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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I'm Still Here

Despite a not-so-subtle prodding from Richard, I have been pretty scarce around here.

Same as our readers.

One excuse is the devastation of hurricane Katrina. The flooding and catastrophic damage to my favorite place in the world, New Orleans, has me concerned. I have many friends in that town; my wife and I try to visit at least every three months. We even got married there. Think some good thoughts for the entire region, if I may ask.

I am not, however, concerned about the Padres' playoff hopes. They are absolutely going to win the NL West. I like being in first place with a mediocre record much better than being in third place with a good record. Just get to the postseason, and I'll take my chances.

Isn't it nice to see that Xavier Nady has finally seen the evils of adultery, and broken it off with Bruce Bochy's wife?

I'll end the most incohesive, pointless post in the history of blogdom by pointing out that the inimitable Padre Mike has a blog, of which I was unaware until about 15 minutes ago. Check it out at : http://padretalk.blogspot.com/


Monday, August 29, 2005

Giles Down, Johnson Up

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Gilly is apparently on the shelf for the next couple of days thanks to a bone bruise suffered in a collision with Dave Roberts on Sunday. Bochy commented on the radio this morning that Ben Johnson would likely take his place in right field. That news coupled with this article has made me a happy Padre fan. I have been impressed by Johnson for a while and thankfully his batting average caught up to his other numbers this year and it looks like he'll get a chance in the show. I'll probably take a closer look at what Johnson has done at Future Friars later.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

There Was No Game Today

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And so I was forced to blog at BtB, read it here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Peavy Dominates Astros

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Last night, Houston hitters combined to bat .125/.176/.188 against Jake. Using the simple RC formula (OBA*TB), that's 1.06 Runs Created. Peavy was able to maintain the shutout, though, and in doing so defeated his idol, Roger Clemens, who also threw a complete game.

I have more to say, but no time to say it. Hopefully Lance can post something...

Monday, August 22, 2005


Aaron Gleeman's latest column at The Hardball Times is entitled "The Winning Machine."

And yet it is not about Dave Roberts. How can this be???

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Records vs. NL Playoff Teams

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If the season were to end today, the Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals would be going to the playoffs. Only four teams have a combined record of .500 or better against those teams. They are the Phillies, the Dodgers, the Mets and the Padres. If you remove the Phillies from the equation (since they only have a half game lead in the Wild Card), there are still only four teams with .500 or better records against the division leaders. They are the Padres, Phillies, Dodgers and Cubs.

The Padres are a combined 9-3 against the Braves and Cardinals. Only one other team can claim a winning record against the Braves and Cardinals this season.

Basically, you have to like the Padres' chances in the playoffs because they have beaten these teams when no one else has.

Some Braves players have been quoted saying they'd rather play the Padres in the first round. Funny. I was hoping for that, too.

Friday, August 19, 2005

NL West Race (Graph)

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Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The NL West

Another stupid Padre fan...

In response to my assertion that RBI's are highly lineup dependent:
Maybe only to you stat geeks who made up a bunch of useless, crap stats to make you sound like you know wha you're talking about.

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At this point, 83 wins should be enough to win the division. Currently, all 5 teams mathematically have a shot at that number. The table below shows the record each team would need to maintain to capture the NL West crown:

Team W L W%
San Diego 25 20 0.556
Arizona 27 16 0.628
Los Angeles 30 15 0.667
San Francisco 32 13 0.711
Colorado 38 5 0.884

The odds of any team in the NL West playing .600 ball over the remaing 40+ games aren't good. If the Padres can manage to not get swept by the Diamondbacks and Dodgers, they shouldn't have a problem winning the division.

I've actually heard people on the local radio stations say they would rather lose the division than win it with a sub-.500 record. [hyperbole]That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.[/hyperbole] What are those people thinking? Were the 2004 Red Sox, 2003 Marlins, and 2002 Angels so ashamed of making the playoffs despite not winning their division that they didn't show up? Did the 2000 Yankees say that an 87-win team didn't deserve to be in the playoffs and phone it in? Your regular season record has nothing to do with how you do in the playoffs. The 1998 Yankees are the only 100+ win team to win the Series since they added the Wild Card and they're also the only team to rank as high as second in regular season wins the year they won it. In 2000, the Yankees were 9th in regular season wins.

