Cahill and BABIP

There are a lot of good comments in this afternoon’s post about how we should evaluate pitchers for the Cy Young Award. We’ll get into more detail about the FIP/WAR discussion tomorrow, when I have more time than I do right now to really talk about the issue in some depth.

One comment that keeps arising, however, is about the correlation between Trevor Cahill‘s BABIP and his sinker, specifically his ground ball rate. Several people assert that Cahill is inducing weak, easy to field contact by pounding his sinker at the bottom of the strike zone, and that’s why his BABIP is just .217. There are a few problems with this assertion, though.

We know that BABIP on groundballs is higher than on flyballs, as a ball is more likely to sneak between two infielders than it is to fall in front of an outfielder. In general, groundball pitchers will post higher than average BABIPs, not the other way around, though the effect is generally pretty small.

The other problem… well, we’ll just demonstrate it this way.

Trevor Cahill: 56% GB%, 14.9% LD%, 29.1% FB%, .217 BABIP
Justin Masterson: 62.3% GB%, 14.9% LD%, 22.8% FB%, .344 BABIP

The argument that this particular skillset is the driver of a low batting average on balls in play falls apart when you consider that Masterson, who gets more groundballs and has an identical line drive rate, is posting one of the highest BABIPs in all of baseball. We cannot just see two variables and assume that one is the cause of the other. Cahill has a high groundball rate, and he has a low BABIP, but there’s just no evidence that the former is driving the latter.

The line drive rate is the real factor here. Among the nine starters who have a LD% under 15 percent, the average BABIP is .271, well below the league average. As you probably know, the lion’s share of hits in baseball come on line drives, and so a pitcher who doesn’t surrender that many hard hit balls will also not allow that many hits (though, this does not appear to be a skill, as the year to year correlation of LD% is very low).

Again, though, Cahill’s BABIP stands out as a crazy outlier, even in this no-line-drives group. If you take him out of the sample, the average BABIP for the remaining eight guys is .278, sixty points higher than Cahill’s, even though he’s at the high end of line drive rate for this subset of pitchers. Even if we also throw out Masterson to even things out, the other seven guys have a BABIP of .268, still way higher than Cahill’s mark. And, again, they have lower line drive rates than Cahill does.

Cahill is likely throwing pitches that are harder to hit than an average pitcher. He deserves some credit for that, even if he can’t keep it up. However, on top of that, he’s almost certainly just getting some good fortune, whether it be through assistance from his defense or just lousy hitting from his opponents. We cannot, and should not, give him credit for the .217 BABIP just because it happened. It isn’t all him.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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Brian
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Brian
5 years 11 months ago

serious question…. whatever happened to Hitf/x? Wasn’t that supposed to take care of this? Is that not kicking out data yet?

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fdgtff
5 years 11 months ago

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David Huzzard
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David Huzzard
5 years 11 months ago

Is there any metric that measures soft grounders vs. hard grounders? All ground balls aren’t created equal. I have never seen Cahill or Masterson pitch so maybe someone that lives in an American League city can say if there is a difference between the types of ground balls.

Erik
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5 years 11 months ago

Hit and Field F/x were supposed to provide these answers…but we don’t have access to this information yet.

frank pepe
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frank pepe
5 years 11 months ago

if it’s not all him – no mention of the defense? im a bit rusty but the A’s have better gloves out there than cleveland. that has to account for some of the difference

Nick Steiner
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5 years 11 months ago

Not to mention foul territory.

Dan
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Dan
5 years 11 months ago

A foul ball is not a ball in play so has not effect on BABIP

Mike K
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Mike K
5 years 11 months ago

Actually Dan I think it does. I believe the formula for BABIP is (H – HR)/(PA-SO-BB-HR-HBP). Sac bunts may be included in there somewhere. If a ball is caught for an out in foul territory, it goes in the demoninator, lowering BABIP.

Erik
Guest
5 years 11 months ago

Why would a foul ball that is recorded for an out not be considered as a ‘ball in play?’

That makes no sense.

Jason B
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Jason B
5 years 11 months ago

“Why would a foul ball that is recorded for an out not be considered as a ‘ball in play?’ That makes no sense.”

Are you saying that a foul being recorded as an out is nonsensical? For grounders, yes. For foul-ball pop-outs, no. It can be both a foul and an out.

Vinnie
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5 years 11 months ago

I still think the critique has validity: FIP underrates sinkerballers (to whom I’d also add guys with exceptional cutters who jam lots of hitters).

lester bangs
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lester bangs
5 years 11 months ago

Yes, FIP does underrate sinkerballers. Looking at you, Timmy Hudson.

NWS
Guest
5 years 11 months ago

The main advantage to being a sinkerballer is to avoid HR, which are included in FIP. As Dave mentions in the article, GB become hits more often than fly balls (last year it was .236 and .218, respectively). The real difference is in the HR, as 9% of FB go over the compared to 0% of GB obviously.

Double plays make a difference, but so do ROE, which happen 9x more often on GB than flyballs.

Vinnie
Guest
5 years 11 months ago

I guess what I would like to know–and I’ve never seen this answered–is whether sinkerballers get lower BABIPs on groundballs than non-sinkerballers get on their groundballs. A sinkerballer should–and based on my imperfect observation, they do–induce more weak groundballs. There’s a huge difference between topped ball–the kind you see induced by the sinker–and the squarely-hit topspin-heavy grounders you tend to see off fastballs and changeups.

Vinnie
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5 years 11 months ago

(Aside: Does anyone else get annoyed that WordPress makes hyphens and dashes the same length when published? My comment is almost unreadable because of this idiocy.)

Danmay
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Danmay
5 years 11 months ago

Vinnie – Use “-” for hyphens and “–” for dashes.

Danmay
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Danmay
5 years 11 months ago

… I think I meant “-” and “–“

Danmay
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Danmay
5 years 11 months ago

…I guess now I know why Vinnie is annoyed.

lester bangs
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lester bangs
5 years 11 months ago

A *huge* probably with Masterson is getting left-handed hitters out.

lester bangs
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lester bangs
5 years 11 months ago

Err, problem.

I huge problem with me is proofreading when I try to post from my phone. E – Bangs.

skippyballer486
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skippyballer486
5 years 10 months ago

Did you mean to have a typo at the start of that sentence? If so, well played sir.

Sam
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Sam
5 years 11 months ago

Cahill is likely throwing pitches that are harder to hit than an average pitcher. He deserves some credit for that, even if he can’t keep it up. However, on top of that, he’s almost certainly just getting some good fortune, whether it be through assistance from his defense or just lousy hitting from his opponents. We cannot, and should not, give him credit for the .217 BABIP just because it happened. It isn’t all him.

