Saturday, June 23, 2012

Baseball people that don't understand baseball

Came across this article on

Ken Gurnick, writer for The Dodgers will suffer through the 0-for017 and .220 batting average young shortstop Dee Gordon had after Friday night because there will also be games like Saturday's.

Don Mattingly, LA Dodgers manager: Dee really got us a couple all by himself.  All the time we talk about what Dee doesn't do.  Today he gets hits, steals a bag, scores twice.  He was exciting today.


Gordon scores 2 runs today and that is supposed to off set a .270 On Base Percentage and an overall offense that is about half what an average major league hitter produces

That's probably not Gordon's true talent level though.  He's probably more of a .300 OBP guy which'd make him about 25% worse than the league average hitter...still not good.  If Gordon could get on base at a reasonable clip the Dodgers would score more runs than they will be relying on Gordon's speed to create errors.

So Mattingly and Gurnick appear to be giving Gordon all the credit for the first inning run.  After singling, Gordon stole 2nd base and then scored on this error by Albert Pujols.  According to Tom Tango's run expectancy matrix, with a runner on first and no outs an average team will score .95 runs.  That the Dodger scored in that situation is no huge surprise (unless you've been following the Dodgers' offense recently), it is what is expected.  Still, we'll give Gordon the difference between the 1 run that actually scored and the .95 expected runs.  That's .05 runs.

Then, in the sixth inning, Gordon hit a triple (well, Mark Trumbo misplayed a line drive into a triple).  With no outs and a runner at third run expectancy is 1.48 runs.  Gordon's speed likely allowed him to reach 3rd instead of 2nd as Trumbo retrieved the ball quickly and made it a close play at 3rd.  Most other runners likely would have had to stop at 2nd.   Run expectancy with a runner at 2nd and no outs is 1.18.  So, we'll give Gordon credit for getting to third and credit for increasing the Dodgers' run expectancy by .3 runs.

Gordon's base running can be credited for .35 runs in this game.

Some people will say that since the Dodgers didn't get any hits after Gordon's and Hairston's ball might have been a double play had Gordon not stole 2nd Gordon should get all the credit for the first run .  It is true that the Dodgers didn't get any hits, however, after Gordon stole 2nd the Angles may have pitched Hairston differently than they would have had Gordon been on first.  They may have lined up defensively differently.  They may have pitched subsequent hitters differently had Gordon not scored.  We can't say that the Dodgers hitters would have had the same result.

Plenty of people will still say that that is a bunch of hooey.  :rolleyes:  Ok then, after Gordon's triple Jerry Hairston had this single that scored Gordon.  You can see that Izturis almost made a play on it since he was near 3rd keeping Gordon close.  Had Gordon been at 2nd then Izturis would have been farther from the line and the ball likely would have gone down the line for a double.  Gordon would have scored anyway and Hairston would have been at 2nd instead of 1st.

Anyways,  Gordon's great game lead to the Dodgers scoring about .35 more runs than they likely would have scored without him.

But, how many runs has he cost the Dodgers by not being able to get on base?  That's a lot harder to figure out.

Gordon has 280 plate appearances on the season.  He's been on base (by hit, walk, and hit by pitch) 75 times and scored 31 runs.

Given the league average OBP of .319 an average hitter would get on base 89 times in 280 plate appearances.  That's a difference of 14 times on base over the course of the season so far.

The league average hitter has scored 9022 runs on 25202 times on base (by hit, walk, and hit by pitch). That's a rate of a run scored per each .35 times on base.

.35 times the 14 extra times on base is 5 extra runs scored by an average hitter.

5 runs divided by the .35 runs that Gordon was credited in this game is 14.  Gordon would have to have a game like this every 14 games to score an equal number of runs as an average hitter.

I don't know how to check that, but that seems like a rather high frequency of excellent games out of Gordon.

Yeah, Gordon is an exciting player who makes a lot of plays with his legs and his fun to watch, but his overall performance is sub par.  The Dodgers should not put up with hit current level of performance because he'll have the rare game where his legs change the game.

No comments:

Post a Comment