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Old
08-12-2011, 07:17 AM
  #276
might2mash
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawdalite View Post
There is a reason Charlie puts Howard's name in the cleanup slot and not Victorino's... even when Ryan was out of the lineup. Charlie is old-school but he make the right decisions more often than not... RBIs my be worthless stats but in my mind some players are more apt to provide them than others... and some are better at getting on base and moving up the bases. It has to be more than merely opportunities, it has to also be converting the opportunities when in that position.
I like this, well said. Also, you can't live on hypotheticals. Baseball players don't respond well to being used like chess pieces necessarily; they have egos and like doing things a certain way unfortunately.

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Ryan Howard is a good run producer because he's a good hitter. There's no denying that. However, Shane Victorino is a better hitter, and everything being equal, would produce more runs than Ryan Howard. Despite what some people in this thread would have you believe, the numbers don't lie.
Whoa, let's not get carried away here. The season is but 90 games old and I'm very glad to see Shane's numbers where they are, but his previous career-high for a full season OPS was .803. I'll be ecstatic if he can keep this up to any extent, but realistically I think his OBP (at .391) is not sustainable.

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08-12-2011, 08:18 AM
  #277
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Originally Posted by Yoshimitsu View Post
Players like Howard, who consistently hit better with RISP, are very, very rare. He's an exception, actually.
There's a reason for this.



2011 Totals:

Avg: .252 OBP: .341 SLG: .489 OPS: .829 BABIP: .297

2011 Bases Empty:

Avg: .219 OBP: .303 SLG: .484 OPS: .787 BABIP: .229

2011 Men On:

Avg: .285 OBP: .375 SLG: .493 OPS: .869 BABIP: .363

2011 RISP:

Avg: .311 OBP: .411 SLG: .508 OPS: .919 BABIP: .381

Career Bases Empty:

Avg: .265 OBP: .339 SLG: .530 OPS: 869 BABIP: .313

Career Men On:

Avg: .286 OBP: .396 SLG: .595 OPS: .990 BABIP: .336

His career numbers will separate even more because at the beginning of his career he was not over shifted as often. His numbers with runners on are indicative of his actual talent level. Its his numbers with the bases empty that are the exception. They are an illusion due to the defense that is employed to reduce the damage he does.

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08-12-2011, 08:45 AM
  #278
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protest View Post
His career numbers will separate even more because at the beginning of his career he was not over shifted as often. His numbers with runners on are indicative of his actual talent level. Its his numbers with the bases empty that are the exception. They are an illusion due to the defense that is employed to reduce the damage he does.
Well it's not really an illusion because it's just the way things are. But it definitely stresses that he can be extremely effective in situations that cleanup hitters are supposed to be effective when building a traditional lineup as a manager like Charlie would.

As long as guys like Vic and Utley continue to get on base in front of Ryan, we'll score more, he'll get more RBIs, his OPS might increase slightly, his WAR will slowly accumulate, but we'll win games. It's a unit. A damn good team.

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08-12-2011, 08:58 AM
  #279
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Well it's not really an illusion because it's just the way things are. But it definitely stresses that he can be extremely effective in situations that cleanup hitters are supposed to be effective when building a traditional lineup as a manager like Charlie would.
I don't know man. Its a fairly large disparity and the only significant difference is the position of the defenders. I think the difference in his BABIP this year with bases empty and men on really shows that.

Maybe illusion is bad word. What if I said his numbers were depressed because of the shift?

I really believe if he was played straight up, he'd be more in line with his numbers with men on.

Quote:
As long as guys like Vic and Utley continue to get on base in front of Ryan, we'll score more, he'll get more RBIs, his OPS might increase slightly, his WAR will slowly accumulate, but we'll win games. It's a unit. A damn good team.
Yea, and an awesome thing to watch. I really hope they win it all this year. This team would be something you talk about for years.

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08-12-2011, 09:54 AM
  #280
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Originally Posted by Protest View Post
Maybe illusion is bad word. What if I said his numbers were depressed because of the shift?

I really believe if he was played straight up, he'd be more in line with his numbers with men on.
Oh no, I agree with that. I'm just saying it shows a flaw in him, too. They're not going to stop employing that shift, so he really is that hitter with bases empty even if he is putting balls in play the same way.

