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tadashi
Feb 20, 2006





Welcome to the 2014 MLB Lurker/Newbie Appreciation Thread!
What this thread is for: This thread is for asking questions about baseball with fairly specific answers. "Who was the first to use the 20-80 scale?" would be a good example or "Why is batting average a bad stat?" Just to use an example from below, "Are the Cubs on the right track?" would belong in the N/V thread but "Why do teams shy away from signing free agents?" has a more definitive answer. This is not a thread for arguing about baseball opinions.


Fantasy baseball and video game baseball are good ways to learn about baseball. Please check The Armchair Quarterback for all of your fantasy, WiS and video game baseball (including simulation games and Road to the Show-type games) needs. The Super League is also a great way to learn about baseball players from different eras while someone else does most of the work for you.
If you want to join or start an MLB.tv sharing group, check Coupons and Deals

A few resources:
http://www.hardballtimes.com/ - A good source for nerdy baseball poo poo
http://www.baseball-reference.com/ - The preferred source for baseball stats. Home to the play index which is a pretty fun tool.
http://www.fangraphs.com/ - Fangraphs provides an easy to read dashboard for every player with a mix of traditional and advanced stats. Some of the advanced stats are often debated in SAS. Before you assert that one pitcher is better than another because of FIP in the N/V thread, you will want to make sure you know what you’re talking about. Take all articles at Fangraphs with a grain of salt. The managing editor, Dave Cameron, is not very popular around here.
http://www.baseballamerica.com – the best site for scouting coverage of pre-major league baseball players
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/ - It’s not as cutting edge as it once was but they have a lot of articles about stats and scouting
http://www.minorleagueball.com/ - The best free source for information about prospects

A primer for common references in the N/V thread:
Barry Bonds – Considered the greatest player of all time around here. Prolonged circle jerks about Barry can get a little annoying, though.
https://twitter.com/leokitty/lists/sportsargumentnerds - A fairly long Twitter list of SAS posters. If you want to get in on the circle-jerk, here’s where you could start
https://twitter.com/OldHossRadbourn - (Probably) not a goon but you should follow this
http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8...t-espn-magazine - A goon created a nickname for the best player in baseball and it made it on SportsCenter
https://www.youtube.com/watch?featu...d&v=_vUhSYLRw14 – Dock Ellis took a magical trip that ended in a no-hitter and this gets reference about once a month.
http://www.firejoemorgan.com/ - Do you want to know why SAS posters become giddy every time BABIP shows up on Parks and Rec? This is where Ken Tremendous aka Michael Schur aka Dwight’s cousin Mose and friends were writing about baseball until around 2008.


And some stats stuff:

http://joeposnanski.com/joeblogs/my...-stats-offense/ - Joe Posanski, who seems to be one of MLB N/V’s favorite writers, explains hitting metrics
http://www.fangraphs.com/library/misc/war/ - A decent explanation of WAR and how it’s created. Baseball-Reference.com does it slightly differently but both use the same baseline for “replacement level”
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/14/s...tter.html?_r=2& - An article that explains why RBI sucks with the bonus of explaining why Ryan Howard isn’t very good
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/bi...?urn=mlb,208135 – wOBA is the best hitting stat
http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/20...-your-lineup-by - An explanation of the statistically optimized lineup (the lineup that should yield the most runs) vs. “traditional lineups”.

tadashi fucked around with this message at Mar 19, 2014 around 20:38

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HOG ILLUSTRATIONS
Apr 26, 2006


Can someone smarter than me tell me if the Cubs organization is headed in the right direction, and if so, when you think they will make the playoffs again? From my casual point of view, it seems like they're doing everything right, but it is very hard to separate the instinctive cubs nay-saying from the actual facts.

Mornacale
Dec 19, 2007

n=y where
y=hope and n=folly,
prospects=lies, win=lose,

self=Pirates


HOG ILLUSTRATIONS posted:

Can someone smarter than me tell me if the Cubs organization is headed in the right direction, and if so, when you think they will make the playoffs again? From my casual point of view, it seems like they're doing everything right, but it is very hard to separate the instinctive cubs nay-saying from the actual facts.

Eeeehhhhhhhhh. From an organizational standpoint, there was probably nowhere to really go but up. They have some pretty good prospects and some young players that are at least interesting and the Alfonso Soriano Contract is finally gone.

That said, the Cubs are one of baseball's biggest brands situated in one of baseball's biggest markets. I don't know if they should be on the Yankees/Dodgers level, but there's really no excuse not to be on the Red Sox tier in terms of spending and success. And in a division with the Reds, Pirates, and Brewers, that means the Cubs should be positioning themselves for basically permanent playoff entry starting in a year or two. I don't see much evidence of that. So the question becomes: are the owners simply cheap, raking in the profits from Wrigley while not really caring much about putting a winning team on the field, or is the front office not so good? I think there's reasonable evidence for both of these: on one hand, the constant whining about Wrigley Field as if it's not an unmitigated cash cow; on the other, questionable long-term extensions for Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo.

