37 thoughts on “Adam Bernero, June”

  1. On a related note, Mac mentioned some speculation about bullpens and pythagorean record a couple of days ago. (Specifically, proposing that Bobby leaving a poor reliever out in a loss skews it.) Well, there’s an article about one-run games on harballtimes.com today, and it links a blog entry listing the Hold/Save percentages and one run game winning percentages for teams over the last 3 years, and there’s a pretty strong correlation, which is reasonable.

    Basically, a poor bullpen is correlated with a poor one-run game winning percentage, which then skews the pythagorean record. So Bernero and Kolb contribute to our “underachieving” in much the same way Ayala and Cordero contribute to the Nats “overachieving”.

    In fact, the pythagorean record and actual record are so closely correlated, I wouldn’t be surprised if the ability of the bullpen to preserve a close lead accounted for almost all the variation.

  2. And I still don’t see the need to carry 13 pitchers if at least one of them has no business on a major league roster right now.

  3. I agree that bullpen performance can explain deviation from pythagorean record. A team that always scores 5 runs and always allows 4 will have a .600 pythag record and a 162-0 actual record, so close games are obviously hard for the pythag method to judge.

    I don’t necessarily think that the Nats will continue to overperform their pythag record. Their bullpen has pitched well, to be sure. But I think Majewski and Cordero (and to some extent Ayala too) are all pitching over their heads, just as I think that our guys are getting at least slightly unlucky. That’s not to say that the hits Bernero ( to take the current example) has allowed should have been caught; but if the bat is just a hair earlier or later, or lower or higher, maybe the play gets made. This obviously isnt quantifiable at any scale, but he isn’t walking people.

    His K-rate is a little misleading because of the amount of hitters he has faced, and should probably be discounted somewhat.

  4. The Yankees are about to make Mike Stanton and Paul Quantrill available to the Baseball public. I would rather take a flyer on one of those 2, particularly an EX Brave like Stanton then Bernero.

    As joked about the other day, I would trade Bernero straight up for:

    1. Doug Mirabelli’s used jock strap
    2. The entire DVD collection of Pauly Shore movies
    3. Unprotected sex with Pam Anderson
    4. 30 days in the Guatanamo Marine Prison
    5. Being locked in a room for three straight days listening only to Dick Vitale and Stephen A. Smith TALK
    6. Chinese water torture
    7. Tied down on stage forced to be seen and
    listen to an entire LIVE John Tesh concert

  5. Funny how little it takes to get excited about Danny K. And I don’t just mean Bernero losing it last night. I see him pitch like he did in the 10th last night (I missed most of the 11th), and I think there has to be something there. I’m sorta kinda, in a very weird and probably masochistic way, looking forward to a save opp for Danny. Maybe it’s just because I haven’t been getting enough sleep lately.

    Stanton seems like too much of a risk since he would probably insist on being added to the ML roster immediately. Not as much of a risk as unprotected sex with Pam Anderson though.

  6. OK, I’m not the first to think of things this way, but it’s also not a popular school of thought, but if you take Furcal’s stolen bases and value them somehow, that does help his offensive value. I always looked at a stolen base this way: if a man reaches first, then steals second, why does a double increase slugging percentage but a single and a stolen base doesn’t as much but they’re basically the same thing? If you were to apply that logic to Furcal, that would take his OPS from .656 to .749. That puts him ahead of Johnny Estrada and right behind Orr and LaRoche. Something to think about…

  7. It would be nice if you could somehow merge SB (tempered somehow by CS) into a simple stat like OPS. It’s factored into some of the more complex stats, but nothing that’s easy enough for the common fan like (I assume) most of us to grasp. And, of course, that leads to some of us overvaluing it and others of us undervaluing it.

  8. I’ve thought about subtracting caught stealings from stolen bases, to get a net total bases kinda deal. Stolen bases do have value, and when you go by a hitter’s batting average or OPS something similar, stolen bases are totally lost. There are intangible things to Furcal’s speed too, like pressure on the defense and thus forcing errors. When he reaches on an error because his speed forced a poor throw, then he gets credited with an out to his batting average, but he still reached as if it was a single. I’m not as down on him as other people are, so that’s why I mention these things.

  9. While stolen bases are a value and something we would lose with Furcal gone, I would rather have Betemit’s .320 average at SS then Furcal’s .220.

    I am just saying.

  10. A double is valuable not only because the batter reaches second but also because it pushes other runners ahead. From tango’s site, I find the average run expectancy from the following events: walk, .35 runs; single, .49 runs; double, .79 runs; stolen base, .18 runs. That is, a single plus an SB (or a walk plus an SB) isn’t as valuable as a double for teh reason I just mentioned. Bill James’ Secondary Average stat captures contributions from steals – I bet Furcal’s SecA is pretty good.

  11. Quote of the month (so far). What bullpen has Cox been watching????

    “We thought we had the game won a couple of times,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “Our bullpen has been good all year and they were tonight.”

  12. Well, Alex, I think we can both agree that Furcal won’t continue to hit .220, and Betemit won’t continue to hit .320. I think they will end up being much closer to each other by the season’s end. I see Betemit being at around .275 to .280 and Furcal at .260 to .265. You factor in Furcal’s stolen bases and his superior defense, and the fact that Betemit will be at 3B and Furcal at SS, then I believe Furcal will be much more valuable.

  13. ESPN tracks secondary average, which Kyle mentions. This year Furcal’s SecA is .289. You can see it for the whole team here

  14. I am down on Furcal, but I think an awful lot of that has to do with the fact that I think so much of his ability (speed) is wasted by his refusal/inability to take walks and bunt and do other things that would allow his speed to be more valuable. It’s also probably somewhat of a backlash to what I think is a general tendency to overrate the guy’s offense (he looks a lot better than he is). And like any other good cynic, I tend to downplay anything I can’t easily grasp a quantifiable value for: pressuring the defense/pitchers and, to a lesser extent, stolen bases.

