• Beware Vernon Wells

    Posted by on May 15th, 2013 · Comments (12)

    In his first 37 games of 2010, Vernon Wells had a BA/OBP/SLG line of .306/.369/.611 (in 160 PA).

    And, over his next 120 games in 2010, he had a BA/OBP/SLG line of .262/.319/.484 (in 486 PA).

    In his first 37 games of 2013, Wells’ BA/OBP/SLG line is .300/.353/.521 (in 140 PA). That looks just like 2010, no?

    If Wells follows his form from 2010, he could be a low on-base hacking guy at the plate…just like he was in 2010.

    Texas Rangers Pitching – As Of May 14, 2013

    Posted by on May 14th, 2013 · Comments (25)

    Man, are they good, or, what?

    Rk Pos Age W L ERA G SV IP HR BB SO BF ERA+ ▾ WHIP
    1 RP Tanner Scheppers 26 2 0 0.50 16 0 18.0 1 4 11 67 907 0.889
    2 RP Robbie Ross* 24 1 0 0.56 15 0 16.0 0 3 11 64 808 1.000
    3 CL Joe Nathan 38 1 0 1.93 15 11 14.0 1 3 14 57 236 1.000
    4 SP Derek Holland* 26 3 2 2.54 7 0 49.2 2 10 43 194 177 1.007
    5 SP Yu Darvish 26 6 1 2.73 8 0 52.2 5 18 80 205 164 0.911
    6 SP Alexi Ogando 29 3 2 3.09 8 0 43.2 5 18 34 185 145 1.305
    7 Jason Frasor 35 0 0 3.27 14 0 11.0 3 3 11 46 140 1.182
    8 RP Joe Ortiz* 22 2 1 3.60 15 0 20.0 2 2 17 81 126 1.000
    9 SP Nick Tepesch 24 3 3 4.03 7 0 38.0 5 10 30 160 112 1.263
    10 SP Justin Grimm 24 2 3 4.28 6 0 33.2 5 13 34 152 105 1.485
    11 RP Michael Kirkman* 26 0 0 7.36 16 1 14.2 1 9 18 72 62 2.045
    12 Derek Lowe 40 1 0 8.03 8 0 12.1 3 3 8 53 57 1.378
    Team Totals 27.0 24 14 3.45 38 12 334.1 35 103 323 1387 131 1.196
    Rank in 15 AL teams 1 14 2 3 10 4 5 3
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 5/14/2013.

    .
    Nolan Ryan, Mike Maddux, and his brother, Greg, are doing a great job with this, no?

    Top 5 Teams In A.L. This Morning

    Posted by on May 10th, 2013 · Comments (22)
    Rk Tm W L W-L% R RA pythWL 1Run last30
    1 TEX 21 13 .618 4.3 3.4 21-13 7-2 18-12
    2 BAL 21 14 .600 4.9 4.1 20-15 6-5 18-12
    3 BOS 21 14 .600 4.9 4.2 20-15 5-3 18-12
    4 NYY 20 13 .606 4.2 3.9 18-15 6-1 19-11
    5 DET 19 13 .594 5.3 3.8 21-11 3-4 18-12
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 5/10/2013.

    .
    Pretty interesting. For the last 30 games, they’ve all been playing about the same. Will these be the top five teams in the league at the end of the season? And, if the Yankees continue their magic in one-run games, will everyone consider them a fluke, like they did with Baltimore when the Orioles won all those one-run games last year?

    Yankees: Thank You, Toronto

    Posted by on May 6th, 2013 · Comments (10)

    The New York Yankees are 18-12 to start the 2013 season.

    They are 6-1 when playing the Toronto Blue Jays and 12-11 when playing everyone else.

    Toronto is 11-21, so far this year, and sit in last place in the A.L. East.

    Safe to say the Yankees record looks good because of all those games against the struggling Blue Jays?

    Phil Hughes Last 4 Starts

    Posted by on May 5th, 2013 · Comments (15)

    Here are the numbers:

    BA/OBP/SLG allowed: .225/.259/.333 (facing 108 batters). His ERA is 1.93 (in 28 IP).

    It’s amazing what a carrot on an end of a stick can do, eh?

    Pretty Soon, Baseball Players Won’t Need Gloves Anymore

    Posted by on April 23rd, 2013 · Comments (0)

    The ball is not put in play on 81 percent of the pitches, an all-time record of inactivity.

    Great stuff, as usual, from Tom Verducci.