Value contributed by his fielders and “good fortune” are not the same thing. Cahill could be getting extremely lucky by inducing BIP that are hit directly at fielders, just as a batter could get lucky by finding holes with his BIP. There is absolutely no reason to credit the batter with his lucky hits, but not to credit Cahill for his lucky hit prevention.

The problem, of course, is that we can’t separate out Cahill’s contribution from that of his fielders. We could look at average UZR/BIP the A’s defenders have contributed this year, and then apply it to Cahill’s BIP. If we had the data (and it seems like Fangraphs should), we should be able to look at the actual UZR that’s supported him (and separate out his PZR).

Luck and defense are not the same thing.

intricatenick
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intricatenick
5 years 11 months ago

Luck and defense used to be the same thing. They might not be the same thing now. Luck is just another word for something the human race hasn’t figured out how to predict yet.

A portion of what we call luck now will be called a skill in 100 years. Just because we will be able to measure it with a certain amount of reproducibility.

CircleChange11
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CircleChange11
5 years 11 months ago

Cahill could be getting extremely lucky by inducing BIP that are hit directly at fielders,

Do people seriously believe this? That type of luck can happen in a game or maybe even back-2-back games/starts …. but to have that kind of luck for a season?

Think about that.

We’re basically saying that somehow, someway, ML batters are just hitting the balls right at the defenders at a much higher rate … but just when Cahill is pitching.

I consider us, as a group, to be a group of pretty smart guys (maybe even pretty & smart guys), and that is the rational conclusion? I would think the obvious conclusion would be “Cahill is doing something”. But, we know that a pitcher is not 100% responsible for BABIP, but we also know he’s not 0% responsible (or should know).

But, the idea that guys can put up those numbers for an entire season just because batters aren’t “hitting where they ain’t” is incomprehensible to me. Hugh Hefner isn’t that lucky.

The Duder
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The Duder
5 years 11 months ago

The idea is that it’s somewhere between the two. Clearly it’s not all luck or all skill. And this is the point Dave was trying to make.

wobatus
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wobatus
5 years 11 months ago

Maybe it’s partly Jason Donald versus Cliff Pennington.

Kevin S.
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Kevin S.
5 years 11 months ago

Actually, it’s not all that preposterous. Cahill has had 454 balls in play this season, 97 of which have fallen for hits. If his BABIP against was .270 (where the low-LD% people sit), that would mean he’d have given up 122 hits on balls in play. Is it really that absurd to think that for a single pitcher (out of hundreds of starting pitchers) might have had an extra ball per game hit to where his fielders could reach it? I’m not saying that’s necessarily the case, but your dismissal of that as a possibility is unwarranted.

CircleChange11
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CircleChange11
5 years 11 months ago

I’m not saying that’s necessarily the case, but your dismissal of that as a possibility is unwarranted.

Kevin, it’s possible. But, I am looking at it happening to same pitcher game after game for an entire season, and thinking the odds are long against that.

Maybe I’m bitter because I never experienced that type of luck over a full season. I seemed to lead the league in giving up the “You’ve gotta be f—— kidding me hits”, spinkled around a whole lotta walks and Ks. *grin*

I just figured that luck would balance out more than skill, or at least be more distributed among teammates.

It could also be possible that with a GB pitcher on the mound, the defense is mor aware, alert, and focused on their positioning and anticipation. Even at the ML level, players minds can wonder and go through the motion. So, I do see where a GB pitcher could have his players “on their toes” more often, and that could affect BABIP as well.

I just find it weird that good luck would find the same guy over and over for entire season.

operationshutdown
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operationshutdown
5 years 11 months ago

My contention wasn’t that babip is a skill for every pitcher, only that some pitchers have that skill. Therefore you wouldn’t expect to see a high correlation among most pitchers. I also wasn’t making a claim in defense of flyball or groundball pitchers. My theory is that late movement causes less consistent contact on average and therefore lower babip. A good knuckleballer would be an extreme example of this phenomenon.

Kevin S.
Member
Kevin S.
5 years 11 months ago

Circlechange, think of it this way – the odds of hitting the Mega Millions jackpot is something like 176,000,000 to 1, yet we see somebody hit it every five to ten drawings or so. Likewise, while the chance of any given pitcher getting that one extra ball is very, very low, the chance that one out of hundreds might get it is much more reasonable. And really, this isn’t a terribly large sample we’re talking about, anyway. IIRC, when Pizza Cutter put up his post on split-half reliabilities, BABIP didn’t stabilize within a single season for pitchers.

CircleChange11
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CircleChange11
5 years 10 months ago

Okay, but Cahill’s seasonlong low BABIP would be like him hitting the megamillions multiple times in the same year.

I already said getting lucky could happen on a given game. See; Browning, Tom — No-Hitter.

But, the same guy getting 3-4 lucky breaks every game for a season is just too much to take as a possibility. I don’t care if you save baby puppies for a living or have two peckers, no one is that lucky for that long.

Again, I’m not saying there isn;t some luck involved. I am saying it isn’t 100% luck. Cahill’s doing something differently. That we don’;t know what it is, says more about us and our metrics, than it does him or his performance.

lester bangs
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lester bangs
5 years 11 months ago

And just because Masterson is having a poor surface-stat season with some similarities to Cahill does NOT mean Cahill’s season can’t be mostly legit.

Okay, time to interview The Guess Who.

Erik
Guest
5 years 11 months ago

You’re right – but it does give us a pretty good indication that it probably isn’t legit.

I don’t think Dave is saying that Cahill hasn’t been great this season – because he clearly is. He is just making the point that his season is probably not sustainable…which I agree with.

Dr Katz
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Dr Katz
5 years 11 months ago

Guess Who? I guess Franz. (I caught his reflection in the TV set.)

Dan
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Dan
5 years 11 months ago

Simply making statements about GB and FB pitchers and BABIP is likely going to yield some to some contradictory conclusions–i.e. Masterson vs. Cahill. I would hypothesize that it is more difficult to make hard contact off Cahill than it is Masterson, irrespective of their GB%’s. Or, possibly that batters are more likely to deflect the ball downward at a greater angle off Cahill than Masterson, which would do more to slow the ball as it bounces toward the outfield.

Currently, I am not aware of any data sets that would allow me to compare the amount of hard contact–I would have to go to video and scout each pitcher over a large sample of their starts. In an ideal world, you would have data for the velocity of the ball off the bat, the angle of the ball relative to horizontal off the bat, the angle of ball direction relative to the pitcher, and combine it with the handedness of the hitter.

If this data was available, I suspect that it would become quite obvious that all GB, FB and LD are not created equal. Also, it would give you a better picture of which pitchers were simply getting lucky based on hard hit balls right at fielders and which onces received the benefit of spectacular defense.

