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Posts Tagged ‘Atlanta Braves’

The Freddi Gonzalez Debate

Posted by Kris N. on October 20, 2010

I’m a little late to this, as Gonzalez was signed on to be Bobby Cox’s replacement, but the question still stands: Is Freddi Gonzalez going to be a better manager than Bobby Cox? Some Braves fans would tell you the answer is absolutely not, because he won’t command the same respect that Bobby did. Others would say that his constant bunting, pinch  hitting and intentional walks will drive Braves fans alike crazy and cost games. Like Mac Thomason from the always excellent Braves Journal:

“Fredi, it seems to me, has Bobby’s weaknesses with tactical managing (that is, lots of bunts, awkward pinch-hitting decisions that blow an extra player, heavy use of a few relievers) without Bobby’s strengths as a leader of men.”

He also says that Gonzalez “went about .500 with .500-level talent.” Which leaves me to wonder if that is how we should evaluate managers. How good they can make a team over how good they actually are? I’m contempt with that, I guess. I really don’t know what makes a good manager. But that’s always easy enough to graph. We can simply take the team’s expected win – loss record (Based on Bill Jame’s Pythagorean Theorem) and subtract it from the actual winning percentage. Here is the graph:

Very interesting.

Now it should be stated that there is a lot that goes into playing above or below your expected level, primarily dumb luck. Managers can not take credit for that, or blame for that matter. The strongly supported evidence though is, the Marlins weren’t a very good team and, while under Freddi Gonzalez, they marginally won more games. Another thing of note, The Braves never won games at their expected frequency. In fact going back to 2003, we can see a decline in the actual and expected difference:

I’d like to go back further, but I just don’t have the time.

Do I think Freddi Gonzalez is going to be a good manager? Yes.

Do I think they should have taken some time and at least interviewed other people? Definitely, and I’m a little pissed they didn’t. I’m also one to believe that players have more to do with winning and losing than a baseball manager.  That being said, people need to focus on who the Braves Left Fielder for 2011 is going to be, and not whether or not Gonzalez is going to be able to win in the postseason.

Do I realize the irony of writing a 408 word post about Freddi Gonzalez and not candidates for the Braves 2011 Left Fielder? Yes, I do.

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Game One Predictions (Braves at 32%)

Posted by Kris N. on October 7, 2010

Optimistic Prediction

Derek Lowe:  6.2 IP, 6 hits, 2 runs, 1 BB, 6 Ks. No Decision.

Tim Lincecum 7.1 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs, 2 BB, 8 Ks, 1 HR. No Decision.

Brian McCann hits a 2 run HR. Braves score the winning run off Santiago Casilla. Braves win 3 – 2.

Pessimistic Prediction

Derek Lowe: 5.0 IP 9 hits, 5 runs, 3 BB, 1 K. Loss.

Tim Lincecum 7.0 IP, 2 hits, 0 runs, 1 BB, 8Ks, and 0 HR. Win.

Lowe implodes and Bobby leave him out there to long. Giants win 6 – 0.

Now that’s with no basis.

I ran this game (Lowe vs. Lincecum) through my newly acquired Baseball Simulator and it doesn’t look pretty for Braves fans.

Team W L PCT RS/9 RA/9 Hits/9 Errors/9 LOB/9 exW-L%
Giants 12,374 5,836 .680 5.0 3.5 9.7 0.66 7.8 67%
Braves 5,836 12,374 .320 3.5 5.0 7.5 1.75 6.9 32%

This is a simulation of 18,210 games.

It puts the Braves shot of winning this game at 32% and (obviously) the Giants at 67%. Also, the Braves averaged 1.75 errors per game. MAKING ERRORS  KILLS PLAYOFF RUNS! If any game in this series is like the game where the Giants won without the benefit of a hit, that will just about do it for this team.

I’ll try to do these for every Braves game of the playoffs, let’s just hope there is more games to come. We can see where the Braves are favorites and underdogs, today, they’re an underdog.

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Nate McLouth: For Real Real or For Play Play?

Posted by Kris N. on September 14, 2010

Is new Nate McLouth for real real or for play play?

Video please!

Screen shots please!

Just from the above we can see:

Problems:

  • Called out on strikes
  • Late on fastballs, early on curveballs/any off speed pitch
  • Bad timing

Improvements:

  • Swinging with 2 strikes
  • Bending knees to reach low pitches, and not just dropping the barrel of the bat
  • Closer to the plate, reaching more pitches
  • Seeing better
  • Starting his swing earlier

And the stats ain’t lying neither.

Since being called up to the major league 26 plate appearances ago, McLouth has raked an astonishing .381/.440/.810/1.250 line with one double, one triple, two homeruns, and (count it!) one strikeout.

To compare, in the first half of the season, he’s hit .176/.295/.282/.577 with three homeruns, and 26 walks to his 46 strikeouts. Then in July and August he sucked some more.

Maybe his BABIP is finally averaging out? From Fangraphs.com

I don’t think anyone expects McLouth to continue his torrid pace until the end of the season. Finishing the season with an overall September line of .270/.360/430/.790 and a couple more dingers sure sounds nice to me.

He’s for real real for now, we still have a lot to see and he still has a lot to prove.

Possibly more to come.

And if you haven’t already, go sign The Official “Get Rid of Melky Cabrera Petition: if you hate Cabrera’s fielding as much as I do.

Posted in Analysis | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »