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  1. What about had Lowell and Ortiz been platooning at DH all year? Ortiz can’t hit lefties, and I was unboard with this before the year started.

    Comment by Joe — August 9, 2010 @ 4:09 pm

  2. Jesus, Ortiz’s platoon split is drastic this year.

    Usually hes something like .920/.780

    This year? 1.058/.559

    Comment by Rich — August 9, 2010 @ 6:30 pm

  3. Yea. His OPS against lefties last 3 years: .741, .716, .559.

    Comment by Joe — August 9, 2010 @ 6:40 pm

  4. Was there ever a study done showing that older players with drastically widening platoon splits were on the verge of being done?

    I know Bill James did one showing that a sudden spike in walks for an old player was a death knell…

    Comment by Jack Str — August 9, 2010 @ 7:59 pm

  5. Kind of like Ibanez’s spike in walks this year?

    It’s an interesting theory about the widening splits as a player becomes washed up. Love to see some more in depth research on it.

    Comment by Franco — August 9, 2010 @ 8:14 pm

  6. The split to take note of with Lowell isn’t L/R, its home vs away. With the strange exception of 2008, he’s always been a hitter who’s greatly benefitted from the green monster. Since ’09 (I havent updated this to include the past Yankees series) Lowell is >.900 OPS at home and <.700 on the road.

    Factor in that he pulls almost 50% of balls put in play and its pretty easy to see why he'd be very hard pressed to play for any other team in MLB.

    Comment by JP — August 9, 2010 @ 9:25 pm

  7. Fenway increases OPS by 30 points and home field advantage is worth another 30. Lowell’s OPS for Boston is 85 points higher at home, in line with expectations.

    Comment by Ray — August 9, 2010 @ 11:10 pm

  8. IIRC Jim Edmonds’ platoon split widened as he got older, including during years he remained productive… declining somewhat but still very good.

    Comment by Al Dimond — August 10, 2010 @ 3:12 am

  9. Theo Epstein works his magic yet again…

    Comment by Dave Shrine — August 10, 2010 @ 5:17 am

  10. Terrible. Post this garbage somewhere else.

    Comment by Mike — August 10, 2010 @ 5:27 am

  11. I can’t see how trying to project someone who hasn’t played in almost two seasons, in his late thirties, is at all reasonable without scouting reports. Delgado could be fully healthy and rested and able to produce a .380 wOBA, or he could just be not good enough anymore and ready to tank it. I would guess the minor league stint would sort some of this out, but this all seems like too much guesswork to me. Projections based on recent performance is one thing, but Delgado spent a year playing hurt, and now 1.5 years not playing…the margin of error on a .337 wOBA would have to be at least .050, and probably more.

    Comment by aweb — August 10, 2010 @ 7:34 am

  12. Those numbers seem a little weird, but even ignoring that – according to your math playing for the Red Sox should shoot up your home OPS somewhere around 60 points, and then you pretty much prove my point by picking a number that’s more than 40% out of that range.

    Comment by JP — August 10, 2010 @ 3:51 pm

  13. Delgado could hit a few huge homeruns(and I’m sure he can still hit bombs), but will his average make Bill Hall look like Nomar in his prime? I can see him hitting 8 or 9 homeruns in 30 games while only hitting .215. And 7 of them will be at Fenway. It’s not a huge risk for the Sox to roll the dice with him, but in 2009(while being amazing compared to the other Mets),, he was on pace for a huge drop-off after 2008, and got injured.

    The Sox should be hoping for Beckett to get back to normal(and if they EVEN make the playoffs)own like he used to when it came to October.With him at 100 percent, Lester, Buchholz, and a mediocre Lackey they should be okay. But Lackey, who has been balls out in the postseason, can’t strike out anyone anymore, walks too many guys, and isn’t the all-star he once was. Great signing, Theo.

    Comment by Kyle — August 15, 2010 @ 5:02 am

  14. Ya’ll pure stat guys really crack me up. I understand sabermetrics (I have taken 300 level math courses), but the main flaw in relying only on stats is you ignore what you see with your eyes. Someone can make stats “lie” or use them out of context to fit their argument; however, your eyes do not lie.

    First, the reason Eckstien is highly respected not because sportswriters believe they can relate to him because of his size, but because he is a great all around player that is a huge asset to any team, and to prove it I am not going use sabermetrics, but basic baseball stats. First, he has been a key piece on 2 teams that won the World Series (2002 Angles and 2006 Cardinals), and was the WS MVP in 2006. While we are on the topic of Post Season, he is hitting .278 with a .345 OBP in 200 AB with 26 runs scored in 44 games (He was a leadoff hitter, and their ultimate job is to score runs). More importantly, during the Postseason, when Eckstien scored at least one run his teams were 15-6.