My point is this: Cahill may be doing something that results in batters striking the ball in a way that is more likely to result in outs. Current data may not give me enough information to determine whether the result is skill or luck. So I am hesitant to draw the conclusion that Cahill’s BABIP is just luck, when it is so far away from my expected value.

JMHawkins
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JMHawkins
5 years 11 months ago

I think it’s quite obvious right now that not all GB, LD and FBs are created equal. But it’s not as obvious that pitchers have enough control over what quality of GB, LD or FB a batter hits off of them to make a difference. On the one hand, it seems intuitive that a pitcher would have influence on that. On the other hand, pitchers don’t seem able to sustain unusual BABIP or HR/FB rates year over year. Those stats regress to the mean, indicating they are more luck than skill.

Pitch/hit/field/fx datasets could provide insights, but just looking at something on a more granular scale doesn’t automatically invalidate macro-scale observations. Whatever Uber/Fx ends up showing us, the odds are Cahil’s BABIP next year will be closer to .300 than to .217.

NotDave
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NotDave
5 years 11 months ago

“But it’s not as obvious that pitchers have enough control over what quality of GB, LD or FB a batter hits off of them to make a difference. On the one hand, it seems intuitive that a pitcher would have influence on that. On the other hand, pitchers don’t seem able to sustain unusual BABIP or HR/FB rates year over year. Those stats regress to the mean, indicating they are more luck than skill. ”

Luck is one possible reason.

Another possible reason would be: pitchers aren’t able to sustain the quality of pitches that induce poorly struck GBs, LDs, or FBs. Just because they can’t continue to get hitters to make poor contact from one season to the next, doesn’t necessarily mean it was luck during the season they were able to do so. Perhaps they were able to pretty consistently paint the low outside corner on 2-1 counts one year, and for whatever reason, that pitch tended to drift up and over the plate a bit more the second season.

“Luck” exists. Making it the fallback position whenever the data doesn’t fit the model seems a little lazy to me.

CircleChange11
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CircleChange11
5 years 11 months ago

Those stats regress to the mean, indicating they are more luck than skill.

What stats DON’T regress to the mean? Be careful with your conclusion regarding regression. You might find “everything” in baseball is more luck than skill.

I kinda like that. Now, I can walk around telling everyone the reason why I’m not a major leaguer is that I just had the “bad luck for too long”. *grin*

I think what we see is the baseball version of “the zone”, where guys are doing things optimally for a period of time. It’s not sustainable unless you’re mega-talented, and even the mega-talents have up and down periods. We’re talking about elite athletes with tremendous skill. I’m not sure “luck” should be strongly considered for periods of 2 weeks or more. That doesn’t mean it’s sustainable or even that it’s completely under the player’s control … only that players cannot perform at the highest peak all season or all career.

Most players are basically consistent, you know you’re going to get year after year, and they following expected/average trends in career. But, when a guy does something at a very high level for a period of time (and not just once or twice), it’s probably more than luck.

When I drive a golf ball straight, that’s luck.

I do agree with regression. But, stats regress to the player’s “average talent/level”.

Erik
Guest
5 years 11 months ago

To compare the two defenses (Oakland vs. Cleveland) based on Defensive Efficiency, their figures stand at:

Oakland: .715 (best in MLB)
Cleveland: .685 (21st in MLB)

So, clearly, there is a pretty big disparity between the two defenses.

Jared
Member
Jared
5 years 11 months ago

Trevor Cahill = Jake Westbrook + a whole lotta luck.

Both strike out roughly 15% of guys they face, walk just under 8%. But more importantly, both pitchers will induce about 65 ground balls for every 35 fly balls (counting HRs as fly balls). The only difference is, about ~17% of Westbrook’s guys are getting line drives vs. Cahill’s ~14%.

But there’s more to Cahill’s great results than his low BABIP. He’s also got a low HR/FB ratio that’s keeping his earned runs down.

Joel Pineiro, too. In fact, he walks way fewer batters than Cahill and gets more GBs for every FB (again, factoring homers in), except more of his FBs go out of the park and he’s not enjoying quite as low a LD rate.

I actually can’t believe people still don’t get it. If you think a pitcher is magically keeping runs down or inducing a low BABIP, check his LD rate and his HR/FB first. If they’re both suspiciously low, well, you figure it out…

intricatenick
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intricatenick
5 years 11 months ago

Trevor Cahill (2010) ~ Joel Pineiro (2009)

Jo-EL struck out less, but walked less (Christy Mathewson less).

CircleChange11
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CircleChange11
5 years 11 months ago

The low HR/FB ratio is THE big one for me. Both Jimenez and Johnson were experiencing that extreme low number, as was Liriano, for a long time. That number goes up.

When it doesn’t, you get Chris carpenter’s 2009, where he gave up 7 dingers for the season (this year he gave up 9 over the first 3 months).

We don’t pay attention enough to the HR/FB rate. That’s why I don;t buy into the notion that FIP removes luck and defense, or is completely under the pitcher’s direct control.

wobatus
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wobatus
5 years 11 months ago

How many flyballs has he given up? Not too many. Smaller sample means you’d get more variance, outliers, whatever. Since the data has been collected, the 5 highest hr/fb rates over a full season were by guys that gave up 50% or more gb that year. Lowe, maddux, Webb twice and Odalis perez. They’ll tend to have highs and lows because the sample sizes are small. But I still think Brandon League is hr/fb prone.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
5 years 11 months ago

I just looked up and avreaged the data for the “top 10 GB%” and top 10 FB%” guys to see where the numbers fall (even though it’s SSS and quick and dirty). I was right about some things and wrong about others ….

Avr of top GB% pitchers
———————-
GB% (56.8), HR (12.8), BB (58), K (110), BABIP (.288), ERA (3.64),
FIP (3.91), E-F (-0.27)

I was right that they walked more batters, but wrong that they would give up about the same # of HRs. They give up significantly less HRs, and that will be accounted for in FIP. I was right that they also K fewer batters (getting GB instead), and that’s where I thought FIP would punish them … but it’s probably balanced out with the HR aspect.

Avr of top 10 FB% pitchers
————————-
FB% (47.4), HRA (19), BB (47), K (123), BABIP (.283), ERA (3.70),
FIP (4.10), E-F (-0.40)

The difference in BABIP wasn’t as large as I thought it might be (although Cahill’s .217 probably makes it closer than normal). More K’s, less walks, more HRA’s.

In terms of FIP being “fair” to groundballers, it probably is, perhaps even leaning toward them due to HRA aspect. I change my opinion on that.