    But I do think that Betemit is the better option for the Braves when you consider his slugging and, of course, his salary. I don’t think he’s been in the field quite enough at short to really gauge his defense. And, of course, you again run into something I’m likely to undervalue since I don’t have confidence in any objective measure of it that I’m aware of.

    I’ll have to look into SecA. But since I don’t have much of a statistical background (I don’t count one quarter 12 years ago sitting a UGA auditorim while high as much of a background), I usually don’t really get the more complex stats. I’m very willing to trust them from the likes of Bill James, but I’ll always fall back on something I completely understand, like OPS. But there probably is no simple way to capture SB value, so I’ll either have to get used to not understanding these stats or study more.

  15. Actually, Rob Cope, speak for YOURSELF.

    Since I pointed out the difference in average, why do you just assume that because you say they will be close in average, I should just nod my head like a sheep?

    No thanks.

    I don’t think it will be close. I think Betemit has a great chance to stay above .290 all year necause he’s a SMART hitter.

    On the flipside, Furcal has a much LOWER Baseball IQ so I suspect the real Furcal will continue to swing for the fences and get drunk with you later that night.

    Please DON’T put words in my mouth. I don’t like it when my wife does it and like it even less when a stranger speaks for me.

    That said, I look forward to a Marte-Betemit left side of the Infield for YEARS TO COME.

  16. Stanton has something left in the tank, the Yankees just can’t coach pitchers. They’ve turned most of theirs to crap the last few years.

    That was a tough loss last night, but when you only get a couple of hits after the 5th inning and 0 runs for 7 innings, you shouldn’t expect to win. Of course the Marlins stranded 17 runners, so nobody deserved to win that game.

    The Marlins are pitiful right now. They just happened to get the win. They only have 2 reliable starters and no bullpen. It makes our guys look like all-stars.

  17. a-rod, you seem much more calm on the field than in your blogs. furcal does seem to be calming his swing down a little. i think his avg will come up, but i don’t see betemit’s avg dropping to .275 by the end of season.

  18. Funny, my cousin calls me A-Rod. I wish I had his money.

    Sorry if I am TOO passionate in here…I just don’t like it when people speak for me. Opinions are like asshole…we all have ’em.

    and, in my honest opinion, our bullpen stinks and Cox is on LITHIUM if he actually thinks this bullpen has “generally” done a good job.

    Someone get that man an assisted living apartment, please?

  19. Stolen Bases are great fun, but the question is risk vs. reward. A double requires one play for the batter to reach second; the stolen base route requires two. That said, having a runner in scoring position is extremely valuable and changes the infield defense.

    I love stolen bases. I wish there were more.

  20. Alex, you forgot to add one thing about those similarities… most of us don’t realize how often and how much our opinions stink either ;)

  21. I like stolen bases and the threat of someone stealing a base is almost as good as stealing the base. THink about this:
    How many times has Furcal been on base and the pitcher payed more attention to him than to Giles at the plate. The pitcher is so worried about Furcal that he throws Giles a fastball middle of the plate-away that is riped to the gap or out of the park. The mind games of the stolen base is what is often forgoten about. Bill James can study all the stats he wants, but when it comes down to it 90% of the game is mental.

  22. And yet stats explain between 90 and 95% of the amount of runs scored or allowed…

  23. Well, from looking at Betemit play short last night, I’d rather not see him and Marte together the next several years. Yes, he was overplaying on a shift the one play, but he did not impress me at all with his defense. But, I agree, small sample size.

  24. Bobby Cox is from the Ralph Houk school (for any of you that read “Ball Four”). Basically, he blows smoke up the players’ asses by telling them how good they are and he never acknowledges their problems publicly even if the problems are obvious to anyone with eyes. If they aren’t good, he gets rid of them but he will never belittle the team in the media. Not a bad way to run an organization and it’s certainly been successful, but from a fan’s standpoint, it’s incredibly annoying.

  25. But the other 10-15% is what wins games. Speed is a very over looked factor in baseball.

  26. From looking at that SecA listing, Estrada & McCann come off pretty bad. I guess that’s because they are basically only hitting singles?

  27. And yet stats explain between 90 and 95% of the amount of runs scored or allowed…

    But the other 10-15% is what wins games.


  28. Alex, I would really like to know where I put words in your mouth. I said we would agree that Betemit’s average wouldn’t stay at .320. You then said that you think he would be above .290. Now, last time I checked, .290 is less than .320. So we did indeed agree that he would be below .320.

    I also never said that you would think they were close. I said that I think they will be closer, and I see Betemit and Furcal being at those average. Never did I say that you would agree. I even considering putting in there that you would probably disagree with me. Maybe I should have.

    I hate to come off as a jerk, and I agree with about 99.9% of your thoughts on the Braves, but that .1% is when you think I’m putting words in your mouth.

  29. Yes, JC… some things are better left untouched :)

    OK, Secondary average is actually a pretty dern simple stat: (TB-H+BB+SB-CS)/AB. So being a singles hitter is going to cost you (as in Estrada), but adding steals will help balance that out (as in Furcal). It’s not as simple as OPS, but I can wrap my brain around it at least.

  30. SecA doesn’t really correlate with run scoring though, so James admits it’s basically a toy stat.

  31. It’s useful if you’re dealing with people who still look at batting average as a key stat, since it’s basically “everything but batting average”.

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