Author Topic: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats [but who gives gives a rat's ...]  (Read 9269 times)

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Online houston-nat

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #250: August 21, 2012, 10:11:30 AM »
I wouldn't mind seeing Harper, Desmond, and Espinosa try bunting to get that infield moving around a bit.  Chipper has 40 year old legs and if they bunt it to the first base side, Uggla may screw something up again.

I'll second this. Let Bernie start a game so bunt singles are a threat.

Offline wpa2629

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #251: August 21, 2012, 10:15:11 AM »
They're both pretty poor, defensively.


I'm not sure what you're watching, but Atlanta's infield defense is miserable. Chipper is old and a basically immobile. Did you see him waving at that ball down the line, he wasn't anywhere close and it's been that way all year. Then he comes crashing in on Suzuki's play, kicks the ball and doesn't cover third? That's a little league mistake. Janish is fine, but Uggla is awful and Freeman's only advantage is that he's tall, good thing too, because the throws he's receiving are all over the place.

Atlanta's OF defense is excellent, but their infield defense leaves a LOT to be desired

Online Slateman

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #252: August 21, 2012, 10:30:31 AM »

I'm not sure what you're watching, but Atlanta's infield defense is miserable. Chipper is old and a basically immobile. Did you see him waiving at that ball down the line, he wasn't anywhere close and it's been that way all year. Then he comes crashing in on Suzuki's play, kicks the ball and doesn't cover third? That's a little league mistake. Yanish is fine, but Uggla is awful and Freeman's only advantage is that he's tall, good thing too, because the throws he's receiving are all over the place.

Atlant'a OF defense is excellent, but their infield defense leaves a LOT to be desired

If what you're saying is true, then Atlanta's outfield defense is the greatest of all time by a great deal. The team is second in UZR and third in DRS. They've made the fewest errors in the NL. They are a very good defensive team.

Sorry, but I don't buy it. Jones may lack range, but he's pretty sure handed. Between Janish and Simmons, the Braves have had the best defense from shortstop in all of baseball. Uggla is meh. Freeman is actually pretty good with his FP of .995 and 4 DRS. All in all, the Braves defense is good.

Offline OldChelsea

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #253: August 21, 2012, 10:37:22 AM »
[...]Between Janish and Simmons, the Braves have had the best defense from shortstop in all of baseball.[...]


http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/fielding/split/82

Errors by shortstrops: 12 (8 teams have fewer)
Fielding percentage of shortstops: .978 (9 teams are better)
Assists by shortstops: 365 (10 teams have more)
Put-outs by shortstops: 163 (ranked 23rd in MLB)

Offline wpa2629

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #254: August 21, 2012, 10:40:25 AM »
http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/fielding/split/82

Errors by shortstrops: 12 (8 teams have fewer)
Fielding percentage of shortstops: .978 (9 teams are better)
Assists by shortstops: 365 (10 teams have more)
Put-outs by shortstops: 163 (ranked 23rd in MLB)


LOL

Online Slateman

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #255: August 21, 2012, 10:51:10 AM »
http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/fielding/split/82

Errors by shortstrops: 12 (8 teams have fewer)
Fielding percentage of shortstops: .978 (9 teams are better)
Assists by shortstops: 365 (10 teams have more)
Put-outs by shortstops: 163 (ranked 23rd in MLB)


7 of those 12 errors belong to Tyler Pastornicky.

Combined Janish and Simmons have 18 DRS in about 600 innings. That would put them second, behind Brendan Ryan of Seattle. And he has 200 more innings. You give them the same 890 innings and they have 26 DRS, which would be best in baseball. If you extrapolate out to 1000 innings, they're single handedly running away with it. They have a fielding percentage of .987 which would make them third. I have no idea how to calculate their UZR, but Simmons was on his way to one of the greatest defensive seasons every by a shortstop.

At worst, the Braves have the best defense at shortstop in the NL.

Offline wpa2629

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #256: August 21, 2012, 11:03:25 AM »

Atlanta's infield defense is directly responsible for 3 losses to the Nats alone. That's the difference between the Division Lead and the Wild Card.

May not seem like a big deal to UZR or DRS,  but it's certainly significant in the standings

Whatever - Atlanta can have their crap defenders. I'm perfectly happy being 6 games up and 30 games over 500

Offline Lintyfresh85

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #257: August 21, 2012, 11:06:42 AM »
I only see one person trolling and totally ignoring other's opinions in this thread, and it's certainly not Slateman.