CaR
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CaR
5 years 11 months ago

Pitching can be quite a bit more complex to understand then simply to look at %’s of events league wide and applying them to individuals. Its interesting to see the comp made between BABIP’s of two similar pitchers. Velocity of balls in play would seem to be a good direction to go and perhaps the secondary offerings differ between the two, bailing hitters out (in masterson’s case).

randallball
Guest
5 years 11 months ago

You can look at every stat in the world that tracks LD rate, HR/FB%, BABIP, FIP, ERA, WHIP, fielders UZR etc., etc., etc., etc., but no matter what, you cannot quantify the effect of the nonquantifiable human elements on the outcomes of pitching (or hitting and fielding). If anyone here has played the game at a high level, you know what confidence, success or a lack of either can do for your game. And it can last – as what most would call good or bad “luck” – for a week, a month, a season, or more.

Try not to forget that when you are trying to figure out the “why” in all of these things.

Dan
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Dan
5 years 11 months ago

It’s a valuable point for perspective. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to quantify as much as possible.

randallball
Guest
5 years 11 months ago

I agree the discussion is great, and all the stats we have now are great, but there most likely will never be a stat that figures it all out beyond needing the discussion.

CircleChange11
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CircleChange11
5 years 11 months ago

Are we trying to quantify the “hard stuff”? I don’t think we are. I think we ignore it under the grounds of “luck” or “not under direct control” (as if anything is).

Confidence is a poor example, IMO, because then we get into the whole thing of “What comes first? Confidence or great results?” … and the answer to that seemingly nullifies the cause-effect relationship posited in the first place.

But, for me, there has to be more data or better ways of interpreting data. If we can get information that gives us, pitch location, velocity, sequence, fielder position, batted ball velocity, result of play, etc. Then, at some point, we will likely be able to look at the data, compare it to large amounts of data, and perhaps get a general expectation of which events should be expected to result in a hit, and which results should be expected as an out … then compare what a player is doing.

I would love to see “spray charts” for pitchers, displaying dots on a generic baseball field for all the hits they’ve given up. Place outlines (circles) around where the average fielder’s range would be, and then look at the dots outside of the circles. They might even need to be looked up one by one, and look for things like pitch location, batted ball velocity, etc. We could actually watch the play before just chalking it up to luck or defense.

Our problem is that we just have “total stats”, and what we need are specific stats”.

IMO, we shouldn’t make generic conclusions based on total stats (we do because it’s the easiest way). For example, if you tell me that XYZ has 45 hits that he shouldn’t have based on his career norms, and has therefore gotten lucky on those 45 hits. My first thought and response is “Okay, let’s go watch clips of those 45 hits and see what they look like.” We might find bleeders, quails, ducksnorts, … or … we might find great adjustments going with the pitch, hitting away from the defensive shading, pitcher mistakes, batter aggressiveness, etc.

Right now we “don’t know” because we don’t do that, nor do we have the specific data to analyze. The information we don’t have or know, we call “luck”.

operationshutdown
Guest
operationshutdown
5 years 11 months ago

I wonder how the author would explain the phenomenon of pitchers who consistently have a low babip, year after year (Ted Lilly, Johan Santana). Clearly something is going on that allows some pitchers to do consistently better on balls in play than others. You can’t explain it by defense unless other pitchers on the same team are in the same situation.

Daniel Andrews
Guest
Daniel Andrews
5 years 11 months ago

Lily is an extreme flyball pitcher, hence why he has a low BABIP, which is why he flirts with a no hitter or two per year, but also has about 6 to 7 games a year in which he gives up 3 or 4 HRs and 7 or 8 runs in the first couple of innings. Flyball pitchers are good when their stuff is nasty, but they are down right awful when they hang curveballs and sliders. Most of the best pitchers in Baseball have a GB% above 45%, there are exceptions, like Cliff Lee. If I were a GM I would value groundball pitchers over flyball pitchers because GB pitchers should produce more double plays and with fairly high K rates should get out jams easier. Still the most important element in pitching is command of pitches.

I would say the difference between Westbrook and Cahill is better command of pitches. Let’s not talk like Westbrook is the most unlucky pitcher in baseball the Indians defense has been atrocious most of the season, but if he doesn’t improve in St. Louis it will most likely be because he gets behind in counts and has to groove fastballs or he misses on his offspeed/breaking ball pitches more often. Unlucky, is most likely Liriano when considering GB pitchers and BABIP.

DanaT
Guest
DanaT
5 years 10 months ago

Cahill needed 330 fewer pitches to record exactly one less out (in 3 fewer starts) than Masterson. Hence, he is “working quickly”, getting ahead in the count, and that is easier on his fielders. Mystery solved.

Erik
Guest
5 years 11 months ago

Higher FB% will typically mean lower BABIP – given that fly balls are often turned into outs.

operationshutdown
Guest
operationshutdown
5 years 11 months ago

I wasn’t arguing why it was the case, but simply that certain styles could result in lower BABIP on average. Take the extreme case. When was the last time Tim Wakefield had a +.300 babip? Knuckleballers rely on hitters putting the ball in play weakly. It stands to reason that other pitchers with good late movement might also consistently have a low babip.

Erik
Guest
5 years 11 months ago

Again, Wakefield would be classified as a ‘fly ball’ pitcher. The type of batted ball has a huge impact on a pitcher’s BABIP.

Spartacus
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Spartacus
5 years 11 months ago

Maybe he is just a damn good pitcher….

Not David
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Not David
5 years 11 months ago

Then he must be the damnedest good pitcher in the history of the game.

CircleChange11
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CircleChange11
5 years 11 months ago

Classic.

Alexander
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Alexander
5 years 11 months ago
grover
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grover
5 years 11 months ago

Since I won’t be around for tomorrow’s discussion I’d like to throw this out there now…

Should the Cy Young be awarded for what actually happened or for what could have happened according to FIP, xFIP or tRA? I think these are valuable metrics to use to help figure out a player’s true skill level but actual performance matters as well, especially if we’re talking about an award that does nothing except make the winner earn more money when he hits FA or arbitration. If you have a pitcher go out and give up 12 hits and 3 walks with no K’s over 9 innings … but doesn’t give up any runs… then he’s pitched a shut-out and it’s likely his team won the game. And if this mythical pitcher goes out and puts up that same line 35 times in a season then chances are we’re talking about the major’s first 30 game winner in I don’t know how many decades and people will be tripping all over themselves trying to write something new about this unprecedented, historical performance.

‘Course his xFIP score would probably be found near the bottom of the list.

JMHawkins
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JMHawkins
5 years 11 months ago

My opinion is that Cy Young’s should be given out based on what actually happened (I’m even okay using W-L as part of the criteria, though not to the extent it historically has been). We’re looking backwards and rewarding what the player did in fact accomplish without worrying about how he accomplished it.