    Eckstien is not a flashy hitter, he wont hit 40HR, heck he wont even hit 10 HR in a season. However, what he wont do is strike out, he is currently the 4th toughest active batter to strike out, and has always finished in the top 5 of this stat, expect once when he was 6th. Why is this important? He is putting the ball into play, and gives baserunners a chance to advance to another base. In fact, for his career, 49% of the time he has made an out with at least one baserunner on, and the baserunner advanced at least one base. Furthermore, he is hitting .294 with a .344 OBP with runners on, and is hitting .276 with a .340 OBP with RISP. But he is even better when there is a runner on 3B hitting .356 with a .400 OBP. To further justify his ability to perform under pressure, his avg and OBP when the pitcher is ahead in the count is basically the same as his regular career avg and OBP, .285 vs .276 AVG and .326 vs .340 OBP. To further justify that he is a team player, he has no problem getting hit by pitches for his team, he is ranked 25th all time with 141 HBP. Finally, he is ranked 5th among all active players in Sac Flys with 105 (led the AL twice in 2002 and 2003). My point is that you question the comment sportswriters make that he makes plays that dont show up in the boxscore. The stats above are whey the latter comments are made. He hardly strikes out, and when he makes an out a baserunner advances roughly half the time. His does buckle under pressure, which is shown by his average and OBP staying roughly the same with both runners on base and RISP. Other examples of putting the team ahead of himself is evidenced by being ranked 25th all time in HBP, and is currently ranked 5th in Sac Flys among all active players. Not to mention that 2005 WS MVP shows his ability to perform on the big stage.

    Oh, I forgot to discuss his defense. He was an underrated defensive SS, who is ranked 14th all time among all SS in fielding percentage .9778 (Ozzie Smith is #11 at .9872), and since moving to 2B last year has led all 2B in fielding percentage (only 2 errors in 225 games and a fielding percentage of .996). If you about to ask why hasnt he won a Gold Glove? You know as well as I do that sometimes the Gold Glove is a popularity contest, and ARod and Jeter have dominated that award at SS over the last decade (For someone that uses sabermetrics you should know that Jeter is highly overrated at SS because he has limited range, granted he does not make many errors, but there are a lot of balls he is unable to get to).

    Now to do understand why he is nicknamed the X-Factor.

    You made the following statement about Halladay. You are so far from the truth that it is laughable. First, let me discuss the trades, then Ill get to Halladay himself
    “He’s a great pitcher, the best in baseball, and he’s underpaid relative to the market. But part of why he’s underpaid is because he’s not willing to open himself up to go to any of the 30 MLB teams, limiting the potential demand for his services. That gets reflected in his actual trade value, and is the main reason why he didn’t make the list. ”

    I live in Philly, and watched the entire situation unfold during the Summer and Winter. The reason he was not acquired in the Summer was because their GM wanted 3 of our top 10 prospects and JA Happ. Instead we traded 3 AAA players for Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco (who is forgotten in this trade. He has been a great 4th OF and right handed pinch hitter. He has had the game winning RBIs a few times this season), 2 of which would never have started for the Phillies because one was a 2B and the other was a C. The third player was a SP who has talent, but is a mental case. The reason we traded Lee, and traded for Halladay was because Lee would not sign a long term deal until after the season. Therefore, we traded Lee to restock the farm system. However, when we traded for Halladay we gave up 3 of out top 10 prospects, two of prospects were a year away from the Majors (the 3rd was a SP in single A who could pitch 100mph). However, one of the prospects Kyle Drabrek is scheduled to start for the Blue Jays this week, and had a great year in AAA. He could pan out to be a solid #2. The other player was an OF Micheal Taylor who was traded right away to Oakland. Micheal Taylor and Domnic Brown had similar numbers in the minors.

    Halladay requested to be traded from the Blue Jays, and wanted to go to a contender. He only had one year left on his deal after this season, and started to tell the BlueJays to trade him last Summer when there was 1.5 years left on the deal. Therefore, the chances of him resigning are slim to none. Hence, trade him to get something back instead of letting him walk. You mention that the Bluejays did not receive equal value. First and foremost, has there ever been a trade in the history of modern sports were a major superstar was traded for equal value? No, honestly how do you replace, in your own words, the best starting pitcher in baseball? If he is the best SP, then there is no way to receive equal value because no one is better than him. Anyway, back in the Summer Halladay stated he wanted to come to Philly, and the deal was almost done, which is why we signed Pedro because the rumor was Happ was in the deal, but our GM was not going to trade Happ and 3 top prospects. When the Phillies realized they were not going to sign Lee, they turned back to the Bluejays, and they took less because Halladay held the Bluejays hostage by limiting the teams he wanted to go to. The rumors were there were 3 teams that he would go to, and the Phillies had the better prospects. Halladay stated publicly during his press conference that he took less money because he wanted to play for a contender not just for one year, but fore many years to come. Besides the Yankees, the Phillies are the next best team to compete for the Post Season for about the next 3 to 4 years. The Phillies are on a yearly budget, this year it is $140 million. As a result, Halladay structured his deal to fit the Phillies budget, which shows two things (1) he cares more about winning than money (2) he cares more about the team than money, by taking less money the Phillies can spend it in other areas of need. Maybe you should have made a footnote, and rewarded Halladay for taking about $5million a year less than he would have made to have a chance to win a WS. How many times do we hear stories like the one above?

