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Cliff Lee

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Cliff Lee

Unread postby Prosecutor » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:26 am

I still can't believe Cliff Lee hasn't won a game. In 13 starts he's 0-5 with a 4.13 ERA. He's making $21.5 million.

Roy Halladay is 4-5 with a 3.98 ERA. He's on the DL and making only $20 million. Between the two of them, Lee and Halladay are 4-10 in 24 starts. That's what the Phillies are getting for their $41.5 million. Lee is 33, Halladay 35. They might both win 20 games next year, but they're really struggling right now.

At least Cole Hamels is earning his $15 million with a 10-4 record.

The Phillies are in last place at 36-46. Wow. This is why the Indians will never sign another star to a big money contract. They can't risk it spending 33% of their payroll on one player who might have a bad year.

The other amazing story has been R.A. Dickey, the Mets 37-year-old knuckleballer. He came into this season with a career record of 41-50. He pitched for the Rangers from 2001-05 with his best ERA being 5.09. In 2008 his ERA with Seattle was 5.21 at age 33 in a great pitcher's park. The Twins gave him a shot in 2009 and he put up a 4.62 out of the bullpen.

Finally the Mets put him in their rotation at age 35 and he went 19-22 the last two years, although his ERA's were very good.

Suddenly he puts it all together this year and is 12-1 with a 2.15 ERA.

What a story. Talk about perseverence.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby Larvell Blanks » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:21 pm

Would you take Cliff Lee on this Tribe staff right now?
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby Am I Here Again? » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:40 pm

Lee's main problem this year is a little thing called "run support". Our own pitchers have been saddled with the same problem over the years. We were in Allentown PA about a month ago to visit the fam. Heard a tidbit about Lee and run support - something like (but not exactly) ten runs have been scored by the Phillies over seven starts. Don't have time to go game-by-game to see how many runs were put on the board while Lee was on the mound, but don't put blame on Cliff. FWIW, the entire Phillies team is crap this year. Wonder who we might be able to trade for.........
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby motherscratcher » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:13 pm

Cliff Lee just doesn't know how to win.

He musta forgot or something.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby Prosecutor » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:45 pm

Damn right I'd take Lee, although at age 33 I'm not sure if I'd give back Marson, Donald and Carrasco for him. IIRC, he has 89 K's in 89 innings, so the stuff is still there. Obviously he's not getting run support. I just thought it was incredible that we're in July and he still hasn't won a game.

Also, I think the Phils were favorites to go to the World Series this year with Halladay, Lee, and Hamels at the top of the rotation, but they're in last place. $66 million dollars just doesn't buy as much as you'd think.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby dazindiansfanuk » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:47 pm

Well, unless Papelbon gives up 7 runs in the 9th, Lee's getting his first win today.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby Prosecutor » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:05 pm

Lee gets the win and of course, I deserve all the credit.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby Dnthateonthepronk » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:23 pm

Prosecutor wrote:. $66 million dollars just doesn't buy as much as you'd think.




Injuries man, injuries
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby Dnthateonthepronk » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:24 pm

[quote="Prosecutor"]Damn right I'd take Lee, although at age 33 I'm not sure if I'd give back Marson, Donald and Carrasco for him.


Id give them those guys back in a heartbeat.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby motherscratcher » Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:51 pm

Dnthateonthepronk wrote:
Prosecutor wrote:Damn right I'd take Lee, although at age 33 I'm not sure if I'd give back Marson, Donald and Carrasco for him.


Id give them those guys back in a heartbeat.


Especially now that Lee has more wins than all 3 of those guys combined this season.

Pitcher Wins!!! Totally Useful!!!
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby Prosecutor » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:13 am

Dnthateonthepronk wrote:
Prosecutor wrote:Damn right I'd take Lee, although at age 33 I'm not sure if I'd give back Marson, Donald and Carrasco for him.


Id give them those guys back in a heartbeat.


I knew somebody would object to that. Well, Marson is leading the team in batting average and on-base percentage at the halfway point. He's also an excellent defensive catcher.

I'm high on Carrasco, especially after he put up a 1.90 ERA in six June starts last year before his arm started bothering him. He's only 25 and costs a small fraction of what Lee is making. At age 33 I question how many more dominant seasons Cliff has in him.

