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Saturday, April 05, 2008

Intentional Blog on Balls

In case anyone finds their way to this blog, I wanted to let you know that I'm now writing at Intentional Blog on Balls.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Well, that last series appears to have been helpful.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

jbox asked, "Can we say Peavy sucks?"

(Stats used are prior to his July 21 start)

Based on his strikeout rate, unintentional walk rate, and the types of batted balls he's allowed, Peavy should be doing well. Basically, he's allowed 3 more singles, 7 more doubles, 3 more triples and 3 more home runs than you'd expect given his batted balls allowed and an average fielding team in a neutral park. Now, the three home runs could be explained away by the fact that the park has been kind to home run hitters this year. The extra hits that stayed in the park are strange given that the Padres turn batted balls into outs better than any team in the Majors other than the Tigers.

Combine that with the fact that he's grouped those hits, walks and outs in a most unfortunate way and you're looking at an ERA not in line with how Jake has pitched.

There's a few ways one could disagree with this.

1) You believe that a line drive allowed by one pitcher is more/less likely to be an out/hit than one allowed by another pitcher. Read: it's a pitcher's skill that determines if a ball lined to center is caught or not.

2) You believe that batted ball data is not tracked well enough to be used in any real analysis. Debatable.

3) You believe that component ERA means less in determining how well a pitcher pitched than actual ERA. Read: Pitcher A and Pitcher B both allow three singles and a double, but the fact that Pitcher B allowed them Double, Single, Single, Single instead of Single, Single, Single, Double means he pitched better than Pitcher A.

4) You really believe Peavy sucks and there's no convincing you otherwise.

Friday, July 14, 2006

NL West Division Race (Playoff Odds)

The above graph is based on BP's Postseason Odds Report.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Khalil's Plate Discipline

It was mentioned by Geoff Young that Greene's plate discipline has returned to his 2004 levels. While his BB/PA rate is now .001 lower than it was in 2004, his plate discipline has actually increased significantly. Greene put up a .096 BB/PA in '04 compared to a .095 this year, but his unintentional walk rate has actually climbed from .078 to .095. Greene may have had a .349 OBP in 2004, but without the intentional passes he got for batting infront of the pitcher it would have been .337.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Fire Bruce Bochy (2)

Yesterday's game went 14 innings. Bruce Bochy is good for a couple of blunders in a 9 inning game.

Before one pitch was thrown, you could see that Bochy was already working to avoid the sweep. Having managed bad teams for years and thus trying to avoid the sweep with some regularity, perhaps Bochy merely views all sweeps as negative. If so, someone should let him know it's only bad when the Padres get swept. Bruce decided to start Eric Young. Eric Young is either the worst player or second worst player on the team depending upon which stats you're looking at. Not only did Young start, but he was batting second. Now, batting order isn't the most important thing in the world, but there is still some effect and as a general rule you just don't put your worst hitters at the top of the lneup. Basic stuff. Eric Young came up to bat 5 times during the game and was not pinch hit for once. He should have been. Both his bat and glove are liabilities.

In the top of the 9th, Sweeney replaced Linebrink. I don't so much have an issue with this move as I have an issue with Sweeney being the low leverage guy. That position should really belong to Adkins and/or Cassidy. Both have put up negative WXRL this year.

In the bottom of the inning, Eric Young was allowed to hit for himself. That's no good. Johnson should have been hitting there.

In the tenth, Bochy partially redeemed himself going to his closer in a tie game and finally getting EY out of left field.

In the eleventh, Bochy blew it again. Hoffman had only thrown eleven pitches. He's thrown more than double that in an inning without needing to be removed. Hoffman should have still been on the mound. Instead, Bochy goes to the 'pen. Not only does he go to the 'pen, he goes to the 'pen for one of his least effective relievers, Jon Adkins. Perhaps Embree is unavailable, you might have thought, but that proved false when after Adkins nearly gave the game away in came Embree.

In the 14th, Bochy made another pitching change. He was forced to bring in Cassidy. That's the sort of thing that happens when you pull your closer too soon and you use your better relievers in low leverage situations.

The solution?

Fire Bruce Bochy.

Good news, too

Paul DePodesta joins Padres front office. I'd just like to take this time to say, "Yay!"

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Top 100 San Diego Padres: #81 Scott Linebrink

The following is a guest article by Geoff Young of Ducksnorts, the San Diego Padres blog.


One of the shrewdest moves Padres GM Kevin Towers has made during his decade at the helm was plucking Linebrink off the waiver wire in late May 2003. The Astros had removed Linebrink from their roster to accommodate Geoff Blum, who was coming off the disabled list.

Linebrink promptly became one of the premier relievers in baseball, compiling an ERA lower than all but two other pitchers (the Yankees' Mariano Rivera and the Angels' Francisco Rodriguez) during his first three years in San Diego. Featuring a mid-90s fastball and nasty splitter, he has complemented closer Trevor Hoffman well as the Padres' top setup man.

Despite some injury issues in his minor-league career, Linebrink has proven to be quite durable, working in 73 games in both 2004 and 2005. When it looked as though Hoffman might bolt to Cleveland following the 2005 season, Linebrink was next in line to assume the role of closer. Although he has not performed in that capacity as a professional, there is little question that he would succeed if given the opportunity.

Linebrink is a better pitcher than most big-league closers today. The Padres are fortunate to have him waiting in the wings should anything happen to Hoffman.