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Relevant magic numbers with tiebreakers accounted for

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:01 AM
After the games of 9/22:   TB over Min: 2 CWS over Min: 4 Oak over Min: 5 Min over Cle: 2 Min over NYY: 4
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The Perfect Length of a Baseball Season?

Other Baseball Today, 08:46 AM
So Twitter got me thinking... What's the perfect length of baseball season? And then what's the perfect playoffs to be paired with that s...
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LT contracts for current star position players

Other Baseball Today, 08:26 AM
I see that Yelich is still effected by a broken kneecap from last year and has a longterm contract now through 2028. It always raised an...
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Game Thread: Scoreboard Watching, 9/24/2020 at 5:10 PM CDT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:18 AM
Please pardon me for this highly unusual thread, but we live in highly unusual times...   Fire up your MLB.TV machines and join me f...
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Seeding

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:57 AM
This crazy year of 2020 has introduced another new term to MLB playoffs, "seeding". I don't pretend to understand all of it but I do know...
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CHW 3, MIN 1: Twins Leave 15 Runners On Base

The Twins combined for eight hits and 10 walks, but managed to scratch across just one run. They were 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position and left 15 runners on base. The White Sox, who left 12 men on themselves, but got to Taylor Rogers for two runs in the eighth.
Box Score
Berríos: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Home Runs: None
Bottom 3 WPA: Cruz -.392, Rogers -.351, Astudillo -.196
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs):
Attached Image: Winchart.png

It was early on that a theme developed to Monday night’s game. Stop me when you pick up on that theme.

1st inning: Lead off single, no runs.

2nd inning: Lead off double, no runs.

3rd inning: Lead off double, no runs.

4th inning: Lead off walk, no runs.

Four straight innings with the lead off batter reaching and nothing but a goose egg to show for it. Not exactly the start to a series against the team you are chasing for the division title who has an equally potent lineup to your own.

Berrios shaky, but still shuts down top offense

Meanwhile, Jose Berrios took the mound for the Twins. The results of Berrios’ start weren't bad, but it was the journey to that result that was nerve wracking. The second inning especially caused Twins Territory to worry about where the game was headed.

Berrios was able to get the White Sox to 2 outs relatively well with Yoan Moncada on second base. From there Berrios gave up a bloop single to Nick Madrigal which brought Moncada home to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead. From there Berrios gave up a line drive single to Tim Anderson and hit Yasmani Grandal with a pitch to load the bases. Nearly heroically, Berrios induced a grounder off the bat of MVP candidate Jose Abreu to end the inning.

Berrios would make it 5 innings for the Twins. It wasn’t the most dominant of starts for the right-hander, but the results put the Twins in a position to win the game after only allowing one run and issuing one walk. Maybe most impressively, Berrios ended his start with a 1-2-3 5th while facing the White Sox 3-4-5 batters.

The Theme Continues

As the Twins began the top of the 5th inning Ehire Adrianza took a walk. Five innings, five straight times the lead off batter reaches base. This time the Twins fortune would change. While the inning was one that should have netted a few more runs, Jorge Polanco came through with a bloop single that drove in Adrianza to tie the game 1-1.

6th inning, another lead off batter reached. This time it was a Jake Cave double. This time the Twins would eventually load the bases and with 2 outs bring Nelson Cruz to the plate. The exact guy they would want right? Maybe not, this time Cruz would strike out and bring the Twins left on base total to 11 through 6 innings.

Another loss with Rogers on the mound

Taylor Rogers came in to get the bottom of the White Sox lineup out and keep the score tied going into the 9th so the Twins could try to take the lead then. Instead, Rogers opened the inning by walking two batters and eventually giving up a single to Adam Engel through a vacated shortstop position due to a defensive shift to score a White Sox run. Tim Anderson then followed up with a well hit double off the wall to put the White Sox up 3-1.

That caused Rocco Baldelli to come out and pull Rogers from the game in favor of Jorge Alcala. It has been said many times before and I will say it again here. Rogers isn’t exactly getting dominated, but he is missing that shut down ability we became used to so the question has to be asked: What’s next with Rogers?

