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Are the Indians for real 2

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Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby Dnthateonthepronk » Tue May 03, 2011 1:29 am

here is an article from fangraphs, its another one stating the Indians are going to come back to reality, they are not this good, plaing above their heads, yadda yadda yadda


Are the Indians For Real?

by Dave Cameron - May 2, 2011

April is over, and as expected, the Cleveland Indians have the best record in baseball. Okay, you’re right, not one single person on this planet expected that. ZIPS projected 71 wins for the Tribe, while the readership here at FanGraphs was a little more optimistic, penciling them in for 73 victories. They’re currently on pace for 114 wins, and would need to play .400 baseball the rest of the way in order for the crowd’s projection to come true.

It’s not just wins and losses, either. The Indians have the best run differential in baseball (+47) and they’re second in the majors in team WAR (+10.5), trailing only the offensive juggernaut in St. Louis. The Indians aren’t winning a bunch of nail-biters, but, instead, they’re pounding their opponents into submission. At 5.41 runs scored per game, they’re nearly keeping pace with the Yankees offense, and yet they’re simultaneously holding opponents to just 3.67 runs per game. Only Oakland and Anaheim are preventing runs at a better rate.

So, 27 games of excellent baseball later, we have to ask the obvious question: are the Indians for real?

On the offensive side of things, the answer might just be yes. They probably won’t score the 875 runs they’re on pace for, but this is a team with some real talent at hitting the baseball. Shin-Soo Choo and Carlos Santana were expected to anchor the lineup, but both of them have scuffled during the season’s first month, and instead the Indians have been carried by Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner. Both have overcome significant health concerns to mash during the opening few weeks of the season, and while I wouldn’t expect either to keep up their current levels of performance, they have shown elite abilities before — getting production from those two isn’t exactly unheard of.

Perhaps more importantly, however, have been the quality of the younger role players. We talked about Jack Hannahan‘s crazy April on Friday, but beyond his performance, the Indians have also gotten high quality production from Matt LaPorta, Michael Brantley, and Asdrubal Cabrera. In fact, not one single position player on the Tribe has a negative WAR, as even Austin Kearns is off-setting his lousy hitting with decent defensive value.

Several of these guys are going to cool off, but Santana and Choo should take a step forward, and, overall, this offense should be above average at least — especially if Sizemore and Hafner can stay healthy. There’s some real talent on the position player side of things, and so I don’t know that I see a huge regression coming there.

On the pitching side, though, things are a bit different. Justin Masterson looks like he may have finally figured out how to get lefties out, but even if he’s taken a real step forward, he’s not going to sustain a 2.25 ERA. And, unfortunately for Cleveland, you can make a similar claim about nearly every pitcher on the roster.

Their HR/FB rate is just 6.5%. Only the Mariners are giving up fewer home runs per fly ball among American League pitching staffs. Additionally, their BABIP is .272, fourth lowest in the AL, and fifth lowest in baseball. Neither of those numbers are going to continue going forward at the same rate, as the team’s ERA will almost certainly move more towards the 4.04 xFIP they are putting up. This just isn’t a great pitching staff, and while the results have been good, there’s a ton of room for regression there.

However, even with a pitching staff that is due for a fall, this team certainly looks better than we thought headed into the season, and the rest of the division looks demonstrably weaker. In fact, the two teams most generally picked as the top contenders for the AL Central — the Twins and White Sox — are 10 games behind the Indians already. The Tigers are 7 1/2 games back. Whether it’s real or not, the Indians have amassed a huge lead over the three teams that were considered to be the cream of the division’s crop.

Yes, there are 135 games to play, but Minnesota and Chicago are now going to have to put it into another gear to take the division back from the Tribe’s hands. If we project the Indians at a .500 winning percentage going forward — which seems about right to me, assuming that Sizemore and Hafner can stay reasonably healthy — the Indians would end the season with 86 or 87 wins. To finish with 88 wins, the Twins and White Sox would each have to play .586 baseball the rest of the way.

That’s possible, but that’s better than either team was projected to play before the season began, and given what we’ve seen in the first month, it’s hard to argue that the preseason projections were too conservative. And remember, those respective records would result in the Indians losing the division on the final weekend of the season.

They’re not as good as they’ve played, and there is some real regression coming, but given how the first month has played out in the AL Central, the Indians are almost certainly going to be in this race in September. I don’t know if they’ll be able to hang on to their early lead, but it’s large enough where they certainly aren’t going to give it up without a fight.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby davemanddd » Tue May 03, 2011 3:24 am

if they can play better on the road than what they have thus far and beat some of the better teams consistently, well then yeah, i would say they are for real. they got a real test coming up this week with 6 games in oakland and caliheimgeles. if they can go 4-2 at a minimum on this road trip and hold their own against the angels, i would think that would go a long way towards showing people that they truly are for real. we can only hope. go tribe!!!

