Friday, April 11, 2014

Giants Links 4/11


It's Friday and that means it's time for some links. Here is the best of the best from around the web:

Giants Links:

Inside the numbers: a look at the Giants’ (early) two-out magic (BASG)

I wrote about the Giants early success with two-outs and if you can expect that to continue.

The new Matt Cain (McCovey Chronicles)

Chris Quick, formerly of Bay City Ball, wrote about how Matt Cain has evolved over the years. A very interesting post that I wish I had thought to write.

All The Home Runs Of Brandon Belt (El Lefty Malo)

Title is pretty self explanatory

Giants might not have room for Pablo Sandoval (BASG)

With talks suspended between the Giants and Sandoval, the Sandoval era could be coming to a close and Steve takes a closer look at why that might be the case.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tim Lincecum's Declining Fastball Usage


Today's graph illustrates Tim Lincecum's fastball usage since 2007.

The graph really points out how much Lincecum has changed as a pitcher as he as lost velocity on his fastball.  He has moved from the young phenom with a big fastball to a "savvy" vet trying to get by with secondary pitches.

The two games so far this season have not had great results but hey at least he has a 12 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio.
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Modeling a deal for Pablo Sandoval

The Giants rotund third baseman is coming to the end of his contract. The Giants want to keep him for the right price, Sandoval wants to stay for the right price. The two parties opinion of that right price seems to be miles apart at the moment.

So I thought this presented a great opportunity to take a look what the market price might be for a free agent Pablo Sandoval.

Over at Bay Area Sports Guy, I ran all the numbers based on the free agent signings made over the winter, here is the conclusion that I came to:
Now there are a number of caveats that need to be made and missing information that is not taken into account with this model. The issues include: his age, weight, injury issues, positional scarcity at third base, the lack of internal options to replace him and his work ethic, many of these were covered by Steve in his post that he wrote on the contract situation. The potential big one that isn't included is what a qualifying offer might do to his value if he waits until next season to sign, we have seen this already really change the markets for middle tier free agents over the past two winters and Sandoval could end up in that camp if he underperforms or gets injured this season. 
With all of the above taken into account, I think if the Giants want to make a deal to keep Sandoval they will need to come a lot closer to the numbers that the model suggests. Giants management might not be comfortable with the dollar figures but if they want to keep their third baseman they will need to pay up.
Read the whole thing, I think it is worth your time.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tim Lincecum learns to pitch to contact

Tim Lincecum’s calling card has always been his elite strikeout ability. Since he broke into the majors he has never failed to strikeout at least 23% of the batters that he has faced. From 2007 to 2013 no other starting pitcher has a higher strikeout percentage. Only Justin Verlander has more strikeouts, but Verlander has an extra 13 starts and just a 30-strikeout lead.

Yet this spring the strikeouts have just about disappeared.
It is tough to read too much into spring stats, but the drop in strikeouts is very noticeable. With strikeout rate being one of the first pitching stats to stabilize, his change in approach is interesting and a stark departure from his career numbers or even his previous spring training stats.
For comparison I went back and calculated his strikeout rates from springs past:
2013: 21.1%
2012: 14.7%
2011: 28.0%
2010: 25.4%
2009: 23.3%
2008: 21.6%
2007: 23.3%
The only real departure was in 2012, when his strikeouts dipped below 20%. But he still managed a K/9 above six during that spring, more than twice what he has done this spring. In general he has produced a lower strikeout rate in the spring than the regular season, but never has it been close to this low.
Read the whole thing.

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