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March 2012

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COMMENTS

Matt Garza: Face of the Franchise or Trade Bait?

Written by , Posted in General

Matt Garza has been one of the most talked about names this off season because of the rumors that have been swirling around him since Theo walked into Wrigley. Each new day came with freshly reported destinations for the hard-throwing right-hander, in what had become a little game of should he stay or should he go? There are plenty of valid reasons why the Cubs should trade Garza, a main one being to restock the farm system we pillaged to get him. However, I believe there is enough evidence to suggest that Garza can be one of the building blocks moving forward for the new-look Cubs.

Projections: 

All five projection groups have Garza as the Cubs best pitcher in terms of overall production in 2012 and for the most part project his statistics fairly similarly. The two big differences between the five groups is in ERA and HR/9, two facets of the game where Garza saw career highs in year one in Chicago.

His .64 HR/9 will probably be unattainable for a second year a row if he starts 30+ games, but the projection of .99 by Steamer is probably a little too high as well. A ratio between .8 and .9 is where I would put him at, but there is always the chance that last season was a fluke in this regard. Home runs were one of the main things that plagued him in Tampa because of his inability to consistently hit his spots.

Garza likes to keep his fastball high and inside in an attempt to jam hitters. Where he gets into trouble with his fast ball is when he tries to paint the bottom corners of the strike zone. He often misses out of the strike zone with those pitches, but occasionally leaves a giant mistake down the middle of the plate. Out of Garza’s fourteen home runs given up last year, six of them were fastballs right down the middle (as seen in the chart below). This was the same issue he had in Tampa, but on a much larger scale when he averaged twelve such home runs given up a season.   

 

 

ERA is the other main statistic where these five groups disagree upon. I was a little bit surprised to see no group project Garza closer to his career average in the 3.90 area, which is a testament to his career season last year. As with the rest of the projections, Steamer projected Garza the worst at 3.74 which is higher than where I feel he’ll finish at. RotoChamp is a bit ambitious, but I can see him hovering around where Fan Graphs has him at 3.54.

Where do we go from here?

As I mentioned in my other posts projections are an okay way to get an idea of the value of a player, but players often overachieve/underachieve in comparison to their projections (much like Garza last year).  No projection will  ever be perfect.

With that said, I think Garza will have to perform similar to last season to get the pay raise he wants from the Cubs and stay in the Windy City. He doesn’t need to have an incredible record, because much like last season his win total will be low due to the team’s offensive struggles. If he could somehow pull off fifteen wins on the year, I would probably do this.

Unfortunately there is still the chance that the end of July will also bring the end of Garza’s Cubs career to a quick end. Theo and “The Gang” has made it quite clear that they want to overhaul the farm system from top to bottom. Garza just so happens to be one of the few tradeable assets we have that could bring in top talent prospects.

Restocking for the future is always a good philosophy for a team laden with bad contracts and sitting in the NL Central basement.

But.

Garza is one of the few players currently on this team that can truly change the Cubs’ fortunes sooner rather than later. Despite not having played to his full potential for back to back seasons at any point in his five year career, he might be the most talented starter they’ve had since Mark Prior. Garza isn’t a once in a lifetime talent by any means, but he does have the talent and age to be a top starter for Chicago once they are ready to compete. Guys likes Dempster, Wells and Maholm aren’t going to be that kind of guy. And while Garza might be able to bring in a top pitching prospect, I’m more comfortable knowing what we have  in Garza than what we might get from a prospect long term.

  • Buddy

    If you get overwhelmed and can really fleece a trade partner, go ahead and deal Garza. Otherwise, hang on to him. 

    • Brad Bradley

      This is it in a nutshell…

    • Noah_I

      I’m honestly curious if the new CBA is negatively impacting Garza’s trade value.  I’m planning to write a post on this at some point, so no real details here, but the short version is that the CBA is likely to reduce the trade value of half season rentals, since draft compensation only attaches to a free agent that has been with a team for a full season.  With Garza only providing one year more at a not particularly bargain cost, teams might be waiting to see if Greinke, Cain, Sanchez or Hamels hits a trade market that will have no real precedent before ponying up significant prospects for garza. 

  • Buddy

    If you get overwhelmed and can really fleece a trade partner, go ahead and deal Garza. Otherwise, hang on to him. 

    • mrbaseball2usa

      This is it in a nutshell…

    • Noah_I

      I’m honestly curious if the new CBA is negatively impacting Garza’s trade value.  I’m planning to write a post on this at some point, so no real details here, but the short version is that the CBA is likely to reduce the trade value of half season rentals, since draft compensation only attaches to a free agent that has been with a team for a full season.  With Garza only providing one year more at a not particularly bargain cost, teams might be waiting to see if Greinke, Cain, Sanchez or Hamels hits a trade market that will have no real precedent before ponying up significant prospects for garza. 

  • flyslinger2

    I don’t see the value in the trade.  Thinking as an owner:
    1. He brings enough interest to the team to add several thousand tickets to the sold column for the month. Money is king.
    2. He has leadership capabilities to the team.
    3. The new management is smart. Yes, that is a direct contradiction to the previous management team.  So they will get the farm system built up using good techniques without raping and pillaging the bigs. 

    • Norm

      I think you need to ask “how good will Matt Garza be in 2014?”
      Probably not as good as he is now and getting paid $14M per season.
      Thats why I’d trade him for 3 prospects, who have at least 6 years of team control, each. Hope one pans out. Use that $14M in 2014 on a free agent.

      • Gymjok

        Another possible factor is his age. He’ll be 30 starting the 2014 season.

      • Doc Raker

        The less variables in a stat or experiment the more specific the stat or experiment and conversely the more variables the less reliable the stat or experiment. It seems to me that everyone has made very good points on what the BABIP could mean and they are all different: luck, quality of pitcher, quality of hitter, quality of defense behind pitcher. With so many variables it really isn’t a very specific stat other than a peripheral stat that can support a trend but can not define any particular value by itself.
        Just like global warming, with so many variables involved in the earth’s climate including the variance in the sun which is just now starting to be studied it is a guess, a theory that any warming is due to the increase in carbon dioxide. Add to this the fact that global temperatures have stayed flat or even cooled for the past 15 years despite a significant increase in carbon dioxide is putting the global warming theory where it belongs, in the garbage.

      • Jedi

        Bravo…very nice Raker.

      • Seymour Butts

        Don’t encourage him, he’ll start telling us how the earth is also flat.

      • Norm

        And he’ll find people here who agree with him.

      • Jedi

        Just preposterous.  Saber-dork is a pejorative but flat-earther advances the discussion.

      • Norm

        And he’ll find people here who agree with him.

      • Doc Raker

        Surprising coming from the guy who prides himself on being a scientist. Seymour abhors religion, religion is based on faith and Seymour believes in facts and science. But when Seymour is faced with facts that don’t support his belief in something like global warming he chooses to demonize the messenger of the unwanted facts by insinuating the messenger holds crazy mid evil beliefs like the earth is flat. Calling people names rather than understanding the facts and altering your beliefs is apparently preferable to Seymour. The global warming hoax was profligated
         by politicians that needed to save people in order to garnish votes and politicians that wanted to redistribute wealth both domestically and internationally. The global warming hoax is a political marriage of enviromentalist and socialist and has become a religion in the sense that facts no longer matter, the global warming congregation has faith that their way is best for everyone. Seymour may not attend church every Sunday but he sure has faith in something he can not prove.