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08-12-2011, 10:08 AM
  #281
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I agree that RBIs are not the end all be all statistic, however it's also not fair to simply discredit them entirely. Ryan Howard is a very good run producer and has been for his entire career. Victorino has been a better hitter, but Ryan Howard is a better run producer because he hits better when runners are on base. Victorino hits .330 when the bases are empty, .279 with runners on, .274 with RISP. Howard hits .219 empty, .285 on, .311 RISP. So yes Victorino might be the better hitter, but Ryan Howard is a better choice if you are looking to drive runners in (which is why he's in the 4 spot and Victorino is best suited at the top of the lineup).

The point I'm making here is that RBIs are only overrated when you only look at RBIs. Ryan Howard throughout his career has been a good run producer because he is a better hitter when runners are on base.
Ryan Howard has 3,479 PAs in the 4 hole. He has 297 and 323 PAs in the 5 and 6 hole respectively... in short, he's spent his entire career hitting in the prime RBI locations. Do you really believe that Chase Utley wouldn't put up huge RBI numbers if we flipped him and Howard? The vast majority of Utley's PAs have come in the 2 and 3 hole... a less prime position for RBIs (you're more likely to be knocked in, than be knocking people in).

Opportunity is, by far, the most important factor in accumulating RBIs. After that, there are some attributes that are ideal in a clean up hitter. You'd like him to drive the ball (easier to score on doubles and the like), and hit the ball in the air (sac flies), etc. Howard has certainly done that. Howard has been a very dangerous hitter (and all the numbers any sabremetrics analysis is going to look at will suggest that).

BTW, Chase Utley hits 30 points better with runners on base. Howard hits 20 points better.

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08-12-2011, 10:09 AM
  #282
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Beltran to the DL probably, el oh el.

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08-12-2011, 10:10 AM
  #283
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Originally Posted by might2mash View Post
Oh no, I agree with that. I'm just saying it shows a flaw in him, too. They're not going to stop employing that shift, so he really is that hitter with bases empty even if he is putting balls in play the same way.
The shift matters, but you also have sac flies impacting his BA with men on, and as a lefty he can take advantage of the hole on the right side some.

Pat Burrell hit 17 pts higher with men on, too.

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08-12-2011, 10:47 AM
  #284
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Originally Posted by Hollywood Couturier View Post
Beltran to the DL probably, el oh el.
This is most informative piece of information written in this thread in the past few pages, thanks!

now please everyone else, back to your bickering.

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08-12-2011, 10:56 AM
  #285
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Originally Posted by Chicken Chaser View Post
This is most informative piece of information written in this thread in the past few pages, thanks!

now please everyone else, back to your bickering.
I was just about to post something about this. I don't feel like seeing all these numbers. Its bad enough I have to go back to school in less than a month. Let's not get caught upp in statistics and let their play be our conversation, not Cliff Lee's batting average on a day game on a Thursday when the temperature is between 70-80 degrees against a lefty who can also be a righty because his glove is like that. Instead, say Cliff hit a homer today or something like that.

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08-12-2011, 11:13 AM
  #286
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester View Post
The shift matters, but you also have sac flies impacting his BA with men on, and as a lefty he can take advantage of the hole on the right side some.

Pat Burrell hit 17 pts higher with men on, too.
The shift matters far, far more than sac flies impacting his BA. They also impact his OBP in the opposite manner as well.

Since his MVP year.

With the bases empty: .243/.319/.490 BABIP: .285.

Men On: .288/.390/.586 BABIP: .340

That is a large difference, and it stems primarily from the shift.

The only way he's going to get them to stop shifting him is if he starts crushing doubles down the 3rd base line. If he bunts or smacks a single over there, the opposing team will take that all day. If he hits a homer to left, there's nothing a defense could do about that anyway so there's no point in changing it. So he's pretty much stuck with it. Still, it sucks.

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08-12-2011, 11:42 AM
  #287
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protest View Post
The shift matters far, far more than sac flies impacting his BA. They also impact his OBP in the opposite manner as well.

Since his MVP year.

With the bases empty: .243/.319/.490 BABIP: .285.

Men On: .288/.390/.586 BABIP: .340

That is a large difference, and it stems primarily from the shift.

