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Whoa, Dude. T.M.I. on Peavy, Thornton

2010/03/31

A couple of White Sox-related items on ESPN’s TMI blog. First, Carson Cistulli, AKA the Destroyer, takes a look at Peavy in the Cell:

A study by Dan Turkenkopf of The Hardball Times shows us that The Cell and PETCO have HR/FB indices of 118 and 75, respectively. What that means is that if you multiply those numbers by .11 (percentage of all fly balls that become numbers), you discover that about 13 percent of fly balls become homers in Chicago, versus only about 8.25 percent in San Diego.

Carson estimates that Peavy will give up .12 homers per inning pitched, or 24 homers over 200 innings pitched. The Fans projected 18 homers over 175 innings, with a FIP of 3.56.  Add in three homers, you get 3.78 FIP. That shakes out to 3.7 WAR, or 4.2 over 200 innings.

Then yours truly had the honor of writing his first post at the TMI blog. I explained why good set-up men provide a lot of value, even if they aren’t closing games, or why there’s no need to be upset that Thornton isn’t closing over Jenks.

For a practical example we’ll use Jenks and Thornton of the 2009 White Sox. What happens if we go back into 2009, only with Jenks and Thornton swapping roles? Jenks posted a FIP of 4.47 over 53 1/3 innings, with an average LI of 1.9. This made him good for 4 runs above replacement level, or about half a win. Thorton threw 72 1/3 innings, with a 2.47 FIP, with an average LI of 1.5. That made Thornton good for 26 runs above replacement level. If you give Thornton’s innings and leverage to Jenks, and vice versa, the difference in runs above replacement comes out to be about a single run. That’s all.

The rest is behind a pay wall, I’m afraid. But between Keith Law and now the TMI blog, (and some of the NBA stuff, if that’s your thing),  it’s worth ponying up the extra dough.

/end of plug.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. mechanicalTurk permalink
    2010/03/31 5:57 PM

    The line of thinking about Jenks and Thornton makes me wonder how much losing Nathan will really hurt the Twins. Nathan is a fantastic closer, and if adjustments for leverage and innings can turn 2009 Matt Thornton, one of the best relievers in baseball (6th among relievers in FIP and tops for lefties) into Bobby Jenks (110th among relievers in FIP), it makes me wonder just how big the dropoff will be.

    Nathan posted the 15th best FIP of relievers last season, and was all around pretty good. I now the translation from moving a setup man into the closer role for the Twins won’t be as literal as I make it sound with the Thornton and Jenks numbers, but I had immediately assumed they’d be fine as they basically shit good relievers in Minnesota and it seems like they could just take Jon Rauch, throw him out there, and he’d cruise to a 1.2 ERA or something insane like that.

    Now I’m thinking that their closer by committee plan or whoever they settle on (my money is still on Rauch) could hurt them to the tune of several wins. In a division that has needed 163 games for the past two years, that’s a lot.

    Not really related to anything, just unsubstantiated rambling.

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