    Not All Right

    Posted by on April 18th, 2013 · Comments (1)

    There have been 86 homeruns hit in MLB through April 17th this year against LHP. The Yankees have one of those 86 HR.

    What’s To Come For Yanks 5 Best Hitters In 2013 (So Far)?

    Posted by on April 17th, 2013 · Comments (10)
    Age G PA R 2B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS ▾
    Robinson Cano* 30 12 54 9 4 4 11 5 9 .327 .389 .653 1.042
    Travis Hafner* 36 11 43 8 2 3 7 5 9 .324 .419 .622 1.040
    Francisco Cervelli 27 9 32 8 1 1 6 7 1 .360 .500 .520 1.020
    Vernon Wells 34 11 46 6 3 3 5 6 7 .300 .391 .600 .991
    Kevin Youkilis 34 12 51 8 4 2 7 3 12 .348 .412 .565 .977
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 4/17/2013.

    .
    At least two of these guys will end up on the disabled list for an extended period before the season is over. Others may likely face PED scrutiny at some point this year. And, some will just see their production fall closer to the lower levels that has been their recent norm.

    Can you name who is who?

    Inconsistent Yankees

    Posted by on April 10th, 2013 · Comments (1)

    I think the 16 games that follow their series with the Indians will tell us a lot more about the Yankees (now) than these games in Cleveland.

    Prediction: The Yankees will be 12-14 when the Astros come into Yankee Stadium on April 29th.

    Still Waiting For That First 2013 Hit

    Posted by on April 6th, 2013 · Comments (1)

    Players with 10+ ABs this season so far with zero hits:

    Rk Player AB H Year Age Tm G PA R RBI BB SO BA
    1 B.J. Upton 14 0 2013 28 ATL 4 15 1 0 0 9 .000
    2 Mitch Moreland 13 0 2013 27 TEX 4 15 0 1 1 4 .000
    3 Jonathan Lucroy 13 0 2013 27 MIL 4 14 0 1 0 4 .000
    4 Luis Cruz 13 0 2013 29 LAD 4 15 0 1 1 2 .000
    5 Adam Lind 13 0 2013 29 TOR 4 14 0 0 1 1 .000
    6 Adam LaRoche 13 0 2013 33 WSN 4 14 0 0 1 3 .000
    7 Russell Martin 12 0 2013 30 PIT 4 14 1 0 2 1 .000
    8 Brent Lillibridge 11 0 2013 29 CHC 4 11 0 0 0 4 .000
    9 Alexi Amarista 11 0 2013 24 SDP 4 11 0 0 0 1 .000
    10 David DeJesus 10 0 2013 33 CHC 4 11 0 0 1 4 .000
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 4/6/2013.

    .
    Man, really tough start for B.J. (0 for 14 with 9 K’s).

    Strikeouts Are Still Soaring

    Posted by on March 29th, 2013 · Comments (1)

    It’s a record setting pace.

    I blame sabermetrics. Those familiar with the study of Run Expectancy are always quick to add that “going down on strikes” is merely another vanilla form of being retired – and that the “K” was no better or worse, for the most part, than any other way of being retired as a batter. And, there’s no longer any stigma applied to having a high whiff total. This, batters don’t care and they hack away…

    More.

    Spring Training Records, To Date

    Posted by on March 27th, 2013 · Comments (5)

    Do these numbers mean anything?

    W L PCT
    Kansas City 23 6 .793
    Baltimore 18 8 .692
    Seattle 19 11 .633
    Detroit 18 12 .600
    Atlanta 19 14 .576
    Colorado 16 12 .571
    Cleveland 16 13 .552
    Oakland 14 12 .538
    San Francisco 14 13 .519
    Minnesota 15 14 .517
    Arizona 15 14 .517
    Boston 15 15 .500
    NY Mets 13 13 .500
    St. Louis 14 14 .500
    Tampa Bay 15 15 .500
    Texas 15 15 .500
    Chicago Cubs 16 17 .485
    Philadelphia 14 15 .483
    Houston 13 14 .481
    Chicago Sox 12 13 .480
    San Diego 15 17 .469
    Toronto 13 16 .448
    Miami 12 15 .444
    Washington 12 16 .429
    Pittsburgh 12 17 .414
    NY Yankees 12 17 .414
    LA Dodgers 11 18 .379
    Milwaukee 10 17 .370
    Cincinnati 10 18 .357
    LA Angels 8 18 .308

    .

    Bad Calls Less Often

    Posted by on March 15th, 2013 · Comments (2)

    Good.

    It’s WAR!

