April Numbers and You: Care and Feeding of Early Season Statistics

Okay you shouldn't feel bad, but you should reevaluate methods and reassess your conclusions probably.

Okay you shouldn’t feel bad, but you should reevaluate methods and reassess your conclusions probably.

If you’re an analytically inclined baseball fan, April truly is the cruelest month. Okay so yeah, I admit that T.S. Eliot wasn’t actually talking about the month (or more) long battle of wills between people quoting month (sometimes only weeks) long data samples as if they mean something and the people screaming “small sample size!” into the yawning void. That said, it can be difficult to know when the “roots that clutch” are solid enough to start to trust what the statistics are telling you, but we (and some much smarter people from other parts of the internets), are here to help.

There are a few key things to understand about advanced metrics, especially early in the year. Continue reading

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Joaquin Arias: FIRST BASEMAN OF TEH FUTUREZ

Did y’all hear how utility infielder-turned-first baseman Joaquin Arias went 2-for-4 in last night’s game against the Dodgers?

TEAM ARIAS. Or. Well. No. (Flickr/Aunti Juli)

TEAM ARIAS. Or. Well. No. (Flickr/Aunti Juli)

In a total “NO WAI U GUISE” moment, Bruce Bochy had Arias play first. Brandon Belt was out with the flu, so I guess there was no other choice. Well, Bochy could’ve had Buster Posey play first with Hector Sanchez catching, so Arias playing first base was probably the smart decision.

Also somewhat shocking that Bochy didn’t take advantage of getting Sanchez into a game there, but I digress.

But if there is a talking head out there saying that Bochy should platoon Arias with Belt, so help me, I’m firing all of them. All the talking heads.

It’s two games into the season. Belt is sick with the flu and Arias is a utility guy who, well, was utilized as a backup.

But do you know what two games into the season means? Continue reading

Buster Posey: Giant For Life (Or Close To It)

We'll be seeing a lot more of this. (Image via the fine folks at McCovey Chronicles.)

We’ll be seeing a lot more of this. (Image via the fine folks at McCovey Chronicles.)

Just read that headline folks. Soak it in. Revel in it. Maybe roll around in it like it’s some sort of really good smelling bubble bath. Buster Posey is ours and will be for a good long time.

Per the Giants via Alex Pavlovic of the Mercury News (as well as all the usual suspects), Posey and the Giants have agreed to an eight year, $167M extension beyond the previously negotiated $8M contract for 2013, plus a potential club option for 2022, which would bring the total value of the deal to $189M, not including performance bonuses. The deal also includes a full no-trade clause. The deal was, of course, announced during the annual Playa Ball luncheon while Buster was signing autographs for adorable children, further convincing all of us that he really is a super hero. Has anyone seen him and Captain America in the same place at the same time? I rest my case.

If ever there was a time to feel secure in forking over for one of the really nice jerseys, this is it, folks.

2013 Giants ZiPS Projections – Hitters

January is projections season. There are a whole mess of projection systems out there, but the system that is generally considered to be the most accurate, as well as the most widely available, is Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS, which are being released on Fangraphs this year. While you, the dear reader, have likely taken a glance at these already – they’re a month old, after all – I’d like to share a couple thoughts on the projections for the Giants this year.

For each player, in addition to a short analysis, I’ll provide a prediction of whether they will hit OVER or UNDER their projected OPS+. Continue reading

Hunter Pence, Buster Posey, Others Avoid Arbitration

Last Friday was the deadline for teams and players eligible for arbitration to exchange salary figures for their arbitration hearings, and as with every year, there was a flurry of signings on that date in order to avoid the hearings. The Giants had seven arb-eligible players this year: Joaquin Arias, Gregor Blanco, Santiago Casilla, Jose Mijares, Hunter Pence, Buster Posey, and Sergio Romo.