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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby motherscratcher » Tue May 03, 2011 7:53 am

Never mind that everything he wrote in that article is correct.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby RickNashEquilibrium » Tue May 03, 2011 8:52 am

No offense to Paul, Tony, or anyone else who knows the math but the stat geeks who also try to be journalists make me want to vomit. I am not saying they're wrong, in reality all the advanced statistics probably tell a good story, but christ going through that shit is unreadable. Watch the games, make a decision. Team looks good, team doesn't look good.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby leadpipe » Tue May 03, 2011 9:07 am

So, Justin Masterson isn't going to win 28 games and the White Sox and Twins are gonna have to play well - perhaps over their heads to make up lost ground.

As a Tribe fan, what's there to be offended by?
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby Larvell Blanks » Tue May 03, 2011 9:19 am

Wow, read it, re-read it and still cannot find a reason to bitch about it. In fact the author clearly states that the Tribe will be in it come September. Many of the things said has been hashed out on these very boards.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby Jumbo » Tue May 03, 2011 9:27 am

leadpipe wrote:So, Justin Masterson isn't going to win 28 games and the White Sox and Twins are gonna have to play well - perhaps over their heads to make up lost ground.

As a Tribe fan, what's there to be offended by?


Exactly. This is so simple, I can't understand what could actually be so controversial. 19-8 is .700 baseball. The Indians are not a .700 team. The question is, where on the sacale are they between a .450 team that happened to have their one hot streak of the season in Apri and a .600 team that just had one of several hot streaks.

Since they must fall back, at least a little bit, the question is where would the fall back come from. The article is completely right: it's much more likely to come from the pitching, rather than the hitting: Choo and Santana haven't been hitting at their full potential, the pitchers have less of a track record than the hitters, and they've gotten lucky on balls in play. (Some of that "luck" is attributable to really good defense, of course, but there still will be some amount of fallback.)

The point on the other teams starting badly is also straightforward: the Tribe's rivals have to play really well from here on out (at about a mid-90s win pace) to even get to the high 80s in wins. So, it's a decent bet that 90 wins can take the division. To get to 90 wins, the Indians have to go 71-64 the rest of the way to get to 90-72. Play well, stay healthy, and that's doable. (But not certain.)
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby Kingpin74 » Tue May 03, 2011 9:30 am

As much as I'm loving this team, I don't think they're threatening the 2001 Mariners. The author flat out said he thinks they'll go around .500 the rest of the way and come in at 86 or 87 wins. That is pretty much exactly what my prediction is (and that many wins should be enough in the craptastic Central).
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby davemanddd » Tue May 03, 2011 10:35 am

Kingpin74 wrote:As much as I'm loving this team, I don't think they're threatening the 2001 Mariners. The author flat out said he thinks they'll go around .500 the rest of the way and come in at 86 or 87 wins. That is pretty much exactly what my prediction is (and that many wins should be enough in the craptastic Central).


that's what they did in 1997. revisionist people like to think that the indians were this awesomely great 100-win team then, but that was actually 2 years earlier. the fact of the matter is they won just 86 games that year but still won the "craptastic" division by 6 games. can history repeat itself??? we can only hope. go tribe!!!

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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby Commodore Perry » Tue May 03, 2011 11:08 am


If we project the Indians at a .500 winning percentage going forward — which seems about right to me, assuming that Sizemore and Hafner can stay reasonably healthy — the Indians would end the season with 86 or 87 wins. To finish with 88 wins, the Twins and White Sox would each have to play .586 baseball the rest of the way.

That’s possible, but that’s better than either team was projected to play before the season began, and given what we’ve seen in the first month, it’s hard to argue that the preseason projections were too conservative. And remember, those respective records would result in the Indians losing the division on the final weekend of the season.



So my answer to these threads is define "real". For me, the indians are for real if they're a playoff team. At this point, they've built up such a lead that it is likely they'll be in a pennant chase this September. That's real enough for me.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby statmasta » Tue May 03, 2011 11:23 am

RickNashEquilibrium wrote:No offense to Paul, Tony, or anyone else who knows the math but the stat geeks who also try to be journalists make me want to vomit. I am not saying they're wrong, in reality all the advanced statistics probably tell a good story, but christ going through that shit is unreadable. Watch the games, make a decision. Team looks good, team doesn't look good.

But the point of the article isn't to say they look good or don't look good. Of course they look good, anybody could tell you that. The point is to take a look at the rest of the season for this team, and that's done through statistics.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby pup » Tue May 03, 2011 11:32 am

statmasta wrote:
RickNashEquilibrium wrote:No offense to Paul, Tony, or anyone else who knows the math but the stat geeks who also try to be journalists make me want to vomit. I am not saying they're wrong, in reality all the advanced statistics probably tell a good story, but christ going through that shit is unreadable. Watch the games, make a decision. Team looks good, team doesn't look good.

But the point of the article isn't to say they look good or don't look good. Of course they look good, anybody could tell you that. The point is to take a look at the rest of the season for this team, and that's done through statistics.


