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Thoughts on Dice-K... walks a big problem?

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Re: Thoughts on Dice-K... walks a big problem?

Postby dorje3 » Sun Apr 20, 2008 2:50 am

hwiggen wrote:He's my top starter and I'm a little worried. The results so far are fine but I've seen him pitch one game this year on Sunday night baseball against the Red Sox and although he got the win he looked horrible. One can only hope that he gets it together before his won loss record starts refecting his actual performance.

It's true! He's his own worst enemy!
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Re: Thoughts on Dice-K... walks a big problem?

Postby Field » Sun Apr 20, 2008 3:59 am

Pretty simply, yes. They are going to prevent him from being a true, dependable ace unless he can figure it out. It's pretty clear that he hasn't yet. Right now, he seems to be in a similar development stage to Matt Cain, Chad Billingsley, etc. But what scares me is that he is much more seasoned and has logged a lot more innings than those players. Pitchers don't always improve their control.... I wonder if there is any significant difference between the strike zones in Japan compared to MLB? This is a complete assumption, but I have a feeling he probably got the benefit of the doubt over there on close pitches, being a national icon and all.
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Re: Thoughts on Dice-K... walks a big problem?

Postby RedSoxNation04 » Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:45 am

Matthias wrote:Dock Ellis once threw a no-hitter with 8 walks. Moral of the story: it doesn't matter how they get on base, it only matters how many of them there are.

Too many free passes are not a good thing...good hitting teams in the AL will kill him if he continues to put guys on base.
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Re: Thoughts on Dice-K... walks a big problem?

Postby Matthias » Sun Apr 20, 2008 9:41 am

RedSoxNation04 wrote:
Matthias wrote:Dock Ellis once threw a no-hitter with 8 walks. Moral of the story: it doesn't matter how they get on base, it only matters how many of them there are.

Too many free passes are not a good thing...good hitting teams in the AL will kill him if he continues to put guys on base.

Even with two worse-than-normal outings, his WHIP is still only 1.22 and was 0.93 before those two. So he isn't putting that many guys on base, which is my total point. He's just putting them on via walk instead of a hit. And in the end result, a baserunner is a baserunner, no matter how they get on.

Comparing him to Billingsley and Cain? Really? So far this year....
Matsuzaka 4-0 3.14ERA 1.22WHIP 28K's 17BB's
Billingsley 0-3 6.14ERA 1.98WHIP 20K'S 11BB's
Cain 0-2 6.64ERA 1.77WHIP 19K's 15BB's

And Cain and Billingsley get to pitch in the NL versus AL.

About the only similarity I see above is the K/BB ratio. Everything else looks like, "a different stage of development".
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Re: Thoughts on Dice-K... walks a big problem?

Postby Field » Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:02 am

Matthias wrote:
RedSoxNation04 wrote:
Matthias wrote:Dock Ellis once threw a no-hitter with 8 walks. Moral of the story: it doesn't matter how they get on base, it only matters how many of them there are.

Too many free passes are not a good thing...good hitting teams in the AL will kill him if he continues to put guys on base.

Even with two worse-than-normal outings, his WHIP is still only 1.22 and was 0.93 before those two. So he isn't putting that many guys on base, which is my total point. He's just putting them on via walk instead of a hit. And in the end result, a baserunner is a baserunner, no matter how they get on.

Comparing him to Billingsley and Cain? Really? So far this year....
Matsuzaka 4-0 3.14ERA 1.22WHIP 28K's 17BB's
Billingsley 0-3 6.14ERA 1.98WHIP 20K'S 11BB's
Cain 0-2 6.64ERA 1.77WHIP 19K's 15BB's

And Cain and Billingsley get to pitch in the NL versus AL.

About the only similarity I see above is the K/BB ratio. Everything else looks like, "a different stage of development".