Offline The Chief

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #258: August 21, 2012, 11:11:42 AM »
I only see one person trolling and totally ignoring other's opinions in this thread, and it's certainly not Slateman.

"_____ defense is good because they only have X errors" is most definitely trolling on this board full of SABR junkies.  Disingenuity doesn't suit you.

Offline Lintyfresh85

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #259: August 21, 2012, 11:17:02 AM »
You weren't the person I was referring to.

Offline The Chief

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #260: August 21, 2012, 11:17:32 AM »
I know that, but I assumed your comment was related to mine, and I stand by both prior remarks regardless.

Online Kevrock

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #261: August 21, 2012, 11:24:20 AM »
Does team UZR require less of a sample size than an individual player's UZR (3 years)?

Offline LostYudite

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #262: August 21, 2012, 11:50:36 AM »
Does team UZR require less of a sample size than an individual player's UZR (3 years)?

I don't really know, but I'd think yes, because in any individual year you've got the aggregate of all the plays the team made.  In general, more data = better.  So it's not that it requires less of a sample size, it's that it gets to the sample size threshold - the point above which the data start to mean something other than reflecting random outcomes - faster because every play the team makes or doesn't counts into the sample size.

That said, it also pulls in a lot of other random factors.  A team's UZR is by definition aggregate, so it counts all the plays made by every player who made a play - that's not a true reflection of a team's "best" defensive lineup.  For instance, the Nats team UZR includes all the plays where Lombo played 2nd and Espi SS AND all the games where Lombo played LF.  So it works ok as an aggregate reflection of what the Nats have done, but works less well as a projection of what any given lineup will do, since Lombo currently isn't in the lineup at all.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #263: August 21, 2012, 01:56:47 PM »
Well, the games Espinosa played at SS were the best defensively according to UZR.

Two of the stats mentioned by OC, put outs and assists, are highly dependent on the type of pitcher you have.  If your pitchers are flyball / strikeout types, then the infielders aren't going to get as many chances.  If your pitcher are righties and play in a division with a lot of lefties, then you are not going to see as many grounders to the SS.

UZR for a player takes multiple seasons to stabilize around a guy's true talent.  UZR for a player for a season just is a measure of balls fielded and converted to outs in the hypothetical SS zone.  UZR for a season tells you UZR to that point in the season, not talent, but not to recognize the greater limitations of fielding percentage or total errors also is having a blind spot.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #264: August 21, 2012, 02:13:54 PM »
Personally, I lean pretty heavy on looking at 1-BABIP when judging a team's defense.  That's basically the rate the team converts balls in play into outs.  It does not require looking at film or the judgment of official scorers and is consistent measurement across ball parks.  By that measure, the Braves are 14th in MLB, the Nats are 2d.  In the NL, we are 1st and they are 6th. 

Now there are some quirks to this, depending on the park (the Rockies will always have a high BABIP and low 1-BABIP because Coors has huge tracks of land in the outfield), but given that Turner Field and Nats Park have very similar hit park factors (12th and 13th -slightly above average environment for hits other than homers), it is tough to say the overall fielding of the Braves is anything but middling on the year, while the overall fielding of the Nats has not been near the best in baseball.

Online Displaced Bucco

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #265: August 21, 2012, 02:22:01 PM »
it is tough to say the overall fielding of the Braves is anything but middling on the year, while the overall fielding of the Nats has not been near the best in baseball.

Just using the eyeball test, I think we're spoiled to a point and judge other teams pretty harshly.  We got used to bad defense and now that we're pretty good, we see ourselves as the norm!

Kind of OT, but I find it interesting that JCA's link shows a difference between parks in walks...I would have thought that to be a function of pitching staffs alone. 

Online PC

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #266: August 21, 2012, 10:26:50 PM »
His tweet from today's game:

Paul Swydan ‏@Swydan
I'd love to know what Ryan Zimmerman was thinking there. Wow.

It was from an hour ago.  I have no idea what he was talking about.

EDIT - The single he tried to turn into a double, I guess.

Offline RobDibblesGhost

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #267: August 21, 2012, 10:28:47 PM »
His tweet from today's game:

Paul Swydan ‏@Swydan
I'd love to know what Ryan Zimmerman was thinking there. Wow.

It was from an hour ago.  I have no idea what he was talking about.

EDIT - The single he tried to turn into a double, I guess.

It looks like his only tweet about tonight's game.  What a dumbass.

Offline Lintyfresh85

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #268: August 21, 2012, 10:30:45 PM »
It looks like his only tweet about tonight's game.  What a dumbass.

