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CLUBHOUSE KID
01-01-2008, 11:08 AM
This article includes the possible 2008 White Sox Lineup/Rotation. As the article states, a lot can change between now and 4/7/2008.

ENJOY AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! :D:

CLUBHOUSE KID
01-01-2008, 11:10 AM
Sorry! I forgot the link:

http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071219&content_id=2333166&vkey=news_cws&fext=.jsp&c_id=cws

WhiteSox5187
01-01-2008, 12:19 PM
The fact they have Fields listed at third all but spells out the end for Joe Crede...there are a lot of question marks in that lineup and even more question marks in that rotation...on paper that looks to be about an 83 win team AT BEST. But that's only on paper and this is why we play the games...maybe they'll play out of their minds and wind up winning the damned thing, who knows?

Lip Man 1
01-01-2008, 12:52 PM
Considering they only won 70 games last season to "only" win 83 games this season would be a 13 game improvement. That's a lot of improvement.

I'd take that in a heartbeat.

Lip

goon
01-01-2008, 12:57 PM
The fact they have Fields listed at third all but spells out the end for Joe Crede...there are a lot of question marks in that lineup and even more question marks in that rotation...on paper that looks to be about an 83 win team AT BEST. But that's only on paper and this is why we play the games...maybe they'll play out of their minds and wind up winning the damned thing, who knows?

That or the Sox are unsure he will be healthy enough to start 2008. Even though Owens at the top of the lineup is kinda scary, the bottom of the lineup looks very interesting in a positive way. Three promising offensive talents stacked up, they should be a lot of fun to watch.

Hitmen77
01-01-2008, 03:28 PM
Considering they only won 70 games last season to "only" win 83 games this season would be a 13 game improvement. That's a lot of improvement.

I'd take that in a heartbeat.

Lip

Actually, the Sox won 72 games last year.

That projected lineup has A LOT of question marks. Yes, it also has a lot of potential to be great if everyone lives up to their potential (Fields, Richar, Danks, Floyd) and others rebound from awful years (Contreras, 1st half '07 Dye). But, it seems like we're relying on a lot of unproven things to "go right" in '08.

BainesHOF
01-01-2008, 04:01 PM
Thome has no business being in the third spot. He's atrocious against lefties. I'd like to see Dye there.

Bucky F. Dent
01-01-2008, 04:35 PM
Lookin at what went well (relatively speaking), and what did not last summer, it seems to me that the primary weakness of this team remains the bullpen.

champagne030
01-01-2008, 04:48 PM
That roster will produce a team fighting the Royals for last place. :(:

raven1
01-01-2008, 05:26 PM
That roster will produce a team fighting the Royals for last place. :(:
It's not a bad lineup - lots of upside potential, with only 2 really big question marks (leadoff & 4th/5th starters) which could be filled by the end of spring training.

The Sox real problem is the division they play in - their roster as it stands now would be good enough to win any division in the National League, but there are at least 5 AL teams (NY, Bos, LA, Det, Cle) that look better than them right now. They are probably headed for third place unless they really overachieve or make some moves. Even that would be good enough in most markets & most years, but winning it all a couple years ago has raised expectations. Ironically, the thing which will lead to the most negativity in the local media and resulting bad feelings from fans for the coming season is the "resurgence" of the Cubs. Both Chicago teams will likely finish with similar records this year, but the weak NL Central division will give the illusion that the Cubs are contenders while in comparison the Sox will be out of the race early.

Bottom line - it doesn't matter how much better the Sox get relative to last year unless they can pass Detroit & Cleveland. Any other result will doom them to playing in half-empty stadiums and poor Chicago media coverage.

btrain929
01-01-2008, 05:32 PM
This article includes the possible 2008 White Sox Lineup/Rotation. As the article states, a lot can change between now and 4/7/2008.