If only statistics could measure everything, they would be on to something. Statistics cannot predict the future. And when that becomes part of the statistic, they will be useful.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby fundamentals » Tue May 03, 2011 1:00 pm

I think the Tribe has to be considered seriously now to win the AL Central. Their ability to distance themselves this early cannot be discounted. When you couple their success with the turrible play of the White Sox and Tigers (I think they have gained six games on both of them in a week) and the Twins toiling in sucktitude, it stands to reason they will be in it deep into the season. Just my two cents.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby Erie Warrior » Tue May 03, 2011 1:04 pm

fundamentals wrote: Their ability to distance themselves this early cannot be discounted.


A lot of baseball to be played in May and June. After the AS break...
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby motherscratcher » Tue May 03, 2011 1:19 pm

pup wrote:
statmasta wrote:
RickNashEquilibrium wrote:No offense to Paul, Tony, or anyone else who knows the math but the stat geeks who also try to be journalists make me want to vomit. I am not saying they're wrong, in reality all the advanced statistics probably tell a good story, but christ going through that shit is unreadable. Watch the games, make a decision. Team looks good, team doesn't look good.

But the point of the article isn't to say they look good or don't look good. Of course they look good, anybody could tell you that. The point is to take a look at the rest of the season for this team, and that's done through statistics.


If only statistics could measure everything, they would be on to something. Statistics cannot predict the future. And when that becomes part of the statistic, they will be useful.


Of course statistics cannot predict the future. Nobody can predict the future. They're a tool to help us try to do that. They aren't foolproof. They aren't always right. But neither are our eyes or our guts.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby Rat_Tail » Tue May 03, 2011 1:21 pm

All they have to do is be the best team in the Central. A playoff contender is a "for real" team.

They've already got a 10 game lead on the supposed better teams (Twinkies and Sox), an 8 game lead over the Tigers, and a 4.5 game lead over the Royals.

Considering we just got done sweeping both teams I don't know how we wouldn't be for real.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby statmasta » Tue May 03, 2011 2:58 pm

motherscratcher wrote:
pup wrote:
statmasta wrote:
RickNashEquilibrium wrote:No offense to Paul, Tony, or anyone else who knows the math but the stat geeks who also try to be journalists make me want to vomit. I am not saying they're wrong, in reality all the advanced statistics probably tell a good story, but christ going through that shit is unreadable. Watch the games, make a decision. Team looks good, team doesn't look good.

But the point of the article isn't to say they look good or don't look good. Of course they look good, anybody could tell you that. The point is to take a look at the rest of the season for this team, and that's done through statistics.


If only statistics could measure everything, they would be on to something. Statistics cannot predict the future. And when that becomes part of the statistic, they will be useful.


Of course statistics cannot predict the future. Nobody can predict the future. They're a tool to help us try to do that. They aren't foolproof. They aren't always right. But neither are our eyes or our guts.

Stats are a better guide to guess the future than our eyes, in my opinion. Not even close.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby peeker643 » Tue May 03, 2011 3:12 pm

Clearly- Looking at Justin Masterson's stats last July was a clear indication he was figuring it all out.

This argument is tired and boring. Why bother watching games at all when you can look at GameCast and read boxscores?

Carlos Santana is hitting under what Andy Marte typically did. Use your stats to tell me the difference in their swings and why Santana will likely catch up to and surpass Marte as a Major League hitter.

If stats are a better guide to "guessing the future" let me know how tonight's game will go and save me a few hours of sleep from doing something completely stupid like using my eyes to watch it.





statmasta wrote:
motherscratcher wrote:
pup wrote:
statmasta wrote:
RickNashEquilibrium wrote:No offense to Paul, Tony, or anyone else who knows the math but the stat geeks who also try to be journalists make me want to vomit. I am not saying they're wrong, in reality all the advanced statistics probably tell a good story, but christ going through that shit is unreadable. Watch the games, make a decision. Team looks good, team doesn't look good.

But the point of the article isn't to say they look good or don't look good. Of course they look good, anybody could tell you that. The point is to take a look at the rest of the season for this team, and that's done through statistics.


If only statistics could measure everything, they would be on to something. Statistics cannot predict the future. And when that becomes part of the statistic, they will be useful.


Of course statistics cannot predict the future. Nobody can predict the future. They're a tool to help us try to do that. They aren't foolproof. They aren't always right. But neither are our eyes or our guts.

Stats are a better guide to guess the future than our eyes, in my opinion. Not even close.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby statmasta » Tue May 03, 2011 3:20 pm

peeker643 wrote:Clearly- Looking at Justin Masterson's stats last July was a clear indication he was figuring it all out.

This argument is tired and boring. Why bother watching games at all when you can look at GameCast and read boxscores?

Carlos Santana is hitting under what Andy Marte typically did. Use your stats to tell me the difference in their swings and why Santana will likely catch up to and surpass Marte as a Major League hitter.

If stats are a better guide to "guessing the future" let me know how tonight's game will go and save me a few hours of sleep from doing something completely stupid like using my eyes to watch it.





statmasta wrote:
motherscratcher wrote:
pup wrote:
statmasta wrote:
RickNashEquilibrium wrote:No offense to Paul, Tony, or anyone else who knows the math but the stat geeks who also try to be journalists make me want to vomit. I am not saying they're wrong, in reality all the advanced statistics probably tell a good story, but christ going through that shit is unreadable. Watch the games, make a decision. Team looks good, team doesn't look good.

