All Quiet on the Wednesday Front

Some day olds news for everyone...

Muskat Round-up

- Hendry flew out to Arizona yesterday to interview Ryne Sandberg for the manager's job in 2011. I like to imagine that hiring the owners choice in Sandberg is the only way Hendry keeps his job, but I've been surprised before.

- Tyler Colvin is out of the hospital and back home in South Carolina after surviving the Flying Bat of Death.

- Tom Gorzelanny will pitch Friday against the Cardinals with Coleman and Samardzija pitching the other 2 games. Carlos Silva is still attempting to make one more start before the season ends. I hear the starting pitcher gets to go first for the post-game spread.

Sullivan

The always anticipated "Ask Paul" segment yields:

- A small criticism of Mike Quade for playing Nady, Fukudome and Hill over Hoffpauir, Snyder and Castillo.

- that Hendry will submit a list of top manager choices and Ricketts will go over the list with him and Sullivan then suggests Hendry should leave if Ricketts vetoes his choice. I will now be rooting for whomever the Ricketts want and hoping it's not who Hendry wants.

- depending on the manager for next year, talks about Rothschild or Trammell returning or not returning.

- suggestions of Adam Dunn or Aubrey Huff for first base next season.

Miles

- The Cubs minor league record was 374-316 on the year, second best in baseball behind the Cards.

-  The Cubs have used 18 rookies this year, most since the 19 used in 2000.

- Marmol is on pace for 135 K's which would break Bruce Sutter's 1977 club record of 129 K's for a reliever.

- As AZ Phil mentioned in the comments, Soto and Colvin have been placed on the DL and Esmailin Caridad has been activated off the 60-day disabled list. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Cubs placed Mitch Atkins on waivers. He still has one club option left if he is claimed by another team. The last player I recall the Cubs placing on waivers this late in the season to make room on the 40-man roster was Casey McGehee at the end of 2008. By this impenetrable logic, we can only surmise that Mitch Atkins will go on to a fine major league career with another organization.

Sun-Times

- Mark Potash takes a look at Carlos Zambrano who is 6-0 with a 1.42 ERA in 9 starts since returning to the rotation and makes the case the Cubs should seize the opportunity to move his contract this offseason or be sure he gets plenty of rest next season if they plan to keep him. He believes that the normal lack of innings is a big reason behind his successful September and cites a 9-3, 1.98 career mark when having 6-8 days rest.

- Also some more first base talk from Wittenmyer, mostly filling word counts about the possible return of Xavier Nady to play first base next season.


Randomness

- Randy Wells vs. Jonathen Sanchez tonight as the Cubs get 6 more opportunities to affect the NL West and wild card races with 2 more against the Giants and another 4 in San Diego next week. The Cubs currently reside at the 8th spot of next year's draft, but just a game ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers.

- Kevin Towers lands the D'Backs GM job, Brandon Webb to the Cubs watch starts now.

- Be sure to check out FJM day over at Deadspin, the most entertaining baseball related items you'll read all year.

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http://deadspin.com/5644755/little-man-gigant...

David Eckstein article

Eckstein said that, like his strong points, the Padres' strengths don't translate to paper.

The Padres' strengths don't translate to paper, except when you look at this paper right here that I am holding, where I have written the word: Pitching.

I have also written "Adrian Gonzalez."

Rob G., you left out the S in Wednesday in the headline.

--

On another note, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette makes the Pirates management sound like bozo's:

http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/...

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/st...

another report that Wakamatsu will be interviewed

http://twitter.com/StoneLarry/status/25249227765

and Melvin a "strong candidate" for Cubs job

Who cares!! The Blackhawks pre-season games start tonight.

I still don't understand the Don Wakamatsu love. According to Arizona Phil, Wakamatsu doesn't qualify as a minority (at least according to MLB's definition), so that's not the reason. I don't get it.

barney/castro/byrd/aram/nady/soriano/fuku/hill

RIP welington...wonder if the pitchers aren't comfortable with his D or something

Oh come on, how can you not start the offensive/defensive dynamo that IS Koyie Hill.

That would be one of my questions for the managerial candidates: 'Would you accept Koyie Hill on your 25 man roster next year?'