I would say that if the Cubs are headed in the right direction, then they should make the playoffs (or at least win 90 games) by 2016 at the latest.

tadashi
Feb 20, 2006



Mornacale posted:



I would say that if the Cubs are headed in the right direction, then they should make the playoffs (or at least win 90 games) by 2016 at the latest.

This is how I feel about the Cubs, too. They will probably be up against pretty steep competition over the next several years with the Cardinals and the Pirates so they are going to need to win something like 90 games to get to the playoffs. The division isn't going to be as easy to win as it was a decade or more ago. The Reds are pretty good right now but it's hard to tell how long they can maintain their success.

Epstein and Hoyer took over a 90 loss team with a poor farm system that was really expensive and the players on the team were pretty old. The new CBA made it harder for rebuilding teams to spend a ton of money in the draft and that contributed to extending the amount of time the Cubs need to put their current plan in place. The naysayers are people who want to Cubs to continue to spend 100-130 million per season on payroll. That wouldn't really make the Cubs a playoff team and it would probably end up costing them draft picks and pushing them into a place in the draft where the talent is not as good as where they've been drafting. Epstein and Hoyer haven't been perfect but the team is going in the right direction.

Just for historical perspective, the Cubs only moved up into the top 5 payrolls in baseball when they already had a pretty good team and were looking to build on that and when the team was for sale and the owners wanted the GM to bring in well-known players to try to keep attendance up.

UncleCaveman
Nov 20, 2005

I claim this land for Spain

Subjective question (I suppose): Is Don Mattingly a bad manager? With the payroll the Dodgers have, the first half of last season (pre-Puig) was a joke and it seemed that the playoffs were filled with questionable managerial calls.

Edit: I suppose the larger question I have is: what are objective ways to measure whether a manager is good or bad?

UncleCaveman fucked around with this message at Mar 19, 2014 around 13:49

DinosaurEggSalad
Sep 4, 2008


This is semi newbie question that I don't think belongs in the main thread but I've always been curious about.

Has there ever been any effort to modify a stat like OPS+ to reflect the defensive spectrum? From what I understand, some positional adjustment is cooked into WAR formulas but I'm curious about a metric that illustrates how the offensive contributions player compares to the average player at his position. The clear problem I see would be accounting for players who float around the field in utility and 4th OF roles, but I could also be missing something subtle.

leokitty
Apr 5, 2005

Well I had to phone his friend to state my case, and say he's lost control again.

And he showed up all the errors and mistakes, and said I've lost control again.

I'm not sure what you're asking, are you looking for a position adjusted offensive number? You could look at oWAR by itself for that, I am pretty sure. It's listed on BBREF pages in the value area.

R.D. Mangles
Jan 10, 2004


The hope of Cubs fans is all wrapped up in four hyped prospects: Jorge Soler, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Albert Almora. They will join with Anthony Rizzo and (in theory) Starlin Castro as their core (although Starlin Castro has shown no evidence of being anything but a guy who hits for an empty average and can't field his position). There's not a lot of pitching right now, but the feeling is that Theo and Jed will bring the Cubs' financial resources to bear when the prospects are closer to help complete the team.

This is decent in theory, but this is the Cubs and I guarantee that almost all of those prospects will bust due to horrible injuries, overhype, and getting attacked for not being the second coming of Mickey Mantle immediately.

tadashi
Feb 20, 2006



UncleCaveman posted:

Subjective question (I suppose): Is Don Mattingly a bad manager? With the payroll the Dodgers have, the first half of last season (pre-Puig) was a joke and it seemed that the playoffs were filled with questionable managerial calls.

Edit: I suppose the larger question I have is: what are objective ways to measure whether a manager is good or bad?

My personal opinion is that Mattingly isn't much worse than the average big league manager. He happens to manage a very high profile team so he probably just gets a lot more attention and criticism than a manager in Kansas City or Houston. We may learn more about him overtime and my opinion of him might change but there just isn't a lot to go off of yet. If people want to blame him for the team's poor start then they also have to give him a lot of credit for what happened later in the season. In reality, his players just didn't play very well for a stretch but he continued playing the right players and they came around. That happens all the time. To me, the only bad manager is someone who doesn't play their best players the most often and/or who has a bad relationship with their players and/or bosses.

Several years ago, Baseball Prospectus published a book called Baseball Between the Numbers and there was a chapter about the value of a manager. The writer totaled the win expectancy of the decisions normally attributed to managers (stealing bases, bunting, intentionally walking players, etc.) over the previous 30 or so seasons and found that most managers cost their teams a couple of wins over the course of the season by using poor tactics. Every once in a while, a manager actually adds a half win or so of value (Sparky Anderson had one of the best seasons and one of the worst seasons in the study, for example), but it was never very much.

Most managers are not good tacticians. Their lineups aren't optimized for scoring runs. They call for bunts too much or steal in the wrong situations. They intentionally walk players. They use their relievers in ways that are not optimal. That being said, it's pretty hard to find managers who break from the pack. Manny Acta was one but he lost his job because he managed the Indians at the wrong time and Joe Maddon is considered another one.

Pander
Oct 9, 2007

Fear is the glue that holds society together. It's what makes people suppress their worst impulses. Fear is power.

