Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bill James Handbook: 2011 Giants Baserunning

I should note that I wholeheartedly recommend getting Bill James Handbook.  I get it every year, lots of good data, and usually some new data each year.  Like one year:  baserunning.

I wrote about the Giants defense the other day, and now today I'm covering baserunning. 

The Giants were 12th in the majors in Net Bases Gained, with 38 bases gained, which includes bases taken while a baserunner, as well as net bases from base stealing.  So they are above average but nearer the middle than the top.  The Rangers were the top with 112 total bases gained.  It would take an additional 12 bases to get into the top 10, to give some perspective on how much more they would have to do to get up there.

However, there are a couple of amazing facts contained in that number and ranking.  First off, the Giants are the highest ranked team in Net Bases Gained for a team with negative SB gained.  The next highest are the Reds, in 17th place with +20 Net Bases Gained.  All the other teams did it with guys who are natually good at stealing bases, which makes up a large portion of the baserunning gains that the teams ahead of the Giants got.  Remember, the Giants were negative (-17, FYI).

Moreover, the Giants are among the leaders in BaseRunning Gained, which are extra bases taken while on the basepaths as a runner, except when stealing bases.  Of course, as any Giants fan knows, Bochy likes to have his runners in motion with the pitch, so that accounts for a lot of the caught stealing and I would say for a lot of the bases gained while running. 

And that apparently pays off greatly, as the Giants were 2nd in the majors with +55 baserunning gain.  Texas was first with +60, and Tampa Bay was third with +54, followed by Toronto with +50.  Mariners were fifth with +42, but then sixth is all the way down to Philadelphia with only +26.  So the Giants were an elite baserunning team in 2011, even though they don't really have many horses on their team, other than Torres and Burriss.

Obviously, Andres was first on the team in 2011 with +24 Net and +17 baserunning and +7 SB gain.  Burriss, despite not spending that much time in the majors was second with +16 (+11; +5).  FYI, Melky Cabrera had +13 with the Royals in 2011 (+13; 0) and Pagan had +27 with the Mets (+9; +18).  It appears that while Cabrera is a good baserunner, he's not so good at stealing bases, while Pagan is good at stealing bases while he's not so good as a baserunner.  They would have been 1st and 3rd on the Giants with those totals.

The next guys are the surprises.  Rowand was third with +12 (+16; -4) and Fontenot was fourth with +10 (+7; +3).  Unsurprisingly, because he was among the Giants top guys in baserunning in previous years despite not playing full-time, Nate Schierholtz was fifth with +9 (+10; -1).  I mention Beltran with +8 (+8; 0), though I have no idea how much was with the Giants.  But since it does not look like he'll be back, it probably don't matter now.

Among the remaining players who added value on the bases are Freddy Sanchez with +5 (+7; -2), Brandon Belt with +4 (+5; -1), which is not surprising because it was mentioned that he's a sharp base runner (as well as a base stealer in the minors), Buster Posey had a surprising +4 (+1; +3) in the short amount of time he played, so he could have ended up among the leaders at this pace, even Chris Stewart was a net gain with +3 (+3; 0), which is also surprising, and lastly Crawford was +2 (+7; -5), meaning that if he could just avoid getting caught stealing, he could be quite the baserunner given his lack of playing time, coupled with his lack of on-base ability, yet he still ended up +7 for the season in base running.

The bad baserunners you knew:  Burrell, Huff (-12: -11; -1), Keppinger (-8; not sure how much SF), Sandoval (-11: -5; -6), Tejada, Whiteside.  Ross was at 0 (-1; +1).

So, apparently Bochy's aggressiveness on the basepaths work for the most part.  They were 12th in the league overall, though most of that was Torres and we don't know if he will even be around in 2012, but at least Cabrera will make up a lot of that.  Still, the Giants were 2nd in the league in baserunning bases gained, and they would have still been in the top 5 in 2011 if we swap out Torres for Cabrera.

