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View Full Version : New BP Article: Not Smartball, INJURY-FREE BALL! :O


Mr. White Sox
11-04-2005, 02:58 AM
I love how they say "well, aside from losing Frank Thomas the Sox were amazing at keeping guys off the DL". Uhh, yeah, but we lost Frank Thomas. That's far too important to trivialize, IMO...think of how the second half of the season would've panned out with Frank Thomas at DH. It's too crazy to even think about. I agree with the article that in the coming years, FA's with lower AVG and better defense will be more highly valued.

I love this part of the article (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=4580):
Don't misinterpret what's being presented here. This isn't a dig at a team that "shouldn't have won," or some such thing. The White Sox (and Ken Williams) built a winner, and no amount of Pythagorean reshuffling will take that away. But one of the most overlooked strengths of this team was their health, particularly in the rotation, where they were able to go wire-to-wire with their horses. It was a big step down after that, and that they didn't have to go any deeper than Brandon McCarthy (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/dt/mccarbr01.shtml) in their rotation depth is a huge factor in why they were as strong as they were.
Nor is this a message of "yeah, but if they had six or seven injuries, they wouldn't have won," which, while it may be true in some alternate universe, isn't true in this one.

oeo
11-04-2005, 06:53 AM
I love how they say "well, aside from losing Frank Thomas the Sox were amazing at keeping guys off the DL". Uhh, yeah, but we lost Frank Thomas. That's far too important to trivialize, IMO...think of how the second half of the season would've panned out with Frank Thomas at DH. It's too crazy to even think about. I agree with the article that in the coming years, FA's with lower AVG and better defense will be more highly valued.

I love this part of the article (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=4580):

Maybe we can attribute this to our training staff?

We had our share of injuries, Frank was a huge loss. We didn't have our #3 hitter for the majority of the season, how is that injury-free. Who also remembers Dye playing SS for an inning because we ran out of infielders against Oakland?

That Oakland is a crazy place...

MadetoOrta
11-04-2005, 07:23 AM
Crede played in pain for 2/3rds of the season. El Duque was on the shelf and pitched in pain after the All-Star break. Do those injuries count? Kinda reminds me of the kid holding the sign after Game 2 of the Red Sox series "ARE WE FAVORED YET?"

TomBradley72
11-04-2005, 07:31 AM
Any year 4 of 5 starters stay healthy wire to wire is a good year health wise. As far as position players go....I think it was an average year as far as health goes: lost Frank for almost the whole season (also $10MM going to waste), Crede's back, Pods'/Everett/Uribe's legs. The bullpen took a pretty big hit with Hermanson's back. The fact is that the bench, BMac and B. Jenks all came through and minimzed the impact of the injuries. We can't expect the same health next year...our depth at Charlotte and Birmingham will be a big factor in 2006.

Norberto7
11-04-2005, 08:19 AM
It was a big step down after that, and that they didn't have to go any deeper than Brandon McCarthy (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/dt/mccarbr01.shtml) in their rotation depth is a huge factor in why they were as strong as they were.


Uhhhhh.....is this some sort of backhanded jab at not having seven solid starters? The only team in recent memory I can think of with that kind of depth is the 2005 AL All-Star team.

1951Campbell
11-04-2005, 08:45 AM
In addition to losing Frank, this team also overcame Hermanson's bad back and losing Pods for a while. I see that as no small feat. Not a lot of teams start with one reliever, find out he's ineffective, go to another, find out he's hurt, and then come up with a rookie who can handle the job.

34 Inch Stick
11-04-2005, 09:14 AM
Pods was lost for a couple of weeks, and when he came back he was simply not the same player. Hermanson was a lights out closer in the first half of the season. At the end of August through the end of the season he was really only filling a roster spot. This was a different team offensively with Frank even for a brief period of time.

The injuries may not have large in number but they were big in their impact. It is a testament to the 2005 Sox team that they covered the injuries relatively seamlessly.

Flight #24
11-04-2005, 09:26 AM
In addition to losing Frank, this team also overcame Hermanson's bad back and losing Pods for a while. I see that as no small feat. Not a lot of teams start with one reliever, find out he's ineffective, go to another, find out he's hurt, and then come up with a rookie who can handle the job.

Their metric is days on the DL, which eliminates Hermanson from the mix since he just didn't play very much but wasn't ever (IIRC) DL'd. It also has Pods & Crede only for a couple weeks each and ignores the time they weren't on the DL but were hobbled (although in fairness, it would have the same effect for other teams).

The big deal is that while the Sox may not have had a ton of days on the DL, the impact of having Frank Thomas on the DL is very different than the combined impact of the Twins having say Luis Rivas, Nick Punto, and Jason Kubel on the DL despite the latter having 3x the impact in their rankings.