      • Seymour Butts

        The Earth is warming. To deny that is what is ignorant (and quite on par with flat earthers). What is up for debate is to what degree Man has influenced that, There exists the occasional learned individual who agrees with your point of view, but they are in the 1% of science. 

      • Doc Raker

        Sorry Seymour, the facts coming in don’t support your statement. Many more scientist are questioning global warming. In 1988 global warming alarmist predicted an increase of 2-3 degrees by the year 2000, didn’t happen. In the past 15 years temps are flat to cooling depending on which standard is used. The scientific culture of global warming is proving to be corrupt. There are many reasons to conserve energy and free ourselves of our foreign oil dependency but global warming isn’t one of them. Keep the religion going though Seymour if it makes you feel good.

      • Seymour Butts

        The Earth is warming. To deny that is what is ignorant (and quite on par with flat earthers). What is up for debate is to what degree Man has influenced that, There exists the occasional learned individual who agrees with your point of view, but they are in the 1% of science. 

      • Doc Raker

        Sorry Seymour, the facts coming in don’t support your statement. Many more scientist are questioning global warming. In 1988 global warming alarmist predicted an increase of 2-3 degrees by the year 2000, didn’t happen. In the past 15 years temps are flat to cooling depending on which standard is used. The scientific culture of global warming is proving to be corrupt. There are many reasons to conserve energy and free ourselves of our foreign oil dependency but global warming isn’t one of them. Keep the religion going though Seymour if it makes you feel good.

      • BLPCB

        Yeah, that’s why Chicago has gotten less snow than some parts of Tex-ass this winter. So much for global warming

      • Seymour Butts

        You need to look at it over decades, not seasons.

      • Jedi

        Seymour – serious question here…wouldn’t you need to look at it over much more than just decades?  Wouldn’t it need to be examined over hundreds and thousands of years (obviously the data for that isn’t available)?

        Seems to me that defining global warming based on the last 70 or 80 years is a lot like predicting the entirety of a baseball season after the first 3-game series.

      • Seymour Butts

        Absolutely correct. Warming and cooling cycles have occurred over and over. In Ice ages, Glaciers come way down across the great plains. Currently the polar ice caps are shrinking. They shrink when the globe gets warmer. Hence the name Global Warming.
        Will we have beach front tanning in North Dakota? Not in our or our foreseeable children’s life times. But we are in a warming cycle.
        As I mentioned, the only real debate is to what degree Man had hastened it along. I’m pretty sure we don’t have a firm answer on that, but Global warming is real, and those that deny it do so for political purposes. 

      • Doc Raker

        Right Seymour but international wealth redistribution and domestic wealth redistribution is not a political purpose for the global warming alarmist. Get a clue. Some scientist are now starting to talk about a COOLING cycle since temps have been flat for the past 15 years. As for man, the global warming alarmist theory said increased CO2 increase temps, didn’t happen which means man is doing less to the earth’s climate than the alarmist have theorized. 

      • Doc Raker

        http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/global-342759-warming-heartland.html

        Some facts on the global warming alarmist corruption.

      • Seymour Butts

        I looked a little deeper.

        Documented Ice ages Have occurred about 2.2 billion, 750 million, and 440 million years ago .
        I lifted the following off of Wikipedia:

        The current ice age, the Pliocene-Quaternary glaciation, started about 2.58 million years ago during the late Pliocene, when the spread of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere began. Since then, the world has seen cycles of glaciation with ice sheets advancing and retreating on 40,000- and 100,000-year time scales called glacial periods, glacials or glacial advances, and interglacial periods, interglacials or glacial retreats. The earth is currently in an interglacial, and the last glacial period ended about 10,000 years ago. All that remains of the continental ice sheets are the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and smaller glaciers such as on Baffin Island.

        So given that Ice ages do recede, The earth must warm in between. We are currently in such a warming cycle.

      • BLPCB

        Yeah, but during previous Ice Ages, Illinois and Wisconsin were covered with ice. That’s how the Great Lakes formed when it melted. Will they get covered again if we have another one? I doubt it. The ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica will eventually melt. Those who say global warming exists are nuts, those who deny it don’t do it for political reasons. If it was called climate change instead of global warming, I think people would agree. Tell the folks in the northeast global warming is happening. They’ll laugh in your face. 5 snowstorms last winter.

      • Doc Raker

        http://www.ocregister.com/articles/warming-340836-singer-stations.html

        For those interested in some global warming facts.

      • Seymour Butts

        Really? Orange County Register?
        Lets try some source with a little credibility.
        http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/12/1206_041206_global_warming.html

      • Doc Raker

        Really. You sight an article from National Geographic from the fall of 2010 that sights a IPCC report from Feb 2007. That data has been disproved and is corrupt. Catch up to recent science. The Orange County Register is a reputable source. Read the articles I posted for the facts on the corruption in the man made global warming hoax. So anyone who doesn’t agree with you is a ‘flat earthier’ ‘ignorant’ and now the OC Register isn’t a good enough source for you. Typical liberal, demonize anyone who disagrees. Keep up with the facts Seymour.

      • Doc Raker

        http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/carbon-342902-government-europe.html

        Here is another good article on the real reason the global warming hoax continues to be perpetrated, tax dollars. Big government needs more of your money and the global warming hoax with it’s hair brained cap and trade plan is ready to take your money. I don’t care if gullable people like Seymour fall for the enviro socialist warming hoax but I loathe this hoax to be a reason for bigger government, more taxes and more government corruption. This OC Register piece nicely analyzes Europe’s failed attempts at a similar foolish plan that California is now embarking on.

      • BLPCB

         I thought both of you guys are Barry hating Republicans

      • Seymour Butts

        Nope!

      • BLPCB

        But I have seen both of you complaing about Barr Barrycare. Do you like Barry or no, Seymour?

      • Doc Raker

        Which is a great explanation of the earths natural climate cycles which has nothing to do with man. Add that to the fact that temps have not risen in the recent decades as global warming alarmist SAID THEY WOULD- THE ALARMIST WERE WRONG- must be something else to it.

      • Doc Raker

        BLPCB- I am more of a Libertarian, I abhore the negative consequences of government intervention. Republicans are suppose to be closer to a Libertarian philosophy than Democrats. As for Seymour the best I can figure is he is one of those folks to claim to have no party affiliation but then buys into every bit of liberal propaganda that is put forth, a useful idiot in political terms, an unwitting soldier of surfdom.

      • BLPCB

         I’ve seen him rip Obamacare b4

      • Doc Raker

        As anyone should.

      • BLPCB

        what’s wrong with being able to stay on my parents coverage till I’m 26?

      • Doc Raker

        A few of the changes in Obama are fine but to abdicate our health care system to government bureaucrats is an awful idea. The power of the Secretary of Health and Human Services is staggering. 

