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Thread: Bruce to CF, Frazier to RF on Votto return?

  1. #31
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Bruce to CF, Frazier to RF on Votto return?

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    Just proves that WAR is flawed IMO.
    No. it actually shows that WAR does exactly what one would hope it would do.

    According to the numbers, Stubbs has been a neutral defensive CFer this season thus far. In this offensive down year, an average major league bat has posted .255/.319/.406; OPS=.726 good for a wOBA of .316. So Stubbs' bat has been -6.2 runs below average given his playing time thus far. But given his defense and the position he plays, that essentially makes him a roughly average major league player.

    In other words, being one of the best defenders on the field (even if you're just average for your position) while being a tick below average offensively is still a useful thing.

    If Stubbs is proof of anything, his season thus far is proof that WAR works very well.
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  3. #32
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Bruce to CF, Frazier to RF on Votto return?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    So far. Add in the 0.8 bump he would receive as a CF. Add in another 0.7 WAR he would make as he improves and for the rest of the season.

    There's your 5.0 WAR.
    Where does the improvement "value come from? The .8 bump from position was already added in. Also, you're ignoring the pothole that should be expected related to his defense.
    "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: Bruce to CF, Frazier to RF on Votto return?

    Were Bruce to play an entire season in CF, it would be next season. Almost all players who come into the league as young as Bruce and put up the numbers he's put up so far see a fairly big bump in production at the age (and experience level) Bruce will be in 2013 or 2014. (Only two of his 10 most similar batters, according to B-R, dropped over those two years, while six took major leaps forward in OPS+. One was injured and never again the same. One stayed just about the same.)

    I assume the "pothole" he might be defensively wouldn't be all that bad, as most of his negative value doesn't come from a lack of range, but errors and brain locks. His lifetime range factor is well above average for a RF and in fact is pretty close to an average CF.

    (Not that I think he'll be an average CF. He'll be below average. But both Ludwick and Frazier are better than average and will help mitigate that slight problem. And his production as a CF would pretty clearly outshine Stubbs' production. Which, of course, is the biggest reason why this makes sense. It improves the team by a wide margin.)
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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Bruce to CF, Frazier to RF on Votto return?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    No. it actually shows that WAR does exactly what one would hope it would do.

    According to the numbers, Stubbs has been a neutral defensive CFer this season thus far. In this offensive down year, an average major league bat has posted .255/.319/.406; OPS=.726 good for a wOBA of .316. So Stubbs' bat has been -6.2 runs below average given his playing time thus far. But given his defense and the position he plays, that essentially makes him a roughly average major league player.

    In other words, being one of the best defenders on the field (even if you're just average for your position) while being a tick below average offensively is still a useful thing.

    If Stubbs is proof of anything, his season thus far is proof that WAR works very well.
    Average includes pitchers, back-up infielders and journeyman who lower the bar by piling up PAs starting for crummy teams or as an injury fill in. These players should not be pertinent to the evaluation of Stubbs' worthines to play CF every day. The bar should be higher for a starting player who gets 600 PAs. I'm not saying Stubbs can't be a major league role player who starts against LHP, pinch runs and comes in late for defense. But he's not a starting caliber player IMO.

    It could be that my issue is more that people are just using WAR wrong (as frequently occurs with stats). I know WAR is measured against replacement players and probably would be OK if the scale was used properly. Just because a guy has a WAR above zero, it doesn't make them a starting caliber major leaguer. It may mean he belongs on a roster, but what is the expected WAR for some one who is supposed to be in there playing every day? If it shows that Stubbs 1.5 WAR should be playing as was asserted, then its flawed. If you say that measured against a replacement player a guy should have 2.5 to 3 WAR to be a solid starter, then I might back off. The assertion was that because Stubbs has a 1.5 WAR, he deseves to play. I say that he gets that mostly by playing a certain position and being an average defender. I think we could find lots of average defenders to play CF in the minor leagues, so that alone isn't enough. If we could bring up Felix Perez and he plays a decent CF and plays the position alot while not hitting much, he'd have a 1.5 WAR too. That's my issue, it seems that a guy just needs to play a certain spot the way many minor leaguers could to accumulate WAR values. How does that make 1.5 different from zero if there are plenty of minor league players who could do the same thing readily available? Isn't that what WAR is measuring? In Stubbs case, I think there are guys who could play his caliber of defense and hit poorly. Stubbs accumulates WAR with playing time in CF. Its not because he's better, it's because he was a first round pick.
    Last edited by mth123; 08-26-2012 at 12:26 PM.
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    Re: Bruce to CF, Frazier to RF on Votto return?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post