    Posted by on February 28th, 2013 · Comments (2)

    When is a player who hits .194 with a .277 on-base percentage and three homeruns just as good as a player who 50 homers?

    Read on.

    2012 Yankees OPS Split By Defensive Position

    Posted by on February 20th, 2013 · Comments (8)

    Here are the numbers:

    Rk Split Year G OPS PA HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG BAbip
    1 NYY as PH for DH 2012 19 1.474 19 2 9 0 0 2 .526 .526 .947 .533
    2 NYY as 2B 2012 162 .911 702 31 92 6 57 105 .311 .372 .539 .332
    3 NYY as DH 2012 153 .860 657 29 100 10 62 132 .293 .362 .497 .331
    4 NYY as CF 2012 162 .835 709 45 118 9 75 193 .242 .325 .510 .270
    5 NYY as 1B 2012 162 .824 693 29 107 3 85 117 .262 .355 .469 .275
    6 NYY as 3B 2012 162 .817 664 26 72 13 62 131 .278 .353 .464 .315
    7 NYY as Infield 2012 162 .800 3409 123 392 35 304 552 .275 .346 .454 .299
    8 NYY at Def. Pos. 2012 162 .799 2761 113 331 26 232 497 .269 .337 .462 .295
    9 NYY at Off. Pos. 2012 162 .783 2659 99 334 43 260 493 .260 .338 .445 .287
    10 NYY as Outfield 2012 162 .775 2011 89 273 24 188 438 .247 .323 .453 .277
    11 NYY as RF 2012 162 .759 674 22 85 8 61 130 .258 .330 .430 .293
    12 NYY as SS 2012 162 .744 731 15 57 13 39 93 .295 .338 .406 .324
    13 NYY as LF 2012 162 .727 628 22 70 14 52 115 .241 .312 .415 .266
    14 NYY as C 2012 162 .695 619 22 64 7 61 106 .220 .308 .387 .233
    15 NYY as PH 2012 89 .643 148 6 18 2 11 43 .201 .270 .373 .244
    16 NYY as P 2012 9 .190 24 0 0 0 0 12 .095 .095 .095 .222
    17 NYY Other 2012 1 .000 1 0 0 17 0 1 .000 .000 .000
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 2/20/2013.

    .
    Last year, DH and 2B were huge for the Yankees – and, LF and catcher were not so much. I suspect that catcher will be weak again in 2013. And, I doubt that LF could be much worse this year. The bigger question is DH. Will that be a plus for the Yankees this season or a minus?

    Baseball Statistics & Understanding

    Posted by on February 4th, 2013 · Comments (6)

    Via Ken Davidoff today with a h/t to BBTF -

    In 2006, Jerome Holtzman, a legendary Chicago baseball writer who became MLB’s official historian in 1999, told Selig that he thought the reaction to the “Steroid Era” had been overblown. That the game had been filled with this sort of stuff from its inception. Selig responded with an assignment: Put something on paper for me. Give me some context to what we’re seeing now.

    Holtzman responded with a document that went back to the start of the 20th century. It mentioned gamblers and segregation, corked bats and scuffed balls, amphetamines and steroids. Selig still has it in his office today.

    Holtzman died in 2008. His successor as MLB historian, the great John Thorn, said this to me on Friday: “No number is pure, and no number can be given a rich understanding absent context. Every number has a virtual asterisk alongside it.”

    He added this: “I believe that the average fan looks at numbers like 511 (Cy Young’s wins) or 714 (Ruth’s homers) or 755 (Aaron’s homers) or 762 (Bonds’ homers) as a royal road to understanding. There is no royal road. There is no short cut. They are imperishable remains of events that are vanished. This is all we have. That’s why we venerate them.

    “We look at the numbers differently than other sports in part because baseball is a stop-action game. The memories adhere. That’s one of the reasons that baseball is the great game of memory and conversation.

    “Statistics help, but sometimes they get in the way of understanding.”

    I dunno. I still think that stats, in context, are useful – when you look at them in terms of relativity to the era of play and the body of work a player has crafted. And, if someone who was always “just” a 30-homer guy all of a sudden starts hitting 50-long balls a year, and it’s not the result of his park, then you have to look at the rest of the league. And, if he’s only one of a few doing it, then something is wrong. And, that’s worth noting.

    WAR – What Is It Good For?

    Posted by on February 2nd, 2013 · Comments (9)

    Great stuff on this from Jim Caple.

    Just yesterday, I was thinking, to myself, how incredible it is that ESPN and the MLB Network now throw around WAR statistics in their broadcasts like everyone has been throwing around RBI and ERA for a zillion years.