I'm counting on Carrasco to come back even stronger after TJ surgery. I wouldn't trade Carrasco and Marson for Lee today, especially since we couldn't afford to pay him. He's getting at least $120 million over five years beginning in 2011.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby leadpipe » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:20 am

Cliff Lee is 33.

I'm guessing at 43 he'd still command more than a back-up catcher, a utility infielder that's such a hack with the glove he's essentially a DH and a marginal prospect coming off Tommy John surgery.

Every single GM in the league makes that deal. Every. Last. One.

Now, just because you wouldn't doesn't make you wrong, it makes you Pros.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby Prosecutor » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:37 am

The Indians wouldn't make that deal. They could not afford to commit $90 million over the next four seasons to a 33-year-old pitcher, especially one who's starting to show a few cracks, like that 4.00 ERA.

They wouldn't make that deal if they didn't have to give up anybody.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby Larvell Blanks » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:47 am

Yeah, no way they take a front of the rotation pitcher with a proven track record in order to keep a back up catcher and his stick in the lineup. Might be the equivalent of breaking up the '27 Yankees.

Have you watched Lee pitch this season or are you just going by the boxscores as usual?
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby dazindiansfanuk » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:17 am

Marson IS NOT leading the team in AVG and OBP at the mid point.

He has 88 ABs (104PA)...... he'd need to have another 150PAs at this point to be leading the team in anything!

He's hitting well, granted. But, it is a VERY small sample size and it's going to take a lot more to convince most of us that this is for real.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby Larvell Blanks » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:08 am

dazindiansfanuk wrote:Marson IS NOT leading the team in AVG and OBP at the mid point.

He has 88 ABs (104PA)...... he'd need to have another 150PAs at this point to be leading the team in anything!

He's hitting well, granted. But, it is a VERY small sample size and it's going to take a lot more to convince most of us that this is for real.


BUT if you expand his stats out over an entire 162 games, well...... ::doh::


Kinda like saying Andy Marte finally got it when he went 2 games in a row w/ base hits to right. Hell 2 games in a row w/ ANY hit.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby Dnthateonthepronk » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:10 am

Larvell Blanks wrote:
Kinda like saying Andy Marte finally got it when he went 2 games in a row w/ base hits to right. Hell 2 games in a row w/ ANY hit.



Wait, when did that happen?
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby Dnthateonthepronk » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:14 am

Prosecutor wrote:
I'm high on Carrasco, especially after he put up a 1.90 ERA in six June starts last year before his arm started bothering him. He's only 25 and costs a small fraction of what Lee is making. At age 33 I question how many more dominant seasons Cliff has in him.

I'm counting on Carrasco to come back even stronger after TJ surgery. I wouldn't trade Carrasco and Marson for Lee today, especially since we couldn't afford to pay him. He's getting at least $120 million over five years beginning in 2011.



Okay, are you Mark Shapiro?
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby Larvell Blanks » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:14 am

Dnthateonthepronk wrote:
Larvell Blanks wrote:
Kinda like saying Andy Marte finally got it when he went 2 games in a row w/ base hits to right. Hell 2 games in a row w/ ANY hit.



Wait, when did that happen?


most likely the 3 games series Tribe scouts were watching before they traded for him
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby peeker643 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:16 am

Dnthateonthepronk wrote:
Prosecutor wrote:
I'm high on Carrasco, especially after he put up a 1.90 ERA in six June starts last year before his arm started bothering him. He's only 25 and costs a small fraction of what Lee is making. At age 33 I question how many more dominant seasons Cliff has in him.

I'm counting on Carrasco to come back even stronger after TJ surgery. I wouldn't trade Carrasco and Marson for Lee today, especially since we couldn't afford to pay him. He's getting at least $120 million over five years beginning in 2011.



Okay, are you Mark Shapiro?


Pros is high on everyone.

I think he's just high most of the time, as a matter of fact.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby Dnthateonthepronk » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:18 am

Prosecutor wrote:, especially since we couldn't afford to pay him. He's getting at least $120 million over five years beginning in 2011.



Okay, Lets go deeper into fantasy land. And say we did trade those 3 for Lee but but we cant afford to pay him, then you would turn around and flip him for better players. You would be acquiring a valuable asset on the cheap. That would be the smart thing to do and that is what Antonetti would do.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby Prosecutor » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:01 pm

peeker643 wrote:
Pros is high on everyone. I think he's just high most of the time, as a matter of fact.


Hey Peeks. Where ya been?

