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Article: No Such Thing as Too Much Pitching, Right?

ervin santana jose berrios kyle gibson adalberto mejia aaron slegers
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#41 Oxtung

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 06:50 PM

 

I don't know how Steamer uses FIP,

 

[...]

 

It's not, because it doesn't account for Darvish's SBs and WPs, 

 

These would seem to be mutually exclusive statements. You can't claim to not know the math behind Steamer and simultaneously claim it doesn't take into account SB's and WP's.

 

 

Thanks for the info on SIERA, I'll take a look.

 

Each pitch doesn't tie to a runner advancing.WPs and SBs do.In addition to his WPs, he gave up 30% of the Rangers' stolen bases.Together, they make a significant impact on his ERA.It could easily be 15%.

 

According to Tom Tango's run expectancy charts Darvish's SB - CS added ~3 runs to his season total last year. Finishing the math that means if Darvish didn't allow any SB's last season (nor any CS) he would have had an ERA of 3.71. When you do the math on WP's (which was ~3 runs as well) it works out to an ERA of 3.69.Combined they lower his ERA to 3.55.Or a difference of 8%.

 

I'm not sure what this has to do with the larger point though.Darvish > Lynn.

 

Edit:I hate not being able to put in 2 spaces after periods.

Edited by Oxtung, 07 February 2018 - 06:51 PM.


#42 ChrisKnutson

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 07:21 PM

Just sign Andrew Cashner and Wade Miley, both have decent track records and are former 1st rounders (so they have the ability to be a bargain).

 

Also, I could see both turning into effective relievers as well if someone (Gonsalves, Romero, Little, May, Duffey) steps up and performs. I especially see Miley (smaller frame) (if that matters?) having the abilty to be that max effort guy in the pen ready to be unleashed.


#43 sampleSizeOfOne

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:09 PM

Re: Too much pitching.

It is possible and leaves me a bit quesy. I'd much rather be rolling. (Yaw is right out)

Oh you were talking about baseball? And perhaps you meant pitching talent? If there is some zero sum talentwise involved, i am sure there is a point of diminishing pitching returns, when it is better to invest in other talent to round out the team. No i don't think the Twins are there yet. I am wondering how the younger untried talent will step up of given half a chance, amd of course i am looking forward to the season as i bet most folk here and wondering how the free agent situation will shake out.

Bummer about Santana's finger, but not the end of the world as we know it...

#44 spycake

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:26 PM

The prior year's FIP is a projection, and the formula bears that out. I don't know how Steamer uses FIP, but his projection is pretty much Lynn's 2017 FIP with little or no correlation to previous years.

Keep in mind, at its core FIP is just a shortcut to describe a pitcher's K rate, BB rate, and HR rate on an ERA scale. Projecting those rates is what creates the projection. (Although FIP can be derived from the projection too.)

You can see Steamer doesn't like Lynn's K rate or HR rate to bounce back. With a return to normal BABIP, that makes for another high FIP, and Steamer basically projects guys ERA right around their FIP. I think Steamer is maybe overly pessimistic on Lynn, probably because it is agnostic about the TJ surgery/recovery context, but a non-elite K rate guy coming off a career low K rate is a concern. He hasn't yet bounced back fully from TJ in terms of K rate (and velocity?), and there remains the chance that he never will, particularly past the age of 30.

Another projection is ZIPS which looks better for him -- gives his 2017 rates and thus FIP a little boost, and gives him a better ERA than FIP too. Still has him at .289 BABIP, a tick lower than Steamer but much closer to average than his 2017 mark.

https://www.fangraph...ouis-cardinals/

In my opinion, Lynn is no slouch, but I still prefer Darvish, who is not without risk of course, but has already come back better/farther from TJ in terms of K rate and velocity, while a contract for Lynn would be a bet on that full recovery which hasn't yet happened. And Darvish has a higher ceiling (peaked at 5.9 bWAR, compared to 3.7 bWAR for Lynn) and probably a higher floor (he's basically been a 4+ bWAR performer, prorated to 31 GS, in each of his 5 MLB seasons so far).

