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*Nerd Alert* - More fuel for the defensive dumpster fire from the fielding bible


Dochalo

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So I came across this recently.  

http://www.fieldingbible.com/TeamDefensiveRunsSaved

An accounting of team defense by position.  But the one important thing to note is that DRS does not account for where the defensive player starts.  

However, the 'infield positioning' stat, which is proprietary to the fielding bible, does.  

And notice how the discrepancy is massive.  When taking the starting point into account, the team is actually saving more runs in the infield vs. pretty much every other team in the league.  

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This ties in a bit with the fact that Angels pitchers, as a whole, had the 2nd worst BABIP in 2021, meaning they got unlucky a lot with balls in play, i.e. opposing hitters got lucky and found a lot of holes. Clearly positioning, particularly implementing shifts, helped the Halos, as Doc pointed out. I think we all knew the Angels were not that bad defensively, but it was still a clear liability that needs to be addressed.

All that being said the front office will have a big decision to make about SS in 2022. If they "punt" and roll the dice on Rengifo (not a bad choice if the focus is pitching), defense will not be as good as it could be, probably, but the price in dollars to upgrade may not be the practical choice.

There are some options in FA and trade, but Minasian will have to balance the highest priority need (starters) vs. the secondary needs (SS and backup C).

Thanks for sharing that @Dochalo!

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26 minutes ago, ettin said:

This ties in a bit with the fact that Angels pitchers, as a whole, had the 2nd worst BABIP in 2021, meaning they got unlucky a lot with balls in play, i.e. opposing hitters got lucky and found a lot of holes. Clearly positioning, particularly implementing shifts, helped the Halos, as Doc pointed out. I think we all knew the Angels were not that bad defensively, but it was still a clear liability that needs to be addressed.

All that being said the front office will have a big decision to make about SS in 2022. If they "punt" and roll the dice on Rengifo (not a bad choice if the focus is pitching), defense will not be as good as it could be, probably, but the price in dollars to upgrade may not be the practical choice.

There are some options in FA and trade, but Minasian will have to balance the highest priority need (starters) vs. the secondary needs (SS and backup C).

Thanks for sharing that @Dochalo!

I'm actually trying to point out the opposite about shifts.  To me the data shows that the players saved a bunch of run relative to their starting position yet the data was damn ugly if you don't take that into account.  In other words, they did very well relative to where they started.  But they just started in the wrong spot.    

The Cards are a good example of what could have been.  Similar to the halos in almost all aspects of the game.  Vying for a WC.  The big difference is that they're the best defensive team in baseball and the Angels are one of the worst.  I truly believe it's a 10-15 game swing.  

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22 hours ago, Dochalo said:

I'm actually trying to point out the opposite about shifts.  To me the data shows that the players saved a bunch of run relative to their starting position yet the data was damn ugly if you don't take that into account.  In other words, they did very well relative to where they started.  But they just started in the wrong spot.    

The Cards are a good example of what could have been.  Similar to the halos in almost all aspects of the game.  Vying for a WC.  The big difference is that they're the best defensive team in baseball and the Angels are one of the worst.  I truly believe it's a 10-15 game swing.  

The defense undermines everything they do.  The Yankee series where everyone got excited was built on the play of the defense. The month where it looked like things were turning around, the babip normalized, the pitching dominated again... All driven by the defense.

The injuries were going to screw this team eventually, no question.  The bullpen was awful, again no question... But everything has been made even worse by the defensive issues.  Worst part is they talked about it all winter and yet nothing has changed, same issues exist...  if anything its become an even bigger issue.

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One thing I'll just never understand is how you can have characteristically good defensive players and with all the data available, put them in a spot to make them worse.  Shouldn't that be one of the things that takes the human factor out of the equation?  It just seems so damn obvious.  It's almost like outright sabotage.  Which it's not of course.  But how do you F that up?  

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Makes you wonder. If they played like 1985 and didn't employ the shift at all, would they have fared better with a neutral defensive alignment?

I get the optimum is positing correctly for each batter's tendencies but the numbers say they were positioned wrong which opened wider holes, so neutral could have prevented more hits/runs simply by not being so far from where the batted ball travels. 