And at the end of fear, oblivion.


R.D. Mangles posted:

The hope of Cubs fans is all wrapped up in four hyped prospects: Jorge Soler, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Albert Almora. They will join with Anthony Rizzo and (in theory) Starlin Castro as their core (although Starlin Castro has shown no evidence of being anything but a guy who hits for an empty average and can't field his position). There's not a lot of pitching right now, but the feeling is that Theo and Jed will bring the Cubs' financial resources to bear when the prospects are closer to help complete the team.

This is decent in theory, but this is the Cubs and I guarantee that almost all of those prospects will bust due to horrible injuries, overhype, and getting attacked for not being the second coming of Mickey Mantle immediately.

And then they'll be traded to or sign with a team that will win the world series.

Red
Apr 15, 2003

They're mines...

R.D. Mangles posted:

(although Starlin Castro has shown no evidence of being anything but a guy who hits for an empty average and can't field his position)

I was amazed Starlin Castro wasn't traded minutes after the Cubs hired Theo Epstein.

tadashi posted:

My personal opinion is that Mattingly isn't much worse than the average big league manager. He happens to manage a very high profile team so he probably just gets a lot more attention and criticism than a manager in Kansas City or Houston. We may learn more about him overtime and my opinion of him might change but there just isn't a lot to go off of yet. If people want to blame him for the team's poor start then they also have to give him a lot of credit for what happened later in the season. In reality, his players just didn't play very well for a stretch but he continued playing the right players and they came around. That happens all the time. To me, the only bad manager is someone who doesn't play their best players the most often and/or who has a bad relationship with their players and/or bosses.

Several years ago, Baseball Prospectus published a book called Baseball Between the Numbers and there was a chapter about the value of a manager. The writer totaled the win expectancy of the decisions normally attributed to managers (stealing bases, bunting, intentionally walking players, etc.) over the previous 30 or so seasons and found that most managers cost their teams a couple of wins over the course of the season by using poor tactics. Every once in a while, a manager actually adds a half win or so of value (Sparky Anderson had one of the best seasons and one of the worst seasons in the study, for example), but it was never very much.

Most managers are not good tacticians. Their lineups aren't optimized for scoring runs. They call for bunts too much or steal in the wrong situations. They intentionally walk players. They use their relievers in ways that are not optimal. That being said, it's pretty hard to find managers who break from the pack. Manny Acta was one but he lost his job because he managed the Indians at the wrong time and Joe Maddon is considered another one.

This is a great post, and it makes me wish that SA kept a ranking of all the managers. It's hard to grade, but Ron Washington would have to be ranked the worst most of the time.

Red fucked around with this message at Mar 19, 2014 around 15:04

Groucho Marxist
Dec 9, 2005

Do you smell what The Mauk is cooking?


tadashi posted:

Epstein and Hoyer took over a 90 loss team with a poor farm system that was really expensive and the players on the team were pretty old. The new CBA made it harder for rebuilding teams to spend a ton of money in the draft and that contributed to extending the amount of time the Cubs need to put their current plan in place. The naysayers are people who want to Cubs to continue to spend 100-130 million per season on payroll. That wouldn't really make the Cubs a playoff team and it would probably end up costing them draft picks and pushing them into a place in the draft where the talent is not as good as where they've been drafting. Epstein and Hoyer haven't been perfect but the team is going in the right direction.

Cubs fans are kind of right to be pissed about the payroll. That's the only place you can really spend money anymore, and the team is a cash cow. It's not like ownership is going to rollover the savings for extra high budget years.

tadashi
Feb 20, 2006



Groucho Marxist posted:

Cubs fans are kind of right to be pissed about the payroll. That's the only place you can really spend money anymore, and the team is a cash cow. It's not like ownership is going to rollover the savings for extra high budget years.

This is mostly true but the Cubs also have a ton of debt. They were out of compliance with MLB's debt service rule as recently as 2011. The trust that owns the team also bought the team through debt so that Sam Zell could try to dodge taxes (it didn't work) so the organization is paying that off as well. It's not like the debt is a huge financial burden but I understand that this is still a business and there are certain things they have to do.

The Cubs could certainly afford to win more than 65 games if they wanted to. It's a valid complaint. I just don't think it's the right plan. I'm the kind of person who would rather see the team suck right now and get the better draft picks and higher draft bonus pools. I trust Epstein, Hoyer and McLeod when it comes to drafting and developing talent. It wouldn't be the same with every GM in baseball, though.

There's actually a great post about the Cubs finance and ownership situation on Bleacher Nation today. The Ricketts don't actually own the Cubs outright, yet. They are still part of a partnership that owns the Cubs that they joined with the Tribune Companies. Legally speaking, the team wasn't sold to the Ricketts. The Ricketts couldn't actually pay off the team debt right now if they wanted to. If, as a result of an ongoing IRS audit of the Tribune Companies, the partnership that was formed is deemed a "sale", then some things could change. I am not going to try to explain this but Brett does a pretty good job of going over all of the details: http://www.bleachernation.com/2014/...business-plans/

tadashi fucked around with this message at Mar 19, 2014 around 18:00

Mornacale
Dec 19, 2007

n=y where
y=hope and n=folly,
prospects=lies, win=lose,

self=Pirates


Red posted:

This is a great post, and it makes me wish that SA kept a ranking of all the managers. It's hard to grade, but Ron Washington would have to be ranked the worst most of the time.