      • Seymour Butts

        no you haven’t

      • BLPCB

        Yes I have. You posted you didn’t like it bc of all the bad debt

      • Seymour Butts

        BLPCB- Raker is close, I have no party affiliation as they are both slimy. We are faced with choices between 2 bad canidates usually. I try to vote for the least awful. Not easy, but I did vote for Barry, and likely will do so again unless Ron Paul runs 3rd party.

      • Doc Raker

        Ron Paul and Obama are polar opposites domestically . I would vote for a Ron Paul domestic agenda which is a complete repudiation of Obama policies so it makes perfect sense that  a surf like Seymour doesn’t see a difference. 

      • BLPCB

        I don’t like doing that. I never felt that way until this year, and I will likely abstain because of it. I don’t want to vote for someone just because they’re the lesser of 2 evils.

      • Doc Raker

        Most usually it is the least of 2 evils, the perfect candidate doesn’t exist. This election is very important to America’s future.   We have Obama who wants to nationalize everything which erodes our freedom and liberty in ways most people can’t for see while running up unsustainable debt. We need to get our budget in line with our GDP and stop borrowing. Obama wants to ignore this fundamental financial principle in an effort to promise everything for everyone. The Constitution is something that is in Obama’s way, he doesn’t respect the Constitution. Ron Paul on the other hand is the polar opposite, he has stuck to the Constitution during his time as Senator and his biggest issue is getting spending under control. How someone could jump from Obama to Paul and dismiss everyone in between makes no sense. But if someone only pays attention to the headlines and doesn’t make an effort to understand the consequences of policies I can see how it can happen.

      • Norm

         http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/154584/lets-get-out-and-vote-music-montage

      • Seymour Butts

        Awsome Norm. I have this episode in the back of my mind essentially every election.
        And Raker, there is more to a candidate than his fiscal responsibility. Nobody in our lifetimes was worse at this than Bush2. Yet he is a republican. The Republicans are no longer the party of freedom, liberty and restraint. Look at Santorum and Romney. they and their ilk want to tell us all how to live our lives.  For me freedom is more important than income so yes in going from Paul to Barry I pass over the close minded in between.

      • BLPCB

        That South Park clip is hilarious, going on FB

      • BLPCB

        Yeah, that’s why Chicago has gotten less snow than some parts of Tex-ass this winter. So much for global warming

      • Norm

         “it really isn’t a very specific stat other than a peripheral stat that
        can support a trend but can not define any particular value by itself.”
        Correct!

      • Doc Raker

        Exactly Norm. So you really can’t look at BABIP without looking at other stats and simply say a pitcher was unlucky like some folks tried to do with Ryan Dempster. MOTE saw that Dempster was bad, not just unlucky and just looking at BABIP to argue Dempster was unlucky is a faulty argument. Maybe Dempster had some bad luck but he was most certainly bad. That’s all we can really say for sure. The argument starts when people start picking which variable the stat highlights. I think BABIP tells us more about the quality of hit, squared up hit hard vs easy ground ball out, than anything else but I can’t prove it because they are so many other variables and no one else can prove any other variable. 

      • Norm

        Completely agreed with you on Dempster here:
        http://viewfromthebleachers.com/blog/2011/10/20/rotation-rebounds/

      • Buddy

        Did Doc really just use BABIP in a sentence?

      • Doc Raker

        Exactly Norm. So you really can’t look at BABIP without looking at other stats and simply say a pitcher was unlucky like some folks tried to do with Ryan Dempster. MOTE saw that Dempster was bad, not just unlucky and just looking at BABIP to argue Dempster was unlucky is a faulty argument. Maybe Dempster had some bad luck but he was most certainly bad. That’s all we can really say for sure. The argument starts when people start picking which variable the stat highlights. I think BABIP tells us more about the quality of hit, squared up hit hard vs easy ground ball out, than anything else but I can’t prove it because they are so many other variables and no one else can prove any other variable. 

      • Norm

        Completely agreed with you on Dempster here:
        http://viewfromthebleachers.com/blog/2011/10/20/rotation-rebounds/

      • Buddy

        Did Doc really just use BABIP in a sentence?

      • I’m not overly concerned about his age. I believe he just turned 28 and 30 isn’t THAT old for a starter. Some of the best pitchers in the league are well over 30 right now. If he was 30 now I’d agree with you. But I think he has a good six years (atleast) of productivity.

  • flyslinger2

    I don’t see the value in the trade.  Thinking as an owner:
    1. He brings enough interest to the team to add several thousand tickets to the sold column for the month. Money is king.
    2. He has leadership capabilities to the team.
    3. The new management is smart. Yes, that is a direct contradiction to the previous management team.  So they will get the farm system built up using good techniques without raping and pillaging the bigs. 

  • Norm

    I think you need to ask “how good will Matt Garza be in 2014?”
    Probably not as good as he is now and getting paid $14M per season.
    Thats why I’d trade him for 3 prospects, who have at least 6 years of team control, each. Hope one pans out. Use that $14M in 2014 on a free agent.

    • Gymjok

      Another possible factor is his age. He’ll be 30 starting the 2014 season.

    • Josh Cornwall

      I’m not overly concerned about his age. I believe he just turned 28 and 30 isn’t THAT old for a starter. Some of the best pitchers in the league are well over 30 right now. If he was 30 now I’d agree with you. But I think he has a good six years (atleast) of productivity.

  • AC0000000

    Keep him for now, unload him at the deadline in 2013. I think we can get more value out of him if we trade him down the road. Same with Byrd, Dempster, and Marmol. I think we can get more for those guys at the deadline. Those are 3 guys I want to trade bc they’re not going to be able to help when this team is a winner. They’re good guys to have on a winner, not a rebuilding team.

  • Eddie Von White

    What about the positive energy he brings to the dugout? Does that have any value?

  • Gymjok

    They don’t have his ERA near his career avg. bc most of that avg was from when he was in the AL(and particularly in the AL east).

    • Joshbgood11

      @flyslinger2 ”
      He brings enough interest to the team to add several thousand tickets to the sold column for the month.”  This is a ridiculous statement.

      • flyslinger2

         Right.  You must have forgotten your basic math:  Wins + Fan Interest = Ticket Sales. 

      • Joshbgood11

        Oh, I wasn’t aware that we were going to be winning anything this season.  

      • A little frustrated my pitch fx chart didn’t work. Kept showing up as a giant X

      • Joe Aiello

        Send it to me via e-mail and I’ll post it.

      • Got it.

      • Doc Raker

        Nice post, I am glad the stats dudes agree with my own two eyes. My own two eyes (MOTE) also have Garza being the Cubs best pitcher in 2012. I like the location of pitches discussion because that is so much about pitching. MOTE always watch for location but MOTE don’t see every pitch and can’t chart every pitch. The location information is of much value to me. I have a question on BABIP. Is it true walks and home runs are not counted in BABIP? So a pitcher can walk 3 guys, then give up a grand slam, then get 3 batted outs and his BABIP is .000? Is that true? MOTE have seen Ryan Dempster achieve this .000 BABIP inning several times and found it unlucky that the home run fences weren’t at 683 feet but MOTE did notice that his pitch location hung in the 683 foot wheel house.

