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Jeffy25
06-21-2012, 03:00 PM
I have always argued that lineup protection does not exist in baseball.

The main reason is because a pitcher is facing a hitter one on one, not the guy on deck. He has to get get the guy who is up out, and worry about the guy on deck when he comes up.

MANY people said Miguel Cabrera was going to have a better year offensively this year because Prince Fielder is now batting behind him.

It's only been 2.5 months on the season, but Miggy is down this year. You have to assume he will improve as the season goes on.

He is being walked less, certainly (from 15% to 8%), and he is also striking out more (12.9 to 13.5%).

wOBA is down 56 points, and he is actually seeing more strikes this year than he did last year (58% to 63%) and less balls.

Meanwhile, Ryan Braun isn't doing any worse without Prince Fielder. In fact, he is hitting almost the exact same as he was last year (slash line, wOBA, wRC+, same walk rate, slight jump in strike out rate) and he is seeing the same number of strikes (63%) as last year.

What about fastballs?

Braun is seeing the exact same number of fastballs last year, as he is this year, same with Cabrera.

So is the argument that protection exists for only weaker hitters? Or is there still an argument for protection existing in major league lineups?

RTL
06-21-2012, 03:11 PM
You could make the argument Cabrera is getting challenged more because of who is hitting behind him. You sort of made two conflicting accounts. Why Braun is being pitched to is beyond me. Pitchers are very aware of who is on deck. It's an old agrument but keep making it if it makes you happy:)

keymax
06-21-2012, 03:11 PM
IMO protection isn't a myth like some people like to say. But in certain situations(RISP, first base open) the batter on deck decides if a guy sees anything good to hit or not.
When the terrible version of Adam Dunn was hitting behind Konerko(Or Mark Kotsay or other insane Ozzie Guillen ideas) you could bet that Konerko would be walked or got himself out.

Jeffy25
06-21-2012, 03:28 PM
I guess the argument from the stats head, is that there is no statistical evidence of it existing. There might be the occasional situation where a guy is pitched around a little like Keymax noted. But in general, no one is going to improve as a hitter because of who is hitting ahead of...or behind them.

Nymfan87
06-21-2012, 03:30 PM
In some cases I'd argue that protection in a lineup actually makes the guy in front worse. For example, nobody is pitching to David Wright this year and he's killing the ball because he's always ahead in the count. I don't think it's a big secret that guys do better ahead in the count than behind, yet somehow there's this notion that guys will do better if the pitcher is attacking the strike zone. If the hitter isn't disciplined enough to take pitches off the plate I can see how "protection" would help, but generally I'm not a big believer in its effects. But that doesn't mean there aren't cases where it does help.

HickCaesar
06-21-2012, 03:43 PM
In some cases I'd argue that protection in a lineup actually makes the guy in front worse. For example, nobody is pitching to David Wright this year and he's killing the ball because he's always ahead in the count. I don't think it's a big secret that guys do better ahead in the count than behind, yet somehow there's this notion that guys will do better if the pitcher is attacking the strike zone. If the hitter isn't disciplined enough to take pitches off the plate I can see how "protection" would help, but generally I'm not a big believer in its effects. But that doesn't mean there aren't cases where it does help.

That actually makes sense to me, if you're a great hitter and have nobody behind you, then you're going to take a lot of walks and be ahead in a lot of counts, which lets you take some really aggressive swings at balls in hitter's counts.

Just all the extra walks alone will make your stats look better.

Jeffy25
06-21-2012, 03:52 PM
That actually makes sense to me, if you're a great hitter and have nobody behind you, then you're going to take a lot of walks and be ahead in a lot of counts, which lets you take some really aggressive swings at balls in hitter's counts.

Just all the extra walks alone will make your stats look better.

You would think.

But Pujols wasn't pitched any differently when he had 1.000 OPS+ hitters Edmonds and Rolen hitting behind him then when he had .706 OPS outcome out of the cleanup spot by Juan Encarnacion and company.

Same walk rate, some strike out rate, same numbers. Didn't matter, and it hasn't mattered to other hitters in the same situations.

Nymfan87
06-21-2012, 03:57 PM
You would think.

But Pujols wasn't pitched any differently when he had 1.000 OPS+ hitters Edmonds and Rolen hitting behind him then when he had .706 OPS outcome out of the cleanup spot by Juan Encarnacion and company.

Same walk rate, some strike out rate, same numbers. Didn't matter, and it hasn't mattered to other hitters in the same situations.

Outliers man. Outliers. You seem to deny their existence in every thread ever created.

BrianWestKins
06-21-2012, 04:22 PM
How is this any different than the AJ Burnett thread

Jeffy25
06-21-2012, 04:34 PM
How is this any different than the AJ Burnett thread

What? How is it similar?


Outliers man. Outliers. You seem to deny their existence in every thread ever created.

Outliers, I am having trouble finding any outlier that says it does exist.

keymax
06-21-2012, 04:49 PM
Outliers, I am having trouble finding any outlier that says it does exist.

If you look at OPS or wOBA you won't notice a difference, because hitters without lineup protection get walked a lot. Yet, these metrics can't reflect how a lot of those walks are "empty" and don't help the team a lot.

RBIs get ridiculed a lot on this site, but it would be interesting if there is a correlation with RISP splits and lineup protection.

Jeffy25
06-21-2012, 04:50 PM
If you look at OPS or wOBA you won't notice a difference, because hitters without lineup protection get walked a lot. Yet, these metrics can't reflect how a lot of those walks are "empty" and don't help the team a lot.

RBIs get ridiculed a lot on this site, but it would be interesting if there is a correlation with RISP splits and lineup protection.

Yeah, I would be interested to see if they do.

Twitchy
06-21-2012, 05:27 PM
2011 Jose Bautista is all the proof I'll ever need that protection exists.

441 wOBA for the season, 20.2% walk rate overall.

Bases empty BB% = 15.9%
Men on base BB% = 24.9%
RISP BB% = 35.4%

#4 hitter behind Bautista that year? 702 OPS

The walk rates in 2010/2012 never were higher than 20%.

I didn't believe in protection beforehand, but I certainly did after I watched everybody pitch around Bautista And the BB% pretty much sums it up, that pitchers went around him because he had 0 protection.

Jeffy25
06-21-2012, 05:49 PM
2011 Jose Bautista is all the proof I'll ever need that protection exists.

441 wOBA for the season, 20.2% walk rate overall.

Bases empty BB% = 15.9%
Men on base BB% = 24.9%
RISP BB% = 35.4%

#4 hitter behind Bautista that year? 702 OPS

The walk rates in 2010/2012 never were higher than 20%.

I didn't believe in protection beforehand, but I certainly did after I watched everybody pitch around Bautista And the BB% pretty much sums it up, that pitchers went around him because he had 0 protection.

That is a strong example.

I guess for me, we need to see more examples from both sides (pro and anti-protection) that it does or doesn't exist.

2006 and 2007 Pujols is an example of it not working.
2010 and 2011 Bautista is an an example of it working.

Twitchy
06-21-2012, 06:07 PM
That is a strong example.

I guess for me, we need to see more examples from both sides (pro and anti-protection) that it does or doesn't exist.

2006 and 2007 Pujols is an example of it not working.
2010 and 2011 Bautista is an an example of it working.

It's also worth pointing out that Vernon Wells typically hit behind Bautista in 2010 and had an 847 OPS (125 OPS+) while Encarnacion hits behind him now and is 900+. So I definitely think there's some merit to it.

mtf
06-21-2012, 09:53 PM
I guess the argument from the stats head, is that there is no statistical evidence of it existing. There might be the occasional situation where a guy is pitched around a little like Keymax noted. But in general, no one is going to improve as a hitter because of who is hitting ahead of...or behind them.

I don't really agree with you on this one. I take my cues on forming opinions from watching local games, instead of basing those opinions on tables of data. I'm not criticizing you for loving stats, and I do think they're helpful many times, but I think sometimes they can lead you to the wrong conclusions i you let them.

Looking at Toronto, since rearranging their lineup to put Brett Lawrie leading off and Colby Rasmus number two, both players have been playing exceptional. Bautista has also improved as well.

Last year, Eric Thames benefited from having Bautista behind him as well, and when he was moved out of that position in the lineup his numbers declined significantly as well.

Of course, by looking at the numbers for all teams throughout the course of history, your sample size will be much larger so perhaps you are right. I just have witnessed some scenario's that may lead to a case for the whole protection argument.

5+7=DYNASTY!!!
06-22-2012, 02:14 AM
From Little League on up it absolutely exists. And it expands beyond simply "protection" IMO. Guys hitting after a guy like Jose Reyes gets on base are going to see more fastballs (typically) in a tight game to avoid the tying/go ahead/ect. run from reaching scoring position.

Driven
06-22-2012, 01:28 PM
I have no idea what the stats say.

From a logic standpoint, if you have a great hitter behind you, it means the pitcher is going to give you more strikes. Not necessarily more hittable pitches, but you would think that they're going to make sure not to walk you. So if that's the case, I'm not sure how protection helps. Players hit .300. Walks are freebies. I'll take the opportunity for the freebie over the opportunity to get out.

