Links of note, or stuff I find interesting, or stuff I think you might find interesting

- Grander than Sizemore? | FanGraphs Baseball – Grandy making a case (or someone else) that Curtis is at least as good as Grady.
- Two Tigers minor leaguers among players suspended – Two guys from the VSL get nabbed bringing baseball's total to 53 since July 23rd.
- Tiger Tales: A Detroit Tigers Blog: Good pitching beats good hitting all the time? – That Lee, using facts and data where others haven't.
- Fun With Justin’s Stats – Beyond the Box Score – Justin Inaz has done a lot of work combining offense and defense to devise total player ratings. Sky has taken some of that work and summarized it at the team level. It rates the Tigers defense at -5 runs, which is slightly below average. Notice the fundamentally sound Twins at -41. Also check out the rank of Tigers position players. Maybe they don't need to blow things up and just get some better pitching.
- Fire Jim Leyland: Is Justin Verlander an Ace? – Not this year that's for sure. But what about past years?
- On Baseball and the Reds: Total Value Estimates – Through 5 September, 2008 – And here are those total value rankings from the previous link. Go Grandy go.
- Willis, Garcia throw simulated games | tigers.com: News – With simulated good results…

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I personally love the Grandy vs. Grady, simply because it is extremely close (at least for ’07 and ’08…’06 not so much). I came up with this little ditty. You take total bases + walks + stolen bases – caught stealing. That gives you how many bases each guy accounted for. Then divide that by plate appearances and you get the number of bases per plate appearance. Neat, huh? Anyhoo, here’s Grandy vs. Grady for the past 2 seasons (of course we’re not done with 2008 yet)

Grandy: 2007 – .63 bases/PA 2008 – .59 bases/PA

Grady: 2007 – .57 bases/PA 2008 – .63 bases/PA

So Sizemore is better this year by .04, but Grandy was better by .06 last year. Close the gap for ’08, Curtis!

I like the Verlander analysis. I would also like to see some numbers for other fly ball pitchers, though, because they are penalized. A guy like Ervin Santana, Jered Weaver, Matsuzaka, Matt Cain, or Johan Santana would be interesting to look at. I appreciate that he didn’t weigh ground balls and strikeouts equally (because groundballs are overrated – Randy Johnson didn’t need no stinkin’ ground balls), but I’d like to see some sort of add-on into that equation for maybe infield fly totals or something like that.

Being a groundball pitcher for the 2008 Tigers may not translate into dominance.

Ordonez, statistically, is odd somehow this season. His stats seem better than they should be in some ways, and in others worse, as if he has just had a couple runs of bad luck this season. I felt the weirdness while looking at the Man on 3rd < 2 outs stats. Ordonez comes out:

26 AB 20 RBI 0 K 5 GDP .769 OPS .86 RBI/AB

The numbers are OK, but right around the team avg, which for Maggs is less OK:

245 AB 199 RBI 44 K 20 GDP .920 OPS .80 RBI/AB

compared to Maggs’ numbers in 2007:

37 AB 50 RBI 3 K 1 GDP 1.351 OPS 1.68 RBI/AB

Yeah, I realize it’s a bit silly to use his ridiculous 2007 numbers as a basis of comparison. On the other hand they are in the ballpark with the numbers of this year’s Mr. Dependable, Brandon Inge (?!):

13 AB 16 RBI 1 K 0 GDP 1.240 OPS 1.23 RBI/AB

But looking back at Ordonez’ 2008 numbers, I was struck by, first, the 0 strikeouts, which is impressive. (The other zero: Polanco; on the other end of the spectrum, Pudge, who struckout 8 times in 22 AB, roughly 40%, and Thames with 5K in 10 AB). But then, there’s the 5 GDP–I knew he led the team with 23, but I didn’t realize about 1/4 of those were with man on 3rd < 2 out.

And he isn’t the only one. So I decided to see how different this team is from the 2006 team:

2007 245 AB 199 RBI 44 K 20 GDP .920 OPS .80 RBI/AB

2006 267 AB 222 RBI 50 K 14 GDP .996 OPS .83 RBI/AB

I’m not the 1st to notice we haven’t been great at getting the runner on 3rd < 2 outs home, but more specifically it looks like we’ve been putting the ball in play fine, but in a way that has ended up in a lot of double-plays.

The other problem you notice is that the guys who ended up at bat in this ideal RBI situation most frequently did not happen to be the guys who have been best at it, other than Cabrera [1/14.9 AB]. Pudge at the time he took his 40% K rate to NY, had the highest frequency [1/15.7 AB}, while Inge is only 1/21.4 AB. The overall team average is 1/18.3 [in 2006 it was 1/18.2].

But Raburn now is easily the luckiest (or, actually, “luckiest”) somehow getting 12 AB (1/12.5), and of course doing stunningly poorly:

12 AB 5 RBI 7 K 0 GDP .397 OPS

Why is Raburn the most likely guy to be at the plate with a man on 3rd < 2 outs? Beats me.

Crikey. It’s a wonder we’ve scored as many runs as we have this season….Thames, Pudge, and Raburn, with a man on 3rd < than 2 outs, combined to strikeout 20 times in 44 at bats, or roughly half the time.

If you only take Ordonez’ 26 AB with a runner on 3rd < 2 outs, and if he had the same RBI/AB rate for those AB as he did last season, Ordonez currently would be right behind Cabrera on the league RBI leaderboard, with 112.

Eric:

I haven’t updated the numbers since I wrote that post a couple of weeks ago, but I can give you the numbers for the pitchers you listed (numbers are 2004-2007):

Ervin Santana: 35.27 in 2005, 36.04 in 2006, 38.73 in 2007, 45.89 this year.

Jered Weaver: 36.29 in 2006, 35.70 in 07, 35.94 in 08.

Dice-K: 42.21 in 2007, 34.20 in 08 (Hurt by his complete and utter lack of control).

Matt Cain: 36.88 in 2006, 38.46 in 07, 34.91 in 08.

Johan Santana: 53.18 in 2004, 50.30 in 05, 50.68 in 06, 53.53 in 07, and 44.72 in 08.

For others that didn’t read the article, Justin Verlander’s Dominance Factor since 2006 is 41.61.

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