I wonder if this helps account for the Giants record in 1-run games with Bochy in 2011.  Heck, for his career, he has been the best manager in beating the odds in 1-run games and being a leader in about half his seasons as manager in games above .500 (the saber rule on that is that a team's record in 1-run games regresses to .500 over time and from my research, there are few NL managers since Bochy became manager, who could do that regularly, Cox though not in a while, Baker to a lesser extent, Dave Johnson when he managed the Mets.  Bochy is the best and to a statistically significant degree too).

Looking at the team stats, the Giants gained a few bases first to third, but wasn't league average in going home from first or second.  Where they made their gains was in bases taken (like on wild pitches; tied for 4th in majors), running into an out while advancing (tied for 2nd), getting doubled off (lowest in majors), and baserunning outs (1st in majors too).  I guess that is another characteristic of Bochy's teams, they don't cost you any runs while on the basepaths with stupid mistakes, while also being aggresive (as seen by the bases taken, 4th there), which adds up to runs and wins eventually.  That also fits in with his philosophy not to give up any outs via a sacrifice, as outs are precious.

If you count 4 bases as a run, the Giants added roughly 9-10 runs or roughly one additional win for the Giants in 2011 because of their baserunning.

Giants Thoughts

I should note, however, that the Giants were pretty lousy in 2010, was great in 2009, but again not so good, heck, lousy again, in 2008.  So they have not been consistently good with Bochy.  It appears that sometimes his philosophy works very well, or it doesn't.

It will be interesting to see how they do in 2012 now that they have some better wheels on the basepaths with Cabrera and Pagan added, along with Schierholtz being pretty good, as well as Crawford being OK in limited play.   Even Posey was pretty good, probably would have been in double digits at the rate he was doing it, though I don't really see him stealing double digit bases.  And even better if/when Belt rejoins the team.

27 comments:

  1. Very interesting post with good research here. I'm going to recommend it to my readers.

    Lots of misconceptions out there. Another common one is that the Giants are terrible at "situational" hitting. Yet, they have been average to above average in advancing runners. Their only "situation" they have been bad at is getting the runners on base in the first place.

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  2. Great research. Flannery gets the publicity with his band ("The Lunatic Fringe" - awesome) and being the third base guy sending runners, but Roberto Kelly has had a rep as an aggressive no-nonsense guy as well. I was looking at the old BA Manny Burriss scouting reports, "He has the baserunning skills and was encouraged to use them by aggressive Augusta manager Roberto Kelly".

    Getting younger and faster should help with this. Didn't see Darren Ford in the data, I'm curious if his late season CS binge caught up with his overall stats, which I imagine were pretty good as far as extra bases taken.

    DrB the Gints hitting stats with 2 out and runners in scoring that Baggs put together was truly awful as well. I'm pretty sure Huff was close to the league leaders in advancing runners, and they do a good job with that aspect.

    One more thing - with faster runners does Bochy play less hit and run? Has this been a necessity with the guys he's had or is it an overall strategy? I think its a bit of both, but I think we'll see a little less of it next year. It is good to put pressure on the defense and make them make their throws. I like our 1/3 coaches.

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  3. Shankbone,

    If you believe in sabermetrics, the awful BA with 2 outs and RISP should improve a lot just with better "luck".

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  4. DrB - I can't bust out any Bull Durham quotes on what I believe, but yeah, it should be improved next year. It was downright spooky though. The only explanation that makes sense to me is guys putting too much pressure on themselves.

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  5. A guy who goes by the handle of Yuno just dropped this in the Fangraphs comments:

    God, I love Giants articles. DrB and obsessivegiantscompulsive provide some excellent entertainment.

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  6. I probably should have changed the title since the Giants have not been consistently good at baserunning, probably would have to analyze year by year to see what the factors are.

    One thing I do remember is that Schierholtz has consistently been a very good base runner every year, among our leaders even though he never plays full-time.