ENJOY AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! :D:

April 7th? I'll assume that's a typo...

misty60481
01-01-2008, 05:46 PM
I think your being a little optimistic saying we could win any NL division, I think the NL teams gave us the most trouble last year. We have too many ifs and not enough offensive power to compete. Remember that we were about the worst offensive team last year and there is not enough changes in that line-up to wish for much improvement. We certianly need a CF that can hit with some power, we have as of yet an unproven LF, and a 2nd baseman that only hit .230.

soxfanreggie
01-01-2008, 06:06 PM
Unless some of those youngsters step up, we're looking at being lucky to win 80 games next year. After listening to Kenny in the offseason of how we would make acquisitions to improve our team, that is an upgrade of two positions (SS and RP) with a severe downgrade at another (SP), IMO. I think Linebrink is a good acquisition, but we do have a lot tied up in him for a RP that isn't a closer.

Corlose 15
01-01-2008, 08:04 PM
It's not a bad lineup - lots of upside potential, with only 2 really big question marks (leadoff & 4th/5th starters) which could be filled by the end of spring training.

The Sox real problem is the division they play in - their roster as it stands now would be good enough to win any division in the National League, but there are at least 5 AL teams (NY, Bos, LA, Det, Cle) that look better than them right now. They are probably headed for third place unless they really overachieve or make some moves. Even that would be good enough in most markets & most years, but winning it all a couple years ago has raised expectations. Ironically, the thing which will lead to the most negativity in the local media and resulting bad feelings from fans for the coming season is the "resurgence" of the Cubs. Both Chicago teams will likely finish with similar records this year, but the weak NL Central division will give the illusion that the Cubs are contenders while in comparison the Sox will be out of the race early.

Bottom line - it doesn't matter how much better the Sox get relative to last year unless they can pass Detroit & Cleveland. Any other result will doom them to playing in half-empty stadiums and poor Chicago media coverage.

Nice analysis. I'm actually pretty excited to see this team play. Floyd ( no matter how much people here want to rip on him), Danks, Quentin, Fields, and Richar have a lot of potential and I really think Owens can provide something similar to Pods in 2005. If the Sox really want to remain competitive anually they have to fuse in this young talent successfully.

I'm excited to see how it all plays out.

I think they win about 86 games and come in third but I think it'll be an enjoyable season.

raven1
01-01-2008, 09:36 PM
I think your being a little optimistic saying we could win any NL division, I think the NL teams gave us the most trouble last year. We have too many ifs and not enough offensive power to compete. Remember that we were about the worst offensive team last year and there is not enough changes in that line-up to wish for much improvement. We certianly need a CF that can hit with some power, we have as of yet an unproven LF, and a 2nd baseman that only hit .230.
The offense bottoming out last year is one of the reasons why I think we'll see a significant turn around. The middle of the Sox order (Thome/Konerko/Dye) only needs to have average career years for the Sox to be back in the middle of the pack offensively, and good output from several other players (particularly Owens, Richar, & Quentin) would put them back close to their potent 2006 offense. The fact that they lost so many games to bad NL teams during the worst of their injuries/slumps is also cause for optimism - there is no reason why they can't win at least two out of three against most of the NL teams on this year's schedule (Colorado is the only potentially tough one), so that 6-8 game swing alone would get them close to .500.

That's why it's the starting pitching that concerns me rather than the offense. The rotation they have now is as good or better than most major league teams, but they're going to need better than that just to win their division. If Contreras, Danks, & Floyd all come through and the offense is at least adequate we'll win over 90 games, but that's a lot to count on - I would rather have one more solid starter (like Garland).

gogosox16
01-01-2008, 09:41 PM
The fact they have Fields listed at third all but spells out the end for Joe Crede...there are a lot of question marks in that lineup and even more question marks in that rotation...on paper that looks to be about an 83 win team AT BEST. But that's only on paper and this is why we play the games...maybe they'll play out of their minds and wind up winning the damned thing, who knows?
That is correct, I remember hearing about in 2005 that we would finish either 3rd, or 4th in the division and we end up winning the World Series. That is why they play the games. Any team can get hot and carry them for a long time. Just look at the Rockies, they were suppose to lose 90 games but they end up winning 90 games and make it to the World Series. I know we got question marks, but I'll never go by what is on paper. I'll always go by what I see on the field and I will not be able to see until April.

Billy Ashley
01-01-2008, 10:31 PM
Thome has no business being in the third spot. He's atrocious against lefties. I'd like to see Dye there.