This would really be unmanageable. Most posters overwhelmingly watch and care about just a few teams, so everyone will tend to be biased to overrate their own manager's mistakes. You'd really need to come up with some metrics, which is not a goon project I'd expect to see last very long.

UncleCaveman posted:

Subjective question (I suppose): Is Don Mattingly a bad manager? With the payroll the Dodgers have, the first half of last season (pre-Puig) was a joke and it seemed that the playoffs were filled with questionable managerial calls.

Edit: I suppose the larger question I have is: what are objective ways to measure whether a manager is good or bad?

As for Don Mattingly in particular, I did a study in 2012 to quantify my hatred of Clint Hurdle for bunting and stealing all the time, and Mattingly's Dodgers were the only team worse on the basepaths (by percentage of eligible baserunners that led to a bunt or CS). You would also want to factor in lineup construction, pinch hitting, and reliever use if you want an overall measure for manager quality. (I'd be interested to see a study of how often a manager's platoon players and LOOGYs face players of the wrong handedness.)

bawfuls
Oct 28, 2009

KEMvP


I agree with the post on Mattingley for the most part. As a Dodger fan, I notice three things about him specifically.

He bunts too much, and sometimes in really terrible spots. The most high profile example of this was making Uribe try to bunt in Game 4 of the NLDS last season. (Uribe bunted foul twice and then hit a massive 2-run dinger which won the game and the series for the Dodgers). Somewhat related, he loves the double-switch a little too much. Basically, he takes the bat out of the hands of his best hitters too often for my taste. But he's got a new bench coach this year so maybe that changes.

His bullpen management is adequate. He mostly makes good decisions with who to bring in from the pen and when. He doesn't let guys hang out there forever like Torre used to (see: Broxton)

Mattingley appears to be excellent at the clubhouse management side of his job. He's led this team through some seriously tumultuous off-field sagas (McCourt) and we've never had any ugly public feuds. The players seem to genuinely love playing for him and he keeps them all getting along. This is an underrated skill for a team with a $200m+ payroll.

Overall I'm satisfied with the job he does, and if a new bench coach can temper his excitement for the really dumb stuff then he will be a real asset to the team.

Red
Apr 15, 2003

They're mines...

Mornacale posted:

This would really be unmanageable. Most posters overwhelmingly watch and care about just a few teams, so everyone will tend to be biased to overrate their own manager's mistakes. You'd really need to come up with some metrics, which is not a goon project I'd expect to see last very long.

That's a good point.

I was pretty sure such a list would really be just a popularity contest, but a goon consensus is something I'd put more faith in than baseball writers.

Crion
Sep 30, 2004
baseball.

tadashi posted:

This is mostly true but the Cubs also have a ton of debt. They were out of compliance with MLB's debt service rule as recently as 2011. The trust that owns the team also bought the team through debt so that Sam Zell could try to dodge taxes (it didn't work) so the organization is paying that off as well. It's not like the debt is a huge financial burden but I understand that this is still a business and there are certain things they have to do.

The Cubs could certainly afford to win more than 65 games if they wanted to. It's a valid complaint. I just don't think it's the right plan. I'm the kind of person who would rather see the team suck right now and get the better draft picks and higher draft bonus pools. I trust Epstein, Hoyer and McLeod when it comes to drafting and developing talent. It wouldn't be the same with every GM in baseball, though.

There's actually a great post about the Cubs finance and ownership situation on Bleacher Nation today. The Ricketts don't actually own the Cubs outright, yet. They are still part of a partnership that owns the Cubs that they joined with the Tribune Companies. Legally speaking, the team wasn't sold to the Ricketts. The Ricketts couldn't actually pay off the team debt right now if they wanted to. If, as a result of an ongoing IRS audit of the Tribune Companies, the partnership that was formed is deemed a "sale", then some things could change. I am not going to try to explain this but Brett does a pretty good job of going over all of the details: http://www.bleachernation.com/2014/...business-plans/

I don't think the newbie thread is the place where "are the Cubs headed in the right direction" should be asked or answered to begin with -- it's a subjective issue that requires a lot of prior knowledge to engage with, not a question about rules or history, and it's certainly not something that any one poster should be regarded as speaking gospel on -- but I really don't think yet another extended financial apologia for an MLB team's ownership is a satisfactory way of addressing the key problem with the current Chicago Cubs, which is that the only times the team's front office hasn't outright neglected the holes in their big league roster is when they've opted to fill them with bad-value contracts. The organization has no starting pitching of any real note, and left to its own devices it will not have any starting pitching of any real note until 2016 at the very earliest assuming CJ Edwards and Pierce Johnson make it out of AA as prospects. And until that's addressed, it really doesn't matter how highly the Cubs farm system is ranked, or even how Jorge Soler, Javier Baez, Albert Almora, Kris Bryant or any other guy in the system do at the major league level -- though you'd think that if the fate of that supposedly loaded, godlike Kansas City farm system from 3-4 years ago didn't give people pause on that front, Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo might have underscored the point.

