Friday, September 18, 2015

2015 Giants: July PQS

Whoa!  Just realized while preparing for the August version that I had neglected to create a July version.

This post has the Giants Pure Quality Start scores for the month of July 2015, PQS as defined in Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster annual book and they published the details here (unfortunately, they removed the article; this link gets you at least to the PQS definition, read down to middle for details). I wrote on this first in 2006 (wow, 10th year of this!) and have compiled their stats on a regular basis, so I'm continuing it this season for continuity and historical comparison (there is the "PQS" label that you can click to see the old posts on this). Regular readers can skip to the next section.

This is the Quality Start with a sabermetric DIPS twist, and it gets really easy to calculate once you get used to it. I don't think it's the end all or be all, but then nothing really is that. It is, as I like to say, another piece of the puzzle. A dominating start is scored a 4 or 5 and a disaster start is scored a 0 or 1. DOM% is the percentage of starts that are dominating, DIS% is the percentage of starts that are disasters (any start under 5.0 IP is automatically a 0, or disaster).


What's Good and What's Not

From my observations, a DOM at or above the 40% mark is indicative of good pitching; above 50% is great; above 70% is elite. A low DIS is also indicative of good pitching, just look at the table in the link above showing DOM% and DIS% on the axes.

Basically, you want to see a pitcher's DOM% to be over 40% and ideally over 50%, and you want their DIS to be under 20% and ideally under 10%. For example, Johan Santana had a 76% DOM and 3% DIS in 2006 (2.77 ERA), whereas Orlando Hernandez had a 52% DOM and 28% DIS (4.66 ERA), and Adam Eaton had a 31% DOM and 31% DIS (5.12 ERA). Read the link (unfortunately, they removed the article and thus the table is no longer available, sorry), as I noted, there's a nice chart there showing the combination of high DOM% and low DIS%, and there you can see particularly how a low DIS% is so important to a low ERA.

If you had to chose a high DOM% or a low DIS%, pitchers tend to have a lower ERA when you have a low DIS% vs. a high DOM% (obviously if you combine both, you have a much better chance of having an elite pitcher).  But I think when the DOM% is high enough, you win more by choosing a high DOM% over a low DIS%, as there are more high quality games pitched overall.

I wholeheartedly recommend buying Baseball Forecaster and learning more about their methods of analyzing baseball. It has been greatly illuminating for me, and if you want to get a taste for it without paying full price, they used to sell their old editions of their annuals on their website for half price or less (plus shipping); but that was before he sold the company off, and I haven't checked recently.

Giants Starters' PQS for 2015 Season

Madison Bumgarner- (67% DOM, 5% DIS; 14:1/21):  4, 0, 3, 5, 5/5, 4, 2, 4, 3, 5/4, 4, 5, 5, 5/2, 3, 4, 5, 3/

Matt Cain- (40% DOM, 20% DIS; 2:1/5):  DL///0, 5, 3, 5, 3/

Chris Heston - (50% DOM, 15% DIS; 10:3/20):  5, 5, 5, 3/5, 2, 5, 0, 1, 5/0, 5, 2, 2, 5/3, 3, 4, 5, 3/

Tim Hudson - (19% DOM, 19% DIS; 3:3/16):  3, 3, 3, 2/2, 3, 2, 3, 0, 4/5, 1, 3, 2, 4/0, 2/

Tim Lincecum - (40% DOM, 33% DIS; 6:5/15):  4, 3, 4, 2/4, 5, 0, 4, 2, 0/4, 0, 2, 0, 0/

Jake Peavy - (57% DOM, 29% DIS; 4:2/7):  0, 0//4, 5, 2, 4, 4/

Yusmeiro Petit - (0% DOM, 0% DIS; 0:0/1):  /3/

Ryan Vogelsong - (56% DOM, 31% DIS; 9:5/16):  0, 4, 0/4, 5, 1, 4, 5/5, 4, 0, 5, 5, 2/0, 2/

Giants Season overall - 49% DOM, 22% DIS out of 78 games counted (38:17/78)
Giants Month of April - 41% DOM, 23% DIS out of 22 games counted (9:5/22)
Giants Month of May - 50% DOM, 20% DIS out of 30 games counted (15:6/30)
Giants Month of June - 54% DOM, 23% DIS out of 26 games counted (14:6/26)
Giants Month of July - 42% DOM, 13% DIS out of 24 games counted (10:3/24)

The month of July for PQS was up and down.   This continues a string of poor (for the Giants; 42% DOM/13% DIS is actually good for most starting pitchers) months since September last season.

Peavy led the staff with 4 DOM starts, which is very good for any month.  However, the rest of the rotation did not have such a great month, with Bumgarner, Cain, and Heston tied at 2 DOM, and Hudson and Vogie both had none in 2 July starts each.

