• joined Nov 08, 2011
  • last login Aug 20, 2014
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User Blog

Brian Butterfield, Brett Lawrie and the Blue Jays broke DRS


It has been noted frequently around here that Brett Lawrie had a record breaking DRS rating, which indicated that he had already saved 30 runs, though we knew it was somewhat due to how the unique shifts the Jays employed were measured and it was not all real. Well, the folks at Baseball Info Solutions took notice: "But it was a flaw in our system that didn't recognize the defense the Blue Jays have employed on a regular basis for the first time in the history of baseball." As a result, they made changes to how DRS is measured. Now, shift plays are removed (similar to UZR) from individual players ratings, and the shift plays are used to calculate a team value that considers the net value at a team level. Which seems quite appropriate to me. Interestingly,Lawire is still the best 3rd baseman, at +16 runs, which is much closer to his UZR rating. The Jays also have saved the most runs due to shifting in baseball, so credit to Butter on that one. On a related note, Lawrie lost about 1.5 WAR over at Baseball Reference (which uses DRS as opposed to fWAR which uses UZR) as a result of this change. I am personally quite happy about this as I need update my contract value Excel file to account for the changes B-R made to their WAR calculations, and I was worried about this type of stuff in DRS contaminating my data. But that's fixed now.

New research into the Reliability of Sample Sizes


Over at Baseball Prospectus, Russell Carleton (aka Pizza Cutter), who authored some of the initial and still commonly referenced research into the reliability of sample sizes for various statistics makes some updates to his methodology and publishes the results. In general, it's the same story as before. The stuff that stabilizes first are the Three True Outcomes, and ground ball and fly ball rates.

Video of Anthony Gose


Vegas - Tacoma series, June 27-29. Lot of swing and miss in his game still.


Fun with Arbitrary Statistical Manipulation

So after the Jays loss last night, I tuned into the CoCo Cordero Show on Rogers Media Powered by Fans Sportsnet 590 the Fan. After a couple of - how to say it politely - less than brilliant calls,...

Marisnick promoted to AA (per Kevin Gray)


Sorry, couldn't figure out how to embed the specific tweet, link to his overall feed


MiLB 7/1

Happy Canada Day! Since this is going up pretty late, an incomplete list of probables and pitchers who pitched today: AAA - Zach Britton, Dan Straily, Tyler Skaggs AA - Donn Roach, Neil Ramirez, T...


2012 MLB Draft Open Thread (new links 6/2)

Pursuant to a suggestion in the game thread, this is a thread to discuss the upcoming MLB Rule 4 Amateur Draft that starts next Monday, June 4 (first round and supplemental) and runs for 40 rounds...


On random variation: LOB%, BABIP and FIP vs. ERA

This post comes out the discussion about "advanced stats vs. traditional stats" as one of the things in craig in calgary's Fanpost about things that grind his gears. But even beyond that, I think...


MiLB 5/12/2012

Little late to bother with probables since most games are in the books, so instead a classic to fill space requirements on this beautiful Saturday. These are the saddest of possible words: "Tinker...

John Lott on Brandon Morrow in 2012 v. 2011


John Lott talks with Brandon Morrow about the differences in how he's approaching batters in 2012 vs. 2011. Money quote: "I know my mix probably wasn’t ideal before," he said. "The way I see it is that batters were looking hard and away a lot of the time. The right-handers would look to take that slider, and if it was a little bit up, shoot it out [to right field] or hit the fastball into that right-centre gap. I gave up a lot of line-drive hits that way to right-handers." I think this is pretty bang-on, based on looking at the pitchf/x data. Mixing in a third pitch if can command it consistently should really help him, especially against lefties to whom the slider is less effective


An Open Letter to John Farrell (and the Blue Jays front office)

May 1, 2012 Dear John, The content of this letter has been a long time coming, but was finally compelled by the events of this evening's 6th inning. The Jays started the inning down 6-4, with...


Some Analysis of Drew Hutchison's Debut

After Hutch's up-and-down debut on Saturday in which he ultimately secured the win, I wanted to look a little deeper using some Pitchf/x analysis. At this point, only Brooks Baseball had the data...

Minor League Game Threads: 4/14 - 4/27*


* Roughly, depending on the rate of commenting

Minor League Game Threads 4/7 - ???