He also happens to be by far the best hitter on the White Sox. He should bat 3 or 4 with a day off every once in a while against tough lefties.


Currently the offense looks as follows:

1. CF: Jerry Owens: 27 years old (on opening day)
2007: .267/.324/.312- 1 HR 32 SB
Career minor league line: 1819 PA, .295/.362/.366, 10 HR
Bill James projection system: .274/.340/.340, 3 home runs and 38 SB

I tend to think the Bill James projection to be somewhat optimistic. However, even if he matches those numbers heíd still likely be one of the worst offensive starting players in baseball. Owens appears to be above average in regards to range (http://www.fieldingbible.com/). If he bats first, Ozzie should be fired (and I tend to think Ozzie is a pretty good manager)

2. SS: Orlando Cabrera: 33 years old
2007: .301/.345/.397, 8 home runs, 20 SBs
Career: .273/.321/.403
BJ Projection: .273/.326/.383

It should be noted that the projection was listed before the trade to Chicago, given the fact that heís hitting in Chicago a .383 slugging percentage seems a bit unlikely. Defensively, he above average, though his rep as excellent is a bit overstated and likely the result of how fluid he looks in the field. He should be what everyone expects him to be, a solid incredibly durable short stop who does everything well but not great. His only weakness is that he doesnít get on base at a great rate, though heís been above average in that regard over the past two seasons. Heís an adequate number 2 hitter, though heíd make a fantastic number 8 or 9 on a deep line up.

3. DH: Jim Thome: 37 years old
2007: .275/.410/.565, 35 HR, 95 RBIs
Career: .281/.409/.565
BJ Projection: .259/.395/.530, 32 HR, 92 RBIs

One of the games most underrated hitters of the past 20 years put up yet another typical awesome season. However, age and injuries seemed to slow a bit. In 2008 the question will remain, can he stay healthy. The skill set is obviously there, assuming he can manage 130-140 games he should be able to pad his HoF cred. Heís a great number 3 hitter.

4: 1b: Paul Konerko: 32 years old
2007: .259/.351/.490, 31 HR, 90 RBI
Career: .281/.353/.495
BJ: .275/.360/.501, 34 HR, 15

James sees a bit of an upswing for Konerko which I donít find all that shocking due to the fact that Konerkoís BAIP was a bit lower last season than usual. This of course means two things: 1: Konerko or opposing pitching staffs are doing something differently or 2: simple bad luck. Given his age, I suspect it was just a bit of bad luck. Offense for the most part was depressed last season, while that wasnít likely the root cause for Konerkoís struggles last season, it may have made his struggles appear even worse than they were. Heís a very good clean up hitter, not elite, but better than plenty. Heís ok with the glove,

5: RF: Jermaine Dye: 34 years old
2007: .254/.317/.486, 34 HR, 78 RBI
Career: .275/.337/.486
BJ: .265/.336/.495, 29 HR, 77 RBI

James sees a small bounce back and that makes a lot of sense. He is getting older but heís got a career baseline that suggests that heís better than what he was last season and not as good as he was in 2006. His defense has degraded from awesome to awful, but if his bat bounces back to an OPS around .840-850 heíd still be one of the better RF in baseball.


6: C: AJ Pierzynski: 31 years old
2007: .263/.309/.403, 14 HR, 50 RBI
Career: .284/.328/.430
Projection: .277/.323/. 427

AJ Pierzynski Heís a good hitting catcher (a career OPS+ of 96 is much better than most back stops) but heís not really a 3-4-5 hitter. Given that over his power numbers have been better than his OBP skills one could make the argument that heís best suited for the 6 spot since ideally, the guys ahead of him will be getting on base. The projection again sees an improvement, numbers that are very similar to his career norms, if he can match those, heíll again likely be one of the better hitting catchers in the league. Defensively he is what he is, competent.