Free Agent contracts on the other hand ought to be given out based on xFIP. That’s looking forward where what happened in the past is only relevant to the extent we think it will happend again in the future. Knowing how a guy accomplished something becomes more important.

Brett
Guest
5 years 11 months ago

But what you’re saying is still not quite right. The skills-based results – K rate, BB rate, xFIP, etc. ARE what happened too. In particular, they are what happened that the guy actually had the most control over. Those skills stats results are definitely accomplishments.

It sounds like you’re dismissing them as not being accomplishments and only considering the less skill-based, more luck-based stats like W/L, ERA as accomplishments. I don’t think that really makes sense.

Dan
Guest
Dan
5 years 11 months ago

This is something that has been on my mind too. Does it matter what should have happened had all things been equal or if the season was replayed? Or should a pitcher be given credit for results, even if there was some luck involved?

Erik
Guest
5 years 11 months ago

It should be a combination of both…which is what Dave’s initial post was about.

highrent
Guest
highrent
5 years 11 months ago

Its pretty weird that conversations like this are still happening and pretty much its demonstrating the outcry of support for Cahill a promising young pitcher. The same argument occurs for old pitchers suddenly credited with finding their game only to regress again because their lucky babip or great defense went away.

Cahill is a function of lucky babip as well as homerun rates and Oakland’s excellent defense. A lot of the sentiment is fueled by the fact that he’s a top prospect who people want to succeed. Look at his WAR he will definitely be an above average AL pitcher this year and have plenty of value but not an Ace like his ERA would suggest. His success in the minors was mainly due to the fact that while his stuff moves around and he has good command he could miss the bats of Minor league players. he has not been able to do that in the majors ie strike people out or induce swinging strikes.
He’s a totally different pitcher in the majors, a low K rate, high GB rate guy. Valuable sure but will have to make improvements to be the second coming of cliff lee.

Its shocking that there is so much discussion because htis stuff comes up every year and yes I am looking to the HIT/FX give a confirmation but its clear that the reason people are rooting for Cahill is they want to believe he can magically alter BABIPs and its not simply the As defense and Luck. Because darn it Cahill is a good young player and his ERA can’t be a mirage. Despite lots of indicators including his swing and miss data to indicate that people are making a ton of contact on him. Those who think its impossible to stay lucky need to be reminded that such things can regress ina hurry and that many people had entire years with favorable circumstances that aren’t reproduceable such as mauer’s sudden one year increase in HR/FB rate.

The other thing as mentioned is if the crowd is right and Cahill has some kind of magic how is really different that the huge amount of GB pitchers around him. Don’t they in general induce loads of weak GB, why don’t they replicate this performance. Even with good infielders more groundballs often can mean more hits even with moderate GB rate. It would be extremely obvious as well because if Cahill really was producing nothing but weak grounder you would see shifts in the defense and see balls barely get near the outfield. The difference would be stark.

We can discuss semantics all we want but people must remember FIP and XFIP is meant to show the pitcher’s contributions in a vacuum and indicate their repeatable value given the evidence. Even with excellent defense again next year Cahill’s low BABIp is not likely repeatable. We are talking about a babip below .220 not simply .270. He going to regress may be not to league average but its definitely going to change. And when it does its going to have a huge impact on his ERA more than likely.

Daniel Andrews
Guest
Daniel Andrews
5 years 11 months ago

Cliff Lee by last check is a Fly Ball pitcher who is currently getting shelled at an alarming rate. The better comparison to what he could become is Roy Halladay or Liriano, but he’s not, because he doesn’t have the K rate. If his K rate sat around 7 per 9IP this would be a different story.

xFIP gives a tremendous advantage to FB pitchers while FIP seems to favor GB Pitchers. Neither stat is worthy of being a way to choose Cy Young, WAR is a perfectly acceptable criteria over FIP and xFIP, but credence must been given to actual performances as well.

operationshutdown
Guest
operationshutdown
5 years 11 months ago

Babip is easily the worst ‘new’ metric. The assumption behind it is that all balls in play are created equal and that the only way to get a better value in this ratio is through luck (i.e. the author’s contention that a pitcher can’t consistently have a low line drive rate). Clearly there are some pitchers that consistently have a low or high babip. Just because there isn’t a high correlation year over year, doesn’t mean that some pitchers can’t influence their average babip with the type of pitches they throw.

intricatenick
Member
intricatenick
5 years 11 months ago

If some pitchers can, then their individual babip should be correlated year to year. And, (in addition to that!), you should find more pitchers (greater than whatever alpha you choose – but normally = 0.05) that exhibit year-to-year consistency. You can’t just pick a couple and call it a day and say that BABIP is pitcher skill.

If that were the case I could roll a die, get a six two times in five and try to prove to all of you that I am a badass six roller. You won’t believe me. Why should I believe you – with your Santana’s and your Lily’s?

What you do is say that X% of pitchers follow the normal binomial. Since the set of pitchers is not going to follow that construct there may be a larger set of pitchers that are outside of the theoretical construct. But to argue that the construct is not the best model requires a different construct. And I haven’t seen a better one.

highrent
Guest
highrent
5 years 11 months ago

Show me a pitcher witha consistently low BABIP on the scale of Cahill and I will believe you. I’m not talking about super relievers with career .278 babips I am talking about .250 BABIP consistently for starters. You to my knowledge won’t find it for those who played a full season someone mentioned almost very few if anyone has finished with a full season of .250 BABIP since the 1970s and none have done it consistently.

People are harping too much on some of Voros original statements. BABIP doesn’t assume every batted ball is equal, it generally shows that the influence of the pitcher that the batted ball is a hit or not is based largely on defense the hitter and luck.

Look at it this way while hitter’s can get lucky babips hitters often due have some repeatability in their babip with their career average. Some pitchers do too but most are of the guys who have high flyballs rates. This is because hitters have a greater amount of control. Which makes sense while pitchers often can make a ball hard ot hit or induce groundballs looking at hitter tendencies a hitter largely influences where the ball goes and of course has influence on how hard it is hit. (hitters can’t at will do this but their tendencies show that they have an influence on whether it goes to left or right). The defense does the rest along with luck in finding holes.

Those who assume Cahill has some kind of magic ignore that there is no evidence that his sinker pounding the zone is any different from everyone else. Unlike exceptions like Rivera or knuckleballers. Those guys have unusual tendencies that are observable. no one has pointed naything like that about Cahill. Being a good sinker baller is nothing at all unusual. Again people need to think what they are saying they are implying that Cahill is basically unhittable with his sinker/cutter or what have you and that he produces an incredible amount of weak groundballs. Such a phenemona is observable and would be noticed by his fielders and the hitters. Adjustments would be made. Constant weak grounders would make it more difficult for double plays unless people are implying cahill can now adjust the speed of ablls hit to his fielders to his liking.

