Now pitching for the Texas Rangers: Jon Lester

July 23rd, 2007 → 11:44 am @

The next time you hear someone do a 20-20 hindsight look back on a trade/non-trade, etc., make sure you’re actually figuring in all the relevant details. An example: in ’03, Lester was heading to Texas along with Manny in the aborted A-Rod deal. I’ve brought this up before, and I’m sure I’ll do it again: it’s one of my favorite examples of the need to consider everything that’s actually going on. (This is a corollary to my dislike of people making pronouncements about a long-term deal/trade/non-deal etc. before said term is completed. It’s kind of like making pronouncements about a season before it’s halfway over.) (Er, see below…)

Welcome back, Jon. Don’t let KG steal all your thunder. (Too bad Lester’s last name doesn’t begin with a B…)

Post Categories: David Pinto & trade deadline

Extra crispy…

May 6th, 2007 → 9:00 am @

More on Coco’s defensive proficiency and his effect on the Sox: yesterday, Baseball Musings’ David Pinto took a more statistically-minded look at the number of plays CC has been making in the field and found that, over the previous seven games, Coco’s been averaging about five putouts per game, compared to about three per game in his first 15 starts of the year. As Pinto points out, there’s not a lot of context there; a chart Pinto puts together goes a good way towards providing that context…and does, indeed, show that, as Bill James observed, Coco’s pulling down everything hit anywhere near him.

A couple of hours later, Pinto added to this knowledge base by examining the probability of his putouts using last year’s probabilistic model range and found that thus far this year, “Crisp caught nine balls that weren’t caught last year” (or wouldn’t have been caught, anyway); after further parsing the data, Dave found that the vast majority of these plus catches were in the past two weeks.

Even if the above sounds like elfin to you (unless you happen to speak elfin…and yes, I’m looking at you, Eric), know this: based on a couple of weeks, Coco’s been playing significantly better defense than at any other time since he’s set up shop in Fenway. It’s hard to know what to pin this on: last year’s injuries? Discomfort on a new team? But it strikes me that, unlike an offensive tear, it’s harder to “hot” at a defensive position like centerfield, a position that requires a good read on balls, excellent athleticism, and no small sense of self-confidence. Whatever the cause, it bears watching…

Post Categories: Bill James & Coco Crisp & David Pinto & Defensive metrics