    (Not that I think he'll be an average CF. He'll be below average. But both Ludwick and Frazier are better than average and will help mitigate that slight problem. And his production as a CF would pretty clearly outshine Stubbs' production. Which, of course, is the biggest reason why this makes sense. It improves the team by a wide margin.)
    Ludwick has a -6.8 UZR/150 rating. Alfonso Soriano is +20.2 this year, just as a comparison. Soriano leads qualified left fielders.

  7. #36
    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
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    Re: Bruce to CF, Frazier to RF on Votto return?

    I'm not crazy about lowering the outfield defense ability, but to be able to have Votto/Ludwick/Bruce/Rolen/Frazier all in the lineup, as well as BP/Cozart/Hanigan...I think I'd do it.
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    One and a half men Patrick Bateman's Avatar
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    Re: Bruce to CF, Frazier to RF on Votto return?

    I think the idea works as a strict platoon.

    Stubbs is a great regular against lefties, as he hits them (.840 career OPS) and can field the position. You don't move that out of the starting line-up as that's where he accumulates bascally all of his value.

    However, Stubbs looks pretty bad against righties no matter how you slice it. It helps you can field the position, but he's almost a replacement level player against righties.

    I'm fine giving this idea a chance assuming Bruce's defense in CF and Frazier's defense in right isn't completely disgustingly bad. If they can make the transition somewhat adequately, I think the sum of the parts might improve the Reds a bit, however, I don't think it's as big an upgrade as people think due to the likely defensive decline.

  9. #38
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    Re: Bruce to CF, Frazier to RF on Votto return?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    I'm not crazy about lowering the outfield defense ability, but to be able to have Votto/Ludwick/Bruce/Rolen/Frazier all in the lineup, as well as BP/Cozart/Hanigan...I think I'd do it.
    Yes I think I would do it too and you could always put Stubbs in as a late inning defensive replacement in center.

    I would like this lineup:

    Phillips 2B
    Cozart SS
    Votto 1B
    Ludwick LF
    Bruce CF
    Frazier RF
    Rolen 3B
    Hanigan C

    On the days Rolen needs a rest you put Frazier in a 3rd and Stubbs/Heisey in center and bat them 7th.

  10. #39
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    Re: Bruce to CF, Frazier to RF on Votto return?

    Why not at least try it? What do we have to lose?

  11. #40
    One and a half men Patrick Bateman's Avatar
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    Re: Bruce to CF, Frazier to RF on Votto return?

    Quote Originally Posted by cincrazy View Post
    Why not at least try it? What do we have to lose?
    Well, if both guys turn out to be horrendous defensive players at their new positions, the answer would be "more baseball games".

  12. #41
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Bruce to CF, Frazier to RF on Votto return?

    The Reds played Alonso in LF last year and he was a horrendus defender, but it still had a positive impact on the team. I don't think the defesnive downgrade would be nearly as much and the offensive boost probably a lot bigger given the guys who would be losing the PAs.
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  13. #42
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Bruce to CF, Frazier to RF on Votto return?

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    Average includes pitchers, back-up infielders and journeyman who lower the bar by piling up PAs starting for crummy teams or as an injury fill in. These players should not be pertinent to the evaluation of Stubbs' worthines to play CF every day. The bar should be higher for a starting player who gets 600 PAs. I'm not saying Stubbs can't be a major league role player who starts against LHP, pinch runs and comes in late for defense. But he's not a starting caliber player IMO.