The playoffs are a crapshoot and if the Padres can make it, they have as good a shot of winning it as just about anyone else.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Link Added!

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Lance suggested that Fire Joe Morgan be added. I agreed and so it has been. The guys there are hilarious. Example one liner:
It's all so hip and ironic and kitschy and cute that I want to punch him in the face.

You have to love that. No, you really have to.

Greene Out Two to Three Weeks

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EQA Run Estimates

The following chart lists teams by the percentage difference between their EQA estimated run totals and actual run totals. I'm not sure if you should expect teams to approach zero over a long period of time, or if it is more to do with management or what. Make of it what you will:

SLN 0.071
OAK 0.045
CHA 0.038
SEA 0.038
ANA 0.037
SFN 0.034
KCA 0.030
NYN 0.024
TOR 0.018
PIT 0.017
LAN 0.016
CIN 0.016
COL 0.008
ATL 0.006
BOS 0.000
HOU 0.000
TEX -0.002
FLO -0.009
PHI -0.011
MIL -0.011
MIN -0.012
DET -0.015
SDN -0.020
NYA -0.026
WAS -0.027
TBA -0.029
CLE -0.041
CHN -0.046
ARI -0.073
BAL -0.074

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Stupid Padre Fans

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I recently read the following on a Padres Web Forum:
So, to sum up that deal with Oakland in 2004 when the Padres got Hernandez and Terrence Long: The padres get a high draft pick and Paul Quantrill for Mark Kotsay (who had a bad back at the time). Did the Padres give up something other than Kotsay for both Long and Hernandez? Kotsay was having a good year in Oakland until his back starting hurting again.

What kind of idiot logic is that? It's similar to suggesting that a draft pick was wasted because the player played for the team, but when he retired we were left with nothing. This sort of logic, in which all positives related to a transaction are ignored in order to suggest that the aforementioned transaction is a failure, is rampant among Padre fans and it annoys me to no end.

Another gem:
However, other then homeruns, his numbers are very similar. He is still batting in the .290-.300 range, an on-base pct. well over .400, and alot of doubles and triples. Even has a good glove and stolen base pct. (10 last year). Cannot ask for much more.

And RBI's? Oh thats right, Klesko is driving in all those runs before Giles gets up.

The bold text was a response to the regular text above it. Rather than get into that again, I think I'll just quote from the BP Basics:
So, highly context-dependent counting stats like RBI and runs scored can be inflated or deflated by a panoply of factors that have nothing to do with that hitter's true abilities. One of the prevailing missions of sabermetrics is to evaluate the player in a vacuum: What's he doing independently of his teammates and environment? Using only RBI or runs scored to judge a player or to frame an argument at the tavern is a fool's errand.

Why is that so damned difficult to understand?

This one is even better
I have no idea why the Padres traded Nevin when they likely did not get any salary relief and certainly didnt improve the team this year and beyond.

I know Nevin is producing a little less then normal, but when the team isnt scoring and you dont have a replacement who is likely to do better, then why do you trade him if you are not going to improve offensively?

Nevin also wants to be in San Diego and has a passion for the game that brings his teammates together. I dont care if he bitches about the park being too big and gets in Towers face. I think that fire is something the Padres are lacking and too much complacency contributes to serious losing streaks like the one the Padres are on now.

If you are trading him to fill a need or to get better or to dump a salary, then I wouldnt complain as much, but we traded him for Chan Ho Park, who is a dog with a contract as big as Nevins. While our pitching isnt very good, I dont think Park is the answer. Trading Nevin did not dump a salary, it just exchanged one and we are not better because of it.

I am at a loss over this trade and it just does not make sense in any way I look at it. The only explanation I can think of is that maybe they did it because management has come to the realization that Tim Stauffer absolutely sucks.

Stauffer and Matt Bush have to be the worst back to back top 5 draft picks by a team in the history of baseball.

