Statistical Observations 3/29

  •      That questionable (because I don’t truly understand its worth) stat called Win Shares, created by the greatest of stat-makers Bill James, is led by…Kevin Youkilis, still.  In the American League of course.  And in the NL the spot belongs to the red-hot Lance Berkman, with an incredible 15 Win Shares.  Does everyone outside of Houston realize that Berkman has 10 stolen bases and has been caught only once?  This to go along with his 1.212 OPS (OPS+ 214).  His .381 BA.  His .470 OBP.  His…you get the point.  He has been awesome this year, and has always been a great hitter.  But he already has more base thefts than he has ever had in a season.  And we are only a third of the way through the season.  It takes a truly great year sometimes to show everyone what you already are, a Great hitter!  


  •       Berkman also leads in the “Runs Created” category, not surprising since he has a significant lead in “Win Shares,” and of course plays first base.  And that would mean that he can only add so much from a defensive perspective.  In turn, resulting in most of his contribution coming from the plate.  The leader in the AL in “RC” is Josh Hamilton who has been a pleasant surprise.  Obviously the talent was there, but Hamilton was far from a sure thing to be hovering around the top of the leaderboard with all of his “personal demons.” 


  •      So it is truly incredible that Chipper Jones is still flirting with .400.  He has actually taken .400 out for a date and things are going pretty well.  .422 is where his average now stands.  I never rule anything out, but I was pretty confident, if I had to bet, that Jones would be under .400 by now.   Since the last time I mentioned it in the blog I mean.  I have heard one of the reasons why there has been such an increase in Chipper’s “Batting Average” and it could be due to the fact that he has said that he has learned to try and do “less” against good pitching.  Realizing that it is of course more difficult to hit good pitching well.  So apparently he has shortened his swing, and his mental approach to accomodate for who is on the mound.  Because odds are, he isn’t going to hit Brandon Webb, or Jake Peavy out of the yard, so why not try something more within reason?  I don’t think this is going to last, but then again I didn’t think it would have lasted this long either.  But I want him to do it, I want to see someone hit .400, it is exciting, or will be exciting, since I don’t actually know from experience.  And most of you would agree, I am sure.


  • ERA+ leaders in the AL as of today are:  Cliff “Dive into Greatness” Lee, Daisuke, Shaun “I’m not even sure what I am going to throw!” Marcum, Joe “my Dad Flip is on the brink of elimination” Saunders, and Zack Greinke.  Not a single one of these pitchers I would have picked to be in the top 5 in ERA+ at this point.  But they are all pitching very well, even if one of them is super-frustrating to watch.  The NL top five, minus the cheesey nicknames: Volquez, Zambrano, Lincecum, Dempster, Cook.   And yes, that is Aaron Cook of the Colorado Rockies. 


  • “The Gagne Watch”-  He’s hurt and he’s terrible.  That’s it. 






  1. mikeeff

    i’m not going anywhere near that win share/youkilis nonsense. he doesn’t lead his position in average, HR , RBI or stolen bases for whatever that is worth.

    from what i’ve observed about chipper- and i’ve been watching quite a few braves games this year- he has considerably shortened his swing from the right side of the plate- going for the base hit to right field and getting it often. he still has a big beautiful swing from the left. i believe as of today he had an OBP of .500

  2. joefromnewhampshire

    I’ll take your word for it about shortening his swing from the right side, I have only seen him play a little so far this season.

    As for Youkilis, he is actually third in “batting Win Shares,” right behind Hamilton and Morneau. But he surpasses them because he has added better defense and played some third I believe. However I don’t think Win Shares accounts for Hamilton playing CF. I think it holds all OF’s the same. And obviously Hamilton would surpass him in “value” if this were true.

    And why do you watch the Braves so much?

  3. mikeeff

    i like driving over to atlanta to watch them play, so i keep up with them. they have a lot hitters i like-chipper, escobar, francouer, mc cann, tex

    also they are on TV here as the “local” team.

  4. joefromnewhampshire

    How far are you from Atlanta?

    Since you like Tex are you interested in signing him? Since you have a open spot for him next season and all.

  5. mikeeff

    i live 141 miles from turner field so it’s an easy drive-and tickets there are remarkably cheap-makes up for the gas 😦

    i just read your piece on tex. very thorough job as usual. i’d love for the yanks to get him. obviously we need a real 1st baseman and i love his glove there. of course having a switch hitter with power from both sides is a huge plus. you’re right about the fact that he’s going to want and probably get 7 years-i hate those long contracts and we have jorge for another three years who may have to DH or play first the last couple-who knows- he may be able to catch for the next three.
    still- i think we should go ahead and overpay to get him- we have a lot of money coming off the books next year- giambi, moose, pavano, farnsworth and possibly abreu( though i’d re-sign him for 2) and also probably pettitte. tex is bound to be really good for at least 4 years, right?
    the mets will be after him- who else has the need and the cash? you guys are all set. thre has always been talk that he would like to return to his home area and play for the orioles, but i don’t see that happening.

    where do you think he might end up?

  6. joefromnewhampshire

    You pretty much covered all of the teams that I had in mind. I don’t know any other teams that would give him a long and very expensive contract. Unless the Mariners panic because they are built for NOW.

  7. mikeeff

    those poor Ms. everybody picking them as the sleeper team that will take the division from the angels…

    of course the tigers “couldn’t lose” either according the pundits. didn’t any of them take a look at their rotation? i think those issues were thoroughly discussed here and at other blogs during and after the winter meetings…

  8. joefromnewhampshire

    I saw the rotation as average. But I thought they would have the best offense in baseball. They reminded me a lot of the past few Yankees teams, no offense. A lot of wins because of a great offense, but lack of pitching would catch up to them in the postseason, where every other team would probably have a better rotation. Verlander was the only pitcher that could match up. And of course their bullpen looked pretty crappy too, which doesn’t help come playoff time. And I actually didn’t expect much from Willis. I figured Verlander would be great, Bonderman pretty good, and the rest average or worse.

  9. mikeeff

    no offense taken; you’re right- i though something similar, but i had less optimism about bonderman with no confidence in rogers or willis. of course no one predicted the kind of year verlander is having.

  10. mikeeff

    oh and lets not forget about the fact that they traded away all of their best young prospects…and for what what? a bat they didn’t really need -miggy and willis. they gave up the unhittable jair jurrgens for renteria. pathetic.

  11. joefromnewhampshire

    Cabrera is an incredible hitter though. The Renteria trade looks pretty dumb so far, because he is only getting older. They could have addressed the SS position with a defense first minded stopgap, and still moved Guillen to another position. But at least they have the money to spend to try and make up for any mistakes they have made. But I still think they will make a run. I mean the White Sox are in first place.

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