    I don’t think I have ever seen such a polarizing sabermetric stat gain acceptance in the mass media as quickly as WAR.

    I mean, really, it could have died faster on the vine that you can say “Win Shares.”

    Why The Yanks Miss Godzilla

    Posted by on January 2nd, 2013 · Comments (6)

    Great stuff on Godzilla via Vince Gennaro

    Over his seven year Yankee career, [Hideki Matsui] averaged 20 HRs per season, batted .292 and logged an OPS of .852—23% above the league average OPS for those years. What fans will remember most about Matsui was his penchant for the big hit, capped off by his World Series MVP performance in 2009. He came to bat 36 times in the two World Series in which he appeared (2003 and 2009—his first and last years as a Yankee), but managed to hit 4 HRs. He batted .387 in the World Series and put up a remarkable 1.216 OPS. In fact, in 235 postseason plate appearances his OPS was .933.

    For those of you who have been following this blog, you know about the work I’ve done in measuring a hitter’s performance against different quality levels of pitching. I’ve racked up the batter—pitcher matchup data (starting pitchers only) from 2009 through 2011 to see how hitters perform against the best pitching vs. the weakest pitching. This study was of particular interest to me because the quality of pitching is one of the most defining characteristics that differentiates the regular season from the postseason. The pitching is far better in the postseason. Nearly two-thirds of the postseason starting pitcher innings are thrown by the top one-third of regular season starting pitchers (as measured by their OPS against). Not surprisingly, Matsui has an uncanny ability to hit top pitching, which helps explain his postseason prowess.

    Against the top two quintiles, the MLB average for a left-handed hitter is a .641 OPS. Matsui had 387 plate appearances against this group of pitchers over the 3-year period of my study and banged out a remarkable .830 OPS. Over that time period here’s his record (OPS) against some of the top pitchers—vs. David Price, 1.333; vs. Greinke, 1.267; vs. Josh Beckett, 1.032; vs. King Felix, .838; vs. Verlander, .778, vs. Halladay, .752. Matsui also had his nemesis, as Jered Weaver held him to a puny .315 OPS in 27 career plate appearances. I take it that Matsui is not fond of the change-up from righthanders—a pitch Weaver is known to use extensively on left-handed hitters.

    Curtis Granderson’s OBA The Last 4 Years

    Posted by on December 18th, 2012 · Comments (9)

    Here’s the data:

    Year Age Tm G PA OBP
    2009 28 DET 160 710 .327
    2010 29 NYY 136 528 .324
    2011 30 NYY 156 691 .364
    2012 31 NYY 160 684 .319
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 12/18/2012.

    .
    Clearly, 2011 was the fluke here. And, based on the last four years worth of data, a reasonable person would expect Granderson to have an OBA this season in the range of the low .320′s.

    Seeing that, how can the Yankees bat Curtis in the top or middle of their line-up in 2013?  Why would you give someone who makes so many outs more chances to bat?

    The Curious Case Of Teixeira’s OPS+

    Posted by on December 17th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    The trend line:

    Year Age Tm Lg G PA OPS+
    2008 28 TOT MLB 157 685 152
    2009 29 NYY AL 156 707 141
    2010 30 NYY AL 158 712 124
    2011 31 NYY AL 156 684 121
    2012 32 NYY AL 123 524 116
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 12/17/2012.

    .
    Mark Teixeira’s OPS+ is playing limbo…it wants to see how low it can go.

    And, the question is: Will it stay over 100 in 2013?

    It’s WAR! Curtis Granderson Vs. Coco Crisp In 2012

    Posted by on December 10th, 2012 · Comments (23)

    If you’re a fan of WAR, then these two players had the same value in 2012:

    Rk Player WAR/pos ▴ Year Age Tm G PA
    2 Coco Crisp 2.7 2012 32 OAK 120 508
    3 Curtis Granderson 2.7 2012 31 NYY 160 684
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 12/10/2012.

    .
    But, if you believe that homeruns are more important than defense, then, you may not think that Granderson was just as valuable as Crisp last year.

    Will The Real Post-Season A-Rod Please Stand Up?

    Posted by on October 9th, 2012 · Comments (1)

    Here’s Alex Rodriguez’s career post-season stats, in terms of a BA/OBA/SLG line, broken down into four time periods:

    • October 8, 1995 to October 20, 2004: .330/.395/.583 (in 115 PA)
    • October 4, 2005 to October 8, 2007: .159/.327/.250 (in 55 PA)
    • October 7, 2009 to November 4, 2009: .365/.500/.808 (in 68 PA)
    • October 6, 2010 to October 8, 2012: .169/.282/.203 (in 71 PA)

    I’m not sure what to say about these numbers.  Is it just the nature of the beast?  Or, something else?  You tell me.

