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.
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.