• For Swisher 2011 Starts Out Like 2008

    Posted by on April 28th, 2011 · Comments (11)

    Nick Swisher’s first 21 games of 2008: BA/OBA/SLG line of .232/.393/.333 in 89 PA.
    Nick Swisher’s first 21 games of 2011: BA/OBA/SLG line of .208/.326/.236 in 89 PA.

    By most accounts, 2008 was the worst season of Swisher’s career. Is he going to repeat that and have a bad year in 2011? What do you think?

    Comments on For Swisher 2011 Starts Out Like 2008

    1. MJ Recanati
      April 28th, 2011 | 11:19 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Nick Swisher’s first 21 games of 2008: BA/OBA/SLG line of .232/.393/.333 in 89 PA.
      Nick Swisher’s first 21 games of 2011: BA/OBA/SLG line of .208/.326/.236 in 89 PA.

      By most accounts, 2008 was the worst season of Swisher’s career. Is he going to repeat that and have a bad year in 2011? What do you think?

      It’s certainly possible that 2011 could be another season like 2008. But, as we suspected before the 2009 season — and later learned to be the case — 2008 represented a season of uncharacteristically poor luck for Swisher.

      If you look at 2011 thus far, you can see several encouraging signs: Swisher has maintained a high walk rate (14.6%; career 13.3%) and the integrity of his batted ball data remains in tact (19.7 LD%-36.1 GB%-44.3 FB%; nearly identical to last year and in line with career norms).

      We can conclude that, for now, luck just isn’t on Swisher’s side, just as it wasn’t on his side in 2008. We can’t predict if this will be the case all year (as it was in 2008) but we can at least be comfortable knowing that it’s not due to a change in approach or a lack of aptitude.

    2. LMJ229
      April 29th, 2011 | 9:10 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      You sabermetric disciples crack me up. You take all these ridiculously obscure stats and boil them down to “good luck” or “bad luck”. Why don’t we throw in data about the moon and the tides to see how they affect the flight of the ball or a players “aura” that day to see how it affects his approach at the plate?

      Right now, Swish sucks. I can see that just by looking through my eyes.

    3. Evan3457
      April 29th, 2011 | 10:11 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      @ MJ Recanati:
      You sabermetric disciples crack me up. You take all these ridiculously obscure stats and boil them down to “good luck” or “bad luck”. Why don’t we throw in data about the moon and the tides to see how they affect the flight of the ball or a players “aura” that day to see how it affects his approach at the plate?
      Right now, Swish sucks. I can see that just by looking through my eyes.

      Those obscure stats essentially predicted that Austin Jackson had no chance to maintain his lofty BAVG from last year. And he isn’t.

      The main reason was his BABIP was ridiculously high last year, and was not going to sustain indefinitely. Right now, his BABIP is way lower than last year (only .234), so I can tell you that with the slightest bit of luck, Jackson’s speed and line drive % should lift his BAVG back toward .250-.260 before the year ends.

    4. Raf
      April 29th, 2011 | 10:44 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      You sabermetric disciples crack me up.

      Haters gonna hate.

    5. MJ Recanati
      April 30th, 2011 | 7:17 am

      @ LMJ229:
      Re-read the last part of Steve’s post carefully and you’ll see that there was a question in there asking readers if Swish will have a bad season in 2011. For that reason, I relied on stats to approximate a guess that, barring the same poor luck he had in 2008, Swisher will improve over the course of the season.

      The question wasn’t asking us to confirm if he sucks right now; we’d already know that by looking at him with our eyes and seeing the low batting average and minimal run production.

      Now, if you don’t believe in looking at sabermetrics as way to predict outcomes, that’s a different story. No matter how much you protest to the contrary, however, sabermetrics have nothing to do with slide rules and geeky people that don’t watch games. We watch games and we use stats to help understand what we see or don’t see with our eyes.

    6. MJ Recanati
      April 30th, 2011 | 7:19 am

      LMJ229 wrote:

      You take all these ridiculously obscure stats

      I’m not sure I see or understand what is so obscure about someone’s walk rate or the percentage of balls they hit which are line drives. If you stop and think for a second about what these stats are telling you, it’s really quite logical and intuitive and not as obscure as you think.

    7. LMJ229
      April 30th, 2011 | 3:28 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Haters gonna hate.

      Please don’t misinterpret my amusement for hatred. That is a strong word. My hatred is reserved for pedophiles and animal abusers.

    8. LMJ229
      April 30th, 2011 | 3:42 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Now, if you don’t believe in looking at sabermetrics as way to predict outcomes, that’s a different story. No matter how much you protest to the contrary, however, sabermetrics have nothing to do with slide rules and geeky people that don’t watch games. We watch games and we use stats to help understand what we see or don’t see with our eyes.

      Point taken. The thing is, I’m a CPA so I know for a fact that you can manipulate numbers to make them look any way you want them to look. For every stat you throw at Steve to support your theory that Swish will get better, he can throw stats back at you to support his theory that he won’t. Baseball is so statistically oriented that we sometimes go way overboard IMO.

    9. Raf
      April 30th, 2011 | 11:25 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Raf wrote:
      Haters gonna hate.
      Please don’t misinterpret my amusement for hatred. That is a strong word. My hatred is reserved for pedophiles and animal abusers.

      I think you misinterpreted my comment.

    10. Raf
      April 30th, 2011 | 11:36 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      I’m a CPA so I know for a fact that you can manipulate numbers to make them look any way you want them to look.

      Doesn’t work that way in baseball, where the numbers are interconnected, and the more numbers included, the clearer the picture of a player becomes. In the case of Swisher, while the results (BA/OBP/SLG) may not be there, the rest of his numbers are right in line with career norms. So the possibility of improvement exists.

    11. MJ Recanati
      May 1st, 2011 | 7:41 am

      LMJ229 wrote:

      For every stat you throw at Steve to support your theory that Swish will get better, he can throw stats back at you to support his theory that he won’t.

      Generally speaking, that might be true. Each side can use statistics to argue a viewpoint. However, an argument’s quality in this regard is ultimately based upon the correct usage and analysis of the statistics.

      In regards to this specific case, there are no statistics to suggest that Swisher can’t turn his season around, only statistics to verify that his current results are sub-standard. But since this thread’s intent was as a forecast to Swisher’s season, there are no statistics to indicate any reason why Swisher can’t have a good season specifically because all of his underlying metrics are in line with their career norms.

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.