The correct answer would be NO.

Maybe if he didn't impale one of our top prospects...

Cubs announcers said all weekend that Castillo wouldn't likely start another game until we face Houston. We are required to start Koyie Hill against potential playoff teams, as per old boy rules.

Probably old news but Sandberg being interviewed by Toronto.

Whats the odds the Cubs screw this up......

Didn't hear that. I was wondering if Seattle will get involve.

2:1

stalin castro still thinks he's a SS/LF/CF/3rd.

range = 150ft. radius

Stalin? But but he is dead right??!?!

double commie

totally...

Fukudome, not only has been pretty solid against righties this year... in limited chance he's been a little better against lefties.

Out OPSing Tyler Colvin.

Just sayin

Plus, only pussies go on the dl for getting impaled.

michael vick is replacing colvin on the roster

Vick must've put Colvin down for losing his fight.

For $13 million more a season..he'd better be.

Fukudome: 402PA 43R 92H 18 2B, 2 3B, 13 HR, 41 RBI, 6/14SB's,
.274/.381/.455

Colvin: 394PA, 60R, 91H, 18 2B, 5 3B, 20 HR, 56 RBI,.254/.316/.500

So as is often the case, out-OPSing means outwalking.

Damn basecloggers

You really don't understand the value of getting on base...

Everything has its value, including getting on base. The value increases with the speed of the player involved. If he needs three hits behind him to score, the walk didn't have much value.

Walking a lumbering slugger often has more value to the pitcher. In other words, it's a defensive strategy that is successful more often than not, since the win goes to the team with the most runs, not the most men on base.

I think guys like Dunn and Bradley are smart. They know that walks go directly to their OPS, something their agents can turn into money. Given two guys with identical OBPs, I would sign the one with the higher BA. And given two hitters with identical OPS, I would take the higher SLG.

Walking a lumbering slugger often has more value to the pitcher. In other words, it's a defensive strategy that is successful more often than not

Huh? Got any thing to back that up?

since the win goes to the team with the most runs, not the most men on base.

Yup... you are right. And have you ever looked at the correlation between OBP and runs?

It's all shades of gray, and also why we have OPS+.

There's also a positive correlation between OBP and LOB.

Last I checked, runs were more important than LOB.

Find me a stronger correlation to runs than OBP.

HR =p

I think you've lost the thread here, Dave. Hits have a higher correlation to runs than walks do. That's what I've been saying: "Given two guys with identical OBPs, I would sign the one with the higher BA." Otherwise you're taking the one with the higher walk rate.

No... you lost the tread. You originally complained about Fukudome only "outwalking" Colvin.

So the original thread was about OBP vs SLUG, actually, in relation to OPS. It never had anything to do with walks vs hits.

Once again - find me a stronger correlation to runs than OBP.

I think a good way to score a run is to have a very fast man get on base, by any means possible, leading off an inning.

Having Adam Dunn or Pat Burrell look at ball four sometimes works, but not usually. I would grant, and even emphasize, that when a slugger is highly selective, he gets better pitches, and slugs better. I like Dunn and Burrell as hitters, if not as OBP'ers.

As to correlation, let's see: in 394 plate appearances, Colvin had an OBP of .316 and scored 60 runs. Fukudome has 404 PAs, and a hefty .379 OBP that has yielded 43 runs scored. Colvin leads in RBI, 56-41.

But now you'll say that runs and RBI are complicated and messy and can't be used this way. I only did it because you asked.

Imagine how awesome a lineup of 9 Juan Pierres would be?

As to correlation, let's see: in 394 plate appearances, Colvin had an OBP of .316 and scored 60 runs. Fukudome has 404 PAs, and a hefty .379 OBP that has yielded 43 runs scored.

Are you serious? That is your evidence? Your support for you absurdities?

Look at several years of data. Look at team runs. Look at team OBP. Look at team SLUG.

Comparing two players like that is completely meaningless.

Let me put it simply. Team OBP has a very strong correlation to runs. OPS has an even stronger correlation to runs. To pretend otherwise is just plain silly.

"Team OBP has a very strong correlation to runs. OPS has an even stronger correlation to runs. To pretend otherwise is just plain silly."

