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Postby thetongueofire » Thu Aug 05, 2004 11:36 pm

ok guys looking solely at the era is not good. theoretically era is supposed to be the ultimate stat in judging how well a pitcher has done as the job of the pitcher is to prevent the other team from scoring runs.... however, its not exactlylike that. ML pitchers have control over the number of balls they allow to be inplay. but different pitchers dont differ greatly on their ability to prevent hits on balls in play. once the ball gets in play a lot of factors like defense, park, luck etc. that pitchers have absolutely no control over are involved. The rate at which a pitcher allows hits on balls in play has more to do with defense and luck than to his own skill, and can vary from year to year. this is where era has its shortcomings. with taht said, era is a good measure of how effective/valuable the pitcher has been but may be somewhat misleading when youre trying to judge how well hes pitched in some cases cos of these variables that a pitcher cant do anything about. always judging pitchers solely by era will getcha in trouble.

this year, Eaton's dissapointed but i dont see a decline in his pitching ability anywhere 'cept for the fact that unexpectadly hes giving up more HR's... which is a concern but in a keeper im ready to take a "gamble" provided i buy him low cos i dont see any other negative thing.
[size=10]Manny Ramirez....$20 million
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Never hearing a Yankee fan chant 1918 again...priceless. [/size]
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Postby josebach » Fri Aug 06, 2004 8:52 am

thetongueofire wrote:however, its not exactly like that. ML pitchers have control over the number of balls they allow to be inplay. but different pitchers dont differ greatly on their ability to prevent hits on balls in play. once the ball gets in play a lot of factors like defense, park, luck etc. that pitchers have absolutely no control over are involved.


It's true... there are other factors involved. If there weren't, there wouldn't be seeing-eye singles and line-drive outs. On the other hand, to suggest pitchers don't have any control over balls that are put in play is almost as silly as saying ERA is a useless stat. Look at Mark Mulder. His strikeout numbers are anything but impressive, yet he'll probably win the American Leauge Cy Young. Has his success been luck? What about Greg Maddux? Pitchers don't try to strike out every hitter. They want the batter to make contact with the ball. What kind of pitch is thrown, how hard it's thrown and where the pitch is located GREATLY influences where the ball is going to go and how hard it's hit. That's why WHIP isn't as important as ERA as so many people have said before on this site. A pitcher throwing a fastball down the middle of the plate that allows the hitter to get a full swing on and hit it out of the park is not the same as a fastball on the outside corner that the hitter punches into right field for a single.

ERA is hands down the most best statistic for measuring how effective a pitcher is.


thetongueofire wrote:this year, Eaton's dissapointed but i dont see a decline in his pitching ability anywhere 'cept for the fact that unexpectadly hes giving up more HR's... which is a concern but in a keeper im ready to take a "gamble" provided i buy him low cos i dont see any other negative thing.


As I pointed out before, his ERA and BAA are through the roof when he's pitching out of the stretch. There's obviously something either mental or mechanical that's affecting him when there are runners on base. Where I believe sample size is important and by no means am I condemning this guy's career, I'm not willing to say that the giant rise in these two statistics the last year is simply bad luck.
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Postby Ender » Fri Aug 06, 2004 10:18 am

Ok let me start off by saying yes ERA does have a little bit of value, if you made me pick between 2 players and all I was told about them is ERA I'd pick the lower ERA. But thats about it, the key to winning fantasy baseball pitching is to understand that ERA is caused by outside factors and that it flucuates greatly during the year. If you know what to look for you can pick pitchers that should turn it around.

Next let me say that you can't talk about a player being Clutch until they've played at least 7 or 8 years. Until then its simply small sample size. Just look at scott podsednik last year who was 2nd best in baseball in clutch avg and he's useless this year, small sample size. Even after 7-8 years you would have to look at the players he pitched against in those situations to see if he was clutch or not, since there are 2 people involved in every AB.