The only way he's going to get them to stop shifting him is if he starts crushing doubles down the 3rd base line. If he bunts or smacks a single over there, the opposing team will take that all day. If he hits a homer to left, there's nothing a defense could do about that anyway so there's no point in changing it. So he's pretty much stuck with it. Still, it sucks.
If he starts smacking singles down the left field line consistently, the shift will disappear within a couple of weeks. The shift has nothing to do with extra base hits, and everything to do with the spray chart for Howard's singles. He simply doesn't hit the ball on the ground to the left side of the field... everything that way is a fly ball. Thus why the OF plays Howard pretty much straight up.

BTW, for his career.

Bases empty: .313 BABIP
Men On: .336 BABIP
RISP: .340 BABIP


Last year he had a .348 BABIP with the bases empty, and .340 RISP and .315 with Men On.


Last edited by Jester: 08-12-2011 at 11:48 AM.
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08-12-2011, 12:04 PM
  #288
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Originally Posted by Jester View Post
If he starts smacking singles down the left field line consistently, the shift will disappear within a couple of weeks. The shift has nothing to do with extra base hits, and everything to do with the spray chart for Howard's singles. He simply doesn't hit the ball on the ground to the left side of the field... everything that way is a fly ball. Thus why the OF plays Howard pretty much straight up.
I said doubles down the left field line because a lot of times a ball hit down the line winds up being a double even for a runner like Howard. Its also a lot easier said than done.

Still, you can't deny the impact the shift has had on his numbers since everyone started using it against him.

Quote:
BTW, for his career.

Bases empty: .313 BABIP
Men On: .336 BABIP
RISP: .340 BABIP


Last year he had a .348 BABIP with the bases empty, and .340 RISP and .315 with Men On.
I know this. I posted it above.

Also, that year was an outlier. Look at his stats since 2007 and tell me there isn't a significant difference. He wasn't shifted at all prior to 2006, and it did not become prevalent until 2007. That is why I used those numbers.

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08-12-2011, 01:29 PM
  #289
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protest View Post
I said doubles down the left field line because a lot of times a ball hit down the line winds up being a double even for a runner like Howard. Its also a lot easier said than done.

Still, you can't deny the impact the shift has had on his numbers since everyone started using it against him.



I know this. I posted it above.

Also, that year was an outlier. Look at his stats since 2007 and tell me there isn't a significant difference. He wasn't shifted at all prior to 2006, and it did not become prevalent until 2007. That is why I used those numbers.
2008
2009
2010
2011

That's more than 25% of his sample... tough to call 25% of a sample an "outlier".

The shift absolutely nixes some of his BA, but you're ignoring some factors that are common to all players independent of the shift while we're at it. As noted, Utley's jump is higher than Howard's for his career. In those 3.5 years he has 1.5 seasons that are wildly divergent, and 2 years that look completely normal if you look at 'em. In two of the years he had a higher BABIP without men on base than he did with RISP.

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08-12-2011, 01:46 PM
  #290
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Originally Posted by might2mash View Post
Whoa, let's not get carried away here. The season is but 90 games old and I'm very glad to see Shane's numbers where they are, but his previous career-high for a full season OPS was .803. I'll be ecstatic if he can keep this up to any extent, but realistically I think his OBP (at .391) is not sustainable.
I'm willing to bet that Victorino continues to outperform Howard moving forward.

For one thing, Howard is in the middle of a steady, precipitous decline. Take a look at his batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage over the last three seasons. Each of them has declined, and by no small margin.



The Howard of 2009 was a completely different player than the Howard we have now. It's not impossible for Howard to rebound, but he'll be 32 to start next season, and he isn't playing for a contract. If Howard's OPS dips under .800, we're looking at, literally, a completely average, middle of the road first baseman who is making $25 million dollars.

The entire situation is looking bleak.

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08-12-2011, 01:53 PM
  #291
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protest
The only way he's going to get them to stop shifting him is if he starts crushing doubles down the 3rd base line. If he bunts or smacks a single over there, the opposing team will take that all day. If he hits a homer to left, there's nothing a defense could do about that anyway so there's no point in changing it. So he's pretty much stuck with it. Still, it sucks.
Howard actually should start bunting in certain situations. Because of the defensive alignment, a bunt by Howard would be a free pass to first. Essentially, it would be a walk. The only reason he doesn't do it is because conventional wisdom tells him not to.

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08-12-2011, 02:03 PM
  #292
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester View Post
2008
2009
2010
2011

That's more than 25% of his sample... tough to call 25% of a sample an "outlier".