The bolded sentences are that way because they are my favorites. To suggest that the Padres had no replacements for Nevin that were any better is so preposterous that you can't even be annoyed by it. It's just too damn funny. The Tim Stauffer comments, on the other hand, are impossibly stupid and really do get to me.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

I Hate the Phillies

The Double Standard

Normally, ESPN is terrible, but I found Jayson Stark's article, The Double Standard, rather interesting. It's a question that has probably crossed the minds of most baseball fans, but this is the first I've seen anyone write about it. Why don't we care when pitchers cheat, but are incensed when hitters do? Stark claims that it's due to worshipping the home run. I don't have a better answer, so I guess I'll work on that assumption. The other original point Stark made was that while people talk of placing asterisks on individual records, not one person ever suggests doing the same to wins and losses. After all, Barry Bonds was a major reason for the Giants making the World Series. Perhaps they should take down their NL Champions banner.

Then again, I don't think steroids have anywhere near the effect people claim they have on performance, so I don't particularly care. I just thought Stark's point of view was interesting.

Link Added

Noticed another regularly updated Padre blog: Josh's Baseball Blog.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Padres Lose By One, Nady Watches From Bench

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Going into today's game, the Padres' five best hitters (statistically speaking, of course) were Mark Sweeney, Brian Giles, Robert Fick, Ryan Klesko and Xavier Nady. Neither Fick nor Nady started. Fick, you can understand. He's a catcher, after all, and needs the occasional day off. Nady, on the other hand, should have started. Failing that, he should have gotten a chance to hit. After Fick, he was by far the best hitter available off the bench. Also, against left-handed pitchers, he is the best on the team, period.

It's one thing to field the best team you can and lose. It's another thing entirely to refuse to give one of your best players any playing time and to lose by a margin that could have been made up by their presence. I'm sick of it.

(Lance: Until now I've avoided the Bochy-bashing. That ends today. His people-handling skills and outsized noggin aside, I can't think of any positives he brings to the team.

He makes pitching changes based entirely pre-determined formula. I am suspicious of managers who run teams in this manner, as it is evidence of a fear of making actual in-game decisions.

I won't even get into his handling of Nady. There's nothing I could write on that topic that hasn't appeared on every Padre blog on the internet.

It may be time to consider a new position within the organization for Bruce Bochy.

Like broadcaster.)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Brian Lawrence: Usually Pretty Good... Apparently

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Every time Brian Lawrence takes the mound only to find that he doesn't have any of his pitches working, I want to be annoyed. The problem? It's unwarranted. B-Law has been quite good this year. Just look at his median start:

6.7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 K, 2 BB, 0 HR

That's a "quality start." It's also good for the following rate stats:

RA: 4.03
K/BB: 1.50
K/PA: .111
K/9: 4.03
BB/9: 2.69
HR/9: 0.00

Those are solid if unspectacular numbers. They're better than league average outside the strikeouts. And look at that same line independent of defense:

6.3 IP, 6.5 H, 2.4 ER, 3.0 K, 2.2 BB, 0.0 HR

About one out less, but also more than half a run less. The corresponding rate stats? Here:

ERA: 3.43
K/BB: 1.36
K/PA: .111
K/9: 4.29
BB/9: 3.14
HR/9: 0.00

A 3.43 ERA is substantially lower than league average.

It's damn frustrating to watch when he's not on though, isn't it?

Kris Benson? Are you kidding me? Kris Benson!

Kris Benson?!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Battle of Former Dodger Hurlers

I was at the game Tuesday night, prepared for a disappointing evening. Instead, the Padres continued their recent dominance by laying the wood to Pedro Martinez.

The pitching matchup was daunting. Martinez has won three Cy Young Awards. Padre starting pitcher Chan Ho Park plays the same position as Cy Young.

Alas, Chan Ho last nite ascended to the pantheon of mighty Asian warriors: Ghengis Khan, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and, now, Chan Ho Park.

Thoughts on the game:

David Wright's bare-handed grab was as fun to watch as any play I've seen since minor leaguer Rodney McCray ran through an outfield wall to make a catch. Unlike most players, Wright realized he was turned around on the ball early, and seemed to know that he wasn't going to be able to glove it. His acceleration to the ball, nonetheless, was surprising, and he snatched it with his right hand as if he'd planned it that way. I was about 80 feet from him at the time, and I think he did plan it that way. Definitely worthy of the standing O given by the Padre crowd.

