In-Game Update: Tyler Colvin and wOBA by Count

That footage you see there is of Chicago Cub outfielder and No. 8 hitter Tyler Colvin swinging and missing at a pitch from the newest of St. Louis Cardinals, Edwin Jackson, in the second inning of this evening’s Cubs-Cardinals matchup. More accurately, it’s Tyler Colvin swinging at (what appears to be) an 0-0 slider very much in the dirt with the bases loaded and no outs.

While, given all the variables at play, it’s difficult to say exactly how many runs Colvin cost his team with that one ill-advised hack, we do know — thanks to work from a combo package of Toms Tango and Tippett from 2006 — roughly what the difference in wOBA is given different counts.

Specifically (again, as of 2006), batters passing through a count of 1-0 had a collective wOBA of.371. Meanwhile, batters passing through a count of 0-1 had a collective wOBA of .283*. The difference between those two states, in a context-neutral environment, is about 0.1 runs — but that’s just on a single pitch, with literally no regard for the situation. Considering that, in a typical none on, none out scenario, generic run expectancy is 0.46 and that, in this situation, the (again, generic) run expectancy was 2.28, then we see that Colvin’s lack of discipline is magnified even more.

*The exact numbers are probably different this season given the deflated run environment, but the point remains.



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cpebbles
Guest
cpebbles
5 years 28 days ago

Luckily Tyler Colvin’s expectancy is for like a .190 wOBA when he’s hitting off a tee so there’s a pretty strict limit to how much damage he did himself.

Steve-O
Guest
Steve-O
5 years 28 days ago

*The exact numbers are probably different this season given the deflated run environment, but the point remains.

well poke me in the butt, C.C. and wake me when it’s over.

Rick Wizzle
Guest
Rick Wizzle
5 years 28 days ago

During the Cardinals TV broadcast, before the first pitch of the at bat the commentator said “here is tyler colvin, and this is a player that won’t take a walk even when offered one” and then proceeded to swung at a 0-0 slider in the dirt. ouch.

Devon Young
Guest
5 years 28 days ago

That was a horrible swing at a horrible pitch. I have to believe Colvin was sure it would curve back over the plate….for some reason…

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
5 years 28 days ago

Or already decided he was going to swing on the first pitch anyway, since Jackson would be trying to get ahead on 0-0 with the bases juiced. Probably thought a fastball down the middle was coming and for some reason, didn;t stop his swing when he noticed (if he noticed) that it wasn;t what he was looking for.

I wonder how many young MLBers “predecide” to swing?

Pop Tones
Guest
Pop Tones
5 years 28 days ago

what’s the big deal, Shane Victorino does this all the time. sigh.

Bryan
Guest
Bryan
5 years 28 days ago

I kind of agree with circlechange. Anyways, he ended up working the count full and getting a sac fly RBI, with Soto out at third. So I guess whatever he lost, he gained a little back.

Chris
Guest
Chris
5 years 28 days ago

Isn’t this the epitome of small sample sizes?

Nick #2
Guest
Nick #2
5 years 28 days ago

I wanted to make a joke about either your brain or wiener being the epitome of small sample sizes but then I couldn’t decide which organ to use as the object of ridicule so I just decided to type what I was thinking instead. Chris.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
5 years 28 days ago

I think it was to illustrate the importance of the count, namely in getting ahead/behind. Colvin could have been in an even better position of being ahead 1-0 with the bases juiced … rather than giving away his advantage by chasing a pitch way out of the strikezone.

From a coach’s standpoint, I want to ask Colvin just what he thought he was going to do with that pitch anyway. Foul it off your foot?

Chris
Guest
Chris
5 years 28 days ago

Yeah, it was an awful pitch and proof that Colvin lacks plate discipline, but the AB ended with a run scoring and no matter what other outcome could have happened had he not swung at that pitch, the 4 potential runs that could have scored wouldn’t have been enough to overcome the Cards 9 runs.

Is wOBA of a count based on league averages and not player’s averages really the proper way to analyze the value of a player?

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
5 years 28 days ago

Honestly, I feel the same way about wOBA in general (player vs. leaguewide). I can’t imagine that a walk to Dunn and a walk to Gardner (given their baserunning skills, batting slot, and strength of lineup) are both 0.7 runs. Yet, we reward them the same.

I am not familiar enough to know if there is a stat that combines some form of wOBA with WPA and the like.

I’m not the biggest fan of “leaguewide” data being applied to individual players, especially when players have different skills, different lineups, etc. But, that’s probably the best we have, and I haven’t researched individual wOBA to see if it adds up to a substancial amount in the end anyway.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
5 years 28 days ago

I know that wOBA is intended to be context neutral, as to what a player might do in an average lineup, as to not reward/punish a player for things they cannot control (batting slot, strength of lineup, etc). So when I talk of not appreciating that aspect of wOBA, I’m really wondering if there’s a “type” of wOBA that would consider those type of things and come up with different run values based o indivial players/teams.

James
Guest
James
5 years 28 days ago

I think it was intended to be more food for thought than a player evaluation… They did score a run that inning, but that was less than the 2.28 run expectancy for the situation.

Scott
Guest
Scott
5 years 28 days ago

This fails to realize that he was batting eighth, so obviously the pitcher was up next. In addition Matt Garza is one of the worst hitting pitchers in the league. Can’t believe 2.28 runs would be the expectancy here.

ezb230
Guest
ezb230
5 years 28 days ago

it was a toolsy whiff, at least.

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