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The Baltimore series thread is up to 350 plus comments. Mercy! Skip past the stuff on the silverware if you like, and feel free to discuss the State of Things here! Better for everyone...

They do give away these big prizes at the end of the year, and this is how I expect it to turn out...


MVP - Aaron Judge, New York. This has been developing into a two player race, but I think it's still there for Judge. I expect that if he breaks the AL record for HRs in a season - still held by Roger Maris after all these years, 61 in '61 - he'll get it. Assuming the Yankees hold on to first place as well. But while the novelty of the amazing Shohei Ohtani may have worn off slightly, the impact of his play remains. He is the first man in the history of baseball to win 10 games on the mound and hit 30 HRs with his bat. That's right - now he's doing things that not even Babe Ruth was able to do (the Babe went 9-5 with 29 HRs in his last season with the Red Sox.) Ohtani didn't even do this in Japan - the closest he got was the 22 HRs he hit while going 10-4 for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in 2016.  Everybody else in the league - they're just names to fill out the ballot, which unfortunately slights the excellent play of Jose Ramirez, Yordan Alvarez, Andres Gimenez, Jose Altuve and so on.

Cy Young - Dylan Cease, Chicago. This was Verlander's to take home until his calf injury took him out of the picture for what will probably end up being most of September.. Compared to the other contenders - Cease, McClanahan, Manoah - it's Verlander who is the best at the things that matter most. It's Verlander who gives up the fewest hits plus walks, and the fewest home runs. Which is how he gives up the fewest runs. At this point in his career, all he could possibly still want to achieve is to win a World Series game (he's already got a ring.) That's unless he really does plan to be the Tom Brady of baseball, maintain this level of performance for another five years, and make a run at 300 wins. But he may not even qualify for the ERA title now. The Rays are hoping McClanahan will be back in another week or so. But for now, Cease is really the last man standing.

Rookie of the Year - Julio Rodriguez, Seattle. Bobby Witt and Jeremy Pena are young shortstops having very fine rookie campaigns and either could have won this in some other year. Felix Bautista and Jhoan Duran have been brilliant working out of their team's bullpens. And there's a good chance Tampa Bay will regret trading Joe Ryan for years to come. But Rodriguez and the Orioles' Adley Rutschman have been the best rookies in the league. I think the young Baltimore catcher has been even more impressive (by a tiny, tiny margin) but Rodriguez got a six week head start on his season that's a bit too much to overcome.

Manager - Brandon Hyde, Baltimore - Could this instead be Dusty Baker's year? After all, his Astros have cruised comfortably to the best record in the league. Nah. It's never Dusty Baker's year (he did win it three times, way back when he was managing the Giants. I think the front-runners are probably Scott Servais and Hyde, and the voters have often been impressed by bad teams suddenly leaping into respectability. I think Rocco Baldelli's work in Minnesota deserves some respect, and Kevin Cash always gets it done in Tampa Bay. Any of the five men I've named is eminently worthy.


MVP - Paul Goldschmidt St Louis. This does seem to be coming down to the two St.Louis corner infielders and it may be too close to call at the moment.  Goldschmidt could have the best narrative - the last NL hitter to achieve the Triple Crown was Joe Medwick in 1937. That was 85 years ago. Right now Goldschmidt leads the league in BAVG and RBIs, is tied for the lead in HRs with Kyle Schwarber. Arenado is a terrific hitter himself and one of the best defensive third basemen of his generation. September is going to have to settle this thing. Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman have each had a lot to do with the Dodgers remarkable season, as has Austin Riley in Atlanta.

Cy Young - Sandy Alcantara, Miami. The Braves and the Dodgers can each nominate a pair of worthy contenders, whose level of performance comes very close to Alcantara - but the Marlins' ace gives his team so many more innings of this level of performance that it sets him quite a ways apart from the rest of the pack. Also on the ballot: Julio Urias, Tony Gonsolin, Kyle Wright, Max Fried.