The Mets started Jose Offerman at first base. I am not making this up. Ed Kranepool pinch-hit for him in the top of the seventh.

Xavier Nady is still banging Bochy's wife. Duh.

New York teams are way stupid.
Last off-season, the Yankees decided to replace the solid second base play of Miguel Cairo with Tony "Why-is-this-man-in-the-major-leagues?" Womack. Womack is earning his millions on the bench, watching young Robinson Cano (a Yank property all along) play far better than Tony in his prime.
The ugly stepsister..., er, the Mets, have realized that Kaz Matsui was, in fact, Japan's retaliation for Hiroshima. He has been supplanted, quite competently, by (you guessed it) Miguel Cairo.

Why does a team with Mike Cameron in CF sign Carlos Beltran? Anyone who had ever seen Cameron play CF would think it silly to shell out a small nation's GNP to Beltran, and slide Cameron to RF. Granted, Cameron had a rough night in RF last night, but Petco has a tough RF, and I'll stick to my guns in saying that, defensively, Beltran can't carry Cameron's jock. I'm not sure he's much better offensively, either.
Maybe the Met front office had never actually seen Cameron play.

And one more thing:

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Park v. Martinez Reminiscent of May v. Santana

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Chan Ho Park looked outstanding in his first career start at PetCo Park. Pedro Martinez? Not so much. Here's Chan Ho's fantastic line:

5.7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 0 HR (3.16 ERA)

And his even more fantastic defense independent line:

8.30 IP, 6.68 H, 1.65 ER, 1.23 BB, 7.94 K, 0.00 HR (1.79 ERA)

I'm aware that it's only one start, but does anyone still think the Nevin trade was a bad one?

How about that offfense?

Tonight the Padres batted a collective .395/.410/.737. Wow.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Top Five National League Offenses

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# Team Park Factor Outs EqA EqR
1 Florida 934 2670 .273 519.6
2 Cincinnati 1011 2772 .272 533.5
3 San Diego 912 2791 .268 516.9
4 St. Louis 1003 2747 .266 499.6
5 Chicago 1003 2775 .264 496.4

Raise your hand if you thought San Diego was in the top five. Okay, now hit yourself because you're lying.

Lance: I have for two seasons thought that the Padre offense was as under-rated as any in baseball.

In a controlled atmosphere (re: identical parks, against identical pitching staffs and defenses), I would expect the Friars to finish among the league's top five run-scoring teams.

I am not so delusional as to think that our beloved home team would outscore the Cards under similar circumstances. And what is a productive offense, but one that produces runs?

If you wish to state for our reader, Richard, that the Padres have a more effective offense than the Cardinals, by all means do so. But I'll think you're nuts, and so will our reader.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Phil Nevin isn't Done?

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hank commented at San Diego Spotlight:
[T]he baltimore failed trade(and the leaking of the trade to the press prior to being confirmed) essentially mandated trading Nevin. Nevin is NOT an aging slugger that has lost his skills and I wish folks would quit saying that. Towers wanted a pitcher and thought that Ponson might do the job. If he had talked to Nevin before it leaked, this trade might never have been announced or would have been reported as simply “discussion". Once it became public and Nevin would not waive his no trade power, Towers was forced to trade Nevin anyway he could to put the distraction to rest. Just my opinion.
(emphasis added)

I could not disagree more. Phil Nevin is almost certainly an average to below average hitter (pitcher's stats included). He is definitely a below average to well below average hitting first baseman and while some may disagree, he is also a below average defensive first baseman.

At the age of 30, Phil Nevin peaked with a Davenport Translated ISO (used to account for the move to PetCo) of .285. The next year was marred by injury. The next year, at 32, Phil posted an ISO of .217 and followed it up with a .209 in '04. This season, Phil has completely collapsed with an ISO of .163. That's his lowest since his injury plagued campaign of 2003 and if you omit that, his worst performance since 1998.

As with his ISO, Nevin's AB/HR rate also peaked in 2000. This year, though, his AB/HR is even worse than 2001 and is actually his worst since his rookie year.

