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Archive for April, 2011

Jorge Posada’s weird (bad) season

Posted by Andy on April 30, 2011

Jorge Posada is having a weird season so far.

After the Yankees' 11th game this year, Posada was hitting just .184. But he also had 5 homers and an .858 OPS.

Since then, though, he's fallen off the map and is at .130, 6 HR, and a .622 OPS.

So far this year, he's got those 6 HR, only 3 other hits (all singles) and 20 strikeouts.

I don't need to look up any of those numbers to tell you that are very unbalanced, strange, and ultimately pretty bad.

43 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Top strike-throwers in 2011

Posted by Andy on April 30, 2011

Through Friday's games, here are the 15 guys in MLB (minimum 8 IP) who have thrown at least 69% of their pitches for strikes.

Rk Player IP Str% From To Age G GS SV H R ER BB SO ERA ERA+ BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
1 Roy Halladay 37.1 69% 2011 2011 34-34 5 5 0 32 10 10 6 39 2.41 164 .227 .264 .270 .533 50
2 Cliff Lee 32.1 71% 2011 2011 32-32 5 5 0 30 16 15 4 39 4.18 95 .238 .273 .413 .685 89
3 Ted Lilly 32.1 69% 2011 2011 35-35 6 6 0 40 16 16 7 21 4.45 85 .310 .350 .426 .776 122
4 Jordan Zimmermann 29.2 70% 2011 2011 25-25 5 5 0 32 19 15 5 14 4.55 87 .274 .301 .393 .694 93
5 Huston Street 15.1 69% 2011 2011 27-27 14 0 9 12 4 4 4 15 2.35 196 .214 .267 .339 .606 60
6 Matt Guerrier 14.1 69% 2011 2011 32-32 12 0 0 12 5 5 4 11 3.14 122 .226 .281 .226 .507 47
7 Rich Thompson 13.1 73% 2011 2011 26-26 8 0 0 11 4 4 1 14 2.70 149 .216 .226 .373 .599 67
8 Matt Capps 12.2 69% 2011 2011 27-27 12 0 4 10 5 5 0 6 3.55 116 .217 .229 .370 .599 64
9 Mike Adams 12.0 70% 2011 2011 32-32 12 0 0 2 1 1 0 11 0.75 493 .053 .053 .132 .184 -48
10 Sean Marshall 12.0 70% 2011 2011 28-28 13 0 1 12 2 1 1 12 0.75 581 .261 .277 .283 .559 50
11 Mariano Rivera 11.2 72% 2011 2011 41-41 12 0 8 10 3 3 2 10 2.31 183 .238 .273 .310 .582 61
12 Tim Wakefield 11.1 70% 2011 2011 44-44 7 0 0 9 8 7 2 4 5.56 78 .214 .250 .548 .798 112
13 Daniel McCutchen 9.0 69% 2011 2011 28-28 7 0 0 6 0 0 1 3 0.00 .200 .226 .233 .459 30
14 J.J. Putz 9.0 69% 2011 2011 34-34 8 0 5 5 2 2 1 10 2.00 214 .167 .212 .267 .479 30
15 Kyle Farnsworth 8.0 73% 2011 2011 35-35 10 0 5 6 2 1 0 5 1.12 354 .214 .207 .250 .457 28
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/30/2011.

For Roy Halladay, these numbers don't even count his CG effort today against the Mets where he threw 80 out of 107 pitches for strikes.

Thanks to reader Jim P. for pointing out Halladay's strike-throwing tendency. Actually Jim pointed out that Halladay didn't throw a single ball to any of the first 9 batters today.  All told, Halladay faced 33 batters today. He walked one of them, meaning he threw 23 balls to the other 32 batters...think about that for a minute.

30 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

All-Dominican Team

Posted by Neil Paine on April 30, 2011

The Dominican Republic has given us many great ballplayers over the years, far more than you might expect from a nation of its size. In fact, the tiny coastal town of San Pedro de Macorís alone has produced more MLB players per capita than any other municipality in the world. Baseball is so deeply ingrained in the culture of the D.R. that Pedro Gonzalez once said, "Every boy grows up with a bat and a ball—it’s the first present a male baby gets in his crib."