tadashi
Feb 20, 2006



Crion posted:

I don't think the newbie thread is the place where "are the Cubs headed in the right direction" should be asked or answered to begin with -- it's a subjective issue that requires a lot of prior knowledge to engage with, not a question about rules or history, and it's certainly not something that any one poster should be regarded as speaking gospel on -- but I really don't think yet another extended financial apologia for an MLB team's ownership is a satisfactory way of addressing the key problem with the current Chicago Cubs, which is that the only times the team's front office hasn't outright neglected the holes in their big league roster is when they've opted to fill them with bad-value contracts. The organization has no starting pitching of any real note, and left to its own devices it will not have any starting pitching of any real note until 2016 at the very earliest assuming CJ Edwards and Pierce Johnson make it out of AA as prospects. And until that's addressed, it really doesn't matter how highly the Cubs farm system is ranked, or even how Jorge Soler, Javier Baez, Albert Almora, Kris Bryant or any other guy in the system do at the major league level -- though you'd think that if the fate of that supposedly loaded, godlike Kansas City farm system from 3-4 years ago didn't give people pause on that front, Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo might have underscored the point.

Actually, I'm going to update the OP to clarify about what questions to ask here. It was a little too vague initially.

tadashi fucked around with this message at Mar 19, 2014 around 20:28

The broken bones
Jan 3, 2008

Out beyond winning and losing, there is a field.

I will meet you there.

Re: Mattingly and managers, it's important to note there's two major camps of managers:

1. Player developers
2. In-game managers

Mattingly is a player developer and had a huge hand in allowing Clayton Kershaw to grow into the pitcher he is by taking advantage of teaching moments and letting Kershaw choose which pitches to throw when early in his career. This is why Kershaw in his early 20s gave up a lot more home runs than he does now.

Washington was also a legendary player developer in Oakland and was hired for that purpose in Texas.

Player developer managers tend to look a lot worse publicly because they're technocrats: the game should be run by people who know what they're doing and not public opinion.

In-game managers are more rare and tend to flame out spectacularly if they have no player development side to them. This is Eric Wedge or Manny Acta.

What most front offices want is a manager that can do both (obviously), but if they have to choose, option 1 is better since a manager's decisions make only like a .5% difference in a game anyway.

I still hate Mattingly as an in-game manager, but he does a lot of things right in developing his players and his staff is pretty good at it too.

MassaShowtime
Aug 16, 2012

Saviour, thy name is Knuckle


John Gibbons is an excellent in game manager as well. He's great at deploying the bullpen properly and really loves to use matchups that generally hold up to scrutiny.

bawfuls
Oct 28, 2009

KEMvP


But all you need to make a player development manager good all around is pair him with a bench coach that can be good at in-game poo poo. I mean, I guess the manager has to be receptive to the guidance of his bench coach, but it shouldn't be that tough in theory...

Mornacale
Dec 19, 2007

n=y where
y=hope and n=folly,
prospects=lies, win=lose,

self=Pirates


It seems like it ought to be so easy for managers to make good tactical decisions, that's why it's so drat frustrating when they don't.

Pander
Oct 9, 2007

Fear is the glue that holds society together. It's what makes people suppress their worst impulses. Fear is power.

And at the end of fear, oblivion.


MassaShowtime posted:

John Gibbons is an excellent in game manager as well. He's great at deploying the bullpen properly and really loves to use matchups that generally hold up to scrutiny.
He also ignored the first rule of fight club with Shea Hillenbrand.

Craptacular!
Jul 9, 2001


Given the lack of FA activity and the trend among teams to lock up franchise players for many years, I'm kind of curious why some teams continue to do the ~5 year "earn your way up" routine with certain players who have incredible talent. I get that you can take advantage of how underpaid rookies are relative to veterans to get a great player on the cheap, and then have to cough up huge amounts of money to buy FA years out in an extension later. It seems like it would be beneficial to give these 'kids' a payday now in exchange for more years down the road.

Will/Can we see 10+ year contracts for people who haven't even played a game in the majors yet? Basically, I don't even know if it's against the rules or not. Because if a young A-Rod fell out of a time warp from 1993 and I got to draft him, I'd feel much more comfortable hamstringing my budget right now to keep him with my team for his effective career, rather than nickel and dime him for a shorter span of time.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010



You're forgetting about all the guys who bust.

tatankatonk
Nov 4, 2011

Pitching is the art of instilling fear.


Craptacular! posted:

Given the lack of FA activity and the trend among teams to lock up franchise players for many years, I'm kind of curious why some teams continue to do the ~5 year "earn your way up" routine with certain players who have incredible talent. I get that you can take advantage of how underpaid rookies are relative to veterans to get a great player on the cheap, and then have to cough up huge amounts of money to buy FA years out in an extension later. It seems like it would be beneficial to give these 'kids' a payday now in exchange for more years down the road.

