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Official New York Yankees Bleacher Creatures Team Thread

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Old 07-03-2005, 11:06 AM   #633
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Re: Official New York Yankees Bleacher Creatures Team Thread

Good points brought up by both of you. Just wanted to follow up with some things.

1. favre4vr, as you mentioned before, defense is extremely difficult to evaluate with methods that we in the public are aware of. From my understanding, the Red Sox (and other teams) have employees responsible for charting every single ball put in play that a defender has a chance to defend. How hard the ball was hit, the fielders position, how fast he gets to the ball, and other variables are measured here.
I'm nearly certain that the Red Sox have been working on method(s?) to properly empirically evaluate defense. We will never be aware of this, however, because they aren't just going to put out a press release stating "We, the Boston Red Sox, have devised a breakthrough new mechanism for evaluating defense! Here it is:". They would put themselves at a competitive disadvantage. So, it's difficult to see what is going on behind the scenes here, but I'm fairly certain that the Epstein front office realizes this is an important aspect of the game to research and has been working on solutions for a long time.

2. NYJets, I would argue that having strong defense behind a pitcher results in some tangible benefits for said pitcher. I believe that with the confidence of having vaccuum cleaners out in the field, the pitcher develops increased confidents to throw strikes, and not nibble around the corners. He feels that unless the hitter makes perfect contact on the ball, his fielders will find some way to get to the ball and record it as an out. This takes pressure off the pitcher and allows him to focus on playing his game, making pitcher's pitches, and focusing on getting ahead of batters.

Now, the converse of this is a pitcher with poor defense behind him. He is afraid of throwing pitches that run across the fat part of the plate, because his fielders probably won't get to it. He is forced to nibble and paint corners (BB rates increase). He is forced to throw more pitches due to errors and misrecorded potential outs. Everything is affected as a net result.

I could be wrong here, but I strongly believe that defense influences a pitcher in a huge way.
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Old 07-03-2005, 04:46 PM   #634
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Re: Official New York Yankees Bleacher Creatures Team Thread

Excellent outting by Wang tonight. Granted he wasn't overpowering and only had one 1-2-3 inning (that was his last oddly enough) but got outta trouble over and over again.

Good W, though the O was awful again today.
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Old 07-03-2005, 05:13 PM   #635
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Re: Official New York Yankees Bleacher Creatures Team Thread

Finally, a win while scoring 3 runs or less.
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Old 07-03-2005, 09:22 PM   #636
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Re: Official New York Yankees Bleacher Creatures Team Thread

Alright, Sox and O's lost...great day.

Hopefully we can take both vs Baltimore in the Bronx and cut the lead down to 1/2 game.
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Old 07-04-2005, 01:57 AM   #637
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Re: Official New York Yankees Bleacher Creatures Team Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by GBrushTWood
Good points brought up by both of you. Just wanted to follow up with some things.

1. favre4vr, as you mentioned before, defense is extremely difficult to evaluate with methods that we in the public are aware of. From my understanding, the Red Sox (and other teams) have employees responsible for charting every single ball put in play that a defender has a chance to defend. How hard the ball was hit, the fielders position, how fast he gets to the ball, and other variables are measured here.
I'm nearly certain that the Red Sox have been working on method(s?) to properly empirically evaluate defense. We will never be aware of this, however, because they aren't just going to put out a press release stating "We, the Boston Red Sox, have devised a breakthrough new mechanism for evaluating defense! Here it is:". They would put themselves at a competitive disadvantage. So, it's difficult to see what is going on behind the scenes here, but I'm fairly certain that the Epstein front office realizes this is an important aspect of the game to research and has been working on solutions for a long time.
Great points. I just think that there are way too many variables in Defense to truly evaluate. Pitchers, ballparks, weather, positioning by the coaching staff. Take this for example. Cal Ripken was, statistically, one of the best defensive short stops of all time. But, is that really the case. Having watched him over his entire career, I would have to say no. He didn't get to as many balls as say, Tony Fernandez (when he was on the Blue Jays). Fernandez committed more errors, but he got to more balls. So the question is, who is the better defensive short stop? I don't have the answer. I don't think any system can make that call. Great discussion. Thanks for replying.
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Old 07-04-2005, 01:59 AM   #638
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Re: Official New York Yankees Bleacher Creatures Team Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehh
Excellent outting by Wang tonight. Granted he wasn't overpowering and only had one 1-2-3 inning (that was his last oddly enough) but got outta trouble over and over again.

Good W, though the O was awful again today.
He is tough. That's what I like about him. He doesn't sulk on the mound like Unit. I hate seeing that head shake in disgust. I still think he'll turn it around though. Nice to get a close win for a change.
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:56 AM   #639
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Re: Official New York Yankees Bleacher Creatures Team Thread

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Originally Posted by favre4vr
Great points. I just think that there are way too many variables in Defense to truly evaluate. Pitchers, ballparks, weather, positioning by the coaching staff. Take this for example. Cal Ripken was, statistically, one of the best defensive short stops of all time. But, is that really the case. Having watched him over his entire career, I would have to say no. He didn't get to as many balls as say, Tony Fernandez (when he was on the Blue Jays). Fernandez committed more errors, but he got to more balls. So the question is, who is the better defensive short stop? I don't have the answer. I don't think any system can make that call. Great discussion. Thanks for replying.
I'd say Fernandez is better. I personally want a guy who will get to more balls and has more range than the next guy.
It's possible that in evaluating defense, there are trade offs just like as in offense (power vs. contact, gets on base vs. hacker) such as: doesn't muff many plays and has little range vs. gets to most every ball but muffs some of the tougher ones. Again, this is an extremely tough thing to empirically quantify for the reasons you stated. For this reason, we will not be aware of what the ballclubs are actually using these days, and are stuck with crappy metrics like range factor, fielding percentage, and the like. UZR seems to be widely accepted, though I've seen some flaws in it (rating Jose Valentin as one of the premiere SS's, when he is questionable defensively)...

Until some major breakthrough is released to the public, we're stuck having subjective arguments re: defense. Like in the Bret Boone thread, some guy claims Boone is superior defensively to Mark Bellhorn, when I just know it isn't true from watching with my own eyes. I sure as hell can't prove it though.
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Old 07-04-2005, 06:07 PM   #640
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Re: Official New York Yankees Bleacher Creatures Team Thread

Remember I was recommending the Yankees getting Braden Looper?

I wonder if the Yanks are looking at Steve Kline and BJ Ryan right now.
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