Saturday, December 03, 2005

Random Musings (part two)

Wow, that last entry ended up being longer than I anticipated. If I write that long about everything else I wanted to from the James handbook I would look up and it would be the All Star Break! I also received another nice treat in the mail yesterday. My copy of the 2006 Hardball Times Baseball Annual came. There is some good stuff to be discussed from there as well. Anyways, here is (hopefully) a few quick-hitters.

Brandon Inge should have won the Gold Glove

In his first complete year at third base, Inge led the majors in several defensive categories. His 1399.2 innings was tops among third basemen, as were his 378 assists and 41 double plays. All told, Inge compiled a range factor of 3.25 (14 FRAA). It is a crying shame that Inge was not awarded the Gold Glove this year, because nobody came close to duplicating his performance. Here are some of the top players according to Range Factor (aka RF or Rng). Range factor, of course, if figured by adding the number of successful chances (putouts plus assists) times nine, divided by the number of defensive innings played. RAA stands for "Runs Above Average," as found in the aforementioned 2006 Hardball Times Annual. An explanation of the system can be found in this article. Here is how Inge stacked up against award winner Eric Chavez.

American League Third Basemen 2005





























Player Games Innings PO A Rng FRAA Per 150 Games
B. Inge 160 1399.2 128 378 3.25 22.4 23.2
E. Chavez 153 1348.1 121 301 2.82 11.1 11.0


The one metric I am interested in seeing is David Pinto's Probabilistic Range Models to compare the two. I have a feeling that Inge's charts will be as good as better as Chavez's, but we will just have to wait and see. That Chavez won instead of Inge isn't particularly surprising. Chavez had won the last 4 years, and played for a team that was in the midst of the playoff hunt. In addition to that he had 8 fewer errors. These are all the attributes that the not so sabermetrically inclined folks who hand out postseason awards look for. This shouldn't take anything away from Inge's performance. Hopefully he will be able to replicate this showing over the next few years and do so on a 90+ win team.

Blah. Another long entry. I think that's enough for now. I suck at brevity. More to come later!

Now playing: Spoon - The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine

Random Musings (part two)

Wow, that last entry ended up being longer than I anticipated. If I write that long about everything else I wanted to from the James handbook I would look up and it would be the All Star Break! I also received another nice treat in the mail yesterday. My copy of the 2006 Hardball Times Baseball Annual came. There is some good stuff to be discussed from there as well. Anyways, here is (hopefully) a few quick-hitters.

Brandon Inge should have won the Gold Glove

In his first complete year at third base, Inge led the majors in several defensive categories. His 1399.2 innings was tops among third basemen, as were his 378 assists and 41 double plays. All told, Inge compiled a range factor of 3.25 (14 FRAA). It is a crying shame that Inge was not awarded the Gold Glove this year, because nobody came close to duplicating his performance. Here are some of the top players according to Range Factor (aka RF or Rng). Range factor, of course, if figured by adding the number of successful chances (putouts plus assists) times nine, divided by the number of defensive innings played. RAA stands for "Runs Above Average," as found in the aforementioned 2006 Hardball Times Annual. An explanation of the system can be found in this article. Here is how Inge stacked up against award winner Eric Chavez.

American League Third Basemen 2005


























Player Games Innings PO A Rng FRAA Per 150 Games
B. Inge 160 1399.2 128 378 3.25 22.4 23.2
E. Chavez 153 1348.1 121 301 2.82 11.1 11.0


The one metric I am interested in seeing is David Pinto's Probabilistic Range Models to compare the two. I have a feeling that Inge's charts will be as good as better as Chavez's, but we will just have to wait and see. That Chavez won instead of Inge isn't particularly surprising. Chavez had won the last 4 years, and played for a team that was in the midst of the playoff hunt. In addition to that he had 8 fewer errors. These are all the attributes that the not so sabermetrically inclined folks who hand out postseason awards look for. This shouldn't take anything away from Inge's performance. Hopefully he will be able to replicate this showing over the next few years and do so on a 90+ win team.

Blah. Another long entry. I think that's enough for now. I suck at brevity. More to come later!

Now playing: Spoon - The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Random Musings from the Bill James Handbook. (part one)

Well thanks to the fine folks at UPS, I now have my very own copy of the Bill James Handbook 2006. In my first few hours of reading, I have learned a great deal about the Tigers and their performance in 2005. Since I type slow and kind of decide what I want to say as I slog through the stats, this is going to be a multipart entry that will probably take me a while to complete fully. At any rate, lets get to it!