7: 3b: Josh Fields: 25 years old
2007: .244/.308/.480
Minor league career: 1609 PA, .280/.360/.464, 52 HR, 43 SB
BJ: .272/.351/.504, 30 HR, 92

This is where we get to the high risk, high upside part of the line up. The Bill James projection system often seems to overrate rookies, Iím not sure why, but check out Jacoby Ellsburyís projected line. Regardless, it seems safe to assume Fields has the power to hit 30 homers while playing half of his games in Chicago, the question is whether or not heíll get one base enough to warrant being in the line up. Iíve debated this a tone in the Fields vs Crede thread and donít wish to restate them here. Suffice to say, if Fields posts an OPS of .855 heíll be one of the top 5 3b in the American league. His defense according to just about every metric is below average to well below average, but then again, his glove has never been the reason people have been excited about him.

8: LF: Carlos Quentin: 25 years of age.
2007: .214/.298/.349, 5 HR
ML Career: 1587 PA: .313/.413/.527, 55 HR
BJ: .263/.341/.455, 13 HR

Yet another high risk, high upside slot in the batting order. I donít know anything about the leagues in which Quentin was playing in but the career minor league OPS of .940 has got to make people around here happy. His minor league K/BB ratio is pretty damn solid at 189/169. His stock fell a bit this past season, due to his struggles in the NL west but in his defense he has battled injuries over the past two seasons.

9: 2B: Danny Richar: 25 years old
2007: .230/.289/.406
ML career: .293/.341/.442
BJ: .277/.338/.451

Again, another highish risk hisghesth return guy, Richar hit 20 home runs while a 22 year old in A+ ball a few years back. He had massive strike out issues earlier in his career. As he ascended through the minor league ranks his walk rates have improved along with his K rates, though his power has slowed a bit. If he could come close to the .788 OPS suggested by James heíd be one of the better offensive second basemen in the American League.


All in all, a line up with one horrific hitter (Owens) a pretty good 2, an incredibly solid 3-4-5, an ok 6th and 3 massive question marks (albeit question marks with talent) rounding out the order. If all goes right this is a line up that could score close to 850 runs, if all goes wrong it could be a repeat of last season. In all likelihood it will be somewhere in the middle.

gogosox16
01-01-2008, 10:57 PM
He also happens to be by far the best hitter on the White Sox. He should bat 3 or 4 with a day off every once in a while against tough lefties.


Currently the offense looks as follows:

1. CF: Jerry Owens: 27 years old (on opening day)
2007: .267/.324/.312- 1 HR 32 SB
Career minor league line: 1819 PA, .295/.362/.366, 10 HR
Bill James projection system: .274/.340/.340, 3 home runs and 38 SB

I tend to think the Bill James projection to be somewhat optimistic. However, even if he matches those numbers heíd still likely be one of the worst offensive starting players in baseball. Owens appears to be above average in regards to range (http://www.fieldingbible.com/). If he bats first, Ozzie should be fired (and I tend to think Ozzie is a pretty good manager)

.
Why should Ozzie be fired? Becuase he has no better option for Centerfield and that he needs a leadoff guy and Jerry fills that need. I would much rather have Jerry batting leadoff than 9th or something. Even if he puts up on OBP of .350 he is more valuable as a leadoff hitter than being down low in the lineup

Billy Ashley
01-01-2008, 11:03 PM
Why should Ozzie be fired? Becuase he has no better option for Centerfield and that he needs a leadoff guy and Jerry fills that need. I would much rather have Jerry batting leadoff than 9th or something. Even if he puts up on OBP of .350 he is more valuable as a leadoff hitter than being down low in the lineup


Because if Jerry Owens leads off for the White Sox this season and plays 150 games or so, he'll be the odds on fav. to lead the league in outs. FYI, an OBP of .350 for Owens would be be awesome for the White Sox. Given that his career Minor League OBP is only .362, the odds of Owens getting on base at a .350 clip are pretty slim.

If the White Sox get a couple breaks they could be on the short list for best line up after the Tigers and Yankees, letting Owens lead the team in PA would deminish those chances by a lot.

Tragg
01-01-2008, 11:23 PM
Because if Jerry Owens leads off for the White Sox this season and plays 150 games or so, he'll be the odds on fav. to lead the league in outs. FYI, an OBP of .350 for Owens would be be awesome for the White Sox. Given that his career Minor League OBP is only .362, the odds of Owens getting on base at a .350 clip are pretty slim.