Who said otherwise? Go out on a limb much? If making preachy pronouncements that say nothing is your way of winning an argument, fine. I admire your tenacity.

A better point is, that for $13 million more...Fukudome should be much, much better than Colvin, not just a little bit more productive.

But then we couldn't argue.

1985 called

They want their baseball related logic back

You could take the guy with the higher slugging, but it would make your team worse.

Because a walk is better than a hit, right?

Walk-lovers! Bradley-ites!

OPS favors hits. (Perhaps too much.)

Becase a walk is better than an out and two walks are better than a double and an out... dur.

Is Fukudome a lumbering slugger?

Hmmm..so Colvin has scored more runs than Fukudome..and driven more in...and makes $13 million less..and is 9 years younger.....
And...wait, huh?

Don't use "huh?", Lowitski has the copyright on that.

Ah yes....royalty check is in the mail...

That's how Fukudome pronounces "loyalty"

mark grace and daron sutton are in the booth arguing whether the adam sandler film Mr. Deeds is better than The Crow.

mark grace thinks The Crow is way better.

these guys usually get into something at least once a game that makes no sense in any setting, much less a live broadcast booth. this one went on for a good 4-5 minutes.

"i'm mesmerized by octavio dotel's shoes. he's a great pitcher, but those are some ugly shoes." - mark grace

at least we got indie rock/nerd len

btw, it's good to see mike "you can't f'n kill me" hampton out there still trying to make a career.

gibson seems to only want to let him throw 10-15 pitches a game, though. he's not had a chance to really air out his arm.

I can't keep track of all the vias, but one article led to another led to another which eventually led me to wikipedia to see its list of Red Smith award winners (oh yeah, it was a Mitch Albom bashing...must've been deadspin)...check out wiki's 2010 winner:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Smith_Award

I don't know which is worse, the actually winner or the listed winner.

http://deadspin.com/5645335/and-the-2010-red-...

because of this...

http://deadspin.com/5644264/playing-down-to-y...

wiki vandalism humor, 4chan would be proud

Funny...but, no, when I looked and linked to it, the recipient was Joe Morgan.

that's much funnier

Yeah, I thought it was hilarious, then I doubted myself and had to check another source just to make sure the entire world hadn't gone crazy. Well, it's crazy, but not that crazy! Albom is now back up there, alas.

Az. Phil, have you seen a roster for the Cubs Instructional Lge team yet?

From a BP article- subscriber only unfortunately:

I’d be hard-pressed to find a pitcher whose 2009 numbers were as close a match to 2010 as Zambrano’s have been. As much as we might like to think that Zambrano has suddenly turned a corner, that his numbers prior to forcibly seeking help were sabotaged by his demeanor, and his numbers afterward have been bolstered by a newfound ability to focus and perform under pressure, the greatest likelihood is that his current success is a sample size fluke. He’s probably still the same pitcher he’s been in the recent past, and he’ll be that same pitcher in the near future.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

SI's Heyman says that Stan Kasten is leaving the Nats. Just my speculation here, could he be coming as the Cubs president/head of baseball operations? It sure would be nice to have a baseball person overseeing the team instead of Crane Kenney.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/basebal...

UPDATE: in an article published yesterday, Kasten has been trying to persuade the Nat's owner to start spending money, with no luck. That's the most likely reason he's leaving. That also probably rules out coming to work for Ricketts.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/...

Stan Kasten is a baseball person?

He's a lawyer that was pals with Ted Turner and then hired John Schuerholz. Think he was the Atlanta Hawks GM before that and president of the Atlanta Thrashers as well.

Yes, he's run other teams. The Washington Post article says he's one of the most successful executives in recent memory.

But I will say I'll take his 14 straight division titles while he was president of the Braves over what Crane Kenney offers, which appears to be spin and nothing.

numbers? demeanor? same pitcher?

here's a number that matters from 2009 to 2010...a drop of 3+mph off his fastball and a decreased ability to find the plate with all of his pitches that he couldn't afford to lose in the first place.

Low carb roster move...

From a wittenmeyer article:

• Mitch Atkins, the Cubs' 2008 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Class AAA Iowa.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

matt murton got his 200th hit.

heh.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/rss/sb20100924...

