Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Starting Lineup for ATB XI All Star Game Announced

With the All Star Game approaching in Sim 7 it's time to announce the ATB XI All Star Lineups for the Harry Caray and Vin Scully Leagues. Pitching Rotations and Bench to be announced in the coming days.

Harry Caray Lineup and Stats
1 - DH) Ty Cobb*, WPP
2 - 1B) George Sisler*, DSK
3 - LF) Tip O'Neill, ECT
4 - CF) Mickey Mantle#, DSK
5 - C) Josh Gibson, JuP
6 - RF) Steve Evans*, WPP
7 - 3B) Al Rosen, CR
8 - 2B) Nap Lajoie, BFF
9 - SS) Hughie Jennings, BFF

Vin Scully Lineup and Stats

1 - 3B) John McGraw*, RBB
2 - CF) Sam Jethroe#, RBB
3 - DH) Babe Ruth*, RBB
4 - LF) Barry Bonds*, RKA
5 - 1B) Albert Pujols, HH
6 - RF) Al Kaline, JMF
7 - 2B) Rogers Hornsby, BDM
8 - SS) Honus Wagner, JMF
9 - C) King Kelly, CBS

Sim 6C Complete: The Streak Reaches 15

Standings Charts Update

Team Batting and Pitching Totals from 5/15 to Current

As requested....

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sim 6B Complete!

The Streak Continues

Some Trilogy Reports

Starters and Reliever ERA's

Consecutive Games with HR

Worst Catchers (min 25 games)

Standings from May 15 to Current

Some teams really hitting their stride!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sim 6A Complete!

Neanderthals on an 11 game winning streak

Friday, June 26, 2009

Power Alley - Week 5

Biggest Gain
+5: Potomac Rage
The real standings weren't impacted much by the Rage's 8-7 record, but their underlying performances was superb as the team scored 82 runs and let up just 56. Their +26 Run Differential during Week 5 was the second best in the Harry Caray League. Leading the charge was Dean Chance. The #3 starter went 2-0 in three starts and in 24+ innings held a 1.48 ERA. Fellow starters Dazzy Vance (2.77 ERA), Ben Sheets (3.02 ERA), and Fernando Valenzuela (3.32) were very good as well.

Biggest Loss
-8: Chi Town Black Sox
At 2-12 during Week 5, it was an awful sim for the Black Sox. Just 3.5 games out of first place and 4 games above .500, the team ran into a buzz saw getting swept by John McDonald Fanclub, Warning Track Power, and the DC Chips. They also dropped a 4 games series to the Rochester Beau Brummels. The bats went cold, as a team batting .232 with a lowly .281 slugging percentage. Egard Martinez, Stan Hack, and Luke Appling batted below the Mendoza Line.

Week 5 Great, Good, and Ugyl


Ever since I canned the detailed home page updates I found I lost track of the leader boards. Maybe you did too, so here are the Top-10 players in 18 stats....

Week 5 Players of the Week

Ted Williams of the La Chapelle-aux-Saints Neanderthals is our Week 5 Batter of the Week. Leading his team to an 8-3 record and the edge in the Wild Card race, the left fielder batted .462 in 50 plate appearances. He also hit 7 HR and drove in 14. His slash line: .462 / .580 / 1.000, with a 1.580 OPS.

The DC Chips have their second pitcher of the week in Jeff Zimmerman. The go to righty reliever - closer versus righties plus setup man versus righties - appeared in 12 of the teams 16 games completing 19 innings giving up just 9 hits and striking out 10. His RCERA was 0.75, ERA 0.47, and WHIP 0.63

Chart: Luckiest and Unluckiest Teams

Unsurprisingly, the unluckiest teams have a .398 Wpct in 1-run games, while the luckiest have a .589 Wpct.

How to Use Your Platoon in the Depth Chart Lineup Form

Wanted everyone to understand how platooning in the depth charts work, there have been a few weird lineup submissions recently.

The Platoon Partner only effects pinch hitting tendencies, and nothing more. By naming a person a platoon partner, it forces the computer to use that specific player in the pinch hitting situation. (It also makes in game management easier if we were playing live and making the in game moves ourselves, but that is not what type of league we are in).

How a classic platoon should be setup.

Vs Lefties:
Starter: Ichiro Suzuki
Platoon: Alberte Belle

Vs Righties
Starter: Albert Belle
Platton: Ichiro Suzuki

This setup will force Suzuki to always start against lefties and Belle against righties. Plus, in all pinch hitting decisions, the two would pinch hit for each other.

If you set it up this way

Vs Lefties:
Starter: Ichiro Suzuki
Platoon: Alberte Belle

Vs Righties
Starter: Earl Combs
Platoon: (Blank or someone else)

Bell never starts. He merely is the pinch hitter most often used for Suzuki, assuming you have that tendency setup to be used more than normal.

Also - it is not possible to assign % start times for a platoon partner. They either have a platoon partner or they don't.

Here is a full example of a bench setup

Vs Lefties:
Starter: Ichiro Suzuki
Defense: Ken Griffey Jr
Platoon: Alberte Belle
Bench 1: Andy Van Slyke (10%)
Bench 2: Dave Winfield (5%)
  • Ichiro is the starter
  • Griffey comes in late in the game for defensive purposes
  • Belle is the #1 pinch hitter (and assumed starter vs Righties)
  • Van Slyke plays for Suzuki 10% of the time and Griffey still comes in in defense, and Belle is still the platoon partner)
  • Winfield plays for Suzuki 5% of the time and Griffey still comes in in defense, and Belle is still the platoon partner)
Hope this helps, more than it confuses.

