This along with last year’s vote refutes the whole “voters are embracing advanced statistics” narrative that folks were trying to create. Voters have simply exchanged ERA for wins.
Last year’s vote had David Price 2nd (he was way down the list on most advanced stats) but had a shiny ERA and had the 2 pitchers in the AL with higher war than Felix well down the voting.
Hellickson won the AL ROY on ERA and Nova finished ahead of Pineda on wins.
This year with Weaver and Shields finishing 2 and 3 ahead of CC (who seemed like a no brainer #2), I think it’s clear that instead of wins then ERA it is now just ERA then wins…. but advanced stats are still along way off from having a significant impact.
I agree. The rest of my narrative sort of talked down the fact that Papa Grande appeared on almost half the ballots, and 10 of them ahead of vastly superior relievers David Robertson and Mariano Rivera.
Yes, because Verlander clearly benefited from Detroit’s spectacular defensive play behind him all season (featuring four students of Anne Sullivan in the field), so Sabathia’s superiority in FIP of 0.11 clearly offsets Verlander’s superiority in every other category.
Sometimes, you just have to accept that the guy with 20 more K’s, 4 fewer BBs, and 56 fewer hits, in 14 more innings, is the superior pitcher, FIP be damned.
And before I have to read about Sabathia facing the East again, Verlander was better against the East than Sabathia was…and Sabathia didn’t have to face the Yankees!
Detroit’s team defense wasn’t bad last year – they performed better than their reputation would suggest. Besides, Verlander is primarily a fly ball pitcher, and having Austin Jackson in center can cure a lot of ills.
Perhaps you are in need of the Miracle Worker’s assistance.
I think a case could be made for Weaver getting more votes than CC. Weaver had a much better ERA, and pitched more innings. I know ERA is more representative of team performance than individual performance, but Weaver is also a pitcher who has outperformed his FIP and xFIP for the past three years, which may indicate he is doing something that these metrics are not capturing. Not to mention, it’s not like his FIP and xFIP were terrible or anything.
Shields also isn’t a bad choice. 5th in SIERA, 4th in xFIP, plus he was 2nd in innings pitched. His ERA was also better than Sabathia’s. I don’t think Sabathia had a such a dramatically better season than Weaver or Shields to make it unthinkable for Sabathia to finish behind them. It all depends on which metrics you choose to use, and how much weight you want to assign each one.
I totally agree though that Valverde has no business being on that list. I’d rather see Haren get more love than Valverde.
If we wanted to give out awards based on stats that predict future value instead of stats that actually calculate past value (including luck) then you can’t award hitting awards without correcting for high batting BABIP.
Its the same train of thought folks round here seemed to be using in the AL ROY debate
Pineda had less innings, a worse ERA, but a better FIP. Therefore they thought he had a better season
Im just trying to standardize the arguments
Comment by mister_rob — November 15, 2011 @ 7:16 pm
Weaver pitched in a good pitcher’s park (his ERA was more than a run better at home) and nearly 1/3 of his innings were against the vaunted SEA and OAK offenses (he posted an ERA just over 1 in 71 innings against those two opponents). Oh and unless 237 is now less than 235, he did not throw more innings than CC….
This was an ERA vote after Verlander, with the typical closer/save total nonsense with Valverde. Other than an overreliance on ERA, there really is not much of a case for Weaver over Sabathia.
Weaver was 22nd in xFIP, 6th in FIP (must be nice throwing so many innings in ANA, SEA, OAK), 5th in IP, 5th in fWAR, 3rd in bWAR,,,, how does that add up to being the 2nd best pitcher in the AL? And in case it wasn’t obvious Sabathia had him beat in EVERY one of those categories (and in some cases substantially).
Dude, that’s how it works. As you learn more, and find better ways to quantify what your seeing, you eschew the old way of looking at things for the new. It seems like your just arguing that everybody stop trying.