But the point of the article isn't to say they look good or don't look good. Of course they look good, anybody could tell you that. The point is to take a look at the rest of the season for this team, and that's done through statistics.


If only statistics could measure everything, they would be on to something. Statistics cannot predict the future. And when that becomes part of the statistic, they will be useful.


Of course statistics cannot predict the future. Nobody can predict the future. They're a tool to help us try to do that. They aren't foolproof. They aren't always right. But neither are our eyes or our guts.

Stats are a better guide to guess the future than our eyes, in my opinion. Not even close.

WATCHING Justin Masterson in July couldn't even give you an indication he'd figure it out. He was terrible until the last couple months.

And when we're talking about individual development, stats are difficult to interpret, no question. But when we're just talking about the progression of an entire team of the course of a season, stats are more useful. However, stats alone are useless. Just as useless as ignoring stats and going "He's great! I know it because I saw his talent with my own two eyes!"

Please. Emotion and observation are so misleading. But used in moderation, in concert with correct interpretation of many different stats used together (there's no one tell-all stat)....and you can get a clearer picture of what you're looking for. But you can't get that picture without the numbers.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby peeker643 » Tue May 03, 2011 3:31 pm

statmasta wrote:However, stats alone are useless. Just as useless as ignoring stats and going "He's great! I know it because I saw his talent with my own two eyes!"


Look at Carlos Santana and look at Andy Marte.

Look at their stats.

Tell me which player is better, why, and how you know.

Would you prefer marte in the 4th spot and would you deal him for Santana based on your numbers?

Again, I'm assuming you would not.

Why? And I want a stat-based reason please.

Also, looking at your statistical eight-ball, please tell me exactly how many games the Tribe will win this season and how you reached the conclusion. How many did your numbers tell you they'd win before the season started? What projections did your numbers give you in terms of their April record?

Can you also let me know, based on empirical evidence, what Derek Jeter should be hitting right now based on the last 16 years worth of data and where he will end up?


Thanks
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby statmasta » Tue May 03, 2011 3:38 pm

peeker643 wrote:
statmasta wrote:However, stats alone are useless. Just as useless as ignoring stats and going "He's great! I know it because I saw his talent with my own two eyes!"


Look at Carlos Santana and look at Andy Marte.

Look at their stats.

Tell me which player is better, why, and how you know.

Would you prefer marte in the 4th spot and would you deal him for Santana based on your numbers?

Again, I'm assuming you would not.

Why? And I want a stat-based reason please.

Also, looking at your statistical eight-ball, please tell me exactly how many games the Tribe will win this season and how you reached the conclusion. How many did your numbers tell you they'd win before the season started? What projections did your numbers give you in terms of their April record?

Can you also let me know, based on empirical evidence, what Derek Jeter should be hitting right now based on the last 16 years worth of data and where he will end up?


Thanks

Did you even bother to read my post at all? I said stats alone are useless.

Try reading. When you learn to read, I'll respond to you.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby peeker643 » Tue May 03, 2011 3:55 pm

statmasta wrote:Did you even bother to read my post at all? I said stats alone are useless.

Try reading. When you learn to read, I'll respond to you.


I'm sorry. I thought you weren't too stupid as to understand that my response was based on your:

Just as useless as ignoring stats and going "He's great! I know it because I saw his talent with my own two eyes!"


So, let me be as condescending as you were and type it slowly: Tell me why I can't ignore the stats and tell you which player is better and which player I'd rather have. Use each player's full body of work and entire career to explain it to my useless, lying eyes.

You use stats and your eyes and I'll use ONLY my eyes and I will tell you who the better player is.

"Just as useless"? Sticking with that?

Clear enough dipshit? :salute: ;-) ;) :wink:
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Tue May 03, 2011 4:09 pm

2011 Santana vs. Marte


Santana's BABIP is .185 which is 3rd worst in the league (behind Posada, Rios) which pretty much explains why all his slash stats are low. His K:BB ratio is nearly 1:1 (20:18) which is fantastic considering how low his slash stats are. Andy Marte is Andy Marte. His career K:BB ratio is 177:67.


Even with terrible slash stats, the underlying numbers show that Santana is still doing what he should be doing, the hits will start falling in time.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby peeker643 » Tue May 03, 2011 4:15 pm

rebelwithoutaclue wrote:2011 Santana vs. Marte

Santana's BABIP is .185 which is 3rd worst in the league (behind Posada, Rios) which pretty much explains why all his slash stats are low. His K:BB ratio is nearly 1:1 (20:18) which is fantastic considering how low his slash stats are. Andy Marte is Andy Marte. His career K:BB ratio is 177:67.

Even with terrible slash stats, the underlying numbers show that Santana is still doing what he should be doing, the hits will start falling in time.


Hmm...you can review a book full of stats and make sure to ignore many but look at others or you could watch one game worth of at bats and be very clear.

Your call.

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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby Jumbo » Tue May 03, 2011 4:29 pm

As mentioned by rebel, Santana's strike zone judgment has been very good. He just hasn't been making solid contact on enough balls in the zone. In other words, he has to find a way to be more aggressive in the zone while still being just as selective on pitches outside of it.