I am sure the Twins have their own criteria that goes beyond any data we have (or could comprehend!) but from my vantage point, Darvish is the higher aim, and I would like them to aim high, given the circumstances.

Edited by spycake, 07 February 2018 - 08:29 PM.

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#45 bcs4

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:37 PM

 

These would seem to be mutually exclusive statements. You can't claim to not know the math behind Steamer and simultaneously claim it doesn't take into account SB's and WP's.

 

ME:They're referring to different things.I DON'T know how steamer uses the FIP calculation in their projections, but I DO know that FIP does not allow for SB or WP.I hope this helps.

 

 

According to Tom Tango's run expectancy charts Darvish's SB - CS added ~3 runs to his season total last year. Finishing the math that means if Darvish didn't allow any SB's last season (nor any CS) he would have had an ERA of 3.71. When you do the math on WP's (which was ~3 runs as well) it works out to an ERA of 3.69.Combined they lower his ERA to 3.55.Or a difference of 8%.

 

ME:He is determining this value based on the runs scored in a game. The methodology isn't explained, and I wasn't able to find it, but it looks like he's saying that a SB is worth a larger percent of a run in a higher run scoring environment because there would be more bases advanced during the game.For instance, if you were to steal in a 20 run game, you would be pretty likely to score, thus a SB in a 20 run game might be in the 4s or 5s (but as I think about it, I think it would reach an absolute max value).His valuation might be applicable here, but he's got a lot of variables to work with.By their nature this type of valuation generally uses plug numbers to allow iterations.I don't know where he might have used them.

 

I've never seen a specific average value for SB or WP, but it wouldn't be as complex as his calculations were. I would say that a net 18 SB and 12 WP together would make more runs than that because they'd likely be to 2B, 3B or Home,But, like I said, I don't know their values,, you could be correct.  

 

 

I'm not sure what this has to do with the larger point though.Darvish > Lynn.

 

Edit:I hate not being able to put in 2 spaces after periods.

 

I hate the single space after too.I'm also not great at the quotes. sorry

 

 

 

Edited by bcs4, 07 February 2018 - 08:46 PM.


#46 bcs4

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:44 PM

 

Keep in mind, at its core FIP is just a shortcut to describe a pitcher's K rate, BB rate, and HR rate on an ERA scale. Projecting those rates is what creates the projection. (Although FIP can be derived from the projection too.)

You can see Steamer doesn't like Lynn's K rate or HR rate to bounce back. With a return to normal BABIP, that makes for another high FIP, and Steamer basically projects guys ERA right around their FIP. I think Steamer is maybe overly pessimistic on Lynn, probably because it is agnostic about the TJ surgery/recovery context, but a non-elite K rate guy coming off a career low K rate is a concern. He hasn't yet bounced back fully from TJ in terms of K rate (and velocity?), and there remains the chance that he never will, particularly past the age of 30.

Another projection is ZIPS which looks better for him -- gives his 2017 rates and thus FIP a little boost, and gives him a better ERA than FIP too. Still has him at .289 BABIP, a tick lower than Steamer but much closer to average than his 2017 mark.

https://www.fangraph...ouis-cardinals/

In my opinion, Lynn is no slouch, but I still prefer Darvish, who is not without risk of course, but has already come back better/farther from TJ in terms of K rate and velocity, while a contract for Lynn would be a bet on that full recovery which hasn't yet happened. And Darvish has a higher ceiling (peaked at 5.9 bWAR, compared to 3.7 bWAR for Lynn) and probably a higher floor (he's basically been a 4+ bWAR performer, prorated to 31 GS, in each of his 5 MLB seasons so far).

I am sure the Twins have their own criteria that goes beyond any data we have (or could comprehend!) but from my vantage point, Darvish is the higher aim, and I would like them to aim high, given the circumstances.