Will/Can we see 10+ year contracts for people who haven't even played a game in the majors yet? Basically, I don't even know if it's against the rules or not. Because if a young A-Rod fell out of a time warp from 1993 and I got to draft him, I'd feel much more comfortable hamstringing my budget right now to keep him with my team for his effective career, rather than nickel and dime him for a shorter span of time.

Because incredible raw talent as an 18-year old prospect doesn't mean you can hit a major league breaking ball, or command your fastball well enough to not walk half the batters you face. The skills required to succeed at the major league level are very rare and specific and promising prospects bust all of the time because they aren't able to develop them, for whatever reason.

LeftistMuslimObama
Jan 6, 2012

GOD DAMMIT RICKIE

Does anybody track batters faced per out as a pitcher stat? I was thinking it might be useful in cases where a pitcher has a decent-looking ERA but actually lets a lot of guys on base and has a big potential to let situations blow up that's not revealed by stats that only track runs allowed. Now that I'm thinking about it, WHIP probably tracks the same thing in a slightly different way, but I wonder if anyone's using the specific construction I'm suggesting.

The place I think what I'm calling bf/o would be more useful than WHIP is that BFO has a set "perfect score" of 1.00. Anything higher than that is a "suboptimal" number and you can easily rank pitchers against each other based on how high over 1.00 they are. Kinda like batting average but in the other direction. This might be especially useful for relievers, where ERA gets hella whacky really fast because they don't actually play more than one inning ever 4 days.

GoatSeeGuy
Dec 26, 2003

What if Jerome Walton made me a champion?


Craptacular! posted:

Will/Can we see 10+ year contracts for people who haven't even played a game in the majors yet? Basically, I don't even know if it's against the rules or not. Because if a young Todd Van Poppel/Brien Taylor/Bam Bam Muelens/Cameron Drew/Roger Salkeld/Sam Militello/Gary Scott/David Nied/Brandon Wood/Ben Davis/Doug Million fell out of a time warp from 1993 and I got to draft him, I'd feel much more comfortable hamstringing my budget right now to keep him with my team for his effective career, rather than nickel and dime him for a shorter span of time.

To add on to what other people have said, check that list of scouting reports and prospect write ups to see why this may not be a good idea. Not to mention the collection of Kevin Maas/Alex Cole/Starlin Cas types that come up and had a great half a season or so before the league adjusted and they proved beyond a doubt that they couldn't.

NotQuiteQuentin
Jan 29, 2005

He gave us his magic, and then he disappeared... just like Toad the Wet Sprocket.


Craptacular! posted:

Given the lack of FA activity and the trend among teams to lock up franchise players for many years, I'm kind of curious why some teams continue to do the ~5 year "earn your way up" routine with certain players who have incredible talent. I get that you can take advantage of how underpaid rookies are relative to veterans to get a great player on the cheap, and then have to cough up huge amounts of money to buy FA years out in an extension later. It seems like it would be beneficial to give these 'kids' a payday now in exchange for more years down the road.

Will/Can we see 10+ year contracts for people who haven't even played a game in the majors yet? Basically, I don't even know if it's against the rules or not. Because if a young A-Rod fell out of a time warp from 1993 and I got to draft him, I'd feel much more comfortable hamstringing my budget right now to keep him with my team for his effective career, rather than nickel and dime him for a shorter span of time.

No GM/Owner likes breaking pre-arb years. They completely re-wrote a provision of the CBA due to Strasbourg/Harper getting immediately put on the 40 man/major league contracts as a part of their draft deals.

Mornacale
Dec 19, 2007

n=y where
y=hope and n=folly,
prospects=lies, win=lose,

self=Pirates


LeftistMuslimObama posted:

Does anybody track batters faced per out as a pitcher stat? I was thinking it might be useful in cases where a pitcher has a decent-looking ERA but actually lets a lot of guys on base and has a big potential to let situations blow up that's not revealed by stats that only track runs allowed. Now that I'm thinking about it, WHIP probably tracks the same thing in a slightly different way, but I wonder if anyone's using the specific construction I'm suggesting.

The place I think what I'm calling bf/o would be more useful than WHIP is that BFO has a set "perfect score" of 1.00. Anything higher than that is a "suboptimal" number and you can easily rank pitchers against each other based on how high over 1.00 they are. Kinda like batting average but in the other direction. This might be especially useful for relievers, where ERA gets hella whacky really fast because they don't actually play more than one inning ever 4 days.

Batters faced per out is basically equivalent to opponents' OBP, which is tracked.

Badfinger
Dec 16, 2004

Timeouts?!

We'll take care of that.


LeftistMuslimObama posted:

Does anybody track batters faced per out as a pitcher stat? I was thinking it might be useful in cases where a pitcher has a decent-looking ERA but actually lets a lot of guys on base and has a big potential to let situations blow up that's not revealed by stats that only track runs allowed. Now that I'm thinking about it, WHIP probably tracks the same thing in a slightly different way, but I wonder if anyone's using the specific construction I'm suggesting.