KingPosey
06-22-2012, 01:40 PM
It absolutely exists to an extent. But its mostly only going to ensure that you see more pitches over the plate and get a chance to hit the ball.

It also works in reverse. If the bases were full in front of, or you had to fear the guy(s) behind, BB wouldnt have lost 5 years of ABs to walks.

Jeffy25
06-22-2012, 02:33 PM
It's also worth pointing out that Vernon Wells typically hit behind Bautista in 2010 and had an 847 OPS (125 OPS+) while Encarnacion hits behind him now and is 900+. So I definitely think there's some merit to it.

In 2010, with Bautista hitting 3rd (which he only did 93 times, Adam Lind did it 66 times), the Jays had an OPS below .800.

In 2011, the clean up spot had an OPS of .702 behind Bautista, and the two spot had an OPS of .747.

This year, E5 has only hit clean up 45 times (again Adam Lind had a surprising 21 starts in the cleanup spot). The combined cleanup hitters have hit .787 OPS. In fact, in the clean up spot, E5 has an .897 OPS, but he is carrying a .925 overall. He has hit best in the 5th spot this season (19 starts, .956 OPS)

I don't think that argument has much fluidity. I'm sure Bautista gets pitched around, but that's just going to improve him as a hitter.


The same goes with Bonds, which everyone is talking about his walks. That doesn't prove protection. It's a major part of why Bonds carried a .600 OBP. It did not make anyone around him better, which is what the argument usually is for protection.

nirvana235
06-22-2012, 02:34 PM
It's always good to have protection.

RTL
06-22-2012, 02:37 PM
The same goes with Bonds, which everyone is talking about his walks. That doesn't prove protection. It's a major part of why Bonds carried a .600 OBP. It did not make anyone around him better though, which is what the argument usually is for protection.

That's simply not true. Lots of Giants credited Bonds for making them better, mainly Kent and Aurilia. I don't see how Bonds setting record after record in walks doesn't prove protection. Protection definitely exists. You hear pitchers, players and coaches all talk about it and you see it in situations in almost every game.

Jeffy25
06-22-2012, 02:39 PM
I have no idea what the stats say.

From a logic standpoint, if you have a great hitter behind you, it means the pitcher is going to give you more strikes. Not necessarily more hittable pitches, but you would think that they're going to make sure not to walk you. So if that's the case, I'm not sure how protection helps. Players hit .300. Walks are freebies. I'll take the opportunity for the freebie over the opportunity to get out.

That's assuming there is ever a time that a pitcher doesn't care if he walks a guy, which simply is not true.

As a pitcher, you never want to walk a guy. It's pretty much the cardinal sin of pitching.

nirvana235
06-22-2012, 02:41 PM
That's simply not true. Lots of Giants credited Bonds for making them better, mainly Kent and Aurilia. I don't see how Bonds setting record after record in walks doesn't prove protection. Protection definitely exists. You hear pitchers, players and coaches all talk about it and you see it in situations in almost every game.

Managers/players also talk about how it's good to bunt, and that you need a certain "mentality" to be a closer.

RTL
06-22-2012, 02:44 PM
Managers/players also talk about how it's good to bunt, and that you need a certain "mentality" to be a closer.

It is good to bunt in certain situations and closers themselves will even say the 9th is a whole different animal. I agree with them. I tend to agree with people who actually have played the game at a high level over people crunching data that doesn't represent everything that happens in a ballgame.

nirvana235
06-22-2012, 02:46 PM
It is good to bunt in certain situations and closers themselves will even say the 9th is a whole different animal. I agree with them

Protection is real... but very minimal, research has proven that.

RTL
06-22-2012, 02:47 PM
Protection is real... but very minimal, research has proven that.

Congrats, you admitted protection exists! Same as I have said.:clap:

nirvana235
06-22-2012, 02:52 PM
Congrats, you admitted protection exists! Same as I have said.:clap:

Well no, you said Bonds made his teammates better which isn't true. The players batting behind him had more RBI opportunities though.

And when I say minimal... I mean like microscopic, and that might not even be the case.

In terms of things like the 9th inning closer needing a different mentality... that is complete BS.

Jeffy25
06-22-2012, 02:52 PM
That's simply not true. Lots of Giants credited Bonds for making them better, mainly Kent and Aurilia. I don't see how Bonds setting record after record in walks doesn't prove protection. Protection definitely exists. You hear pitchers, players and coaches all talk about it and you see it in situations in almost every game.

That's the thing though, nothing about Kent or Aurilla were improved by hitting next to Bonds. They were not better hitters because of Bonds, ever.

Aurilla had his career best season at the age of 29 (no surprise there) and it was in 2001, one of Bonds best years. He also carried a career high babip (.326), and his walk and strike out rates were no better than in any other year.

He hit second in 2001, his career best year, where he carried a .956 OPS in that spot.

But in 2002 he also hit second, and Bonds was the same Bonds he was in 01. And Aurilla carried a .720 OPS that year. Bonds still hit 3rd more than he was hitting clean up in 02.

In 03 Bonds starting hitting cleanup every day, which is where he was supposed to be this entire time, just like Jose Bautista is supposed to be hitting cleanup. Aurilla started to hit 3rd in 2003, and he carried a .674 OPS in front of Bonds.

Jeff Kent had his career year in 2000 (age of 32) last year for a prime peak age. He hit cleanup all year, and carried a 1.018 OPS in that spot. He also again, like Aurilla, had by far his best babip ever in his career (.357 to a career .311 babip hitter). His walk rate went way up, but he was hitting after Bonds, not in front of him. I don't think there is any way that you can attribute a rise in his walk rate to Bonds.

Kent also didn't have a dramatic improvement because he was hitting after Bonds compared to the rest of his career.

Kent also played with Bonds in Bonds' best years, 01 and 02. Why is it that Kent declined as a hitter, continuing to hit after Bonds those next two years?

And why was he the same hitter when he got to Houston and LA even though he was aging? Bonds wasn't in those lineups.


Playing everyday with the best hitter in baseball is going to make you better. Yadi Molina credits everything he has done as a hitter to Pujols. But that's with the mental side of hitting, his approach, and his mechanics. He isn't making him a better hitter by hitting next to him in the lineup. Walk rates were not improved nor were strike out rates hitting before Bonds. I don't see anything that happened with Kent or Aurilla as proof that protection exists. Bonds got pitched around, it didn't matter who was hitting before or after him. You could have put Pujols behind Bonds and was still going to get pitched around. And it would not have made Pujols a better hitter to hit behind him.

nirvana235
06-22-2012, 02:55 PM
That's the thing though, nothing about Kent or Aurilla were improved by hitting next to Bonds. They were not better hitters because of Bonds, ever.

Aurilla had his career best season at the age of 29 (no surprise there) and it was in 2001, one of Bonds best years. He also carried a career high babip (.326), and his walk and strike out rates were no better than in any other year.

He hit second in 2001, his career best year, where he carried a .956 OPS in that spot.

But in 2002 he also hit second, and Bonds was the same Bonds he was in 01. And Aurilla carried a .720 OPS that year. Bonds still hit 3rd more than he was hitting clean up in 02.

In 03 Bonds starting hitting cleanup every day, which is where he was supposed to be this entire time, just like Jose Bautista is supposed to be hitting cleanup. Aurilla started to hit 3rd in 2003, and he carried a .674 OPS in front of Bonds.

Jeff Kent had his career year in 2000 (age of 32) last year for a prime peak age. He hit cleanup all year, and carried a 1.018 OPS in that spot. He also again, like Aurilla, had by far his best babip ever in his career (.357 to a career .311 babip hitter). His walk rate went way up, but he was hitting after Bonds, not in front of him. I don't think there is any way that you can attribute a rise in his walk rate to Bonds.

Kent also didn't have a dramatic improvement because he was hitting after Bonds compared to the rest of his career.

Kent also played with Bonds in Bonds' best years, 01 and 02. Why is it that Kent declined as a hitter, continuing to hit after Bonds those next two years?

And why was he the same hitter when he got to Houston and LA even though he was aging? Bonds wasn't in those lineups.


Playing everyday with the best hitter in baseball is going to make you better. Yadi Molina credits everything he has done as a hitter to Pujols. But that's with the mental side of hitting, his approach, and his mechanics. He isn't making him a better hitter by hitting next to him in the lineup. Walk rates were not improved nor were strike out rates hitting before Bonds. I don't see anything that happened with Kent or Aurilla as proof that protection exists. Bonds got pitched around, it didn't matter who was hitting before or after him. You could have put Pujols behind Bonds and was still going to get pitched around. And it would not have made Pujols a better hitter to hit behind him.

RBI bro,

the true measure of skill.

long ball
06-22-2012, 02:57 PM
I think it falls somewhere in between it doesn't exist and it's important.

