The Chop Shop
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  February 24, 2007   DEBATE  

Re: Most Critical Stats for Building a Winning Team
(By: Newey)

This post will probably be anything but simple (not using the KISS method). But I think it looks at some of the dangers in looking only at ERA+ or LERA; more specifically, that any LERA value under 100 is absolutely "good" or that any value over 100 is absolutely "bad".

I think we need to look at the context of these values to the league-average ERAs and establish what the true difference between some % above or below this average really means for teams when it comes to winning.

6 of the pitchers from the above free agent list weren't more than 3% better than league average for their careers.

Randy Wolf - 103 ERA+ (3% better than league average)
John Thomson -...

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Last comment by: Guest36457 (IP: 69.141.76.197) @ 2/24/07, 3:06pm

  February 22, 2007

Re: Most Critical Stats for Building a Winning Team
(By: Newey)

I'm sorry that you, the apparent author of the original link, took so many of my statements as personal attacks.

Of course teams should look for pitchers with low ERAs.

But they aren't always readily available, as most of them have already been locked up by their current teams in multi-year deals. You make it sound like pitchers that have better than league average ERAs are waiting on shelves with slashed price tags. That's hardly the case now and will never be again. Pitching is too valued in today's game and the current money market.

So most teams that are in need of a starting pitcher during the offseason have to decide which of the 8-10 players to go after and...

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Last comment by: Guest36457 (IP: 69.141.76.197) @ 2/24/07, 3:06pm

  February 20, 2007

Re: Most Critical Stats for Building a Winning Team
(By: Newey)

And by the way...none of the aforementioned pitchers earned $100 million dollars in their contracts. That was the sum of their combined contracts.

Adam Eaton
3 yr - $24.5 M
Career ERA+ - 92 (8% above League Average)

Jason Marquis
3 yr - $21 M
Career ERA+ - 94 (6% above League Average), including 3 of his six full years with ERA+ better than league average

Gil Meche
5 yr - $55 M
Career ERA+ - 96 (4% above League Average)

Putting them all together, we've got 11 yr @ $100.5 M, or roughly $9.14 M/year. All three pitchers are entering either their Age 28 or Age 29 seasons, and all have attained the magic number of 6 years of service time to become eligible for free agency for...

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Last comment by: Guest36457 (IP: 69.141.76.197) @ 2/24/07, 3:06pm

  February 20, 2007

Re: Most Critical Stats for Building a Winning Team
(By: Newey)

It's not that I'm saying teams shouldn't look for pitchers with low ERAs; that's exactly what they should do. Run prevention is run prevention. It seems somehow that you entirely missed my point.

I know many teams continue to pay through the nose for middle-of-the-road journeymen pitchers. Guys who've had a history of being just that; average.

But when it comes down to analyzing how teams should find ways to limit runs against, isn't it obvious, or as you spelled it, "obviuos", that the pitchers with the lowest ERAs are exactly those pitchers who allow the fewest runs? It should be.

ERA measures runs allowed per nine innings, so it had better correlate well with runs allowed.

At least with...

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Last comment by: Guest36457 (IP: 69.141.76.197) @ 2/24/07, 3:06pm

  February 17, 2007

Re: Most Critical Stats for Building a Winning Team
(By: Newey)

OPS is a bit of a simplicity as a stat, being based on a simple sum that adds two quantities with different ranges (0-1 for OBP vs. 0-4 for SLG). But it combines what seems to be the most important factors to run scoring: the ability to get guys on base and the ability to advance them along the basepaths with extra base hits. So the observation between runs scored and team OPS shouldn't exactly surprise anyone. It's an interesting point in this article as it attempts to break down runs scored into one of the most important components (walks, AVG, OBP, SLG, etc.)

But to really write that the ability to reduce runs against comes down to ERA?!...

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Last comment by: Guest36457 (IP: 69.141.76.197) @ 2/24/07, 3:06pm

  May 11, 2006

A Spoiled Fan
(By: Newey)

I'm spoiled. I really am. When others are home in October already drowning their sorrows from the regular season, I'm left wondering:

- How the late great Kirby Puckett could put a coat on the Charlie Leibrandt hanger in the 11th inning of Game 6 of the '91 Series.
- How Jack Morris outduels Smoltz in Game 7 by pitching 10 shutout innings en route to a 1-0 series-clinching victory.

I suppose I should have gotten used to that postseason heartache way back then. But a boy of eight can only be so pessimistic. The '91 Series is probably the start of my baseball memories, although they're still somewhat fuzzy until I rewatch some old videotapes.

Some may wonder how a...

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Last comment by: Boogaman @ 5/20/06, 1:21pm

     
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