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#21 Matt_P

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 02:59 PM

This feels a bit dramatic...not even talking upside, I think we're at least talking about 3 guys that sit somewhere between 3 and 4, and even that's a debatably low ranking. They aren't great, but Tillman, Gonzo and Jiminez are not 3 #5 starters...

 

We're having a definition disagreement.

 

Take a guy that performed like Mike Wright last year (6.04 ERA). Should you consider a guy like that a #5 starter? I propose a guy like that belongs in AAA and therefore isn't a #5. You can't seriously tell me that you'd be happy with a guy like that in the rotation to start the year (although given the realities of attrition, it would be reasonable to expect him to receive a few starts especially presuming decent results in the minors). Others would argue that he is a #5 starter because that's the worst possible.

 

I propose a #5 starter is the worst possible guy that you'd still be comfortable having in your rotation. You'd be happy to replace him if possible, but you wouldn't be upset to see him there. Although, you may not be happy with three of them.

 

I insist on using my definition because I feel it adds necessary nuance to the discussion.



#22 RShack

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 06:01 PM

This feels a bit dramatic...not even talking upside, I think we're at least talking about 3 guys that sit somewhere between 3 and 4, and even that's a debatably low ranking. They aren't great, but Tillman, Gonzo and Jiminez are not 3 #5 starters...

 

We're having a definition disagreement.

 

[ stuff deleted ]

 

I propose a #5 starter is the worst possible guy that you'd still be comfortable having in your rotation. You'd be happy to replace him if possible, but you wouldn't be upset to see him there. Although, you may not be happy with three of them.

 

I insist on using my definition because I feel it adds necessary nuance to the discussion.

 

Well, words are used to convey meaning... numbered labels even more so...  and you've just arbitrarily redefined what rotation slot numbers to assign to Tillman, Gonzo, and Ubaldo based on pretty much nothing whatsoever, while ignoring virtually everything about their positive attributes...

 

This is not helpful when it comes to having meaningful discussions...


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#23 FFH

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 02:26 AM

I don't know what you want. The Os payroll is at $130M. They're beyond tapped-out. You want them to keep Davis and O'Day? Then there's only going to be so much money available for the pitching. Expecting the Os to have a payroll of $150M is unrealistic.

If they were tapped out, then why were they still in on Cespedes?

I don't believe that - I think they have more room to spend and a reason to spend.  If they were in on YC, then they should be able to get two more discounted players without trade, meaning Latos and Jackson.


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#24 RShack

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 05:04 AM

If they were tapped out, then why were they still in on Cespedes?

I don't believe that - I think they have more room to spend and a reason to spend.  If they were in on YC, then they should be able to get two more discounted players without trade, meaning Latos and Jackson.

 

Well, that's always been the great unknown:  How much can they spend on what?  

 

There is an answer, but nobody we know can tell us what it is....

 

My unfounded hunch is that it's some kind of rubber number, it can stretch more in some directions than in others...


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#25 Matt_P

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 08:35 AM

If they were tapped out, then why were they still in on Cespedes?

 

I don't believe that - I think they have more room to spend and a reason to spend.  If they were in on YC, then they should be able to get two more discounted players without trade, meaning Latos and Jackson.

 

We have no idea what they offered Cespedes and what terms they requested. Could be they offered a considerable amount of deferred money and extremely low salaries the first two years.



#26 Matt_P

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 08:39 AM

Well, words are used to convey meaning... numbered labels even more so...  and you've just arbitrarily redefined what rotation slot numbers to assign to Tillman, Gonzo, and Ubaldo based on pretty much nothing whatsoever, while ignoring virtually everything about their positive attributes...

 

1) There is no standard definition of a #5 starter. People only sort of know what it means.

2)  A metric that considers a guy with an ERA to be a major league starter is clearly wrong. Should Norris's 2015 be considered major league quality?

3) It's hard to take you seriously when your major problem is that you'd prefer all of those pitchers to be considered a #3/4 on a 1-5 scale, while I'd prefer to call them #5 starters on a larger, more precise scale.

 

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#27 JordanKough

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 08:43 AM

Shrug, I think of #5's as complete replacement level types. I'd label Wilson, Worley, Wright all as #5 types. The guy you skip when you have an off day. I don't know...I don't think that's all that far outside of the realm of what most baseball people that post on a message board think. If you want to call them something different, just don't call them #5's because there's a term associate with that.

 

It's like Shack and the term luck. He uses it different than much of the baseball stat world uses it. That's fine, but let's not conflate the way that most people talk about with your definition. If you want a thread about what a real "#5" is that's a reasonable thread. But it's really just a red herring in your post (which I don't think you intended but I feel for). 

 

If you had a rotation of 5 Tillman types, I really don't think you'd call that a "rotation of #5 starters". And if we had 5 guys with Tillman's profile over the last 4 years, I'd actually feel pretty confident heading into the season. 