The shift absolutely nixes some of his BA, but you're ignoring some factors that are common to all players independent of the shift while we're at it. As noted, Utley's jump is higher than Howard's for his career. In those 3.5 years he has 1.5 seasons that are wildly divergent, and 2 years that look completely normal if you look at 'em. In two of the years he had a higher BABIP without men on base than he did with RISP.
Those numbers include 2007 so its less than 25%, but regardless, why is it hard to call something that only happens once in the span of 4.5 seasons an outlier? In 3.5 of 4.5 seasons, his BABIP was superior with men on. To me it seems like that one season is clearly going against the grain.

Also, the RISP is a much smaller sample size, and is already encompassed in his numbers with men on. Breaking the RISP out of the men on base statistics doesn't really do much except create a smaller sample. That's why I was mainly looking at bases empty vs men on. They're usually pretty even when it comes to plate appearances.

Again, from 07-Present these are his numbers.

With the bases empty: .243/.319/.490 BABIP: .285.

Men On: .288/.390/.586 BABIP: .340

You cannot deny that that is a significant difference.

Quote:
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Howard actually should start bunting in certain situations. Because of the defensive alignment, a bunt by Howard would be a free pass to first. Essentially, it would be a walk. The only reason he doesn't do it is because conventional wisdom tells him not to.
I don't want him bunting for the same reason, I think anyway, that he doesn't bunt more. He's not good at it. Maybe if he practiced it more though. I agree with you that he should be more aware of situations. I remember this year he had someone on 3rd and they were still employing the shift. I was yelling at him to just slap the ball the other way because even a weak grounder would have gotten the runner home. I'm pretty sure he wound up hitting a double though ha.


Last edited by Protest: 08-12-2011 at 02:08 PM.
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08-12-2011, 02:24 PM
  #293
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Ryan Howard has 3,479 PAs in the 4 hole. He has 297 and 323 PAs in the 5 and 6 hole respectively... in short, he's spent his entire career hitting in the prime RBI locations. Do you really believe that Chase Utley wouldn't put up huge RBI numbers if we flipped him and Howard? The vast majority of Utley's PAs have come in the 2 and 3 hole... a less prime position for RBIs (you're more likely to be knocked in, than be knocking people in).

Opportunity is, by far, the most important factor in accumulating RBIs. After that, there are some attributes that are ideal in a clean up hitter. You'd like him to drive the ball (easier to score on doubles and the like), and hit the ball in the air (sac flies), etc. Howard has certainly done that. Howard has been a very dangerous hitter (and all the numbers any sabremetrics analysis is going to look at will suggest that).

BTW, Chase Utley hits 30 points better with runners on base. Howard hits 20 points better.
I do think Utley would have similar #s throughout his career, I do not think Victorino would.

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08-12-2011, 03:19 PM
  #294
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Don't know if it's been posted but the Phillies have signed Jack Cust to a minor league deal.

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08-12-2011, 04:45 PM
  #295
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Don't know if it's been posted but the Phillies have signed Jack Cust to a minor league deal.
Not bad. Heilman and Cust in the minors

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08-12-2011, 04:54 PM
  #296
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Those numbers include 2007 so its less than 25%, but regardless, why is it hard to call something that only happens once in the span of 4.5 seasons an outlier? In 3.5 of 4.5 seasons, his BABIP was superior with men on. To me it seems like that one season is clearly going against the grain.

Also, the RISP is a much smaller sample size, and is already encompassed in his numbers with men on. Breaking the RISP out of the men on base statistics doesn't really do much except create a smaller sample. That's why I was mainly looking at bases empty vs men on. They're usually pretty even when it comes to plate appearances.

Again, from 07-Present these are his numbers.

With the bases empty: .243/.319/.490 BABIP: .285.

Men On: .288/.390/.586 BABIP: .340

You cannot deny that that is a significant difference.
Lets deal with this in stages.

Calling 25% of a sample an "outlier" is like suggesting that a 6-sided die rolling 1 an outlier. If 25% of a sample is something... then it isn't an outlier. For example, if I just looked at the last three seasons... in 2 of the 3 he's had a higher BABIP with the bases empty than with RISP. Go figure.

Breaking RISP out is actually (really) important. A runner on 1st doesn't really impact the shift much. A runner on 2nd has a HUGE impact on the shift, because they need someone by 3rd or the runner is just going to walk on over for a steal. And Howard actually has a lot more PAs with a man on 1st and no one else than he does in any other individual case. 129 of his 324 PAs with Men on last year were that situation.