 

 

Phew, I thought this thing was headed south fast.Thanks for your takes, they're very insightful.Bill


#47 spycake

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:20 PM

Well, the only way to figure out why something doesn't make sense is to do a little digging.


FWIW, I meant that line to say that you are now arriving at some of the core tenets of modern sabermetrics (BABIP and ERA prediction). I edited it out around the same time you responded because I thought I wasn't communicating that well. Nothing wrong with digging deeper for a better understanding, of course! But if you feel I am being too dismissive of your points, please keep in mind that this debate is far bigger than you and I and the context of Lynn and Darvish, and I may not be the best emissary for modern sabermetric thought. :) But I'll do my best as my time and typing allows.
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#48 bcs4

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 10:04 PM

Yes, statisticians and actuaries have their hands full, how can we understand and apply? The more complex a stat, generally the less useful if becomes. People use them incorrectly, and the weighting of thecalculations are subjective.

 

I liked Sabermetrics when it discovered that bunting, stealing bases, switch hitting, and having enough LHPand hitting in the rotation generally hurt more than they helped. Most Managers and GMs still overvalue that stuff.


#49 Oxtung

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 10:09 PM

 

ME:They're referring to different things.I DON'T know how steamer uses the FIP calculation in their projections, but I DO know that FIP does not allow for SB or WP.I hope this helps.

 

Thanks for clarifying. It seems you're a bit confused by some of these analytics. I will try and simplify the last 15 years of SABR thought into a few sentences. If you already know this I apologize and you can ignore me.:)

 

As you said FIP only uses a few variables; K's, BB's and HR's primarily, which makes it an easy analytic to use. As such it can be used to estimate how a pitcher performed without taking into account things like the defense behind him, the ballpark he plays in, etc.. that the pitcher has no control over. So for 2017 Darvish struckout 209 batters and walked 58 (which FIP LOVES) but also gave up 27 HR's (Which FIP hates). That makes for an above average FIP and this is how it was originally meant to be used.

 

However, FIP can also be used as a projection system in two separate ways. First, the 2016 FIP correlates more highly to a players 2017 ERA than a players 2016 ERA to their 2017 ERA. So often a players 2017 FIP is used as a short hand for how a pitcher's ERA might perform the next season. Second, given a projected number of K's, BB's and HR's it can predict a 2018 FIP for players. This is where Steamer comes in. Steamer (and others like ZIPS) uses past trends in year to year fluctuations in a stat, say strikeouts, to predict what a players future number of strikeouts will be.


#50 Oxtung

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 10:19 PM

 

He is determining this value based on the runs scored in a game. The methodology isn't explained, and I wasn't able to find it, but it looks like he's saying that a SB is worth a larger percent of a run in a higher run scoring environment because there would be more bases advanced during the game.For instance, if you were to steal in a 20 run game, you would be pretty likely to score, thus a SB in a 20 run game might be in the 4s or 5s (but as I think about it, I think it would reach an absolute max value).His valuation might be applicable here, but he's got a lot of variables to work with.By their nature this type of valuation generally uses plug numbers to allow iterations.I don't know where he might have used them.

 

I've never seen a specific average value for SB or WP, but it wouldn't be as complex as his calculations were. I would say that a net 18 SB and 12 WP together would make more runs than that because they'd likely be to 2B, 3B or Home,But, like I said, I don't know their values,, you could be correct.

 

I didn't look closely enough at his methodology and that was more complex than the one I was looking for, sorry! Disregard my previous mathematical analysis. Though I still think you're overvaluing SB's and WP's. I'll look more closely and repost.


#51 DocBauer

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 10:25 PM

This all has to be seen within the context of the 40-man roster that is full right now.And the first name off that roster if/when the Twins add a free agent pitcher is likely Slegers (or Enns), so you adding and losing.
 
That's why, if the Twins are going after a second pitcher (which they should, because in order to compete in the post-season, they need 2 SP better than Berrios and now they have zero,) it has to be via a trade.
 