The Angels players looked like they got all their cheat sheet answers from Blutarski. 

 

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7 hours ago, Dochalo said:

One thing I'll just never understand is how you can have characteristically good defensive players and with all the data available, put them in a spot to make them worse.  Shouldn't that be one of the things that takes the human factor out of the equation?  It just seems so damn obvious.  It's almost like outright sabotage.  Which it's not of course.  But how do you F that up?  

This is where I just had to stop.   You watch game with the data up -- you see a hitter with hard away tendencies to RF .vs LHP -- they play him to pull.   Meanwhile the pitcher is off doing his own thing.

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Particularly disappointing in light of the front office personnel brought in by Minasian that supposedly were going to place the Angels solidly in the middle of the pack (at least) re: game planning and analysis.  I can't read the "perry-minasian’s-front-office-hirings" & the "front office and game planning" threads without acknowledging that there is a notable discrepancy between the front office's performance in this regard and my unquestioning optimism at the time that the pedigrees of the new personnel were going to right the ship. 

 

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14 minutes ago, Stradling said:

So @Inside Pitch, @Dochalo, @Blarg for those of us who refused to subject ourselves to watching a game while having this data available in live time, how often do they put themselves at a disadvantage per game defensively?  Once or twice?  Or is it literally all the time?  

 

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18 minutes ago, Stradling said:

So @Inside Pitch, @Dochalo, @Blarg for those of us who refused to subject ourselves to watching a game while having this data available in live time, how often do they put themselves at a disadvantage per game defensively?  Once or twice?  Or is it literally all the time?  

How often it happens is only going to frustrate you.  Because that doesn't solve the problem.   I just don't know where it's coming from and why.  Is the analytics team inept?  Is Maddon and his team repositioning the players outside the data they're provided?  Are the pitchers not pitching to a location that coincides with the defense?  Did Iglesias and Rendon suddenly become poor defensive players?  Why does the data from where a player starts not match the individual stats that doesn't take that into account?  

And it's not like I really care about who's to blame as much as I care about whether it can be fixed in short order.  And that's where I wring my hands.  I think it can be fixed pretty quickly but will it?  Is the person or people at fault so pig headed that they're gonna do the same thing next year?  Because if they do, they can fill the roster with All-Stars at every position and it won't matter.  

As @Inside Pitch mentioned, injures would have ultimately been the reason this team failed.  Yet at this point I am totally unsure of this team's potential.  

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I must be misreading that chart, and thought I was reading it the way Ettin seemingly interpreted it.

I thought those stats are basically saying overall the defense cost a lot of runs, but its one saving grace was that they were placed on the field in the optimal spot better than any other team. You guys are saying it's the opposite? I don't get it.

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10 hours ago, Stradling said:

So @Inside Pitch, @Dochalo, @Blarg for those of us who refused to subject ourselves to watching a game while having this data available in live time, how often do they put themselves at a disadvantage per game defensively?  Once or twice?  Or is it literally all the time?  

I've seen it happen multiple times in a half inning.  It's that rampant and why I stopped doing it.  I finally decided to give it another look...  Now I watch maybe once a week to avoid the frustration.  I've said before at first I tried to pacify myself by thinking they likely had better info and it was just some odd streak of bad luck.  But it kept happening, over and over.  Guy comes up that goes to LF 45% of the time and they set up the other way.   When @Dochalouses the word sabotage it rankles me to no end because that's exactly how it's felt at times.   

I can remember some point near midseason where I went on record saying I STILL believed the team could go on a tear/turn it around if only they fixed the defense..  I refuse to delude myself any further.
 

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13 hours ago, Dochalo said:

One thing I'll just never understand is how you can have characteristically good defensive players and with all the data available, put them in a spot to make them worse.  Shouldn't that be one of the things that takes the human factor out of the equation?  It just seems so damn obvious.  It's almost like outright sabotage.  Which it's not of course.  But how do you F that up?  

joe maddon baseball GIF by NBC Sports Chicago

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55 minutes ago, Dochalo said:

How often it happens is only going to frustrate you.  Because that doesn't solve the problem.   I just don't know where it's coming from and why.  Is the analytics team inept?  Is Maddon and his team repositioning the players outside the data they're provided?  Are the pitchers not pitching to a location that coincides with the defense?  Did Iglesias and Rendon suddenly become poor defensive players?  Why does the data from where a player starts not match the individual stats that doesn't take that into account?  