    Another is that the Giants would get bursts of good baserunning when they have a young speedster sitting around, like Velez, so that might be a factor as well.

    Also, should have noted that the additions of Pagan and Melky should result in an improvement for the Giants in 2012, plus the additions of more Crawford and less Tejada, and more Posey and less Whiteside.

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  7. Shankbone, Ford's data was not included.

    To your point, I agree that the team getting younger should help a lot.

    I agree with DrB, the research is that there is not a tremendous amount of "clutch" hitting, though measurable apparently, so the really poor hitting in 2011 in RISP should not continue into 2012 and be closer to the group's overall batting line.

    I think the pressure hit the team particularly hard once it was clear that the only good hitter in the lineup was Pablo. I think, also, the youth in the lineup also affected it some. Plus, some players were upset about playing time as well and took their sulkiness to the plate. So it all added up.

    I agree that Bochy's tactics will change now that there are faster runners up top. Less hit and runs, which should lead to less CS.

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  8. Well, I find most Giants articles annoying, because they either just don't get it, are just biased, or both. The woman who wrote the article I think just do not get it, but others are clearly biased.

    Yuno may be entertained, but hopefully someone open-minded and with clearer thinking will start to understand what DrB and I are saying and trying to educate about.

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  9. I"m happy we were able to brighten someone's day.

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  10. Said it before, say it again: I tend towards both your blogs because I am extremely optimistic about the way the Giants are trending, and the home grown players they have. Great time to be a Giants fan. Just not if you're the type who wants your team to lead off Sportscenter with Dingerz. Great pitching rocks the house.

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  11. I'm with y'all Shankbone on overall optimism regarding the future team. I'm OrgoneDonor at MCC, and I've been saying that the freakouts about the Giants being mediocre next year are unwarranted or being an awful team in the future.

    The team has five core superstars, with three among the best 15 or so SP in the majors, and all in the top 10 for guys under 30. One of the top 3 overall C and 3B as well, on both sides of the ball.

    That is the kind of core that dynasties and long-term contenders are built around. 25 WAR is a fair over-under for the total WAR of all five of those guys assuming each plays a full season.

    40 total WAR among all players should equate to about 90 wins (A replacement-level team is usually pegged at 50 wins, and surprisingly often, if you add up all the WAR accumulated by a teams players and add it to 50, you will be within a game or two of the final tally, or at least the Pythagorean.

    In other words, to be a playoff team when all five of those guys play a full season at their norm, the other 20 guys just need to accumulate 15 or more WAR between all of them.

    That should be remarkably easy as long as you don't have guys who create negative value.

    Having guys who can just produce 1 or 2 WAR/year off the farm to fill the other holes would make for a ridiculously good team.

    ----

    I just hate the negativity, because we are truly bless as fans to have the team we get to root for now. Not only do we have a bunch of AWESOME home-grown stars, but most of the team is home-grown, and most all of them lovable guys that are easy to root for. (Not to mention that our players actually have REAL nicknames! I hate that first initial of first name (hyphen) first syllable of last name/A-Rod/A-Gon/V-Mart BS! May no Giant ever be defiled with a lazy ESPN name!)

    There's a reason why the house was still packed even once the Giants were out of the race. We love our team, and we knew how much we were going to miss them once we couldn't watch them.

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  12. or put another way, the baseline-predictable value of Buster, Panda, Timmy, Cain, and MadBum is HALF of the total value needed to make a 100win team, and that is among only 5 players!

    If the other 20 produce the same amount of WAR as they do, somewhere around 25, that would make a 100-win team.

    Which is why I stay up at night thinking about this team, and imagine telling my children, long into the future, about when I saw it coming and how awesome it ultimately was.

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  13. Shankbone, totally agree, great time to be a Giants fan.