He looks happy in this photo:

http://hanshintigers.jp/fanclub/

And he's only the 4th player in league history to get 200 hits in one season.

it's a weird place to work, but it's work.

2B Baker, SS Castro, CF Byrd, 3B Ramy, 1B Nady, LF Sori, RF Fuke, C Hill, P Dempster

Kevin Towers wants Greg Maddux to be pitching coach for DBags.

Hendry said Maddux is going no where.

don't think Maddux wants to travel that much at this point in his life

and the pre-season talk was that he was more interested in upper management work

what's with the weird start time today?

Dempster loads the bases to start the game...

3-0 hole quickly.

dumpstah back for a night

6-0. Dempster looks shell-shocked.

GRAND SLAM. 10-0 in the 2nd. Any reruns on tonight somewhere?

Juan Uribe trying to carry me to victory in TCR II league. At this point, fantasy scratch > Cubs.

Len said the Giants have to travel across country tonight, he sounded like the Cubs moved the start time up to help the Giants. Kind of odd.

classy move considering SF/SD are neck and neck

Thanks for that FJM reunion link, the Eckstein article was genius. "But it sure seems like Ecky has drunk his own Kool-Aid. (He drinks it out of a thimble, and can only finish half of it before his tummy fills up.)"

True fact: my octogenarian father scoffs at all superstar baseball players as overhyped (which may be true), but just LOVES David Eckstein.

Which lineup would be better, 9 Fuky's or 9 Colvin's?

9 Juan Pierre's? Who could remain awake to total his stats?

Well, defensively, at least 9 Fukudomes would feature right-handed throwers, so the infielders wouldn't have that working against them.

On the other hand, when the Cubs faced a strikeout pitcher, 9 Fukudomes would make all the spectators dizzy. That team would kick ass in April though. (I still can't figure that one out.)

(hey, psst, psst, yeah you, Fukudome is hitting .310.437.526 in the second half)

True. His numbers this year overall are also much better than his previous years. It makes me wonder what's changed--I don't know. I notice that this year the team played him much less when he was struggling, handing much of his playing time to Colvin (and Nady), but I'm not sure that's the only answer.

Mostly I wonder what the hell was going on in 2008 and 2009 that he could have a couple of months where he was so good and a number of months where he was so bad. I'm not sure anybody has figured that out.

According to Baseball Musings's Lineup Analysis tool (http://www.baseballmusings.com/cgi-bin/Lineup...), here would be your runs per game (using career OBP/SLUG):

9 Pierres: 4.451
9 Fukudomes: 5.297
9 Colvins: 5.008

Fukudome's OBP wins over Colvin's SLUG and Pierre's... well, I don't know what Pierre has.

Of course, VA Phil will complain because this doesn't take speed into consideration, but difference between the two probably isn't huge enough to make a difference,.

But the original point, that slugging is better than OBP is disproved. The 2010 Fukudome, which is the original comparison, comes in at 5.855 runs per game - almost a run better than Colvin.

I have no doubt a team of "career average" Pierres would score more than that many runs, because of baserunning and not hitting into as many DP's, but it's not going to be a run and a half extra per game.

I think the fallacy here is called reification or misplaced concreteness. Yeah, that 29.7/100ths in Baseball Musing's imaginary runs per game is a big hurdle for Colvin, trying to catch Fukudome.

Of course, in real runs, Colvin scored more and drove in more, but we don't want to count those.

I actually do have a formula that I use as a substitute for OPS that takes SBs into account--because unless you include SBs or some other speed variable in a cumulative offensive statistic, you don't have a number that explains why guys like Bourn and Ellsbury, with lower OPSes than Colvin and Fukudome, play. I use this formula (or a variant of it) in a Cub prospect ranking that saw Brett Jackson recently edge out Brandon Guyer for first place, based on a far higher number of walks(!).

For our purposes, the total-offense formula is total bases + walks + stolen bases divided by PAs.

So Colvin would be (179+30+6)/394 = .546.

Fukudome would be (153+61+6)/406 = .542.

Pierre would be (192+42+60)/693 = .424.

It's a pretty simple formula, the kind I like. Nobody is going to get a headache thinking about it. It's really based on an expanded definition of total bases where BBs and SBs are included in the total.