FWIW, Marte's minor league K-BB was 673-339. Santana's was 322-333.

But, more to the point...peek, I've read both your posts and I'm still not sure exactly what your point is. Is it that Marte and Santana's minor league (or early major league) numbers would both have told you that they would be stars (or suck), and so you need a little something extra to tell you that they aren't the same? YMMV, but I seem to remember the scouts being just as enamored with Marte as the stats-folk.

Both the stats-guys and the scouts-guys predicted 4th-5th place for the Tribe this year...and they both think the Indians are going to drop back to some degree. This seems like a non-argument.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby Jumbo » Tue May 03, 2011 4:31 pm

peeker643 wrote:[
Hmm...you can review a book full of stats and make sure to ignore many but look at others or you could watch one game worth of at bats and be very clear.


Seriously: What one game are we watching, and what are we "very clear" about?
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Tue May 03, 2011 4:37 pm

peeker643 wrote:
rebelwithoutaclue wrote:2011 Santana vs. Marte

Santana's BABIP is .185 which is 3rd worst in the league (behind Posada, Rios) which pretty much explains why all his slash stats are low. His K:BB ratio is nearly 1:1 (20:18) which is fantastic considering how low his slash stats are. Andy Marte is Andy Marte. His career K:BB ratio is 177:67.

Even with terrible slash stats, the underlying numbers show that Santana is still doing what he should be doing, the hits will start falling in time.


Hmm...you can review a book full of stats and make sure to ignore many but look at others or you could watch one game worth of at bats and be very clear.

Your call.

:lmfao:



Took me literally 30 seconds, maybe less, to look up those 3 bits on information but if you're idea of looking up stats is a giant nerd with his nose in a book, don't let me take that away from you. I presented a stat to show why Santana is performing like Andy Marte this year, and then another set of stats to show a comparison between Santana and Marte to show why Santana is bound to improve this year. I didn't "ignore" any stats, no other stats are required to establish the point. Don't really know why you're attacking me, I just stumbled into this thread and answered your question; I've watched every game except one this year (of course it was the Santana walk-off game) so I don't really need stats to tell me that Santana is better than Marte.

Is this not what you asked for?

Look at Carlos Santana and look at Andy Marte.

Look at their stats.

Tell me which player is better, why, and how you know.


Yup, it is. But by all means, keep demonizing that which you don't understand.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby peeker643 » Tue May 03, 2011 4:38 pm

Jumbo wrote:
peeker643 wrote:[
Hmm...you can review a book full of stats and make sure to ignore many but look at others or you could watch one game worth of at bats and be very clear.


Seriously: What one game are we watching, and what are we "very clear" about?



1. Any game where each swings or has swung the baseball bat and 2. that Santana has a far better approach and swing.

And hey, if you can't see it in any given game that's fine.

But I'm tired of the stat heads telling me you need to have the numbers. That your eye alone can't tell you anything and that you have to have numbers.

You do not. Not if your eyes work and you have any clue about a baseball swing.

Last time, I promise: if you can't see it that's okay. Just don't tell people who can that they need your glasses because they can't possibly see it either.

You wanna argue that if you haven't seen a guy you need the numbers, fine.


But good God dudes. If you can't see that a kid like Alex White has a better chance to be a better MLB pitcher than Jeremy Sowers because of pitch mix, velocity, mound presence/comportment, etc than I don't know what else to say.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Tue May 03, 2011 4:43 pm

But I'm tired of the stat heads telling me you need to have the numbers. That your eye alone can't tell you anything and that you have to have numbers.



Nobody's saying that YOU need to have the numbers, but it doesn't change the fact that they are out there, and that they do provide information.



YMMV and obviously it does.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby peeker643 » Tue May 03, 2011 4:50 pm

Simple question rebel: who's a better hitter and why. Who is more valuable to their team, all things considered. I'm not attacking you. I laughed at the explanation.

But just answer my question please.





Look at Carlos Santana and look at Andy Marte.

Look at their stats.

Tell me which player is better, why, and how you know.


Yup, it is. But by all means, keep demonizing that which you don't understand.


I have no idea what you're saying to me here.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Tue May 03, 2011 5:00 pm

But good God dudes. If you can't see that a kid like Alex White has a better chance to be a better MLB pitcher than Jeremy Sowers because of pitch mix, velocity, mound presence/comportment, etc than I don't know what else to say.




Nobody needs stats to see that Alex White has more talent than Jeremy Sowers. Stats come into play when you're trying to compare 2 guys with similar makeup to see if one is better. They come into play when a guy's production doesn't match what your eyes tell you. Carlos Santana is the perfect example. He looks like he's playing like Andy Marte this year but the underlying stats show that he's been more unlucky than Andy Marte and we can reasonably expect him to improve.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby Jumbo » Tue May 03, 2011 5:05 pm

peeker643 wrote:
Jumbo wrote:
peeker643 wrote:[
Hmm...you can review a book full of stats and make sure to ignore many but look at others or you could watch one game worth of at bats and be very clear.