What classifies as worse-than-normal for him? The high walk outings seem pretty routine to me..... If he continues to walk guys he's eventually going to get burned this year like he did last year, it's the whole theory of BABIP. And yes, he is pretty comparable to Cain and Bills right now especially their K/BB ratios as you noted. Citing a handful of starts and their resective W-L records isn't a great sample size either. Coming out of Japan Dice-k was touted for having exceptional control which is just not accurate at this point.
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Re: Thoughts on Dice-K... walks a big problem?

Postby Yoda » Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:21 am

Field wrote:
Matthias wrote:
RedSoxNation04 wrote:Too many free passes are not a good thing...good hitting teams in the AL will kill him if he continues to put guys on base.

Even with two worse-than-normal outings, his WHIP is still only 1.22 and was 0.93 before those two. So he isn't putting that many guys on base, which is my total point. He's just putting them on via walk instead of a hit. And in the end result, a baserunner is a baserunner, no matter how they get on.

Comparing him to Billingsley and Cain? Really? So far this year....
Matsuzaka 4-0 3.14ERA 1.22WHIP 28K's 17BB's
Billingsley 0-3 6.14ERA 1.98WHIP 20K'S 11BB's
Cain 0-2 6.64ERA 1.77WHIP 19K's 15BB's

And Cain and Billingsley get to pitch in the NL versus AL.

About the only similarity I see above is the K/BB ratio. Everything else looks like, "a different stage of development".


What classifies as worse-than-normal for him? The high walk outings seem pretty routine to me..... If he continues to walk guys he's eventually going to get burned this year like he did last year, it's the whole theory of BABIP. And yes, he is pretty comparable to Cain and Bills right now especially their K/BB ratios as you noted. Citing a handful of starts and their resective W-L records isn't a great sample size either. Coming out of Japan Dice-k was touted for having exceptional control which is just not accurate at this point.


Right and small sample sizes. DiceK made 5 starts in mostly cold weather conditions. If he keeps up his BB9 at 5+ then his overall numbers will suffer. Good hitting teams when it warms up will kill him.
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Re: Thoughts on Dice-K... walks a big problem?

Postby Matthias » Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:53 am

Field wrote:
Matthias wrote:Even with two worse-than-normal outings, his WHIP is still only 1.22 and was 0.93 before those two. So he isn't putting that many guys on base, which is my total point. He's just putting them on via walk instead of a hit. And in the end result, a baserunner is a baserunner, no matter how they get on.

Comparing him to Billingsley and Cain? Really? So far this year....
Matsuzaka 4-0 3.14ERA 1.22WHIP 28K's 17BB's
Billingsley 0-3 6.14ERA 1.98WHIP 20K'S 11BB's
Cain 0-2 6.64ERA 1.77WHIP 19K's 15BB's

And Cain and Billingsley get to pitch in the NL versus AL.

About the only similarity I see above is the K/BB ratio. Everything else looks like, "a different stage of development".

What classifies as worse-than-normal for him? The high walk outings seem pretty routine to me..... If he continues to walk guys he's eventually going to get burned this year like he did last year, it's the whole theory of BABIP. And yes, he is pretty comparable to Cain and Bills right now especially their K/BB ratios as you noted. Citing a handful of starts and their resective W-L records isn't a great sample size either. Coming out of Japan Dice-k was touted for having exceptional control which is just not accurate at this point.

Well, his numbers over last year in the majors (not sure how else to define normal... you can't use his Japan #s for normal in the MLB) was an ERA of 4.41 and a WHIP of 1.33 compared to the last two outings where he had an ERA of 6.12 and a WHIP of 1.75. I would call those worse-than-normal starts.

FWIW, if you followed his starts last year, he would also give up about 85% of his runs in 15% of his innings. He would cruise for 5 or 6 of his innings but have one inning (not always at the end) where he would give up hits and walks in bunches. John Farrell said a few weeks ago that he and Matsuzaka worked on it over the off-season to get Matsuzaka to concentrate on the batter in the box and not the one on the base. So I expect him to be one of the top 10 pitchers in his league at season's end. There's no way I would make that prediction about either Cain or Billingsley. Although if you want to make a bit of an informal bet on Matsuzaka vs. Cain/Billingsley (I'll give you both; you can take the stats from whoever does better) on ERA, WHIP, and some third category (Wins, K/BB, whatever), I'm game.
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Re: Thoughts on Dice-K... walks a big problem?