It needs to be .350 for him to be a useful player. (.380 would be awsome). Slapping your way to a .330 obp when you get the most at bats and leadof the most innings soffocates an offense. I think Owens at leadoff is one of the big risks on the team, the biggest offensively.

Billy Ashley
01-01-2008, 11:30 PM
Jerry Owens could be a very useful player to the White Sox to a degree, even if his OBP rest at .330. Because of Owens, Williams is allowed to have a grace period for finding a long term fix at CF. Sure Owens is barely replacement level with the bat but he’s above average in the field. In the end, I suspect he’ll be a starter for a couple of seasons (while he’s cost controlled) suck with the bat but be acceptable (barely) due to being a threat on the bases and pretty decent in the field. Then when he’s no longer cheap he’ll be a journeyman fourth outfielder/ pinch runner. That’s not a bad player to produce in ones system, in fact, it save the White Sox from having to trade anything of value for better players until Owens can no longer be had on the cheap. Batting him lead off though would be a massive mistake and cost the White Sox runs over the course of the season, how many? I’m not sure I’m smart enough to figure it out, but I suspect it would be more than tolerable. Also a team can carry one crap hitter, the Yankees scored over 900 runs with Melky after all, what will cause the White Sox to sink or swim will be how healthy Thome is, Dye reverting back to his 2005 level (2006 was a fluke and 2005 is a fine enough ball player), Quentin and Fields (since Crede will likely have trouble hitting/ staying healthy).

jabrch
01-01-2008, 11:33 PM
heís above average in the field.

Have you ever seen him play? I can't envision how you can have seen him play and would call him "ABOVE average". I'm an Owens fan - and at this point, he's got one of the worst arms of any CF in the game today. He's not so good at getting to balls that it makes up for the wet noodle he throws with.

I have no problem with Jerry playing CF for the league minimum - but I'm not expecting anything close to league average defense in CF with him there. He's better than Mackowiak - but that's not saying much.

gogosox16
01-01-2008, 11:34 PM
Jerry Owens could be a very useful player to the White Sox to a degree, even if his OBP rest at .330. Because of Owens, Williams is allowed to have a grace period for finding a long term fix at CF. Sure Owens is barely replacement level with the bat but heís above average in the field. In the end, I suspect heíll be a starter for a couple of seasons (while heís cost controlled) suck with the bat but be acceptable (barely) due to being a threat on the bases and pretty decent in the field. Then when heís no longer cheap heíll be a journeyman fourth outfielder/ pinch runner. Thatís not a bad player to produce in ones system, in fact, it save the White Sox from having to trade anything of value for better players until Owens can no longer be had on the cheap. Batting him lead off though would be a massive mistake and cost the White Sox runs over the course of the season, how many? Iím not sure Iím smart enough to figure it out, but I suspect it would be more than tolerable.
I agree with what you say about him being a starter for a few years, but at best he is a 4th outfielder, for an N.L. team to give them a stolen base than in a game.

Billy Ashley
01-01-2008, 11:35 PM
Have you ever seen him play? I can't envision how you can have seen him play and would call him "ABOVE average". I'm an Owens fan - and at this point, he's got one of the worst arms of any CF in the game today. He's not so good at getting to balls that it makes up for the wet noodle he throws with.

I have no problem with Jerry playing CF for the league minimum - but I'm not expecting anything close to league average defense in CF with him there. He's better than Mackowiak - but that's not saying much.

Meh your right, he does have a noodle arm, but he's seen as above average in terms of range and that's a lot more important. Lots of noodle arms in center around baseball and baseball history. Kenny Lofton, Coco Crisp, Damon, the list goes on.

CLUBHOUSE KID
01-02-2008, 10:26 AM
April 7th? I'll assume that's a typo...

Opening Day is 3/31/2007. I was thinking about Opening Day at the Cell.

soxwon
01-02-2008, 10:54 AM
Considering they only won 70 games last season to "only" win 83 games this season would be a 13 game improvement. That's a lot of improvement.

I'd take that in a heartbeat.

