Aside from the on-the-field benefits of Sanchez being released (less caught stealings, more direct routes to fly-balls, etc.) we also got to hear about some of the thought processes from the front office – and I like what they’re thinking.
Jason Beck of DetroitTigers.com had two articles with two pretty intersting quotes from Dombrowski. The first:
Dombrowski is talking about efficiency. Yes, Sanchez’s 7 walks were miserable, but due to his batting average he managed a .335 OBA. While it’s not good enough for the leadoff position he was cast in, it wasn’t awful for a centerfielder making $350,000 last year. And Dombrowski is right, scoring runs is more important than OBA. I don’t think he’s talking about Sanchez’s personal “Runs” total, but what it meant for the team. Indirectly, I think he is referencing the on-base percentage as well because if you’re not on-base you can’t score.
“But then you also may say, what other center fielder might hit 25 home runs and knock in 90 [runs], and does that justify those six balls being caught? Well, in my estimation, the answer is yes, because it’s a situation where you win more games that way.
Again, I like that Dombrowski is looking at the total run impact. While measuring Monroe’s offensive impact in terms of RBI may not be the best way, I’m confident that the Tigers probably used something a little more sophisticated in making their decision. Also, I’m not sure how Dombrowski quantified the run value of the balls that Monroe might miss, or more importantly figure how many balls he might not get to.
I don’t know the research that Dombrowski, Trammell and the front office employed. However I do appreciate the thought process.