ML hitters are good while they can’t do anything about pounding the ball intot he ground they do make adjustments on not cleanly hitting the top of it all the time and preparing for the sinker. Which is why while GB pitching is a viable strategy its not infallible even if you have the talent.

People need to accept that such occurrences are noticeable and not a single advocate of this voodoo can point to a reason for this unusual case anymore than they can point to other people with phenomenal one season aberrations such as Mauer homerun rate last year(which has reverted for the most part). All we have been hearing is maybe he is just good and is a special case that hasn’t been seen since the 1970s. WHich is far less convincing and likely than the fact that he is getting luck and will regress like the vast majority of even the best major league pitchers. Thats it in a nutshell.

CaR
Guest
CaR
5 years 11 months ago

Pitchers have far more control over direction and velocity of balls in play than the stat community gives support to.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
5 years 11 months ago

Show me a pitcher witha consistently low BABIP on the scale of Cahill and I will believe you.

No one is saying that anyone needs to have a career BABIP that low (not likely, darn near impossible) … just that when a pitcher does have a low BABIP he’s doing something to influence it. Currently, we give 0% credit to the pitcher and 100% credit to the D and luck.

I prefer a 50/50 credit (until we know more) or a 33/33/33 split (D/luck/pitcher influence). 100% or 0% are rarely good extremes to use. Plus, it’s lazy.

Someone brought up Chris Carpenter the other day ….

BABIP as a Cardinal (Defense)
—————————-
2004 — .286 — (Rolen, Renteria, Womack, Pujols)
2005 — .284 — (Nunez, Eckstein, Grudz, Pujols)
2006 — .282 — (Rolen, Eckstein, Miles, Pujols)
2007 — INJ
2008 — .306 — (Glaus, Izturis, Kennedy, Pujols)
2009 — .272 — ((DeRosa, Ryan, Schumacker, Pujols)
2010 — .280 — (Freese, Ryan, Schumaker, Pujols)

A good pitcher with a consistently lower than average BABIP (especially compared to his .310+ days as aBlue Jay) despite having a variety of defenders ranging from elite to very poor.

He must be doing “something” to influence it, although I could not stat to what % … but I wouldn’t just give him 0% credit.

As a comparison, Adam Wainwright’s BABIP alternates between below and above average each year with the same defense. But, even if we consider “luck” and say that a BIP every game goes for hit that could have been an out, that’s 34 “unlucky hits” over 34 starts. In a season of 600 ABs (850 PA, 175 K, 75 BB) that would swing BABIP between 10-12%.

The odds that the same guy gets an unlucky hit every game are long against. The odds that a guy gives up enough unlucky hits to account for 30-40 % points in BABIP are also very long, unless I am not doing the math right (possible).

I’d like someone to take a reasonable, theoretical, look at a BABIP situation and show just how many unlucky/lucky hits or great plays a pitcher would need to experience over 30 starts, to account for a 50 point difference in BABIP, and then see if it matches what we observe while watching games.

Crash Davis (explains) that one lucky hit per week over the course of a season is the difference betwen .250 and .300, and he’s right. But whatare the odds of that occuring to the same guy, week after week, all season long without it being due to something he influences (going oppo, great speed, etc)?

Sumit
Guest
Sumit
5 years 11 months ago

If its so low and unsustainable, they why has he been able to do it for such a long time. I dont care if a pitcher gets 27 flyball out that would be homeruns or if a pitcher gets 27 strikeouts or if a pitcher gets 27 grounders right to the 1st baseman.

Cahill gets batters to hit into CRAPLOADS of double plays. Next year (assuming batters dont figure him out) he might get more strikeouts. BABIP might be higher for a pitcher with more strikeouts because less BIP are there and there are a similar numbers of BIP.

Will his BABIP go higher (toward .300)? Probably. Has he been a VERY successful pitcher this year? Yes.

Name 3 better pitchers than him and then I will say that he doesn’t deserve to be a contender for the Cy Young.

Daniel Andrews
Guest
Daniel Andrews
5 years 11 months ago

For AL Cy Young?

Liriano
Danks
Price
Sabathia
Weaver

that’s leaving out Lee, Buchholz, and Pavano

Erik
Guest
5 years 11 months ago

Name 3 better pitchers than Cahill so far in 2010?

Hernandez
Lee
Liriano

You can also add in Price, Sabathia, Danks, Buchholz, Lester, etc.

cutchisaboss
Member
cutchisaboss
5 years 11 months ago

Are you serious? Sabathia, Lester, Buchholz, Price, Hernandez, Lee, and Weaver, to name a few.

Ben
Guest
Ben
5 years 11 months ago

Is there any analysis on when BABIP becomes relevant as a predictor stat? I think I’ve read that BABIP for hitters becomes predictive and relevant around 500-600 AB’s but I don’t think I’ve seen anything similar for IP.

And Liriano, Price, Weaver.

Mike Fast
Guest
Mike Fast
5 years 11 months ago

For pitchers, r=.50 for BABIP after about 3700 balls in play. That’s about 6 or 7 seasons for a starting pitcher.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
5 years 11 months ago

The line drive rate is the real factor here. Among the nine starters who have a LD% under 15 percent, the average BABIP is .271

Don’t GB%, LD%, and FB% experience an inverse relationship? When one increases, the other two decrease (or one decreases, one stays the same)? It would seem very odd to me, for both GB and FB% to increase, as line drives decrease. So, when GB% go up, both LD% and FB% go down, or FB% goes down and LD% stays the same.

Aren’t what people saying about ‘groundballers’ is that “they are getting more grounders, as oppossed to liners” (they aren’t giving up hard contact; hard contact = liners). The trick, then is to show how the pitcher is causing it. I don’t think we can yet. Just as I don;t think we can show that he isn’t causing it. But, what they are saying is that BABIP is lower because grounders have a lower BABIP than liners.

A portion of what we call luck now will be called a skill in 100 years. Just because we will be able to measure it with a certain amount of reproducibility.

I agree, so let’s split the difference and give the pitcher SOME credit for the difference in BABIP, instead of just throwing it out. Scientists, including religious scientists, made the most advances when “God” stopped being a default answer for the unknown. By not relying on the default escape, they had to search for new information … and found it.

The same thing needs to happen with baseball and luck. “We don’t know” is a better answer than “it must be luck”. No, it’s probably a lack of more information, or a lack of an approach that can identify such a thing, etc. What is it they say, “Lack of evidence is not evidence against.” Replace evidence with information (or data) and apply to what we do in baseball.

The main advantage to being a sinkerballer is to avoid HR, which are included in FIP.