Seriously: What one game are we watching, and what are we "very clear" about?



1. Any game where each swings or has swung the baseball bat and 2. that Santana has a far better approach and swing.

And hey, if you can't see it in any given game that's fine.



That's it? So, looking at simple stats, and watching the game, both show that Santana has a much better chance to succeed that Marte.

Wow, when the Indians are 19-8, this forum really scrapes the bottom of the barrel looking for things to argue about.

But I'm tired of the stat heads telling me you need to have the numbers. That your eye alone can't tell you anything and that you have to have numbers.


And there it is. The straw man.

(To be fair, statmasta made the straw man an easy way to go with Stats are a better guide to guess the future than our eyes, in my opinion. Not even close.)

This again, remains simple to me: Statistics are a tool for after-the-fact evaluation and comparison. They tell you the "What?" and a healthy portion of the "Why?" and they provide clues (but not certainty) as to the "What next?"

As I mentioned on the last thread where this was discussed, much of this is going to be moot in the next few years anyway, as the leaguewide adoption of highly sensitive cameras essentially melds scouting and statistics.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Tue May 03, 2011 5:09 pm

Simple question rebel: who's a better hitter and why. Who is more valuable to their team, all things considered. I'm not attacking you. I laughed at the explanation.



I don't know what answer you're looking for here. You say Santana, I say Santana. Your eyes say Santana, the stats say Santana.


If the question is, "Why has Carlos Santana performed like Andy Marte this year?" The answer is because the stats tell us he's been unlucky. His bloopers aren't finding holes and his liners are being hit right at people.

My eyes just tell me that he sucks this year. My eyes told me that Santana was good last year but they tell me he sucks this year? Which is it? In this case, stats can help explain.



I have no idea what you're saying to me here.


I meant that you're just blindly rejecting stats with what seems like faulty logic. "I know what I see and that's that." Sorry to say but you're acting a little like Prosecutor here.

Stats never tell the whole story but they can help provide an explanation when what your eyes see doesn't match with what your brain tells you should be happening.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby leadpipe » Tue May 03, 2011 6:12 pm

Why do you need stats to confirm the nose on your face?

Not an indictment of stats either way, but a dead guy could watch Andy Marte and not need any statistical evidence to tell you he blows.

As a matter of fact, I spent way too many posts on this very site telling people what Andy Marte's stats were going to be before they happened. But too many people had their nose stuck in the single A media guide instead of watching what the hell was going on - a guy using an approach that exactly zero decent major league hitters in the history of the game employed.

Sometimes a fire squad is called to an emergency and it turns out that they won't be used. Doesn't mean the squad isn't important. Sometimes stats don't need to be used, doesn't mean they aren't useful in many areas.

Stats never told me how bad Andy Marte was going to be. If I lived in Egypt, and couldn't see him trying to yank every ball 3 feet outside down the line, then maybe I'd need to see some stats. Because it was in front of my face every damn night, i just watched. Most times in horror.

Lighten up stats guys. Time and a place.

And Rebel, even though his stats this season have been Marte-like, if you're honestly going to tell me you can't tell the difference between his approach and Andy Marte's, well, I'm at a loss. Many guys have been, or have pull happy tendancies. Andy Marte was waaaaay beyond that.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby Dnthateonthepronk » Tue May 03, 2011 6:31 pm

motherscratcher wrote:Never mind that everything he wrote in that article is correct.



Oh yeah he is correct. Im just tired of all these backhanded compliment/type articles.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Tue May 03, 2011 6:57 pm

And Rebel, even though his stats this season have been Marte-like, if you're honestly going to tell me you can't tell the difference between his approach and Andy Marte's, well, I'm at a loss. Many guys have been, or have pull happy tendancies. Andy Marte was waaaaay beyond that.



I'm not saying that, the opposite in fact. I watch (almost) all the games and I can tell that Santana has a different approach than Marte and is a better player. The antiquated stat of batting average show that he's hitting like Andy Marte while a deeper look at the stats will show that he's still Carlos Santana (K:BB ratio), just a bit unluckier (BABIP).


Sometimes stats don't need to be used, doesn't mean they aren't useful in many areas.


Pretty much my entire point.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby RickNashEquilibrium » Tue May 03, 2011 7:26 pm

Even BABIP can be a ridiclulously misleading statistic when looking at whether a guy like Tomlin will come back to earth. If a dude has precise location and putting the ball in spots where guys cant get a good bat on it, but they still make contact, then a guy doesnt have an unsustainably low BABIP - he simply has good control/stuff. Its examples like this where stats IMO are exactly what Jumbo says, a very fine tool for looking at performance after the fact but prove nothing in terms of someone falling back towards the "mean" or not. Stats are completely disengenuous to things we can only see with are eyes and not tracked on paper.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby RickNashEquilibrium » Tue May 03, 2011 7:31 pm

rebelwithoutaclue wrote:
The antiquated stat of batting average show that he's hitting like Andy Marte while a deeper look at the stats will show that he's still Carlos Santana (K:BB ratio), just a bit unluckier (BABIP).


