2:53 pm August 16, 2012, by David O'Brien
August 16th, 20125:17 pm
Really,guys, sometimes we over analyze just a tad here.
Yeah, I know, CB. But let’s be honest, do you think Wren and the folks upstairs just say “he’s a pitcher that keeps us in the game” as a description of his skillset? I think it’s pretty important to classify pitchers ceilings, present stuff, projectability, etc. I mean, what else are we to talk about?
So Greinke is a #2 and going to get 20-25 million a year. What good is a ranking system if he is a #2 and going to get paid like an Ace?
Well, I don’t think anyone who thinks Greinke is an ace or a #1 is crazy. And a #2 starter is pretty darn good.
And why is it that we got the Cubs 3rd best pitcher, which makes him a #3 on the Cubs, which is probably a #4 anywhere else, and he is absolutely dominating the rest of the league?
Yes, I’d say Maholm is a #4. That seems about right. He has a 108 ERA+. That’s very good. I wouldn’t say that’s “dominating.” The Braves got him simply because he improves their chances. It’s as simple as that.
I’m just not seeing the value of numbering guys who are established major leaguers.
It’s just a way to break things down. Again, basically it’s the language of scouting. If someone says, “this guy’s a #2,” a scout can easily understand what that means.
Give me Hudson and Maholm all day long compared to Greinke and Dempster. Cheaper and apparently better pitchers.
Yes, contracts matter. So I can understand preferring Hudson and Maholm to Greinke and Dempster from that perspective. But if we are just classifying them in terms of quality, contract doesn’t matter. Also, I’m not sure why your preferences among these pitchers negates the way scouts classify starting pitchers.
Brave New World
August 16th, 20125:19 pm
So the losers have discovered Brian McCann is hurting. Start circling now vultures.
What was the top speed on his FB?
He averages 87.8mph on his heater. Yeah, I mean, not every guy succeeds at 92mph. But look around the league – most all the greats are averaging 91mph+. I prefer my guy to miss bats, which doesn’t always have to mean they sit in the low 90’s. But it sure helps.
Last 30 days:
Medlen 1.09 3 starts, 8 games
Maholm 1.57 3 starts
Minor 2.39 6 starts
Sheets 2.53 5 starts
Hudson 3.08 6 starts (5-0)
August 16th, 20125:20 pm
Efrim,nothing wrong with a pitcher that keeps us in the game. Kind of the anti-Lowe.
August 16th, 20125:21 pm
Is J.R Graham A Righty Or Lefty?
With all the pitcher rating talk earlier, what’s Brandon Beachy going forward then? He hasn’t played enough to really put a tag on him but potential wise what can he maintain? He only has 41 MLB starts under his belt but has produced a nice 3.07 ERA
August 16th, 20125:24 pm
“He only has 41 MLB starts under his belt but has produced a nice 3.07 ERA”
ERA is meaningless don’t you know. Only your number matters. Now 1’s and 2’s over there and 3’s-5’s over here. There you go. Now we know how you’ll pitch.
Someone cue/queue? Greinke and Dempster’s ERAs with their new teams.
August 16th, 20125:25 pm
Thank You Efrim……
August 16th, 20125:27 pm
coach Not to nitpick but that very same 1994 season was one where nobody played due to the strike
they played more than half a season in 1994.
August 16th, 20125:28 pm
“that very same 1994 season was one where nobody played due to the strike”
Apparently that was the season that Michael Jordan would have made the big leagues in baseball if it wasn’t for the strike. (Documentary from ESPN is now up on Netflix )
August 16th, 20125:29 pm
So, a pitcher’s speed on his fastball is more important than his ERA or whether he performs well and keeps his team in the game? Also, when he stands on the mound if they call him an ace, a no. 1,2,3,4 or 5 this will undoubtedly make a difference? Just trying to get the rules straight here, don’t want to be uninformed. Really,guys, sometimes we over analyze just a tad here.