So based on the last couple days, it seems like there's a fair number of people following minor league games. Last night updates ended up in about 4 or 5 different threads, so in the interests of not hijacking other threads and making it easier to follow in one thread, I thought I'd create one thread to be used. To avoid cluttering up the FanShots every day, I think the same FanShot can and should be used for multiple days, until it gets too big. The best way to do it is probably to have people rec until it gets pinned, and then when a new thread is created unrec it so it falls off (or one of the admins can nuke it). In the interests of making this work, here are some suggestions I have to make this work better, at least in the interim before there's a better feel for how things develop: 1. Keep comments threaded for each game, under a main comment with the date, time, league, opponent and pitching matchup. Also, a general tab for more general observations, though generally Blue Jays related (there's a daily thread at that's pretty good if that's more your thing). 2. Let's avoid a lot of OT chatter. Nothing particularly wrong with it, but it'll make each thread go further, again, in the interests of not crowding out all the other FanShots. There's plenty of other threads in which to do that anyway. 3. In game updates are great, but let's focus on value added rather than "Syndergaard just struck out a batter!" or "Player X just singled". If you're listening/watching/following and something interesting/worth mentioning happens, by all means share - let's just avoid inane comments for the most part, again to maximize each thread. Also, feel free to share any thoughts you have about this and any ideas to improve. Go 51s/Fisher Cats/Dunedin Jays/Lugnuts!


Projecting the 2012 Blue Jays Starting Position Players

It's Opening Day! Everyone's tied for first, hope springs eternal and we wonder about what the next 6 months of baseball hold for our beloved Blue Jays. Will they contend for a playoff spot, or...


Do Spring Training Wins Mean Anything for the Regular Season?

Later today, the Jays will play their last Spring Training game. Notwithstanding the current two game losing streak, you probably already know it's been a pretty good Spring. At 23-7 the Jays have...


Was Travis Snider Poised for a Breakout Year? Can Spring Training Stats Tell us Anything?

Introductory Note: This was initially titled "Is Travis Snider Poised for a Breakout Year", as most of the data analysis and write-up that follows was done before he was sent down. I was waiting...


A Risk Based Analysis of the Dustin McGowan Extension

The Jays have signed Dustin McGowan to a two-year extension, for a total of $3.5-million guaranteed including a 2015 option buyout of $500K. Essentially, this is the cost of a decent reliever in...

Custom Fantasy Trade Evaluation Tool (Excel file)


I've created a little Excel tool to help analyze fantasy trades that uses ZiPS projections. It is of course intended more as a starting point, and is probably most helpful to beginning fantasy players. You can download it from Sendspace by clicking on the link, or also here: [UPDATE: Replaced with v1.1 to fix error pulling pitcher info, see below] It can handle up to 5 players on each side, and consider up to 8 hitting categories and 8 pitching categories. There is a tab explaining more, and how to enter the required info in the file. I think I have ironed everything out in the file, but any problems are run across please leave a comment and I'll do my best to fix it ASAP and upload a replacement file.

Fangraphs on the Thames/Snider competition


Paul Swydan doesn't understand why Ben Francisco is the 5th outfielder, and thinks instead both Thames and Snider could be rostered. Of course, this has been discussed here multiple times in the offseason, and more recently the other day.

Keith Law on prospects in Jays/Astros game


It's an Insider post, so mostly for all you with Insider subscriptions. There's only a couple paragraphs before the jump, but he was not overly impressed with McGowan, especially relative to the positive reviews we've been getting.

Bob Elliott visits Tom Cheek


A nice trip down memory lane. A little nostalgia is always good, especially with the radio broadcasts of Spring Training getting underway


BBB Community Final Prospect Lists

We have reached the end! And really, the timing couldn't be more appropriate with Spring Training beginning and a good number fo these guys getting into game action. Though I think I speak for most...


The Power of Substitution: A Rejoinder on the Linearity of Dollars and WAR

Introduction Two weeks ago, I posted a piece examining one of the more controversial aspects of player valuation, that being whether or not the market pays for production (WAR) in a linear or...


BBB Community Overall Prospect #25 - Chris Hawkins vs. Joe Musgrove

And so we have reached the last poll to determine the Community Top 25, after an intensive democratic process that I think spurred some good debate. With Matt Dean on the Big Board to once again...


BBB Community Overall Prospect #24 - Matt Dean vs. Joe Musgrove

Well, #23 was a squeaker - Roberto Osuna edged out Matt Dean by one vote after a back and forth poll that had to be held open late. Dean now faces off against fellow 2011 draftee Joe Musgrove in a...


Blue Jays Prospect Lists: Similarities & Differences

Now that Spring Training is about to get going and pretty much everyone who does prospect lists has them out, I thought it would be interesting to see how various Blue Jay prospect lists compare...

Fidlin on Morrow


Interesting write-up on what Morrow is planning doing differently - primarily throwing more curveballs to keep hitters on balance on his harder stuff (slider and four seamer). Somewhat curiously, no mention of the cutter, though it would similarly be a harder pitch (between fastball and slider). After looking through the pitchf/x data last month for 2010-11, I noticed that he had thrown a lot less curveballs and change-ups last year, and my speculation was that they were inconsistent offerings in 2010 that he had trouble consistently controlling. So, his BB rate went down in 2011, but he had more trouble on batted balls (especially against lefties against whom the slider is less effective anyway), giving up more solid contact such as LDs because hitters could dial in the harder stuff.


Top 100 Lists: Similarities & Differences

A couple days ago, Chris St. John posted an article looking at how various Top 100 lists saw certain players differently than the consensus in terms of liking, disliking, including and excluding...

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