That's actually an interesting stat. But shouldn't you subtract caught stealings? You give an SB the same weight as an extra-base hit, which is fine, but don't take away a base when the runner makes an out on the bases.

garsky,

If I try to stretch a single and I'm out at second, I still get the one total base even though I'm back in the dugout.

Or I'm on first and the "lumbering slugger" behind me hits into a double play. Shouldn't my "total base" be subtracted from his number, since he just made two outs in one PA?

It's always going to be an imperfect system, which is a good reason to keep it as simple and clean as possible.

Of course, in real runs, Colvin scored more and drove in more, but we don't want to count those.

Sure, and that is, frankly, quite irrelevant to the conversation about whether or not a team of Fukudomes would be better than a team of Colvins.

For our purposes, the total-offense formula is total bases + walks + stolen bases divided by PAs.

To count SB's, but not count caught stealing, is foolish.

Does your made up stat have any correlation to team runs? If not, it is pretty worthless in terms of what it tells us. Run these numbers by team, and let us know how it looks.

"Does your made up stat have any correlation to team runs? If not, it is pretty worthless in terms of what it tells us. Run these numbers by team, and let us know how it looks."

It seems a little circular to try to arrive at a formula that correlates individual player scores with total team runs. You can do it, but the formula gets very complicated, in a process that is called reverse engineering today, but is really very old. In medieval astronomy, where they were trying to preserve the notion that the sun and the planets revolved around the earth, they called their intricate mathematical maneuvers "saving the appearances." This worked for many years until the jerry-built system came crashing down.

I have looked for two correlations involving my "total-offense" formula. I use it to make a list every season of the top Cub hitting prospects. I'm trying to predict, first of all, which players will get an opportunity in the majors (since most don't), and also which will have successful auditions (as in spring training) and make the team and stick for a while. Time will tell whether there is a strong correlation or not, but here is one example of success: When Brett Jackson was called up to Tennessee, they already had three outfielders putting up numbers, Guyer, Campana and Spencer. Who was going to be the odd man out? OPS would have predicted Campana, but according to my ranking, Spencer would become the fourth outfielder--as he did immediately.

I also used the formula during the last offseason to establish monetary values for a few dozen high-profile ML players, and I thought my projected numbers matched the real numbers fairly well. Judge for yourself. In particular, I projected that Juan Pierre was worth $10 million after the 2006 season, when the actual contract he signed was $8.8 million for five years. That was close enough for me, especially since most people around here (TCR) don't understand how Juan Pierre is even in the league, let alone how he commands much more money than, say, Fukudome. (I'm talking about Fukudome's next contract, the one he will actually have earned.) But most people are OPS-oriented. I would say that a lot of people hate Pierre (and we saw an example of that in this thread) because they don't have a statistical basis for valuing him, and that's frustrating.

As to penalizing runners for caught-stealings: when, as an afterthought, the Runs Created formula was expanded to count SBs, SBs were still second-class bases-earned. Only .55 of an SB was counted, and then CSes were subtracted. This is consistent with the modern statistical tendency to hobble base stealers. Earlier in this thread I gave the example of GIDP. A GIDP does not lower one's OPS. The annual leader in GIDP is in the mid- to high twenties or very occasionally at thirty or above. The annual leader in CS is usually in the mid- to high teens, occasionally in the low twenties. Pierre's CS average is 18. Pujol's GIDP average is 21. Since different types of players score high in the two stats, just let them cancel each other out. I'm not advocating docking players for GIDP, since at least they're putting the ball in play. The high-K, 45-HR types types like Howard and Dunn and Fielder are never leaders in GIDP.

Caught-stealings are self-limiting anyway, since players who get caught a few times in a row stop running for a while. Don't worry, you'll never see a player with 50 SBs and 40 CSes.

First, your spreadsheet doesn't tell us much. I don't care nearly as much about the market value of a player as I about their actual ability to help their team. Are you really trying to say that your made up stat is valid because the Dodgers overpaid for Juan Pierre?

Second, Runs Created factors in GIDP. I don't like that, at least not as a predictor of future success. GIDP is largely a factor of luck - you both need to have runners on first as well as get unlucky.