I forgot that Sabathia got far more run support, but kept getting owned by Beckett and the Sox(a team who didn’t even make the playoffs.) How many no-hitters does Sabathia have? Sabathia had a WHIP of 1.23 this season, wow… not impressed? Who would you rather have on your team? Shields and Valverde got too high on the voting but at least the RIGHT guy won.
I don’t see any Red Sox fans freaking out over Beckett being behind Valverde, CC(whom he owned this year) or Dan Haren. The MVP is going to be get some hilarious cries from both Yankee and Sox fans I hope.
Not to keep beating the same horse, but if you average fWAR and brWAR you give the pitcher some credit for things like BABIP, LOB%, RA, etc which is likely more accurate than 0% or 100%.
When you do this, Verlander is the clear winner and is also a candidate for MVP.
This also reflects likely voting. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but it’s possible that averaging the two WARs bumps Weaver over Sabathia.
I don’t think it’s an inherent non-sabermetric vote. I think a better case could be made that fWAR over-values CC’s performance.
Also someone at TT’s blog watched all of V’s and CC’s hits allowed and concluded that almost all of their hits were legit. It’s possible that the difference is not luck based.
Comment by CircleChange11 — November 15, 2011 @ 10:05 pm
Stop being such a hateful little shit. The selection is debatable. No one is freaking out. You’re yet another dumbass baseball “fan” who probably doesn’t care who wins as long as it’s not a player for the Yankees or Red Sox.
And please don’t go on about WHIP and no-hitters and what pitcher owned who. Pitchers don’t compete against the opposing pitcher.
I wish I could recall definitively, but I swear I could remember one of CC’s games against the Red Sox where three or four hits in a row were dribblers past the mound or swinging bunts. I remember I couldn’t believe their luck. It may have been another starter but for some reason I think it’s CC.
Mark Buehrle is my favorite ballplayer. His combination of durability, reliability, defense, control of the running game, efficiency, working fast and humility make him a joy to watch in person and I will be sad when He leaves the White Sox. His skill set should age well and if he decides he wants to hang around fro another 10 years or so he has a shot at 300 wins, a half dozen gold gloves or more and maybe the HOF. But I think even he would have a hard time explaining how he threw a no hitter or a perfect game. He has accomplishments that are unique in this millenium and should not be discounted but he has never really been dominant.
Verlander is a whole ‘nother animal. He hasn’t been at it as long but he’s a true stud, not just a reliable workhorse. He’s the kind of guy that you see your team going up against and you know if your pitcher isn’t on his game it’s over. You see him at 90 pitches coming out for the 7th in a close game and think that maybe if you run up his pitch count up you have a chance to at least get him out of there but then he’s throwing high 90’s with movement and control in the 8th and 9th and you know it’s over. I don’t know if he’ll sustain it or if he’ll flame out or get injured but I do know that every GM in baseball would take him over Buehrle in a heartbeat.
Do you want to explain to me how greg maddux had a decade long streak of “luck” in outpitching his FIP by a substantial margiin while his teammate John Smoltz (with the same exact pitching environment) spent the same time frame not being able to pitch up to his FIP?
Were you shocked that Mark Beuhrle once again outpitched his FIP this year (for the 7th time in 8 years), meanwhile none of his rotation mates (floyd danks peavy jackson) were able to this year OR last year despite having the same exact team and ballpark behind them?
The notion that pitchers have no control in BABIP is luidicrous. Guys with notoriously good control within the zone (maddux beuhrle etc) get screwed when it comes to FIP. THese guys can successfully pitch to a batters weakness. If the advanced scouting said Batter X cant make solid contact with a pitch on the outer 3rd and at the knees, Maddux could hit that spot on command. Smoltz couldnt. THats the difference FIP fails to pick up on
Comment by mister_rob — November 15, 2011 @ 11:30 pm
No, I’m arguing that “fielding independent pitching” is a shitty idea. That’s like saying “instead of riding a donkey, I’ll ride a horse” yea, maybe a little bit better, but neither is a car. I think it’s stupid. You take a LOT out of the equation. You just assume hits and ground outs are luck. It’s a dumb stat that sure, it’s better than ERA, but people on here use it like it’s gospel. I’m actually encouraging people to use OTHER stats, not stay stagnate.
