Thursday, August 04, 2011

Please Answer These Sabermetric Questions

Jay Jaffe over at the Pinstriped Bible wrote a piece today that raised questions about some sabermetric values that exist today. Jaffe was talking about Curtis Granderson and his defense and mentioned in passing that Brett Gardner has so much range that many times Gardner catches balls in Granderson's "zone." Granderson seems quite rangy himself, so how much does Gardner's range hurt Granderson's fielding statistics? The trouble with this writer asking the questions is that this writer often doesn't know what he is talking about. But still. It's too bad an average Joe like this writer can't lock a Dave Cameron or somebody in a room and let them explain this stuff.

So here are this layman's uneducated (isn't that redundant?) questions:

1. Should a fielder have a "chance" that counts on his fielding stats if someone else catches the ball and makes the out? There is a statistic called out of zone percentage. Say Gardner has a 4 percent percentage out of his zone, shouldn't at least some of that be given back to Granderson somehow? If a fielder makes plays out of his zone and those stats are counted, shouldn't we know where out of the zone those catches were made? Can you see a scenario some day (especially since these numbers start to factor into arbitration hearings, etc.) where fielders start getting in arguments over where the fielder catches the ball? It would be like a volleyball game. "Hey, that was my ball!"

2. Say the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees have 28 blowout games apiece. In theory, once a team is so far ahead, they stop taking the extra base on a hit from first or second. They settle for a single instead of a double or a double instead of a triple. Should those times be counted against a base runner when say, a player from the San Francisco Giants always plays in close games and would always take the extra base when needed? Dustin Pedroia's base running score looks awfully low for a guy that really plays with reckless abandon.

That's it for now. Just two things this Fan wishes someone would answer. They may be idiotic questions. But that's what happens when they let any old idiot write a post.

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