Rookie of the Year - Spencer Strider Atlanta. I suppose it's really a matter of which of the Braves' two outstanding rookies you like best - the speedy young centre fielder or the overpowering right-hander. Strider sure doesn't look overpowering, which is part of his charm for me. But 183 Ks in 120.2 IP? I'll have some more of that, if you please. Michael Harris is a remarkable story - he began the season getting his first ever taste of AA ball, was in the majors by the end of May, and has suddenly developed a bit of a power stroke to go along with his other tools. He's pretty exciting himself. Brendan Donovan and Christopher Morel, two versatile young players who have given their teams all they could ask for at multiple spots in the field, are going to be lost in the shuffle.

Manager - Buck Showalter New York. When a team wins as often as the Dodgers, the manager seldom gets any credit. And the Braves are the defending champs. Craig Counsell's work in Milwaukee is always impressive, and the Phillies have turned around very smartly indeed since Rob Thomson took over. But the Mets went 77-85 last year, and they're probably going to win 100 games this time around. Take a bow, Buck.

Awards Watch & Off-Day Stufff in General | 42 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Thursday, September 08 2022 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#421752) #
The AL Cy Young is very interesting with 5 reasonable candidates at this point.  I agree that Verlander has been the best pitcher when healthy.  Manoah may very well lead the league in innings pitched (he's 1 out behind Gerrit Cole now), and he has been facing the toughest competition.  McLanahan has been very good himself, but again is quite a bit behind Manoah in innings.  Ohtani has been very, very good himself, and it wouldn't be an outrage if he wins the Cy Young but not the MVP. 

For myself, I wouldn't give it to Cease- given quality of competition and the fact that he leads the league in bases on balls surrendered (personal bias there).  But he's certainly a perfectly reasonable choice. 
92-93 - Thursday, September 08 2022 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#421753) #
Judge is a very worthy MVP, but it's tiresome seeing people point to the WAR race between him and Ohtani to make their point. WAR has its own flaws, but for this discussion what it definitely can't do is put a value on the extra spot the Angels have to fill out their roster with whatever they need most at any given time. It's a large cascading effect.

Alek Manoah should be the CY. It's all about the innings pitched, especially with modern bullpens.
Mike Green - Thursday, September 08 2022 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#421755) #
You don't need WAR measures to see that Judge has had a better year.  He's just been so much better at the offensive side of the game- even little things like stealing bases: Judge is 16/2 while Ohtani is 11/9.  I wonder when the last time someone dominated the power side of the game the way that Judge has this year- if you discount the PED era.  IsoP is a nice statistic to check that.  Judge's IsoP of .382 is 90 points higher than the second player- Yordan Alvarez.  Maybe Mickey Mantle in 1956 dominated in that way, and before that Ruth certainly did.

92-93 - Thursday, September 08 2022 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#421764) #
Let's hope for a Rays sweep of the Yankees this weekend to make the MVP debate more interesting. A legendary Yankees collapse might sway some voters into realizing that penalizing Ohtani for the Angels' record is silly.
Magpie - Thursday, September 08 2022 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#421766) #
I wrote this a couple days ago, and young Alek has definitely decided to make a battle of the Cy Young.
92-93 - Thursday, September 08 2022 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#421771) #
I was shocked to see Manoah is 100:1. Whatever you think of Alek's chances, Cease should not be +120 with Manoah +10000. Cease's ERA lead could easily evaporate over the final month. If Verlander can come back and make a few starts it's all moot, but if he doesn't...
John Northey - Thursday, September 08 2022 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#421777) #
By FanGraphs WAR Gausman is #1 in the AL at 5.2, then Verlander at 4.8, Bieber at 4.0, McClanahan at 3.8, Cease at 3.8 as well, Manoah 3.7. Gausman has had very bad luck with balls in play this year (FanGraphs uses FIP instead of ERA which Baseball Reference uses).
Magpie - Thursday, September 08 2022 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#421779) #
This is from Rosenthal's latest:

... former players, coaches and managers sometimes lament that players no longer hang in the clubhouse to talk shop after games. But infielder/outfielder Whit Merrifield said one of the most refreshing aspects of joining the Blue Jays from the Royals is that postgame bull sessions often do take place in the Toronto clubhouse, with 10 or more players participating. The Jays are an unusually close group, but Merrifield believes the sessions are a natural outgrowth of the teamís roster including three sons of major leaguers ó Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio. All three grew up around major-league clubhouses.