The Detroit outfield left a lot to be desired defensively

Ok, so this shouldn't have been that much of a shocker, but seeing the numbers on paper made me do a double take. Neither Rondell White nor Magglio Ordonez have ever really been known for their fielding prowess, and their Range Factors of 2.00 (-1 FRAA) and 1.93 (-4 FRAA) respectively in 2005 put them at or near the bottom of the league at the two positions. While Ordonez played in 82 games, White only managed 65. Though I'm not really sure how many games and/or opportunities it takes for these stats to mean a great deal, I wouldn't go far enough to say that these results were skewed due to the time each player missed with injuries. Ordonez is sitting a -4 FRAA for his career. White is slightly more respectable with 8 FRAA for his career.

Craig Monroe faired a little better, but not much. He posted a RF of 2.47 (0 FRAA) during 33 games in center and 1.88 (-1 FRAA) in 69 games in left. He also amassed 85 games in right, with 1.94 RF and -5 FRAA to show for it. The numbers in left and center are in almost complete symmetry with his results in both 2004 and 2003, but -5 FRAA represents a drop of 9 runs from Monroe's career best mark during 51 games in 2004. To be honest, these numbers come as a bit of a surprise to me. For whatever reason I had it in my head that Craig was having a good year in the field. I can't really pinpoint what made me think this, but obviously whatever it was is wrong.

Anyone who has watched even one game played at Comerica Park can tell you that the outfield is huge! Since we know that pitchers have no control over batted ball types on balls in play, it stands to reason that in order for the Tigers to be competitive, they need strong outfield defense. The good news is, in Nook Logan and Curtis Granderson they got just that in 2005. Nook posted the third highest RF in the majors among regular starters at 2.93 (7 FRAA) while playing in 123 games. This represents an improvement of 7 fielding runs over Nook's 2004 campaign, which was only 41 games. Granderson, in his first season of somewhat meaningful playing time, posted a RF of 3.40 (6 FRAA). Though his statistics most likely would have regressed towards the mean given a larger number of games played, I find his 2005 season to be very encouraging.

In order for the Tigers to excel in 2006 and beyond, they need strong defensive performances from Granderson and Logan. The Tigers had the second fewest strikeouts in the American League last year, and the 2006 staff is shaping up to be quite similar. Unless our K/G magically bumps up to 9.5 from the 5.5 it was at last year (which I would freaking love), our outfield needs to improve. With White gone and Ordonez permanently gimpy, the Tigers should try to get Granderson, Monroe and Logan as many innings in the field as possible. To maximize their defensive efficiency.

Obviously, this isn't a decision to be made on defensive merits alone. Ordonez needs to be in the lineup as often as possible to help fuel the Tigers offense, and Logan needs to learn how to take a walk. Putting Magglio at DH knocks the somewhat productive Dmitri Young out of the lineup, which is not ideal. The good news is that the Tigers do have a decent amount of flexibility. On days where Chris Shelton needs a break, Dmitri can play first and Shelton can either DH with Mags rotating back to RF to give one of the outfielders a break or sit out completely. There are other possible scenarios for all this to play out, but I will have to wait until later to consider them.



now playing: Clem Snide - Jews for Jesus Blues

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

So how about those buckeyes?

One more thing today... Since I'm probably one of the only Tigers fans who also roots for God's team, I just thought I'd comment on how great this past weekend was. It always pains me to sing "We Don't Give and Damn for the Whole State of Michigan" without thinking about that wonderful place at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull, but I always deal with it just fine. I was in Ann Arbor for the game, but did not purchase a ticket. Instead I was in a parking lot a short distance from the stadium tailgating with some friends. Every year I think this game comes a little closer to actually killing me, but I'm glad to report that I once again survived. As this season starts to wind down, I think I am prepared to make the bold claim that there has not been a better linebacker at Ohio State than AJ Hawk, and that says a damn lot. Anyways, to make a long story very short, I partied far too hard and I don't really remember much of anything between the hours of 5:00 and midnight. whoops. It's always nice to beat Michigan. Always. Go Bucks!

testing

Welcome to my blog. I intend to use this mainly for baseball content, with a heavy focus on the Tigers. I am the "other" Brian because I think that pretty much every person out there operating a blog with an emphasis on the Tigers is named Brian. At this time, it is my intention to use this blog to track Win Probability Added for all Tigers games next year. Whether this will happen or not and the usefullness of such a site is very much up in the air for me, but that's what I'm thinking right now.