CB, lots of things matter in terms of classifying pitchers into #1, #2, #3, etc. Speed on his fastball, command, control, how good his secondary offerings are, his durability, knowing when to throw certain pitches…all sorts of stuff goes in to this, which is a big reason why we need to break it down. Instead of having to explain all those aspects of a pitcher’s game, we can just say he’s a #1 or a #2 or a #3 or whatever.
As far as ERA, that’s probably not something to focus on when breaking down pitchers from a scouts perspective. Sure, maybe you glance at it but ERA isn’t even all that close to the full story because so much influences a pitcher’s ERA that have nothing to do with whether he can pitch.
As far as things mattering when a player is standing on the mound, since when does anything that people discuss and categories matter when a player is on the field? Is the point of classifying players and categorizing and profiling players so that it makes a difference when the player is out on the field?
The whole point of blog comments is to analyze and opine, pretty much. What would you like this to be if it’s not about analyzing and offering up points of views? You want people to just come here and comment with something like, “Yo, everybody! Go Braves! Braves are awesome! That’s all.”?
I bet Maholm is enjoying pitching some meaningful games, he sure didn’t get too many of those with the Cubs. It has to mean a lot to him and Reed Johnson.
Blue ridge Brave
August 16th, 20125:32 pm
Id could see graham getting a sep call up and put in the pin much like vizzy last year. I also would love to get a look a Gattis to see if his bat is for real i know he has hit a rough patch of late but his numbers still look great and we need a third catcher anyway. The only problem i could see would be the 40 man which he is not on.
shaun a pitcher’s ERA that have nothing to do with whether he can pitch.
ive noticed that a pitcher being sucky has a high correlation to a low ERA.
August 16th, 20125:33 pm
My grandson is # 74 today in pin-stripes if the prospects game tonight [7:00 p.m.] is telecast anywhere. Starts in RF tonight.
Shaun, I bet you are the last one to catch sarcasm in your family.
August 16th, 20125:35 pm
Also, what DAP said about ERA.
Wonder is the Braves exercising Moholm’s option will help get Reed Johnson to resign. With the team having huge question marks in LF and CF going into next season we need a good 4th outfielder who can play all spots and hold his own with the bat. Reed fits the bill.
August 16th, 20125:36 pm
So, I see the criticisms for a scouting concept is similar to the criticisms of sabermetric concepts. Good to know that for some there is just a hatred for both facets and it’s not just a hatred of sabermetrics or “stat heads.” Seems like for a few there is just a general hatred of information, analyzing and assessing baseball.
In order to be a baseball fan, you aren’t allowed to get in to how players are evaluated, whether it be through scouting or through more objective and data-driven means. Baseball fans should just mindlessly enjoy the game. I get it.
August 16th, 20125:42 pm
“Seems like for a few there is just a general hatred of information, analyzing and assessing baseball. ”
No, just the labeling of pitchers with numbers 1-5, like this is 1984 or Brave New World.
Waffle House or Bust
August 16th, 20125:43 pm
No Elvis today? That is shocking from a big fan like you DOB.
Yo, everybody! Go Braves! Braves are awesome! That’s all.
Just for Shaun.
August 16th, 20125:44 pm
I like to use ERA as an overall quick reference. Shaun is right that ERA doesn’t tell the whole story. Kinda get’s back to debating why Grienke may or may not be an ACE, while his Career ERA is only 3.84 in 222 starts, his secondary stats suggest he’s better than that. Plus all the saber stats that factor in fielding and such. (Which I still need to learn about)
August 16th, 20125:45 pm
you don’t have to throw heat to be a successful starting pitcher to be succesful in the big leagues as Maddux and Glavine taught everybody. It is nice having the flamethrower to balance out the rotation like Smoltz did. Pitching after someone like Maholm will make the fastball look even faster and pitching after the heat thrower will make Minor/Maholm etc. more effective keeping hitters off balance.
Balance rotations with lefties and righties but also with heat and finesse
August 16th, 20125:48 pm
Chipper is gonna tear it up in the Old Timer’s games. He could draw a walk to Cooperstown with his eyes closed.