Magpie - Thursday, September 08 2022 @ 06:18 PM EDT (#421787) #
Even as the Yankees have stumbled, Judge has stood tall (see what I did there?) Since July 1, while the team has gone 27-33, Judge has hit .322/.465/.762 with 26 HRs. He's been keeping them afloat single-handed.
electric carrot - Thursday, September 08 2022 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#421789) #
... former players, coaches and managers sometimes lament ...

I really truly cannot understand fans who don't find this team charismatic. I mean baseball player personalitis are normally so boring --

... but the emails, I mean cheering (??)

Gerry - Thursday, September 08 2022 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#421790) #
There is a meeting tomorrow to approve changes in rules for 2023.

There will be a pitch clock.

Bases will be larger.

There must be four fielders on the dirt, two on each side of second base.
Magpie - Thursday, September 08 2022 @ 07:26 PM EDT (#421791) #
There must be four fielders on the dirt, two on each side of second base.

Back in the day of really fast plastic turf, infielders would sometimes set up beyond the dirt cutouts (although I think those cutouts are bigger now - the Jays and Rays infielders generally set up near the back of the dirt.)

Can they come off the dirt to play closer, I'm wondering.
92-93 - Thursday, September 08 2022 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#421792) #
Kiner-Falefa is batting cleanup for the Yankees tonight, he of the 3 HRs and .267/.316/.335 line in September. That has to be their worst #4 hitter in a very, very long time.
Mike Green - Thursday, September 08 2022 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#421793) #
My take on the rules changes.

Pitch clock. Thumbs up. Much needed, as the in and out of the batters box, and the fidgeting on the mound is just tiresome.

Bigger bases. May avoid a few injuries particularly at first base. I don't see a downside.

Shift prevention. Thumbs down. Players were beginning to adjust, and learn to take the pitch the other way in some situations. More one-dimensional players, fewer athletes. Boring.
John Northey - Thursday, September 08 2022 @ 08:11 PM EDT (#421795) #
Pitch clock & bigger bases - big thumbs up from me too

Shift Prevention - thumbs down as I like different strategy being used by different teams, if players adjust to it it'd go away quickly.

Two step off limit for throwing to first, a third toss has to get the runner or it is an automatic balk - ie: if they throw over twice for Kirk, he can't go half way to 2B and get an easy SB as the pitcher would just step off and pick him off. I love this as I'm sick to death of pitchers playing soft toss with the first baseman.

Mound visits have a 30 second time limit from the time the manager/pitching coach steps on the field or a player on the field leaves their position to go t - a bit shorter than I'd make it (I'd give them a full minute) but this being sped up is a good thing.

The pitch timer cannot be reviewed on replay. Very logical and good idea. Too many opportunities for teams to be idiots over this otherwise.

Overall I'm good with these changes. Not a fan of the limits on the shift, but teams will dance around it anyways by having guys go the edges of the zone allowed.
Magpie - Thursday, September 08 2022 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#421796) #
Kiner-Falefa is batting cleanup for the Yankees tonight

So their last three cleanup hitters have been Oswaldo Cabrera (.192/.231/.260), Ronald Guzman (.000/.000/.000) and Kiner-Falefa.

Judge, you're on your own.
Gerry - Thursday, September 08 2022 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#421797) #
I like the pitch clock. There are too many step outs by the hitters to adjust gloves, etc. It has had a significant impact in the minor leagues in moving games along quicker.

There will be an adjustment for pitchers and hitters. Some pitchers and hitters will feel rushed and will have to be ready faster. Some players will find it harder to adjust.

The change to the bases has a safety angle but it also marginally reduces the distance between bases and will help base stealing a little.
John Northey - Thursday, September 08 2022 @ 09:10 PM EDT (#421798) #
So of course Kiner-Falefa is 2 for 3 so far tonight. One wonders how Judge feels about it when it comes time for his free agency this winter - I'd bet he wants to go to a team with some support for him vs this mess. Y'know, he'd look very nice in RF here :)
uglyone - Thursday, September 08 2022 @ 10:50 PM EDT (#421799) #
for the life of me i don't understant the anti-shift stuff.

old-timey baseball players would love it if somebody tried to shift on them.
greenfrog - Thursday, September 08 2022 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#421800) #
Yankees lose 4-3. Jays now six GB (five back in the loss column).
lexomatic - Friday, September 09 2022 @ 05:37 AM EDT (#421803) #
<br>for the life of me i don't understant the anti-shift stuff

I think many see it like the Trap in hockey , that it affects offense and makes the game boring.