As Cain and Peavy returned to the rotation, both Lincecum and Hudson were shut down.  Lincecum had already been performing poorly and it was disclosed that he was having hip problems.  As we know today, it was bad enough that he never recovered and had surgery to fix his problem.  The report is that this should fix what had been bothering him for a number of years now, and he should return to where he was when healthy.  Hudson had actually done well in his last start, but has been a shadow of his prior self all season, dealing with the aches a 40-year-old starting pitcher would have, and accepted a DL in order to help the team clear a spot.

Hudson returned later in the month, at which point the Giants shut down Vogelsong.  Vogie was shut down because that was his role, to fill in when starters were out, but now everyone was back.  He had been pitching well when Hudson was shut down, but struggled for three straight starts so the Giants brought back Hudson, who also struggled in his return.  At that point, the Giants traded for Mike Leake and DLed Hudson again.

It was a good month for DIS starts, as there were very few.  Cain, Hudson and Vogelsong had one each.  Bumgarner, Heston, and Peavy did not have one in July.  As I've pointed out before, disaster starts are the ones that drive up ERA generally, I've seen pitchers who have decent ERA, in spite of few dominant starts, solely by avoiding disaster starts as well.

Still, deep divide between the great performances and the not so great.  Heston led the way with 1.57 ERA (no-hitter helped) but only 5.1 K/9 and 1.67 K/BB, so he was lucky there.  Peavy had a 2.84 ERA, only 5.1 K/9 too, but great 3.00 K/BB.  Cain had a good 7.4 K/9 and 3.29 K/BB, but so-so 4.50 ERA, as he had a bad BABIP for the month, .317, higher than .300 majors mean and much higher than his career .270 BABIP.  Vogelsong had a 7.5 K/9 but very poor 1.17 K/BB, for a so-so 4.66 ERA.  Bumgarner's so-so month was BABIP induced (34 hits in 29.2 IP) as he had a very good 8.8 K/9 and great 4.83 K/BB.  Lastly, Huddy had a 6.00 ERA with very poor 4.0 K/9 and 1.00 K/BB, but helped the team by avoiding a disaster start, which the team won, while the team lost his other start, which was a disaster start.

In spite of all the ups and downs, there was not much difference in actual team wins and losses.  For Heston, Peavy, Cain, and Bumgarner, the team was 3-2 in their starts, and for Vogelsong and Hudson, the team was 1-1.

July 2015 Comments

Since it is so late, I'm going to keep this relatively short (for me :^).

The pitching overall was great, with a 3.18 ERA during the month of July, for a great 3.29 RA/game.  For the starters, they had a very good 3.60 ERA overall for the month.  That's in spite of the relative low 42% DOM and shows the power of having pitchers who avoid disaster starts.  On that end, the Giants rotation only had 3 DIS starts in the month, the lowest of any month so far.  For the relievers, they had a great 2.33 ERA during the month of July.  Surprising that we only ended up 14-10 for the month.

Given the good ERA, there was a lot of good pitching.  Broadway had a nice first appearance in the majors (1.0 IP, 1 K).  Osich had a nice first month in the majors (9 games, 0.00 ERA, 7.1 IP, 4 hits, 3 BB, 6 K's).  Kontos continued to perform well, using all the pitches he learned while in the minors the past two season (0.87 ERA).  Heston was the best starter, and the no-hitter really helped (1.57 ERA in 5 starts), Lopez excelled in LOOGY:  1.69 ERA, 10 games but only 5.1 IP.  Peavy came back great from injury:  2.84 ERA, 3.0 K/BB.  Vogelsong continued to do well in SP/RP role, with a 2.93 ERA in 6 games, 2 starts.  And Romo did OK, 3.52 ERA in 8 appearances.

There were many guys who struggled too.  Pitchers who had ERA above 4 included the now released (and current closer for the Red Sox) Jean Machi with 4.05 ERA, Cain with 4.50 ERA, Bumgarner with 4.85 ERA (reflecting his troubles in getting DOM starts in the month), Petit with 5.63 ERA, Hudson with 6.00 ERA, and Casilla with 6.75 ERA.

But overall, the pitching held strong and the scoring was pretty strong as well, averaging 4.50 RS per game.  With a 3.29 RA, that should usually yield a 15-9 month, but we ended up 14-10 instead.  It's a pattern, as we'll see in August, that continues.