RTL
06-22-2012, 02:59 PM
Bonds got pitched around, it didn't matter who was hitting before or after him. You could have put Pujols behind Bonds and was still going to get pitched around. And it would not have made Pujols a better hitter to hit behind him.

That's where we disagree. Bonds would have been pitched around but at a lesser rate. He still would have set walk records but he would have had more chances to hit which for him would have been huge considering he was on another planet hitting-wise.

RTL
06-22-2012, 03:01 PM
I think it falls somewhere in between it doesn't exist and it's important.

Good point. It definitely exists but to what degree is still up in the air. I think in certain situations it is very important but overall to a lesser degree.

nirvana235
06-22-2012, 03:07 PM
That's where we disagree. Bonds would have been pitched around but at a lesser rate. He still would have set walk records but he would have had more chances to hit which for him would have been huge considering he was on another planet hitting-wise.

Bonds, being pitched around and walking over 200 times benefited SF's offense not hurt it.

keymax
06-22-2012, 03:07 PM
That's assuming there is ever a time that a pitcher doesn't care if he walks a guy, which simply is not true.

As a pitcher, you never want to walk a guy. It's pretty much the cardinal sin of pitching.

That's not true. The cardinal sin of pitching is being stupid. And being stupid would be pitching to Matt Kemp when Juan Rivera or Aaron Miles hit behind him last year.

Jeffy25
06-22-2012, 03:08 PM
That's where we disagree. Bonds would have been pitched around but at a lesser rate. He still would have set walk records but he would have had more chances to hit which for him would have been huge considering he was on another planet hitting-wise.

That's the thing, you can not prove that, and you don't know that. It's an assumption that it would have mattered.

Barry Bonds was walked the same when he had 1.018 OPS Jeff Kent hitting behind (was walked 26% of the time in 01) him as he did when he had .565 OPS Benito Santiago hitting behind him (was walked 26% of the time in 03)

They were going to pitch around Bonds. Regardless if he had a former MVP behind him, or if he had a weak hitting catcher of second basemen behind him.

GMEN4EVER
06-22-2012, 03:09 PM
Lineup protection only pops up in specific scenarios, considering the sheer number of at bats in a season it's not enough to over rule regular statistical variance you see from one season to the next. It's only going to account for when first base is open and a runner is in scoring position. But even there, that's only going afford a player an opportunity to hit versus a walk being given to them.

I'd be more curious to see a slightly different analysis, that being how much affect is there from a great base stealer being in front of a great hitter. In that scenario, i'd expect to see an increase in the amount of fastball the hitter gets to work with. So if you say, put a great fastball hitter behind someone like Bourn in Atlanta theoretically you could see that player post better numbers than expected. But once again, there's too much statistical variance from one year to the next for it to be obvious all the time.

RTL
06-22-2012, 03:11 PM
Bonds, being pitched around and walking over 200 times benefited SF's offense not hurt it.

That's debatable.

keymax
06-22-2012, 03:11 PM
Bonds, being pitched around and walking over 200 times benefited SF's offense not hurt it.

That's not true a lot of those walks are empty when the hitter behind you can't hit his way out of a paper bag.
Would you rather have Bonds in RBI situations with a chance to drive someone in or your backup catcher?

RTL
06-22-2012, 03:13 PM
That's the thing, you can not prove that, and you don't know that. It's an assumption that it would have mattered.

Barry Bonds was walked the same when he had 1.018 OPS Jeff Kent hitting behind (was walked 26% of the time in 01) him as he did when he had .565 OPS Benito Santiago hitting behind him (was walked 26% of the time in 03)

They were going to pitch around Bonds. Regardless if he had a former MVP behind him, or if he had a weak hitting catcher of second basemen behind him.
Of course I can't prove it (nor can you disprove it) but common sense leads you to that assumption. If you had Pujols hitting behind Bonds, common sense tells you that Bonds would have had more opportunities to hit.

nirvana235
06-22-2012, 03:13 PM
That's debatable.

Bonds had OBPs of over .500, and .609 one year because he got pitched around and intentionally walked.

I don't see how there's an argument.

Jeffy25
06-22-2012, 03:14 PM
That's not true. The cardinal sin of pitching is being stupid. And being stupid would be pitching to Matt Kemp when Juan Rivera or Aaron Miles hit behind him last year.

You walking Matt Kemp puts an automatic base running on. He is 100% on base. If you face him, you have a 60% chance of getting him out, an 8% chance that he walks any way, a 32% chance he gets a base hit. Of those 32% chances of it being a hit, only 5% chance of it being a home run, and a 4% chance it's going to be a double or a triple, and a 23% chance that it's just going to be a single. Which is the same thing as if he walked.

So you would rather put that 100% base runner on for free rather than risking the 9% chance he does more damage and the 91% chance that he does the same damage or less?

It's stupid not to pitch to Matt Kemp, even with Juan Rivera or Aaron Miles hitting behind him. They have decent (absolutely smaller than Kemp) chances of helping that free base runner scoring. It's easier for Kemp to score from first where he is automatically on base, then to score from the plate where he only has a 5% chance of doing it himself, and has a 60% chance of making an out himself.

(these probabilities are based off Kemp's 2011 10 WAR season)

nirvana235
06-22-2012, 03:15 PM
That's not true a lot of those walks are empty when the hitter behind you can't hit his way out of a paper bag.
Would you rather have Bonds in RBI situations with a chance to drive someone in or your backup catcher?

Guys like Jeff Kent aren't exactly hitters that can't hit his way out a paper bag.

RTL
06-22-2012, 03:16 PM
Bonds had OBPs of over .500, and .609 one year because he got pitched around and intentionally walked.

I don't see how there's an argument.

You really don't see how taking the bat out of Bonds' hands in key situations hurt the Giants chances of scoring runs?

nirvana235
06-22-2012, 03:17 PM
You really don't see how taking the bat out of Bonds' hands in key situations hurt the Giants chances of scoring runs?

Well Bond's never hit 1.000 did he?

RTL
06-22-2012, 03:18 PM
Well Bond's never hit 1.000 did he?

No, he just hit HR's at a ridiculous rate and won 2 batting titles in his scary years. Ridiculous response!

Jeffy25
06-22-2012, 03:20 PM
That's debatable.

Not really. Bonds being walked was significantly better for the Giants than he making an out.

Fans booed it, but it was great for the team. I applauded every time Pujols got IBB on the Cards. It's a free base runner, and he didn't have to make an out. That's the goal of every hitter, to not make an out and get on base.

keymax
06-22-2012, 03:21 PM
You walking Matt Kemp puts an automatic base running on. He is 100% on base. If you face him, you have a 60% chance of getting him out, an 8% chance that he walks any way, a 32% chance he gets a base hit. Of those 32% chances of it being a hit, only 5% chance of it being a home run, and a 4% chance it's going to be a double or a triple, and a 23% chance that it's just going to be a single. Which is the same thing as if he walked.

So you would rather put that 100% base runner on for free rather than risking the 9% chance he does more damage and the 91% chance that he does the same damage or less?

It's stupid not to pitch to Matt Kemp, even with Juan Rivera or Aaron Miles hitting behind him. They have decent (absolutely smaller than Kemp) chances of helping that free base runner scoring. It's easier for Kemp to score from first where he is automatically on base, then to score from the plate where he only has a 5% chance of doing it himself, and has a 60% chance of making an out himself.

(these probabilities are based off Kemp's 2011 10 WAR season)


Well obvioulsy you don't put him on without anyone on base or with a decent sized lead. But when you're in a close ballgame and that free baserunner even if he scores most likely doesn't matter that much, wouldn't you rather take your chances with Juan Rivera?

nirvana235
06-22-2012, 03:21 PM
No, he just hit HR's at a ridiculous rate and won 2 batting titles in his scary years. Ridiculous response!

Well do you want a 30% he gets a hit, and 10% chance he homers, or the 80% chance he gets on base when being pitched around or intentionally walked.

Jeffy25
06-22-2012, 03:22 PM
That's not true a lot of those walks are empty when the hitter behind you can't hit his way out of a paper bag.
Would you rather have Bonds in RBI situations with a chance to drive someone in or your backup catcher?

When Bonds was walked, many of the times it was with no one on base. He has a higher probability of scoring from first than he does from the plate, even when he hit all those bombs. He doesn't carry a batting average over .500 you know. You are always better off facing the batter, always (speaking of bases empty situations or anytime first base isn't open with men on).

Jeffy25
06-22-2012, 03:23 PM
Of course I can't prove it (nor can you disprove it) but common sense leads you to that assumption. If you had Pujols hitting behind Bonds, common sense tells you that Bonds would have had more opportunities to hit.

Well he didn't when he had a former MVP hitting behind him, or when he had Alfonzo and Santiago behind him.

Same walk rates.

KingPosey
06-22-2012, 03:23 PM
Protection can exist when a guy bats in front of you as well.

Jeffy25
06-22-2012, 03:24 PM
No, he just hit HR's at a ridiculous rate and won 2 batting titles in his scary years. Ridiculous response!

That was a pretty logical response he gave you.