Tonight may have been set up for a struggle for the Twins from the get go. No Miguel Sano, no Marwin Gonzalez, no Eddie Rosario, and of course still no Luis Arraez. While a lot of firepower was missing, the team still put a lot of guys on base for the bats in the line up to do some damage. Ehire Adrianza alone reached base four times out of the nine hole and came around to score the team’s only run.

The Twins also battled Angel Hernandez behind home plate just as much as they battled the White Sox all night long. And somehow in the top of the 9th they were still in this game. Byron Buxton landed on second base after the most confusing reactions to a ground rule/inside the park on field reaction ever from Eloy Jimenez.

In the end, Jake Cave would strike out and Alex Colome closed out the win for the White Sox. Tough loss to start the series. It will be interesting to see how the team rebounds for the rest of the series.
Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
Attached Image: Bullpen.png

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72 Comments

But putting a ball in play (barring the very rare case of an inside the park HR) with no one on base is also, by that standard, worthless. The problem with RBI as a stat is not that it's worthless--it's that it's completely devoid of context.

Let's say Eddie Rosario hits a routine ground ball to the second baseman with less than two outs. If Byron Buxton is on third, there's a good chance Rosario gets an RBI. If Nelson Cruz is on third, it's essentially a 0% chance Rosario gets an RBI. Exact same batted ball by Rosario, diametrically opposite RBI outcomes. The reason for that is because often a large part of the run being scored has absolutely nothing to do with the batter who gets credit for the RBI. Thus, absent an accompanying, context-providing stat, RBI is at best a crude metric, and at worst, a downright misleading one.


You can make that argument about home runs also. Hitting a ball out in San Diego or Anaheim is a lot different than Yankee stadium where if you can clear the infield it has a good shot at going out. Just ask Mo Vaughn. So you can make those kinds of arguments about almost anything. Racking up stolen bases off of Astudillo is a lot different than getting that many SB's vs Molina. Everything in baseball is dependent on who you are facing. I mean we look at pitchers and their swing and miss stuff, but how would those guys swing and miss stuff percentages play out if they were facing guys like Carew, Gwynn, Boggs, Brett, and guys who played in that era? It would be a lot different. So just like with Buxton or Cruz on 3rd is dependent on whether someone gets an RBI so is every other stat in baseball.
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Cap'n Piranha
Sep 15 2020 11:39 AM

 

You can make that argument about home runs also. Hitting a ball out in San Diego or Anaheim is a lot different than Yankee stadium where if you can clear the infield it has a good shot at going out. Just ask Mo Vaughn. So you can make those kinds of arguments about almost anything. Racking up stolen bases off of Astudillo is a lot different than getting that many SB's vs Molina. Everything in baseball is dependent on who you are facing. I mean we look at pitchers and their swing and miss stuff, but how would those guys swing and miss stuff percentages play out if they were facing guys like Carew, Gwynn, Boggs, Brett, and guys who played in that era? It would be a lot different. So just like with Buxton or Cruz on 3rd is dependent on whether someone gets an RBI so is every other stat in baseball.

 

But not to the degree that RBI's are.With the bases empty, you cannot get an RBI unless you hit a HR.RBI's are way more contextually driven than almost anything else, because that context comes within the game from other players.If you have two identically hit balls in the same stadium, if one is a homer, so is the other.That's not true of the situation I outlined.Stealing bases off Astudillo is different than Molina, but everyone in that game gets to steal off the same guy--the situation is constant, and therefore is not the determinant of outcome.

But not to the degree that RBI's are. With the bases empty, you cannot get an RBI unless you hit a HR. RBI's are way more contextually driven than almost anything else, because that context comes within the game from other players. If you have two identically hit balls in the same stadium, if one is a homer, so is the other. That's not true of the situation I outlined. Stealing bases off Astudillo is different than Molina, but everyone in that game gets to steal off the same guy--the situation is constant, and therefore is not the determinant of outcome.


