assuming there is a strong correlation between BABIP and SLG
    "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 Cueto really an ace?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    I'm assuming there is a strong correlation between BABIP and SLG
    Then pitchers who give up less homeruns would have lower BABIP and visa versa. Or are you saying that pitchers have little control over their SLG?
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    Then pitchers who give up less homeruns would have lower BABIP and visa versa. Or are you saying that pitchers have little control over their SLG?
    They have little control over whether a flyball is a HR. BTW, HR are not included in BABIP because they are not balls in play.
    "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 Cueto really an ace?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    They have little control over whether a flyball is a HR. BTW, HR are not included in BABIP because they are not balls in play.
    So you are saying that pitchers have little control over their SLG? Because the stats say otherwise.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

  15. #104
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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    So you are saying that pitchers have little control over their SLG? Because the stats say otherwise.
    Stats support that pitchers have little control over whether a flyball is a HR.
    "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

  16. #105
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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Stats support that pitchers have little control over whether a flyball is a HR.
    But that is not the same as saying that they have little control over their SLG.

    And this is the only way I can think of in which their BABIP correlates to their SLG.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.


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