Sometimes stats don't need to be used, doesn't mean they aren't useful in many areas.


Pretty much my entire point.


Again with the BABIP. I am not disagreeing with you on the statement above, but a player could have a low BABIP regardless of whether he was popping up/beating the ball into the ground or crushing linedrives and making solid contact but going straight at someone. The numbers will never discerne what can only be seen (although I guess its theoretical we could track a soft roller vs something hit hard).
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby motherscratcher » Tue May 03, 2011 8:10 pm

This thread is long now. I don't feel like reading it. Could someone tell me who the dumbass that said Andy Marte is better than Carlos Santana is?
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby pup » Tue May 03, 2011 8:41 pm

Stats are telling me that everyone with a BABIP of .170, and walks more than he strikes out and had a great minor league career is destined to be Buster Posey.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby Dnthateonthepronk » Tue May 03, 2011 10:33 pm

wow I sure started something with this thread :pop:
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby Dnthateonthepronk » Tue May 03, 2011 10:33 pm

he was out
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby peeker643 » Tue May 03, 2011 10:38 pm

Jumbo wrote:(To be fair, statmasta made the straw man an easy way to go with Stats are a better guide to guess the future than our eyes, in my opinion. Not even close.)

Yeah...he did, didn't he? Which is what the entire rant/point was about. Broad brush but a lot of stat heads look at their digital watch when you ask them if it's light or dark out. That's the effing point. You don't need the goddamn watch for every GD issue.

I use stats all the time. But I don't need them to know light from dark in a baseball, performance or ability standpoint. And using them for what should be plain as day to see strikes me as somewhat pathetic and makes stat heads look like fools more than it supports a damn thing. Just does when it's obvious.

As I mentioned on the last thread where this was discussed, much of this is going to be moot in the next few years anyway, as the leaguewide adoption of highly sensitive cameras essentially melds scouting and statistics.

Explain where that is going if you can and what exactly they'll be doing.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby The Brook » Wed May 04, 2011 2:30 am

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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby Jumbo » Wed May 04, 2011 9:17 am

peeker643 wrote:Explain where that is going if you can and what exactly they'll be doing.


Two things.

First, Pitch F/X already exists and is being used now. It's a series of 3 cameras that measures the speed and location of pitches at the point of release, during flight, and as it crosses the plate. Then, the system records the outcome of the pitch: ball, taken strike, swinging strike, or the result of a ball hit into play. If you aggregate those results over a period of games, months, or seasons, you get "maps" of the kinds of pitches that certain pitchers throw, with speed, break, etc. For hitters, you get hot zones in terms of swing rate, outcomes, etc. One of the advantages of this system is that old hot zones (like Ted Williams' famous chart) only look at batting average. This system notes that taking pitches called for balls is good, and taking pitches called for strikes is bad. Altogether, it's a set of "eyes" that never forgets.

Here's one example, from an article during spring training:

http://espn.go.com/blog/new-yorkmets/post/_/id/16986/hernandez-has-room-for-improvement

The article uses numbers, but the simple way of looking at it is this: the really dark red spot shows that Luis Hernandez swings a lot at breaking balls and change-ups down and away. Now, that's something you might have picked up with your eyes...but maybe it wasn't.

Second, there's a system in the works to install precision cameras that tracks fielders at every fraction of a second. So, you get an idea of where a fielder is at the time the pitch is thrown, what kind of jump he got, how quickly he tracked down the ball, and whether he successfully made the play. The way I like to think of it is this: your one set of eyes can do a really good job at following one fielder on one play, but these cameras act as sets of eyes that follow every fielder on every play. And again, they never forget.

This article might do a better job of explaining it:

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_15/b4223072802462.htm

Before you ask, yes: Both of these technologies are ultimately data-driven (and, so, in that sense, they are "statistical"), but the information that is attempting to be conveyed is not about the statistics of results, in the way that things like WPA and WAR are trying to do. Rather, they are trying to look at very similar things that people look at when they are actually watching the game and try to make sense of it in a way that gets around preexisting biases.

And yes, people are biased: I had the Yankees/Tigers game on briefly on Monday, and one of the ESPN broadcasters (I didn't catch who) essentially said that Honny Peralta is a good fielder because range doesn't matter for an infielder.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby pup » Wed May 04, 2011 9:31 am

Here is the first thing that popped into my clouded dome while reading your post Jumbo.

Not all situations are the same. How, in a world of cameras and stats can that be accounted for? If taking a strike is "bad", how does the computer know he took a strike in a zone he wasn't looking at while ahead in the count? If swinging at a ball is bad, how does it account for something like O-Cab on Sunday (I think) swinging at a breaking ball that is up and out of the zone, because all he needed to do was hit a flyball to win the game?

Are factors like that simply disregarded by sample size? And shouldn't things like those be accounted for during evaluations?
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby peeker643 » Wed May 04, 2011 9:43 am

Maybe it takes it into account? I don't know. Just saying 'maybe'.

Spitting on a 3-0 changeup at the knees and on the outer half (or at the belt and in the middle of the plate) shouldn't be held against a hitter that's sitting on a fastball in his slot only.