So, if you really want to make an analysis of the influence of the shift, you need to look at what base runners were where.

None of this does us anything when it comes to dealing with Utley, who doesn't face the shift but also has a significant jump in his numbers with Men On. For his career, Utley's BABIP is 24 pts higher with someone on base. It's 44 pts higher with just a runner on 1st, which tells us something about the influence of the hole being open on the right side.

Ryan Howard, with a man on 1st, has a .327 BABIP this year up from .229 with the bases empty. Importantly, that leap has nothing to do with the shift disappearing.

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08-12-2011, 04:58 PM
  #297
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I do think Utley would have similar #s throughout his career, I do not think Victorino would.
This year? He'd probably be right up there. Maybe not for his career, but Victorino is having a monster season at the plate this year. He has 148 PAs to Howard's 261.

HR's and the like definitely help you in the RBI department, but it's only of marginal importance to accumulating RBI's.

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08-12-2011, 05:40 PM
  #298
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Lets deal with this in stages.

Calling 25% of a sample an "outlier" is like suggesting that a 6-sided die rolling 1 an outlier. If 25% of a sample is something... then it isn't an outlier. For example, if I just looked at the last three seasons... in 2 of the 3 he's had a higher BABIP with the bases empty than with RISP. Go figure.
Its actually nothing like that at all. Its much more like a running back in the NFL having 4 seasons where he rushes for 800 yards, and 1 where he rushes for 1,300 yards. Which one seems out of place? The die comparison is a horrible one because each side has a fixed probability of occurrence.

Quote:
Breaking RISP out is actually (really) important. A runner on 1st doesn't really impact the shift much. A runner on 2nd has a HUGE impact on the shift, because they need someone by 3rd or the runner is just going to walk on over for a steal. And Howard actually has a lot more PAs with a man on 1st and no one else than he does in any other individual case. 129 of his 324 PAs with Men on last year were that situation.

So, if you really want to make an analysis of the influence of the shift, you need to look at what base runners were where.
Actually, having a runner on first does impact the defense alignment. The 1B has to play on the bag to hold the runner on, and therefore is not hugging the line at the outfield grass.

Regardless, Howard's BABIP from 2007-Present with no one on is .285

With a man on 2nd is .321, same as with a man on 1st.

With RISP its .351

Quote:
None of this does us anything when it comes to dealing with Utley, who doesn't face the shift but also has a significant jump in his numbers with Men On. For his career, Utley's BABIP is 24 pts higher with someone on base. It's 44 pts higher with just a runner on 1st, which tells us something about the influence of the hole being open on the right side.
Ok, so Utley does NOT face the shift all that much. His BABIP JUMPS with a man on at 1st. His career BABIP with a man on 1st is .344. His highest mark of all the possible combinations of men on base.

There's a reason for that, too.

Utley uses the hole between 1st and 2nd when the 1b is covering the bag. Due to them not playing a shift, the 2b is in his normal position, which creates a larger area for Utley to hit the ball through then Howard has when he is batting.

Utley's career BABIP with no one on is .300, with RISP its .310, with a man on 1st its .344. That's a big difference and a lot of it is due to the defensive alignment.

Quote:
Ryan Howard, with a man on 1st, has a .327 BABIP this year up from .229 with the bases empty. Importantly, that leap has nothing to do with the shift disappearing.
Ok then. How about his .381 BABIP with RISP, which you deemed to be much more important when talking about the shift?

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08-12-2011, 06:14 PM
  #299
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Factored into the mix has to be the fact that Howard follows Utley in the order... this season, until recently when Pence arrived, Howard didn't have the kind of on deck hitter that he had with Werth. Utley would have to see better pitches with Howard waiting on deck... and even more so I would think with when there is already a player on base. teams cannot pitch around Utley very easily, and they certainly don't want to walk him and add another base runner and also possibly move a runner into scoring position with Howard there to pick up the RBI(s).

I don't know if there are any sets of Sabre-stats that take this into account... but it would certainly be nice if there were... and I believe it cannot be ignored in the comparison discussions here.


Last edited by Sawdalite: 08-12-2011 at 06:22 PM.
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08-12-2011, 06:35 PM
  #300
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Before we start here let me say that I have a funny feeling of a trap game... That said, seeing Hamels warming up does ease that funny feeling quite a bit.

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