August 16th, 20125:50 pm
Pirates led 3-0, then Dodgers 4-3, now Pirates again 8-4…
August 16th, 20125:51 pm
The Braves record when leading after 8 innings is 60-0, The Red’s are 56-2, Mets are 50-1
August 16th, 20125:52 pm
Hey David. How big of a deal is it to switch to a 6 man rotation for 2 weeks? Tom Glavine does commentary on some of the Braves’ games, he’s not a fan and I haven’t heard a lot of people lifting Freddy up on their shoulders for the decision.
David Schoenfield (2:16 PM)
David Cone, who does Yankees games, also said he wasn’t a fan (they were talking about A.J. Burnett and the Pirates). I think it makes sense for some pitchers (Tommy Hanson, Mike Minor), but I would certainly try to keep a Burnett or Tim Hudson going every fifth day.
Va, just about everybody would agree with your 5:44. Still, the game is still about keeping the other team off the scoreboard and scoring more than them. You can stat them to death but that still is the name of that tune.
August 16th, 20125:53 pm
Traveling from Memphis to see the Braves play in San Fran next week! Cant wait! Too bad melk man wont be there haha
August 16th, 20125:56 pm
“I think it makes sense for some pitchers (Tommy Hanson, Mike Minor), but I would certainly try to keep a Burnett or Tim Hudson going every fifth day.”
It makes sense for almost everyone one of our starters. Medlen isn’t really used to throwing 100 pitches yet, Minor is young, Hudson and Sheets are battling with minor aches and pains, Hanson is coming back after an injury. Maybe the only guy who wouldn’t need it is Maholm, but he has thrown quite a bit as of late and gone deep into games.
August 16th, 20125:59 pm
So the whole scouting community treats pitchers like this is 1984 or Brave New World, whatever that means? Good to know.
August 16th, 20126:00 pm
August 16th, 2012
The Braves record when leading after 8 innings is 60-0, The Red’s are 56-2, Mets are 50-1
Kimbrel aka Nintendo is responsible for this. When watching the games and the Braves get the final out in the 8th against the opposing team I know the game is over…I just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show in the 9th being put on by the best closer in baseball.
August 16th, 20126:01 pm
VaBravesFan (re 5 to 6-man rotation)
I don’t see any discernable difference with a 6-man rotation, with no off days, and a 5-man rotation, with off days, for only 2 1/2 weeks.
Semper Fi Braves fan
Mc”Cann” him…. Would rather see Ross mentoring Christian Bethancourt as the catcher of the future.
August 16th, 20126:02 pm
Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN
Joe Blanton gets relieved, gets ejected and then gets crazy, in that order. Blanton had stared down Angel Campos, before saying something.
August 16th, 20126:03 pm
Shaun – Apparently not much of a reader of fiction books, eh?
All the analysis I need is right here: Barring injury, Hudson, Maholm, and Medlen appear to be solid reliable starters. There are still question marks attached to Hanson, Sheets, and Minor. If the playoffs started TODAY I want Hudson pitching the make-or-break game, with Medlen-Maholm hopefully starting the first series and Sheets going next. Hanson could do a lot to change my mind, as could Sheets if he holds up over time. Minor still needs more seasoning before I’d rely on him.
Aside from getting injured, I don’t recall ever being disappointed in a Kris Medlen start. Just love his demeanor on the mound and his approach. Hanson just needs to get healthy and get his command back.
August 16th, 20126:04 pm
Right, the idea is evaluating players based on the skills that influence keeping runs off or putting runs on the scoreboard. If you are looking at stats the measure those skills or scouting players and paying attention to those types of skills, that matters. You can’t just say because a player’s team scores or gives up a lot of runs, that player alone has the necessary skills to put runs on or keep runs off the scoreboard. Just because a stat has the word “run” in the title, doesn’t mean it’s telling us a great deal about an individual players’ skills that influence scoring and preventing runs.
August 16th, 20126:05 pm
So now with the 6-man rotation, aren’t we going to need to extend the pitching numbering system from 1-5 to 1-6. That should drive some of us on here crazy.
Are the 1’s really 2’s now?
2’s really 3’s now?
3’s really 4’s now?
4’s really 5’s now?