      • Norm

         That’s correct.
        But BABIP isn’t something that is negative or positive. You can have a .000 BABIP or a 1.000 BABIP; neither means the pitcher is good or bad.
        It basically measures how often the defense turns the ball into an out. Since the defense can’t turn a home run into an out, it’s not counted.
        That’s why people use it to see if there was bad luck involved. James Shields is a good example of what a big BABIP swing can do for a guys ERA.

      • Jedi

        Oh I’m pretty sure a higher BABIP is bad.  Manny Parra has either had the four unluckiest years for a pitcher ever, or he’s just pretty easy to hit.  At the other end of the spectrum, either Troy Percival was the luckiest pitcher in history, had the best defense for more than a decade behind him, or *gasp* he was able to force guys into weak contact.  BABIP isn’t all luck.  Not all batted balls are created equal – and some of that has to do with the pitcher.  It could be that Shields has also matured as a pitcher and guys aren’t able to square him up and drive the ball like they used to against him…in fact, with a swing as wide as his, it’s almost certainly not all luck.  The pitcher definitely has some control in the matter.  Make crappy contact and it’s far more likely to be an out – and the pitcher can definitely help you make crappier contact by locating his pitches.

      • BLPCB

        This. That’s part of why I find BABIP to be a stupid statistic

      • Noah_I

        I think BABIP is a misunderstood statistic.  I takes a LONG time for a player to develop a meaningful BABIP.  But there are times when it indicates good or bad luck.  For example, if you have a hitter who has averaged a .320 BABIP over a five year career and is still in his prime, but he puts up a .270 BABIP in year 6 without any other noticeable drop off (his FB and LD rates stay the same, he’s pulling the ball the same amount, not striking out more or walking less), you can pretty safely presume he had an unlucky year.  Some players have higher natural BABIPs than others. 

        Whether a BABIP swing (either good or bad) is luck, a change in approach or an improving or decreasing skill set is something that can’t be known for sure until at least the next season. 

        If you look at James Shields, he has two years of extreme BABIP swings.  He posted a .341 BABIP in 2010, followed by a .258 in 2011.  Looking at all of his other stats, I’d say neither is indicate of his true talent, and odds are he’ll be somewhere in the middle in 2012.  But only the progression of the season will tell.

      • Jedi

        Not sure I’d go that far CAPS, but you have to look at it in conjunction with other stats too.  Back to Shields, take a look at his GB% over the last two years – there is a reason that pitcher’s want guys to hit the ball on the ground as opposed to in the air, and Shields did a much better job of inducing groundballs last year.  Getting a hitter to hit a one-hopper to your shortstop instead of a line drive to the gap has as much to do with positioning your fielder as it does hitting the location with your pitch…sure there’s a component of luck (maybe the hitter just “missed” a bad pitch), but there’s also the quality of the hitter that plays into it.

        A lot of people like to use BABIP as a career benchmark for a pitcher (as in, when he deviates from what is normal for him, he’s been lucky or unlucky).  But in reality if a pitcher is executing his pitches better, “pitching” instead of just “throwing” the ball then he’ll probably realize a dip in his BABIP also.  A new team with better defenders can make a difference, a better catcher can make a difference, a change in how you use your pitches to set up hitters (maybe you start using your  curveball as an out pitch instead of something with more pace on it).  It’s not just a stat that quantifies luck.

      • Norm

        This is where it turns into an argument because I never said BABIP is all luck.
         

      • BLPCB

        I still think BABIP is stupid. Why are we only looking at balls in play? What if the pitcher strikes out a lot of batters? Or lets say we have the sae pitcher on the mound, same batter, same pitched ball, same hit projectery. It’s hit to the shortstop. If that shortstop is Jeter, he doesn’t get to it, it’s a hit. If that shortstop is Vizquel, he gets to it, and either nails the runner at 1B, or makes an error.

      • Jedi

        CAPS, you’ve hit on the value of BABIP.  It can quantify the difference made by a chance in personnel (a better infield for Team X this year might lead to a significantly better ERAs for Team X’s groundball pitchers – BABIP would help quantify that).  There is value in it, you just need to know WHY the number has changed – sometimes there IS a reason for a big swing.

      • Jedi

        And by the way, if you can’t identify the reason for the change, that can be a valuable understanding too – because sometimes guys just have a freak year.

      • BLPCB

        And global warming causes blizzards. Yes?

      • Jedi

        CAPS, you’ve hit on the value of BABIP.  It can quantify the difference made by a chance in personnel (a better infield for Team X this year might lead to a significantly better ERAs for Team X’s groundball pitchers – BABIP would help quantify that).  There is value in it, you just need to know WHY the number has changed – sometimes there IS a reason for a big swing.

      • Jedi

        And by the way, if you can’t identify the reason for the change, that can be a valuable understanding too – because sometimes guys just have a freak year.

      • AC0000000

        And global warming causes blizzards. Yes?

      • Joe Aiello

        CAPS, any stat taken out of context, expecially looked at as the sole metric for evaluating a player is not the way to go. All they are is a measurement of one aspect of the game.

        The ultimate goal for a pitcher is to strike out every batter he faces. That takes luck completely out of the equation. As soon as the ball enters the field of play, the pitcher no longer has any say in what happens unless the ball is hit to him.

        Like Noah mentioned, the bigger picture you have on a pitcher’s performance, the more accurate you can predict whether a drastic change in a statistic is due to luck or not. If someone has always put up .310 BABIP and suddenly you see the pitcher posting .230 it prompts you to not just equate that to luck automatically, but instead dig deeper. Why the shift? Did he develop a new pitch? Did he correct a flaw of some kind? More often than not, if it’s that big a shift, it’s simply that the hits were just not falling in there and that pitcher will more likely regress to the mean.

      • BLPCB

        Still think it’s a dumb stat. Whatever happened to using ERA, WHIP, and K/BB ratio?

      • Joe Aiello

        All of those tell a story as well, and just like BABIP, when isolated by themselves are flawed. If you have a pitcher with an ERA of 4.00, what if some of those runs were allowed by shoddy defense with a lack of effort? What if the reliever came in and surrendered a homerun that allowed some of those to score?

        To just dismiss it and say it’s a dumb stat is closeminded. It’s simply a stat that measures something. Perhaps you just don’t like what it measures.

      • AC0000000

        Still think it’s a dumb stat. Whatever happened to using ERA, WHIP, and K/BB ratio?

      • Joe Aiello

        All of those tell a story as well, and just like BABIP, when isolated by themselves are flawed. If you have a pitcher with an ERA of 4.00, what if some of those runs were allowed by shoddy defense with a lack of effort? What if the reliever came in and surrendered a homerun that allowed some of those to score?

        To just dismiss it and say it’s a dumb stat is closeminded. It’s simply a stat that measures something. Perhaps you just don’t like what it measures.

      • Norm

        “Why are we only looking at balls in play? What if the pitcher strikes out a lot of batters?”

        That’s like asking “Why doesn’t batting average measure how many home runs a player hit?” or “Why doesn’t WHIP include ‘hit batters'”?

        Because it’s not meant to.
        BABIP just wants to tell you what % of the balls in play end up as a hit. It doesn’t want to do anything more than that.