Postby Yoda » Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:11 pm

Matthias wrote:although if you want to make a bit of an informal bet on Matsuzaka vs. Cain/Billingsley (I'll give you both; you can take the stats from whoever does better) on ERA, WHIP, and some third category (Wins, K/BB, whatever), I'm game.


Way to go on a limb there. DiceK went what, only 5-6 rounds before Cain/Bills?
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Re: Thoughts on Dice-K... walks a big problem?

Postby Field » Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:17 pm

Matthias wrote:
Field wrote:
Matthias wrote:Even with two worse-than-normal outings, his WHIP is still only 1.22 and was 0.93 before those two. So he isn't putting that many guys on base, which is my total point. He's just putting them on via walk instead of a hit. And in the end result, a baserunner is a baserunner, no matter how they get on.

Comparing him to Billingsley and Cain? Really? So far this year....
Matsuzaka 4-0 3.14ERA 1.22WHIP 28K's 17BB's
Billingsley 0-3 6.14ERA 1.98WHIP 20K'S 11BB's
Cain 0-2 6.64ERA 1.77WHIP 19K's 15BB's

And Cain and Billingsley get to pitch in the NL versus AL.

About the only similarity I see above is the K/BB ratio. Everything else looks like, "a different stage of development".

What classifies as worse-than-normal for him? The high walk outings seem pretty routine to me..... If he continues to walk guys he's eventually going to get burned this year like he did last year, it's the whole theory of BABIP. And yes, he is pretty comparable to Cain and Bills right now especially their K/BB ratios as you noted. Citing a handful of starts and their resective W-L records isn't a great sample size either. Coming out of Japan Dice-k was touted for having exceptional control which is just not accurate at this point.

Well, his numbers over last year in the majors (not sure how else to define normal... you can't use his Japan #s for normal in the MLB) was an ERA of 4.41 and a WHIP of 1.33 compared to the last two outings where he had an ERA of 6.12 and a WHIP of 1.75. I would call those worse-than-normal starts.

FWIW, if you followed his starts last year, he would also give up about 85% of his runs in 15% of his innings. He would cruise for 5 or 6 of his innings but have one inning (not always at the end) where he would give up hits and walks in bunches. John Farrell said a few weeks ago that he and Matsuzaka worked on it over the off-season to get Matsuzaka to concentrate on the batter in the box and not the one on the base. So I expect him to be one of the top 10 pitchers in his league at season's end. There's no way I would make that prediction about either Cain or Billingsley. Although if you want to make a bit of an informal bet on Matsuzaka vs. Cain/Billingsley (I'll give you both; you can take the stats from whoever does better) on ERA, WHIP, and some third category (Wins, K/BB, whatever), I'm game.


Isn't this exactly what Billingsley did yesterday? I haven't seen any noticeable difference in Dice-K's approach so far this year. On the surface his results are better, but that's largely due to sample size. Matsuzaka still nibbles far too much and doesn't pitch to contact. I never insinuated that Bills or Cain would outproduce Dice-K this year, I just said that they were in a similarly frustrating stage of development. Even so, Cain and Billingsley posted better fantasy numbers LAST season (according to Yahoo ranks) than Dice-K so to say that you expect Dice-K to be a top 10 SP and that there's no way the other two could doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I think you are looking far too closely at the YTD figures after only a handful of starts.
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Re: Thoughts on Dice-K... walks a big problem?

Postby Secret Avatar » Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:24 pm

Guys with high K rates (like Matsuzaka) can get away with more BB than other pitchers (like duh). But Matsu is headed for trouble if he doesn't improve his control. His xERA right now is 4.75. Yikes. You just can't allow that many free passes (esp in the hard-hitting AL East) and expect to post a sub-4 ERA.
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