Bonds had a higher probability of making an out if he was pitched to, as opposed to just being automatically walked.

I don't see how you can argue that. He always had a better chance of making an out, than being a free base runner to pile on big innings.

Jeffy25
06-22-2012, 03:26 PM
Protection can exist when a guy bats in front of you as well.

Already posted about



That's the thing though, nothing about Kent or Aurilla were improved by hitting next to Bonds. They were not better hitters because of Bonds, ever.

Aurilla had his career best season at the age of 29 (no surprise there) and it was in 2001, one of Bonds best years. He also carried a career high babip (.326), and his walk and strike out rates were no better than in any other year.

He hit second in 2001, his career best year, where he carried a .956 OPS in that spot.

But in 2002 he also hit second, and Bonds was the same Bonds he was in 01. And Aurilla carried a .720 OPS that year. Bonds still hit 3rd more than he was hitting clean up in 02.

In 03 Bonds starting hitting cleanup every day, which is where he was supposed to be this entire time, just like Jose Bautista is supposed to be hitting cleanup. Aurilla started to hit 3rd in 2003, and he carried a .674 OPS in front of Bonds.




Just like how the guys who hit in front of Jose Bautista in 2011 carried a .702 OPS too.

RTL
06-22-2012, 03:27 PM
Not really. Bonds being walked was significantly better for the Giants than he making an out.

Fans booed it, but it was great for the team. I applauded every time Pujols got IBB on the Cards. It's a free base runner, and he didn't have to make an out. That's the goal of every hitter, to not make an out and get on base.

Yes really! Taking the bat out of the best hitter on the planet is not always good for the offense especially when that offense is weak behind the hitter.

RTL
06-22-2012, 03:28 PM
Well he didn't when he had a former MVP hitting behind him, or when he had Alfonzo and Santiago behind him.

Same walk rates.
They weren't on Pujols' level. Stay with me!

Driven
06-22-2012, 03:29 PM
Yes really! Taking the bat out of the best hitter on the planet is not always good for the offense especially when that offense is weak behind the hitter.
Of course it's not ALWAYS good, but is good far more than it is bad.

Jeffy25
06-22-2012, 03:29 PM
Well obvioulsy you don't put him on without anyone on base or with a decent sized lead. But when you're in a close ballgame and that free baserunner even if he scores most likely doesn't matter that much, wouldn't you rather take your chances with Juan Rivera?

That wasn't the comment you made.

There are exact situations where you walk a Matt Kemp, but majority of the time....you pitch to him.

http://www.tangotiger.net/walkbondschart.html

And this is for Bonds, not for Kemp, who doesn't hit at the same rate or power as Bonds.

Situations have an answer, but that isn't what your stated earlier. You just said it was stupid to face Kemp when Aaron Miles or Juan Rivera are on deck.

Driven
06-22-2012, 03:31 PM
That's assuming there is ever a time that a pitcher doesn't care if he walks a guy, which simply is not true.

As a pitcher, you never want to walk a guy. It's pretty much the cardinal sin of pitching.
Obviously you don't WANT to walk a guy, but if you're pitching around a batter, that's pretty much what you're doing. And clearly intentional walks are, well, intentional.

And there are guys who aren't afraid to walk batters.

Staying with the Bonds thing, he didn't have protection and his walk rates skyrocketed, as did his intentional walks. Lack of protection was a good thing, as you've said.

RTL
06-22-2012, 03:32 PM
Bonds had a higher probability of making an out if he was pitched to, as opposed to just being automatically walked.

I don't see how you can argue that. He always had a better chance of making an out, than being a free base runner to pile on big innings.

No one is arguing that a walk is better than an out. The argument is that being walked in key situations wasn't good for the offense. The big innings happened more and more when Bonds was hitting, not walking. You guys obviously didn't watch too many Giants games in the early 2000's. The averages behind Bonds' walks were saddening and were a Giants fans worst nightmare.

Jeffy25
06-22-2012, 03:34 PM
Yes really! Taking the bat out of the best hitter on the planet is not always good for the offense especially when that offense is weak behind the hitter.

In order for that to be true, Bonds would have to carry a 1.000 slugging with men on base or men in scoring position.

Even in his best years, he never topped .800. He was more valuable to the Giants getting intentionally walked than potentially making an out.

Over the course of the years, the Giants scored more runs because he was walked. He never carried rate stats that said he should be hitting with men on base as opposed to getting on base for free.

In fact, nobody in the history of baseball ever has. Babe Ruth and Ted Williams either.

Jeffy25
06-22-2012, 03:36 PM
They weren't on Pujols' level. Stay with me!

Jeff Kent 2000

.334/.424/.596 - .428 wOBA, 156 wRC+

Albert Pujols

.325/.416/.609 - .426 wOBA, 164 wRC+


Bonds did have Pujols batting behind him.

RTL
06-22-2012, 03:39 PM
Jeff Kent 2000

.334/.424/.596 - .428 wOBA, 156 wRC+

Albert Pujols

.325/.416/.609 - .426 wOBA, 164 wRC+


Bonds did have Pujols batting behind him.

Once, in 2000 when Bonds wasn't at his best and walked only 117 times. Walk rate was definitely down.

Jeffy25
06-22-2012, 03:40 PM
Obviously you don't WANT to walk a guy, but if you're pitching around a batter, that's pretty much what you're doing. And clearly intentional walks are, well, intentional.

And there are guys who aren't afraid to walk batters.
Obviously it happens. But those pitchers should fear walking guys. It's the worst thing you can do as a pitcher. Every pitcher should avoid walks at all costs unless it's a very specific situation.

Overall I am agreeing with you, I am just saying in the industry, walks are a horrible thing to give up.


Staying with the Bonds thing, he didn't have protection and his walk rates skyrocketed, as did his intentional walks. Lack of protection was a good thing, as you've said.




Barry Bonds was walked the same when he had 1.018 OPS Jeff Kent hitting behind (was walked 26% of the time in 01) him as he did when he had .565 OPS Benito Santiago hitting behind him (was walked 26% of the time in 03)

They were going to pitch around Bonds. Regardless if he had a former MVP behind him, or if he had a weak hitting catcher of second basemen behind him.

It didn't matter at least on the Bonds level who was hitting behind him.

Driven
06-22-2012, 03:41 PM
In 664 plate appearances in 2001, Bonds scored 129 runs with a walk rate of 26%.

In 617 plate appearances in 2004, Bonds scored 129 runs with a walk rate of 36%.

The lineup around Bonds was better in 2001.

EDIT: This isn't in response to Jeff, but to the other guy

Jeffy25
06-22-2012, 03:42 PM
Once, in 2000 when Bonds wasn't at his best and walked only 117 times.

In 2001, do you think Kent was not feared like Pujols has been pretty well all of his career?

Certainly at the beginning of 2001, and he still carried an over .900 OPS through 2001 and 2002. He was, at the very worst hitting at Robbie Cano, Adrian Beltre levels of the past few years.

RTL
06-22-2012, 03:46 PM
In 2001, do you think Kent was not feared like Pujols has been pretty well all of his career?

Not a chance

Jeffy25
06-22-2012, 03:46 PM
No one is arguing that a walk is better than an out. The argument is that being walked in key situations wasn't good for the offense. The big innings happened more and more when Bonds was hitting, not walking. You guys obviously didn't watch too many Giants games in the early 2000's. The averages behind Bonds' walks were saddening and were a Giants fans worst nightmare.

Mathematically, it was a lot better that he walked, and didn't make an out.

Until he could carry a slugging percentage over 1.000, it is better for the Giants to have him freely walked than to have him take the higher probability of making an out.

Regardless if people watched or not. WPA, also shows that it significantly raised the Giants chances of winning the game when he was IBB when men on base and it significantly raised their chances of scoring in an inning, and scoring multiple runs.

No one is against Bonds here or anything. But a walk is always great to get, even when it's to your best hitter.

The fans booed when it happened, but they shouldn't have been. It was best for the team.

Jeffy25
06-22-2012, 03:48 PM
Not a chance

He should have been. He was hitting just like him, and was the MVP of the last season.


It would be like having Ryan Braun behind Bonds today.

And through all of this, Bonds was still walked at the same rate in 01 as he was in 03, where he had the former MVP hitting behind him, and when he had B. Santiago and E. Alfonzo behind him.

RTL
06-22-2012, 03:50 PM
No one is against Bonds here or anything. But a walk is always great to get, even when it's to your best hitter.

The fans booed when it happened, but they shouldn't have been. It was best for the team.

With RISP, I'd rather see the best hitter on the planet hit rather than take a walk. Catchers would intentionally let balls go past them so the runner on first would take the extra base so they could walk Bonds and not have to face him. That doesn't not help the offense. Overall, it's best for the team but not in all situations as you are blindly saying.

I never once thought anyone was against Bonds. How could one be?:)

Jeffy25
06-22-2012, 03:56 PM
With RISP, I'd rather see the best hitter on the planet hit rather than take a walk. Catchers would let balls go past them so the runner on first would take the extra base so they could walk Bonds and not have to face him. That doesn't not help the offense. Overall, it's best for the team but not in all situations as you are blindly saying.

