When Statistical Analysis Wanders Around
Is our outfield defense really bad?
As of yesterday, the Mariners staff gave up 111 fly balls (and 116 ground balls) making them (weirdly) the most extreme ground-ball staff in baseball so far, with a G/F ratio of .8. The outfield made 61 putouts, which works out to a putout/flyball rate of .534. That’s fifth-worst in baseball, behind Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Kansas City, and Anaheim. The best OF defense so far seems to be played by Tampa (!) whith a ration of .833 putouts for every fly ball.
That’s all amusing and all, but there doesn’t appear to be any significant correlation between that metric and the number of runs a team allowed. So I looked at the rate of non-HR extra-base hits allowed by a team… and the M’s are getting killed. 4th-worst in the majors, behind Arizona, Pittsburgh, and Anaheim. But that didn’t correlate well with my scraped-together OF metrics, either. It’s late, so I’m giving up on putting some numbers behind outfield defense.
So on to some other good random stuff. The Mariners pitching as it ranks among all teams. Good would be 1 of 30, bad 30 of 30
Hits as a % of total batters faced: 27.2%, 29 of 30th
BB as a % of total batters faced: 7.2%, 6th of 30
K as a % of TBF: 15%, 12 of 30
Non-HR XBH: 6.5% of all batters facing the Mariners are getting extra-base hits, 28th of 30
HR as a % of batters faced: 3.2%, 18th of 30
Here’s another good overall defensive number to throw out there: doubles and triples as a % hits. The Mariners last year almost took non-HR extra base hits out of the game. This year 9.7% of hits are doubles and triples.
These aren’t all bloop singles that are dropping in front of Randy Winn. The team’s pitching has been decent — you can see that in things they control (BB/K/HR) they look okay. It’s the insane number of balls in play that are going for hits and extra-base hits at that that’s really killing this team.
If you were still on the fence about how good this team is right now, we just got shut out by Chan Ho Park.
Worse, I have a feeling that this lack of offensive spark will cause Melvin to shift away from Olerud in the two hole, which I really like, and think is one of the best strategical moves he’s made in his year plus as a manager.
Rangers at Mariners
Friday, 7:05, RHP Meche v RHP Park
Saturday, 7:05, LHP Moyer v RHP Lewis
Sunday, 1:05 RHP Pineiro v RHP Dickey (?)
Also, the M’s should make as many early-season games afternoon as they can. Thank you for your consideration.
I dug up an URL I mentioned in the Seattle Feed, Michael Crichton on speculation (“Why Speculate“). It’s an interesting bit of thinking and I come back to it a lot when tossing over things to write about (and may be why I’ve done a lot less weird speculative columns since I read it). Its easily transferable to sports coverage, too, so check it out. For all the guessing we do at what the season’s going to turn out like, nobody has any clue. Dave and I can argue over why the team’s gotten off to a poor start, but neither of us can tell you whether they’ll play bad defense all year, or if this is a fluke.
Quick note — it appears Gustavo Martinez, who started last season as a reliever but finished as a starter, has taken the San Antonio rotation spot vacated by Glen Bott; new Big Board reflects this (and also has minor league links for Scott Spiezio and Rafael Soriano). Martinez gets the start tonight for the Missions.
Blogger is weird. I can see the posts in the queue, but not on the site. Oh, the joys of free software. At this rate, you may see this sometime Saturday.
Rafael Soriano pitched 4 solid innings for IE last night, and normally A-ball hitters would be relieved when the rehabbing major league fireballer is finally removed. Unfortunately for Bakersfield, the reliever was Felix Hernandez, who went 5 innings, gave up 2 hits, no runs, 2 walks, and 10 strikeouts. From Soriano to King Felix? That’s just evil.