If you've been reading my posts lately you know I'm not high on Damon and Kotchman. But I have to admit I like Carrasco.

Maybe it was watching him go 8 innings against the Twins last June allowing 3 hits and 0 runs. Followed by 7 innings, 5 hits, 0 runs against the Yankees. Followed by 6 innings, 4 hits, 1 run against the Pirates. Followed by 8 innings, 6 hits, and 1 run against the Giants. Followed by 7 innings, 4 hits, and 2 runs against Arizona. Five consecutive lights out starts.

I'm not talking boxscores. I watched those games. The kid was throwing in the mid-90's with a nasty breaking ball. He was making batters look ridiculous. At this point last year he had a 3.54 ERA.

Then came July, when he started getting hit hard and ended up with a 9.14 ERA for the month. They shut him down the first week in August and he went under the knife.

Yeah, I'm high on Carrasco. I'm starting to like McAlister, too. If that pisses anybody off, sorry.

Lee is still a great pitcher. But he'll be 34 next month, and he's thrown over 200 innings every year from 2005-2011 except for 2007. His ERA has gone from 2.40 last year to 3.98 so far this year. His hits and walks are up. I just wonder if he's starting to slip.
Last edited by Prosecutor on Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:06 am

Lee is still a great pitcher. But he'll be 34 next month, and he's thrown over 200 innings every year from 2005-2011 except for 2007. His ERA has gone from 2.40 last year to 3.98 so far this year. His hits and walks are up. I just wonder if he's starting to slip.



Cliff Lee
2011: K/9 - 9.21
BB/9 - 1.62
BABIP - .291
Strand rate - 81.4%

2012: K/9 - 9.06
BB/9 - 1.85
BABIP - .330
Strand rate - 71.6%

Leave it to Pros to point to 200+ innings for 6 straight years as a bad thing. Cliff Lee is allowing more hits because he's been unlucky with BABIP this year. And his ERA is up because, coupled with more bloops falling in, his strand rate is down (10% this year but over a 3-year period, he's closer to ~75% so still down). His K and BB rates are almost exactly the same with his K rate still much improved over his Cleveland years.


That is all.





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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby Prosecutor » Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:11 pm

Lee's ERA has gone from 2.40 to 3.98 because his BABIP is up from 29% to 33%? It's just bad luck that he's giving up an extra 1.6 runs per game? The unlucky bloops are what's killing him?

If you say so.

By the way, you forgot to mention his hit rate. Last year it was 0.85 hits per 9 innings, this years it's 0.99. That's an increase of over 16% in hits. His K and W rates have slipped only slightly, but he's giving up more hits. That's a lot of bloops dropping in.

I never quite got this BABIP thing. If 33% of the batted balls you give up are base hits this year but only 29% were last year, does that mean you're the same pitcher but having an unlucky year, or does that mean you've lost a little and you're giving up more line drives, which have a higher tendency to be hits than non-line drives?

Or does it mean your manager is platooning Johnny Damon and Shelley Duncan in left field?

I guess you can spin it either way depending on what you want your answer to be.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby motherscratcher » Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:49 pm

Prosecutor wrote:
I never quite got this BABIP thing.



No shit
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby Prosecutor » Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:33 pm

Just to take it a step further, in 2011 Lee gave up a home run every 12.9 innings. This year it's a HR every 9.7 innings - a 25% increase.

In 2011 he gave up 38 doubles and triples in 862 at-bats, or one every 22.7 at-bats. This year it's a double or triple every 16 at-bats, a 30% increase.

So his home runs are up 25% and his doubles/triples are up 30% over last year. That's a lot of lucky bloops landing on the foul lines and rolling under the tarp.

Or could it be the increase in his BABIP is due to batters hitting his pitches harder? Or are they just really lucky this year? Maybe he's a victim of more lucky home runs.

But I think the main thing we need to focus on is that all-important strand percentage.

And Scratch, I understand BABIP. What I don't understand is people who believe that when the BABIP changes from one year to the next it has nothing to do with a change in the pitcher's performance.

Kotchman hit over .300 last year; this year he's at .226. He must be hitting a lot of line drives right at people this year. Or maybe last year he just had a lot of bloops fall in. Because we all know that player performance does not vary from year to year, right?
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby Dnthateonthepronk » Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:35 pm

I really dont care how slight the increase in his stats are, a mediocre Cliff Lee is still light years better than 3 mediocre prospects.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby leadpipe » Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:49 pm

What in the wide world of sports is going on here?