Agree with you.

And I also agree that there are an infinite number of variables that numbers will never, ever be able to account for.

pup wrote:Here is the first thing that popped into my clouded dome while reading your post Jumbo.

Not all situations are the same. How, in a world of cameras and stats can that be accounted for? If taking a strike is "bad", how does the computer know he took a strike in a zone he wasn't looking at while ahead in the count? If swinging at a ball is bad, how does it account for something like O-Cab on Sunday (I think) swinging at a breaking ball that is up and out of the zone, because all he needed to do was hit a flyball to win the game?

Are factors like that simply disregarded by sample size? And shouldn't things like those be accounted for during evaluations?
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby motherscratcher » Wed May 04, 2011 10:58 am

Agree Peek. Stats don't take every variable into account. Nothing does. But in general taking strikes is bad and swinging at balls is bad. I mean, aren't they? Of course there are plenty of times when a batter wants to look at a strike. And of course sometimes a hitter will get ahold of a ball. But I want my hitters to have good eyes, and this seems to kind of get to that.

It's not saying "We can account for every variable." but it is saying, "here are the variables that it accounts for and here's what information we can gleam from it." (Is gleam a word?)

I'm not sure how more information can be bad, really. Especially in the hands of someone who understands the information and its limitations and uses it appropriately.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby Jumbo » Wed May 04, 2011 11:10 am

Trying to avoid doing a terrible job of explaning this...

As you know, one of the things about statistics (particularly with a system like Pitch F/X, that really can record *everything*) is that there's a sliding scale between sample size and accounting for all the variables. (I'd submit that the same holds true for watching somebody hit: you might see one terrible at-bat, but maybe it was just a bad matchup for the hitter, and so that's not enough to draw a judgment on.)

If you want, you can keep adding variables to see what the count is, what the number of baserunners are, the number of outs, etc. What you add in in terms of granularity you take away in terms of meaningfulness of the sample. It's a balance, and one where the judgment of the person looking at the statistics is really important. If you go too far, you end up with the absurdity of "So-and-So is 4 for 7 in the sixth inning of day games on the West Coast." That doesn't get you anywhere, and it shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how stats should be used.

On the other hand, let's suppose there's a distinct difference between how Pitcher X throws with runners on base versus the bases empty...now you're learning something, and you didn't have to watch every single one of his appearances to do it.

When you do take out all of the variables, then, yes, by the numbers lettng a strike go by on a 3-0 count will be a bad thing. (After all, *all else being equal* a 3-0 count is more advantageous than a 3-1 count.) Now, of course, almost everyone is going to take a strike on a 3-0 count. Still, that one "bad" outcome on a 3-0 pitch will be substantially less meaningful then (say) the outcome of the 3-1 or 3-2 pitch that gets hit into play.

To put it another way: taking a strike is technically bad, but much less bad than swinging at a 3-0 pitch that ends up as an out.

pup wrote:If swinging at a ball is bad, how does it account for something like O-Cab on Sunday (I think) swinging at a breaking ball that is up and out of the zone, because all he needed to do was hit a flyball to win the game?


Some stats do take into account situations like this. Are you familiar with WPA? In short, it's the change in the likelihood of a team winning the game based on the score, outs, and runners on base, without respect to the actual players in the game (cue pup and peek's ::doh:: just bear with me). The point of WPA is to generally show how much of an effect a particular play had on the outcome of the game. Now, if a sacrifice fly improves the chance of a team winning the game (and it usually will, depending on how close the score is), then the player gets a positive WPA for the at-bat, even if it "looks bad" for his OBP. One of the ways you can graph a heat map is by WPA outcome. Voila: swinging at that pitch out of the zone scores as a positive result on the map, even though it resulted in an out, if the team gets a key run out of it.
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Re: Are the Indians for real 2

Unread postby peeker643 » Wed May 04, 2011 11:18 am

motherscratcher wrote:Agree Peek. Stats don't take every variable into account. Nothing does. But in general taking strikes is bad and swinging at balls is bad. I mean, aren't they? Of course there are plenty of times when a batter wants to look at a strike. And of course sometimes a hitter will get ahold of a ball. But I want my hitters to have good eyes, and this seems to kind of get to that.

It's not saying "We can account for every variable." but it is saying, "here are the variables that it accounts for and here's what information we can gleam from it." (Is gleam a word?)

I'm not sure how more information can be bad, really. Especially in the hands of someone who understands the information and its limitations and uses it appropriately.


You did get your NCAA Sweet 16 and Squares cash right. I sent it securely before I left for SC last week. Hope the staples came out as that was the security I employed. ;-) ;) :wink:

It's 'glean'.

Re your last paragraph: Guns.

You can say the same thing about guns. Yet idiots shoot themselves and others with them every day because they are idiots. In the proper hands? Fine. I'm perfectly okay with you and Jumbo and Rebel, etc utilizing stats as you see fit. You're not idiots.

Other people use them like idiots use guns. And they far outnumber you, Jumbo and Rebel.
"Great minds think alike. The opposite is also true."

"None of us is as dumb as all of us."


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