I don't dislike it, though extreme use like the Jays creates chance of getting beat by groups of soft hits which is frustrating as a fan. The new ball is a worse problem.
AWeb - Friday, September 09 2022 @ 07:07 AM EDT (#421805) #
Love the pitch clock and two step off/pick off limit. Pitching gets turned into a more tiring athletic activity, long in-game delays trying to get a reliever warmed up are greatly reduced, stolen bases might increase - I am interested to see the cat/mouse game once two pickoff attempts are made. Can you imagine Rickey Henderson with this rule?

One of my favourite new rules I read was the 1 timeout per at bat limit on the batter. I would still prefer one time out per half inning per team, but by making it clear you only get one, it should remove the casual calling time that drags a game to a halt - quicker pitching also negates the need for the 'Are you going to throw a pitch...someday..maybe...f-it, I'lm calling time I've been waiting all day' timeout from the batter, one of baseballs most ridiculous non-events.

Shift changes...meh. You can still play that thrid guy right on the threshold, so shifts aren't disappearing.  I am curious if teams can play games with where the defined edge of the infield is, like other park dimensions. The end of the infield dirt didn't use to be standard, is it now? Also, has this banned the 4 OF configuration the Jays have been great loss there either if it does. A slightly higher priority on OFers who can cover more ground is okay by me.
scottt - Friday, September 09 2022 @ 08:26 AM EDT (#421808) #
The pitch clock will be nice, but the big change will be the pick off throw limit and the batter timeout limit.
The number of stolen bases will balloon. I expect to see the pitch off make a return; throw a fastball away and focus on gunning down the runner. It's possibly and advantage to a LHP who might still be able to control the running game.

Take a good lead and make the pitcher throw to you twice, then take a bigger lead and if you can get to the bag it's as good as a stolen base.

I haven't enjoyed the shifting all that much, so I don't really mind the anti-shifting rule anymore.
I wonder, can teams modify their infield to push out the outfield grass?

I wish there was a rule to punish runners who don't run. That's the thing that annoys me the most right now.

scottt - Friday, September 09 2022 @ 08:29 AM EDT (#421809) #
And maybe we could use reverse pitchcom; have the catcher wear a one ear bud and have the pitcher carry the app on his glove hand wrist.
99BlueJaysWay - Friday, September 09 2022 @ 08:32 AM EDT (#421810) #
I guess Iím in the minority on this one, but to me the shifts are a significant contributor to the three true outcome trend thatís become ever more prevalent, . I think the reduction of balls in play is a much bigger problem than throws to first or batters stepping out. On the infield, the shift takes away a lot of base hits. This makes it harder for hitters to hit singles, makes it harder for teams to string innings together, and IMO, teaches the hitter to try to go over it (more likely for that hit to fall in, and for extra bases).

I think comparisons to older generations are completely irrelevant. Pitchers today have tools at their finger tips that teach them how to maximize movement and spin, making it harder than ever to square up the ball. On top of that, pitchers are throwing way harder than before. These conditions make it harder than ever to hit the ball, and harder than ever to change your swing to go the other way. So to me, even though I hate telling teams what they can or canít do to set up their defence, I think making it easier for players to pick up singles will help generate more action, more balls in play, and discourage the trend of hitters trying to hit home runs at all costs.

If they changed the arbitration system to reward them production more evenly, I think that would also go a long way to fixing the problem
Glevin - Friday, September 09 2022 @ 08:38 AM EDT (#421811) #
"for the life of me i don't understant the anti-shift stuff."

Me neither. It has the feel of "back in the day" nostalgia and I don't think its proponents understand how little difference it will make and which players it will help the most. My feeling is that they think it will bring back more small ball but the reality is it will just give guys like Gallo a few more batting average points.
AWeb - Friday, September 09 2022 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#421813) #
I am curious if making at bats go faster will limit both pitchers and hitters in terms of putting forth 100% effort on every pitch/swing. It might (?) end up lowering strikeouts as a happy side effect. The current state of a historic # of strikeouts without anyone actually accumulating an individually high number (total, not rate), is off-putting to me. Also, I'm still amused that Reggie Jackson's SO total continues to be unassailable - can Giancarlo Stanton stay healthy enough? Upton and Cabrera look done. Trout and Harper might have the best shot...speaking of staying healthy though.

