Saturday, February 25, 2012

Rox Talk - 2012 Milestones

With baseball so number driven, what milestones can we look forward to this year on the Diamond?  Below is where our Rox currently stand and how far away they have to reach a milestone.

Current Runs Scored:  438 (62 more for 500)
Current Home Runs:  122 (28 more for 150)
Current RBI:  443 (57 more for 500)
Current Total Bases:  1330 (170 for 1500)

Current Games Played:  446 (54 more for 500)
Current Hits: 491 (9 more for 500)
Current Doubles: 97 (3 more for 100)
Current Home Runs: 77 (23 more for 100)
Current Total Bases:  859 (141 for 1000)

Current Plate Appearances: 8728 (272 for 9000)
Current At Bats: 7325 (175 for 7500)
Current Hits:  2363  (137 for 2500)
Current Home Runs:  347 (3 for 350)

Current Plate Appearances: 4555 (445 for 5000)
Current Doubles: 239 (11 for 250)
Current Home Runs: 141 (9 for 150)
Current Total Bases: 1838 (162 for 2000)

Current Doubles: 214 (36 for 250)
Current Total Bases: 1465 (35 for 1500)

Current Games Played: 1457 (43 for 1500)

Current Games Played:  405 (95 for 500)

Current Total Bases: 1987 (13 for 2000)

Current Hits:  1948 (52 for 2000)
Current Doubles: 391 (9 for 400)
Current Home Runs:  428 (22 for 450)
Current Intentional Walks:  93 (7 for 100)

Current Games Pitched:  68 (32 for 100)
Current Innings Pitched: 342.1 (157.2 for 500)
Current Batter's Faced" 1458 (42 for 1500)

Current Wins: 47 (3 for 50)
Current Games Pitched:  177 (23 for 200)
Current Batter's Faced:  4325 (675 for 5000)

Current Batter's Faced:  2313 (187 for 2500)

Current Games Pitched:  543 (57 for 600)
Current Hit Batters:  1 (99 for 100)

Current Wins:  267  (8 for 275)
Current Games Pitched:  686  (14 for 700)
Current Stikeouts:  2405 (95 for 2500)
Current Batter's Faced:  17102 (498 for 17500)

Monday, February 20, 2012

2012 BedRox Predictions

With the 2012 season in full swing (OK just some swings), I am going to throw out some BedRox Predictions for the 2012 and while some might be less predicative, some are personal hopes for the upcoming season.

10)  This one is easy...Rox will score the most runs in the National League this year.  The baseball talking heads will call it the return of Nintendo Ball and dismiss the humidor.  Stats will simply say the offensive prowness has returned to pre-steroid days and that Coors is just a good place to hit.

9)  The Tulo/Scutaro combo will be the best double play tandem in MLB.

8)  Buoyed by early season run support the Rox young pitchers will gain some confidence and pitch satisfactory throughout the year keeping the team in Wild Card contention.

7)  Nicasio, our number 3 starter, will lead the team in wins through the All Star break (Chacin and Gutherie will pitch well but our offense will struggle with team's better pitchers and tee off on the lower half of opposing team's staffs).

6)  Casey Blake will be a liability at the plate from Day One.  He will play a decent third base but will find himself released by May.

5)  Helton won't play in more than 100 games this year but will collect 100 hits.

4)  Betancourt will struggle at some point during the season and Brothers will save at least 10 games this year.

3)  Pomenranz will garner some rookie of the year consideration as he will win 10 games.

2)  Tulo will finish in the Top 3 for MVP considerations.  He will lead the league with 40 homers and 125 RBIs.  He will finish with the Top WAR in the National League

1)  Rox will sneak into the playoffs with 85 wins.

Denver Post - My Questions Answered

Jason Giambi
Jeremy Gutherie
Todd Helton

Huston Street

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rox Talk - Links and Thoughts

With real baseball coming soon, I figure I would just catch up on stuff that I found interesting on the inter webs these past few months (bottom line, 2012 could be dismal :( )

Building Through the Draft - Rox finish in 11th with 63.7 WAR through the draft since 2002.  Thing I find fascinating is that the three top teams aren't strapped for cash.  Interesting to see what the Cubs do for the next few years and wow Seattle has just been awful.  Who is getting paid what in their front office?

Mile Fly City? - O'Dowd mentioned this during his talk at FanFest this year.  By now you should know my opinion of O'Dowd.  Here is just another crazy take and it shows he still hasn't figured out how to win here in Denver.  Rather than just getting good players he continuously looks for some obscure edge.  Really inducing weak fly balls?  How about we just induce bunts?

Chemistry and Culture - Blah Blah - Really culture?  Come on the teams he is talking about isn't all that different than the 2009 playoff team.  There were a set of core players.  I think this is just masking the fact we lacked talent...not culture.  Come on O'Dowd own up and just say we lacked players who could play baseball...simple, let's not sugar coat it!  Quote says it all, "If the moves do work, I suspect it won't be because of some magic clubhouse elixir. It will be because Helton stays healthy, Cuddyer has a big year, Scutaro gives the team a good second baseman, and three guys in the rotation step up and pitch 200 innings. In the end, it's about the talent."

Negative WAR Players - Rox don't look so good here (26th place with 25% negative WAR position players).  So if we build through the draft (see above) we then fill the rest of the team with nothing but below average replacement players!

