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The Tell: HR9

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#1 AlwaysinModeration

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 02:52 AM

In reviewing Michael Pineda’s stats, I wanted to see if he was giving up more homers in Yankee Stadium than in other parks - and thus might benefit from a change in scenery. Last year, though, it didn’t seem to be the case. Pineda gave up exactly 10 homers at home and on the road. Maybe my theory doesn’t hold water?

Looking back further, however, the story changes. In 2016, Pineda gave up 20 homers at Home, and only 7 on the road. In 2016, his split was 16:5.

All told, for his career, Pineda has given up homers at home at a rate of 1.48 per 9 innings, whereas on the road, his rate is 1.10. My theory is back - Pineda gives up 34% more home runs at home than on the road.

Then I remembered that Lance Lynn had lousy FIP last year, a warning sign when he signed. Looking at his homer stats, though, and something interesting jumped out. Last year, Lynn gave up homers at a rate of 1.3 per 9 innings. His career rate was 0.7 taters per nine. Last year was nearly double his career norms.

How about the other new rotation arm, Jake Odorizzi? Last year he had an ugly 1.9HR/9 rate. His career rates are 1.3/9. About a 50% increase over his career numbers. Of course, his 2016 was 1.4/9...but then look at his two previous years in Tampa, though, which were 1.0 and 1.1.

Out of curiosity, let’s look at the recently departed Anibal Sanchez. Last year, his home run rates ballooned to a career high of 2.2 homers per nine innings. Over his career he’s given up an excellent 1.0/9. Of course, he now has three consecutive years of giving up 1.7 HR/9...so maybe Anibal is simply cooked.

How about Addison Reed? Well, over his career he’s given up a stingy 0.9 homers per nine innings, but last year, down the stretch (small sample size alert), Reed gave up 1.7 homers per nine innings after landing in Boston.

For years BABIP has been used as a means of looking for regression candidates; look for a player who gave up BABIP over .350 last year (and had lousier than usual overall numbers, because of it) and expect his stats to revert back to career norms next year. Or, another way of thinking about it - look at a good hitter whose BABIP suddenly spikes over .350 in a given year, and then see how many MVP votes he gets that year.

Is the Twins Front Office particularly focused on fluctuations in home run rates? Is it a coincidence that many of their pitching acquisitions this year had flukily high home runs given up last year (or in Pineda’s case, a clear home/away split driven by Yankee Stadium?)

Just a theory, but that’s what it seems like to me.

Edited by AlwaysinModeration, 13 March 2018 - 03:11 AM.

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#2 AlwaysinModeration

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 03:22 AM

It also seems to me that the Pineda and Lynn contracts should be viewed as a package. The 2 year, $22million Plynneda pact could pay off nicely, getting the better year from each pitcher (Lynn, who is nearly 31, is entering his decline phase, so 2018 should be better than 2019, and Pineda will obviously be better in 2019 than in 2018).

#3 amjgt

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 05:48 AM

My theory is that the FO believes that MLB will “fix” the juiced baseball issue from last year. And have been betting on guys who saw their HR rates spike last year.
Similar to your theory, but slightly different. Because yours assumes regression to the mean, whereas mine assumes a specific course correction from the league.
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#4 Nine of twelve

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 08:14 AM

Having Yankee stadium as one's home field skews the data. The place is a launching pad, especially to right field compared to the old stadium because of wind patterns. True, it's deep in center but even Al Newman could have hit 5 dingers a year playing there.

#5 nytwinsfan

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 10:24 AM

Seems plausible. Interesting theory.


#6 AlwaysinModeration

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 02:26 PM

My theory is that the FO believes that MLB will “fix” the juiced baseball issue from last year. And have been betting on guys who saw their HR rates spike last year.
Similar to your theory, but slightly different. Because yours assumes regression to the mean, whereas mine assumes a specific course correction from the league.


Well, if MLB fixes the juiced balls, or they just regress to the mean, these pitchers should still improve this year. Hope this gambit works!

#7 jkcarew

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 02:59 PM

 

Or, another way of thinking about it - look at a good hitter whose BABIP suddenly spikes over .350 in a given year, and then see how many MVP votes he gets that year.

Rod Carew's BAbip spiked to .359 once....it was a span of about 11 thousand plate appearances across 19 years.And, you're right.He got a lot of MVP votes! :)


#8 jimmer

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 03:24 PM

Pineda may have given up the same amount of HR at home as on the road last year, but he also had three more starts at home and faced 70 more batters.

 

And how much were his numbers affected by injury?