Other than Darvish, I don't think that any of the FA SP are worth it, not only because of the loss of the draft pick for the other top 3, but because I think that they will be at the Gibson level at the AL...
 
Absolutely no to bottom feeding because Gonsalves, Romero, Littel, Enns, & Co could provide similar or better results than Vargas or Garcia and hold the last spot or two until May and Santana are ready in May.
 
This team has to decide whether it will be a contender in 2018 or 2019.If they want to be a contender in 2018 they need 2 starters.In 2019, they will effectively replace Santana with Pineda, May, Berrios, Mejia would be a year more seasoned, and Gonsalves, Romero, Littel would be closer.

They just need a top of the rotation pitcher (or 2) depending on how they see 2018.


LOVE this post. Very smart. But we will continue to disagree on 2 pitchers better than Berrios. But that comes down to belief as well as cost and affect. Despite this unfortunate injury, I'm a believer in Santana, and never bought in to the theory his arm would fall off in 2018. He has pretty much performed as well as or better with the Twins than he ever has. (Obviously this minor injury clouds things a bit). Even with some regression, Santana is a very nice pitcher. And I believe Berrios will only continue to get better. Darvish is obviously a HUGE need and potential get. (Honestly, I'm not sure why he hasn't taken the best opportunity and contract and signed already), but some of the other options still move the needle for me, if the numbers make sense.

But Darvish, (I hope), Santana and an improving Berrios does a lot for me. After that is Gibson, Mejia, and a few really nice prospects, (maybe not quite ready) plus the rehabbing May. Just not sure I buy in to another SP better than Berrios. But I could absolutely buy in to a flier/1 year deal at this point to offset any Santana issues. It would deepen the initial rotation and buy time for May and the kids. Who knows, might get lucky and have a flip asset.
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#52 beckmt

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 10:29 PM

 

I still would try to do it on the cheaper side - sign Cobb, and give Tillman a 1-year prove it contract - like 1-6 or 1-7, with perhaps a club option for like 10 the following year. Then I would look to trade for Archer or as has been suggested on here Teheran.

 

This would give the team a rotation as follows:

 

Archer/Teheran

Santana

Berrios

Cobb

Gibson

 

with proven backup options ready to fill gaps/injuries:

​Tillman

Mejia

 

along with injury recovery options:

 

Pineda

May

Hughes

Duffey

 

and finally the rookie crop:

 

Slagers

Enns

Gonsalves

Romero

Jorge 

et al

 

I'm assuming a trade for Teheran or Archer would cost at least Gordon and perhaps one of those rookie SPs. Considering how our rotation would shake out for the next few years (with contracts expiring) - I'd do it in a heartbeat. 

NO!!! Please aim high.


#53 bcs4

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 10:38 PM

 

Thanks for clarifying. It seems you're a bit confused by some of these analytics. I will try and simplify the last 15 years of SABR thought into a few sentences. If you already know this I apologize and you can ignore me.:)

 

As you said FIP only uses a few variables; K's, BB's and HR's primarily, which makes it an easy analytic to use. As such it can be used to estimate how a pitcher performed without taking into account things like the defense behind him, the ballpark he plays in, etc.. that the pitcher has no control over. So for 2017 Darvish struckout 209 batters and walked 58 (which FIP LOVES) but also gave up 27 HR's (Which FIP hates). That makes for an above average FIP and this is how it was originally meant to be used.

 

However, FIP can also be used as a projection system in two separate ways. First, the 2016 FIP correlates more highly to a players 2017 ERA than a players 2016 ERA to their 2017 ERA. So often a players 2017 FIP is used as a short hand for how a pitcher's ERA might perform the next season. Second, given a projected number of K's, BB's and HR's it can predict a 2018 FIP for players. This is where Steamer comes in. Steamer (and others like ZIPS) uses past trends in year to year fluctuations in a stat, say strikeouts, to predict what a players future number of strikeouts will be.