Lip
83 in a heartbeat, the Sox will win 90 games .
Dey will Shock Da Baseball World!!!
The baseball Gods have informed me, The sox will win the Division and Be in The World Series.
People, Everyone, My flock, Have a Faitha!!!!

russ99
01-02-2008, 11:34 AM
Unless some of those youngsters step up, we're looking at being lucky to win 80 games next year. After listening to Kenny in the offseason of how we would make acquisitions to improve our team, that is an upgrade of two positions (SS and RP) with a severe downgrade at another (SP), IMO. I think Linebrink is a good acquisition, but we do have a lot tied up in him for a RP that isn't a closer.

The Linebrink years/dollars for the signing seems a bit curious to me, until I realized that Jenks pitching style puts a lot of strain on his arm. Maybe Linebrink was given so many years due to the fact the Sox have no insurance policy in case Jenks goes down.

So for 2008, he's a top setup man and in future years he could eventually be the closer.

jabrch
01-02-2008, 01:23 PM
he's seen as above average in terms of range

I'm not even sure of that....and I am a fan of the guy. He's fast - but that does not equate to range.

He's an inferior defender to most of the still-available FA CFs, including Cameron, Patterson and Wilkerson. He's inferior defensively to the CFs who have signed this offseason also (Hunter, Jones, Rowand, Bradley).

If he can't be an impactful leadoff hitter (.270/.350 ish), his only value becomes as a base stealer.

Zisk77
01-02-2008, 02:23 PM
Have you ever seen him play? I can't envision how you can have seen him play and would call him "ABOVE average". I'm an Owens fan - and at this point, he's got one of the worst arms of any CF in the game today. He's not so good at getting to balls that it makes up for the wet noodle he throws with.

I have no problem with Jerry playing CF for the league minimum - but I'm not expecting anything close to league average defense in CF with him there. He's better than Mackowiak - but that's not saying much.


So, did 1-dog. Throwing is only a part of fielding and if he can hit the cutoff man he should be alright. Owens is an above average fielder. He is also a poor thrower. Fielding and throwing are considered 2 separate tools (as is running, hitting, and hitting with power). OWENS IS DEFINATELY A 2 TOOL PLAYER HOPEFULLY HE CAN BECOME A 3...HITTING. Sorry accidentally hiy caps lock and am too lazy to change it:redneck

jabrch
01-02-2008, 02:49 PM
So, did 1-dog.

If Owens someday is as good at getting to balls as Lance was, then he will be above average.


Owens is an above average fielder.

That's opinion. My opinion is that he is a below average fielder. He has speed, but he does not look like he reads balls particularly well. Just being fast is not a tool.

Billy Ashley
01-02-2008, 02:53 PM
That's opinion. My opinion is that he is a below average fielder. He has speed, but he does not look like he reads balls particularly well. Just being fast is not a tool.


According to +/- last season he was one of the better CF in baseball in terms of range. According to fielding runs above average he was a -10, I don't know, it looks as if there is no clear answer on how good or how bad of a fielder he is.

jabrch
01-02-2008, 03:07 PM
According to +/- last season he was one of the better CF in baseball in terms of range. According to fielding runs above average he was a -10, I don't know, it looks as if there is no clear answer on how good or how bad of a fielder he is.


+/- and FRAA don't tell you anywhere close to enough to have an opinion.

Simply put - you need to watch Jerry Owens before you draw any conclusions about him based on made up statistics. Jerry Owens is not an above average CF.

Billy Ashley
01-02-2008, 03:41 PM
+/- and FRAA don't tell you anywhere close to enough to have an opinion.

Simply put - you need to watch Jerry Owens before you draw any conclusions about him based on made up statistics. Jerry Owens is not an above average CF.

Just like how so many Yankee fans believe Jeter is a gold glove SS?

Itís incredibly difficult to quantify defense, but somehow I suspect that since Iím not a scout and donít have access to thousands of hours of tape of every player and his routes, throws, positioning per batter and every catch (or non catch) to compare to every other center fielder in baseball over every single play they make, that I can not make a reasonable assessment with out at least consulting the statistics that are available. Are the statistics perfect? Absolutely not, in fact the methodology of +/- has changed several times over its short history. However, I donít presume to believe that I can provide a decent assessment of a fielder by watching baseball on TV 4 times a week when professionals who spend 40 hours a week reviewing tape can not come to an agreement on a players ability.