For good holy Christ, I don't care what barrel of numbers you wanna start pouring out, a dead man would understand that cliff Lee would be the CLEAR #1 on this staff.

How this went from "a joke" to "debate" is beyond me.

A couple months ago you could'nt a argued if Marson and Donald weren't even in the league. Now you're packaging them with an injured pitching prospect and getting a #1.

Not on planet earth..Period.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby Prosecutor » Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:09 pm

Of course Lee would be the #1 if he were on the Indians right now. But if Philly offered Lee for Marson, Donald, and Carrasco the Tribe would turn them down.

He's still a great pitcher, but he'll be 34 next month, he's thrown a lot of innings in the last five years, his ERA has jumped 1.6 runs per game since last year, his home run and extra base hit rates are up 25 and 30 per cent, and he's still owed $70 million. The Indians couldn't afford him and even if they could, they wouldn't take that risk.

Oh, and Carrasco isn't injured. He was, but he had the TJ surgery which corrected the problem and now he's throwing 86-88 mph as he builds back up. Jason Knapp is an "injured prospect". He's not throwing and they're considering another surgery. There's a difference between him and Carrasco.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby Dnthateonthepronk » Sat Jul 07, 2012 4:56 am

Prosecutor wrote:Of course Lee would be the #1 if he were on the Indians right now. But if Philly offered Lee for Marson, Donald, and Carrasco the Tribe would turn them down.
.



No they wouldnt. The Indians would jump all over that. And then turn around and flip him to the highest bidder.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:36 pm

And Scratch, I understand BABIP. What I don't understand is people who believe that when the BABIP changes from one year to the next it has nothing to do with a change in the pitcher's performance.



No, he was right the first time. Let me try and explain it to you.


It all boils down to simple statistical analysis: BABIP is subject to regression. Meaning that through years and years of statistical analysis, the baseline for global BABIP of all pitchers is right around .300 (this year it's .296). This is why when someone's BABIP is not somewhat close to .300, the first comment is that player is "due for a regression." Is regression certain? No, just, in the long run, percentages favor regression to the mean; .300 is the mean. This is beyond question. Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean it isn't a fact. Some professional statisticians have spent their entire careers refining the work done by Bill James and for you to just brush it aside with "doesn't make sense to me" is laughable.



Now, you keep bringing up bloops which is just a Prosecutor thing to do, that being focusing on one word of a post to rail against. BABIP isn't just about bloops, it's about everything that happens after a bat strikes a ball, because after that the pitcher has no control. It's the positioning and skill of the defenders and whether you have guys with zero range a la Johnny Damon out there. Johnny Damon's going to make less errors because he gets to less balls and all that falls on the pitcher, through no fault of his own. Whether it was a bloop near the line that Damon can't get to and falls for a double or a sharp grounder past the SS that Troy Tulowitzki would get to for an out, but that Asdrubal Cabrera has no hope of getting to so it goes as a hit. Exact same batted ball with two different outcomes based entirely on something out of the pitcher's control i.e. whose playing SS.


I never quite got this BABIP thing. If 33% of the batted balls you give up are base hits this year but only 29% were last year, does that mean you're the same pitcher but having an unlucky year, or does that mean you've lost a little and you're giving up more line drives, which have a higher tendency to be hits than non-line drives?



As baseball analysis becomes more advanced, BABIP is being broken down into how well a batted ball is struck (hard, medium, weak) and whether it was a grounder, fly ball, line drive, etc. The important one here is LD% which is line drive %. Cliff Lee's LD% is down from last year's 21.3% to 19.1% this year (that's good!). As for flyball% (which affects HR%), it increased from 32.4% to 35.5% (that's bad!). That coupled with the increased HR/FB% explains the increase in home runs. And the increase in ERA is simply a function of more baserunners being allowed (.330 BABIP) and more of them scoring (strand rate of 71% vs 81% last year).


So long story short, no he's not allowing more line drives because he's tired.



Pros, it's obvious you don't understand this stuff but if you'd take even 15 minutes to research it, you'd learn a lot. Just take 15 minutes off your normal 3-hour block of Tristan Thompson rebound analysis and you'll be well on your way to catching up.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby e0y2e3 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:07 pm

LULZ... this is what happens when you give a moron a gun.