Thirds, your criticism of OPS is odd. No one said that OPS was perfect. But OPS still is a very strong predictor of team runs. And your comparison if CS and GIDP is also very odd, as the two are not alike at all.

Fourth, SB's are worth less because the do nothing other than advance the runner who stole. They don't advance other runners. Other offensive actions (hits, walks) have the ability to advance other runners.

Fifth, to this quote: "It seems a little circular to try to arrive at a formula that correlates individual player scores with total team runs."

Huh? Shouldn't the goal of any good stat tell us how well a player will do towards helping a team win? in turn, an offensive stat should tell us how well a player helps the team score runs (or hurts a team's attempt to score runs).

It would be easy to run team stats using your stat for the last several years, and tell us how well it correlates to runs scored, and compare the correlation to things like OBP, SLUG, and OPS. If you want to push your stat, show us that it is actually valid at measuring how good an offensive player is.

"Are you really trying to say that your made up stat is valid because the Dodgers overpaid for Juan Pierre?"

I'm trying to predict who's going to make it, both in the majors and in the baseball marketplace. This sort of prediction, whether accurate or not, has a refreshing lack of circularity. It's a real prediction, as opposed to asking which would be better, a team of Colvins or a team of Fukudomes.

"Fourth, SB's are worth less because the[y] do nothing other than advance the runner who stole. They don't advance other runners.Other offensive actions (hits, walks) have the ability to advance other runners."

A walk counts toward OPS whether it advances another runner or not. Adam Dunn walking with two outs and nobody on--where you pretty much need three total bases behind him to score one run--is less significant than Bourn stealing second with nobody out, where Bourn has a decent chance of scoring without any TBs behind him, just a couple of balls in play. Yet you say Bourn's SB is worth less.

In a perfect world, when a "lumbering slugger" walked with two out and none on, he would lose credit for the walk due to defensive indifference.

In a perfect world, when a "lumbering slugger" walked with two out and none on, he would lose credit for the walk due to defensive indifference.

What you're asking for here, I think, is for official score keepers to make judgment calls on what sort of walks are actually "pitch around" walks and which are not (since they already do keep track of IBB, which we could then go back and adjust OPS for if the situation we wanted to analyze called for it). But why should a slugger be penalized for being a dangerous hitter (or for not being dumb enough to chase bad pitches)? That's part of his value to a club.

Defensive indifference on a steal is different; it rarely has anything to do with who's on base and usually has a lot more to do with what the score of the game is (and, in some cases, who is up to bat).

ps. I don't think that BBs are the only statistic that have some flaws, based primarily on our efforts to translate the stat from an in-game to event to what it might say about that player in general. For example, are triples a measure of power or speed, and is slugging a measure of power, speed, contact, or patience? Many stats have exist at least partly in a gray area when it comes to significance. I don't know why we should expect walks or steals to be different. (The invention of new stats that might have a more clear or specific significance is always interesting, of course.)

I'm trying to predict who's going to make it, both in the majors and in the baseball marketplace.

So in other words, you don't care whether your stat tells us anything about the quality of a player, or about the player's ability to help a team win games. You just care about whether or not a player will get a chance in the big leagues ow how much money they will make.

This sort of prediction, whether accurate or not, has a refreshing lack of circularity.

And you don't care about accuracy. Interesting.

In a perfect world, when a "lumbering slugger" walked with two out and none on, he would lose credit for the walk due to defensive indifference.

This is absurd.

I keep coming back every day or so to see if any more comments have been added to this thread and, like clockwork, every day I keep finding three or for more. It's kind of comforting.

I keep expecting them to finally quit. I guess it's worth it to get the last word?

"every day I keep finding three or for more"

for more?? Geez, I suck.

i'd just like to take a moment to say i miss playing Moon Patrol in the arcade.

that's all. go cubs.

ooohhhhh, that was a good arcade game.

NBA Jam still the all-time favorite and now available for the Wii.

By the way, there are already stats that take SB's into consideration., such as EqA, WAR, Runs Created, etc.

We need some kind of statistic to quantify Tools and looking good in a baseball uniform. Then Hendry and Gary Hughes could get behind this sabr movement.

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