I am not just blindly saying it.

There are situations as a pitcher where you should walk Bonds for obvious reasons, so you can potentially get out of the inning unscathed.

But Bonds always had a better chance of hurting the Giants than helping them by hitting. He walking helped the team over the course of 01-04 (his insane years) to score a lot more runs as a team. It benefitted the Giants greatly.

As the opposing team, if you walk Bonds it's only because the situation says you should. http://www.tangotiger.net/walkbondschart.html But it's not exactly what you want to do. You are only doing it because first base is open and because you are hoping that the next guy can be an easier out. Bonds always had a far greater chance of making an out than doing serious damage. In his very best power season, he never carried a higher than 17% chance of doing more damage than a walk or a single. The free walk should always be accepted with open arms.

RTL
06-22-2012, 04:07 PM
The free walk should always be accepted with open arms.

We just won't agree on this one:)

Jeffy25
06-22-2012, 05:56 PM
The best hitter of this generation hurts his team by going up to the plate looking to swing the bat? I get what you're trying to say, but this just doesn't look right.

Until you can hit over .500 you always have a better chance of making an out than getting a hit.

That's part of why he was so valuable, all of his walks.

His OBP topped .500, which is ridiculous first. But if you remove his walks from him he is more likely to make an out than get a hit. Every baseball player is. You need a guy with a slugging percentage over 1.000 for him to bat to be more valuable than to have him walked.

Jeffy25
06-22-2012, 06:17 PM
I understand all that (and did before this explanation as well). Still doesn't look right to read someone state that Bonds was hurting the Giants by hitting.

How about we change that sentence to end with swinging?

It's the nature of the game, it's one vs nine when you are hitting, and there is only so much you can do as a hitter to be successful. By swinging, nobody is really going to be over 40% successful.

WadeKobe
06-24-2012, 08:37 PM
The best hitter of this generation hurts his team by going up to the plate looking to swing the bat? I get what you're trying to say, but this just doesn't look right.

Sure it does. This is baseball! :confused: Based on this conversation, it is almost as if, just because we're talking about Barry Bonds, we suddenly are no longer talking about baseball.

In baseball, the defense wins the large majority of the time. In baseball, a hitter with a 57% chance of getting out is an absolute monster.... yet every time he steps to the plate, the chances are higher that the result will hurt the team more than it will help the team.

Pitching around a batter is the only scenario in which there is a 100% chance that the hitter reaches base. Again, there are scenarios where this makes sense, but they are few and far between, even with a guy like Bonds at the plate.

Put another way...

Ted Williams retired with a 51.8% chance of making an out every time he stepped to the plate. That's the best ever... and yet the odds are still in the pitcher's favor if he throws to him.

Rotation
06-25-2012, 04:22 AM
Protection is a relative term young fellas.

You can take fifty different sides of the story and find fifty different player statistics to back them up.

Protection is helpful:

A pitcher attacks the strike zone more, giving you more hit-able pitches. You have more opportunities to make solid contact for an extra base hit.

Protection is detrimental:

A pitcher attacks the strike zone more, putting you behind the count more. Giving the pitcher more options to throw his strikeout pitches.

No protection is helpful:

Pitchers are more willing to nibble, giving you count leverage. You can wait on a pitch or sit on a mistake. Worst case scenario, you walk; taking a walk isn't that bad...

No protection is detrimental:

Pitchers are more willing to nibble, giving you less pitches to see. If you're really good, you're never going to see any pitches, only mistakes. Worst case, you walk...which isn't all that bad, unless your team is really really bad. In which case, it wouldn't matter all that much if you got an extra base hit because they can't drive you in anyway.

Protection is a loose term that should and could be applied differently in various scenarios.

You can't really do much to prove or disprove if protection helps or doesn't help; logic says it can go either way.

Rotation
06-25-2012, 04:41 AM
Furthermore, this protection can help or hurt depending on the situation.

Runners on 1st and 2nd with 2 outs.

Barry Bonds is up, and you walk him. The bat was taken out of his hands because the only possible way a run scores is with a hit. You need 1 out, you're more likely to get the guy behind Bonds out than Bonds, so you walk him. Here, lack of protection hurts.

No runners on, no outs.

Barry Bonds is up, you walk him.

The only possible outcomes that could be better than a walk here is a double, a triple, and a home run. Now Barry doesn't have wheels on him post 2000, so in reality, only a double or a homer would have been better. Here, taking the guaranteed walk is better. Simple math proves this. Here lack of protection helps.

It's all relative.

Only thing you can do is field the best line-up possible.

es0terik
06-26-2012, 11:51 AM
I usually agree with you on most things Jeffy but I don't here. You can't expect me to believe that Barry Bonds would have been intentionally walked 120 times in a season if Babe Ruth or prime Albert Pujols were hitting behind him. Lineup protection exists. You can't extract EVERYTHING from just numbers. Many of us fans have seen it happen, we've seen decisions made and pitches thrown based on who was on deck. Ask any Blue Jays fan that has been watching Jose Bautista for the past two years. Whether a player is doing better or worse or whether its beneficial or isn't based on protection is debatable but the idea of lineup protection does exist. Pitchers pitch differently, managers manage differently and hitters think differently. As long as the game is still played by humans and as long as the thought and idea of protection exists, protection itself will exist.

PapaPilo00
06-26-2012, 12:00 PM
I usually agree with you on most things Jeffy but I don't here. You can't expect me to believe that Barry Bonds would have been intentionally walked 120 times in a season if Babe Ruth or prime Albert Pujols were hitting behind him. Lineup protection exists. You can't extract EVERYTHING from just numbers. Many of us fans have seen it happen, we've seen decisions made and pitches thrown based on who was on deck. Ask any Blue Jays fan that has been watching Jose Bautista for the past two years. Whether a player is doing better or worse or whether its beneficial or isn't based on protection is debatable but the idea of lineup protection does exist. Pitchers pitch differently, managers manage differently and hitters think differently. As long as the game is still played by humans and as long as the thought and idea of protection exists, protection itself will exist.

:clap:

mtf
06-26-2012, 12:05 PM
I usually agree with you on most things Jeffy but I don't here. You can't expect me to believe that Barry Bonds would have been intentionally walked 120 times in a season if Babe Ruth or prime Albert Pujols were hitting behind him. Lineup protection exists. You can't extract EVERYTHING from just numbers. Many of us fans have seen it happen, we've seen decisions made and pitches thrown based on who was on deck. Ask any Blue Jays fan that has been watching Jose Bautista for the past two years. Whether a player is doing better or worse or whether its beneficial or isn't based on protection is debatable but the idea of lineup protection does exist. Pitchers pitch differently, managers manage differently and hitters think differently. As long as the game is still played by humans and as long as the thought and idea of protection exists, protection itself will exist.

I have to agree. I seem to recall Joe Maddon issuing an intentional walk to Jose Bautista last year with the bases loaded, to give him an RBI Walk. Adam Lind then grounded into an inning ending double play if I remember correctly. I believe the Rays had a 2-3 run lead at the time.

RTL
06-26-2012, 01:16 PM
He should have been. He was hitting just like him, and was the MVP of the last season.


No, Kent shouldn't have been. Pujols had more power, better hitter and struck out less. No contest here.

fresh prince
06-26-2012, 02:12 PM
I guess the argument from the stats head, is that there is no statistical evidence of it existing. There might be the occasional situation where a guy is pitched around a little like Keymax noted. But in general, no one is going to improve as a hitter because of who is hitting ahead of...or behind them.

This is exactly it. There isn't a really good way to measure it. The idea of protection is mostly mental. You cant quantify a pitcher actually looking at the on deck circle and saying to himself oh *** I better not lose this guy.

Jeffy25
06-26-2012, 03:24 PM
No, Kent shouldn't have been. Pujols had more power, better hitter and struck out less. No contest here.

I am not saying Kent is as good as Pujols, or ever was.

But for that one season, he hit like Pujols has for his entire career.

Opposing pitchers should have been looking at Kent like an opposing pitcher would have looked at Pujols in 2002.

RTL
06-26-2012, 04:04 PM
I am not saying Kent is as good as Pujols, or ever was.

But for that one season, he hit like Pujols has for his entire career.

Opposing pitchers should have been looking at Kent like an opposing pitcher would have looked at Pujols in 2002.

No they shouldn't have for all the reasons I stated.

Jeffy25
06-26-2012, 04:09 PM
No they shouldn't have for all the reasons I stated.

Sure did produce the same as each ;)

RTL
06-26-2012, 04:12 PM
Sure did produce the same as each ;)
In a few stats, sure but nothing changes the fact that Pujols had more power, was the better hitter and struck out less. Any pitcher would know Kent was an easier out than Pujols and it's not really a debate. ;) Pretend to be a pitcher for a second.