And it's not like I really care about who's to blame as much as I care about whether it can be fixed in short order.  And that's where I wring my hands.  I think it can be fixed pretty quickly but will it?  Is the person or people at fault so pig headed that they're gonna do the same thing next year?  Because if they do, they can fill the roster with All-Stars at every position and it won't matter.  

As @Inside Pitch mentioned, injures would have ultimately been the reason this team failed.  Yet at this point I am totally unsure of this team's potential.  

This is 100% where I am.   

I don't care who is at fault, I don't need to know, I don't want or need a pound of flesh but it's not been fixed, it just kept happening game after game with no end in sight.  Now we have a manager whining about the pitching, apparently oblivious to how the defense has been an even bigger issue.  I love the potential and the talent both on hand and coming up and yet I have ZERO faith they will play to that level because I've watch them shoot themselves in the foot for two seasons now.  

I fully expect the team to sign two former Maddon players because "character" and for the defense to continue to suffer.  I've never wanted to be more wrong about anything Angels related.

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1 hour ago, Make Angels Great Again said:

I must be misreading that chart, and thought I was reading it the way Ettin seemingly interpreted it.

I thought those stats are basically saying overall the defense cost a lot of runs, but its one saving grace was that they were placed on the field in the optimal spot better than any other team. You guys are saying it's the opposite? I don't get it.

the 'infield positioning' (IP - irony?) stat takes into account where the player started whereas DRS doesn't.  So relative to where they started, they actually saved a ton of runs.  But if you don't take into account where they started then they look miserable.   So let's take an extreme example.  Let's say they shift Fletch to behind second base and let's say he gets to a ball that's actually in the conventional 2b position.  In the DRS system he get's zero credit because most players would be in a conventional position.  For the IP stat, he gets credit for ranging over from behind second to make the play.  

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Iglesias is gone.  Mayfield shouldn't play as much.  Upton won't play as much.   I think the defense will improve.

I'd like to see the Angels bring in a SS that plays solid defense and gets on base a decent amount.   Preferably cheap, but it doesn't seem any pending free agent checks all three boxes.  Maybe a trade?  

Edited by ScottT
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21 minutes ago, ScottT said:

Iglesias is gone.  Mayfield shouldn't play as much.  Upton won't play as much.   I think the defense will improve.

I'd like to see the Angels bring in a SS that plays solid defense and gets on base a decent amount.   Preferably cheap, but it doesn't seem any pending free agent checks all three boxes.  Maybe a trade?  

All the good defensive shortstops who get on base are the premium shortstops. Really, the closest cheap option that checks those boxes is Andrelton Simmons, if he were to rebound. Last year, he had a .346 OBP. But he fell off a cliff offensively this season.

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5 minutes ago, Trendon said:

All the good defensive shortstops who get on base are the premium shortstops. Really, the closest cheap option that checks those boxes is Andrelton Simmons, if he were to rebound. Last year, he had a .346 OBP. But he fell off a cliff offensively this season.

He played 30 games in 2020.  His OBP was 9 points higher than in any other year and about 30 points higher than his career OBP.  Simmons is not someone you sign because you want someone who'll get on base.

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1 hour ago, Dochalo said:

the 'infield positioning' (IP - irony?) stat takes into account where the player started whereas DRS doesn't.  So relative to where they started, they actually saved a ton of runs.  But if you don't take into account where they started then they look miserable.   So let's take an extreme example.  Let's say they shift Fletch to behind second base and let's say he gets to a ball that's actually in the conventional 2b position.  In the DRS system he get's zero credit because most players would be in a conventional position.  For the IP stat, he gets credit for ranging over from behind second to make the play.  

 

So if I understand right, to really over simplify it: the team's standard DRS is crap because they're not getting to balls outside the conventional positioning as much as they should, and the IP is good because they're simply having to range far off their crappy positioning fairly often?

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