Links here we come

  • Erik has a piece on the ESPN TMI (Insider Subscription Required) that says Colby’s hot start should continue
  • Dave Cameron sings the praises of Jaime Garcia (this was even before the start against the Phils)
  • I updated Playoff Probabilities over at BtB.  The Cards good start has improved their position in the division.
  • AZ has a rundown of the televised QC River Bandits game over at FR
  • Here’s a cool chart at BtB that looks at CHONE projections and which teams have star players
  • It’s time again for Sky’s 32 predictions contest at BtB

Links… bullet style

  • Dave Cameron has a piece on Brad Penny and his splitter over at Fangraphs.  Basic gist, so far for Penny less fastball/more splitters = good
  • JC Bradbury has a take on the impact of Howard on Pujols.  I haven’t put any numbers to JC’s evaluation of either player’s worth (in the past member’s of the saber community have questions some of his valuations), but the general concept makes some sense to me.
  • Speaking of Howard, check out Peter’s take at BtB
  • C70 has the definitive guide to Cardinal blogs. Check it out

So far Ryan Ludwick’s bat (~0.400 wOBA) and glove (1-3 runs saved depending on your advanced metric of choice) have been good. His base running, not so much. Last night the change in run expectancy for his pickoff was -0.86, so he cost the team almost an entire run. On the season as a whole, entering last night he was “worth” -1.2 runs on the bases (stolen base runs removed from the calculations). Is this likely to continue? Probably not, the last two years Luddy has been worth 2-3 runs on the bases. That brings us to our chart for the day. Here’s the last 3 years of EQBRR (with stolen base runs removed) from Baseball Prospectus

NAME 2009 2009 Opps 2008 2008 Opps 2007 2007 Opps
Colby Rasmus 5.16 298 0 0 0 0
Skip Schumaker 2.78 550 1.4 540 -1.34 146
Ryan Ludwick 1.9 352 2.91 432 -2.26 212
Brendan Ryan 2.01 356 1.47 200 1.66 155
Matt Holliday 0.09 451 5.49 479 2.58 612
Albert Pujols -0.62 477 -0.09 442 0.52 513
Yadier Molina -5.14 390 -3.93 303 -1.63 281

And as a bonus, here’s the updated Series Probabilities chart

I did a piece over at Fangraphs about Dave Duncan trying to measure his effect on pitcher’s groundball rates.

Speaking of Fangraphs, they have added +/- to their stable of defensive stats.  The leaders on the Cards are Brendan Ryan (more on him later tonight hoefully) and Ryan Ludwick with 3 defensive runs saved each.  Skip is the trailer with -4 DRS (Freese is at -1).  Clearly these mean very little with this small (small isn’t even descriptive enough) sample size, but it is kinda cool that the numbers right now line up with the eye test (at least my eyes).  Like I said hopefully something additional on Ryan later in the evening, maybe tomorrow.

With the pace of life being what it is for me right now, lengthy research related posts will likely be few and far between (hopefully not non-existant).  With that being said, I’ll hopefully be posting smaller peices more frequently.  The aim of these pieces will be a lot like my Motte piece the other day, saber-slanted questions or observations from recent games/series, probably backed up with a little data (read: hours of effort not days).  Enough caveating, here we go

1)  Is it me or is Tony bunting more with position players so far this year?  Maybe it’s selective memory, but we’ve already bunted/attempted to bunt at least twice with runners on 2nd on nobody out.  From a historical Run Expectancy perspective a succesful sacrifice is a 0.206 run loss.  The basic gist is that the sacrifice increases your chances to score a single run, but decreases your chances to score multiple runs.  The second piece is what it does to Win Expectancy.  Fangraphs has Ramsus’s sacrifice as a -0.002 WPA.

There’s still a little more work to be done here as I’d like to approximate a RE matrix for the Cardinals specifically and see if that changes the dynamic anyway (that’ll fall into the days not hours research though, so it’ll have to wait until another day).

2) There’s been some talk of Carpenter’s problems.  Ryan Jones of Cardinals GM tweeted that Carp’s velocity was down ~2 mph (link forthcoming when I have Twitter access) from comparable starts last year (i.e. first two last year compared to first two this year).  Just out of curiosity I looked at least season’s game averages and Carp only had a couple starts where he had similar velocity to what he has right now: May 25th, May 30th, and June 9th.

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