 

I understand what you're saying, but I don't see numbers that support it yet.Averaged over the only years that I was able to use them, both ERA and FIP averaged being off by roughly .5. I realize that's not a sample, but I'd love to see some actual comparisons overall. How close is projecting ERA and how close is FIP?The people that use FIP say that it's better, but there should be a basis somewhere to establish it.It wouldn't be hard to do if someone merged a couple of databases, and if it averages .5 off, it's not that much of a help, in fact it's kind of a hindrance because people don't bother to look at individual stats to see what's actually going on.

 

Please don't take this in any way to demean your valuations of players. It's that I see a lot of people that say one pitcher is crappy, and another is great based solely on WAR, when they really don't know if it's valid for an individual player. WAR definitions generally even use a disclaimer that says players within 1 (or something around there) of each other are about the same.

 

Thanks for the assistance.  

 


#54 Oxtung

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:16 PM

 

I understand what you're saying, but I don't see numbers that support it yet.Averaged over the only years that I was able to use them, both ERA and FIP averaged being off by roughly .5. I realize that's not a sample, but I'd love to see some actual comparisons overall. How close is projecting ERA and how close is FIP?The people that use FIP say that it's better, but there should be a basis somewhere to establish it.It wouldn't be hard to do if someone merged a couple of databases, and if it averages .5 off, it's not that much of a help, in fact it's kind of a hindrance because people don't bother to look at individual stats to see what's actually going on.

 

Please don't take this in any way to demean your valuations of players. It's that I see a lot of people that say one pitcher is crappy, and another is great based solely on WAR, when they really don't know if it's valid for an individual player. WAR definitions generally even use a disclaimer that says players within 1 (or something around there) of each other are about the same.

 

Thanks for the assistance.

 

There have been many year to year correlation studies done. Let me be upfront, none of our current analytics do a very good job of predicting future performance. That said they are still the best we currently have. Here is a matrix showing correlations from a few years ago. The best predictors of future ERA are FIP, xFIP, SIERA, tERA. They are more accurate predictors of 2018 ERA's than a players 2017 ERA. 

 

On a related note, has anyone seen the Steamer/ZIP correlation numbers?


#55 ashburyjohn

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 07:36 AM

The more complex a stat, generally the less useful if becomes.

To whom? If you mean us arm-chair GMs trying to pretend to keep up with the pros, perhaps. Not to the ones who designed the stat, though.

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#56 bcs4

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 10:45 AM

 

To whom? If you mean us arm-chair GMs trying to pretend to keep up with the pros, perhaps. Not to the ones who designed the stat, though.

Ha ha.Yeah, mainly us. I'm sure the designers like them. If I was them I'd like them too.


#57 bcs4

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 10:48 AM

 

There have been many year to year correlation studies done. Let me be upfront, none of our current analytics do a very good job of predicting future performance. That said they are still the best we currently have. Here is a matrix showing correlations from a few years ago. The best predictors of future ERA are FIP, xFIP, SIERA, tERA. They are more accurate predictors of 2018 ERA's than a players 2017 ERA. 

 

On a related note, has anyone seen the Steamer/ZIP correlation numbers?

 

Thanks for the link!  


#58 ashburyjohn

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 11:35 AM

Is there a glossary for this chart? I can't remember all of the abbreviations.

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#59 Oxtung

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 01:32 PM

 

Is there a glossary for this chart? I can't remember all of the abbreviations.

 

Here is a link to Fangraphs' pitching glossary page. You should be able to find most of them there including links for more indepth explanations if needed.

Edited by Oxtung, 08 February 2018 - 01:33 PM.

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#60 ashburyjohn

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 05:38 PM

Here is a link to Fangraphs' pitching glossary page. You should be able to find most of them there including links for more indepth explanations if needed.

Fangraphs... Glossary... that was too tough a Google search for me to come up with today. Thanks for humoring me. :)

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