PECOTA gave Phil a Collapse Rate of 35.5% and sadly it appears to have been generous.

Phil Nevin was very good for part of his career as a Padre. In 2001 (his best year as a professional), he was one of the top 20 hitters in baseball and among the top 3 hitting third baseman. He also amassed a 10.1 WARP3, which is simply fantastic (an MVP caliber number). However, he is no longer among the top 20 hitters in the game and he is no longer playing an above average third base. Nevin is, for lack of a better word, done.

Every Fifth Day

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Jake Peavy was excellent again. He threw more pitches than I like to see, but it's hard to pull him when he's as dominant as he was. As long as he avoids injury, I'll be happy. Anyway, the line for today's game:

9.0 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 10 K, 0 HR (0.00 ERA)

And the defense independent line:

8.24 IP, 5.73 H, 2.23 BB, 9.93 K, 0.00 HR (1.99 ERA)

I guess he was mildly lucky, but we'll take it.

Edit: Also, this game brought Jake up to an absolutely stupid .299 K/PA.

Free Xavier Nady

Nady hit an absolute bomb to dead center today. Play him every day! He plays five positions. He hits lefties better than any of the five guys at those positions and hits righties better than three of them. There's room.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Most Productive Outfielder in 2005

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I assert that the most productive outfielder in 2005 has been Brian Giles. hank, a frequent Ducksnorts commenter, asserts that Andruw Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Carlos Beltran, Manny Ramirez, Carlos Lee, Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. have all been better. I intend to determine who is correct. Obviously, I am biased, but I will do my best to remove that bias. I imagine our three readers will point out any errors I make. I encourage that.

We will begin by determining what statistics to use. Rather than limit the discussion to one stat, we will look at several and try to draw conclusions from them. Win Shares (WS), Wins Above Replacement Player (WARP) and Net Runs Above Average (NRAA) are all designed to capture a player's entire value. Value Over Replacement Player (VORP), Equivalent Average (EQA), and the traditional batting line of Batting Average (BA), On-Base Percentage (OBP) and Slugging Percentage (SLG) all track only offense, but we will also look at those.

NRAA and BA/OBP/SLG will both use Davenport Translations in order to account for park factors.

Giles 22 6.5 30.1
Jones 16 6.3 38.1
Guerrero 13 4.4 21.8
Beltran 16 3.4 39.8
Ramirez 19 4.4 -0.5
Lee 18 3.9 39.1
Dunn 22 5.2 21.8
Griffey 17 4.5 31.8

Win Shares sees Giles and Dunn as equals and clearly ahead of the pack. WARP calls it cleanly for Giles running just ahead of Andruw Jones and well ahead of the rest of our sample. NRAA, on the other hand, prefers Manny Ramirez and Vladimir Guerrero. Win Shares and WARP are both essentially counting stats meaning that playing time matters. NRAA, however, is a rate stat and accounts for the part of the difference.

What can we conclude from this (here's where it gets subjective)? WS and WARP both have Giles in first or tied for first. Thus, both would seem to back up my initial assertion and contradict hank's. NRAA, though, leaves Giles in fourth behind Dunn, Ramirez and Guerrero, which would seem to contradict my assertion and although it backs part of hank's assertion, four of the seven players he claimed were better than Giles still fall behind him in the stat that favors him the least of the three.

Ramirez 36.7 0.319 .275/.383/.603
Guerrero 37.4 0.321 .323/.385/.602
Dunn 44.8 0.318 .250/.386/.597
Giles 40.8 0.328 .303/.442/.523
Griffey 40.4 0.300 .280/.363/.542
Jones 43.0 0.301 .268/.355/.590
Lee 34.3 0.288 .267/.336/.532
Beltran 14.6 0.259 .263/.316/.437

VORP prefers both Dunn and Jones to Giles by a decent amount. Giles ranks #1 in EQA by a not insubstantial distance. Batting Average, the least valuable of the stats mentioned in this article gives the top slot to Guerrero followed by Giles as the only other ".300-hitter." On-Base Percentage, widely considered and statistically proven, the most valuable of the three traditional rate stats has Brian Giles with an absolutely massive lead over the pack. Slugging Percentage gives the crown to Ramirez, though Guerrero is only .001 behind with Dunn and Jones also very close.