    That is what upsets me and why I get driven crazy, these people are missing out on enjoying one of the great periods of being a Giants fan. But I'm finally getting that you can't get the horse's ass to drink. :^)

    Worse, they uniformly want to get rid of the person responsible for it, Brian Sabean. As DrB cogently elucidated on his Beltran post, people, move on. Enjoy the championship, eat crow and thank Brian Sabean. Instead, they think it was all luck.

    All championships have an element of luck involved. Should the Mets not enjoy their World Series victory just because it was luck that the ball rolls through Bill Buckner's legs?

    That ignores all the work the team put into getting into the playoffs, all the hard work they put into pitching and winning the games, they denigrate with one broad stroke wave of the hand all that hard work.

    The key should be what put the Giants into the position where they could benefit from that good luck? Pitching, pitching, pitching. Brooks Conrad's errors wouldn't matter if the pitching had already given up 5-10 runs, like they did in game 2 of the 2002 World Series (that, to me, was the turning point of the series, not Game 6; if they won that game, there would have been no Game 6, no what if's). Cody Ross's homers would have done nothing without the great pitching.

    Who put together all that pitching? Brian Sabean, no ifs, ands, or buts. And not only did he put it together, he more importantly kept it together. Most of the Naysayers would have traded away Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez, and Bumgarner long ago and there is no way we would have got to and won the World Series without those four, particularly for the players the Naysayers wanted to trade for (Alex Rios, Corey Hart, etc.).

    Not only that, he assembled, via trades, the final pieces to the magnificent bullpen during the season, plus added to it pre-season by picking up a failed A's reliever, who turned out to be pretty good after all. They stuck by Brian Wilson when he was struggling his first spring training and he's turned out really well, a late draft flier.

    And, last but not least, he drafted Buster Posey when many of the Naysayers said that he was stupid for doing that, that the Giants should have selected Justin Smoak. Grant of MCC was a particularly vociferous proponent of that idea. We definitely would not have won anything in 2010 without Posey, Smoak was still struggling that season to figure things out, plus we would still be on the catcher's turnstile, going through old catchers, maybe still using Bengie Molina.

    That is not all luck, that is good assembly of a great team.

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  14. Thank you for sharing your comments Pan.

    I had been saying that on MCC for years now, they just won't listen, they are righteous in their indignation and hatred for Sabean. I am finally realizing that they are a lost cause, and I'm taking DrB's advice to just move on (easier said than done, though...).

    You summed it up great, and thank you for the WAR analysis, I'm still trying to figure out all that stuff.

    And I totally agree that we are blessed, that's why I excitedly shared my feelings at MCC and got shot down. Let their stomachs churn and grind, that is why I liked to go on there after a Sabean extension and put in my 2 cents, because that usually generates about 100 screen full scrolls of vitriol.

    Nice one about nicknames! I know, Panda, Giraffe, Water Buffaloes, The Beard, Freak, Franchise, Big Time Timmy Jim, and one with a ready made nickname, Buster. Brings me back to the days of John the Count, Jack the Ripper, and Will the Thrill.

    There never was a good nickname for Matt Williams, was there?

    Sigh, yeah, I have been enjoying sharing it with my children as well, too bad others don't see this, but I'll soldier on like I have here for the past 4-5 years, chronicling the Giants transformation, their magnificent re-building, and the glories of the Team of the 2010's, the Giants! :^)

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  15. OrgoneDonor - Love your enthusiasm, that is what being a fan is about to me. I really enjoy the MCC talks on prospects. The freakouts, eh, not so much. For me, I'm a Giants fan, I like to root hard for my team, I like to constructively criticize, and I like to zing Sabean once in a while. I feel like there's a core group of MCC people who almost root against the Giants, and that turns me off. There is so much complaining, that when something legit to complain about comes along, its lost its luster already. It is the most informed, most intelligent forum out there for Giants fans though, but groupthink and negativity tend to dominate a bit too much (and maybe a bit too much sabermetric worship without appreciation for the players who put up them stats). OGC has been through the wars in a way I haven't, I tend to shy away, but every once in a while will get drawn into a dustup or two.