I agree that everyone in the game gets to steal off of Astudillo in that instant, but when you look at numbers you look at them over a course of time. Nobody narrows down how many RBI's you got on August 12th. Or how many home runs you got on June 15th. It's always over the course of a definite period of time. Usually a long period of time such as the whole season. But even then, even if you are in the same game stealing off of Astudillo when one pitchers is on the mound is different than when another pitcher takes the mound, even with the same catcher baseball stats are dependent. Even with the same swing same launch angle same everything will have a different result when you barrel up a Chapman 100mph fastball as opposed to a Greinke 50mph ephus pitch. Same swing, same hit, same ballpark, still will create a different result. Stats are dependent on outside factors no matter what.

Terrible, not fun game to watch.I blame the terrible home plate ump, I have not like Angel Hernadez for years.The man's zone is all over the place, with all the walks you would think it was tiny, but he was not consistent at all.Sure, he did not hit into the inning ending double plays, but when both pitcher and hitter are guessing on what will be called it is hard to have an approach up there.  

 

You can make that argument about home runs also. Hitting a ball out in San Diego or Anaheim is a lot different than Yankee stadium where if you can clear the infield it has a good shot at going out. Just ask Mo Vaughn. So you can make those kinds of arguments about almost anything. Racking up stolen bases off of Astudillo is a lot different than getting that many SB's vs Molina. Everything in baseball is dependent on who you are facing. I mean we look at pitchers and their swing and miss stuff, but how would those guys swing and miss stuff percentages play out if they were facing guys like Carew, Gwynn, Boggs, Brett, and guys who played in that era? It would be a lot different. So just like with Buxton or Cruz on 3rd is dependent on whether someone gets an RBI so is every other stat in baseball.

 

Except it's simply not true regarding HRs. For home runs, the stat still represents fairly what the actions of the hitter were: they hit the ball over the fence. With RBIs it's not the same; arguably the most important information you get from RBIs is that the hitter had a lot of ABs with runners on base. What the context is for home runs isn't as important as the fact that someone actually hit the ball out.

But even hitting home runs is dependent. Petco park is not very home run friendly, Yankee stadium is a band box. So one player could be a pretty good hitter in Yankee stadium, and another player could hit every ball exactly the same as the first player but due to air pressure and park nuances they can be not such a great hitter.

I mean if you are saying that a ball hit out of the park is a ball hit out of the park regardless of outside factors then someone could argue that all of the colorado rockies hitters from the 90's should be in the hall of fame, I mean they hit the ball out of the park

 

I've been following only one scenario religiously since the first week of last season: HITS with 2+ OB (minus HR's). Stringing base hits together, especially with multiple base runners is virtually impossible with this lineup. The Twins have performed like thee bottom-tier team in this aspect game after game.

What's your source for following this scenario?

 

I just added up all the 2+ runner on base splits for the 2020 season at B-Ref:

https://www.baseball...020#bases::none

 

Looking at hits minus HR, divided by AB minus HR, with 2+ runners on base, the Twins rank 11th in MLB this year. Ranking behind us include playoff-bound teams like TBR, NYY, CHW, LAD, and OAK.

 

Keep in mind, MLB batting average overall is at its lowest point since 1972, and isolated power is higher in 2019-2020 than it has ever been in Twins franchise history (since 1961) -- so everybody is getting fewer non-HR base hits than before, in all situations:

https://www.fangraph...12-31&sort=12,a

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Cap'n Piranha
Sep 15 2020 04:10 PM

 

But even hitting home runs is dependent. Petco park is not very home run friendly, Yankee stadium is a band box. So one player could be a pretty good hitter in Yankee stadium, and another player could hit every ball exactly the same as the first player but due to air pressure and park nuances they can be not such a great hitter.