VORP clearly shows Dunn to be the best. EQA does the same for Giles. And, although some may disagree, BA/OBP/SLG also favors Gilly. On-Base Percentage has been considered anywhere from two to three times more valuable than slugging percentage and at the low estimate, Giles blows the rest of the group away.

I think we've managed to show that by most ways of measuring productivity, Brian Giles is the most productive outfielder. However, one could reasonably make a case for Adam Dunn and to a lesser degree Vlad Guerrero or Manny Ramirez. That being said, one cannot present a stronger case than exists for Brian Giles.

I'd love to hear any differing opinions or even from those who agree. Thanks.

Lance says to hell with objective statistical analysis, use your eyes:

(Lance: I never said any such thing. I have been a SABR member and a devotee of objective statistical analysis since Richard was a zygote. Part of evaluating a player's value ought to involve seeing him play, however.)

I know, I know. It's not like I just left it at that. I included exactly what you said.

Giles' offense is likely NOT superior. The value of a HR, especially in a mediocre offense, cannot be overstated. A player who has just homered CANNOT BE LEFT ON BASE. You underestimate the impact of homers on actual runs scored. A home run is not a potential component of a run, IT IS A RUN, and is not dependant upon the contributions of others.

And the difference between Giles' and Jones' defensive contributions are so far beyond what your carefully-chosen-statistic illustrates, it's comical.

The context of their different position, ballpark, and pitching staffs played behind is simply not adequately evaluated by ANY defensive metric, no matter how much you may have fallen in love with said metric. Occcasionally, you have to trust your eyes. This is one of those times.

If you throw stats out there in hope that they will intimidate those who are less astute than you, eventually those stats turn to alphabet soup.

That being said, I still believe that, eventually, we'll be able to fully evaluate players based upon their individual numbers. It is foolhardy, however, to think that the metrics available to us now come close to telling the whole story. Until we can add the sum of our favorite stats on a team to unfailingly predict the won-loss total of that team, we are clearly missing SOMETHING.

End of rant. Don't kick me off the blog, please, Richard.

For the record, Lance has not and will not be kicked off the blog. ;-)

hank (do you want that in lower case for a reason?) responds...

Most productive outfielder. Hmmmm. That depends entirely upon how you define "productive".

If we are to believe that The Most Productive Outfielder is the player with the highest "win shares", or should that be "wins above replacement player", or maybe "Net Runs above average"? Also worthy of consideration, apparently, is "Value over replacement player" and Equivalent average".

The traditional methods of measuring performance are not valid unless we use the "Davenport Translations" to allow for park factors?

In suggesting that Giles could hardly be the most productive outfielder in baseball, I carelessly tossed out a few names without research and was immediately admonished for this transgression.

I do not consider these above named stats are valid to determine the most productive outfielder.

Again I ask, what is PRODUCTIVE?

I believe that runs and runs batted in are the final say in productivity. Production is: Scoring runs for the team. Both scoring the runs himself and driving in runs, in my opinion, should determine the most productive player.

If you want to talk about the Most Valuable Player, then a lot more factors must be considered but for now we will just concern ourselves with production.

Brian Giles scored 63 runs in 444 plate appearances and drove in 56. Subtracting his homers(so they wont be counted twice) it leaves him with 109 runs produced in 444 plate appearances or a run produced every 4.07 plate appearances.

some others for consideration:

Player Runs HR RBI PA PER RP
Damon 83 8 51 456 3.61
Dunn 75 31 72 426 3.67
Cabrera 75 23 76 440 3.43
Ortiz 75 25 88 454 3.29
Suzuki 74 9 42 466 4.27
Bay 72 20 55 454 4.24
Sheffield 71 21 81 440 3.35
Ramirez 69 29 97 408 2.97
Jones 62 32 80 436 3.89
Lee 58 26 89 455 3.82
Guerrero 57 21 70 362 3.41

My bottom line is to be the most productive outfielder you must be the best at producing runs for your team. Although Giles is a very good player and could be in the running for MVP of not only the Padres but the NL west div, I would say Manny Ramariz [sic] is the most productive outfielder.