What I want is to divide the field up into like 30 sections. You calculate the speed of the ball and the type (grounder, FB, LD,etc). Over the course of 5 years you assign a value to the type of hit. So like, a hard hit ball (based on whatever speed is concluded as “hard”) that’s a line drive, to square 21 on average produces .03 runs. You then use this to calculate the true value of pitchers.
Now, some people will say that this is ridiculous, but it’s certainly not as ridiculous as assuming everything that’s not a K, BB, or HR is luck-driven.
Comment by Antonio Bananas — November 16, 2011 @ 3:37 am
I haven’t even touched on my idea that a manager can make a pitcher better/worse, which is also relative to the pen quality.
Pitcher 1 goes 6 innings on average, pitcher 2 goes 7 innings on average. Pitcher 2 has a higher ERA but gives up a majority of runs in the 7th.
I think there should be a stat that shows a guy’s ERA through 5 innings, then from the 6th on. If you have a great pen, you can make a guy look really REALLY good. If you have a manager who knows when to pull a guy and has a great pen to get him out of trouble, he looks even better. FIP doesn’t show that. If a guy goes 6 shutout innings and gets left in the game too long and gives up 2 home runs in the 7th, he looks worse than a guy who went 6 and got drilled for 7 doubles and gave up 4 runs.
Hypothetically, you could have a guy give up 100 doubles in a year and no home runs vs a guy who gave up 25 home runs as his only hits all year, and the guy who only gave up 25 hits (HR) all year is seen as worse because of FIP. It’s fundamentally flawed.
I understand that a dribbler up the middle is luck, a hard hit ball to the 3B is luck. However, there should be a thing call “sure thing XBH”. Like a line drive in the gap. Add that to the FIP equation and run it that way. Giving up a double in the gap that was drilled isn’t luck either way.
Comment by Antonio Bananas — November 16, 2011 @ 3:42 am
FIP is like valuing a car, but not using “durability” as a measure because “too many variables, driver ability, upkeep, terrain, etc” and only using, iunno, top speed and 0-60 time. You just throw out a bunch of stuff essentially because it’s “too hard to measure”. It’s lazy and dumb.
Comment by Antonio Bananas — November 16, 2011 @ 3:45 am
Is Jose Bautista not in the AL east? Or is he just not a heavyweight?
Comment by Antonio Bananas — November 16, 2011 @ 3:47 am
The issue with Verlander is that he was able beat up on the Royals, Twins, Indians, and pad his numbers by striking out Adam Dunn all the time, whereas CC was repeatedly being put out against the Red Sox, Rays, and Blue Jays. In addition, Yankee Stadium is a much harder place to pitch. I’m not disagreeing with Verlander as Cy Young, because he was certainly fantastic, but CC should definitely have been second.
I don’t have a problem with FIP. I have a problem when someone decides to use FIP as the Ultimate Stat, and refuses to acknowledge the flaws of FIP. I feel the same way when people use WAR like gospel. WAR has its flaws. So does FIP, xFIP, and SIERA. I think these are the best way to measure pitcher performance right now, but that doesn’t always mean these are the most accurate way to measure pitcher performance. These stats work best when taken in context with each other, and when looking at the history of the pitcher in question, not by just using 1 stat as the determining stat for all pitching debates.
In fairness, Sabathia was awful against the Red Sox, good against the Jays and great against the Rays. Conversely, Verlander dominated the Sox, was average against the Rays and didn’t give up a single run to the Jays.
Additionally, if you want to pull the park factor, then just look at their road splits, which Verlander outperforms Sabathia on.