D. TODD
11-04-2005, 09:46 AM
Injuries are a huge factor in every sport. We did have a very good year avoiding key injuries. Frank was injured last year and his contribution to this years team was in doubt already. Last years team, although very different in it's make-up was headed to wards the playoffs before Big Hurt & Magglio went down in my opinion. You can not control injuries, but what the Sox accomplished while staying relatively healthy was amazing! I think this article points that out. I do not see it as being negative at all.

ma-gaga
11-04-2005, 10:44 AM
Well, the big thing is keeping the pitching staff healthy. They were healthy all year long, as the article says, which is a huge credit to the training staff, AND should be the definition of "Smartball".


the impact of having Frank Thomas on the DL is very different than the combined impact of the Twins having say Luis Rivas, Nick Punto, and Jason Kubel on the DL despite the latter having 3x the impact in their rankings


They included a very accurate "salary lost" in their rankings (wow, they got it down to the nearest penny. See this is the kind of **** that bugs me about BP, they carp on and on about sample size, and then they do their payroll calculations down to the nearest PENNY?!? I don't get this. Apparently, Frank missed; $6,962,962.96 worth of his salary this year... But since I'm a numbers geek, I think I figured out how they got their numbers. $8MM a year * 141 games lost / 162 total games = $6.962,962.96 - sheesh.).

It's not a perfect relationship between money/talent, but if they showed the % payroll lost to DL the Twins "Big 3" players rate in at approximately 3% of the total payroll (Rivas really wasn't hurt, he just sucked). F.Thomas alone is 9.3% of the total W.Sox payroll. Now that is a little more accurate in their terms of value. In other words, F.Thomas by himself is worth three times as much as Rivas/Punto/Kubel combined. I could buy that line of reasoning.

:cool:

Flight #24
11-04-2005, 11:02 AM
Well, the big thing is keeping the pitching staff healthy. They were healthy all year long, as the article says, which is a huge credit to the training staff, AND should be the definition of "Smartball".




They included a very accurate "salary lost" in their rankings (wow, they got it down to the nearest penny. See this is the kind of **** that bugs me about BP, they carp on and on about sample size, and then they do their payroll calculations down to the nearest PENNY?!? I don't get this. Apparently, Frank missed; $6,962,962.96 worth of his salary this year... But since I'm a numbers geek, I think I figured out how they got their numbers. $8MM a year * 141 games lost / 162 total games = $6.962,962.96 - sheesh.).

It's not a perfect relationship between money/talent, but if they showed the % payroll lost to DL the Twins "Big 3" players rate in at approximately 3% of the total payroll (Rivas really wasn't hurt, he just sucked). F.Thomas alone is 9.3% of the total W.Sox payroll. Now that is a little more accurate in their terms of value. In other words, F.Thomas by himself is worth three times as much as Rivas/Punto/Kubel combined. I could buy that line of reasoning.

:cool:

The only problem is that even at their respoective salaries, the loss of Thomas to the Sox has far greater impact than the loss of the 3 Twinks. That logic would lead you to say that the loss of say Dontrelle Willis for the season would be less than the loss of Kevin Brown.
It is an improvement, but it's still pretty far off being accurate.

TDog
11-04-2005, 11:06 AM
Does BP have any credibility anymore?

dividedsk717
11-04-2005, 11:33 AM
Does BP have any credibility anymore?

I love seeing BP come up with lame excuses to cover themselves. Sucks for them that a game played by humans with all sorts of variability can't be boiled down to a perfect science. I'm sure at some point they'll just consider the Sox an outlier in their statistical data and redeclare their calculations as gospel.

ma-gaga
11-04-2005, 01:01 PM
The only problem is that even at their respoective salaries, the loss of Thomas to the Sox has far greater impact than the loss of the 3 Twinks.

I agree.

So here's an open question to anyone:

How would you suggest we measure the impact of losing a player like F.Thomas for 140 games vs losing a player like Nick Punto for 60 games??

:cool:

DaleJRFan
11-04-2005, 01:27 PM
They forgot Hermanson's back, Crede's back, Pods' hammy, Big Frank, El Duque, CC's hammy. While no one went on the DL for a prolonged period of time, there were a lot of guys who missed time that ordinarily wouldn't have. A lot of the bench guys and some callups got extra playing time and the SOX still won.

CallMeNuts
11-05-2005, 10:36 AM
They forgot Hermanson's back, Crede's back, Pods' hammy, Big Frank, El Duque, CC's hammy. While no one went on the DL for a prolonged period of time, there were a lot of guys who missed time that ordinarily wouldn't have. A lot of the bench guys and some callups got extra playing time and the SOX still won.

The reason our injuries weren't such a big deal is very simple: This year, our depth was extraordinary. Especially in the pitching staff. We had 3 closers this year. Shingo couldn't cut it. Hermanson stepped right into the role and excelled. And Jenks stepped in when Hermanson's back got in the way. This year, we had 6 very good starting pitchers versus 3 or 4 in the last couple of years. Frank's absence certainly hurt. But having Carl made that bearable. And a decent bench and balanced team allowed Iguchi, Uribe, Crede and Pods to all spend varying amounts of time licking their wounds. Depth is one of the keys to the Sox success this year. And when you have the depth, I guess that it seems like we didn't have injuries to deal with.