The shift changes will hopefully end up rewarding the hard-hit balls more, and the little squibs less. I think BABIP on grounders is virtually unchanged since the shift came in, but the tradeoff has been an increased reward for 'accidental' hits and hurting the hard hit balls. I think the biggest shift change will be banning the guy playing rover in shallow right field, usually against lefties. The depth has had a huge impact more than the angle, I think.

It might get sorted out in spring training, but the larger bags are going to really mess with players' muscle memory when running the bases. I'd expect a few more guys hitting the base wrong and slipping, at least initially.
uglyone - Friday, September 09 2022 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#421815) #
"though extreme use like the Jays creates chance of getting beat by groups of soft hits"

I thought that was what they call "smallball".
SK in NJ - Friday, September 09 2022 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#421816) #
I actually like all of these changes, although I'm indifferent on the shift regulations until I see it implemented and what it looks like on the field. The goal of that, at least from MLB's perspective, appears to be to increase the amount of hits when balls are in play, and not a "let's go back to the old days" mentality, so I think it's worth trying to see if it helps. The pitch clock will help for obvious reasons. Too much dead time in between pitches is an issue more than the length of the games. Baseball doesn't have a clock so you can't control how long a 9 inning game is, but you can control the pace of a 9 inning game, and hopefully it ends up being a positive.

I mentioned before that Theo Epstein was interviewed about a year or so ago and said based on their research, the 3 outcomes that fans find most exciting are triples, doubles, and stolen bases. The increased base size and limit on pick off attempts should help with the latter. It's part of the game that needs to come back, at least to some degree. Whether any of their rule changes has an impact on balls in play remains to be seen. I'm sure the pitch clock will impact both pitchers and hitters in different ways.
grjas - Friday, September 09 2022 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#421817) #
ďIn the minority on this one, but to me the shifts are a significant contributor to the three true outcome trendĒ

Youíre not the only one. To me the game has really been dulled down over the last few years and changing rules to encourage more base runners, stealing etc is worth a shot. Agree that pitching changes have had an impact as well, so time will tell if the changes liven up the game.

Now bring us robo umps.

uglyone - Friday, September 09 2022 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#421818) #
Banning the shift REWARDS a "three true outcomes" approach to hitting.

The shift punishes it.
vw_fan17 - Friday, September 09 2022 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#421819) #
Let's hope the games get faster and MORE INTERESTING with these changes.

I know, we're all more mentally accustomed to all-action-all-the-time these days, but a standard 3+ hour game is SO boring to watch - especially with the wrong commentators. I just don't have a lot of lazy Saturday afternoons left to myself like I used to in my teen years. These days, I will watch a game and skip between pitches, skip the Jays' defensive half-inning most of the time, and just watch the hits / scoring plays. Maybe 20-30 minutes, like a more detailed "condensed game". Sometimes I slow that down a bit to 40 minutes.

Having just gotten over Covid (2 weeks for my family), I haven't exercised in that time - I also will watch ~1-1.5 hours of a game while exercising. Then, I can take the slower pace - I will watch all the Jays' offensive innings at regular pace.

If these changes cut maybe 20-30% of the dead time off the game time (say, a fast game gets down to 2:00, a slower one 2:30) and then, in replay (as I watch 90% of the games, being on the west coast), I can skip 16-17x 2 minute in-between innings and another 4-6 minutes during pitcher changes, then I could watch a "full" game in 80-90 minutes, that would be reasonable. Similar to watching a hockey game with skipped commercials / intermissions.
grjas - Friday, September 09 2022 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#421820) #
Ok as a fan who has always been suspicious of the accuracy of WAR as a measure, can someone explain to me how Semien and Espinal can have such radically different WARs. The first has an OPS+ of 102, and the second 99. And they both play excellent defence. Yet the former has a bWAR of 4.5 and the latter 2.3.

