Wednesday, April 3, 2013

2012: Defensive Plays of the Year

9/27 Travis Snider goes Spiderman on Mike Baxter

9/15 Brendan Ryan throws out Andrus from his butt

9/12 Manny Machado fakes out the runner
9/12 Coco Crisp hates Chris Ianetta with the glove and the arm.

9/11/12 Joey Votto cuts of the throw, flips to Phillips
9/9/12 Austin Jackson robs a homerun
9/9/12 Jeff Francoeur throws out Ramirez at 3rd

9/8/12 Mike Trout takes a homerun away to end the game
9/5/12 Cameron Maybe uses his length to rob Kemp

7/24&8/29&31/12 Beltre barehands the bunt and again and again.

8/11/12 Mike Trout robs a homerun and throws for a double play

8/4/12 Mike Trout takes a homerun away
8/4/12 Mark Buehrle gloves the ball to 1st

6/27/12 Mike Trout takes a homerun away

6/12/12 Mike Trout goes deep

Roy Halladay: What's up? What's down?

Roy Halladay.

?One of? the best pitchers in baseball over the last decade.

Struggled with injuries last season.

Struggled through spring training.

Had one of the crazier stat lines you'll see in his first start of 2013.
3.3 innings, 6 hits, 5 earned runs, 2 home runs, 3 walks, 9 strike outs, 1 loss.

Doesn't look like he pitched well.  All those hits, all those runs, all those home runs, all those walks, all those...strike outs?

Halladay faced 19 hitters.  He struck out almost half of them.  That's typically a recipe for success.

What gives?

I don't pretend to know.

Batted Ball FIP says that Halladay should have given up 3.64 runs per 9 innings giving up those rates of walks, line drives, ground balls and fly balls while getting those strikeouts.

In the 2011 game, Halladay threw strikes on 63% of his pitches.
In today's game, Halladay threw strikes on 57% of his pitches.

Halladay's fastest pitch today was measured at 91.7 MPH and his average fastball was at 89.6 MPH.
On May 5th 2011, also at Turner Field (I used this game to avoid issues with camera angle, radar readings, etc), Halladay's fastest pitch was 94.3 MPH and his average fastball was 93.2 MPH.  Halladay had 46 pitches faster that day than his fastest pitch today.

Braves hitters swung and missed at 13 of 118 pitches in the 2011 game - 11%
Braves hitters swung and missed at 14 of 94 pitches in today's game - 15%

It's odd that a guy could lose that much velocity + get that many more whiffs + get hit around like that.  BABIP and HR/FB are flukey and this is just 1 game and all that jazz...

Another thing, not noticed by me but noticed by lots of people who know more about baseball than me is Hallday's arm slot.

*click to make bigger

The image on the left is from today's game.  The image on the right from the 2011 game.

Notice that the clump of pitches from 2011 is basically bisected by the 6' line.  Meaning that most of Halladay's pitches in 2011 left Halladay's hand about 6' above the ground.  Now, look at the pitches from today's game.  Notice that none of the pitches from today were released from 6' above the ground.

Look at those two clumps again.  The clump from 2011 mostly occur to the right of the -2 foot marker - they were released less than 2' to the right of the center line.  Now the pitches from 2011.  The -2 foot marker bisects the clump a lot more - more pitches were thrown from more than 2 feet from the center line.

Halladay's arm slot appears to be different.  It's lower.

Does this mean anything?

I still don't pretend to know.

Data from May 5 2011
Data from April 3 2013

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Debut Review: Hyun-Jin Ryu

Hyun-Jin Ryu's first major league appearance was...


He went 6 and a third innings.  That's good.

He gave up 1 earned run.  That's good.

He didn't walk anybody.  That's good.

He struck out 5.  That's good.

He induced 11 groundballs and only 3 fly balls.  That's good.

He gave up 10 hits.  That's not so good.

He only had a single 1-2-3 inning.  That's not so good.

He gave up 2 unearned runs.  Not so good.

The overall numbers on Ryu might look ok:  0 - 1 with a 1.42 ERA, 7.1 K/9 and a infinite K/BB ration.  But we know he didn't pitch that well.  Using Tom Tango's Batted Ball FIP, Ryu would have been expected to give up 3.64 runs per 9 innings.  That's certainly doable.  That's mostly due to the high number of groundballs (11 of 20 batted balls, 55%).  6 line drives (30%) is pretty high.  That'll have to come down.  Too many Giant hitters were squaring him up.  If he keeps getting hit like that, he won't be successful.