(sorry the blog wont accept my tags for columns)

Added them for you... and I'll grant you that an argument can be made for Manny, though I don't believe you have made it. You've made a strong argument for the fact that he hits in the best lineup, though.

Kevin responds to hank...

You've got to be kidding. Runs and RBIs? Come on.

And if you use that, why remove home runs? Runs produced measured both parts of producing the run -- getting on base to score and knocking the runner home. Why penalize the player who "produced" both parts of the equation?

I tend to agree.

Lance: As do I. The huge value of home runs warrants being counted twice. But hank, runs & RBI?!? You're kidding, right?

Kevin quotes James...

Yes, we know a home run counts as a run and an RBI. But to subtract the home runs out is a flawed way of doing things, as Bill James said in his 1984 Baseball Abstract:

"My problem with "Runs Produced" has to do with this bit about subtracting the player's home run count? What you're figuring here isn't whole runs produced, it's half runs produced. One player provides the first half of the run--the on-base part of it; the A Factor; the run scored--and the other provides the second half of the run--the advancement part of it; the B Factor; the run batted in. Each is credited with one run produced. But when a player provides both the on-base act and the advancement act, he receives no more credit than if he had done only one. Does this make sense?"

Edit: One oversight, Miguel Cabrera is far and away the most productive outfielder this year.

Jake Peavy: Premier Strikeout Pitcher in the Game?

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You bet he is. Jake has faced 552 batters this season and has struck out 155 of them. That's 28.1%, tops in the Majors by a healthy margin (it's double what Livan Hernandez, a 100 K pitcher, has managed). Pedro Martinez is second striking out exactly 27%. Jake is also the only pitcher in the Majors (with enough innings to qualify for the ERA title, but that should go without saying, anyway) to strike out at least 10 batters per nine innings pitched. Johan Santana, the AL's reigning Cy Young Award winner, is second striking out 9.62, or 0.42 behind Jake. Also, it isn't as though he's piling up K's by being wild. Among pitchers with at least 100 strikeouts, Jake is tenth in walks per nine innings, averaging 1.88.

I still can't believe he's only 24.

And I'm still very pleased that KT signed him to a four-year deal prior to the season.

And another thing...

I also find it amazing just how much Jake has outperformed his PECOTA projections by.

Compared to his 90th Percentile Projection...

Jake has a K/PA .087 higher.
Jake has a K/9 1.24 higher.
Jake has a BB/9 0.76 lower.
Jake has a K/BB 2.01 higher.

That's incredible.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Demoting Stauffer, Keeping Astacio: The Right Move?

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I didn't think so. I may have been wrong. The numbers would certainly suggest that.

Annoyed by the decision, I set out to prove my position assured that the stats would back me up. It was quickly apparent that they don't. Just look at their median starting lines.

Stauffer: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3.5 R, 1 HR, 2 BB, 3 K
Astacio: 6.0 IP, 6.5 H, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 BB, 3.5 K

Same innings, fewer hits, fewer runs, same home runs, fewer walks and more strikeouts. It looks to be a slam dunk. The only thing left to check was luck (BABIP). Their median BABIP is roughly the same (.290 to .292) and on average, Astacio has actually suffered worse luck. The only argument remaining is that Stauffer is more likely to improve. He probably is, but Astacio looks like he gives you a better chance to win right now and we need to win right now. Let Tim improve with Portland until he gets the call in September.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Padres Take Aim at Record Book

Although an uncharacteristic May hot streak foiled the Padres' run at the 40-120 mark for futility achieved by the '62 Mets, the Friars remain resolute in their pursuit of records of suckitude.

Newly-acquired catcher David Ross enthused, "It's really exciting to come into a situation like this. If we lose out, we'll be the first team ever to lose its last sixty games."

Explained Friar skipper Bruce Bochy, "Contrary to the writings of blogging great Richard B. Wade, I am not stupid. I am merely determined. Determined to make history by losing our final sixty games. Padre fans should revel in the opportunity to witness such an achievement."

Closer Trevor Hoffman backs his manager.

"At first I was disappointed that I wouldn't be getting any more saves this year. But this is a chance to be a part of something much bigger. We're all behind Boch."