The place I think what I'm calling bf/o would be more useful than WHIP is that BFO has a set "perfect score" of 1.00. Anything higher than that is a "suboptimal" number and you can easily rank pitchers against each other based on how high over 1.00 they are. Kinda like batting average but in the other direction. This might be especially useful for relievers, where ERA gets hella whacky really fast because they don't actually play more than one inning ever 4 days.

You'd be able to get probably more derived value out of just looking at the pitcher's OBP or OPS-against and left on base percentage. You may just be asking for batting average against in a roundabout way. Some sort of combined stat may not be better than a few understood and useful stats laid out in conjunction.

bawfuls
Oct 28, 2009

KEMvP


Mornacale posted:

Batters faced per out is basically equivalent to opponents' OBP, which is tracked.
to be specific and pedantic, batters faced per out = 1/(1 - OBP)

GoatSeeGuy
Dec 26, 2003

What if Jerome Walton made me a champion?


Groucho Marxist posted:

Cubs fans are kind of right to be pissed about the payroll. That's the only place you can really spend money anymore, and the team is a cash cow. It's not like ownership is going to rollover the savings for extra high budget years.

To take things in a more general direction- with the changes in the amateur draft to make it harder to lure tough college bound signs with large checks in the late rounds, free agency compensation leading to draft pick losses, and hard limits and penalties on international free agent signings we're bound to see more Astros and Cubs style rebuilds going forward...for teams that can afford it.*

The Astros aren't exactly in Green Bay but have payroll so low the union and commissioner's office stepped in and this year you're seeing the team throw a little more cash towards the payroll for appearances. Mostly in bullpen arms that don't cost a whole lot and are usually in demand come trade deadline time or at worst can be flipped for lottery tickets. Why throw 10 million a year at 3rd starter when you could take that money like the Cubs did last year and go apeshit with international free agents? Speaking of which- can the Cubs (who are barred from signing any IFA for more than 250,000 this year due to going wildly over the preset spending limit last year) still trade their excess IFA budget- which they can't really use much of, for prospects this year?

In the process of cheaping out the 3-5 wins you lose a year by throwing hot garbage out on the field instead of a middling free agent you didn't sign actually helps you long term since a team like the Astros turned a couple of realllly bad years into Mark Appel, Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers Jr., and likely Carlos Rodon with the number one pick this year. The crapshoot nature of MLB prospects may not encourage tanking like the NBA, but in the grand scheme of things is a 65 win season any different than 75-80, other than costing you 5-10 spots in the draft? Sure the Cubs took an attendance hit last year, and the Astros actually pulled a 0.0 TV rating for a game last season but as a Cubs fan I feel a hell of a lot better about the future going forward than I did after our last postseason appearance. If the Cubs and Astros successfully pull this off, expect to see a lot more teams race for the bottom since historically most owners have never needed much convincing to slash payroll and suffering fan bases will be more likely to keep their season ticket plans if they buy into "The Plan".


*Offer not valid in Oakland, Tampa, and The Bronx.

Crion
Sep 30, 2004
baseball.

GoatSeeGuy posted:

To take things in a more general direction- with the changes in the amateur draft to make it harder to lure tough college bound signs with large checks in the late rounds, free agency compensation leading to draft pick losses, and hard limits and penalties on international free agent signings we're bound to see more Astros and Cubs style rebuilds going forward...for teams that can afford it.*

The Astros aren't exactly in Green Bay but have payroll so low the union and commissioner's office stepped in and this year you're seeing the team throw a little more cash towards the payroll for appearances. Mostly in bullpen arms that don't cost a whole lot and are usually in demand come trade deadline time or at worst can be flipped for lottery tickets. Why throw 10 million a year at 3rd starter when you could take that money like the Cubs did last year and go apeshit with international free agents? Speaking of which- can the Cubs (who are barred from signing any IFA for more than 250,000 this year due to going wildly over the preset spending limit last year) still trade their excess IFA budget- which they can't really use much of, for prospects this year?

In the process of cheaping out the 3-5 wins you lose a year by throwing hot garbage out on the field instead of a middling free agent you didn't sign actually helps you long term since a team like the Astros turned a couple of realllly bad years into Mark Appel, Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers Jr., and likely Carlos Rodon with the number one pick this year. The crapshoot nature of MLB prospects may not encourage tanking like the NBA, but in the grand scheme of things is a 65 win season any different than 75-80, other than costing you 5-10 spots in the draft? Sure the Cubs took an attendance hit last year, and the Astros actually pulled a 0.0 TV rating for a game last season but as a Cubs fan I feel a hell of a lot better about the future going forward than I did after our last postseason appearance. If the Cubs and Astros successfully pull this off, expect to see a lot more teams race for the bottom since historically most owners have never needed much convincing to slash payroll and suffering fan bases will be more likely to keep their season ticket plans if they buy into "The Plan".


*Offer not valid in Oakland, Tampa, and The Bronx.