    It could be that my issue is more that people are just using WAR wrong (as frequently occurs with stats). I know WAR is measured against replacement players and probably would be OK if the scale was used properly. Just because a guy has a WAR above zero, it doesn't make them a starting caliber major leaguer. It may mean he belongs on a roster, but what is the expected WAR for some one who is supposed to be in there playing every day? If it shows that Stubbs 1.5 WAR should be playing as was asserted, then its flawed. If you say that measured against a replacement player a guy should have 2.5 to 3 WAR to be a solid starter, then I might back off. The assertion was that because Stubbs has a 1.5 WAR, he deseves to play. I say that he gets that mostly by playing a certain position and being an average defender. I think we could find lots of average defenders to play CF in the minor leagues, so that alone isn't enough. If we could bring up Felix Perez and he plays a decent CF and plays the position alot while not hitting much, he'd have a 1.5 WAR too. That's my issue, it seems that a guy just needs to play a certain spot the way many minor leaguers could to accumulate WAR values. How does that make 1.5 different from zero if there are plenty of minor league players who could do the same thing readily available? Isn't that what WAR is measuring? In Stubbs case, I think there are guys who could play his caliber of defense and hit poorly. Stubbs accumulates WAR with playing time in CF. Its not because he's better, it's because he was a first round pick.
    A major league average player pretty much is a legit starting player. What you're suggesting about WAR isn't really an issue. Playing a certain spot like any minor minor leaguer is replacement level. Stubbs' bat has been below average but it's been significantly better than the bat of "any minor leaguer".

    I'm not saying the Reds couldn't upgrade CF. Clearly CF has not been a strength this season relative to other CFers.

    I'm simply pointing out that upgrading CF by rearranging the outfield with Bruce sliding to center and Frazier manning a corner will also have an associated cost as the defense is likely to take a noticeable hit which is going to impact the pitching staff.

    Right now the Reds team ERA is abut 30-35 pts lower than it's FIP/xFIP. Guys like Bronson, Latos and Homer all have lower ERAs that fall with that range (Cueto's difference is slightly bigger). You'd expect a significant reduction in outfield defense to raise the ERA (tighten the differences).

    In other words, RS could improve but RA would likely blunt the advantage. There was a time when I would have argued that Bruce could be a passable CFer. I'd argue it's a fairly risky move in 2012 considering his last 2500 or so defensive innings where he's beginning to show a lesser range than his corner peers. He might be a double digit bad defensive CFer over a season.

    Meanwhile Stubbs' unimpressive neutral defense currently makes him the 6th most valuable defensive CFer in the game this season.
    "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

  14. #43
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    Re: Bruce to CF, Frazier to RF on Votto return?

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    The Reds played Alonso in LF last year and he was a horrendus defender, but it still had a positive impact on the team. I don't think the defesnive downgrade would be nearly as much and the offensive boost probably a lot bigger given the guys who would be losing the PAs.
    LF is one thing. CF is another.

    I think the day of the Reds playing corner outfielders in CF are over. They value CF too much. Agree with Jojo's post above.

    Most teams are willing to play subpar LFers defensively. Looking at the UZR rating, it's arguable that Ludwick has been below average.

    But CF is another story. I don't think the Reds will do this, particularly so late in the year. I don't think they want to start putting Bruce in a new, important defensive position right now.

    Maybe we'll see more of Heisey, like today. Long shot, Reds try to get a CFer on a waiver trade, but again it's a long shot.

  15. #44
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Bruce to CF, Frazier to RF on Votto return?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    A major league average player pretty much is a legit starting player.
    This is where I think we've watered down what a starting player should be. If he's average, and average includes back-ups, pitchers and the like, he's got to be below average as capable starters go.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

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  16. #45
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Bruce to CF, Frazier to RF on Votto return?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    LF is one thing. CF is another.

    I think the day of the Reds playing corner outfielders in CF are over. They value CF too much. Agree with Jojo's post above.

    Most teams are willing to play subpar LFers defensively. Looking at the UZR rating, it's arguable that Ludwick has been below average.

    But CF is another story. I don't think the Reds will do this, particularly so late in the year. I don't think they want to start putting Bruce in a new, important defensive position right now.

    Maybe we'll see more of Heisey, like today. Long shot, Reds try to get a CFer on a waiver trade, but again it's a long shot.
    Completely agree that LF is one thing and CF is something else, I just have a hard time belieiving that Bruce in CF and Frazier in RF will accumulate to as big a drop as the team took defensively with Alonso in LF. He was't just poor, he was absolutely brutal. I can't believe the combo proposed would give away more bases than Alonso did on his own in 2011.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS


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