Jeffy25
06-26-2012, 04:23 PM
In a few stats, sure but nothing changes the fact that Pujols had more power, was the better hitter and struck out less. Any pitcher would know Kent was an easier out than Pujols and it's not really a debate. ;) Pretend to be a pitcher for a second.

Let's make sure we are on the same topic.

I said that at the beginning of 2001, Kent should have been feared the same way Pujols should have been. When he was sitting behind Bonds in the lineup.

In 2000 - Jeff Kent hit .334/.424/.596 - .428 wOBA, 156 wRC+

Albert Pujols' career

.325/.416/.609 - .426 wOBA, 164 wRC+

Pretty close. In 2001, the first year that Bonds started getting walked a ton, he had a hitter behind him that was coming off his MVP season where he hit like Pujols.

Which is all I said earlier. I didn't say Kent was as good as Pujols, I said he hit like him in that one season.

RTL
06-26-2012, 04:27 PM
Let's make sure we are on the same topic.

I said that at the beginning of 2001, Kent should have been feared the same way Pujols should have been. When he was sitting behind Bonds in the lineup.

In 2000 - Jeff Kent hit .334/.424/.596 - .428 wOBA, 156 wRC+

Albert Pujols' career

.325/.416/.609 - .426 wOBA, 164 wRC+

Pretty close. In 2001, the first year that Bonds started getting walked a ton, he had a hitter behind him that was coming off his MVP season where he hit like Pujols.

Which is all I said earlier. I didn't say Kent was as good as Pujols, I said he hit like him in that one season.
Yes, we're on the same topic and have been. You said Kent should have been feared as much as Pujols which I disagree with and have clearly stated why. Everyone would rather pitch to Kent than Pujols.

LakersA's49ers
06-26-2012, 06:08 PM
cabrera is getting challenged a lot more this year. when you have prince behind you, pitchers wanna get you out. not to have cabrera on base with a great hitter in prince following up. Also on Braun, i have no idea why pitchers give this guy so much good pitches to hit

es0terik
06-26-2012, 08:55 PM
True. Just because Kent put up a year of Pujols-esque numbers doesn't mean he was given the same respect (and fear) that Pujols was.

Exactly.

I want to stress this once again, pitchers and players aren't numbers. You can equate a lot of what they do WITH numbers, but they aren't machines. Their mental games aren't going to adapt with every game and every inning and even every season. Just because a guy has an amazing year or an outlier season, it doesn't mean the opposition is going to suddenly respect him and stop challenging him the day he becomes that good. It takes a while for that kind of respect to come. Just because Kent had a select few seasons like Pujols has had his whole career it means nothing for how other pitchers challenged him because he didn't do it long enough. There wasn't that fear or intimidation. Bonds was intimidating, Pujols is intimidating. It's not the fact that they are SO GOOD in one specific season, it's the fact that they have been so good for so long. Their skill is habitual and you can trust that they'll bring it with them to the plate everytime. You can't expect pitchers to fear Bautista and Kemp in their first good seasons the same way they fear Pujols in his 10th good season, even if said seasons are similar in terms of statistics and numbers. If a guy has an outlier year, pitchers are still going to continue to challenge him throughout the season because they don't know how real the new-found success is and they don't know how long it's going to last. In Jeff Kent's case, the pitchers were right in not getting used to fearing him because he eventually regressed. You can't throw out psychology and intangibles in EVERY debate. This isn't a debate that can be proven or unproven with numbers. Lineup protection is almost exclusively dependent on the players' and managers' psychology. As I said, as long as baseball is played by humans, "lineup protection" is going to exist.


Opposing pitchers should have been looking at Kent like an opposing pitcher would have looked at Pujols in 2002.

Right, they should have but they didn't. Not because protection in the lineup doesn't exist but because it was his first or second such season and he still hadn't earned the respect of the pitchers. If Kent had done it as long as Pujols has or was a noticeably better than Pujols was, then you have a debate.

es0terik
06-26-2012, 09:26 PM
2011 Stats:

Michael Morse - 146 G - 387 wOBA - 147 wRC+ - 5 IBB
Troy Tulowitzki - 143 G - 389 wOBA - 138 wRC+ - 12 IBB

At the plate, these two were essentially the exact same player with two different names. Why was one intentionally walked more than twice as much as the other?

The same reason why pitchers intentionally walked Tulowitzki twice as much as Morse is the same reason why they would fear Pujols more than they feared Kent. Big name, intimidating track record.

es0terik
06-26-2012, 09:27 PM
I actually don't understand how someone hasn't mentioned this yet:

If lineup protection doesn't exist, why do intentional walks exist? Why are you purposely giving a guy a base for free if you don't care about who's batting before or after him? What exactly are you saying with an intentional walk? That you'd rather face one player than another. Now if Bonds had a clone hitting behind him, would Bonds 1 still be intentionally walked? Would you IBB both of them back-to-back?

Jeffy25
06-26-2012, 09:40 PM
I actually don't understand how someone hasn't mentioned this yet:

If lineup protection doesn't exist, why do intentional walks exist? Why are you purposely giving a guy a base for free if you don't care about who's batting before or after him? What exactly are you saying with an intentional walk? That you'd rather face one player than another. Now if Bonds had a clone hitting behind him, would Bonds 1 still be intentionally walked? Would you IBB both of them back-to-back?

The ENTIRE argument that people make when talking about lineup protection are things like this:

'he is going to hit better this year because so and so is hitting behind him'

or

'he is going to get more fastballs batting in that spot'

or

'so and so is going to get pitched to because he is either hitting in front of so and so or is hitting after so and so and that guy is on base'

Those are the arguments people make, and those are not true. In fact, there are thousands upon thousands of data points that prove otherwise.

They are, in a laundry list of other sayings that people have always said in baseball that have no truth behind them.

The fact is, when a pitcher is facing a hitter, he is facing that hitter. He isn't facing the guy on deck. You can't get the guy on deck out when you are facing the hitter at the plate. It's an easy lesson that you learn when you are a young pitcher.

It has nothing to do with intentional walks, or the psychology of the players. It's the sayings that people keep saying in baseball that not supported by any level of evidence.

Colby Rasmus isn't hitting better because he is hitting in front of Bautista. He isn't getting more fastballs either.

Miguel Cabrera isn't a better hitter this year because Prince Fielder is hitting behind him, and Ryan Braun isn't a worse hitter because Fielder left (a TON of people said this this off-season on here).

These are the arguments that people make, and they are the incorrect arguments. They are scapegoat, crutch arguments, and usually are only made during short sample sizes (Rasmus for example barely even has 100 PA in the 2 spot this year, and in his career has been horrible there when he had Pujols batting behind him). And it's easy to look up the information to prove it isn't true.

Nobody is saying that guys won't get IBB with the pitcher on deck and first base open, or someone like Bonds won't get pitched around. Someone like Bonds is going to get pitched around wether he has a light hitting Edgardo Alfonzo or Benito Santiago (combined .600 OPS that year) as he does when he has the .900 OPS, former MVP winner, Jeff Kent hitting behind him. These things don't change regardless of the guy hitting ahead of...or behind you. Rich Aurilla didn't have his career year because Bonds was hitting behind him. He did have his career year in that spot with a career high babip in his peak offensive year, but then he had another 800 career PA with Bonds hitting behind him after that and he was worse than his career average (overall in the 1300 PA, he was almost exactly in line with his career slash line when he had Bonds hitting after him and when he didn't).

And that is the argument that started this thread. That is the argument people make when they say 'well he is protected' It doesn't make someone a better or worse pitcher, or give them better pitches to hit. The argument is not IBB, or walking Paul Konerko with two outs and runners on second and third.

Twitchy
06-26-2012, 09:40 PM
I actually don't understand how someone hasn't mentioned this yet:

If lineup protection doesn't exist, why do intentional walks exist? Why are you purposely giving a guy a base for free if you don't care about who's batting before or after him? What exactly are you saying with an intentional walk? That you'd rather face one player than another. Now if Bonds had a clone hitting behind him, would Bonds 1 still be intentionally walked? Would you IBB both of them back-to-back?

It's not just for that reason. You can also do it for pitching matchups (lefty up, RHP pitching, RH batter on deck).

IBB don't prove or disprove protection. Just look at all the unintentional-intentional walks Bautista got last year with nobody behind him.

Or it could be something like a John McDonald type guy is on deck and you'd rather face him.

Jeffy25
06-26-2012, 09:50 PM
It's not just for that reason. You can also do it for pitching matchups (lefty up, RHP pitching, RH batter on deck).

IBB don't prove or disprove protection. Just look at all the unintentional-intentional walks Bautista got last year with nobody behind him.

Or it could be something like a John McDonald type guy is on deck and you'd rather face him.

Right.

That isn't what people are talking about when they say player A is 'protected' or 'he needs protection'

At least not the arguments that I have seen.

Unless you clone Jose Bautista and bat him behind himself, he is going to be IBB in situations where first base is open and you are trying to control an inning, and you can potentially get out of it because Adam Lind is still hitting in that spot (was).

es0terik
06-26-2012, 10:20 PM
Or it could be something like a John McDonald type guy is on deck and you'd rather face him.