The Cubs rebuild is significantly different from the Astros -- they're spending 2x to 3x more on payroll, they've got a top heavy org with no pitching talent scheduled for the majors until 2016 and they're handing out 5 year+ cost certainty deals to players like Anthony Rizzo, who might need a platoon partner, and Starlin Castro, who almost certainly needs a demotion. The only real similarity between the two teams is that they're exceptionally bad, they're spending a lot of effort trying to convince fans that When Things Work Out they'll be exceptionally good, and they're massively handicapped by having two top 8 front offices -- if not top 5 -- in their division already putting a winning product on the table

Crion fucked around with this message at Mar 20, 2014 around 06:57

Groucho Marxist
Dec 9, 2005

Do you smell what The Mauk is cooking?


GoatSeeGuy posted:

To take things in a more general direction- with the changes in the amateur draft to make it harder to lure tough college bound signs with large checks in the late rounds, free agency compensation leading to draft pick losses, and hard limits and penalties on international free agent signings we're bound to see more Astros and Cubs style rebuilds going forward...for teams that can afford it.*

The Astros aren't exactly in Green Bay but have payroll so low the union and commissioner's office stepped in and this year you're seeing the team throw a little more cash towards the payroll for appearances. Mostly in bullpen arms that don't cost a whole lot and are usually in demand come trade deadline time or at worst can be flipped for lottery tickets. Why throw 10 million a year at 3rd starter when you could take that money like the Cubs did last year and go apeshit with international free agents? Speaking of which- can the Cubs (who are barred from signing any IFA for more than 250,000 this year due to going wildly over the preset spending limit last year) still trade their excess IFA budget- which they can't really use much of, for prospects this year?

In the process of cheaping out the 3-5 wins you lose a year by throwing hot garbage out on the field instead of a middling free agent you didn't sign actually helps you long term since a team like the Astros turned a couple of realllly bad years into Mark Appel, Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers Jr., and likely Carlos Rodon with the number one pick this year. The crapshoot nature of MLB prospects may not encourage tanking like the NBA, but in the grand scheme of things is a 65 win season any different than 75-80, other than costing you 5-10 spots in the draft? Sure the Cubs took an attendance hit last year, and the Astros actually pulled a 0.0 TV rating for a game last season but as a Cubs fan I feel a hell of a lot better about the future going forward than I did after our last postseason appearance. If the Cubs and Astros successfully pull this off, expect to see a lot more teams race for the bottom since historically most owners have never needed much convincing to slash payroll and suffering fan bases will be more likely to keep their season ticket plans if they buy into "The Plan".


*Offer not valid in Oakland, Tampa, and The Bronx.

I could really care less about tanking. I just think it's pretty lovely of the ownership of a team that's top 5 in revenue to be trotting out a sub 100m payroll. If you want to tank, take on some bad contracts for some B level prospects or something.

GoatSeeGuy
Dec 26, 2003

What if Jerome Walton made me a champion?


Groucho Marxist posted:

I could really care less about tanking. I just think it's pretty lovely of the ownership of a team that's top 5 in revenue to be trotting out a sub 100m payroll. If you want to tank, take on some bad contracts for some B level prospects or something.

Not to be Cubs specific, but in a case like this why would you? Winning a dozen more games means you draft Hunter Renfroe instead of Kris Bryant, which to me is a loss. Why be a so-so mediocre team with some big names (Which the Tribune became masters of, with the occasional "look at that, we're going to the post season on the back of Gary Gaetti!" thrown in) thrown in when the rules encourage you to be either really good, or really not good? The time to bitch about payroll and not spending money is when a Lester or Price make it to free agency during your "window" and they're not showing up on day one with a Brinks Truck and a smile.

Groucho Marxist
Dec 9, 2005

Do you smell what The Mauk is cooking?


I'm not tracking why intentionally getting bad players on bad contracts would make you win more

GoatSeeGuy
Dec 26, 2003

What if Jerome Walton made me a champion?


I'm no TheoJed but to me the thinking is you get more long term from throwing Junior Lake, or even Brett Jackson types out there and seeing what you have vs. a Vernon Wells. A worst (and most likely) you get a bad player playing badly, but unlike our pal Vernon you may end up with a tradable asset or a filler piece for your next good team.

The broken bones
Jan 3, 2008

Out beyond winning and losing, there is a field.

I will meet you there.

bawfuls posted:

But all you need to make a player development manager good all around is pair him with a bench coach that can be good at in-game poo poo. I mean, I guess the manager has to be receptive to the guidance of his bench coach, but it shouldn't be that tough in theory...

It's Peter Pan principle. To get the best player developers, you have to give them the managerial job and let them run the team how they want. Also, it'd be kinda lovely to hire a guy for manager and tell him who's gonna be making the in-game decisions.

The broken bones fucked around with this message at Mar 20, 2014 around 16:17

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Everblight
Jan 2, 2005

For the Legion!
@npcdel on twitter


Why are teams so terrified of losing a pick by signing a free agent. I can think of so many 1st-rounders who NEVER make the Show, or only as an innings-eater middle reliever, after sucking up endless signing bonuses. Meanwhile, once the BBWAA gets its head out of its rear end, a nepotism signing in the 63rd round will be in the Hall of Fame.

If you're looking for a place to crush inefficiency, it's wasting money on Brien Tayler, Todd Van Poppel and Allan Dykstra.

Everblight fucked around with this message at Mar 20, 2014 around 18:21

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