So, as a tribute to the fine baseball being played by its natives, here is the all-time Dominican all-star team according to Wins Above Replacement:

54 Comments | Posted in History, Play Index, WAR

Pitchers with the best ratio of HR hit to HR given up

Posted by Andy on April 29, 2011

Since 1901, there are 196 pitchers who've hit at least 5 HR in their careers. These are guys who appeared in at least 50% of their games as a pitcher (so, no Babe Ruth or Brooks Kieschnick.)

I used a two-tier search to then find the career HR yielded by each of these guys, and then in Excel found those with the best ratios of HR hit to HR yielded.

Reb Russell	3.14
Ed Karger	0.50
Harry Howell	0.45
Clay Bryant	0.38
Dixie Howell	0.38
R Winegarner	0.38
Claude Hendrix	0.34
Garland Buckeye	0.33
Pete Schneider	0.31
Wes Ferrell	0.29

Now, Reb Russell really shouldn't count. According to his BR Bullpen article, he was a pitcher with the White Sox in the 1910's but came back as a full-time outfielder after blowing out his arm.

26 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

25+ Starts In A Season By 2+ RHP Age 36 Or Older

Posted by Steve Lombardi on April 29, 2011

How many times, since 1901, has a team had two right-handed starters, age 36 or older, in the same season, make 25 starts or more?

25 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

Mailbag: Has one team ever played a double-header against two different teams?

Posted by Andy on April 28, 2011

Reader Neal W. writes in to ask:

"Has there ever been a doubleheader where the home team played two different teams?"

I don't know the answer--I'm hoping another reader will.

But it does remind me of looking at team schedules as a kid and often being fooled that there was a double-header against two different teams. Back in the days when there still were scheduled double-headers, it wasn't unusual to look at a Sunday on the calendar and see two games scheduled. Occasionally I saw two games where the opponents were different and got surprised. Eventually I realized that the calendars were actually showing two different Sundays for a month that ended on a Sunday or a Monday. They did this to save space rather than print an entire extra week at the bottom that would be mostly empty.

But back to the question at hand--does anybody know?

33 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Keeping Score: The Most Important Leadoff Skill? Not So Fast – NYTimes.com

Posted by Neil Paine on April 28, 2011

Keeping Score: The Most Important Skill for a Leadoff Hitter - NYTimes.com

Some basic sabermetric thoughts on leadoff hitters, with a little help from The Book.

50 Comments | Posted in Bloops, NYTimes

Ben Zobrist just set the Rays’ single-game RBI mark

Posted by Andy on April 28, 2011

Ben Zobrist has 8 RBI in today's Rays game.

Previous single-game leaders for the Rays:

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO WPA RE24 aLI BOP Pos. Summary
1 Carlos Pena 2007-09-05 TBD BAL W 17-2 6 3 4 2 0 0 2 7 2 0 0.052 5.329 .440 3 1B
2 B.J. Upton 2009-10-02 TBR NYY W 13-4 5 5 3 5 1 1 1 6 0 0 0.214 5.912 .538 7 CF
3 Carlos Pena 2009-04-13 TBR NYY W 15-5 6 6 2 3 2 0 1 6 0 1 0.143 2.934 .317 4 1B
4 Evan Longoria 2008-05-24 TBR BAL W 11-4 5 4 2 2 0 0 2 6 0 1 0.163 0.780 .316 5 3B
5 Carlos Pena 2008-04-11 TBR BAL W 10-5 5 3 2 2 0 0 2 6 2 0 0.642 4.944 1.976 3 1B
6 Paul Sorrento 1998-05-03 TBD CLE L 8-10 5 5 1 4 0 0 1 6 0 0 0.388 5.877 1.186 5 DH
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/28/2011.