Right, you'd pitch around him if John McDonald was on deck, you wouldn't pitch around him if Albert Pujols or Miguel Cabrera were on deck because those are also guys that get pitched around very often. It's only common sense to think about the guy on deck while your pitching to the guy at the plate. Nobody's going to purposely give Bautista a pitch to hit if first base is open and there's a scrub on deck. If Braun or Kemp were on deck, they're going to eventually challenge Bautista.

As for the Miggy and Braun arguments; Miguel Cabrera had Victor Martinez last year and Braun has Aramis Ramirez this year. So they aren't really two very great subjects to use when refuting lineup protection given that both of them have had "protection" before and after the Fielder move.


Unless you clone Jose Bautista and bat him behind himself, he is going to be IBB in situations where first base is open and you are trying to control an inning, and you can potentially get out of it because Adam Lind is still hitting in that spot (was).

Then you're admitting that the guy on deck effects the way the guy at the plate is pitched to. If Votto is on deck they're not going to IBB Bautista.

Jeffy25
06-26-2012, 10:28 PM
Then you're admitting that the guy on deck effects the way the guy at the plate is pitched to. If Votto is on deck they're not going to IBB Bautista.

The only impact that the guy on deck has on Bautista is if he is IBB'd or not.

Which is the difference of about 4 IBB's over the course of the season on average.

Miggy has still been IBB'd this year 6 times already, and Prince is behind him.

There is still a fair chance that Bautista will be IBB'd even with Votto behind if first base is open and there are two outs and men are in scoring position, especially if there is a lefty on the mound or ready in the pen.

This doesn't go against protection. Being IBB'd isn't the argument that people make when they talk about protection.

But you should look at Albert Pujols' IBB rates throughout his career and the guys that were hitting behind him. They remain pretty consistent regardless if he had Edmonds/Rolen behind him, or if he had Edwin Encarnacion. The year he was IBB'd the most in his career was in 09, and the spot behind Pujols had an .850 OPS and Matt Holliday behind him.

es0terik
06-26-2012, 10:32 PM
What me and Twitchy are both referencing though are the unintentional intentional walks. You're not IBB'ing the guy but youre throwing around him to see if he'll bite and swing, and if not, no harm done if he walks. It's a lot more than 4 bases over a season. They aren't going to pitch around him as often if he has an MVP behind him as they do if he has a below replacement level player on deck.

Jeffy25
06-26-2012, 10:35 PM
As for the Miggy and Braun arguments; Miguel Cabrera had Victor Martinez last year and Braun has Aramis Ramirez this year. So they aren't really two very great subjects to use when refuting lineup protection given that both of them have had "protection" before and after the Fielder move.




Victor Martinez - .303/.370/.469 - .361 wOBA, 121 wRC+

Aramis Ramirez - .284/.342/.499 - .358 wOBA, 114 wRC+


Prince Fielder - .284/.389/.536 - .389 wOBA, 140 wRC+

Fielder is a significantly better hitter than V-Mart or A-Ram.

Jeffy25
06-26-2012, 10:39 PM
What me and Twitchy are both referencing though are the unintentional intentional walks. You're not IBB'ing the guy but youre throwing around him to see if he'll bite and swing, and if not, no harm done if he walks. It's a lot more than 4 bases over a season. They aren't going to pitch around him as often if he has an MVP behind him as they do if he has a below replacement level player on deck.

Well, Miguel Cabrera walk rate without Fielder hitting behind him in 2011 - 15.7% with a K rate of 12.9%

Miguel Cabrera walk rate with Fielder hitting behind in 2012 -
8.0% with a K rate of 13.9%

Exact same rate of fastballs (59.5%)

Crazy thing.....Cabrera is getting the same percentage of pitches inside the strike zone as he was last year. He has certainly been more aggressive, but he is getting the same pitches this year.

Getting top 20 hitter Prince Fielder behind a top 10 hitter didn't make that top 10 hitter any better or worse. Because it doesn't affect him.

Meanwhile, Braun is putting up almost identical numbers regardless if he has a top 20 hitter, or a top 100 hitter hitting behind him. Doesn't impact him either way.

RTL
06-26-2012, 10:45 PM
Every pitcher will tell you they definitely pay attention to who is on deck in certain situations and pitch accordingly. Yes, they still have to face the hitter at the plate. It's not an either/or situation.

Jeffy25
06-26-2012, 10:53 PM
Every pitcher will tell you they definitely pay attention to who is on deck in certain situations and pitch accordingly. Yes, they still have to face the hitter at the plate. It's not an either/or situation.

It doesn't make the hitter at the plate a better hitter though, which is usually the argument that you see.

RTL
06-26-2012, 10:56 PM
But doesn't mean there isn't protection. You have a problem with certain arguments for it

RTL
06-26-2012, 10:56 PM
Double post:(

Jeffy25
06-26-2012, 10:59 PM
But doesn't mean there isn't protection. You have a problem with certain arguments for it

I am not arguing that the pitcher doesn't care about the guy on deck, or might walk a guy to face the guy on deck instead of the guy at the plate.

I am saying hitters don't get different pitches or turn into better hitters with better production because of the guy on deck.

Which is the argument that you always see people make.


Obviously I will walk the 8 place hitter if the pitcher is on deck and there are runners on second and third with two outs. Or that I will walk Jose Bautista in that same situation with a scrub on deck. I also will likely walk him even if it was Joey Votto on deck.

I am saying it doesn't make someone a better hitter or make him see different pitches based on the guy on deck....because it doesn't and hasn't.

To all Jays fans, you might be interested to know that Rasmus has actually hit better in the 5 spot in his career than in the 2 spot with Bautista and Pujols behind him. If given the same PA in every spot in the lineup, Rasmus is going to eventually have the same slash line at each spot in the lineup if given enough opportunities in each spot.

RTL
06-26-2012, 11:03 PM
I am saying hitters don't get different pitches or turn into better hitters with better production because of the guy on deck.

Which is the argument that you always see people make.

I think they do but only in certain situations. In the grand scheme of things, no. You stating a player gets the same amount of fastballs isn't really telling the whole story either. Where are those pitches? What counts? What situation? Many, many things go into it.

Jeffy25
06-27-2012, 02:10 AM
Jeffy25, you keep saying unequivocally that hitters won't see different pitches based on the guy on deck. Yet, you admit that the number of IBB the same player receives is affected by who is hitting behind him. These two ideas do not mesh will together. You seem to be completely (and strategically) leaving out pieces of information that would possibly hurt your argument.

Just because a guy isn't being intentionally walked doesn't mean that he'll be seeing the exact same types of pitches and location of said pitches regardless of who is hitting behind him.

Just because a guy isn't being intentionally walked also doesn't mean that he won't be completely pitched around in a similar situation.

Just because a guy didn't seem to benefit from hitting in front of a big time hitter for a limited amount of time at one point in his career doesn't mean that your theory of lineup protection being a myth can be considered fact either.

That's the thing. It isn't just an example of one or two hitters or a few hitters. It's all hitters. Through all sample sizes, regardless of the level or type of hitters in different locations in the lineup, it hasn't mattered who hits behind you in the lineup. That is supported by the numbers.

I don't know what else you, or anyone else would want me to show you that shows that protection doesn't really exist in baseball. There are going to be IBB. But hitters are not affected by the guys hitting around them in their lineup. It has been proven through all data to not matter. You aren't going to have a guy that bats .320 and hits 40 home runs all of a sudden turn into a .280 hitter with 25 home runs because he loses a productive hitter behind him. That is my argument against protection. People make an argument that Colby Rasmus is only hitting because he was moved into the 2 spot. Even though it's only been 100 plate appearances, and that he completely changed his plate approach, and that he has been highly expected to break out at some point this season, and the fact that he didn't hit well the last time he was in the 2 spot in front of all people, Albert Pujols. These logical reasons are so conveniently ignored. People make the argument that Rasmus is now a great hitter simply because he hits in front of Jose Bautista, and that means he is getting more fastballs (57.4% in front of Bautista, 57.6% not in front of Bautista) and it isn't true! And the data is sitting right there.

It's a crutch that people use, and Rasmus isn't the only example. Nor is Miggy and Fielder vs Braun and Fielder. Or Bonds with Aurilla, Kent, Santiago/Alfonzo. Nor is Pujols with Matt Holliday/Scott Rolen/Jim Edmonds behind him vs Reggie Sanders or Juan Encarnacion. It does not make a hitter a better hitter, and elite hitters don't get less free passes just because the guy behind them is a replacement level player or one of the top 10 hitters in the game. They are walked because the situation says it's better to put this guy on base and face whoever is on deck (MVP caliber player or replacement level scrub) rather than to face this guy and let him potentially beat you. This situation happens in every single game, every single day. It does not disprove protection, nor does it prove it.