    I really like your comment about telling your children or grandchildren. That is exactly how I feel.

    OGC - you have a keen sense of Giants history. I had indeed forgot about the God squad, and the points about the pitching in 2002 are well taken. I'm telling you, your talents lie outside defending Sabean to the nth, but I do enjoy when you do, as in that fangraphs article. That Belt comment you put down, that one is sticking with me. You just think of it or was that humming around for a while?

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  16. Shankbone, thanks.

    To my core, I'm a historian. I appreciate the past. Plus, I am a big Giants fan so I remember details like that, though my memory is starting to crack a bit.

    And, if you can take a downer, frankly, being a Giants fan from 1972-1986 was not a picnic at the park. There were a lot of lousy teams in there, where there was not a lot of hope, I mean that one Frank Robinson push to the final day was a drop of water in the desert period that followed the great 1960's.

    Whereas a lot of my brethren seem to come out of that scarred and cynical to the core, based on what I saw on Usenet in the late 90's and early 2000's plus MCC, I came out with an appreciation of the good that Sabean did for the Giants in turning around the team in one season.

    I guess one possible reason for that was that I did not follow the Giants until 1971, so I was not as beaten down by the bad period relative to the people used to the Giants being one of the best teams in the NL. For it, it was just IS, but they were my team and I was sticking by them.

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  17. I don't defend Sabean to the nth. I've complained before. I got the rep as a Sabean apologist because I was the only one trying to find some logical reasons why the Giants may have made one more or another move. More times than not, they made sense from a certain perspective. I did not always agree, but the messenger, I've found is often the one shot.

    Plus, once I started researching more and finding out more about how to build a team, the difficulties in the draft, the beauty of having a great defense, I usually found that the Giants were already following that strategy, which was both exciting and a bit spooky. Could they be that omniscent?

    I don't think he's god or perfect. I think he has done a good job overall. I didn't care for some moves (like the Garko trade, I liked Ishikawa), and some of which turned out to have been ownership moves, like Rowand and Zito.

    However, I could see a perspective where both deals made sense. Rowand was actually quite a good hitter when he was on. Injuries appeared to be his problem. If the Giants could keep him healthy, he could really produce for us. If you'll recall his first season with us, he actually hit pretty well, but, alas, he had hurt his shoulder at some point, and that finally caught up with him in his last month or two and he ended up low OPS. But he was still .800 OPS when August started. And he never was able to stay healthy, he was like Pistol Pete Reiser, always getting injured for one thing or another.

    That was another reason not to like the Rowand signing, his injury profile. I love headsup play, but I love Bonds philosophy that you can help your team if you are injured. I viewed Rowand's nose-busting on the fence to not be heroic but stupid and reckless to do just for one play, when he has the rest of the season to play.

    Zito also made sense. People hate his sad lack of skills, but he was actually pretty good at keeping his ERA around or below 4 in the AL, and moving to the NL should knock some of that down.

    Also, his salary was low to start. If he could deliver 3 good seasons, with inflation the way it was back then in baseball (about 10% each season), by the time he gets his big money that would only be what the average pitcher was getting, so he only needed to be average then to make the contract pay off.

    But 7 years for a pitcher, at top money? That's a huge roll of the dice, a lot would have to go right for it to work, and it was bad from the get go because he wasn't as Zen as he appeared to be in public. That was a fascade.

    Now, I said both times that I myself would not do either deal, because they were very risky with a chance to blow up in their faces, but it was not like there wasn't a scenario where this could make sense. It just differed on each person's risk tolerance. I can accept differing views on the risk of situations. Where one sees a poor business opportunity, another sees WD-40, or the iPod/iPhone/iPad evolution, which I have to believe was at least semi-orchestrated and planned on long in advance.

    But people chose to remember that I defended Sabean for that but forgot that I didn't want any part of either deal.