I don’t think this really works out as implied. Groundballers are generally good control guys (low walks), and since they don’t give up HRs (y’know since they’re groundballers), then their FIPs should be outstanding! Their FIP suffers because they get grounders instead of K’s, and we’re not rewarding them for that. We’re saying that they are lucky, as if every grounder was hit right at a fielder or defenses are diving all over the place, rather than saying “he must be doing something that is causing hitters to not hit him as well as they have.” We do it because well, humans are like water, and take the path of least resistance.

Okay, I’m done.

DanaT
Guest
DanaT
5 years 10 months ago

Cahill needed 330 fewer pitches to record exactly one less out (in 3 fewer starts) than Masterson. Hence, he is “working quickly”, getting ahead in the count, and that is easier on his fielders. Mystery solved.

Ryan
Guest
Ryan
5 years 11 months ago

The Cy Young in the NL is pretty much a slam at this point with Halladay. The AL is a bit more tricky. Felix probably should win it, but won’t, thanks to the voters paying attention to his 10-10 record.

Ryan
Guest
Ryan
5 years 11 months ago

Liriano has a fluky 2.9% HR/FB rate. The real question is whether or not to use FIP or xFIP in determining the Cy Young award. It has been proven that certain HR/FB rates are solely lucky, such as a ridiculous 2.9% clip. Why should we fault some pitchers for being lucky on BABIP like Cahill, but not others who are lucky on HR/FB like Liriano?

cutchisaboss
Member
cutchisaboss
5 years 11 months ago

This is a good point, but I think the HR/FB rate has the exact same flaws as BABIP. How do we know how many of the grounders that Cahill has induced have been hit hard or soft? His sinker could simply be inducing weakly hit balls that have no chance of finding a way through the holes. Same thing for Liriano: You need get all of a pitch to hit it out of the park, and we cannot just assume that the amount of home runs he has surrendered is all luck.

I understand that both of these guys have had some luck for these numbers to be this low, but you see my point.

Daniel Andrews
Guest
Daniel Andrews
5 years 11 months ago

Considering Liriano is a full 130+ points higher on BABIP, I wouldn’t call him lucky despite his extremely low HR/FB rate. In fact his BABIP would likely not change because of HR/FB rate. Since there is very little correlation between HR/FB and actual pitching performance. I cannot see your argument, because as a GB pitcher he’s not going to give up many HR’s to begin with and it will take fewer to correct his HR/FB rate than say Cliff Lee is currently undergoing at the moment.

There is a strong correlation between BABIP to WHIP and WHIP has a strong correlation to ERA when fused with K-BB/IP for obvious reasons.

Ryan
Guest
Ryan
5 years 11 months ago

Daniel, I can’t see your argument at all. You are essentially stating that Liriano’s HR/FB shouldn’t be used against him in the way Cahill’s BABIP is. There is very little correlation between HR/FB and pitching performance, yes. That’s exactly why Liriano and his completely and utterly unsustainable 2.9% HR/FB should be faulted in the same way that Cahill’s BABIP is.You then said that “as a GB pitcher he’s not going to give up many HR’s to begin with.” Well, no, but that doesn’t have anything to do with his HR/FB ratio. He can be the best groundball pitcher in the world and his HR/FB should be around 9-10%, with no exceptions.

Sam
Guest
Sam
5 years 11 months ago

The real question is why we should use either FIP or xFIP for CYA analysis.

Yes, Cahill’s likely to have a higher BABIP going forward. Yes, Liriano’s likely to have a higher HR/FB going forward. Bautista is likely to have a lower HR/AB going forward, and Hamilton’s likely to have a lower BABIP going forward.

Should we regress Hamilton back towards his expected BABIP when evaluating him for MVP? Should we also toss out some of Bautista’s HRs? At that point, shouldn’t we just give the awards out to the players who have the best projections going forward?

Awards are given for past performance, not future projection. The only thing that should matter is determining how much of Cahill’s low BABIP is due to his defense and park.

Joey
Guest
Joey
5 years 11 months ago

Cahill isn’t allowing the marginal player beat him this year. Last year, He’d get burned on home runs by AAAA guys such as Chris Davis and Russell Branyon. He’s still giving up bombs (a-tod x2, holliday x2, Pena, Longoria, Bautista). Factor in the Coliseum, the above-avg Gloves of Pennington, Barton and Elli, plus Crisp shagging everything in sight with Rajai Davis and: bam! You get a tidy 2.43 ERA. He can be a future candidate as long as he continues to improve every year (duh!).

vilhelm
Guest
vilhelm
5 years 11 months ago

Cahill is an enigma. A pitcher who can’t maintain at least a 2/1 tatio of k’s to walks is essentially a bad pitcher, whereas a pitcher who can do that is at least possibly good.

Cahill can’t. So what is it. Cahill’s a smart guy with a good assortment and with an above average sinker. I doubt if hitter’s are particurly overwhelmed by him. Priibably a combination between defense (ss, 3rd, 2nd are esoecially good and outfielders clean up the bloop stuff), ballpark, and extremely high pitchability aptitude promises an bip of 250 or less.

Sam
Guest
Sam
5 years 11 months ago

Tom Glavine: essentially a bad pitcher.

shoewizard
Guest
shoewizard
5 years 11 months ago

Oakland has either really good infield defense, or perhaps the field condition itself helps….but as a team they have an extremely low BABIP on ground balls.
.193 GB BABIP, Thats the best in the AL, and the lg. avg is .229

Cahill’s is an insanely low .127. But there isn’t anyone on the team with signficant innings pitched that has an above avg BABIP on GB

http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/split_stats_team.cgi?full=1&params=traj|Ground Balls|OAK|2010|pitch|AB|

http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/split_stats_lg.cgi?full=1&params=traj|Ground Balls|AL|2010|pitch|AB|

SeanD
Guest
SeanD
5 years 11 months ago

Seems to be the right combination.
Can we check Oakland’s opposition at home GB BABIP relative to their season averages, to see if the field (and possibly lack of altitude) is a factor?

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
5 years 11 months ago

They’re growing the grass taller. *grin*

youngun
Member
youngun
5 years 11 months ago

I have watched quite a few of cahill’s starts on mlb.tv and he induces an above average amount of ground balls hit back to himself, also he has thrown his curveball more this year and it has been a plus pitch. Realistically next year, I expect an ERA 3.30-3.50 range, WHIP a solid 1.10

Tbone
Guest
Tbone
5 years 11 months ago

Cahill is a solid improving pitcher who has been very lucky. Going forward I can see him being a solid #3 pitcher. Last year Cahill had a BABIP average of .276. There are pitchers who can keep it around .270. Cahill won’t maintain this years .217. A’s pitchers are usually under the average in BABIP though. The Coliseum is not a good park for batting average.