But all the data in baseball, has shown that regardless if you have a superior hitter behind you, or if you have a scrub player behind you. Your production isn't going to dip or be improved based on that. That is my issue with the protection myth. Because no data has ever showed, nor has any player with any decent level of a sample size, ever shown it has.

I am not saying IBB are not going to be affected based on where you hit in the lineup. Hell look at Daniel Descalso. He was IBB'd last year 9 times. 9 times! It was never once because he caused any pitchers to fear him. It's because he came up in a situation where it was better to put him on first and potentially get the double play, or it was better to face the guy on deck because the match-up was better. That isn't protection, that's just baseball situational awareness.

Hell Adrian Gonzalez was IBB'd last year 20 times, and the cleanup spot for Boston posted a greater than .900 OPS with Ortiz, Pedroia, and Youk hitting behind him.

.784 OPS Geraldo Parra was IBB 16 times because Kirk Gibson batted him 8th 76 times.

Some fun facts about IBB 2011
Batting order spots
1 - 76
2 - 30
3 - 232
4 - 261
5 - 148
6 - 116
7 - 128
8 - 214
9 - 26

Pretty well all IBB are situationally based.

The argument that people always make about protection is that some player, like Rasmus this past week by Jays fans is the perfect example....is suddenly a .900 OPS CFer because he is hitting in the 2 spot, despite there being 6 better reasons that actually do answer why he is breaking out, and none of them are because he is hitting in the 2 spot. And all data proves he isn't in a better situation simply because of where he is in the lineup. He should be hitting second because he is one of the Jays 4 best hitters, he splits two righties in the lineup, and because he is overall a fairly patient hitter that can drive the ball into the gaps. He also has shown he has more power than Lawrie, who you like to have leading off. I am not saying this is why Farrell is having him hit second (he is missing the gravy train by not having Bautista hit cleanup after all). But it is where he should be, and it has nothing to do with Bautista.

Hitters also, fwiw. Don't hit better because of their location in the order, and that has been proven by people a lot smarter than I am. Where you bat in the lineup affects your team, but it doesn't affect you. Some hitters might have a personal preference in their lineup spot, and maybe that can affect their 'moods' but it doesn't affect their performance unless you think hitting in a spot you don't like makes someone a prima dona enough to let that make them not care about hitting well (I'm sure that has happened of course).


EDIT - sorry, I didn't mean to ignore your post about guys being unintentionally intentionally walked in similar situations. Kind of hard to measure that data though.

es0terik
06-28-2012, 01:33 AM
Well, Miguel Cabrera walk rate without Fielder hitting behind him in 2011 - 15.7% with a K rate of 12.9%

Miguel Cabrera walk rate with Fielder hitting behind in 2012 -
8.0% with a K rate of 13.9%

Exact same rate of fastballs (59.5%)

Crazy thing.....Cabrera is getting the same percentage of pitches inside the strike zone as he was last year. He has certainly been more aggressive, but he is getting the same pitches this year.

Getting top 20 hitter Prince Fielder behind a top 10 hitter didn't make that top 10 hitter any better or worse. Because it doesn't affect him.

Meanwhile, Braun is putting up almost identical numbers regardless if he has a top 20 hitter, or a top 100 hitter hitting behind him. Doesn't impact him either way.
Again, youre acting as if V-Mart and A-Ram are scrubs which is simply not the case. The whole basis of my point is that protection comes from players that have a lot of name value. The pitcher on the mound hardly ever gives a crap about weighted on-base average or runs created. The whole Miggy, Fielder and Braun situation isn't the best one to be using to defend your case here. It would make sense if Braun and Miggy had Fielder hitting behind them one year and then scrubs hitting behind them the other. They don't though.


EDIT - sorry, I didn't mean to ignore your post about guys being unintentionally intentionally walked in similar situations. Kind of hard to measure that data though.

I've also pointed that out, as has Twitchy. Unintentional intentional walks. "Kind of hard to measure that data though." is exactly what Im saying. You can't equate lineup protection with a number. It's a psychological train of thought in the pitcher and manager's heads. Bautista said many many times last year that he was getting frustrated because they weren't giving him anything to hit. He got unintentionally intentionally walked way too often and if Braun was hitting behind him, that wouldn't have happened because they still have to FACE Braun. It's not just 1 vs 1 situations, the pitcher most definitely has to pay attention to who's on deck. You can't purposefully pitch around Bautista if Braun and Kemp are on deck and in the hole because theyre just as dangerous as him. You can't take risks of trying to get him to chase, you have to bite the bullet and throw a strike. When theres a scrub behind him, you can say okay I won't INTENTIONALLY walk him but I'll throw four or five pitches around the zone. If he swings his way into a K, I win, if he takes the walk, it's what I wanted in the first place. It's an intelligent gamble; a gamble they can't make if there's another Bautista or another Pujols coming up.

You can't admit that there is intangibles in baseball but still try to refute one of the biggest and obvious ones with statistics. I'm sorry but this is just something you won't find a formula for. It comes down to common sense. It isn't logical to pitch an MVP the exact same way regardless of if there's another MVP or a below replacement player batting behind him. If a pitcher ISN'T pitching based on situation, based on who's on deck, then that's a flaw in HIS game. It makes strategic sense to pitch differently based on lineup order. Why are you going to throw strikes to Bautista if you can just put him on and get Lind out an at-bat later? At the same time, it's stupid to pitch around him if the guy on deck has a .448 OBP and is slugging 586. You're admitting managers will IBB a guy if there's a scrub coming up, exactly how Joe Maddon operates. But it works the same way with unintentional IBBs. If you have a below replacement player coming up after the MVP at the plate, you should pitch around the MVP to get to the scrub. The same way you're not going to pitch around Thames because you know Bautista is coming up. Therefore you throw Thames more strikes.

Jeffy25
06-28-2012, 02:21 AM
Again, youre acting as if V-Mart and A-Ram are scrubs which is simply not the case. The whole basis of my point is that protection comes from players that have a lot of name value. The pitcher on the mound hardly ever gives a crap about weighted on-base average or runs created. The whole Miggy, Fielder and Braun situation isn't the best one to be using to defend your case here. It would make sense if Braun and Miggy had Fielder hitting behind them one year and then scrubs hitting behind them the other. They don't though.

Fielder isn't just a little better than A-Ram and V-Mart.

He is significantly better.

We are talking about a top 10 hitter in baseball vs a top 75-100 hitters in baseball. That is a pretty big difference.



I've also pointed that out, as has Twitchy. Unintentional intentional walks. "Kind of hard to measure that data though." is exactly what Im saying. You can't equate lineup protection with a number. It's a psychological train of thought in the pitcher and manager's heads. Bautista said many many times last year that he was getting frustrated because they weren't giving him anything to hit. He got unintentionally intentionally walked way too often and if Braun was hitting behind him, that wouldn't have happened because they still have to FACE Braun. It's not just 1 vs 1 situations, the pitcher most definitely has to pay attention to who's on deck. You can't purposefully pitch around Bautista if Braun and Kemp are on deck and in the hole because theyre just as dangerous as him. You can't take risks of trying to get him to chase, you have to bite the bullet and throw a strike. When theres a scrub behind him, you can say okay I won't INTENTIONALLY walk him but I'll throw four or five pitches around the zone. If he swings his way into a K, I win, if he takes the walk, it's what I wanted in the first place. It's an intelligent gamble; a gamble they can't make if there's another Bautista or another Pujols coming up.

You can't admit that there is intangibles in baseball but still try to refute one of the biggest and obvious ones with statistics. I'm sorry but this is just something you won't find a formula for. It comes down to common sense. It isn't logical to pitch an MVP the exact same way regardless of if there's another MVP or a below replacement player batting behind him. If a pitcher ISN'T pitching based on situation, based on who's on deck, then that's a flaw in HIS game. It makes strategic sense to pitch differently based on lineup order. Why are you going to throw strikes to Bautista if you can just put him on and get Lind out an at-bat later? At the same time, it's stupid to pitch around him if the guy on deck has a .448 OBP and is slugging 586. You're admitting managers will IBB a guy if there's a scrub coming up, exactly how Joe Maddon operates. But it works the same way with unintentional IBBs. If you have a below replacement player coming up after the MVP at the plate, you should pitch around the MVP to get to the scrub. The same way you're not going to pitch around Thames because you know Bautista is coming up. Therefore you throw Thames more strikes.
That's the thing, Thames/whoever has been hitting in front of Bautista thus far....has NOT been getting more strikes. They haven't been, so doesn't that make that argument a little invalid?

You keep saying this is the psychology of players, and it certainly makes sense, because it does make sense, it's how you should be playing. But the data does NOT support it. That's the issue. This isn't what is/has been happening in the sport.

es0terik
06-28-2012, 04:08 AM
I believe it happens sometimes and doesn't happen others. I believe it depends on the pitcher and the manager. I think lineup protection is like the weather and the humidity and the park factors. It's there sometimes and isn't there others. I'd assume lineup protection exists in any game where the opposing manager is Joe Maddon. Like you say, it does make sense. So if and where it doesn't exist, it should. It's only smart baseball.