It's like that time Pros was looking at a box-score and found the x/- column or the time someone gave him the link to 82games. New sport, same story.

Note: this story, of course, always comes from someone that decrees themselves a great stat based analytical thinker.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby motherscratcher » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:25 pm

rebelwithoutaclue wrote:
And Scratch, I understand BABIP. What I don't understand is people who believe that when the BABIP changes from one year to the next it has nothing to do with a change in the pitcher's performance.



No, he was right the first time. Let me try and explain it to you.


It all boils down to simple statistical analysis: BABIP is subject to regression. Meaning that through years and years of statistical analysis, the baseline for global BABIP of all pitchers is right around .300 (this year it's .296). This is why when someone's BABIP is not somewhat close to .300, the first comment is that player is "due for a regression." Is regression certain? No, just, in the long run, percentages favor regression to the mean; .300 is the mean. This is beyond question. Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean it isn't a fact. Some professional statisticians have spent their entire careers refining the work done by Bill James and for you to just brush it aside with "doesn't make sense to me" is laughable.



Now, you keep bringing up bloops which is just a Prosecutor thing to do, that being focusing on one word of a post to rail against. BABIP isn't just about bloops, it's about everything that happens after a bat strikes a ball, because after that the pitcher has no control. It's the positioning and skill of the defenders and whether you have guys with zero range a la Johnny Damon out there. Johnny Damon's going to make less errors because he gets to less balls and all
that falls on the pitcher, through no fault of his own. Whether it was a bloop near the line that Damon can't get to and falls for a double or a sharp grounder past the SS that Troy Tulowitzki would get to for an out, but that Asdrubal Cabrera has no hope of getting to so it goes as a hit. Exact same batted ball with two different outcomes based entirely on something out of the pitcher's control i.e. whose playing SS.


I never quite got this BABIP thing. If 33% of the batted balls you give up are base hits this year but only 29% were last year, does that mean you're the same pitcher but having an unlucky year, or does that mean you've lost a little and you're giving up more line drives, which have a higher tendency to be hits than non-line drives?



As baseball analysis becomes more advanced, BABIP is being broken down into how well a batted ball is struck (hard, medium, weak) and whether it was a grounder, fly ball, line drive, etc. The important one here is LD% which is line drive %. Cliff Lee's LD% is down from last year's 21.3% to 19.1% this year (that's good!). As for flyball% (which affects HR%), it increased from 32.4% to 35.5% (that's bad!). That coupled with the increased HR/FB% explains the increase in home runs. And the increase in ERA is simply a function of more baserunners being allowed (.330 BABIP) and more of them scoring (strand rate of 71% vs 81% last year).


So long story short, no he's not allowing more line drives because he's tired.



Pros, it's obvious you don't understand this stuff but if you'd take even 15 minutes to research it, you'd learn a lot. Just take 15 minutes off your normal 3-hour block of Tristan Thompson rebound analysis and you'll be well on your way to catching up.



So, what your really saying is that Cliff Lee just doesn't know how to win anymore. He needs to do a better job pitching to the score. meh, give me 1 Jack Morris for all of your Cliff Lees and Felix Hernandezes.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby FUDU » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:46 pm

So you're not going to invite Pros to play strat?
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby Prosecutor » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:04 pm

Very nice explanation, Reb, and I appreciate the thought and effort that went into it.

You got one thing wrong, though; you said I didn't understand regression to the mean. I understand regression to the mean, what I don't understand is the belief or assumption that when a player's statistics change from one year to the next it has nothing to do with his performance. In your first post you said Lee has been "unlucky" this year and you specifically mentioned "bloops falling in", which assumes he's the same pitcher as last year, just not as lucky. That's possible, but Is it also possible he's just not pitching as well because time and workload is finally catching up to him?

Something else I don't understand - you specifically said his dramatic increase in ERA is due to bad luck. Then in your next post you pointed out that he's giving up more home runs, allowing more base runners, and stranding fewer of them. How is any of that related to luck? Lucky home runs?

I get regression to the mean. I understand that it's normal for statistics to vary (within reason) from year to year. But isn't it also true that player's perfomances fundamentally change?

From 2007-2010 Asdrubal Cabrera hit 3, 6, 6, and 3 home runs. Then in 2011 he hit 25. Regression to the mean says he should hit 3-6 HR's this year. At the halfway point he has 11. I think it's clear something has fundamentally and permanently changed. In this case regression to the mean doesn't apply. I think it only applies when nothing fundamentally has changed.