Ryu faced 26 hitters and K'd 5 of them.  That's 19%.  The average NL starter (they get to face pitchers while AL pitchers face DH's) K'd 19.2% of the hitters they faced last season.  So Ryu is right about average in that (through 1 game).  The walk rate is great (through 1 game).

Ryu induced 9 swings and misses - 11% of Ryu's pitches induced a swing and miss. Major league average last year was 9%.  Again, Ryu looks about average with his stuff.

Ryu threw 80 pitches.  55 were strikes.  That's a 69% rate.  All major league starters through strikes 63% of the time last season.  Ryu threw a good number of strikes, not a great number.  Not a number that would make one think that Ryu would go the entire season without walking a batter.

According to Brooks Baseball, Ryu threw:
43 4-seam fastballs.  They averaged 89.2 MPH with the fastest coming in at 92.3 MPH
7 2-seam fastaballs.  They averaged 89.5 MPH with the fastest coming in at 91.4 MPH
23 changeups.  They averaged 80.8 MPH.  That's about an 8 MPH difference from his fastball.
7 curveballs.  They averaged 69.9 MPH.

The changeup was tabbed as Ryu's best pitch.  He threw it 23 times and Giant hitters swung and missed 4 times (18%).

Felix Hernandez also has a pretty good changeup.  Hitters have swung on and missed Felix's changeup about 20.5% of the time in his career.

So Ryu's not Felix Hernandez.  I don't think anyone expected that.

Ryu looked like an average to slightly above pitcher with his command and ability to generate swings and misses.  If he can continue getting ground balls that translates into a pretty good pitcher.

If he keeps giving up line drives it's going to be a rough season.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Clayton Kershaw had a good game: 4/1/2013

Clayton Kershaw had a good game.

You can never say that one player "singlehandedly beat" another team.  But...

Kershaw: 9 IP, 4 hits, 0 ER, 0 walks, 7 K's.

and this

A go-ahead solo homerun.

Kershaw had .753 points of WPA today.  His contributions produced about 75% of a win.

How good is that?
If he did that every start this season he'd produce about 25 wins for the Dodgers.

How good is that?
Last season, in the whole season, 247 players produced more than .753 WPA.  Kershaw did it in 9 innings.

2013 Free Agent Team: Contracts

Opening Day.  Time to look to the future.  Major league teams are engaging in a marathon struggle.  7 months, 162 regular season games.

Instead of looking forward at that, I'm going to look back.

In November, the 7th of, I game myself an imaginary $100 million with which to imaginarily lure 25 players to play for my imaginary baseball team in the real year of 2013.

Here's the post and the team that I picked.

Now, the season is upon us.  Al(most all)l of the contracts have been signed and the players are taking the field.  In a over half of a year I'll be able to look back and see how my imaginary team fared.  Before that, though, I should see how well I did at signing players.

Here's a list of the players I wanted to sign along with what I thought they'd sign for.

I don't think I did too bad.  I offered a total of 25 contracts for a total of $98.7 million.  23 of those players actually signed, and for a total of $87.3 million.  A few players I wanted to sign did not sign.  I offered $6 million to Roy Oswalt  and minor league contracts to Kevin Millwood, Jamey Moyer and Dana Eveland.  Millwood retired and nobody else bit on Oswaly, Moyer or Eveland.  If they had signed for what I had offered my total contracts would have to $94 million.  Very close to the $98 million I projected.

My biggest misses were:
Eric Chavez.  I offered 2 years and $10 million.  Chavez signed for 1 year and $3 million.  Pretty big overpay on my part.
My 1 year $6 million offer to Melky Cabrera wouldn't have gotten him.  He took 2 years and $16 from the Blue Jays.
I broke the bank for Nick Swisher at 6 years and $102 million.  He signed for about half of that.  4 years and $56 million.
My 2 year $12 million offer to Jeremy Guthrie was a bit shy.  He took 3 years and $25 million from the Royals.

All-in-all, though, I think I did a good job predicting the contracts and didn't make a fool of myself over or under bidding for players.

Now I just have to wait and see how they perform.