Granted Semien has 20%+ more PAís than Espinal in a slightly higher number of games- reflecting Espinal recent part time play- but that doesnít seem to rationalize a WAR that is twice as high.

I can only assume there is a defensive measure that understates Espinalís valueÖ Unless I am missing something significant, this doesnít seem to pass the smell test to me.
Chuck - Friday, September 09 2022 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#421821) #
I think the reduction of balls in play is a much bigger problem than throws to first or batters stepping out.

If shifts were truly effective, would we not be seeing a greater league-wide drop in BABIP than we actually are, if we are really seeing much of a change at all that is?

Looking back at history, it doesn't seem that BABIP was historically higher than it is now. Yes, the number of balls in play was higher, mainly due to fewer strikeouts, but that's a different issue, isn't it? How is the shift the bad guy in all this?

Chuck - Friday, September 09 2022 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#421822) #
Yet the former has a bWAR of 4.5 and the latter 2.3.

I obviously don't know the components that went into the math, but Semien has 33% more PA than Espinal, is the better base stealer and baserunner, and may have better defensive numbers per BR's modeling.

It should be noted that Fangraphs has Semien ahead 3.2 to 2.3, and that is all attributable to the extra playing time.

but that doesn't rationalize a WAR that is twice as high

Any opposition you have to either BR or FG's WAR, either specifically or theoretically, should not be considered by looking at the ratio of one player's to another. Yes, 4.5 is twice 2.3, but really you should be considering that Semien's is 2 higher than Espinal's. This difference in context may be esoteric, but WAR is additive, not multiplicative. If one player had a WAR of 2 and another a WAR of 0, you'd consider the additive difference, not risk a divide-by-zero error when considering the difference as a ratio.

Chuck - Friday, September 09 2022 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#421823) #
Pitch clock. Thumbs up.

Agreed wholeheartedly. This is why games drag, not because of a few throws to first base or a few extra relievers. It's the death by a thousand cuts... all those small pockets of seconds at a time between pitches that add up over a game.

By way of analogy, the tennis match this week between Kyrgios and Khachanov moved along at a nice clip (the childish outbursts notwithstanding). Two guys from the Buehrle school of serving. Get the ball, serve. Get the ball, serve. Nadal, while one of the greatest ever, is painful to watch. His Garciaparra-like OCD rituals between every opposition serve, and his maxing out (and exceeding, really) the clock on his own serves, make his games drag.

dalimon5 - Friday, September 09 2022 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#421824) #
Iíve always been weary of WAR and other measurements that are based on ďmodelsĒ of measurement like defensive metrics.
grjas - Friday, September 09 2022 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#421825) #
but WAR is additive, not multiplicative.

Yes I know. But a player with a WAR of 4.5 is considered to have had a much better year than one with a 2.3. It is a good reminder not to place all emphasis on one measure. And on this site, posters like UO often do a good job of presenting multiple measures.

Speaking of which, I found the fan graph playoff odds predictions pretty ludicrous. In early August, they had the Jays playoff odds in the 90s despite a number of teams in field goal range. It was nonsensical. They also post odds at a level of precision (eg 93.5%) that is inconsistent with the broad assumptions in the model. Itís quite misleading, but I guess fans donít like projections in ranges, as they should be reported.
Glevin - Friday, September 09 2022 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#421826) #
"Banning the shift REWARDS a "three true outcomes" approach to hitting.

The shift punishes it."

This is exactly it. The hitters who will benefit the most are pull hitting 3 LH 3 outcome guys. I do have some sympathy for not wanting to play infielders in the OF which feels like it robs hitters of line drive hits sometimes which feels a little unfair, but moving guys to one side of the bad will basically help left hand power hitters get 5-10 extra singles a year.
scottt - Friday, September 09 2022 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#421827) #
The biggest difference is that fangraphs does not credit the pitchers for outs made on the field.
There is a fixed number of WAR because there is a fixed number of wins.
The offense + defense + pitching (and baserunning and whatnot included where you want) have to balance to the number of wins.

Semien, 3.2 fWAR, 9.7 Offense, 1.8 defense.
Espinal, 2.3 fWAR, -1.3 Offense, 8.9 defense.