Now to look at Eaton in particular. He has 132 IP, per my example lets say he has a 4.50 ERA. Thats 66 ER's in 132 IP. At least one game he was left in late in the game and let on some runners and the bullpen let those runners in, that could count for 2 ER. At least one time someone flubbed a defensive play that wasn't an error that caused another 2 ER(my guess would be it was Nevin!), at least one time he made a good pitch and it got hit for a 3 run HR. These things happen to every pitcher in baseball and due to small sample size over a year it does not all even out. So assuming Mr Eaton gets a little luck he saves himself 7 ER putting him at 59 ER in 132 IP or an ERA of 4.02. All it takes is 3 little plays to lower that ERA by .50 pts, none of those would change his other stats significantly, its just that ERA has little meaning.

Every year there are pitchers with ERA's too high or too low for their stats, usuallly the difference comes down to simple luck.


As for ESPN listing ERA as their default setting, ERA and AVG are the most visible stats. They are stats that people that don't follow baseball understand. Basically they default to that to appease the masses. Or do you really think AVG has more meaning than OPS?
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Postby josebach » Fri Aug 06, 2004 12:10 pm

Ender wrote:Every year there are pitchers with ERA's too high or too low for their stats, usuallly the difference comes down to simple luck.


As for ESPN listing ERA as their default setting, ERA and AVG are the most visible stats. They are stats that people that don't follow baseball understand. Basically they default to that to appease the masses. Or do you really think AVG has more meaning than OPS?


I didn't say anything about batting average.

I realize ERAs fluctuate over the course of the season. That's why you look at trends, splits and past season's stats. With that being said, what it basically boils down to is that you think pitchers with low ERAs are lucky and I think it's skill. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. One things for sure, though. I'd like to see you tell Randy Johnson that his career statistics are based on luck.
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Postby LBJackal » Fri Aug 06, 2004 12:30 pm

josebach wrote:ERA is hands down the most best statistic for measuring how effective a pitcher is.


Long-term, yeah ERA is the way to go. But if you looking at a small sample size (ie: this season so far) ERA isn't a very good indicator of how well somebody's pitched. You don't just look at WHIP and say well, he has a high WHIP, he must be terrible. You look at their career WHIP relative to their ERA and take everything into account. If the guy has always had a high WHIP but good ERA, then obviously you take that into consideration. If he's had a low WHIP most of his career, and this year his WHIP is a lot higher but his ERA is the same, he's most likely had a fair bit of luck. WHIP is better because it requires a much smaller sample size. Having a bad inning can dramatically increase your ERA even if the chances of it happening again are slim. If you have a couple bad innings most likely your WHIP will not change much with respect to the entire season.

Now, onto Eaton; look at how many HR he gave up last year. Now look at this year. That's probably your answer for why his ERA is so high. Something else deceiving is his walk rate decreasing but his hits allowed increasing. So those extra 10 or 15 (for argument's sake) extra base hits he's given up this year cancel out the 10 or 15 less walks he's had. Therefore, his WHIP stays the same, but his ERA increases because obviously XBH's score more runs than walks.

Can he return to being the pitcher he was last year, and the pitcher he was in June? Well, I think if he stops focusing on K's, and just lets people put the ball in play, he'll be in a lot better shape. It'd keep his pitch counts lower, keep him out of unfavourable counts (K pitchers often have to deal with 2-0, 3-1 counts), and lead to less runs being scored IMO. In June, his worst month for K's, his ERA was 1.67 and he had a 0.77 WHIP. He just seems like a control pitcher whose trying to K too many people. He's been dropped in my 18 team keeper league but we only keep 9 so he'd be good for this season only since as of now my wrst keeper is Smoltz and I'm not keeping Eaton over him....... and I don't think I want him wasting any of my precious IP with performances like he's been putting out lately.
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Postby Armed and Hammered » Fri Aug 06, 2004 12:48 pm

