2/25/2011 5:21 PM
Posted by MikeT23 on 12/30/2010 10:11:00 AM (view original):
I will assume you are part of the nerd faction. 

I'll try to break it down for you in a language you understand.   .250 is considered mediocre, .300 is considered good.   The difference between the two is about 1 hit PER WEEK over the course of a season.   Blooper, broken bat dribbler, poor jump by a fielder, etc, etc. can turn a player from an also ran to an All-Star in a season.   An AB, game, week, season are all small sample sizes. 

You can work with career averages and get an idea of probabilities but you can't figure out the outcome.   Because the outcome is from that small sample size of an AB or game.

That's why the game of baseball can't be wrapped up in nice, tidy number by statnerds. 
Is this a reason not to be convinced?  All your numbers are based on seasons, and those are apparently small sample sizes.  So your data is meaningless.  Sorry.
2/25/2011 5:30 PM
Very distinct pattern over 4 seasons with a substanial control group(roughly 40% of a pitching staff).  If you'd rather not be convinced or you're generally disinterested, so be it. 

Although I do think it's still a small sample size.
2/25/2011 7:30 PM
I don't think anyone is arguing that defense doesn't make a difference in pitching.  But I do think you are missing a couple of key points when drawing your conclusions.

PA/HR
7-   46.6
8-   38.7
9-   33.5
10- 52.4

The biggest improvers in ERA the past two years were Etherton (4.51 to 1.76) and Wilkerson (4.74 to 2.12).  Etherton was giving up a HR every 32.1 PAs last season and is giving one up every 94.6 PAs this season.  Wilkerson went from a HR every 26.3 PAs last year to one every 45.2 PAs this year.  Next:

PA/BB
7-   15.0
8-   13.9
9-   11.3
10- 12.3

Moreno is the only one who saw his walk rate increase, and he looks to have made the move from Starter to Reliever as his IP/G went from (5.32 to 4.03), and has went from 11.7 PA/BB to 9.9 PA/BB.  The player with the greatest improvement went the other way, from Reliever to Starter.  Mota was throwing 2.81 IP/G last season and is throwing 4.73 IP/G this season.  In the process he went from walking a batter every 7.8 PAs to walking a batter every 12.1 PAs.  I know the thought is that roles really don't effect performance, but these two having me considering that role might play some sort of impact (Wilkerson also took the closer spot from Etherton, so they also switched roles).

So yes, your defense did help to improve your pitching.  OAV went from .266 to .221, but you really should discount the non-defense related effects that have also help to improve your staff ERA.
2/25/2011 7:46 PM

The HR are definitely the cause for the increase in ERA.   I don't pay much mind to ERA wrt RP.   As for LR/SP, most of my guys are interchangeable.  I bounce them around.  Generally, I shorten LR's PC by 10 pitches or so.  The biggest thing to me is the change in WHIP.  The negative/positive plays are the difference.  In general, a positive play creates an out and a negative play creates another baserunner.   I certainly haven't counted which pitchers get the +/- plays but I'd just assume is proportionate with IP.   Less batters faced, less homers.

2/25/2011 7:53 PM
It should be less HR overall absolutely, but I wouldn't expect such a change in rates HR are hit.
2/25/2011 8:26 PM
AL homers per season:
S7-233
S8-217
S9-191
S10-204(on pace)
3/22/2011 8:55 AM
The final installment for the same 5 pitchers with no rating changes:

Sea

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

K

WHIP

ERA

Plus

Neg

Flg%

10

538

479

189

177

52

180

384

1.22

2.96

83

6

0.986

9

487

505

265

250

63

190

341

1.43

4.62

66

42

0.986

8

606

610

280

255

66

184

419

1.31

3.79

88

21

0.986

7

594

518

238

220

61

162

445

1.15

3.34

84

16

0.985

3/22/2011 11:23 AM
This is a very interesting thread.  Too bad I didn't have time for forums while my family and I moved across the country.  Anyway, as Mike's division rival in this league, I prefer to give the 30K foot view. 