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  18. I also defend Sabean because there was nobody else doing it publicly (until recently when DrB came out with his great blog).

    I wanted there to be a balanced view because there was a lot of good out there to appreciate about what Sabean was doing. But no one else saw the good at MCC or other places.

    I got a rep at MCC, Goofus would sometimes ask, "OGC, can you add anything positive here", and I usually was able to, because people shoot from the hip a lot.

    I can't. I am horrible at that. I can only deal with what is, as far as I know to the best of my abilities. So I research a lot, to see if what people say is true. Most of the time, they were not.

    I also took some guesses where I didn't have strong abilities in and that costed my rep as well, I admit that.

    So I don't feel that I defend Sabean. I look for reasons why he/Giants might have done what they did. There are differing risk perspectives. Plus some research supported what he did. I also give my opinion and I find that what they do make sense mostly, but not always.

    As I've noted recently, I haven't made my opinion very clear and that is how I ended up with this rep, I think. That's on me. But that's on people who label me too.

    And just because I defend him doesn't mean I'm wrong or that he's wrong.

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  19. Shankbone, about the Belt comment, I had thought about that before, but never remembered to put it out there when discussing Belt. But it was not like I was thinking a lot about it either.

    Also, at some level, I thought it was a bit cheeky to say, rude, so that probably played a part in it as well. But this time, I finally remembered and it felt right, so I put it down.

    I wished I had put it out before if I had known it would have such an impact on you. :^)

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  20. Well, we got into a little dustup at the end on DrB's today, sort of silly because we're coming from the same place and getting into nitty gritty semantics and the like.

    I really think the big problem with the internet is a lot of people on the internet haven't experienced what it was like to have no damn hope. That Joe Morgan HR year with Frank Robinson was a big big deal, in a sea of futility. I can remember some really sad times with me and my radio.

    I agree with you - I do the same - I look for answers and am not happy with conventional wisdom. Not my intention to paint you into that corner, that's why I think your blog is so interesting, if people bother to actually read what you write. I think its the sweat the small stuff, which I understand you have to do from time to time. I'm naturally a contrarian, so I draw easily towards an alternative viewpoint anyways.

    You mentioned doing away with your projection system, going with Bill James and the like, as you don't want to defend yourself all the time. Being conservative with estimates. The rep at MCC (BTW - Goofus is a great moderator, I really respect that guy) - I can understand that a lot. That is the part that just sucks - I see a couple guys get reps as apologists there on MCC, and that's just not fair. I don't think you deserve that, and I don't see you that way.

    I am just too much of an Irish troublemaker though, I do like to stir things up. Sorry about today.

    The Belt comment - its true, Giants fans act like they discovered him, he is their little precious and that is just insane if you take a step back. its hard, because Sando came out of nowhere smacking the ball everywhere and Buster came rolling out of a Robert Redford movie. But besides that, we have had such little luck with really good hitters, its been a long time. But the Giants spotted him, developed him, and HEY - might have some real faith in him starting right now... So let em go.

    Good time to be a Gints fan for sure. Cheers, hope you're square about earlier, I didn't see any of the stuff you put down here while we were throwing down at DrB's.

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  21. I watched the giants go station to station so many times and it was so frustrating. To see these stats makes me think either my eyes deceived me, or these stats are just flat out bunk. To think that there were worse teams than the giants in taking the extra base boggles the mind. Good to know that we were not that bad afterall. I guess I am a little questioning of my own powers of baseball observation.

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  22. Nomisnala,

    Sometimes the smartest baserunning decision is to not run. It does no good to try for the extra base just to get thrown out. I think the point of these stats is that the Giants make those decisions wisely and pick and choose their spots. On the TV, though, when they make the choice not to run it comes out looking like station-to-station baseball.

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  23. Shank and OGC,

    I agree that the point is not to defend Sabean to the n'th degree. The point is that many times people look at a move or non-move from just one viewpoint. There is a very strong herd mentality on the internet. All it takes is for 1 or 2 leader types to make a pronouncement and before you know it, it's set in stone like the 10 commandments.

