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Todd Jones...not as bad as we've thought?

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Todd Jones...not as bad as we've thought?

Postby The Loveable Losers » Tue Apr 04, 2006 6:01 pm

So anyways...I've always avoided Todd Jones in all my drafts. I was skeptical last year and only picked him up in leagues that I was desperate for saves in. I figured he was just getting lucky last year.

I was wrong...Todd Jones definitely did not get lucky last year.

Jones had a GREAT year era/whip wise. WAY better than what he's done as a career average (2.10 versus 3.91 and 1.03 versus 1.41). So I was thinking 'this guy got VERY lucky'. I used the DICE formula to project his ERA based on ip, k, bb, hbp and hr and his whip using my own formula that's pretty accurate using ip, k, bb and hr. What I found was very surprising - 2.28era and 1.079whip. Not quite what he actually had so a little luck there but WAY better than his career numbers.

So at this point I started wondering what was going on with these numbers. Todd Jones is supposed to suck! I figured it HAS to be his K/9. Nope - last year he was at 7.64 down from a career average of 7.89. The story is told by two things - his walks and his home runs allowed. His bb/9 was a paltry 1.73 while his career average was 3.89. And his hr/9 was a miniscule 0.25 down from a career average of 0.81.

Now...quite a bit of the hr/9 could simply be playing in Florida. His career average isn't bad and even if he reverts to that we're only looking at 6.5hr's allowed instead of 4. Assuming he reverts most of the way and gives up 6hr's this year but put up the same type of numbers beyond that we have a projected 2.99era with a 1.13whip. I'll still take those kind of numbers out of a closer. It's his lack of walks that made him successful last year.

So was it sample size or was it the development of better control in his 'old age'? Well, he did manage to drop his bb/9 in 2004 and 2005 both by quite a bit. One things for certain though - last year was not luck. It could be a fluke and he may start walking people again. But if he comes back healthy and manages to keep his walk rate where it was last year, his k rate where it was last year and to just keep the ball in the park at his career averages then he could actually succeed as a closer. May be the perfect guy to buy REALLY low on if you happen to have Rodney on your roster right now. Don't pay too much...he's old and has a bad hammy. But if you can get him very cheaply he may provide a present surprise.
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Postby bleach168 » Tue Apr 04, 2006 6:06 pm

Sample size is too small.
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Postby The Loveable Losers » Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:29 pm

Yeah, RP's are so hard to project because of the sample size issue. Even in his entire career he has under 1000ip (and he's OLD). I think we can be comfortable about the k/9 rate since it's been consistantly in the high 7's if not higher in most years. The lowered bb/9 could just be a fluke of the sample size or it could indicate that he's developed a new skill. The only thing we can say for sure is that it wasn't luck (artificially low hit rate) that caused last year - it was a very low bb/9 and hr/9 that allowed him to put up the gaudy ratios that he did.
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Postby tgalv » Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:35 pm

3 years ago he was in boston. he was like the last guy in the pen and was craptacular. i wouldn't exactly be counting on him.
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Postby d18Mike » Tue Apr 04, 2006 11:24 pm

You are right. He's not as bad as he seems. He's worse.

He's a 38-year-old injury prone journeyman with a lifetime WHIP of 1.4+, with an absurdly low K/9 rate for a closer who 2 years ago had a hard time getting a MINOR league contract.

All that said, he is by all accounts a great guy. And I hope he has found the Fountain of Youth. I'm a Tiger fan. But I'm a realist foremost.
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Postby KDOGG » Wed Apr 05, 2006 2:09 am

Well it doesn't matter cause now he's on the DL and you don't have to put up with his
craptacular
? stats for atleast 15 days.
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Postby The Loveable Losers » Wed Apr 05, 2006 8:00 am

That's why I posted this. I have Rodney and definitely don't see Todd Jones as a sure thing. But he succeeded based on a low hr rate and low bb rate last year - the latter being something that's generally considered to be skill based instead of luck based.

I'm considering trading for him very cheaply while he's on the DL and his value is at its lowest.
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Postby thomasps3 » Wed Apr 05, 2006 8:42 am

Nice post. I really thought you put a lot of thought into it and with Jones being in the extreme pitchers park, the value just might be there. Always a realist as well, I think that Jones is well worth where he'll go....in comparison to Foulke, who'll go much higher and has the same tenuous hold on his job as well...
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Postby Dan Lambskin » Wed Apr 05, 2006 8:55 am

if Jones comes back and stays healthy, i dont see any way he loses his job unless he goes Danny Graves. his ERA/WHIP might not be that great this season, but he should be able to get around 30 saves
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Postby Blakas » Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:44 am

Of course, all of this is contingent upon Todd Jones returning soon.

Anybody have any further insight on his injury?

Alternatively, anybody have any case study examples on a "hamstring pop/pull"? Assuming Jones heals like anybody else, how long should he be out?

Need him back so I can trade a reliever for some power!
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