#28 Mackus

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 08:59 AM

The tricky part is that there are fewer than 150 actually acceptable SP that teams are happy to have remain in a rotation all year long.  If you're looking at performance, then I think there is a difference between the type of #5 you actually get across MLB and the type of #5 you'd consider acceptable when building a team (the former is worse). 

 

There is also an entirely different perspective which is moreso focusing on scouting than performance to date.  Jeremy likes to talk about this when he's talking about the top of the rotation, defining a #1 as a guy who possesses a certain number of plus pitches rather than a guy who's ERA has been at a particular level previously.  But I imagine that it translates about as well to lower rungs of the rotation, you just have to be a bit more able to spot subtle differences in ability.

 

I think Matt's perspective is somewhere in between the performance and scouting options, at least when he starts talking about variance.  He claims things more along the lines of "there is no such thing as a consistent #4 or #5" just that there are a large group of #3 to #6 types and they more or less randomly falls into those particular definitions in any given year.


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#29 JordanKough

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 09:05 AM

Right, Mackus.

 

And I think that's fine, if that's his opinion, but if the rest of the Boards talk about what he calls a #5 and refers to them as a #3 it seems almost un-intentionally overly critical. 

 

There is an awareness of the idea that very few people on the BSL would call Tillman a #5 makes it seem like an intentional dig. If his point lies elsewhere about those rankings, so be it. Again, happy to have that discussion, but that clarification at the top needs to be made clear or the point might get muddled a bit (which I think is what happened).

 

Based on Matt's perspective if Tillman is a #5 I'd be happy to go to war all season with 5 Tillman's even if that means having 5 #5 starters. But in the general vernacular of BSL advocating such a position would seem pretty out of place. 



#30 Matt_P

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 09:07 AM

Shrug, I think of #5's as complete replacement level types. I'd label Wilson, Worley, Wright all as #5 types. The guy you skip when you have an off day. I don't know...I don't think that's all that far outside of the realm of what most baseball people that post on a message board think. If you want to call them something different, just don't call them #5's because there's a term associated with that.

 

Well, that's the thing. Some think as #5s as complete replacement level types and that therefore Wilson, Worley and Wright all fit in that category. Others think of #5s as pitchers that are in the bottom 20%. These define two different things.

 

Here's an example: this guy argues that Joe Kelly is a #5 starter: Based on your definition, I think you'd have to call him a #3/4.  http://boston.locals...e-no-5-starter/

 

This guy argues that there's no such thing as a fifth starter. http://www.fangraphs...ers-dont-exist/

 

At the very least, the whole situation is very confusing. If everyone agrees with my definition, then the situation will be clear.

 

If you had a rotation of 5 Tillman types, I really don't think you'd call that a "rotation of #5 starters". And if we had 5 guys with Tillman's profile over the last 4 years, I'd actually feel pretty confident heading into the season.

 

I don't understand. Clearly I would call them that. 

 

I'm surprised to hear that you'd feel confident. I can understand not feeling panicked. But I'd feel more confident with at least one or two guys that's been genuinely good the past few years. Ideally, I'd feel optimistic with a Price, a pitcher slightly better than Chen, a prospect like Gausman and two Tillmans. I'd feel confident with something like the Nats rotation of Scherzer, Stras, Gonzalez, Ross and Roark.

 

There's not much to argue about this one though... we're solely discussing personal preference.



#31 Matt_P

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 09:11 AM

The tricky part is that there are fewer than 150 actually acceptable SP that teams are happy to have remain in a rotation all year long.  If you're looking at performance, then I think there is a difference between the type of #5 you actually get across MLB and the type of #5 you'd consider acceptable when building a team (the former is worse). 

 

There is also an entirely different perspective which is moreso focusing on scouting than performance to date.  Jeremy likes to talk about this when he's talking about the top of the rotation, defining a #1 as a guy who possesses a certain number of plus pitches rather than a guy who's ERA has been at a particular level previously.  But I imagine that it translates about as well to lower rungs of the rotation, you just have to be a bit more able to spot subtle differences in ability.

 

I think Matt's perspective is somewhere in between the performance and scouting options, at least when he starts talking about variance.  He claims things more along the lines of "there is no such thing as a consistent #4 or #5" just that there are a large group of #3 to #6 types and they more or less randomly falls into those particular definitions in any given year.

 

Mostly. As I'm not a scout, I just use performance. But I actually measure performance and how it predicts future performance. I'm skeptical about how much performance tells us.



#32 JordanKough

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 09:13 AM

I'm surprised to hear that you'd feel confident. I can understand not feeling panicked. But I'd feel more confident with at least one or two guys that's been genuinely good the past few years. Ideally, I'd feel optimistic with a Price, a pitcher slightly better than Chen, a prospect like Gausman and two Tillmans. I'd feel confident with something like the Nats rotation of Scherzer, Stras, Gonzalez, Ross and Roark.

 

I feel confident that my wife loves me and it's because I'm a decent looking guy. I'd feel more confident if it was Megan Fox or [insert your crushes name here] was my wife. If your point is David Price is better than your definition and my definition of a #5, YOU GOT ME! Come on...I'm obviously not saying I'd rather have this team than the one you suggest.

