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  1. This seems as good a place to ask as any: is Baseball Think Factory down (offline) for anyone else?

    Comment by Anon21 — September 1, 2010 @ 3:15 pm

  2. He has 961 career PA versus lefties, not 378. I get that on average you need to regress a players platoon splits to league average, but clsoe to a thousand PA against major league lefties, that seems like that’s about what you can expect against lefties from him, unless he’s been much worse recently. Just because most guys don’t have such a dramatic split doesn’t mean a particular player won’t have one, and it doesn’t seem that dramatic to me. Regardless, it won’t make much difference versus Murphy either way. Rangers lead looks pretty solid anyway.

    Comment by wobatus — September 1, 2010 @ 3:19 pm

  3. There was a story on (I read it on MLB At Bat on the phone)where the GM said it’s to platoon vs. tougher lefties. I’m guessing that’s to start in the playoffs vs. the likes of Liriano, Duensing, Sabathia, Pettitte, Price (or less likely Danks/Buehrle or Lester if a Sox team somehow makes it). I don’t believe the regular season is much of a consideration.

    Comment by James — September 1, 2010 @ 3:20 pm

  4. Jeff Francoeur is not satisfied with a bench or platoon role! Jeff Francoeur demands to play every day! Jeff Francoeur demands to be traded to Japan if his skills won’t be utilized by the Rangers!

    Comment by Anon21 — September 1, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

  5. having the same problem with Baseball Think Factory

    Comment by Sam — September 1, 2010 @ 3:32 pm

  6. Thank fuck.

    Comment by Ray in New Jersey — September 1, 2010 @ 3:34 pm

  7. Yeah, it’s down at the moment. Provider’s working on the issue. We’re grumbling.


    Comment by Dan Szymborski — September 1, 2010 @ 3:51 pm

  8. Ray in New Jersey from the car: this isn’t WFAN.

    Comment by nmh — September 1, 2010 @ 4:17 pm

  9. Oops… 961 is the right number, fixed. I actually have that in my sheet for Francoeur, so my calculations are in-line with the correct method, but when I was typing this up I put in Murphy’s number of PAs vs. LHP.

    If youi haven’t, I recommend reading The Book’s section on platoons — yes, everyone has a particular split, but righties generally have smaller ones, and they back this up quite well. You need to regress midway between their observed split and their league average at 2200 PA…

    In any case, a bit part of the problem isn’t just that Francoeur’s split isn’t as big as observed, but that he isn’t a very good hitter in the first place, so even with a larger split, he’s not a great hitter against righties to begin with… even over a full season, platooning with Murphy would only likely generate three more runs over just playing Murphy. And then there’s the whole Borbon issue over a full season.

    Jeff Francoeur just doesn’t offer very much to a team, and doesn’t help the Rangers much now. Given what backup outfielders are going for these days, it would be silly for any team to give him much more than the minimum in the offseason.

    Comment by Matt Klaassen — September 1, 2010 @ 4:43 pm

  10. Thanks. I was wondering if the calculations were different. Frustrating player. Seems like he has some physical talent, doesn’t strike out all that much (at least if he still had the power he displayed earlier in his career), but just swings at anything it seems. And it doesn’t look like he’ll learn not to.

    Comment by wobatus — September 1, 2010 @ 5:11 pm

  11. Frenchy’s biggest asset will be knowing when to tell guys to shave.

    Comment by Anon — September 1, 2010 @ 5:32 pm

  12. “AL’s superior pitching” thrown out there as an inconspicuous statement of fact when it’s anything but.

    Comment by Coby DuBose — September 2, 2010 @ 9:04 am

  13. Not to sound like a Francoeur defender, but isn’t it possible that there’s a scouting reason to believe that his true talent vs. lefties is actually closer to his observed performance than regression would lead us to believe.

    I know Dave Cameron mentioned that he believes a mix of scouting and sabermetrics is more effective than relying solely on one or the other for player evealuations, and I feel like that opinion is shared by most fangraphs authors (maybe I’m totally wrong on that). But I see a lot of articles making definitive statements about players, when we really only have one side of the story. We’re all more than happy to admit uncertainty due to small sample sizes and other statistical factors that indicate inconclusive results; can’t we acknowledge uncertainty from other factors as well?

    Curtis Granderson has spent weeks (months?) working on a swing that’s supposedly designed to help him improve vs. lefties. Suppose he does improve against lefties over the rest of this season and the next five years. Do we attribute it to regression or adaptation?

    Isn’t it likely that players who are able to adapt (or don’t show pronounced splits to begin with) are likely to stick around longer and thus have more impact on the data that was used to derive the average platoon split found in “The Book?” It’s been a while since I read it so I don’t recall the exact methodology or sampling used.

    Again I want to reitierate that I don’t necessarily believe that Jeff Francouer is any better than what Matt’s analysis has shown, and I even believe that this analysis is correct, but we don’t KNOW. Just because the observed performance in a particular metric across an entrie population shows there to be little spread, doesn’t mean that there aren’t exceptions and while regression yields a more accurate picture on most players some few players legitimately have large splits and will be misrepresented by running such a regression.

    Comment by bmt24 — September 2, 2010 @ 2:09 pm

  14. That’s what is so frustrating about Francoeur, he has skills. Look at some of his hits, he has power and at times even to all fields. He can hit good pitchers pitches. If he would limit himself to swinging at marginal pitches he’d be average, above average if he improved his approach more. It’s just, when he does decide to be patient he just says “I’m going to take this pitch no matter what” and can’t understand why that doesn’t work, and so he gives up on patience.

    Comment by deadpool — September 2, 2010 @ 5:10 pm

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