Save McCuddy's
01-02-2008, 04:20 PM
I recall being frustrated out of mind with Rowand's inabilty to handle balls hit right at him -- how many sinking liners fell in front of him, and how many shots went over his head while he was frozen. I thought we had no choice but to make a move in center midseason 2005 or we were going home early.

My lesson learned: let things play out. Owens may well improve. I definitely feel that his odds of an .350 OBP are higher than the BJ data would suggest.

jabrch
01-02-2008, 04:48 PM
Just like how so many Yankee fans believe Jeter is a gold glove SS?

"gold glove" - WHO CARES? Not me.

Itís incredibly difficult to quantify defense

It is impossible to do so in a manner that has any meaning.


, but somehow I suspect that since Iím not a scout and donít have access to thousands of hours of tape of every player and his routes, throws, positioning per batter and every catch (or non catch) to compare to every other center fielder in baseball over every single play they make, that I can not make a reasonable assessment with out at least consulting the statistics that are available.

That's where your arguement falls apart. You don't need to watch 1000s of hours of tape of every player and every catch or non catch to have an opinion on a player. But if you watch enough of it, your opinion will be much more valid than by using FRAA and +/- which are just ridiculously weak when presented as mathematically sound numbers. Implicit in that quantification is the concept that there is a direct mathematical relationship between a 3 and a 4, and that would be the same as between a 4 and a 5, if those are arithmatic or geometric or whatever. But using things like +/- tells you nothing. And FRAA is just not worth the paper it is written on because of how many adjustments need to be made - many of which have questionable reliability, to create a number with such slim differentiation. It isn't RF, E or FLDG% - all of which don't tell you enough - but it doesn't hold weight in and of itself.

The only one of those fldg metrics I can stomach is UZR because it is literally charting each and every ball. But even that is flawed significantly.

I know some folks don't like to hear this - but there is a lot of art in scouting and evaluating ANY talent. That is true in my line of work. That is true for musicians. That is true for lawyers. That is also true for baseball players. No amount of manipulation of numbers will ever change that. For defense, more than anything, the best thing to do is to watch these guys play and form opinions over time. It will be just that - and opinion - but it will at least be based on obsevation - which is much more valid than what others want you to evaluate fielding on. (FRAA? +/-, ZR...yuck)


However, I donít presume to believe that I can provide a decent assessment of a fielder by watching baseball on TV 4 times a week when professionals who spend 40 hours a week reviewing tape can not come to an agreement on a players ability.

That's the nature of talent evaluation. Creating numbers by doing things to other numbers does not improve on the variability of talent evaluation. FRAA and +/- do not provide any reliable measurement of fielders that can't be obtained from watching these guys play.

Billy Ashley
01-02-2008, 05:16 PM
"gold glove" - WHO CARES? Not me.



It is impossible to do so in a manner that has any meaning.




That's where your arguement falls apart. You don't need to watch 1000s of hours of tape of every player and every catch or non catch to have an opinion on a player. But if you watch enough of it, your opinion will be much more valid than by using FRAA and +/- which are just ridiculously weak when presented as mathematically sound numbers. Implicit in that quantification is the concept that there is a direct mathematical relationship between a 3 and a 4, and that would be the same as between a 4 and a 5, if those are arithmatic or geometric or whatever. But using things like +/- tells you nothing. And FRAA is just not worth the paper it is written on because of how many adjustments need to be made - many of which have questionable reliability, to create a number with such slim differentiation. It isn't RF, E or FLDG% - all of which don't tell you enough - but it doesn't hold weight in and of itself.

The only one of those fldg metrics I can stomach is UZR because it is literally charting each and every ball. But even that is flawed significantly.

I know some folks don't like to hear this - but there is a lot of art in scouting and evaluating ANY talent. That is true in my line of work. That is true for musicians. That is true for lawyers. That is also true for baseball players. No amount of manipulation of numbers will ever change that. For defense, more than anything, the best thing to do is to watch these guys play and form opinions over time. It will be just that - and opinion - but it will at least be based on obsevation - which is much more valid than what others want you to evaluate fielding on. (FRAA? +/-, ZR...yuck)




That's the nature of talent evaluation. Creating numbers by doing things to other numbers does not improve on the variability of talent evaluation. FRAA and +/- do not provide any reliable measurement of fielders that can't be obtained from watching these guys play. Lots of stuff here, varying amounts of truth.