I don't know if something has changed with Lee. Going from an ERA of 2.40 to 3.98, an increase of more than 50%, just doesn't seem like a normal variation, any more than Asdrubal going from 3 to 25 HR's was just a normal statistical deviation. Lee is still getting his K's and his line drive rate is down a little, so his stuff still seems to be good. So why the additional base runners and home runs? Is age catching up with him or is he just leaving more pitches in the middle of the plate? I think the second half of this season will answer that question.

Not that I care since Lee is no longer on the Indians.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby e0y2e3 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:40 pm

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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby pod2dawg » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:03 pm

Prosecutor wrote:Or does it mean your manager is platooning Johnny Damon and Shelley Duncan in left field?


That is funny.

Tribe pitchers should get some kind of BABIP mean adjusted quotient "you gotta be fucking kidding me look at my left fielder" outside two standard deviations....whichermajigger stat thing.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby Prosecutor » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:13 am

pod2dawg wrote:Tribe pitchers should get some kind of BABIP mean adjusted quotient "you gotta be fucking kidding me look at my left fielder" outside two standard deviations....whichermajigger stat thing.


Yeah, there should be a column for YGBFKMLAMLF. Or, when Johnny Peralta played here, YGBFKMLAMSS.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:57 am

Cabrera is actually the perfect comparison to Lee as both made fundamental changes in the way they played the game. That's why I don't really compare post-Cy Young Cliff Lee to pre-Cy Young Cliff Lee, because it's 2 completely different pitchers.



You think you're understanding BABIP and "luck" but you still aren't grasping it. You're looking for the why instead of the what. SABR explains whats happening, not why it's happening. Could he be getting tired? Maybe. I'd agree with you if he were pitching crappy and the numbers were supporting it, but they aren't. If he had all the same underlying SABR numbers as last year and his ERA doubled, then that's a red flag, but they aren't. The increase in BABIP means more baserunners coupled with less of them being stranded = more runs scored --> higher ERA.


Here's a final stat for you: FIP. FIP stands for Fielding-independent pitching (because pitchers can't control their defense or how well it plays)
ERA FIP
2011: 2.40 2.60
2012: 3.98 3.00

While he isn't pitching as well as last year, he's not pitching as bad as his ERA and W/L record lead you to believe. He was actually getting lucky in 2010 (huge increase in strand rate and ground ball%) and conversely, his luck has changed this year. There's you're regression. Neither year is his mean; he pitched better than his mean last year and worse than his mean this year.


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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby Prosecutor » Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:29 pm

Neither year is his mean; he pitched better than his mean last year and worse than his mean this year.


That makes sense to me because his strikeouts are still there and his line drive percentage is actually down a bit, so clearly he still has great stuff. I don't know enough about the Phillies to explain why his ERA is 3.98 while his FIP is only 3.00. Do they have slower players in the field than last year? I know they didn't have Thome playing 3rd base.

You're right - I'm more interested in the "why" than the "what". The "what" is that he's giving up more base runners and more of them are scoring. He's giving up 25% more home runs and 30% more extra base hits per inning than last year. If his outfielders are slower that could explain the jump in doubles/triples. But I don't believe in lucky home runs. Except for that one lucky HR Brandon Phillips got when Damon almost knocked himself out trying to pick up the ball.

Has something fundamentally changed? Is workload and age creeping up on him? You argue that it's not based on the modest increase in FIP; 2.60 to 3.00. I'm inclined to agree, however, I would not want to be the team trading for Cliff Lee given his age, salary, length of contract, and a small, but noticable decline in his performance as he turns 34.

I'll keep an eye on him in the second half. The Phils better hope he isn't slipping because they're still on the hook for something like $70 million.
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Re: Cliff Lee

Unread postby cappy1920 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:00 pm

I wouldn't give up on Cliff Lee just yet. If you look at his year-by-year stats and records, he only had a bad year in 2007...sad for us, because we'd have won the WS if he'd had a normal year that year. We'd have had home field advantage in the ALCS anyway...

He was a pretty consistent pitcher the first few years for us and won 18 games in 2005. Yes, he gave up his share of runs, but he also lost some well-pitched games. People may say that we scored a lot of runs for him, but a 3.79 era is nothing to sneeze at:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/gamelog/_ ... /cliff-lee
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