Hitting em where they ain’t

We recently took a look at the Tigers team defense through the eyes of David Pinto’s Probabilistic Model of Range. As Pinto wraps up this season’s numbers, he calculated the PMR behind each pitcher. Not much went right for Nate Robertson this year, and it is little surprise that his woes were reflected in the PMR numbers as well.
Continue reading Hitting em where they ain’t

Tigers pass on Junichi Tazawa

In an effort to maintain the relationships in the Pacific Rim that the organization has been cultivating recently, the Tigers are going to pass on Junichi Tazawa. Tazawa is the amateur Japanese player who is going to skip the Japanese professional leagues and try and jump right to the US.

Tazawa is being courted by a number of teams, and the Tigers sent scout Dick Egan to see him earlier and another scout (presumably Pacific Rim coordinator Kevin Hooker) to visit again in recent weeks. But Jon Paul Morosi caught up with Al Avila and Avila had this to say:

“We have invested much time and resources the last two years building our staff and rebuilding our good relationships in Japan and in other Asian countries in order to be players in those markets for years to come,” Avila said in an e-mail to the Free Press.

You see, there’s this gentleman’s agreement that the respective countries wouldn’t harvest each others amateur talent and Avila is going to honor that.

Chao Ting Tang - cr Roger DeWitt
Chao Ting Tang - cr Roger DeWitt

I fully admit that I don’t have a grasp on the relationships at play here, but I’d think that part of the point of increasing the presence would be to scout – largely amateur – players. Maybe it is, but not just in Japan. The Tigers did sign Chao Ting Tang from Taiwan last season. And they have a new scouting coordinator for the region. But I still don’t understand the apprehension about ruffling the feathers of the Japanese professional leagues.

That said I’m not upset that they are passing on Tazawa. I was intrigued early on, but his price is higher than I expected it would be. He’s likely to be paid similar to a top draft pick, and there is at least one scouting report that isn’t necessarily glowing. It calls into question his velocity and stamina.

links for 2008-11-25

Renteria inked by Giants – Tigers get draft picks

UPDATE: It appears the report may not be true. Tim Dierkes keeps updating the link below with more information, so check back. I have to admit that $18 million for Renteria didn’t pass the smell test, but it was the Giants…

It appears that Edgar Renteria is heading back to the National League. The Giants have signed him to a 2 year, $18 million contract that seems pretty pricey given the season he just had. This is good news for the Tigers.

Because Renteria signed with the Giants there is now no ambiguity as to whether or not the Tigers should offer him arbitration and risk him accepting. Assuming that the Tigers do offer arbitration, and there is absolutely no reason why they wouldn’t, they will get 2 draft picks due to Renteria’s type A status.

Because the Giants were pretty awful last year, their first round pick is protected. Instead the Tigers will get their second round pick (4th pick), plus a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds. Maybe they can at least one of those into gold to lessen the sting of losing Jair Jurrjens and Gorkys Herandez.

Tigers Top 10 Prospects according to Baseball America

Rick Porcello - cr Roger DeWitt
Rick Porcello - cr Roger DeWitt

It’s another one of those rites of the offseason, the Baseball America top 10 list. The list itself is available to anyone, but for additional information (like scouting reports) you need to be a subscriber.

As for the list, here it is:

  1. Rick Porcello, rhp
  2. Ryan Perry, rhp
  3. Cale Iorg, ss
  4. Casey Crosby, lhp
  5. Jeff Larish, 1b/3b
  6. Wilkin Ramirez, of
  7. Scott Sizemore, 2b
  8. Cody Satterwhite, rhp
  9. Dusty Ryan, c
  10. Guillermo Moscoso, rhp

Continue reading Tigers Top 10 Prospects according to Baseball America

Clarifying Luis Marte’s status

Earlier today I questioned the Tigers leaving Luis Marte off the 40 man roster and then exposing him to the rule 5 draft. Yeah, it turns out I was wrong.

Jon Paul Morosi noted in his Baseball America chat today ($) that Marte wasn’t eligible. On Beck’s blog he mentioned my article and then later edited his post to indicate that Marte wasn’t eligible.

This confused me because Marte, who was born on 8/28/1986 and signed on November 16th 2005, would have been a 19 year old signee entering his 4th Rule 5 draft (05/06/07/08). Nineteen year olds are normally afforded 3 years of protection and eighteen year olds get 4.

But there’s a catch I wasn’t aware of. From Baseball America

Players who were 18 or younger on June 5 preceding the signing of their first contract must be protected after four minor league seasons. Players 19 and older must be protected after three seasons.

So Marte was only considered an 18 year old, meaning he doesn’t need to be protected until next year.

That’s the story, and I apologize for the confusion.