FG often writes articles that are stat horse races, but when a great player wins one of the awards, I think talking about how awesome they are is a great idea. Part of the reason we love this game is being able to watch guys like this play at an amazing level even while playing against other great players. The Saber crowd can sometimes be accused of taking the fun out of the game and this kind of article shows that this is not the case.
Comment by Barkey Walker — November 16, 2011 @ 9:55 am
Not that I believe that Valverde was one of the 5 best pitchers in the league, but he does fare very well by one measurement – WPA. Valverde was 2nd among all AL relievers, and pretty close to Dave Robertson for first.
While WPA isn’t predictive at all, I think it is a pretty solid measurement of how valuable a reliever was in a season. The “clutch” factor is pretty important when dealing with high leverage relievers.
Maybe if he was a bit more mobile out there that wouldn’t happen? The Jays killed Colon one start this year with the same thing, an array of choppers and dribblers in the first inning that they just couldn’t turn into outs, partially because of the pitcher defense. Pitcher defense is relatively minor, but one source of pitcher ERA outperforming FIP that I haven’t seen discussed much. Groundball pitchers especially need to be able to make some plays and be on tme for first base covers.
Clearly there some FIP crazies out there, but It’s really not about that. My concern is about how some abuse DIPS models as a way of articulating “realism” because it’s been a successful measure, and it has such a clean appearance for recognizing pitching performance.
I think DIPS generally gets things right, but like all stat models, it might not work clearly for all cases. It’s a piece to the puzzle.
It’s probably closer than many are stating, but I tend to agree more with brWAR’s 8.6 WAR (JV) vs. 6.9 WAR (CC) than I do fWAR’s 7.1 vs. 7.0.
Sabathia finished 2nd to Verlander in BOTH fWAR and brWAR.
When you average them, you get:
Verlander: 7.8 WAR
Sabathia: 7.0 WAR
But, if you look at brWAR, and there’s nothing wrong with that (might actually be preferable to fWAR), Verlander was waaaaay ahead of CC. In brWAR, the difference between Verlander and Sabathia is similar to the difference between Sabathia and CJ Wilson.
At some point, we have to stop looking at fWAR as IT. Again, I hate to keep repeating it, but when the inventor of FIP (Tango) suggest to average fWAR and brWAR, and we keep using ONLY fWAR, we have to wonder WTF we’re thinking.
Comment by CircleChange11 — November 16, 2011 @ 2:22 pm
I’m my own best friend.
Comment by Seideberg — November 16, 2011 @ 2:48 pm
How did CC get “owned” by Beckett? Last I checked, pitchers don’t hit in the American League.
Comment by Seideberg — November 16, 2011 @ 2:52 pm
So, using your car analogy, you’d prefer we measure the value of a car by, what? Total miles driven? You’d value those multi-hundred thousand mile beaters over a new Cadillac?
How about color? Yeah, gold cars are best!
Maybe we could get real gritty and measure the thickness of the grime on the undercarraige! Or the weight of the tires! Or the airspeed of an unladen swallow! Wait…
To get back to your real point (I think) what’s the difference between a hard gapper that rolls to the wall and a hard liner right at the CF? I mean, it’s not luck, obviously, so what is it? What influence does the pitcher have on the ball travelling 300 feet on a line to dead center for an out and 300 feet on a line to left center for extra bases?
We’re not talking about 300 foot liners. We’re talking about hard hit balls that get through the IF or liners over their head.
You might as well be asking why we credit pitchers for K’s since it’s the batters that swing and miss or not.
When we start examining Batted Ball velocity, we’ll be better able to measure a pitchers influence on quality of contact. How is it unreasonable to assume that a P that gets lots of K’s and swing and misses is also hard to square up.
Or we could just chalk it up rti all luck, as if the P is just throwing it up there and taking chances on luck.
Comment by CircleChange11 — November 16, 2011 @ 9:48 pm
Sabathia actually edged Verlander in fWAR by 0.1 (though at or near these differences, there is no real difference).