    Example: "LOOGY's" are fungible commodities and the Giants are wasting their money on Affeldt and Lopez. That has become absolute dogma out there on the internet. All I wanted to do in the recent Fangraphs article and in my Beltran piece was to point out there are other ways of looking at it. There are statistically sound reasons why "LOOGYs" are undervalued by WAR, possibly by a lot.

    If you all remember, we went through a similar freakout when Sabes traded for Lopez in 2010, but that move turned out to be as responsible for the Giants winning the World Series as anything.

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  24. DrB - the herd mentality is very persuasive. I like how you've shorthanded it to CW. The LOOGY stuff drives me nuts. High leverage situations count for so much more. I banged my head with some knuckleheads at MCC about this for a while, but it gets annoying when you are trying to make your point and 20 year olds are cutting out part of what you wrote to distort your argument, and 4-5 guys are angrily Keith Law bulletpointing you at the same time. Lopez was amazing in 2010, he was very good in 2011. I do think Bochy leaves him in at times a bit too long against RH, but in a must win game I don't think he does that. Affeldt had some rough stretches but overall has been a very good pitcher.

    I did a fair amount of research on the number of lefties in the league. With contending teams, every team except Atlanta would do well to improve their overall pen and specifically the lefties. The number of lefties is very shrunken on the proven MLB level. Why this point can't be absorbed by interwebz jockeys is beyond me. Chicago just got a nice haul for their guy. The trade interest in Affeldt is another indicator. These guys are 2 of the top 20 in the league, and thats being very conservative. They are also in the sweet spot of age/experience. Runzler has a lot of potential, but he has not demonstrated the ability to throw strikes, much less under the pressure of high leverage.

    There are limited resources, even apparently for the Yankees, who run out Boone Logan as their sole lefty? Talk about a terrible strategy. But mainly it comes down to "They can find relievers anywhere". Who's "They"? The Giants! Well, who's making that decision to re-up and move on to the next task? I'll listen to the arguments about hitting because we do need to get to a league average offense. I have trouble with criticisms of a pitching staff which is top 3 in everything for 3 years running. I really enjoy having a top 3 pen in baseball.

    And about that fungible commodity thing - I think this is an OGC moment for me - I totally believed that, until I started looking inside the numbers. Then I found that WAR doesn't properly value relievers, there are situations in baseball that can't be captured properly for valuation, and there is an extremely limited supply, which drives the cost. Sabean got bargains this year, I thought for sure both were gone.

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  25. Shankbone, we are good. We have enough history that I do not think you were dissing me in any way, you just like to be playful.

    However, I am aware that Naysayers read my blog, which I find funny because they disparage what I write. I mean they comment often enough to give me that impression.

    So I just feel the need to explain myself every once in a while when things are brought up.

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  26. Here is my fungible reliever lesson.

    The Giants traded Nathan away and I was told how easy it is to replace him. End. Of. Story.

    :^)

    The problem with sabers is that they think everything is in stone, as DrB said, 10 commandments. I realize that this is the latest, but things could change with new research, plus I know the limitations with some findings means that you vary how strongly you argue for certain points.

    Happy Holidays everyone! Thank you for the nice discussions!

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  27. The problem is the ad hominem passed judgment on Sabean. What makes "other places" so frustrating is there is no discussion, thus, it's boring. OGC, you are only guilty of actually attempting to insert content.

    And, you know, it's guesswork (Zito, Rowand, Nathan). If anything, a good GM is one who guesses right more often than wrong, which Sabean has done. There are real reasons that there are successful franchises, and it's not just $$. The number of homegrown players always strikes me as impressive.

    Gotta run, but an excellent observation above - Giants have had a theoretically contending team for 15 years running. People are spoiled. There's a point where one has to accept that it's not all luck.

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