    Finally, your love for Adam Dunn stuns me. He is the perfect example of why sabremetircs can be very misleading. I am not going to argue his ability to constantly hit 40 HRs and roughly 100 RBIs a season, and a career .380 OBP. Yeah, he is currently ranked 13th in HRs among active players. However, he hurts his team more than he helps him. This is when you need the eye test, but I will need to use some stats to back it up. My problem with Adam Dunn is two fold. First, when runners are on base he would rather take the walk than swing the bat, and potentially knock runners in. Abreu did the same thing in Philly, and there is no stat to show he would rather take the walk, but you can tell by there body action by not even trying to swing at pitches. I understand that a pitcher will try to throw junk to a power hitter with runners on, but there are times when a pitcher makes a mistake, and by taking the pitch it limits the ability to produce runs. Now that Dunn has been in the NL East for almost two years, I have watched him roughly 35 times in the last two years, and his body action is similar to Abreu’s. When Dunn feels a pitcher is pitching around him there are quite a few times he does not even try to swing the bat. Evidence of the latter is his Avg compared to his OBP when the count rises from 1-0 to 2-0 to 3-0. At 1-0 .273 Avg and .465 OBP, at 2-0 .289 Avg and .605 OBP, and 3-0 .255 Avg and .785 OBP. This data shows that when a pitcher is either pitching around him or just not throwing strikes, Dunn cleary takes the walk compared to swinging the bat for a hit. In fact, his AVG decreases roughly .35 points, but his OBP increases .180 points when the count is 3-0 from 2-0. Furthermore, when Dunn has 1 strike and the count increases from 1-1 to 2-1 to 3-1 his OBP skyrockets while his Avg does increase, but not in correlation to his OBP. At 1-1 .228 Avg and .349 OBP, 2-1 .265 AVG and .463 OBP, and 3-1 .294 Avg and .652 OBP. From a 1-1 to 2-1 count his Avg increases 13% [1-(228/265)] compared to a 25% increase in OBP, even when you back out the 13% from his OBP (represents the hits in the OBP), the true increase is 12% increase in OBP compared to Avg. However, when the count goes from 2-1 to 3-1, probably the best hitters count, his avg increases 10% compared to a 30% increase in OBP, again back out the 10% for avg built into the OBP, and it is 20%. Again the data shows even in a hitters count, Dunn would rather take a walk than a hit.

    The second reason I believe Dunn is over rated is that when he decides to swing he misses the ball way too many times, and too many times in clutch situations as well. He is a career .231 hitter with a .432 OBP with RISP. This shows that when it is time to hit, he does not do it very well with a .231, but he has no problem taking a walk. Furthermore, he strikes out 23% (382 K’s/1687 PA) of the time with RISP. Therefore, when he does try and swing the bat he cant even put it in play 23% of the time. To make matters worse when there are 2 outs with RISP Dunn’s average drops to .213 with a .428 OBP. Also, Dunn continues to struggle to get a hit when the game matters the most, late in the game. His avg decreases from .256 from innings 4-6 to .232 from innings 7-9, but his OBP remains practically the same .375 vs. 374. Finally, he is constantly in the top 5 in the league in K’s averaging 182 K’s a season, which is less times the ball goes into play, and to show that putting a ball in play is meaningful refer to Eckstien. He is currently ranked 10th in K’s among all active players, but what is alarming is the people ahead of him are in their late 30’s and two players are 40, but Dunn in only 30, and the players ranked from 11-30 are in there mid 30’s. Clearly Dunn is striking out at an alarming rate. In conclusion, Dunn clearly would rather take a walk than swing the bat for hit in hitting counts, he has poor numbers in clutch situations, and his performance deceases late in the game. Personally, I believe he knows he is not that great at hitting the ball, and feels by taking a walk it helps the team because he is not making an out. Well, if he wasn’t the cleanup hitter than philosophy would be fine.

    If anyone cares to debate my arguments realize that I dont put sabremetrics ahead of everything.

    Comment by SmOkIn JoE — September 13, 2010 @ 10:47 am

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