But I agree that we should look at other methods as well, and they, as well as the ‘narrative’ all gave JV the No.1, which I fully agreed with.
Whether CC got 2, 3 4 or 5 doesn’t really matter,as long as he was on the ballot so gets the CYA-‘X’ on his baseball reference page (changing from 3 to 5 places on the vote helps) so the HoF voters can’t use the anti-Bert Blyleven BS arguments (didn’t even get a CY vote in year…) to try ans discredit.
To explain CC’s placing, Weaver was the hot starter to 2011, and was the narrative competition to Verlander for most of the summer for the CY; and Shields had a pretty insane amount of CG.
Glad to see JV finally getting his kudos on this site, it is an exciting time for SP in their prime on HoF paths, hope they can keep it up
That’s kind of my point though. If you have a pitcher who gets a lot of weak contact, he gets more outs. If he doesn’t miss bats a lot, his FIP will be high even though he’s good at weak contact. Good pitchers can’t induce a lot on a batted ball. Glavine would almost always take advantage of aggressive hitters 3-1, throw his change on the outside and get him to roll over and ground out to short or third.
I just feel like you’re taking soooo much out with FIP. If you want to discredit things that could be luck, why not homers, Ks, and BBs too? You have an inconsistent ump, you get bad calls and it’s an “unlucky” walk. You get a hitter who fouls a ball off his foot and can’t swing as fast, you get lucky with a K. You play in a park that’s typically a pitcher’s park but the win is blowing like crazy out and some guy sneaks one just over the wall, that’s luck too.
So really, if you want to get rid of all luck, you should only count swinging Ks, because called Ks can be luck based on the ump. Walks shouldn’t count because they too, can be based on luck, or you should use the pitch FX and only count calls that are legit and discredit any AB with missed calls. Plus you should only count home runs that are sure things, like a home run that would be at least 20 feet out in any park in the majors.
Or we could just admit that while FIP is a useful too, it’s a pretty crappy, lazy stat.
Comment by Antonio Bananas — November 17, 2011 @ 4:59 am
Even swinging Ks can be luck. Like I said with the guy and the foul ball off his foot. Or what if it’s one of those “shadows creeping” innings. They don’t last, so if you luck out and you’re the pitcher who gets the half inning when they’re at their worst, that’s luck too isn’t it?
I realize I’m being a bit ridiculous with the slippery slope, but is that not kinda how we got to FIP in the first place? “any batted ball not a home run is luck”. That’s retarded.
Why not do this, add in flyballs, line drives, and grounders (we already have these stats). Look at the run value of each on average. So like if .08% grounders produce a run, and a guy has a 45% GB, you do .0008(.45) which would basically show the number of runs he should have given up on those grounders. It’s still throwing a lot away, but it’s a hell of a lot better than FIP.
Comment by Antonio Bananas — November 17, 2011 @ 5:03 am
Another thing that’s luck is how long a guy is left in the game. You are at 101 pitches and your manager thinks you have another inning, you give up back to back jacks to start the inning, that blows up your FIP for the game. If he takes you out, you are golden.
So if we’re truly taking luck out, let’s only use the first 5 innings you pitch? Because the rest could be luck based on your manager. Or only use the results of pitches up to 100?
FIP just seems so half-assed to me. What if banks treated loans like that? They only looked at the money you have in your account in determining whether or not you can pay. Credit history? Luck, maybe you have a rich daddy. good job? Luck, might get fired.
It amazes me that such a supposedly foreward thinking and intelligent bunch of people can come up with something as ridiculous as FIP. Well maybe the stat itself isn’t ridiculous, but it’s closer to GB% than to WAR in determining player value, but people treat it like WAR; and that is ridiculous.
Comment by Antonio Bananas — November 17, 2011 @ 5:09 am
Kershaw 27 1st place votes, Halladay 4 1st place votes, I saw it coming.
Comment by RandomSoxFan — November 17, 2011 @ 6:21 pm