      • Jedi

        I thought it measured, “how often the defense turns the ball into an out”

      • Norm

         Seriously? It’s the same thing.
        .300 BABIP means the hitter gets a hit 30% of the time and the defense turns it into an out 70% of the time.

      • Jedi

        You’ve been way off your game today Norm – you’ve seem to forgotten about errors.  They can occur when the hitter did NOT get a hit (your 30%), and the defense did NOT turn it into an out (your 70%).  A .300 BABIP DOES NOT implicitly mean that the “defense turned the ball into an out 70% of the time.”  You need to log some more seminar time with Tommy Tango.

        Lest you think I’m being particularly petty – you so butchered your original explanation to Doc that I feel compelled to make sure the proper understanding of BABIP comes to light.  It CAN be a positive or negative stat, and it most definitely is a measurement of the outcome of batted balls (explaining it as a some sort of defensive outcome is misleading at best).  It can also be an indicator of many other things (for instance, I can hardly blame the Red Sox LF for not turning all those doubles off the Monster into outs…that’s what the cap’n was saying about how the number allows for no adjustment due to certain obvious influences).  Like any other stat, it needs to be understood in its context.

      • Seymour Butts

        Scrolling…Scrolling…

      • Jedi

        It is the one problem with nested comments, Butts – I still like them anyway. They afford me the ability to know precisely when Norm has owned up to each of erroneous statements

      • Norm

         Ah, the Jedi arguments. Wear the opponent down with nitpick after nitpick.

        If Castro has 10 ground balls and 5 of them are hits, and 5 are fielded cleanly, he has a .500 BABIP.
        If Castro has 10 ground balls and 5 of them are hits, 4 are fielded cleanly, and 1 is a reached on error, he still has a .500 BABIP.

        But yes, the defense didn’t turn it into an out. So when that happens once every two or three games, it might change the 70% turning balls into outs into 69% turning balls into outs.

        Yes. 1%. When Matt Garza’s pitching, the defense turns balls in play to outs 68.8% of the time. Those reached on errors changes it to 67.8%.

        Great argument. Good night.

      • Norm

        “Why are we only looking at balls in play? What if the pitcher strikes out a lot of batters?”

        That’s like asking “Why doesn’t batting average measure how many home runs a player hit?” or “Why doesn’t WHIP include ‘hit batters'”?

        Because it’s not meant to.
        BABIP just wants to tell you what % of the balls in play end up as a hit. It doesn’t want to do anything more than that.

      • Jedi

        I thought it measured, “how often the defense turns the ball into an out”

      • Norm

         Seriously? It’s the same thing.
        .300 BABIP means the hitter gets a hit 30% of the time and the defense turns it into an out 70% of the time.

      • Jedi

        You’ve been way off your game today Norm – you’ve seem to forgotten about errors.  They can occur when the hitter did NOT get a hit (your 30%), and the defense did NOT turn it into an out (your 70%).  A .300 BABIP DOES NOT implicitly mean that the “defense turned the ball into an out 70% of the time.”  You need to log some more seminar time with Tommy Tango.

        Lest you think I’m being particularly petty – you so butchered your original explanation to Doc that I feel compelled to make sure the proper understanding of BABIP comes to light.  It CAN be a positive or negative stat, and it most definitely is a measurement of the outcome of batted balls (explaining it as a some sort of defensive outcome is misleading at best).  It can also be an indicator of many other things (for instance, I can hardly blame the Red Sox LF for not turning all those doubles off the Monster into outs…that’s what the cap’n was saying about how the number allows for no adjustment due to certain obvious influences).  Like any other stat, it needs to be understood in its context.

      • Seymour Butts

        Scrolling…Scrolling…

      • Norm

         Ah, the Jedi arguments. Wear the opponent down with nitpick after nitpick.

        If Castro has 10 ground balls and 5 of them are hits, and 5 are fielded cleanly, he has a .500 BABIP.
        If Castro has 10 ground balls and 5 of them are hits, 4 are fielded cleanly, and 1 is a reached on error, he still has a .500 BABIP.

        But yes, the defense didn’t turn it into an out. So when that happens once every two or three games, it might change the 70% turning balls into outs into 69% turning balls into outs.

        Yes. 1%. When Matt Garza’s pitching, the defense turns balls in play to outs 68.8% of the time. Those reached on errors changes it to 67.8%.

        Great argument. Good night.

      • Jedi

        I’m attempting here to follow Joe’s recent plea – I never said you did, perhaps your conscience is victimized (I have a more terse reply if you really want to go at it).

      • BLPCB

        here we go. Entertainment tonight!

      • cap’n obvious

        please note my conspicuous absence from comment…

      • Jedi

        But cap’n if you stay absent then the saber-dorks have won – and we can’t have that.

      • cap’n obvious

        trying to stay within the boundaries that Joe has set here.  I know I can’t comment on this without dropping saber-dork bombs.  I’ll just say that there are too many variables and no consistent control group (stadium size, defensive skill, etc.)with regard to BABIP, so while it might be fun too look at BABIP (for those respected individuals that choose to)it has very little relevance when rating the skills of hitters or pitchers.

      • Jedi

        That didn’t last too long – I think I need a mulligan.

      • BLPCB

        Do ground rule doubles count toward BABIP? What about inside the parkers?

      • BLPCB

         Nothing is showing up for me and I’m on my computer

      • Bummer. Re-disappeared.

      • Should be good now CAPS

      • BLPCB

        Finally. Nice chart

      • BLPCB

        Finally. Nice chart

      • I’m just surprised that there were ten previous Joshbgoods.  

      • Noah_I

        I agree that if the Cubs were a good team they’d sell more tickets, but I’m not sure if having Garza on a bad team does anything significant.  It’s too hard to predict more than a week or two in advance who will be starting a given game, so people don’t buy tickets in February and March thinking they are going to see Garza start.  Potentially they have more day of or week of ticket sales when Garza starts.  It’s something we could look into this season, though: do the Cubs have higher attendance when Garza starts than they do when other pitchers start?  We’d have to keep comparisons to similar games, though (compare weekend games against each other, weekday night games against each other, and weekday afternoon games against each other).  It should actually be fairly easy to track. 

  • Gymjok

    They don’t have his ERA near his career avg. bc most of that avg was from when he was in the AL(and particularly in the AL east).

  • Joshbgood11

    @flyslinger2 ”
    He brings enough interest to the team to add several thousand tickets to the sold column for the month.”  This is a ridiculous statement.

    • flyslinger2

       Right.  You must have forgotten your basic math:  Wins + Fan Interest = Ticket Sales. 

      • Joshbgood11

        Oh, I wasn’t aware that we were going to be winning anything this season.  

      • Noah_I

        I agree that if the Cubs were a good team they’d sell more tickets, but I’m not sure if having Garza on a bad team does anything significant.  It’s too hard to predict more than a week or two in advance who will be starting a given game, so people don’t buy tickets in February and March thinking they are going to see Garza start.  Potentially they have more day of or week of ticket sales when Garza starts.  It’s something we could look into this season, though: do the Cubs have higher attendance when Garza starts than they do when other pitchers start?  We’d have to keep comparisons to similar games, though (compare weekend games against each other, weekday night games against each other, and weekday afternoon games against each other).  It should actually be fairly easy to track. 