MLBfan
Guest
MLBfan
5 years 11 months ago

Cahill was rushed to the majors as a 21 yr old top tier prospect last yr. He was drafted for his pitchability, outstanding makeup, and turned down a scholarship to Dartmouth University. So there is obviously some intelligence there.

Last season he was mainly a 2 pitch SP. Dumped his slider and improved the curveball and changeup. No one is foolish to think he’ll regularly put up a sub 3 era. But I see a pitcher who has made huge improvements. i personally like him better than anderson on that staff

Don't agree
Guest
Don't agree
5 years 11 months ago

I dont really understand this. So because his BABIP is abnormally low, he shouldnt be recognized for having an incredible season?

I remember a few years back, after Ellis got back from his shoulder surgery that Crosby caused, Ellis had an incredible year and they said the same thing. He had an abnormally HIGH BABIP.

Either way, Cahill is pitching his ass off and going to one stat and sayign this one stat is off and that hes not good because of it or doesnt deserve to be recognized because of it, is fucking silly.

Doesn’t BABIP basically say, oh this hitter or pitcher is lucky in getting outs/hits? How does one determine what SHOULD be an out or what SHOULD be a hit? I dont get it.

Not only that, but does that mean the BABIP for offense is considered lucky as well?

Danmay
Guest
Danmay
5 years 11 months ago

I don’t have any reason to believe that a .217 BABIP is repeatable.

As an A’s fan I love his 2010 BABIP. Sure it hasn’t gotten the A’s to the playoffs, but for Cahill – and my perception of him as a pitcher going foward – the 2010 BABIP is huge. Compared to 2009 Cahill has a lot more confidence with and control of his pitches. I have to believe that having nearly a full year with a BABIP of .217 does wonders for ones confidence, and thus may have allowed him to improve on pitching. Lets not forget that he didn’t even start the year in the A’s rotation and without that BABIP he may have been sent back down at some point (maybe not, but this isn’t my main point). Going into 2011 I expect Cahill be either the #2 or #3 on the A’s staff, and that is exciting considering his 2009.

I realize that none of this has almost anything to do with article, and there certainly isn’t any advanced metrics or research going into my opinions, but after ~80 comments back and forth about the repeatability of BABIP I felt that a little bit of fan viewpoint might be welcome.

highrent
Guest
highrent
5 years 11 months ago

there you have it from shoewizard Almost all the As are benefitting from this on average not just Cahill he’s just the extreme end of it. WHich basically means its not him but his D. Maybe he’s leveraging a little but lets no break out the tired argument that he’s somehow feeding his fielders. And again the weak groundball argument is dead since many if not most good GB pitchers induce weak groundballs that can’t get out of the infield they simplly don’t do them enough to justify a .127 BABIP per GB. An about individual awards although its happened many times in the past, these awards are recognitions of individual achievement rather than team achievements. While its impossible to play in a vacuum we should try to separate an individual’s performance as much as we can.

Cahill is a pretty good pitcher and deserves to be seen as an asset but his 2.35 ERA is a function of being the best recipient of an unusually fantastic defense. People were looking for a special case there you have it, its the Oakland defense so unless the argument is the whole team knows how to make most GBs harmless its a moot point. Confusing Cahill’s ability for great team defense is no different than attributing the success of high ERA or high FIP pitchers with high win totals just because their team had great offenses. Its not any different from giving people awards simply because they won 20 games. Does it matter whether the team wins the game of course it does which doesn’t mean it hinges solely on pitcher wins(keeping you team close is just as valuable as holding a lead).

Sully
Guest
Sully
5 years 10 months ago

I cant believe Cahill’s own defense hasn’t really been mentioned. The dude looks like a gold-glove potential fielder and has a great pickoff move for a righty.

Matthew Cornwell
Guest
Matthew Cornwell
5 years 10 months ago

Tom Glavine a “bad pitcher”?

First of all, Tom has 14,000 BIP, so his 90 hits or so prevented on BIP compared to teammates is stable even after the slight regression necessary.

And even if you wanted to ignore those 90 hits or so compared to teammates on BIP, his rWAR is still about 65 – well over the HOF border.

Fangraphs itself has Glavine with 69 WAR – and that is with zero credit for any BABIP reduction, GIDP, controlling the running game, defense, offense, event timing/situational splits, or anything outside of his FIP. With the higher replacement value, not quite as high as his rWAR ranking, but still an easy HOFer none-the-less.

Matthew Cornwell
Guest
Matthew Cornwell
5 years 10 months ago

Oh yeah – my post was directed at Vilhelm’s post, not Sam’s sarcastic response.

Tigerdog
Guest
Tigerdog
5 years 10 months ago

Here’s what I find really interesting:
When you start making your wish list of free agent starting pitchers, I think that Cliff Lee tops everyone’s list. After that, there’s a sharp drop off and a scramble. If you’re not looking for a back of the rotation starter, there are limited options.
– Figure that Andy Pettite goes back to NY or retires
– Brandon Webb is a risky play because of his injuries, and he wants an $ 8 million base
– Kuroda is 35 and figures to be willing to play in limited number of places (if any)
– Now look at the BABIP of Ted Lilly (.255) and Bronson Arroyo (.242), two of the better remaining options on the free agent market. If you figure that a good portion of their success this season is due to good defense, or pure luck, what options do you have when the Yankees give Lee a $ 150 million contract?
– Carl Pavano, Javier Vazquez, Vicente Padilla, and all downhill from there.
Not too long before the Tigers are bringing back Bonderman. Yikes!

Charleso
Guest
Charleso
5 years 10 months ago

I could care less about your ridiculous stats. When a stat is used to steal credit from a pitcher having a great year. A stat that is used to discredit him, and call his growth and accomplishments all luck. That is a worthless, meaningless stat. First of all, when baseball fans pretend to be mathematicians, results don’t turn out the way they would expect. That is because they don’t know what they are doing. Further, when results are digitized and your answer is…it’s all luck that should be a clue. No self-respecting math guy credits luck just because he doesn’t understand the conclusions. I have been watching Trevor Cahill all year and with only a few exceptions he has dominated the hitters of the American League. In fact, most of the pitchers on the A’s have been dominant. I suppose it wouldn’t be possible to consider that Cahill is one of the best, brightest young pitching stars to come along in years? I thought not. But consider this… Don’t feel bad if none of you understand how or why Trevor’s been so dominant, because none of the hitters on any of your favorite teams have figured it out either.

Jamie
Guest
Jamie
5 years 10 months ago

A+ trolling

Anthony
Guest
Anthony
5 years 10 months ago

A solid ‘A’ for me. Of course, he watches him, and he might just know.

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