5’s really 6’s now?
August 16th, 20126:07 pm
Wow. Not only do some want to ignore stats that measure things that individual players do that influence scoring and preventing runs, but some want to ignore scouting a player’s skills and tools that influence scoring and preventing runs. To some if there is a statistic whose title has the word “run” in it, that’s all they think they need to pay attention to to understand a baseball player. Amazing.
“Just because a stat has the word “run” in the title, doesn’t mean it’s telling us a great deal about an individual players’ skills”
Yep, ERA, RBI, HR all meaningless. Heck the scoreboard should no longer be Runs/Hits/Errors.
We should just get rid of runs and just list the Hits and Errors. Maybe added Walks to keep the triplet?
August 16th, 20126:09 pm
Strike Years stats counted but not the standings. Braves were firmly in second behind the Expos. Regardless, Chipper did not have an AB in 1994 because of a combination of the two.
August 16th, 20126:11 pm
Shaun, what is really amazing is that you keep coming back even when most of us make fun of you. Must be the teacher in you, educating all of us unwashed and ignorant.
August 16th, 20126:14 pm
Hanson just needs to get healthy and get his command back.
And if he has any spare time he could develop a new delivery that got the ball released in under 2 seconds after he starts his motion and does not seem to destroy elbow and should tissue with every pitch.
August 16th, 20126:16 pm
keylargo – And according to Efrim, added 2 or 3 MPH to his fastball.
August 16th, 20126:18 pm
Most lanes of eastbound I-285 near the Chattahoochee River in the Sandy Springs area were blocked Thursday as the afternoon rush hour got under way after a multi-vehicle crash left multiple fatalities, authorities said.
From AJC…. might be blocked until 9pm tonight… glad I missed that, I drove past there. Keep safe folks.
August 16th, 20126:19 pm
Don’t know if this has been posted already… here’s one man’s (John Sickel’s) definition of #1, 2, etc. pitchers.
August 16th, 20126:22 pm
MFin04 – How delinquent of me to omit wisdom from Efrim! :mrgreen”:
August 16th, 20126:24 pm
Current examples: for me, Zack Greinke is a guy who exists right on the borderline between a very strong Number Two and a Number One
So close to a #1… still a top pitcher
Oh, wow. Sucks for whomever is driving on I285.
No Elvis today? That is shocking from a big fan like you DOB. — Waffle House or Bust
I don’t celebrate The King’s death. Only his life.
Besides, he’s not dead. (smile)
August 16th, 20126:26 pm
Issue with Greinke, keeping him from #1 is his makeup.
there’s nothing #2 about Cain or Greinke.
but otoh, it’s fairly comforting to hear this since I keep hearing Harvey and Wheeler referred to as future #2s.
Speaking specifically about
Cain and Greinke and using the BA definitions of a number one Greinke lacks the plus makeup. There can be some debate as to whether Cain has two plus pitches.
I’m about as Pro-Greinke as you can be. I love the guy. But most scouts wouldn’t consider him a Pure One due to the makeup issues
The #1-5 definition is good, but it still doesn’t really have anything to do with statistical results, just makeup of the pitcher. I’m not sure everyone would agree that Maddux was a #1. Only after he performed at a high level for a while did they probably give him that status.
Either way, it seems very possible to have a guy that is a #2 or #3 pitch better than a #2 or #1 for his career, right?
August 16th, 20126:27 pm
Greinke’s WAR is consistently better than his actual performance, mainly do to his FIP being much higher than his ERA. Weaver is the opposite – his WAR is lower than his actual performance because his FIP is higher.
I like advanced metrics, but when you see players like Greinke and Weaver who are consistently better or worse than they “should” be based upon abstract advanced metrics, you’ve got to look for what is wrong with the formula.
August 16th, 20126:28 pm
Not to nitpick but that very same 1994 season was one where nobody played due to the strike. — Coach
Not sure what you mean by nobody played. The Braves played 114 games in 1994. By the way, Fred McGriff had 135 hits, 34 homers and 94 RBIs in that abbreviated season. And Maddux won 16 games.
