Thursday, May 22, 2014

Simon Says.....

This post was inspired by some posts on Facebook by some Reds-lovin friends of mine. I won't name names, but you know who you are.

I read a comment the other day that stated that Alfredo Simon should stay in the rotation when Latos is ready to pitch. I don't agree with this, and I'll tell you why. First off, he hasn't pitched over 115 innings in a season in his career in the majors, and hasn't pitched anything close to what a typical starting pitcher would throw since 2004, in high-A ball. I don't think that it would be a good idea to then ask a guy to throw 200 innings when he threw 87 last year and 61 the previous year. That would most likely lead to arm injury or fatigue induced ineffectiveness.

Secondly, and here's where I bust out the advanced stats, his FIP is currently 4.54 (For a primer on FIP, go HERE, YO. ) Now, seeing as how his ERA is currently 2.31, you can see how that might not be sustainable. (if you took the time to read the link I provided....I'm not supposed to do everything here, am I?)

So, I got curious. I wanted to see if there were any cases where a player had outperformed his FIP to such a degree over a full season of starting pitching. I'm going to show my work here. I went to the Baseball Reference Play Index, (a fantastic tool well worth the 30 bucks a year I pay for it) and did a query. I searched for players with a FIP greater than or equal to 4.54, and sorted by the lowest ERA. I made it so that only pitchers who started 80% of greater of their appearances showed up, to eliminate relievers, and made it so that only pitchers who pitched enough innings to qualify for the ERA title were listed, to eliminate guys who only started a small number of games. I left this current season in only to show where Simon was listed in comparison. You can find that result of that query right here. Pretty crazy, right? As you can see, Simon is outperforming his FIP by the BEST IN THE HISTORY OF THE FUCKING GAME. Obviously there's going to be some correction there. So, I deduce that the best thing to do would be to stick him back in the bullpen, where let's face it, we need a little help anyway,  (Ondrusek fucking blows) before he turns back into a pumpkin. So there's that.

P.S. I also got curious about what would happen if I lowered the FIP in that Play Index search to 4.00, and you can see those results here. Not much changed.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Pitching and defense.

Looking at the defensive metrics at Prospectus, I see that the Reds currently have the highest defensive efficiency in all of baseball, and the second highest (behind Oakland) PADE (Park Adjusted Defensive Efficiency). Last season they were also second, also behind Oakland, and the year before that they were 11th, then 6th, then 10th, so pretty high since 2010.  Also interesting that Oakland and Cincinnati are two teams that have been contending pretty much every season of the last several, despite not having very many big time bats in their lineup. Run prevention is half the game, and if you can keep the other team from scoring a lot of runs, you will always have a chance to win, even with a reduced offensive profile.