Befitting that high 4.50 RS, there were a lot of good hitting in the month of July.  Buster led the way with a great .400/.415/.507/.921, but he was already tiring out, with a limp (for him) 107 ISO.  And while he kept his K's down to only 5 in 75 AB, he only got 4 walks as well.  Pence was hot, hitting .314/.377/.543/.919, with 7 doubles and 3 HR for a great 229 ISO.  Blanco helped out greatly filling in for Aoki, who suddenly became a target at home plate, HBP breaking his leg.  Gregor hit .292/.390/.431/.820, leading the team with 3 SB.  His co-leader was Belt, who hit .305/.379/.439/.818.  Crawford is the last of the good hitters, hitting .259/.272/.518/.789 with 6 HR in 85 AB, leading the team by a wide margin (Pence second with 3).   And I give honorable mention to Hector Sanchez, .222/.222/.667/.889, only 2 for 9, but the two were a double and HR, good for 4 RBI.

A few of the hitters did OK.  Duffy hit .316/.343/.418/.762, and that actually is roughly about what the average NL 3B has hit.  Duffy nice numbers overall reflect his great month of June and hides the averageness that he has exhibited in all the other months.  And there's nothing wrong with that, he has helped saved this season for sure, one of the many highlights of the season.  Plus this starts a downward trend for him, which probably reflects the thin frame that he has, and lack of stamina overall.  The other OK hitter was Maxwell, who hit .250/.308/.444/.752, and probably saved his roster spot by doing that, as he had been under 600 OPS for much of the season after his good start.  Panik hit a so-so (for him) .294/.351/.365/.716, which is actually slightly above average for NL 2B.  Still led the team in runs scored, because of that great OBP (Duffy tied him; helped that Posey and Pence were hot after him).

A number of hitters did not do that well, but not enough to stop runs from scoring.   Arias was still not doing anything, which eventually led to his DFA.  Pagan was still struggling because of his poor health (knees, other), hitting .270/.290/.303/.594, but the Giants had to keep trotting him out there because there were no good alternatives in the system, and a trade would cost and yet bring on someone who could start, but might be mostly sitting once Pagan is healthy again.  Part of the tough decisions that a GM has to balance.   Susac, as we later learned, had wrist problems (which bothered him since spring training) that shut him down for the season, hit only .143/.172/.321/.494.  Adrianza, who many want to DFA, hit only .136/.174/.182/.356.

2 comments:

  1. Very interesting season, with a large number of injuries. I Vogelsong injured, have not seen him pitching lately, and your data shows that he has actually been pretty good. This seems to be the year of the head injury. The concussion. Maybe we need some new type of protective head gear. Something light, but very strong. Peavy has been very good for 6 innings, After the sixth inning it is probably better to take ones chances with the bullpen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, TOO interesting a season with the injuries. :^)

      Vogelsong appears to be tired, but that's my analysis. He has tired out in prior seasons, right around this timing, August. He was pretty good into July, but his August numbers stink a lot (see the next post, it has the sad numbers: 3 DIS starts out of 5 starts).

      He was actually starting to peter out in July, but when they threw him into the bullpen for a while, in order to put Hudson back in the rotation, he got some rest, and when he returned to the rotation, had a couple of good starts, but 3 DIS starts in August is killer to the team's chances (team lost every one of those starts). So he got removed from the rotation again.

      I don't think he's able to pitch a full season anymore. Even in prior years when he was going good, he would have a dead arm period in August. He bounced back the first couple of seasons back with us, but has not really bounced that well recently. He's been a good and vital Giants contributor in the past five seasons, but unless he's a full-time reliever (where I think he could thrive if he would accept that role), I think it's time to part ways, as much as I love him as a contributor in the past. I think at this point, Lincecum would be better in this role than Vogie would, because his physical issues should have been fixed with the surgery.

      Yeah, head injuries all over, lots of concussions, too many of them. Shocking how many non-catchers having that issue, Aoki, Blanco, Adrianza. But in Adrianza's case, the ball bounced off his shin and knocked him in the jaw, no helmet is going to prevent that from happening. Still, got to start somewhere, light but strong is what Krukow was saying would be good the other morning on his show.

      Peavy should not be allowed to go past the 6th inning, most probably. Bochy and Righetti has been letting him go to long this season, only for him to blow up the lead.

      And that's what to be expected out of a #4/5 starter, which is where Peavy is because of his frequent injuries and lack of stuff. He still pitches very well when healthy, but he is missing time for something almost every season.

      But I find that is fine for the Giants because we have Blackburn, Beede, Stratton, Blach, and Mella as possible call-ups for 2016, so even if he inevitably lands on the DL, one of them hopefully will be ready for their closeup (as Heston was) and help us win games.

      I have to think Blackburn will get a chance and not look back, at some point of the 2016 season. He will win and hold a spot, as he's so young and yet did so well in AAA, that bodes well for his future, and thus for us fans.

      Delete

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