Monday, March 21, 2011

Rox Talk - Errors

Errors and Winning Percentage
In defense (ah get it?) of Troy, I was curious about the same thing that he wrote in his column yesterday. What part does defense play in successful teams?  Pretty easy to see that not giving up extra outs allows your pitcher to be more comfortable.  But is it that black and white?  I didn't look at any exotic defensive statistics, just simply looked at errors and winning percentage.  Graph below shows the results from 2006 - 2010.  X-axis is winning percentage and Y-axis is errors.  Correlation of this data (R^2) is around 0.2 indicating that while it makes sense that fewer errors would lead to more wins, the data over the last 5 years indicates that this isn't exactly true.  

Look at the graph and one point kind of jumps out at you and that is the team with a winning percentage below 0.400 and less than 80 errors...that would be the 2009 Pirates who won 62 games.  Now of course the year the Rox went to the World Series they committed only 68 errors.  The average errors committed over the 5 year period is 99.  Teams having more errors then the average won an average of 78 games while the teams committing less than this average won on average 84 games.  So regardless of the scatter plot below, generally, committing less errors does help a team out.  Over those 5 years the teams in the top 10 won on average 86 games and if you throw out the Pirates and Jays, then that average number of wins jumps to 90 which is probably a playoff team.

And what about the Rox specifically.  See the data below.  No real correlation between defensive prowness and wins.

- Ah the continuing battle between seamheads and old school stat always Joe says it best...original article here...and I resent the quote about my mother's basement, because I didn't have one!
Chris Quick's article is an eyesore for Rox fans and of course makes a pretty good argument that defense does matter...maybe my analysis of errors above is an error?
- Just because I love Ichiro...

- And finally in a tweet by Mike Axisa, he gives us this little gem:
"Greg Maddux faced 20,421 batters in his career. Just 310 of them saw a 3-0 count. That's roughly one every three starts."  Wow!

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