The team has, so far, come to agreements with four of them, and Sergio Romo and Joaquin Arias exchanged figures with the team. It’s worth pointing out that both Arias and Romo will almost certainly sign contracts before their hearings. The Giants almost never let arbitration cases go all the way to hearing – they’ve only gone to six hearings since the arbitration process started in the mid-’70s. Continue reading

A Look At The Giants Roster: The Infield

(Flickr/sjsharktank)

It’s January, which means it’s a slow month for baseball news. Many of the biggest free agents have signed, the winter meetings are finished, and the major transactions are wrapped up. Except for a waiver claim here and a minor league free-agent signing there, the Giants are ready to go for Spring Training.

So how is the roster shaping up, anyway? The good news is that you’ll recognize most of these players. The bad news is that they’re all a year older, and that could be a big deal. Continue reading

Buster Posey Named National League MVP, Also Possibly Supreme Leader of Everything

Just another day at the office for MVPosey. (Image via the fine folks at McCovey Chronicles.)

Buster Posey is your National League Most Valuable Player, and all is right with the world.

I was prepared for the possibility that he wouldn’t win. Prepared to soothe myself with World Series highlights and the pretty blessed reality that we’ve gotten to see two Cy Youngs, a perfect game, a no-hitter, a Rookie of the Year, and two World Series championships in the past handful of years.

But really, who am I kidding? I wanted this. We all wanted this. Probably more than I’ve wanted some actual things for myself over the years. It’s not often as sports fans that we get to root for someone who is, at least to all appearances and reports, as good a person as he is an on the field talent. We’re in the supremely enviably position of having the best player on the team we root for also be the one we’d most like to have dinner with, the one we’d like our daughter/sister/best friend to date, and the one most likely to respond if we called saying our cat was stuck in a tree. He accepted his award today from a local school in his home town where his mother was putting together a fundraiser, because that’s just what he does. “What, I’m possibly being awarded the MVP today? Well shucks, Mama needs somebody to set up the folding chairs for the bake sale.” Buster Posey, folks.

In conclusion, Buster Posey won the National League Most Valuable Player today, confirming what we’ve known around here for what feels like a very long time.

In Posey we trust.

Buster Posey A Silver Slugger

(photo: Adam Jackson/flickr)

Baseball Captain America, otherwise known in his human form as Buster Posey, has won the National League Silver Slugger award for being the best offensive catcher.

The award, voted on by manager and coaches, is Posey’s first offensive award in his career.

In 2012, Posey hit .336/.408/.549 with a wOBA of .406, wRC+ of 162, and ISO of .213.

In The Land Of Hope And Dreams: Giants Are World Series Champions Once Again

A Civic Center Plaza kind of crowd. (Jen Mac Ramos)

Take a time machine to 10 years ago. Find your 10-years-ago self and tell them that the World Series that year was awful, you know it, but in 10 years, everything will be okay.

“NO. STUPID RALLY MONKEY,” your old self might say. “SCREW THE ANGELS.”

You’ll calm your old self down — or try to at least — and say, “In 10 years, the Giants will have won the World Series twice in three years.”

Your old self won’t believe it, continuing the curse everything about the Angels.

Say that to your 2007 self, too. And maybe even your 2010 self.

It still feels improbable.

The Giants won the World Series twice in three years? No way. Not possible. Come on.

That’s just crazytalk.

There’s just absolutely no way that’ll ever happen.

Right? Continue reading

World Series Recap: Pablo! Pablo! Barry! Barry!

Pablo Sandoval’s all like “SORRY ‘BOUT IT.” (Jen Mac Ramos)

And so the narrative went: Barry Zito going up against Justin Verlander? None chance. No way would the Giants win here.

But Pablo Sandoval happened. Along with the rest of the Giants offense. They chased Verlander out of the game after four innings and 98 pitches.

Zito, though? He went five and two-thirds, giving up only a run. One walk, three strikeouts.

And that was the new narrative they were building for themselves. Continue reading