I mean if you are saying that a ball hit out of the park is a ball hit out of the park regardless of outside factors then someone could argue that all of the colorado rockies hitters from the 90's should be in the hall of fame, I mean they hit the ball out of the park

 

Which is why there are park factors.People who understand that concept get that 30 homers in Petco is more impressive than 30 homers in Yankee stadium, and will value those players accordingly.What I'm saying is there needs to be a "park factor" for RBI, to help us understand if the RBI came from a solo home run, or the fast runner on third scoring on a routine grounder.Those are vastly different processes to get to the same outcome, and unlike homeruns, I'm not aware of a readily available stat that can speak to that.

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Cap'n Piranha
Sep 15 2020 04:16 PM

 

I agree that everyone in the game gets to steal off of Astudillo in that instant, but when you look at numbers you look at them over a course of time. Nobody narrows down how many RBI's you got on August 12th. Or how many home runs you got on June 15th. It's always over the course of a definite period of time. Usually a long period of time such as the whole season. But even then, even if you are in the same game stealing off of Astudillo when one pitchers is on the mound is different than when another pitcher takes the mound, even with the same catcher baseball stats are dependent. Even with the same swing same launch angle same everything will have a different result when you barrel up a Chapman 100mph fastball as opposed to a Greinke 50mph ephus pitch. Same swing, same hit, same ballpark, still will create a different result. Stats are dependent on outside factors no matter what.

 

My whole point with the swing is if the inputs are the same (launch angle, exit velocity, atmospheric conditions, etc), the hits will be identical--same distance, same elevation, same landing spot.The process of the batter hitting the ball, if identical, will produce identical results.The entire point I was making about RBI's is that the process of the batter hitting the ball can be identical, and yet yield non-identical results, vis-a-vis RBI.This demonstrates that RBI's are not completely controllable by the batter, and as such, in order to truly quantify batter performance via RBI, we need additional data.

It was a game worth forgetting. And hoping we don't have any more like that. It was a long slow boring bad game
    • bighat likes this
It was a game worth forgetting. And hoping we don't have any more like that. It was a long slow boring bad game

Angel Hernandez didn’t cost us the game. However he is a horrible umpire and everyone knows it.
Berrios throws more non competitive pitches than any other good pitcher I’ve seen. Last night there had to be 15-20 pitches that had no chance so you end up with 100 pitches to get 5 innings. I keep holding out hope that something will click and he find command but I think this is it. His stuff is so good he still pitched a good game.
Wade Jr needs to be the 4th outfielder next year. Better yet find a right handed version of him. Don’t need to see Cave anymore.

I love your middle paragraph. Berrios doesnt seem to be able to execute a game plan. Watching Maeda execute is art. Berrios is more of a finger painter.
    • bighat likes this

 

Only twice -- his last two PAs. In the 6th, he struck out, in the 8th, he grounded out.

 

He also K'd in the 1st with a runner on 1st and 1 out, and he DP'd with runners at the corners and 1 out in the 3rd. But an intentional walk in the 5th!

 

Which makes it even worse.....

 

Lol you guys are hilarious. Twins are on a 100 win pace even with all the injuries and you guys are in here whining and talking **** about the guy who won the Manager of the Year award last year and is in his 2nd season. Talk about overreactions. 

 

I respect your opinion, and I respect those you are disparaging. 

This is not a normal season. You can't have a 100 win pace in a 60 game season. Not apples to apples.

I would bet Rocco is even doubting some of his decisions, regardless of what he says. I hope so. Smart people don't think they are perfect, but always willing to learn.

 

The key series are coming in about two weeks. The Twins are in a very good position to secure home field advantage, and they should be using every game from now until the playoffs to get as many players right as possible.

 

It is looking like there will be a bubble, and no home field, just home team for the game.

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twinbythebay
Sep 15 2020 07:08 PM

 

It is looking like there will be a bubble, and no home field, just home team for the game.

I believe the bubbles are only for the Division Series and beyond, but the first round is still played at the higher seed's ballpark.

    • h2oface likes this

 

But putting a ball in play (barring the very rare case of an inside the park HR) with no one on base is also, by that standard, worthless.The problem with RBI as a stat is not that it's worthless--it's that it's completely devoid of context.