Why do you care?

Offline tomterp

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #269: August 21, 2012, 10:34:56 PM »

 Uggla isn't any worse than Desmond has been, defensively anyway.

 :lol:

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #270: August 21, 2012, 10:51:46 PM »
The Braves have Paul Swydan, we have Vladi Putin.

Offline Evolution33

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #271: August 21, 2012, 10:56:30 PM »
Yes the Braves do have the best defensive outfield in baseball and it isn't even close. http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=of&stats=fld&lg=all&qual=0&type=1&season=2012&month=0&season1=2012&ind=0&team=0,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

Add in their offensive abilities and it is the best all around outfield in baseball. By WAR they are behind the Cards but they are throwing two utility players in Craig and Schumaker in there with the regular outfielder of Holliday, Jay, Beltran. The Angels are right behind the Braves but more than half of their overall outfield WAR is Trout. So overall I give the edge to the Braves by a wide margin when it comes to the best outfield in the game.

Their infield defense is pretty poor at second and third. Chipper is good at positioning, but if he has to make any type of play on a ball he struggles, and Uggla is just bad. There are times in baseball when you just have to go with what you know and until defensive stats are better defense is one of those things.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #272: August 22, 2012, 10:18:43 AM »
Evol - I've thought outfield defense is less critical than infield defense.  Look at the BABIP for grounders vs. flies.  Liners generally drop regardless of who is out there.  Overall, Atlanta is not as good as the Nats at turning balls in play into outs.  It isn't all that close.  No one should denigrate their outfield defense, as you say, but in terms of an overall defensive club, the team, which includes the infield, should not be overrated.  To the extent Swydan is hanging his hat on outfield defense, he's missing the point.

Offline tomterp

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #273: August 22, 2012, 10:21:57 AM »
Some outside comparisons of Braves vs Nats defense.

Quote
Ben Lindbergh, BP

...while the Nationals own the NL’s best record, they haven’t yet locked up a division title. Washington won’t have Strasburg on its side for much longer, and the Braves will be right behind them, waiting to capitalize on any sign of weakness. Both teams boast playoff odds north of 90 percent, so neither is likely to miss the postseason (though after the way things went for the Braves last September, they probably aren’t taking a trip to October for granted). But the real prize—a first-place finish, and a guaranteed ticket to the first round of the playoffs—remains at stake. The Nats have the better pitching staff and defense, and both teams are evenly matched on offense. But the Braves do have a sizeable advantage over the Nats in one often-overlooked area: baserunning.


Quote
Colin Wyers, BP

What we know for sure is that the Braves give up an essentially league average number of hits on balls in play. What UZR asserts is that the Braves' defense is so gifted that it's masking an especially difficult distribution of balls in play, that for a team with a less gifted defense would result in a substantially worse than average hits allowed rate. Now, is it possible that this is true? Yes. I don't think it's especially likely, though, and I have many reservations about the ability of UZR to measure that sort of thing accurately.


http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18044#121379

And to JCA's point, here is MLB sorted by defensive efficiency, defined as:

Quote
Def Eff (DE), or Defensive Efficiency, is the rate at which balls put into play are converted into outs by a team's defense. Def Eff can be approximated with (1 - BABIP), if all you have is BABIP, but a team's actual Def Eff is computed with

 1 - ( H - HR ) / ( AB - SO - HR + SH + SF )

Here is an example of the Defensive Efficiency spectrum based on the 2011 season:

 Excellent – Tampa Bay .735
 Great – Texas .722
 Average – Toronto .710
 Poor – Pittsburgh .700
Horrendous – Minnesota .693

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/sortable/index.php?cid=1091208

Online welch

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Re: Paul Swydan Believes Braves Will Catch Nats
« Reply #274: August 22, 2012, 10:50:28 AM »
Note, also, the Nats depth:

- OF can be almost any combination of Werth, Harper, Morse, Bernadina, Moore, Lombo
- 1B: LaRoche, Morse, Moore. (LaR is a great fielder, Morse very good)
- MI: Desmond, Espi, Lombo

Ryan Z is probably the only irreplaceable guy in the lineup.

I don't think the Braves are that deep. They have a core of fine hitters balanced with Uggla and their SS. The OF starters are terrific, both hitting and fielding, but I can't remember anyone beyond Prado/Bourne/Heyward.

(Ron Darling might have mentioned it also, but this Nats team is more like the '86 Mets than any team I can think of. And the 2012 Nats are better than the '86 Mets...but that's a different discussion.)