  • Josh Cornwall

    A little frustrated my pitch fx chart didn’t work. Kept showing up as a giant X

    Essentially it was a chart showing the spots of the six pitches where Garza gave up home runs on fastballs

    • Joe Aiello

      Send it to me via e-mail and I’ll post it.

      • Josh Cornwall

        Got it.

      • AC0000000

         Nothing is showing up for me and I’m on my computer

      • Josh Cornwall

        Should be good now CAPS

      • AC0000000

        Finally. Nice chart

  • Doc Raker

    Nice post, I am glad the stats dudes agree with my own two eyes. My own two eyes (MOTE) also have Garza being the Cubs best pitcher in 2012. I like the location of pitches discussion because that is so much about pitching. MOTE always watch for location but MOTE don’t see every pitch and can’t chart every pitch. The location information is of much value to me. I have a question on BABIP. Is it true walks and home runs are not counted in BABIP? So a pitcher can walk 3 guys, then give up a grand slam, then get 3 batted outs and his BABIP is .000? Is that true? MOTE have seen Ryan Dempster achieve this .000 BABIP inning several times and found it unlucky that the home run fences weren’t at 683 feet but MOTE did notice that his pitch location hung in the 683 foot wheel house.

    • Norm

       That’s correct.
      But BABIP isn’t something that is negative or positive. You can have a .000 BABIP or a 1.000 BABIP; neither means the pitcher is good or bad.
      It basically measures how often the defense turns the ball into an out. Since the defense can’t turn a home run into an out, it’s not counted.
      That’s why people use it to see if there was bad luck involved. James Shields is a good example of what a big BABIP swing can do for a guys ERA.

      • Jedi

        Oh I’m pretty sure a higher BABIP is bad.  Manny Parra has either had the four unluckiest years for a pitcher ever, or he’s just pretty easy to hit.  At the other end of the spectrum, either Troy Percival was the luckiest pitcher in history, had the best defense for more than a decade behind him, or *gasp* he was able to force guys into weak contact.  BABIP isn’t all luck.  Not all batted balls are created equal – and some of that has to do with the pitcher.  It could be that Shields has also matured as a pitcher and guys aren’t able to square him up and drive the ball like they used to against him…in fact, with a swing as wide as his, it’s almost certainly not all luck.  The pitcher definitely has some control in the matter.  Make crappy contact and it’s far more likely to be an out – and the pitcher can definitely help you make crappier contact by locating his pitches.

      • AC0000000

        This. That’s part of why I find BABIP to be a stupid statistic

      • Noah_I

        I think BABIP is a misunderstood statistic.  I takes a LONG time for a player to develop a meaningful BABIP.  But there are times when it indicates good or bad luck.  For example, if you have a hitter who has averaged a .320 BABIP over a five year career and is still in his prime, but he puts up a .270 BABIP in year 6 without any other noticeable drop off (his FB and LD rates stay the same, he’s pulling the ball the same amount, not striking out more or walking less), you can pretty safely presume he had an unlucky year.  Some players have higher natural BABIPs than others. 

        Whether a BABIP swing (either good or bad) is luck, a change in approach or an improving or decreasing skill set is something that can’t be known for sure until at least the next season. 

        If you look at James Shields, he has two years of extreme BABIP swings.  He posted a .341 BABIP in 2010, followed by a .258 in 2011.  Looking at all of his other stats, I’d say neither is indicate of his true talent, and odds are he’ll be somewhere in the middle in 2012.  But only the progression of the season will tell.

      • Jedi

        Not sure I’d go that far CAPS, but you have to look at it in conjunction with other stats too.  Back to Shields, take a look at his GB% over the last two years – there is a reason that pitcher’s want guys to hit the ball on the ground as opposed to in the air, and Shields did a much better job of inducing groundballs last year.  Getting a hitter to hit a one-hopper to your shortstop instead of a line drive to the gap has as much to do with positioning your fielder as it does hitting the location with your pitch…sure there’s a component of luck (maybe the hitter just “missed” a bad pitch), but there’s also the quality of the hitter that plays into it.

        A lot of people like to use BABIP as a career benchmark for a pitcher (as in, when he deviates from what is normal for him, he’s been lucky or unlucky).  But in reality if a pitcher is executing his pitches better, “pitching” instead of just “throwing” the ball then he’ll probably realize a dip in his BABIP also.  A new team with better defenders can make a difference, a better catcher can make a difference, a change in how you use your pitches to set up hitters (maybe you start using your  curveball as an out pitch instead of something with more pace on it).  It’s not just a stat that quantifies luck.

      • Norm

        This is where it turns into an argument because I never said BABIP is all luck.
         

      • Jedi

        I’m attempting here to follow Joe’s recent plea – I never said you did, perhaps your conscience is victimized (I have a more terse reply if you really want to go at it).

      • AC0000000

        here we go. Entertainment tonight!

      • cap’n obvious

        please note my conspicuous absence from comment…

      • Jedi

        But cap’n if you stay absent then the saber-dorks have won – and we can’t have that.

      • cap’n obvious

        trying to stay within the boundaries that Joe has set here.  I know I can’t comment on this without dropping saber-dork bombs.  I’ll just say that there are too many variables and no consistent control group (stadium size, defensive skill, etc.)with regard to BABIP, so while it might be fun too look at BABIP (for those respected individuals that choose to)it has very little relevance when rating the skills of hitters or pitchers.

      • Jedi

        That didn’t last too long – I think I need a mulligan.

      • AC0000000

        Do ground rule doubles count toward BABIP? What about inside the parkers?

  • Jedi

    Any chance we have a picture with Garza, ya know, in a Cubs uniform?

    • Joe Aiello

      No. Couldn’t find one I felt comfortable using due to copyright

      • BLPCB

        Whatever happened to fair use?

      • Doesn’t exist anymore. People will sue you in an instant. You can’t even use copyrighted pictures in an educational environment any longer without compensation.

  • Jedi

    Any chance we have a picture with Garza, ya know, in a Cubs uniform?

    • Joe Aiello

      No. Couldn’t find one I felt comfortable using due to copyright

      • AC0000000

        Whatever happened to fair use?

  • cap’n obvious

    When you are in a rebuilding mode, as the Cubs most certainly are, solid players should be all made available for prospects.  The way the Cubs have drafted in the recent past, it’s really the only way out of the mess.

  • cap’n obvious

    When you are in a rebuilding mode, as the Cubs most certainly are, solid players should be all made available for prospects.  The way the Cubs have drafted in the recent past, it’s really the only way out of the mess.

  • Doc Raker

    The less variables in a stat or experiment the more specific the stat or experiment and conversely the more variables the less reliable the stat or experiment. It seems to me that everyone has made very good points on what the BABIP could mean and they are all different: luck, quality of pitcher, quality of hitter, quality of defense behind pitcher. With so many variables it really isn’t a very specific stat other than a peripheral stat that can support a trend but can not define any particular value by itself.
    Just like global warming, with so many variables involved in the earth’s climate including the variance in the sun which is just now starting to be studied it is a guess, a theory that any warming is due to the increase in carbon dioxide. Add to this the fact that global temperatures have stayed flat or even cooled for the past 15 years despite a significant increase in carbon dioxide is putting the global warming theory where it belongs, in the garbage.