My team won the WS in Season 4 and the LCS in Season 5.  I decided that since that team was aging, I would go into full rebuild mode starting in Season 7.  So I plucked speed and defense from the Rule 5 draft over the next couple of seasons and played almost every position on the field with guys ratings greater than the the recs.

Long story short is that while I rebuilt, the speed and defense carried me, and all of the pitchers I acquired "mysteriously" overperformed from their career norms.  Except for Etherton, who pitches great for Mike, but totally sucked for me (ain't randomness grand?).  I increased my win total to 100 during the "rebuild" season and have continued to contend.

If you were to look at defense +/- totals and ratios over the past several seasons, you'll see without running a correlation that the top teams will generally cluster around the top of either the total plus plays, ratios, or both. 

I don't need a detailed to study to be able to intuitively see the relationship.  If I had a guy like Snow on my team in Mantle (I can't get Jonas to trade him to me), I would probably DH him.  If I was in the NL, I'd probably trade him, much as I would hate to, to an AL team.  (BTW Jonas, you are welcome to take my advice and trade him to me - I'm in the AL).

I think defense is very hard to quantify and the effects aren't really seen on an individual basis.  This is only a hunch, but I don't think you see linear improvement by adding one or two excellent defenders.  I think you see it in total context.  One thing I regularly do is select my lineup based on my starting pitcher and because I value rest (kind of to the extreme), I shuffle guys around the field throughout the season.  When a flyball pitcher pitches, I stack the outfield with better range, sometimes at the expense of the infield, but rarely since most of my players are excellent defensively.  When a groundball pitcher pitches, the infield is solid.

I have pitchers that if you look at their ratings are good, but there are many better pitchers.  I don't have a real bona fide ace, like most of the other contenders.  I do have very solid to very good pitchers, but not to the same level as most of the Cy contenders, at least according to ratings.  But every season, the staff, as a whole outperforms their counterparts who a lot of times have better ratings.  Home park is a factor, but they're good every season.

Great thread.
3/22/2011 11:41 AM
Jeez, finally someone who sees this as a big deal. 

I've always looked at + plays as a bonus and never paid them much mind.    I looked at negative plays in the same light as errors.   So they were evil and had to be eliminated.  So, for 65-70 seasons, I put little value on + plays.    This has completely changed my mind. 
3/22/2011 12:29 PM

So.... based on this data, you'd move Jeter to left field since he's pretty much led the league in negative plays from SS for the last decade.

3/22/2011 12:32 PM
I'm not the manager or owner of the New York Yankees.   And they haven't asked my opinion while winning all those games. 
3/22/2011 2:29 PM
As far as quantifying defense in real life, I actually think the graviation toward UZR is a lost cause.  I think there are way too many variables to isolate, context matters, and wild fluctuations from season to season with individual players casts all kinds of doubt on its reliability.  I like the idea of trying to quantify, but the simple fact of the matter is there are too many situations to try to isolate.  Since my team (the Mariners) are the poster children for buying into this, I'll toss out some of what I perceive to by hypothetical problems with trying to measure defense.

How often does a good cf get plays taken away by a good rf because he knows the rf can also get to a ball that he can?

How often does leverage play a role?  For example, when you're down 12-2, will you hustle in the same manner as you would to try to save a game?  How is that captured?

What about unreported minor injury or soreness?  I've heard it said it takes 3 full seasons to get enough data.  With the wild fluctuations, it's really hard to buy into it.

3/22/2011 2:38 PM
I've not been a proponent of UZR either.  I actually took some delight in the Mariners failures because they were the "hot" team based off his new stat. 
4/29/2011 2:51 PM
I have no idea what UZR is and have no desire to learn. Anyway MikeT23's observations are 100% correct.
4/29/2011 3:11 PM
Too bad.  Ultimate Zone Rating.  

HBDGirl and friend all geeked up over UZR.



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