As far as the Gold Glove comment, your response doesnít chance the fact that numerous people who watch lots of baseball feel heís a great defender. This is not limited to die hard Yankee fans, former players, managers and television ďannalistsĒ continue to state Jeterís defensive greatness as a mater of fact when in fact his range is incredibly limited (as shown by +/-)

Regarding +/-, it does in fact; track every single play in baseball. The methodology behind the system is also actually fairly simple although labor some. From the fielding bible website:

ďBaseball Info Solutions reviews videotape of every game in Major League Baseball. Every play is entered into the computer where we record the exact direction, distance, speed and type of every batted ball. Direction and distance is done on a computer screen by simply clicking the exact location of the ball on a replica of the field shown on the screen. Speed is simply soft, medium and hard while types of batted balls are groundball, liner, fly and bunt. We will be introducing a new category in 2006 called fliner. A fliner is a ball that is hard to categorize because itís somewhere between a fly and a liner, so it becomes a fliner. But thatís next year.

The computer totals all softly hit groundballs on Vector 17, for example, and determines that these types of batted balls are converted into outs by the shortstop only 26% of the time. Therefore, if, on this occasion, the shortstop converts a slowly hit ball on Vector 17 into an out, thatís a heck of a play, and it scores at +.74. The credit for the play made, 1.00, minus the expectation that it should be made, which is 0.26. If the play isnít madeóby anybodyóitís -.26 for the shortstop.

The key is if a player makes a play on a specific type of batted ball, hit to a specific location on the field, and hit at a specific speed, he gets credit if at least one other player in MLB that season missed that exact ball sometime during the season. A player who misses a play on a specific type of batted ball, hit to a specific location on the field, and hit at a specific speed, he loses credit if a least one other player made the same play some other time.

Add up all the credits the player gets and loses based on each and every play when heís on the field and you get his plus/minus number (rounded to the nearest integer). Letís continue with the Vector 17 example.

Vector 17 is a line extending from home plate towards the hole between the normal shortstop and third base positions, but not the exact hole. Itís closer to the normal shortstop position. Shortstops fielded a softly hit groundball there 26% of the time in 2005. Medium hit balls on that vector were fielded 52% of the time, while hard hit balls were only fielded at a 10% rate. Overall there are about 260 vectors we use for the field. One more factor we add for outfielders is the distance of every batted ball.Ē

The +/- system is essentially counting how many plays a player makes and compares it to other opportunities (labeled by Vectors, or where on the field the ball was bated to and how hard it was hit)

As far as other careers that use data analyses, I would hope that Doctors donít just apply certain treatments and see what happens. Instead, they likely rely on research that included running tests, counting results and running hypothesis tests in order to see if the results that the encountered were significant or not. Additionally, I would hope that lawmakers analyze the results of policy they have enacted in order to see if the policies are working or not.

Iím not arguing that +/- is perfect, only that one consider the results it finds. It sounds like youíre not too familiar with the methodology behind the system and just want to dismiss it, because you want to ďtrust your eyes.Ē I doubt most fans can do that as they havenít been trained to know what to look for. Nor do they understand exactly how to play baseball.

Daver
01-02-2008, 05:18 PM
, it looks as if there is no clear answer on how good or how bad of a fielder he is.

Here's a clear answer, he plays CF like my ass chews gum.

Billy Ashley
01-02-2008, 05:29 PM
Here's a clear answer, he plays CF like my ass chews gum.

effortlessly?

KyWhiSoxFan
01-03-2008, 07:30 AM
I have no problem with Jerry playing CF for the league minimum - but I'm not expecting anything close to league average defense in CF with him there. He's better than Mackowiak - but that's not saying much.

Actually, that is saying a lot, because Mackowiak was the worst CF the
Sox have had in the last quarter century. While he was not full time, he should not have played a single out in that positon. In my best-case scenario at this juncture given the roster, my hope is Owens is the backup outfielder and the Sox acquire a CF between now and opening day.