    • Jedi

      Bravo…very nice Raker.

    • AC0000000

      Yeah, that’s why Chicago has gotten less snow than some parts of Tex-ass this winter. So much for global warming

      • Seymour Butts

        You need to look at it over decades, not seasons.

      • Jedi

        Seymour – serious question here…wouldn’t you need to look at it over much more than just decades?  Wouldn’t it need to be examined over hundreds and thousands of years (obviously the data for that isn’t available)?

        Seems to me that defining global warming based on the last 70 or 80 years is a lot like predicting the entirety of a baseball season after the first 3-game series.

      • Seymour Butts

        Absolutely correct. Warming and cooling cycles have occurred over and over. In Ice ages, Glaciers come way down across the great plains. Currently the polar ice caps are shrinking. They shrink when the globe gets warmer. Hence the name Global Warming.
        Will we have beach front tanning in North Dakota? Not in our or our foreseeable children’s life times. But we are in a warming cycle.
        As I mentioned, the only real debate is to what degree Man had hastened it along. I’m pretty sure we don’t have a firm answer on that, but Global warming is real, and those that deny it do so for political purposes. 

      • Doc Raker

        http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/global-342759-warming-heartland.html

        Some facts on the global warming alarmist corruption.

      • Seymour Butts

        I looked a little deeper.

        Documented Ice ages Have occurred about 2.2 billion, 750 million, and 440 million years ago .
        I lifted the following off of Wikipedia:

        The current ice age, the Pliocene-Quaternary glaciation, started about 2.58 million years ago during the late Pliocene, when the spread of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere began. Since then, the world has seen cycles of glaciation with ice sheets advancing and retreating on 40,000- and 100,000-year time scales called glacial periods, glacials or glacial advances, and interglacial periods, interglacials or glacial retreats. The earth is currently in an interglacial, and the last glacial period ended about 10,000 years ago. All that remains of the continental ice sheets are the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and smaller glaciers such as on Baffin Island.

        So given that Ice ages do recede, The earth must warm in between. We are currently in such a warming cycle.

      • AC0000000

        Yeah, but during previous Ice Ages, Illinois and Wisconsin were covered with ice. That’s how the Great Lakes formed when it melted. Will they get covered again if we have another one? I doubt it. The ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica will eventually melt. Those who say global warming exists are nuts, those who deny it don’t do it for political reasons. If it was called climate change instead of global warming, I think people would agree. Tell the folks in the northeast global warming is happening. They’ll laugh in your face. 5 snowstorms last winter.

      • Doc Raker

        http://www.ocregister.com/articles/warming-340836-singer-stations.html

        For those interested in some global warming facts.

      • Seymour Butts

        Really? Orange County Register?
        Lets try some source with a little credibility.
        http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/12/1206_041206_global_warming.html

      • Doc Raker

        Really. You sight an article from National Geographic from the fall of 2010 that sights a IPCC report from Feb 2007. That data has been disproved and is corrupt. Catch up to recent science. The Orange County Register is a reputable source. Read the articles I posted for the facts on the corruption in the man made global warming hoax. So anyone who doesn’t agree with you is a ‘flat earthier’ ‘ignorant’ and now the OC Register isn’t a good enough source for you. Typical liberal, demonize anyone who disagrees. Keep up with the facts Seymour.

      • Doc Raker

        http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/carbon-342902-government-europe.html

        Here is another good article on the real reason the global warming hoax continues to be perpetrated, tax dollars. Big government needs more of your money and the global warming hoax with it’s hair brained cap and trade plan is ready to take your money. I don’t care if gullable people like Seymour fall for the enviro socialist warming hoax but I loathe this hoax to be a reason for bigger government, more taxes and more government corruption. This OC Register piece nicely analyzes Europe’s failed attempts at a similar foolish plan that California is now embarking on.

      • AC0000000

         I thought both of you guys are Barry hating Republicans

      • Seymour Butts

        Nope!

      • AC0000000

        But I have seen both of you complaing about Barr Barrycare. Do you like Barry or no, Seymour?

      • Doc Raker

        Which is a great explanation of the earths natural climate cycles which has nothing to do with man. Add that to the fact that temps have not risen in the recent decades as global warming alarmist SAID THEY WOULD- THE ALARMIST WERE WRONG- must be something else to it.

      • Doc Raker

        BLPCB- I am more of a Libertarian, I abhore the negative consequences of government intervention. Republicans are suppose to be closer to a Libertarian philosophy than Democrats. As for Seymour the best I can figure is he is one of those folks to claim to have no party affiliation but then buys into every bit of liberal propaganda that is put forth, a useful idiot in political terms, an unwitting soldier of surfdom.

      • AC0000000

         I’ve seen him rip Obamacare b4

      • Doc Raker

        As anyone should.

      • AC0000000

        what’s wrong with being able to stay on my parents coverage till I’m 26?

      • Doc Raker

        A few of the changes in Obama are fine but to abdicate our health care system to government bureaucrats is an awful idea. The power of the Secretary of Health and Human Services is staggering. 

      • Seymour Butts

        no you haven’t

      • AC0000000

        Yes I have. You posted you didn’t like it bc of all the bad debt

      • Seymour Butts

        BLPCB- Raker is close, I have no party affiliation as they are both slimy. We are faced with choices between 2 bad canidates usually. I try to vote for the least awful. Not easy, but I did vote for Barry, and likely will do so again unless Ron Paul runs 3rd party.

      • Doc Raker

        Ron Paul and Obama are polar opposites domestically . I would vote for a Ron Paul domestic agenda which is a complete repudiation of Obama policies so it makes perfect sense that  a surf like Seymour doesn’t see a difference. 

      • AC0000000

        I don’t like doing that. I never felt that way until this year, and I will likely abstain because of it. I don’t want to vote for someone just because they’re the lesser of 2 evils.

      • Doc Raker

        Most usually it is the least of 2 evils, the perfect candidate doesn’t exist. This election is very important to America’s future.   We have Obama who wants to nationalize everything which erodes our freedom and liberty in ways most people can’t for see while running up unsustainable debt. We need to get our budget in line with our GDP and stop borrowing. Obama wants to ignore this fundamental financial principle in an effort to promise everything for everyone. The Constitution is something that is in Obama’s way, he doesn’t respect the Constitution. Ron Paul on the other hand is the polar opposite, he has stuck to the Constitution during his time as Senator and his biggest issue is getting spending under control. How someone could jump from Obama to Paul and dismiss everyone in between makes no sense. But if someone only pays attention to the headlines and doesn’t make an effort to understand the consequences of policies I can see how it can happen.

      • Norm

         http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/154584/lets-get-out-and-vote-music-montage

      • Seymour Butts

        Awsome Norm. I have this episode in the back of my mind essentially every election.
        And Raker, there is more to a candidate than his fiscal responsibility. Nobody in our lifetimes was worse at this than Bush2. Yet he is a republican. The Republicans are no longer the party of freedom, liberty and restraint. Look at Santorum and Romney. they and their ilk want to tell us all how to live our lives.  For me freedom is more important than income so yes in going from Paul to Barry I pass over the close minded in between.

