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Wednesday, July 07, 2004

MIDSEASON UPDATE
I thought I'd take a look at how our hitters and pitchers are doing, based on the same Base Runs formulation I used way back when before the season started. As it's based on runs per plate appearance, I needed some way to put hitters and pitchers on equal footing. As the league tends to average about .120 runs per plate appearance, I used that as the base. Hitters were compared to one-half of that figure, and pitchers to one-half above it. I park-adjusted that based on the fact that the Big A has been a good pitching park this year, so for hitters it comes out to how high their Base Runs per Plate Appearance is above .057, and for pitchers how much lower their BR/PA is than .190.

So, on a per plate appearance basis:

Rodriguez    .146

Glaus .146
Guerrero .131
Donnelly .111
Shields .109
DaVanon .109
Anderson .093
Guillen .089
Figgins .082
Escobar .078
Gregg .076
Ortiz .075
Sele .072
Lackey .070
Erstad .063
Washburn .056
MolinaB .050
Eckstein .043
Kennedy .043
Quinlan .041
MolinaJ .038
Percival .036
Salmon .030
Halter .024
Colon .016
Kotchman .010
Mondesi .008
Paul -.028
Amezaga -.032
Riggs -.034
BTW, I don't know or care if that's supposed to be BR/PA above replacement level, or marginal win level or whatever ... I think things can get silly when you start trying to define that stuff. I'm just trying to put everyone on equal ground.

It should really be no surprise that K-Rod is our best player per plate appearance, and looking at Colon this way (worse than Halter!) shows just how bad he's been. It's also interesting to see that Troy Percival has been about as "good" as Kennedy and Eckstein -- and it was a bit surprising for me to learn that Erstad has been better than all of them. (Of course, I'm not taking defense into account here.)

Let's look how it stacks up when you account for playing time; the below represents the above figure multiplied to plate appearances to derive Runs Better Than Whatever You Want To Call This Threshold:

Guerrero     46.9

Escobar 32.6
Lackey 30.3
Guillen 29.8
Shields 25.9
Rodriguez 25.2
Figgins 25.2
Washburn 22.9
Sele 20.4
DaVanon 20.0
Ortiz 19.5
Glaus 18.1
Gregg 16.4
Anderson 15.7
Erstad 13.4
Kennedy 12.7
Eckstein 12.4
MolinaB 8.7
Colon 7.3
MolinaJ 5.1
Salmon 3.7
Percival 3.6
Quinlan 3.2
Donnelly 2.8
Halter 2.6
Kotchman 1.2
Mondesi 0.3
Riggs -0.5
Paul -0.7
Amezaga -2.5
Again, no surprises to see Vlad at the top. It may seem surprising to see Escobar and Lackey so high, but it's not once you think about it. Kelvim Escobar has 416 plate appearances against him this season; John Lackey has 430. No Angel hitter has more than Vlad's 357.

You know how you sometimes hear people saying that starting pitchers shouldn't be elibible for the MVP because they only go every fifth day? This demonstrates how silly that thinking is. Even bad pitchers have more plate appearances against than good hitters have plate appearances.

Yet more proof of how much our starters have hurt us ...

UPDATE: I had a minor error in my spreadsheet that I have corrected, so this is a slightly different list than I had up yesterday.

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