 

But we are where we are. And I'm a fan, not the GM of the O's. I can measure my confidence of the season coming to compete for a playoff spot or calim one. I'd be confident that a good percentage of time if you were simulating the season we'd either be in contention for a WC/division (40%) and make the playoffs maybe (25%). 

 

Going into the season with a Worley or Wright over a Tillman or Gonzo type I'd drop that down significantly by maybe even as much as 10% of each of those. 

 

[edit: I also like Tillman better than Gonzo and Ubaldo so I picked him intentionally. I think having those two guys adds more variance and risk and also reduces our chances of competing or claiming a playoff spot as well].



#33 Matt_P

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 09:24 AM

If your point is David Price is better than your definition and my definition of a #5, YOU GOT ME! Come on...I'm obviously not saying I'd rather have this team than the one you suggest.

 

All I'm saying is that I'd like the Os rotation to have considerably more talent then you do to be confident in them. Clearly, we define feeling "confident" using considerably different standards.



#34 SportsGuy

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 11:49 AM

I think Worley has shown he is better than a #5 and doesn't remotely belong in any category with Wilson.

 

Worley is way closer to MGon than Wilson.


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#35 RShack

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 11:19 PM

I think Worley has shown he is better than a #5 and doesn't remotely belong in any category with Wilson.

 

Worley has shown that some years he's way better than a #5, and other times he's way worse... he's like a box of chocolates....


 "The only change is that baseball has turned Paige from a second-class citizen to a second-class immortal." - Satchel Paige


#36 mweb08

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 12:29 AM

Tillman pitched like a #5 last year, but substantially better the previous 2 and a half years.

I don't think it's fair to call him a #5 starter based off of that, but he may very well be at that level this year. If he is, we're in a lot of trouble.
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#37 RShack

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 01:38 AM

Tillman pitched like a #5 last year, but substantially better the previous 2 and a half years.

I don't think it's fair to call him a #5 starter based off of that, but he may very well be at that level this year. If he is, we're in a lot of trouble.

 

FWIW, here's what the metric I like says about Tillman:

 

Year      GS      Score       Rank

2009      12         51          low #5

2010      11         38          <<  #5

2011      13         41          <<  #5

2012      15         92          low #1

2013      33         76          solid #3

2014      34         80          borderline #2/#3

2015      31         51          low #5 (presumably because the Blue Jays knew what was coming)

 

2015:

TOR        6         17           <<  #5

<>TOR  25         71           low #3


 "The only change is that baseball has turned Paige from a second-class citizen to a second-class immortal." - Satchel Paige


#38 RShack

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 01:56 AM

1) There is no standard definition of a #5 starter. People only sort of know what it means.

 

I agree.  I've been saying that a lot longer than you have.  

Same thing for 1..4 too.   

 

2)  A metric that considers a guy with an ERA to be a major league starter is clearly wrong. Should Norris's 2015 be considered major league quality?

 

I don't know who you're talking to, but it's not me.

 

The metric I like shows Norris' time in BAL as follows.

Year    GS      Score      Rank

2013      9         53         middling #5

2014    28         71         low #3

2015    11         39         <<  #5

 

3) It's hard to take you seriously when your major problem is that you'd prefer all of those pitchers to be considered a #3/4 on a 1-5 scale, while I'd prefer to call them #5 starters on a larger, more precise scale.

 

You seem to have an very inaccurate fantasy about what I prefer.

 

As for the rest of it, I don't think you have much basis for what you're claiming.


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#39 Mackus

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 09:19 AM

Shack you ever think of adding another factor to your stat that makes it a counting stat over a season instead of a per-game rate stat?

 

Something like:  (IP/GS) * (ERA+) * (GS/32.4)

 

32.4 is 162/5 or how many starts you'd expect a SP to make if a team had 5 equal, healthy starters all year long and just rotated.  Guys that are workhorses who can handle extra starts and are good enough for their teams to arrange things so that they do get those extra starts get a bump up.  Guys who get hurt or who need to be skipped on occasion get a bump down.

 

Also, I assume you do, but you only count the IP the pitcher accrues as a starter, right?



#40 Matt_P

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 09:47 AM

I don't know who you're talking to, but it's not me.

 

For some reason, you decided I was discussing your metric. I wasn't discussing your metric and have no idea why you possibly thought that I was discussing your metric. I had no idea how your metric ranks Norris' 2015 and didn't really care either way.

 

As usual, all you did was kill a strawman. Good work.

 

I was arguing is that a number of people consider a guy like Norris or Wilson a #5 starter because they pitched in the majors last year. As your metric shows, you also believe this is incorrect and therefore you in fact agree with me. So, we're in agreement on points 1 and 2. Point 3 is solely about categorization if you agree about points 1 and 2.

 

Given the above, I can only note that the only things you're arguing about is your own hallucinations and the fact that you're upset that your metric is useless due to variance.

 

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