18 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Bartolo Colon’s great start

Posted by Andy on April 28, 2011

Bartolo Colon has put together a great season so far for the Yankees. First he filled in on long relief of Phil Hughes, who got hammered thanks to his dead arm, and now he's got Hughes' spot in the rotation.

Yesterday, Colon became the first pitcher in 2011 who's at least 37 years old to pitch 8 innings while allowing no more than 1 run:

Rk Player Age Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc
1 Bartolo Colon 37.338 2011-04-27 NYY CHW W 3-1 GS-8 ,W 8.0 7 1 1 1 6 0 99 65 69
2 Derek Lowe 37.104 2010-09-13 ATL WSN W 4-0 GS-8 ,W 8.0 6 0 0 0 12 0 105 66 82
3 Andy Pettitte 38.023 2010-07-08 NYY SEA W 3-1 GS-8 ,W 8.0 5 1 1 4 9 0 107 67 73
4 Jamie Moyer 47.216 2010-06-22 PHI CLE W 2-1 GS-8 ,W 8.0 2 1 1 1 5 1 107 66 78
5 Derek Lowe 37.001 2010-06-02 ATL PHI W 2-1 GS-8 ,W 8.0 6 1 1 1 7 0 119 73 72
6 Tim Wakefield 43.294 2010-05-23 BOS PHI W 8-3 GS-8 ,W 8.0 5 0 0 2 1 0 102 68 71
7 Jamie Moyer 47.170 2010-05-07 PHI ATL W 7-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 2 0 0 0 5 0 105 71 88
8 Andy Pettitte 37.313 2010-04-24 NYY LAA W 7-1 GS-8 ,W 8.0 6 1 1 0 8 0 114 75 74
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/28/2011.

Interestingly, when Colon was in camp with the Yankees, the reports all along were that his stuff looked great but his conditioning was poor. It makes me wonder how many more effective outings Colon has in him. I wouldn't be surprised if he breaks down before the All-Star game.

22 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Were the triple crown winners the best players?

Posted by Andy on April 28, 2011

Reader Steve T wrote in to ask:

"I see that many members often talk about the unimportance of the triple crown stats.  I was wondering if there was ever an instance of someone winning the triple crown and yet a reasonable argument could be made that he was not the best player in the league that given year"

Well let's take a look.
In 1967 Carl Yastrzemski won the triple crown in the AL. Yaz also led the AL in WAR by a huge margin. He registered a WAR of 12.2 while the next best player was Al Kaline with 7.3.

Here are other triple crown winners and their rank in WAR:

1966 AL, Frank Robinson, 1st in WAR (8.3) over Earl Wilson (6.8)

1956 AL, Mickey Mantle, 1st in WAR (12.9) over Early Wynn (8.5)

1947 AL Ted Williams, 1st in WAR (10.3) over Lou Boudreau (7.3)

1942 AL Ted Williams, 1st in WAR (11.0) over Joe Gordon (8.4)

1937 NL Joe Medwick, 1st in WAR (8.9) over Johnny Mize (6.9)

1934 AL Lou Gehrig, 1st in WAR (10.7) over Charlie Gehringer (9.5)

1933 AL Jimmie Foxx, 1st in WAR (9.0) over Lou Gehrig (7.9)

1933 NL Chuck Klein, 4th in WAR (6.9) behind Carl Hubbell (8.2) and second among all position players to Wally Berger (7.0)

1925 Rogers Hornsby, 1st in WAR (10.0) over Kiki Cuyler (6.9)

1922 Rogers Hornsby, 1st in WAR (10.7) over Wilbur Cooper (7.1)

1909 AL Ty Cobb, 1st in WAR (10.6) over Eddie Collins (9.8)

1901 AL Nap Lajoie, 2nd in WAR (9.4) behind Cy Young (11.2) but first among all position players

There were a couple more triple crown winners before 1901 but I'll stop there.

In all but a couple of cases, the winner put up the best WAR in his league and was probably the best player. Can we make good arguments against any of these guys? I guess I'd start with Chuck Klein.

51 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

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