 

Let's say Eddie Rosario hits a routine ground ball to the second baseman with less than two outs.If Byron Buxton is on third, there's a good chance Rosario gets an RBI.If Nelson Cruz is on third, it's essentially a 0% chance Rosario gets an RBI.Exact same batted ball by Rosario, diametrically opposite RBI outcomes.The reason for that is because often a large part of the run being scored has absolutely nothing to do with the batter who gets credit for the RBI.Thus, absent an accompanying, context-providing stat, RBI is at best a crude metric, and at worst, a downright misleading one.

 

If you don't understand the different mental pressure a batter faces with men on base and in scoring position, then you will always make this same argument to discount the value of RBI and the hitters that get them. But I assume you do understand the different mental pressure and context of that in the at bat, and just chose to ignore it in these cases. The run being scored has everything to do with the batter when the batter steps into the batter's box and is faced with the opportunity and added presure and intensity to knock a run in. No ball hit, no walk drawn in and bases loaded situation, and no run scored. But I am not trying to convince you. I just don't buy your angle. And you will make the same argument again. 

 

I love RBI guys, and that is why. Always have, always will. They have a history of knocking runs in, and under more mental pressure. 

How can the Twins better construct their lineup. Why are Kepler and Donaldson batting first and second?

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twinbythebay
Sep 15 2020 10:41 PM

The run being scored has everything to do with the batter when the batter steps into the batter's box and is faced with the opportunity and added presure and intensity to knock a run in.


This is simply not true. The run being scored has a lot to do with the batter, but the baserunner(s) and the defense play a big role in the outcome as well. As someone else argued above, you're gonna have a much easier time collecting an RBI on a groundout when Byron Buxton is on third base as opposed to Nelson Cruz.
    • Cap'n Piranha likes this

Let's say Eddie Rosario someone hits a routine ground ball to the second baseman with less than two outs. If Byron Buxton is on third, there's a good chance Rosario someone gets an RBI.

Now, care to share any prophecies for tonight's game?
 

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Cap'n Piranha
Sep 16 2020 11:23 AM

 

If you don't understand the different mental pressure a batter faces with men on base and in scoring position, then you will always make this same argument to discount the value of RBI and the hitters that get them. But I assume you do understand the different mental pressure and context of that in the at bat, and just chose to ignore it in these cases. The run being scored has everything to do with the batter when the batter steps into the batter's box and is faced with the opportunity and added presure and intensity to knock a run in. No ball hit, no walk drawn in and bases loaded situation, and no run scored. But I am not trying to convince you. I just don't buy your angle. And you will make the same argument again. 

 

I love RBI guys, and that is why. Always have, always will. They have a history of knocking runs in, and under more mental pressure. 

 

So when you see a guy with RBI's, you just assume he's better at dealing with mental pressure, without bothering to understand the context of the situation?I don't deny that some players are better at handling mental pressure, and there could be some extra mental pressure in RBI opportunities.However, you seem to ignore that there could also be extra mental pressure on pitchers/defenders in those situations too.Furthermore, the pitcher usually has to pitch from the stretch instead of the windup (unless it's a reliever who always pitches from the stretch).This is borne out by the fact that hitters generally perform better with RISP than bases empty (link at the bottom).

 

If RBI opportunities create pressure which reduces performance, than why are there broad-based (meaning across all batters) increases in average and OBP in RISP situations?

 

Given a hitter full credit for an RBI without examining context is like giving a football player full credit for a TD without examining the context.Maybe the wide receiver ran a perfect route, adjusted for the catch, and then outran two DB's to the end zone.Maybe the running back made a guy miss in the backfield, then broke 5 tackles while tip-toeing the sideline.Or maybe the fullback walked into the end zone from the 1 yard line after the O-Line pushed the D-Line 3 yards backwards at the snap.Context matters.And that's all me, or anyone else who doesn't want to use RBI as a standalone stat, are saying.

 

https://www.baseball...season batted .

    • twinbythebay likes this