This is nothing compared to all your guys' statistical info, but when I have seen him pitch this year I was surprised to see how straight his fastball is. Not a lot of movement. Sometimes these types of guys can give up more HR's when they start lookin to strike a lot of people out. Just something that caught my eye.
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Postby Ender » Fri Aug 06, 2004 12:58 pm

Well I never said low ERA's are luck, I said the difference between a high era and a middle of the road era is luck many times. Take a look at Russ Ortiz's stats this year to see a good example of how you can get a low ERA via luck. Sure his HR rate is pretty low but with the walks and hits he's given up there is no way he has 'earned' a 3.16 ERA. That number is bound to go up if he keeps pitching the way he has been. In fact his numbers are right in line with the past 2 years, its pretty close and last 2 years he had a 3.81 and 3.61 ERA. I mean do you really think Ortiz is having a better year than say Schilling who has a 3.38 ERA, but a lower WHIP, better K ratio or is he better than Santana who also has a higher ERA than him? Better than Garcia? Better than Mulder?
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Postby LBJackal » Fri Aug 06, 2004 1:03 pm

Yeah Ortiz has allowed more hits and more walks than last year, and his ERA has shot down :-? doesn't make sense. The HR's will come. At least he seems to be consistent though. With so many SP's to gether info for, it's no wonder a few of them will have WHIP/ERAs inproportionate to their career WHIP/ERA's.
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Postby thetongueofire » Fri Aug 06, 2004 2:58 pm

pitchers have control over the number of balls they put into play. but... and pitchers have some control over the number of hits they allow on balls in play but... The rate at which a pitcher allows hits on balls in play has more to do with defense and luck than to his own skill, and can vary from year to year, especially when your looking at a sample size that is not conclusive.

the hypothetical example that Ender gave about Eaton pretty much shows how much era can fluctuate in a smallish sample size just cos of lil things that pitcher cant do nada about.

if you want proof, i can give you proof but there have been a TON of studies about tis. if you wanna do it yourself, go look up the %age of hits on balls in play that different randomly selected pitchers allow from year to year and you wont see too much consistancy. theres kinda diff patterns for clearly gb and fb pitchers, but you still wont see the consistancy... that needs to be there for anyone to say that pitchers have a good amount of control over what happens after the ball is put in play.

and yes jose me agrees witcha if you absolutely had to point out ONE stat which reflects how well the guys pitched.. its era.. not regular espn era but dips era. ;-D

dips=defense independant pitching stat...
[size=10]Manny Ramirez....$20 million
Pedro Martinez....$17.5 million
Curt Schilling...$12 million (and a $2 million bonus)
Never hearing a Yankee fan chant 1918 again...priceless. [/size]
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Postby josebach » Fri Aug 06, 2004 4:08 pm

Ender wrote:ERA is a useless stat, don't judge a player using that.


This is solely what I based my argument on. If he said ERA is a useless stat in the short run, or with a small sample size, I wouldn't have disagreed anywhere near as much. I realize a person's ERA will fluctuate a lot... especially towards the beginning of the season.


thetongueofire wrote:The rate at which a pitcher allows hits on balls in play has more to do with defense and luck than to his own skill

Good grief!!! Back to this again? Ok, this is my last attempt to explain it. Wouldn't it be safe to say that (on average) the more squarely a player hits the ball, the better the chance they have of getting a hit? Wouldn't it also be safe to say, the better the pitcher pitches, the harder it is to hit the ball squarely? If both of these are true, how in the world can you say that "the rate at which a pitcher allows hits on balls in play has more to do with defense and luck than to his own skill"?

If all balls hit in play had the same chances of being a hit, why in the world don't pitchers go for strikeouts more? Why is it that sinker pitches continue to throw sinkers time and time again hoping for groundballs and not strikeouts?

The answer is simple. All balls that are put in play DO NOT have the same chance of being a hit. I would love for one of you guys to try to convince Greg Maddux or Tom Glavine otherwise.
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