2012: All Star Break (Updated)

All right…a few notes before the HR derby.

- In case you’ve been under a rock the past 24 hours, JV is starting the AS game. Baseball tonight just ran a long feature on JV, he genuinely looks thrilled to get the nod. He joked that he doesn’t have to go 9, so no use holding anything back.

- Fielder is a favorite to win his 2nd HR derby crown, at 4-1 odds.

- Tigers pitchers set the record for Ks for the 1st half of a season, but Leyland said that he would prefer less strikeouts…considering the Tigers have the worst defense in the AL, I cringe at the thought of more balls in play. Strikeouts are the only sure out and are generally regarded around baseball as a good thing.

- The Tigers farm system was well represented in the Minor League All Star game last night as Nick Castellanos was the MVP going 3-4 with a homer… And Bruce Rondon turned a few heads when he hit 102 on the radar gun.

- Coming out of the break the Tigers start with a brutal 10 game road trip against Bal, LAA and CWS, and play 29 straight games against teams currently above .500. We’ll know in early August how good this team really is.

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Tuesday morning update…

This Leyland “less strikeouts” thing really has me frustrated with his ignorance of his team’s fielding deficiency. Here’s why (note, I made several assumptions below, but I think you’ll follow. Analyzing baseball is like studying economics; without assumptions, it’s hard to make a point):

- The Tigers have 715 Ks. The AL average is 625. If the Tigers’ K rate was average, that would mean 90 more balls in play.

- The substitutes for Ks would be Hits or Outs. I’m removing walks, HBP and BBs b/c of the deep pitch count that a K requires.

- The Tigers’ defensive efficiency is last in the league at .674. So roughly 33% of balls in play result in hits. 11.1% of those hits result in a HR, so that’s 3 additional runs, and 26 other hits. Using the Tigers’ current H_allowed/R_allowed ratio of 7.7/3.8, those additional 26 hits would result in another 13 runs. So Leyland’s asking for 16 more runs, not to mention all the additional ABs.

- Plug those 16 runs into James’ Pythagorean formula, and the Tigers record goes from 44-42 to 42-44. (Note, the Tigers are dead on for their X W-L right now.)

I just don’t get it.

8 Comments

  1. bada bing

    July 10, 2012 at 10:20 am

    It really is frustrating that Leyland would say that. Does he ever stop to think why the Tigers’ team ERA is eighth in the AL while their K/BB ratio is first in the AL? Nevermind, I know the answer to that question…

    • Vince in MN

      July 10, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      Perhaps he is concerned with all the extra pitches thrown due to all those strikeouts…….. then again, maybe not.

      • Kevin in Dallas

        July 10, 2012 at 4:00 pm

        That’s absolutely his concern. But what he’s missing is a) we need Ks b/c our defense is so bad and b) our bullpen ERA is significantly better than our starters ERA, so the quicker to the bullpen, the better (bullpen WHIP is a little better as well).

        • Coleman

          July 10, 2012 at 6:14 pm

          And part of the reason we broke the record is because of the BP, especially Villarreal…and just wait until Alburquerque gets back.

  2. Henion32

    July 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Prince wins the HR derby, JV is going to get 2-3 excellent innings in tonight!

  3. Coleman

    July 10, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Spot on. I’ve been fully on the K-bandwagon this season.

    97.1 innings pitched 55 Runs 4.72 ERA 8-5 – Max Scherzer
    96.2 innings pitched 54 Runs 4.47 ERA 6-5 – Rick Porcello

    Porcello looks like the better pitcher, but they are actually about exactly the same, it’s just that more of the runs he gave up were unearned. Well, I guess in a way that does mean he’s the better pitcher. But it is predictable that he will continue to give up more unearned runs over the rest of the season (ground balls vs strikeouts). And that’s not counting all the “double-play balls” that weren’t, etc.

  4. Vince in MN

    July 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Kevin, you get it. Leyland is the one who doesn’t get it. But hey, he is a genius because he has won 1600+ games.

  5. Rod in Tucson

    July 11, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Check out Tiger pitchers and their number of errors. They have been at the top of this category for years. Why? I believe that the “error problem” will be their downfall this year. No matter how well they pitch or hit. Too bad.