03 August 2014

Orioles in Review: July 2014

Here is a look at how Orioles players fared in the month of July. General sample-size warnings apply, as this only incorporates 31 days worth of numbers. Obviously the point of this isn't to formulate an overall impression of any individual player, but instead to provide a snapshot of the past month.

First up are the hitters in order of fWAR for the month. I've included season fWAR and PA’s for a bit more context. A reminder that while no defensive metrics are shown here individually, fWAR does incorporate defensive play. 

Player
PA
fWAR
wOBA
fWAR season (PA season)
Machado
73
0.9
.394
1.7 (305)
Jones
108
0.7
.329
4.0 (464)
Pearce
90
0.4
.308
2.8 (251)
Joseph
53
0.3
.309
0.4 (153)
Young
26
0.2
.406
0.8 (140)
Lough
11
0.2
.489
0.7 (142)
Hardy
103
0.2
.259
2.0 (404)
Flaherty
55
0.0
.254
-0.1 (193)
Hundley
42
-0.1
.246
0.0 (97)
Cruz
106
-0.1
.290
2.1 (453)
Markakis
113
-0.1
.276
1.3 (492)
Schoop
69
-0.3
.204
0.3 (323)
Davis
88
-0.3
.263
0.2 (375)

-Perhaps Manny Machado’s back was acting up because he was carrying the team through the month of July.  Despite the limited plate appearances due to suspension and injury, his fWAR was good for 28th in all of MLB in July while his wOBA ranked 54th of the 467 hitters with 10+ PA’s in July.

-After a great April and May, Nelson Cruz has been mediocre since, as was highlighted here.

-As Jon tweeted last week, Chris Davis has struggled, to put it mildly. He’s dead last in fWAR for the month and barely replacement level on the season.
                
Here is a look at the starters for July. I've excluded T.J. McFarland (5 IP as a SP in July) and Ubaldo Jimenez (3.2 IP).

Player
IP
fWAR
FIP
Season fWAR (Season IP)
Gausman
28.0
0.6
3.24
1.1 (56.0)
Tillman
37.0
0.5
3.78
1.0 (136.0)
Norris
22.2
0.4
3.71
0.9 (109.2)
Chen
24.2
0.3
3.94
1.4 (142.1)
Gonzalez
29.2
0.2
4.75
0.3 (100.2)

-This is the second consecutive month that Gausman has led O’s starters in fWAR. One would hope and think that Gausman is here to stay, even once Jimenez returns from the DL.
 
-Gausman (3.54 ERA) and Bud Norris (3.97 ERA) both had a higher ERA than FIP on the month, while the opposite was true for the other 3 starters.

-Speaking of which, Miguel Gonzalez posted a FIP of 4.75 FIP for July, way out of whack with his 1.82 ERA. These kinds of things can happen over small sample sizes, but still worth keeping in mind moving forward.
   
And lastly, the relievers. I've excluded Preston Guilmet, he of the 1 IP in July.

Player
IP
fWAR
FIP
Season fWAR (Season IP)
Matusz
8.1
0.6
0.73
0.0 (38.0)
Britton
13.1
0.5
1.78
1.0 (55.2)
Hunter
12.0
0.4
1.88
0.4 (38.1)
O’Day
16
0.4
2.38
0.9 (49.0)
Brach
14.1
0.2
3.06
0.2 (39.0)
Webb
6.1
0.1
2.82
0.8 (42.2)
McFarland
9.1
-0.1
3.43
0.1 (36.0)

-Don’t look now, but Brian Matusz’s stellar July has him back at replacement level on the season. Matusz posted a 14.04 K/9 on the month. It would be a safe bet to expect him for to give up a home run soon after not giving one up in all of July.

-Ryan Webb posted a 2.82 FIP in July but his ERA was 11.37. Combine that with a BABIP of .483 and 
it’s safe to say that bad luck is as responsible as anything for Webb’s recent demotion (although I don’t expect him to be gone long).

-Tommy Hunter has settled nicely back into a non-closer role, posting his second consecutive month of a positive fWAR.

As I said above, it would clearly be erroneous to form your opinion of a player over just one month of play. However, while such a small sample size can be pure noise with no meaningful takeaways, it can be helpful to see what direction each player is trending in, as well as a glance at what to expect moving forward. If you have any suggestions of numbers to include or not include in future reviews like this, please leave it in the comment section. 

5 comments:

CBreezyThreezy said...

I like the monthly looks. I'm not up to date on my MLB metrics but it would be nice to be able to visualize the trends that you mention as being the main take home from these snapshots.

Would it be possible to chart a given stat (e.g., fWAR/month)over time now that we have 4 months to work with? Maybe one chart per category (SP, RP, Field players).

Also I have a question. Since you can calculate fWAR for the month, can you calculate it by the game? Would it be possible to do a time series analysis of fWAR (or a similar statistic) over half a season?

pfholden said...

Thanks for the feedback. Just to be clear on what you're asking for, are you saying a chart by month of each player for fWAR?

Providing fWAR by the series could be done, but the takeaways from it wouldn't really be worth much. To be honest, even just doing data by the month, as I've done here, can lead to faulty takeaways because the sample-size is so small. I think doing it by the series would provide noise more than anything else it may tell us.

philip said...

Because WAR is cumulative over playing time, and Relief Pitchers by definition play very little(even the best closer would only pitch 1/9th of a game)
how reliable is WAR for relievers?
or is there a better stat for measuring relief success?
our relievers have been terrific this season, yet none of them is significantly above replacement, according to WAR.
I especially like Brach, and I hope he makes the post season roster.

Jon Shepherd said...

WAR is often best used to describe what happened, but is not exactly best to use for what will happen. I would want to roll back the components and use things like FIP and things like that. Actually...with relievers...I would look at scouting reports along with pre-season projections.

pfholden said...

A month of stats on a reliever (or anything, but in terms of baseball players, RP generally produce the least amount of data) will tell you very little about them. To be honest, WAR isn't ideal to use, and if I were to use WAR on something like this again in the future, RA9WAR is probably better. But like I said in the article, the intention of the post was to get a snapshot of the month, not to make any sort of grand conclusions about a player.

I've got a couple ideas I'm tossing around on bullpen usage and effectiveness over a longer term than just a month that I'll hopefully get around to finishing at some point.