    A-Rod’s Last 306 Regular Season Games

    Posted by on October 8th, 2012 · Comments (6)

    Since June 4, 2010, through the end of this regular season, Alex Rodriguez has played in 306 games and has the following BA/OBA/SLG line:  .268/.347/.461 (in 1,158 AB).

    And, over the last three seasons, that’s basically what A-Rod has been (no pun intended).  He’s a .270-hitter with 25-HR power (assuming he plays a full-season).

    Think: Casey Blake or Doug DeCinces.

    I suppose that’s not terrible. But, it’s not in line with the expectation that many have for a player with Rodriguez’ resume and salary.

    But, whatever it is, unless the Yankees can do something creative, Yankeeland might as well get used to it. A-Rod’s under contract with the Yankees for the next five years.

    RBI Percentage

    Posted by on October 6th, 2012 · Comments (10)

    Amen.

    Curtis Granderson 2012 Vs. Jose Canseco 1998

    Posted by on October 4th, 2012 · Comments (1)

    In terms of batting, could these two seasons be any more alike?

    Player OBP ▾ HR Year Age Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B RBI BB SO BA SLG
    Curtis Granderson .319 43 2012 31 NYY 160 684 596 102 138 18 4 106 75 195 .232 .492
    Jose Canseco .318 46 1998 33 TOR 151 658 583 98 138 26 0 107 65 159 .237 .518
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 10/4/2012.

    .

    Home Cooking & Opponent Today Perfect For David Phelps?

    Posted by on October 2nd, 2012 · Comments (63)

    To date this season, batters are hitting .198 against David Phelps when he’s pitching at Yankee Stadium. (This is over a period of 15 games, 55 innings pitched, and 224 batters faced. So, sample size provisions apply.)

    The Boston Red Sox, who Phelps will be facing this evening in the Bronx, in their last 12 games, have a BA/OBA/SLG line of .208/.251/.307 (in 389 PA).

    Is this a match made in heaven, for Yankees fans?

    The Yankees Last 15 Games

    Posted by on September 28th, 2012 · Comments (1)

    The New York Yankees have been smoking hot in their last 15 games – winning eleven and only losing four games.

    So, what’s been working during this 11-4 run for them?

    In their last 15 games, Yankees batters have a BA/OBA/SLG line of .249/.332/.429 with 117 strikeouts in 589 PA. That’s not really smacking the snot out of the ball – even if they had 23 homeruns in those 15 games.

    On the pitching side, in their last 15 games, Yankees hurlers have an ERA of 3.63 (in 139 IP). And, that’s probably a bigger reason why New York went 11-4 since September 12th this year (to date).

    Further, the Yankees won a lot of close games in those 11 wins. Four wins were by two runs each and another four were one-run wins for New York. That’s 8 out of 11 which were tight and may have gone another way with a bounce here or there.

    It will be interesting to see how the Yankees batter, pitchers and luck works out for them over their last six, all important, games this season.

    If The Yankees Lose Today

    Posted by on September 26th, 2012 · Comments (19)

    If the Yankees lose this afternoon against the Twins, then you can break their season down, to date, as follows:

    • They went 21-21 in their first 42 games.
    • They went 36-13 in their next 49 games.
    • And, they went 32-32 in their last 64 games.

    Kind of a stale bread sandwich, no?

    Russell Martin’s Last 14 Games

    Posted by on September 22nd, 2012 · Comments (6)

    In his last 14 games, Russell Martin has a BA/OBA/SLG line of .277/.393/.574 (in 56 PA).

    He’s picked the right time to get hot.

    I wonder if this will fool the Yankees into signing him for next year?

    Phil Hughes – 2010 Vs. 2012 (To Date)

    Posted by on September 17th, 2012 · Comments (10)

    Look at Phil Hughes’ 2010 season stats compared to what he’s done on the season so far this year:

    Year ERA G GS IP H R HR BB SO BF ERA+ WHIP
    2010 4.19 31 29 176.1 162 83 25 58 146 730 103 1.248
    2012 3.96 29 29 175.0 178 88 33 40 148 740 106 1.246
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 9/17/2012.

    .

    Could the numbers be any closer?

    « Previous PageNext Page »