Nick Pollack and Alex Fast are back to talk all things Starting Pitching in Fantasy Baseball in Episode 45 of On The Corner. This week, they discuss Zach Davies, Jimmy Nelson, Reynaldo Lopez, Jose Berrios, Lance Lynn, Chad Kuhl, Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh, and many others.
News & Injuries
- Dallas Keuchel (6:10)
- Dylan Bundy (11:40)
- Reynaldo Lopez (19:20)
- Matt Shoemaker (25:55)
- Alex Cobb (26:50)
- Clayton Kershaw + Alex Wood (28:05)
- David Price (31:05)
- Chase Anderson (32:05)
- Zach Davies (35:00)
- Chad Kuhl (47:00)
- Jimmy Nelson (54:15)
- Collin McHugh (1:04:00)
- Lance Lynn (1:09:40)
- Jose Berrios (1:17:05)
- Carlos Rodon (1:19:55)
- Sean Manaea (1:23:20)
Wednesday Night’s Games (1:25:05)
Re: Keuchel – Of course a guy would pitch through injury. Guys play through injury all the time. He is 29, there is likely not some bright future ahead. Missing a good chunk in back-to-back seasons is something that I think he would do anything to avoid. This season is the entire reason that anyone plays professional baseball – SP for a WS favorite. If he misses enough time, then they might displace him in the rotation. I hope he is healthy too, but I wouldn’t dismiss the possibility of him pitching at less than 100% as you have.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is this:
We have two options. Either A) We believe Keuchel is pitching through injury and we should be selling him ASAP before the news breaks or B) We should take to heart what he said in the off-season about hiding injuries + the fact that either the injury would have to be season-ending for him to hide it.
Which is the better bet? There really isn’t a middle ground here. In my mind, velocity isn’t lower and given how he expressed how he made a mistake prior, I’d be shocked if he’s doing it yet again.
I wouldn’t say I’m dismissing the possibility of a hidden injury, I’m saying that I’m not going to buy into it because it’s simply the more unlikely possibility. Either we have to believe he’s hiding one or not and I have to side with him not.
Re: Advance Stats (or whatever we want to call them generally) – Everyone should use whatever tools they like or best understand. Some players fit the mold of the statistic and some don’t. I simply think it is worth pointing out that some players succeed despite the crude approximations that are advanced metrics. Is Lynn really getting lucky or is he doing something right? I have watched a lot of him this year and I think he is doing something right. He simply is executing better than the hitters that he is facing. I don’t think is is right to call it luck and call it skill for other guys that have the skill set that you are looking for. With that being said, I see stuff that I call lucky all the time. We are humans attempting to judge other humans – its not perfect or close to it.
The entire reason that I value the content on this site is that you use different tools than other analysts, which makes it worth listening to. You don’t have to agree with dissenting opinions. I am always happy to engage in a fun sports discussion. I do appreciate the discussion, but it’s not black and white. I think the more open-minded you keep the analysis, the better that it will be. Within a few years, the tools you are using will be barbaric as that is the cycle which we are participating in.
In case there’s any confusion here, I’m in complete agreement with you. One of my favorite parts of this site is the community we’ve created, where questions and open discussions are held in each article and often times between people that aren’t even writers of the site. It’s a crucial component of fantasy analysis and I feel lucky that we have that here.
If there is something I try to state as much as possible here, is that I am as open-minded as you’ll find when assessing players. I want to be convinced that I’m seeing things wrong. It excites me, in a way, since I’m able to get a new perspective, find some data I’ve overlooked (and maybe won’t again!), or even as blatant as feel like I have another set of eyes to make sure I’m not delusional in the way I’ve been framing a player. I treat is as a necessity for fantasy analysis and I’m sure you’ve seen me pull 180s often regarding certain pitchers as I know when I’ve been convinced I was looking at it the wrong way.
I know what you’re saying about Lynn, and I think it relates to what I’ve been calling the “Tanaka Problem” – the data says one thing but for reasons outside of the numbers, I have to expect something different. And if you’re making the argument that Lynn’s .221 BABIP isn’t showing the whole story, then I get that. I’m not sure that applies here, but we’re allowed to agree to disagree there, all good. I don’t believe that it was what we were referencing in the podcast. I think that was directed towards others who throw around hyperboles and ignore the clear-cut numbers that paint Lynn a certain way. It’s one thing to see that and express that you think there’s something more, and there’s another to not acknowledge them and throw around shallow numbers. I hope that makes sense.
Anyway, to wrap this up, ultimately I want to thank you. It’s a bit flattering to hear that you constantly come here because we do something different – different in a way that doesn’t repel us. The last sentence you bring up is a bit interesting, though. I know where it comes from – we’ve come so far when it comes to new stats to dive into – though I don’t think that should discredit what we’ve been given. Keep in mind, plenty of these numbers have statistical data showing their correlation and while we may get more in the future that will help further, it’s not like the analysis done now will be seen as superfluous.
Sorry for the wall of text, figured you deserved one though instead of a quick sentence or two.
Thanks for the replies. My last sentence is based on the idea that every current generation thinks their work is the best. Similar to how people line up for every new release of an iPhone, to replace their outdated pinnacle of technology from the previous year which is now a POS. To take that a bit further, I think we discredit older metrics more than we should. It is generally not a good idea to take new untested methods and put too much stock into them, which is all too common. There is nothing wrong with the simple back of a baseball card stats. In fact, I Iike those more than any single ERA measure. It is entirely possible to create bad data and it is likely that it will not be used in the correct context, which I think it often is. Analysis could get worse overall with progress – I think we disagree on that point. If it was simply more data, then it would be harmless, but people just assume that newer is better. The overarching trend is to obscure the underlying real outcomes in favor of better indicators, which I am not sold on. If people get disconnected from the actual outcomes, then that doesn’t sound better to me. Sabermetrics are trying to factor out luck and that’s not going to happen. You played baseball, you know that players with better approaches get luckier – but we also know that luck has nothing to do with it. Players certainly do get lucky, but inducing a ground ball to start a double-play isn’t really luck…unless it is! I just don’t believe that there are answers, so I question the value of looking to hard for the right equation. For example, pitch data is a cool new piece of data, but a lot of sabermetrics is just chasing its tail IMO. To me advanced metrics carry less weight than real outcomes, I think they are worth a glance, but many people use them as stand alone analysis. I know you are not guilty of this. It is kind of hard to find genuine discussion on the subject. You have fanboys/girls of sabermetrics – often times much more than baseball and they are unfortunately the vocal majority. I don’t think it is a coincidence that you seem to have a good understanding of the overall picture as you played a lot of baseball. I don’t think that it is a pre-requisite to play the game, but you have to understand that there is an actual game being played behind the equations. Furthermore, you need to understand how to interpret the actual data points. There are experts, notably at FanGraphs that clearly don’t know the first thing about baseball and it is always weird to read some of the stuff they write. I never really disagree to much with your opinions. No need to reply here, I just enjoy a rant on the big picture from to time.