I was thinking that maybe fangraphs credits the fielders with the difference between ERA and FIP, in some way.
But maybe they just value the HR more. Semien has 21 and Espinal has 7.

Semien 4.5 bWAR, 3.8 oWAR, 1.8 dWAR.
Espinal 2.3 bWar, 1.7 oWAR, 1.1 dWAR.

There is a positional value component that is included in both dWAR and oWAR, which is mostly why Espinal bWAR isn't 2.8. Semien gets a small boost there for having played 17 games at shortstop which has the highest value. Semien plays everyday.

The formula for oWAR basically goes batting runs + base running runs + GIDP runs + Positional adjustment + league adjustment + replacement runs)/ runs per wins.

Base running includes stolen bases, first to third on single, second to third on in-field hits, advancing on sac flys, etc..

AWeb - Friday, September 09 2022 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#421828) #
fangraphs models have loved the Jays roster all year, and still do. Their playoff odds take player projections into account, and so a team currently in playoff position (default chances must be at least 50%), who is projected to have a top-3 record in the remaining games, gets you to mid-90% chances even a month ago. I haven't gone in and looked where the projections seem to be unreasonably favourable (love Vlad? expected Bo to return to form? Think Springer will be healthy?), but that's where it comes from.

I think of it this way - aside from Kirk, there's not a single position player who is exceeding reasonable expectations this year.
John Northey - Friday, September 09 2022 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#421829) #
The WAR talk has me thinking about the 'trades' of this past winter - not real trades, but trade offs in the lineup/rotation via guys leaving and coming.
  • Gausman (2.8 bWAR, 5.2 fWAR) vs Ray (2.4 bWAR, 2.0 fWAR)
  • Chapman (3.2 bWAR, 3.6 fWAR) vs Semien (4.5 bWAR, 3.2 fWAR)
  • Tapia (-0.4 bWAR, -0.4 fWAR) vs Grichuk (0.5 bWAR, 0.1 fWAR)
  • Kikuchi (-1.2 bWAR, -0.8 fWAR) vs Matz (-0.5 bWAR, 0.5 fWAR)
Gausman vs Ray is a massive difference at FanGraphs, but nothing of note at BR. BR uses ERA/innings, FG FIP/Innings.

Chapman vs Semien is weird. Semien defense at FG is 1.9, Chapman 3.1 (makes sense), but BR has it 1.3 for Semien vs 0.4 for Chapman which is bizarre given how good Chapman looks out there vs how I remember Semien (very good but not anything amazing).

Tapia vs Grichuk is one ugly defender vs another. Grichuk -9.0 on defense vs Tapia -8.3 (FanGraphs) with wRC+ of 84 (T) vs 92 (G). Again BR likes G on defense (-0.5) vs T (-0.8) ... OK, like isn't right, but sees their liabilities in the field as less of an issue.

Matz actually has been better than Kikuchi - huh. Of course, part of that is Matz only has 42 2/3 IP, 10 starts this year due to injuries, Kikuchi sadly has had 26 games 90 1/3 IP. Lets just write that mess off - both sucked, Kikuchi a bit more.

I'd love to add pen guys to this, but that is much harder as Romano was the closer both years and finding direct 'this guy replaced this guy' is hard with the churn pens go through. Phelps & Garcia getting 50+ IP each this year (105 combined) is a big plus though over guys like Dolis, Kay, and Chatwood (93 innings between them getting their butts kicked hard). Kind of surprised looking back though - Dolis had 3 saves, 1 blown plus 4 holds - sure felt a LOT worse than that. Chatwood 1 save, 1 blown, 11 holds. If you told me Dolis & Chatwood only blew 2 saves last year I'd have laughed - no way as it felt like they sucked a lot. Guess the manager did better than I thought in keeping them from blowing it - wonder how often they left the next reliever in a nightmare situation (tying run on 3rd or something).

Overall I'd say the GM did a good job shuffling deck chairs this year. The big challenge now is can these guys push though into the playoffs and then go deep into the post-season? If they do then the Jays should have the money to get another key piece (another starter? Judge? Yeah, yeah, I know he ain't coming but it is fun to dream of him hitting between Vlad and Bo).
Awards Watch & Off-Day Stufff in General | 42 comments | Create New Account
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