Friday, June 18, 2010

Please fire Lou Pinella

Fire Lou Pinella! He can't manage a bullpen. I can't count the number of times in the 7th and 8th inning, that a starter gets into a jam, and then an opposite handed batter comes to the plate..and Pinella has a same handed pitcher up and ready in the bullpen, but he elects to stick with his starter, who has already faced this guy 3 times in the game, with predictable results. He has no idea how to evaluate the skills of his players. And he has no clue how to put together a lineup. Why in the hell are Theriot and Baker hitting at the top of the lineup (.284/.319 wOBA) while Soriano, and Soto hit at or near the bottom (.383/.392), oh and I can't wait till Ramirez gets back from the DL so he and his .231 wOBA can get slotted back into the 4 hole. He made a comment in an interview recently about how "maybe I shouldn't have kept throwing Lee and Ramirez out there in the middle of the lineup while they were struggling". I'm sitting there thinking to myself "you think???". That day he sat all his regulars and played all the bench guys. Next day....Ramirez, and Lee back in the middle of the lineup . It's really getting to be laughable at this point.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

2010 Cubs Bullpen Round up

I thought it would be fun to do a quick round of predictions for the 2010 Chicago Cubs Bullpen.

Tier 1

Marmol is in a tier of his own because of his insane strikeout rates. If he can improve on his control (a lot) from last year, he can be one of the best relievers in the game. If he can't, he's at risk of being passed by the Tier2 guys.

Carlos Marmol: Extreme fly ball pitcher, with terrible control, and incredible strikeout rates.
Keeping down the walks will be key for Marmol to be successful. Walks and extreme fly ball tendencies (home runs) is a very dangerous combination.

Tier 2

These guys are all fairly interchangeable. Any of them could outperform Marmol with some big strides (or continued control problems from Marmol). None of these guys have had consistent numbers, they all have some risk

Sean Marshall: Ground ball Pitcher, with somewhat poor control, but descent strikeouts. If he can lower his Walks, he could be very effective, if it doesn't, he'll continue to be average, should perform very similar to Grabow, whichever of the two can keep their walks in check, will prevail as the better pitcher

John Grabow: Ground ball pitcher, with poor control, and descent strikeouts. I'm noticing a pattern here, like most of the other cubs relievers, he needs to keep down the walks. His groundball rate has also been on a downward trend the last couple years, something Grabow should hope to correct (or he'll be giving up more home runs).

Jeff Gray: Groundball pitcher with low/moderate strikeouts, and descent control. He showed very good control in 2009, if he can continue to limit the walks, he should be successful. He has the potential to be one of the Cubs better relief pitcher's this year.

Tier 3

The guys in this tier have some potential, but most likely still developing, and may need another year. There's a good chance either of these guys end up back in the minors

Esmailin Caridad: Slight flyball pitcher with questionable control, and descent strikeout rate. Caridad should be an interesting guy to watch, he was extremely good in his 19.1 innings in 2009 (5.67 K/BB), but his minor league numbers don't seem to imply that he'll continue that. If he can keep the walks down, he could be very good.

Jeff Samardzija: Slight groundball pitcher, with terrible control, and low to moderate strikeouts. He'll need to improve his strikeouts, and lower his walk rate to be effective.

Tier 4

I don't see these guys succeeding, most likely they will be demoted and replaced at some point.

James Russel: Flyball pitcher with good control, but low strikeouts. He doesn't strike out enough people to compensate for his flyball tenancies, he won't be anything special.

Justin Berg: Extreme ground ball pitcher, with terrible control, and terrible strikeouts. Nothing to see here, he won't last long.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Predicting HR/FB Rates

A big part about knowing how a pitcher should do the following year, is knowing what his HR/FB rate will look like. It's understood in the sabermetrics community, that a pitchers HR/FB rate is mostly out of the pitchers control. This is to say, that it's mostly a factor of luck, and park based factors.

There are equations out there that try to normalize ERA based on a league average home run rate. This is not an accurate way to predict a future HR/FB rate. Someone pitching in a homerun friendly ballpark is obviously going to allow more home runs then someone pitching in a non-homerun friendly ballpark.

Likewise, some equations take into account park based factors as well. This is getting better, but it's still not perfect, because there are player based factors to factor in as well. What I mean by this is the following: Consider that ryan howard switches from the NL to the AL. Now a pitcher in the AL has to face ryan howard a few games a year, and his likelyhood to launch the ball over the fence is much higher then your average player. Now consider a change such is made to one of your division opponents, or better yet, consider that their roster is likely to change quite a bit. In reality, this is the case, and probably accounts for a lot of the variance in pitchers HR/FB rate differences from year to year.

I've attempted to determine a HR/FB rate for each ballclub. Theoretically, plugging this estimate in for each pitcher on a given club, should give you a good idea as to what their HR/FB rate should look like next year.

A achieved this by putting together a sample of data, and running some statistics against it. First I determined that using weights of 100, 66, and 33 for the previous 3 years respectively yielded the best results (the relevancy of HR/FB rate seems to fall off the further back you go). Then I took a group of players who had a significant amount of innings pitched, and played for the same club for the previous 3 years. Using this data, I attempted to determine what the most accurate way to predict the 2009 HR/FB would have been, using 2008 and older data.

My conclusion was that using a pitchers 2008 HR/FB as a predictor was poor. Using his previous 3 year average was equally poor. Using my "club factor" proved to be significantly more accurate at predicting the 2009 HR/FB rate.

Now without further a due here's the 2010 predicted HR/FB rates by ballclub:

Reds 11.82
brewers 11.54
Yankees 11.46
Astros 11.34
Orioles 11.29
Nationals 11.13
Phillies 11.04
Blue Jays 10.95
Tigers 10.81
Rays 10.78
Rangers 10.51
diamondbacks 10.3
Indians 10.26
Marlins 10.24
Rockies 10.21
White Sox 10.2
Twins 9.96
mariners 9.91
Padres 9.88
Cubs 9.86
Royals 9.8
Cardinals 9.79
pirates 9.71
Angels 9.62
Red Sox 9.36
braves 9.1
Mets 9.06
A's 8.81
giants 8.77
Dodgers 8.62