Which Team Will We Get? - ESPN is just has mystified by what the Rox might do this year.  They have gone from 92 wins to 83 wins to 73 wins.  Guess what Vegas thinks we will do this year?  Yup 82.5 wins, go figure.  This quote says it all, "For example, I checked all the playoff teams from the past three seasons. Those 24 teams averaged 139 starts from their top five starters, or an average of 28 per pitcher. Thirteen of the 24 teams had at least three starters with 30-plus starts and four others had a No. 3 with 28 or 29 starts. The Rockies' 2009 playoff team had 155 starts from their top five guys." and "The lineup is built to win now, but the pitching staff appears built as a filter for 2013."

Who Will Fight for Larry Walker? - I think he deserves to be in...

1911 - Denver Baseball Club - Great if Rox would wear throw back jerseys like these...

Sacrifice Bunts - Don't Do It - Wow amazing managers think this is canon...

Cuddyer: Few Years Too Late - He just needs to produce 6 WAR to make the investment worthwhile...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Rox Talk - Moneyball

Over the weekend I finally got the chance to watch Hollywood's version of baseball in the 2000s. I read the book years ago and loved how Lewis crafted the tale of the have and have nots.  For me what I most remember about the book was the internal conflict between entrenched Scouts and the up and coming computer geeks.  A lot of the book also talked about drafting and putting a team together.  The movie takes a somewhat cursury look at these issues and really just makes a movie about Billy Beane.  I often chuckled about the concept of a Moneyball movie not quite seeing how it could possilby appeal to the general public and still be accessible to us baseball geeks.  I think the movie did a wonderful job with both.  

My only gripe is that the A's of the early 2000s were a whole lot more than just old man Justice, Giambi's playboy younger brother, and a catcher thrown to the wolves at first base.  At the start of the movie it shows the 2001 playoffs and the A's getting beaten by the mighty Yankees.  In baseball history 2001 was a goofy kind of year.  The A's won 102 games that year and finished second in their division to the Mariners who won 116 game!  (A's handed Seattle 9 of their 46 losses by the way) and thus the A's were the Wild Card and had to play to the home town Yankees who had won only 95 games that year.  It should be noted that the A's won their division in 2000 and hosted the Yankees losing to them again with a Game 5 loss.  All in all the A's went to the playoffs 5 times and finished first or second in the division 8 times in the 2000s  Part of that success, which was glossed over in the movie, could be attributed to a very good scouting success with signing of three pitchers which are probably comparable to the Braves three headed monster of Glavine, Smoltz, and Maddux of the 90s and the current Phillies rotation of Halladay, Lee, and Hamel.  These barely mentioned pitchers were Mulder, Hudson, and Zito.  The movie which mostly concentrated on the 2002 A's had a year in which Hudson went 15-9, Zito 23-5, and Mulder 19-7.  In Beane's defense his three replacement players had OBP for that season of 0.374 for Hatteberg, 0.376 for Justice, and 0.390 for Giambi.  While the tenets of moneyball worked I also think traditional scouting, which shouldn't be shown the door just yet, was really what drove those A's teams in that four year span.  Scout found young arms at a controlled cost was the key.  

From the opening scene of the movie, the writer's seemed to stipulate that the payroll difference was the key to the movie.  I wondered how this looks historical or at least since the Rox existed.  Graph below shows the payroll spans in MLB (cheapest to most expensive team salaries, data from USA Today) from 1993 - 2011 (in 2011 $ data obtained here).    The red dot is the median salary over that same time period.

Payroll Spans During Rox Existence (1993 - 2011)
What about playoff team salary spans and medians?  The Yankees existence in the playoffs every year (except 2008) kind of throw this graph out.  Of course the A's shouldn't whine too much as it only got worse the next few years.  Interestingly enough the median playoff salary is around $100 million.

Payroll Spans for Playoff Teams Since 2000
While doing this research, I happened upon an interesting homework assignment here.  Here is one of the answers showing payrolls versus proportion of games won.  Not much correlation!

And finally in my own analysis which team is moneyball?  If we consider the rise of Oakland as the moneyball era (2000 - 2011) then which team walked the walk? Total salaries paid by each team during that era is below.  The average cost of a win was around $1,061,119 for the 12 years.  Divide total salary by the average cost for a win and viola you have the number of theoretical wins a team should have won.  Compare this to their actual wins and what do you get?  Yup the usual suspects.  Marlins, A's, Rays, Twins, and Pirates.  Who overspent?  Dodgers, Cubs, Mets, Red Sox, and Yankees.  How about our Rox?  94 excess wins...not too bad.

And finally compare this article to the list above?  Heavy analytics versus old school?  Eight of the thirteen teams with positive wins are considered a 3 Branch Organization.  I would throw out the Yanks and Red Sox has they have the cash, unlike these other teams, to make all kinds of wacky decisions!  Won't go into the O'Dowd bashing again but Rox need to be using all available resources and I think they have overspent in the past believing they could cheat their mid-market team and spend their way to the playoffs.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Fun with Rox - 2012 Anagrams

Kudos to High Heat Stats for the idea...

C - Ah Zen, No Nerd Arm
1B - Told Do Then (or Doh Old Ten)
2B - Our Mascot Car (or Ram Taco Scour)
3B - Balk Sac Eye
SS - I Riot Klutzy Two
LF - A Razz Cello Song (All Go Zone Czars)
CF - Red Reflex Two
RF - Richly Mad Deuce

SP - A Clinch Uh Joys
SP - Manhole Jams
SP - We Drop Arm Zen
SP - In Ouija Scan
SP - Real Jar Does Go

CL - A Brutal Neat Force

Manager - Jam Cry It

And so there you have it and thanks to wordsmith for the help...

Alien All Swim