August 16th, 20126:29 pm
“Greinke’s WAR is consistently better than his actual performance”
ERA and W’s my friend, ERA and W’s. Oh and if your pitcher can hit homers and drive in runs that helps too.
August 16th, 20126:30 pm
With this shoulder issue for Mac, does it get cured by rest? Will it be ongoing? Is there a procedure to alleviate the problem? — DS1
No pat answers for that. It can often be cured with rest, rehab and shoulder strengthening exercises. But sometimes surgery is required.
August 16th, 20126:31 pm
According to that article Blanton is clearly a #3. Umm maybe after today he is a #4.
Guy isn’t a good pitcher. Really isn’t.
August 16th, 20126:32 pm
Someone on Twitter had a good idea: Remake Tom Petty’s tune as “Last Dance With Larry Wayne”….
Elvis lives in Europe, or he did in the late 80’s when somebody did an interview with him. Probably still there.
August 16th, 20126:37 pm
Docs don’t think the shoulder is a problem, but obviously it IS.
Give him 3 days rest and let Ross play.
August 16th, 20126:38 pm
I meant as far as production is concerned – it’s a problem…
August 16th, 20126:39 pm
And now I have Last Dance with Mary Jane stuck in my head…
ERA and W’s my friend, ERA and W’s
I don’t mind some of that WAR and sabermetric stuff… everything in moderation, I say
yup, Huddy had on his “high heeled sneakers” the day they measured him at 6′1;. if he actually hits 6 foot I doubt it
August 16th, 20126:40 pm
That was a very good article by Sickels about rating starting pitchers. Couldn’t agree more with the part about Greinke, why he’s not a true No. 1 right now because of the makeup. Which is why it makes no sense to me that anyone believes Greinke should be one of the two or three highest-paid pitchers in the game. You pay a pitcher $20 million a year in a long-term deal, you better be getting a bonafide No. 1 guy, a bada$$ who goes out and produces year after year, and certainly a pitcher you don’t have to worry about each week, whether he’s going to be in the right frame of mind and whether everything’s OK with him. The guy making those bucks should be the least of your worries, like a Verlander or Halladay, or going back a bit, a Clemens or Maddux, etc.
August 16th, 20126:41 pm
The Dodgers-Pirates game is almost as offense-heavy as the Yankees-Ranger one was…
August 16th, 20126:42 pm
Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN
A.J. Burnett strikes out Hanley, then screams at him, “Sit the —- down.” Hanley gets fined by the umpire after throwing his bat.
Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN
For those who didn’t see it: Earlier in the game, Hanley had gestured toward Burnett after hitting a HR off him. So Burnett responded…
August 16th, 20126:43 pm
Kimbrel’s 97 is effective because he’s putting it at the knees on the black, inside and outside corner. And as soon as people start trying to gear up for that, he can either elevate 99 or drop that filthy slider to get a swing and miss.
“I don’t mind some of that WAR and sabermetric stuff”
Yep, I don’t mind it either, actually I think it is smart to try and calculate value. At the same time though, you have to be open to the possibility that your team could be made up of a lot of #3’s who are pitching better than #2’s and fringe #1’s. A guys number doesn’t pitch in the game, the pitcher does. I’m fine with a bunch of #3’s who put up numbers like this:
Medlen 1.09 3 starts
Maholm 1.57 3 starts
Minor 2.39 6 starts
Sheets 2.53 5 starts
Hudson 3.08 6 starts
August 16th, 20126:45 pm
It can often be cured with rest, rehab and shoulder strengthening exercises.
So you’re telling me that there are exercises that can be done during the off season that can actually stop these type of injuries from occurring? Why doesn’t Brian McCann know this? Or more importantly doesn’t McFann know this so she can pester him into coming to spring training prepared?
I would have never guessed these things could be prevented.
AJ Burnett is my new hero. Hanley hit a HR on him and flashed him that sign thing he does (LA??) while he was round second. Later AJ struck him out and gave him some friendly “SIT DOWN!” advice.
