Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.
May’s Leaders, Not in WAR
In yesterday’s stirring edition of the Notes, the author considered the nearly definitive WAR leaderboards for the month of May. In today’s edition, we consider four metrics that aren’t WAR and then the leaders from May by those same metrics.
(Note: the various “links” to the metrics in question are, in some cases, links to the relevant custom leaderboard from which that metric is derived. Because at least one of the stats is made-up, is why.)
Category: Walk-Strikeout Differential (Qualified Batters)
Leader: Matt Carpenter, STL, +6.5% (Link)
Notes: Certainly one indicator of a batter’s control over the strike zone is his ability to record rather high walk rates relative to his strikeout rates. There’s a direct link, certainly, between above-average walk-strikeout differentials and above-average production. In May, for example, the top-10 qualified batters by walk-strikeout differential recorded a cumulative 154 wRC+. The bottom 10 by that measure? A 78 wRC+. Carpenter led all batters in May, walking 14.6% of the time, while striking out just 8.1%.
Category: RECK (Qualified)
Leader: Domonic Brown, PHI, #DIV/0! (Link)
Notes: RECK is a toy stat of the author’s invention and is intended to measure reckless power, as calculated by dividing Isolated Power by Isolated Patience — or, stated differently, (SLG – AVG) / (OBP – AVG). Essentially, it’s designed to identify players whose power far outstrips their patience. “The results,” as noted in a post from last January, “appear to approximate the Richter Scale, such that less than 2.0 is barely felt, 5.0 is moderate, and 9.0-and-up happens less than every 10 years and is totally destructive.” With a line of .303/.303/.688, Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown short-circuits the metric.
Category: Most Valuable Pitch
Leader: Cliff Lee, PHI, +10.8 Runs on Two-Seamer (Link)
Notes: Despite the fact that his current indicators are actually less impressive than last year’s (87 xFIP- presently, 79 xFIP- in 2012), Lee has been more successful in terms of actual run prevention so far this season. His two-seamer (or sinker, if you want) has been integral to that success. Lee throws it about half the time, and it’s been terribly effective: while not a swing-and-miss pitch, opposing hitters posted just a .172 BABIP against it in May, according to Brooks Baseball. Of note, however: Lee has not historically suppressed hits with his sinker, against which batters posted a .302 BABIP between 2010 and -12.
Category: Swinging-Strike Rate (> 10.0 IP)
Leader: Trevor Rosenthal, STL, 19.7% (Link)
Notes: While his fastball is obviously impressive, it’s Rosenthal’s changeup that serves as his most efficient strikeout pitch. Rosenthal induced swinging strikes with 41% of his changeups in May, according to Brooks, seeming comfortable with the pitch against left-handers and right-handers. Here is, for example, throwing it to Yuniesky Betancourt for a strikeout on May 18th:
Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
New York NL at Washington | 19:05 ET
Jeremy Hefner (57.0 IP, 117 xFIP-, -0.1 WAR) faces Jordan Zimmermann (79.2 IP, 91 xFIP-, 1.6 WAR). While the Mets’ offense hasn’t been particularly excellent, the Nationals’ has been worse. By park-adjusted offense, Washington has only been better than two teams this season: the Marlins and White Sox. The Astros, meanwhile, are as close to average as they are the Nationals.
Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: New York NL Television.
Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 5.2.
Note: the following table is entirely sortable.
|Scott Kazmir||CLE||6||8||5||5||4||NYA||David Phelps||19:05|
|Ricky Nolasco||MIA||4||0||3||2||4||PHI||Jon. Pettibone||19:05|
|Jeremy Hefner||NYN||3||6||5||2||8||WAS||J. Zimmermann||19:05|
|Matt Moore||TB||4||7||7||7||10||DET||Anibal Sanchez||19:08|
|Juan Nicasio||COL||3||9||6||5||8||CIN||Homer Bailey||19:10|
|Jeff Locke||PIT||3||6||6||9||7||ATL||Mike Minor||19:10|
|Justin Grimm||TEX||6||4||6||8||5||BOS||Ryan Dempster||19:10|
|Chris Tillman||BAL||4||9||3||4||0||HOU||Lucas Harrell||20:10|
|Samuel Deduno*||MIN||4||3||4||5||3||KC||Luis Mendoza||20:10|
|A.J. Griffin||OAK||5||6||5||5||5||MIL||Kyle Lohse||20:10|
|Tyler Skaggs*||AZ||8||3||7||2||9||STL||Michael Wacha*||20:15|
|Scott Feldman||CHN||3||5||5||5||6||LAA||Jered Weaver*||22:05|
|Jake Peavy||CHA||7||0||7||6||10||SEA||Felix Hernandez||22:10|
|Clayton Richard||SD||2||7||3||2||4||LAN||Ted Lilly*||22:10|
|Josh Johnson*||TOR||6||6||6||4||7||SF||Tim Lincecum||22:15|
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