Author Archive

Daily Notes, Sans Cistulli 2: Electric Boogaloo

Table of Contents Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Cistulli-less Daily Notes.

1. Leaderboards of Yesterday
2. An Very Watchable International League Matchup
3. Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
4. Today’s Complete Schedule, Featuring Entirely Discretionary Watchability Scores

Leaderboards of Yesterday

If you’re like me, you’re nostalgic for yesterday. If you’re exactly like me, you were hot-tubbing with several friends yesterday in a reasonably priced rental home in Salt Lake City, enjoying perfect weather, having just attended the most beautiful, perfectly-planned wedding you’ve ever attended, a wedding for two dear and generously talented people. Which means, of course, that you have little idea what went on in the world of Major League Baseball. In which case you’ll want to catch up quickly by viewing the following leaderboards of yesterday:

Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Notes: Greinke v. Straily, Plus Slider Usage

Table of Contents
Here’s a table of contents for today’s edition of Daily Notes.

1. On Sliders and the Usage of Said
2. Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

On Sliders and the Usage of Said
Regarding Why I’m Writing About This
In an effort to embody the spirit Carson’s NERD scores but not actually recreate it (too arduous), I was wondering what the single most dominant pitch in MLB might be. Dominating pitches can make for drama in a baseball game — the sort of drama that Carson’s NERD Scores reflect, in part.

The more I thought about it, the more I came to appreciate the way a “NERD Score” based entirely on the usage of a single type of pitch could be a shot of clarity in a convoluted world. It’s a simpler Score, from a simpler man.

What the Most Dominant Pitch Is, Then
It’s sliders, duh! Didn’t you read the title of this section?!

According to the weighted PITCHf/x values in this FanGraphs leaderboard, sliders have been worth 0.47 runs above average per 100 thrown in 2012. Knuckleballs have been worth more per 100 thrown, but they’re used less than any other pitch as they constitute just 0.4% of all pitches thrown, and pretty much all of their 2012 value comes from one man.

How Often Sliders Have Been Used in 2012 and Recent Years
On average in 2012, relievers have used a slider more often (18.1%) than starters (12.7%), possibly due to the stress it puts on the the arm.

Starters seem to max out at 40%; indeed, the recently-traded Ryan Dempster is this year’s leader amongst qualified starters: he throws his slider 39.2% of the time. Just eight pitchers have thrown the slider as over 30% of their pitches.

Among qualified releivers, Luke Gregerson throws it almost two-thirds of the time (66.8%), with Sergio Romo (66.1%) right behind him. In further contrast to starting pitchers, 32 qualified relievers have thrown the slider for at least 30% of their pitches in 2012.

Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Notes: Totally on Fiers

Table of Contents

1. The Mike Trout Leaderboard
2. Michael Fiers in a Notable Game of the Day, Among Other Such Games
3. Complete Schedule of Today’s Games

The Mike Trout Leaderboard
Why Does the Mike Trout Leaderboard Appear Today of All Days?
Because no one besides me is going to do it.

And because it’s Mike Trout’s birthday; he turns 21 today.

Where Might Mr. Trout Choose to Imbibe Legally, Now That He’s 21?
Why, quite fittingly at Trout River Brewing.

Which Other 20- or 21-Year-Old Has Done What Mike Trout Has Done?

The Mike Trout Leaderboard

As you can see, no 20- or 21- year old in the history of Major League Baseball has hit at least 19 HR, 21 doubles, and stolen at least 35 bases while posting an OPS over 1.000.

Eliminate the OPS requirement and it’s still only one other player who’s done what Trout has done: in 1972, as a 21-year-old centerfielder* for the Astros, Cesar Cedeno hit 39 doubles, 22 HR, and stole 55 bases while posting an OPS of .921 in 625 PA. Cedeno posted 8.8 WAR that year, but was out-fielded* by a couple of Reds that year and thus missed out in the MVP voting.

Trout should surpass Cedeno’s HR total and could approach his SB total. However, one would be remiss not to note that Cedeno was caught stealing 21 times in 1972; Trout has been caught just three times so far this year.

What Should You Do With the Mike Trout Leaderboard?
I recommend printing off several copies and distributing them around the office, or during show and tell at your next family reunion.

What Should You Do With the Printed Copies of the Mike Trout Leaderboard After Your Family and Co-Workers Are “Done” With Them?
You might papier-mâché them into a piñata to serve as a centerpiece of a party that celebrates the birth, life, and young achievements of Mike Trout.

Why Throw Such a Party?
For the enjoyment of said.

*These items were edited based on reader comments below. Thanks!
Read the rest of this entry »