August 16th, 20126:47 pm
that is several times now that coach has claimed that the 1994 season did not exist at all, at least once while denigrating another poster for talking about stats from it.
“So you’re telling me that there are exercises that can be done during the off season that can actually stop these type of injuries from occurring?”
He can’t do the exercises because that would reduce his weight, and as well all know you have to carry extra weight to deal with the Atlanta heat and be able to catch in the Majors like some on here believe.
McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:
August 16th, 20126:48 pm
He didn’t say “prevented”, he said “cured”…Sweet lord…
August 16th, 20126:49 pm
August 16th, 20126:52 pm
has he had that condition b4? if not why would he even be aware of such exercises?
Matt Kemp telling Victorino to get the F off of him while trying to reach the umpire after getting ejecting.
Such a great teammate.
Strong #2 starter/borderline #1 – makes sense for Greinke. Matt Cain is probably around that too.
McFann – I know his numbers are bad enough, no less to be dogging him. Just wish the guy would come into the season in better shape and would be better able to deal with the rigors of catching, the added weight doesn’t help, not in the heat, not for catching.
August 16th, 20126:54 pm
chipper is 1st ballot, easily…….. especially once he ends with a world series mvp ..
I think Cain is a #1
August 16th, 20126:56 pm
Yeah, OK. Whatever. I really don’t feel like going through all this again…
Every year in ST everybody (DOB included) talk about what good shape BMac’s in. That’s all I have to say—thank you, and good night.
August 16th, 20126:57 pm
Wow, Coach. Nobody played in 94? The strike didn’t occur until August.
August 16th, 20126:58 pm
The only makeup issues that Greinke has is that he wears mascara instead of eye liner… And that he wears Olay instead of L’Oreal…
Besides, I can’t see him getting 20mil a year, not with his perceived “issues” and the fact that he doesn’t want to play for a big-market team. If we win the WS, he might give us a discount…. he wants to play with winners
August 16th, 20126:59 pm
nolie has he had that condition b4? if not why would he even be aware of such exercises?
One of his shoulders got dislocated in a 2004 play-at-the-plate—don’t recall which one, though…Anyway, if that had anything to do with it, it wouldn’t have waited 8 years, I’m sure…
“Every year in ST everybody (DOB included) talk about what good shape BMac’s in”
Yep, and every year he has some sort of health issue and he is only going to get older. I really hope he gets healthy quick…we need him to. His bat makes this lineup even deeper. Maybe he’ll crush some stuff tonight. Here is to hoping.
Greinke is a sissy-man wuss
August 16th, 20127:00 pm
BMac isn’t hitting and we still win games…. gonna be fuel to the fire for the ones who want/think Bethancourt to start.
August 16th, 20127:01 pm
DOB: Excellent Chipper piece. One addition: you mention the two years that Joe D and Teddy Ballgame missed during WWII. The Splendid Splinter missed the greater part of two MORE years during the Korean Conflict. Take a look: He was in his prime, but he had 101 total ABs in 1952 and ‘53. He was aged 33-34 and the year before his line was .318/30/126 with OPS of 1.019. His next full year his OPS was 1.148. So – the Original Kid lost almost five full prime years in the service of our country. My understanding is he was plenty proud of his time as a Marine Pilot. We can only wonder how many more than his 521 HR and other stats he might have had with 5 prime years added. Years later – age 41 – he hit .316, went yickety 29 times and had 72 RBIs. Awesome.
I wish the best for McCann.
August 16th, 20127:03 pm
Greinke obviously doesn’t eat at Chic-Fila
There are so few of those guys out there….maybe 10 guys? Since there are 30 teams, that’s going to push the price on the fakers up.
Just gotta be a smart organization and recognize it. Sorta like paying a 30 year old speedster with a career 92 OPS+ 16-18 million dollars. Not smart.
August 16th, 20127:06 pm
Hopefully, I won’t fall asleep during this game, heh. I’ve been dozing off all day, due to the general anesthesia and hydrocodone.
I agree with this.
August 16th, 20127:07 pm
BoatDoc: In my opinion, Ted Williams was the greatest hitter that ever played.
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