      • AC0000000

        That South Park clip is hilarious, going on FB

  • Jedi

    Not sure why some of my comments are disappearing (as hard as that might be to believe).

    You call it nitpicking Norm – but the notion that BABIP isn’t positive or negative, is just flat wrong.  As is the idea that it tells you what the defense did…

    I also find your Castro scenario interesting.  Are errors an important statistical occurrence or not?  Your comment above seems to indicate that in the grand scheme of things, errors are basically an immaterially event.  And yet we spent the better part of the summer hearing from you, among others, about how Castro’s defense was so deplorable he should be moved to 3B for 2012.  So which is it?  And before you say “errors don’t matter to BABIP” – just remember that if you’re trying to use BABIP to describe “how often the defense turns a ball into an out” – then actually yes errors do matter to the inferences drawn from BABIP.

    • Norm

      Weird…more lies.
      “And yet we spent the better part of the summer hearing from you, among
      others, about how Castro’s defense was so deplorable he should be moved
      to 3B for 2012.”

      Find where I said that. I’d say “don’t bother, because I didn’t”, but I’d rather you waste time trying to dig it up.

      • Jedi

        “Castro is pretty terrible at shortstop” – so I’m to understand that you think he’s pretty terrible and we should leave him at shortstop?  Glad to have that cleared up.  Glad you didn’t feel the need to explain your waffling on errors.

      • Norm

        “so I’m to understand that you think he’s pretty terrible and we should leave him at shortstop?”

        yeah, because he’s 21 and could improve. But that doesn’t change the fact that, so far, he’s been bad.

      • Jedi

        “Not everyone is in agreement that the Cubs
        shortstop position is settled” – so you were speaking for someone other than yourself here then?

      • Jedi

        Maybe I just need to understand this like the whole “Pena’s gonna clear waivers and be claimed off of waivers” thing…

      • Norm

        I don’t understand why this is so difficult to understand.

        Castro has been bad defensively.
        There is no need to move him; yet.
        The SS position is NOT settled until Castro proves he can handle it defensively.

      • Jedi

        The SS position being unsettled lacks credibility.  Your arguments are convenient for you – errors are of paramount importance to winning a game when your SS boots the ball 30 times in a season; but if you’re trying to understand BABIP, errors are immaterial to the “defense’s ability to turn a ball into an out.”  They’re suddenly a 1% issue that doesn’t affect the overall assessment of a player.  You can’t have everything both ways (calling names explicitly or implicitly and exhibiting such righteous indignation at the slightest of imagined offenses).  Keep leaving yourself wiggle room with every statement so you can later claim that some unintended inference is being attributed to you – it’s fascinating to watch the double talk.  Repeatedly harping on one single aspect of a players’ game (errors) and then acting as if you aren’t tacitly calling for the Cubs to explore a change (to 3B) is just ridiculous.

      • Jedi

        You’ve also surmised that in 3 years or less the Cubs will have moved him from SS and stated that if a better defensive shortstop is available then Castro should be moved (that was your only criteria, if the guy is better defensively, find another position for Castro – the implication being, he’s that bad, he needs to move).  I don’t know how much more I can recall before you’ll believe that the overwhelming opinion you continue to spew is that Castro is not suited to be a SS for much longer.

      • Buddy

        I still think Jedi and Norm are the same person. 

      • Seymour Butts

        Awsome concept!

      • Jedi

        Nah, I wouldn’t get on my name-calling/advance the discussion soapbox, call someone a liar, and then run off.  That kind of thing doesn’t advance the discussion.

      • Norm

        “so I’m to understand that you think he’s pretty terrible and we should leave him at shortstop?”

        yeah, because he’s 21 and could improve. But that doesn’t change the fact that, so far, he’s been bad.

  • Jedi

    Not sure why some of my comments are disappearing (as hard as that might be to believe).

    You call it nitpicking Norm – but the notion that BABIP isn’t positive or negative, is just flat wrong.  As is the idea that it tells you what the defense did…

    I also find your Castro scenario interesting.  Are errors an important statistical occurrence or not?  Your comment above seems to indicate that in the grand scheme of things, errors are basically an immaterially event.  And yet we spent the better part of the summer hearing from you, among others, about how Castro’s defense was so deplorable he should be moved to 3B for 2012.  So which is it?  And before you say “errors don’t matter to BABIP” – just remember that if you’re trying to use BABIP to describe “how often the defense turns a ball into an out” – then actually yes errors do matter to the inferences drawn from BABIP.

    • Norm

      Weird…more lies.
      “And yet we spent the better part of the summer hearing from you, among
      others, about how Castro’s defense was so deplorable he should be moved
      to 3B for 2012.”

      Find where I said that. I’d say “don’t bother, because I didn’t”, but I’d rather you waste time trying to dig it up.

  • Jedi

    “Castro is pretty terrible at shortstop” – so I’m to understand that you think he’s pretty terrible and we should leave him at shortstop?  Glad to have that cleared up.  Glad you didn’t feel the need to explain your waffling on errors.

    • Norm

      “so I’m to understand that you think he’s pretty terrible and we should leave him at shortstop?”

      yeah, because he’s 21 and could improve. But that doesn’t change the fact that, so far, he’s been bad.

      • Jedi

        “Not everyone is in agreement that the Cubs
        shortstop position is settled” – so you were speaking for someone other than yourself here then?

      • Jedi

        Maybe I just need to understand this like the whole “Pena’s gonna clear waivers and be claimed off of waivers” thing…

      • Norm

        I don’t understand why this is so difficult to understand.

        Castro has been bad defensively.
        There is no need to move him; yet.
        The SS position is NOT settled until Castro proves he can handle it defensively.

      • Jedi

        The SS position being unsettled lacks credibility.  Your arguments are convenient for you – errors are of paramount importance to winning a game when your SS boots the ball 30 times in a season; but if you’re trying to understand BABIP, errors are immaterial to the “defense’s ability to turn a ball into an out.”  They’re suddenly a 1% issue that doesn’t affect the overall assessment of a player.  You can’t have everything both ways (calling names explicitly or implicitly and exhibiting such righteous indignation at the slightest of imagined offenses).  Keep leaving yourself wiggle room with every statement so you can later claim that some unintended inference is being attributed to you – it’s fascinating to watch the double talk.  Repeatedly harping on one single aspect of a players’ game (errors) and then acting as if you aren’t tacitly calling for the Cubs to explore a change (to 3B) is just ridiculous.

      • Jedi

        You’ve also surmised that in 3 years or less the Cubs will have moved him from SS and stated that if a better defensive shortstop is available then Castro should be moved (that was your only criteria, if the guy is better defensively, find another position for Castro – the implication being, he’s that bad, he needs to move).  I don’t know how much more I can recall before you’ll believe that the overwhelming opinion you continue to spew is that Castro is not suited to be a SS for much longer.

      • Buddy

        I still think Jedi and Norm are the same person. 

      • Seymour Butts

        Awsome concept!

      • Jedi

        Nah, I wouldn’t get on my name-calling/advance the discussion soapbox, call someone a liar, and then run off.  That kind of thing doesn’t advance the discussion.