Tigers set 40 man roster

Today is the deadline for the Tigers to announce who would and wouldn’t be protected from the Rule 5 draft on the 40 man roster. Below is the roster, and highlighted are the 5 players who the Tigers just added: Alfredo Figaro, Casper Wells, Zach Simons, Guillermo Moscoso, and Wilkin Ramirez. That brings the total to 38.
Continue reading Tigers set 40 man roster

DTW’s new look

Every offseason I realize that after looking at this site for a whole year I’m tired of it. I need to freshen things up a little. I also discover there are some functional things that I’m not really happy with, and so I try to fix those as well. So every year about this time I break out the toolbox and start hammering away behind the scenes. With that I present DTW 2009. I’d go with version numbers but I can’t keep track anymore.
Thesis WordPress Theme
I kept things fairly similar to what has been here in the past appearance wise with a few tweaks to hopefully improve readability. But below the surface everything has been gutted thanks to the wonderful Thesis theme. It’s a highly customizable and somewhat sexy wordpress theme that should allow me even great flexibility to make changes in the future. It is also much more sound structurally than my former theme which actually started out as Kubrick at one point and was heavily modified into its current state (if the last few sentences mean nothing to you, just know that the new stuff is better).

Also, older stuff can sometimes break and I don’t have the inclination to go through 3000 posts and see if they all still look okay. So if you see broken stuff please let me know. This is most helpful if you provide the page, the problem, and your browser. Thanks!

The only functional change at this time is Gravatar support. Gravatars are those little pictures by your names in the comments. To get one go that Gravatar link, and when you comment here just use the same email address that you did to sign up for the Gravatar.

I do have some more changes coming to the comment area, and that should happen with the release of WordPress 2.7 which should be soon. In the meantime let me know what you think of the new look. I’m still building out the sidebars with the links from the old site, it’ll just take me some time because I’m going to do it right. And I’ll probably still make a few tweaks here and there.

Catch-all post

I know there is a lot of interest in some of the rumors swirling around the Tigers (like Julio Lugo) and that people want to comment on signings that may or may not effect the Tigers  (Jeremy Affeldt).  While I don’t have a lot to say about these things (though I don’t want Lugo and Affeldt for 2 years at $4 million per is pretty attractive) I know that others do want to talk about it.  In an effort to keep the discussion on other research-y type posts centered on the topic of the post (this is a blog afterall and not a message board), please use this as your catch-all thread for rumors and signings.

Of course if anything related to the Tigers breaks, we’ll be sure to cover it in depth.

Pounding the zone by count

Table of contents for Strike Throwing with Pitch f/x

  1. Strike Throwing – Part 1 – Lots of Tables

In part 1 of the series I dumped some big tables in here that looked at the rate at which teams threw a)strikes and b)the ball in the strike zone. Today we’ll continue along the same path, but we’ll start to differentiate based on count.

Pitches In the Strike Zone by Count

In 2008 teams pitchers through the ball in the strike zone (as defined by pitch f/x) at the following rates:

  • 0-0: 48.0%
  • 1-1: 45.0%
  • 2-2: 43.0%
  • 0-1: 40.0%
  • 0-2: 27.1%
  • 1-2: 34.6%
  • 1-0: 49.8%
  • 2-0: 51.6%
  • 3-0: 49.9%
  • 2-1: 51.2%
  • 3-1: 55.9%
  • 3-2: 53.8%

Continue reading Pounding the zone by count

The Tigers according to PMR

The Tigers defense was the cause of much consternation this season, and rightly so. Now that David Pinto has released his PMR defensive metrics, we can take a detailed look at each position.

If you’re not familiar with PMR, it is a system that looks at each ball hit into play and the probability that the ball should be converted into an out. That probability is based on a number of characteristics including the handedness of the batter and pitcher, the type of hit, the direction of hit, and how hard the ball was hit. It is based on data from BIS which also provides the data behind the +/- system and revised zone rating.

The table below shows how the Tigers fared at each position, as well as the primary players at each position. It shows the number of balls in play (this is constant at the team level), the actual outs and predicted outs, the plays made above or below expected and then a conversion to runs. The last 2 columns scale the plays and runs to 4000 balls in play which is approximately 150 games or the normal workload of a full time player.

2008 Tigers PMR
2008 Tigers PMR

Continue reading The Tigers according to PMR

Tigers make some ticket price hikes

The Tigers are adjusting some prices, on some games. The following areas won’t see an increase to their base ticket prices: Outfield Box, Right Field Grandstand, Bleachers, Kaline’s Corner and the Upper Level. That comprises 70% of the capacity. The base price is the key here because the team will have premium pricing for 21 of the 81 games.

The variable pricing will apply to the three-game series with the Cubs and Red Sox, and Friday and Saturday games in June, July, and August, and Opening Day.

Basically it seems that the team is trying to make the majority of games affordable to a majority of the people while trying to get a little extra revenue on the premium seats. Given the economy any price hike isn’t going to be received well, but considering the increase in payroll that the team committed to last year and this year, this seems to be pretty minimal.

Those who get season tickets will still get discounts and be immune to variable pricing.

Individual game tickets will go on sale March 7th.