Injury Toll

Lots o' Griping and Grumbling with the magnitude of injuries this year, including me. Who is really getting hurt by them though?

# of Injuries by Team
18-Bellevue Freakin' Franchise
15-Old Pete's Rabble
15-White Meadow Lk Black Stones
14-Rusty Kuntz Traveling All Stars
14-Potomac Rage
14-Chi Town Black Sox
13-Wedge Tornado
13-Helena Handbasket
13-Willets Point Mechanics
12-Edinburgh Caber Tossers
11-Otherton Fish Biscuits
11-La Chap au Sts Neanderthals
11-I Miss Rod Beck
10-Downsouth Brews
10-Bucky Dent's Middle Name
10-Duke Street Kings
10-Planet 10
10-DC Chips
8-Cincinnati Redlegs
8-Windy City Potato Pocketers
8-John McDonald Fanclub
4-Warning Track Power
4-Rochester Beau Brummels

Days Lost to Injury By Team
131-Old Pete's Rabble
131-Potomac Rage
119-Chi Town Black Sox
117-DC Chips
113-White Meadow Lk Black Stones
108-Bucky Dent's Middle Name
102-Planet 10
96-La Chap au Sts Neanderthals
87-Helena Handbasket
80-Duke Street Kings
80-Wedge Tornado
78-Bellevue Freakin' Franchise
78-Cincinnati Redlegs
75-Rusty Kuntz Traveling All Stars
72-Otherton Fish Biscuits
64-Windy City Potato Pocketers
58-I Miss Rod Beck
51-Willets Point Mechanics
46-Edinburgh Caber Tossers
43-John McDonald Fanclub
39-Warning Track Power
24-Downsouth Brews
17-Rochester Beau Brummels

Well, the most vocal has EVERY RIGHT to be.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Best Division?

Quick table on the number of .500 teams in each division:

4 - It Might Be
3 - Behind the Bag
3 - It Gets by Buckner
1 - It Could Be

It might be not only has the most teams with a winning record, but it also sports 3 teams with winning percentages of .590 or better, and can make a case for housing 3 of the Top-5 teams in ATB.

Another way to dissect divisional quality is to look at the inter-divisional records of each:

122-85: It Might Be
108-93: Behind the Bag
93-108: Gets by Buckner
85-122: It Could Be

This also shows the same two divisions as leading in quality. What if, however and as an example, "It Might Be" just appears good because it contains a few great teams, that skew the overall records?

Well, take the Potomac Rage, a good enough team with an overall .466 winning percentage, actually has a .570 winning percentage (20-15) versus It Could Be. They are in fact losing to the excellent teams of their own division, but have had no issues dismantling their inter division rivals. It may not be a long stretch of the imagination to state the Rage, if in "It Could Be" would have a good enough record to be a wild card contender.

Similar aspects can not be found in the Vin Scully league, and divisional records are considerably more dispersed. Without question (at least through June) "It Might Be" is the best division in baseball.

Here's a table of each teams overall, intra-division, and inter-division

Maddux Tosses Gem, Tied for "Best James Game of Year"

One of the "Great Feats" we track are Game Scores over 85 for starting pitchers. To date, several pitchers have made the list more than once:

3 - Pedro Martinez, Power
3 - Jesse Tannehill, Neanderthals
2 - Charlie Sweeney, HOWARYA
2 - Cliff Melton, Freakin Franchise
2 - Greg Maddux, Planet 10

Back in April, Roger Clemens tossed a 1-hit complete game shutout against the Otherton Fishbiscuits for Game Score of 93 (Bill James version). This stood as the sole instance of such a high score until June 21, when Greg Maddux duplicated the feat. The 29-year old righty dominated the Wedge Tornado and led Planet 10 to a league leading 8th shutout on the year.

To the left is a stat by stat comparison of the two best pitched games of the year. While Maddux was more efficient (less walks, less pitches) Clemens was more dominant (more K's). I would take either!

Sim 5E Complete!

First Trade O' The Season

The Otherton Fishbiscuits and La Chapelle-aux-Saints Neanderthals announced a 4 player trade today. The Fishbiscuits receive Dick Groat and Deacon Phillippe in return for Lady Baldwin and Bill Hall. Their stats:

Phillippe: 1-1, 3.21 ERA, 34 IP, 32 H, 12 BB, 23 K
Groat: 0-4, Vg defense at SS

Baldwin: 4-1, 2.85 ERA, 41 IP, 38 H, 6 BB, 59 K
Hall: .143 /.268 / .171 in 35 AB; Av defense at SS

Only Hall played last season, compiling a 2.34 ERA in 162 innings for the Winterfell Direwolves.

This trade will go into effect for the start of Sim 6.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

RSAA Leaders as of June 18

Starting Pitchers
25.8 - Pedro Martinez, WTP (1.41 ERA)
19.8 - Dwight Gooden, IMR (2.63 ERA)
19.2 - Babe Adams, WPP (2.09 ERA)
18.2 - Greg Maddux, P10 (1.93 ERA)
17.7 - Cy Young, RKA (2.73 ERA)

20.0 - Frank Killen, OFB (1.00 ERA)*
15.5 - Jeff Zimmerman, DCC (1.96 ERA)
8.5 - Dennis Eckersley, WPM (1.12 ERA)
8.2 - Tim Burke, JuP (2.20 ERA)
7.4 - Kent Tekulve, (0.91 ERA)

Relief Pitchers
11.8 - Rob Murphy, BFF (1.05 ERA)
10.2 - Lindy McDnalie, BFF (2.42 ERA)
9.5 - Derek Lilliquist, WPP (0.56 ERA)
9.4 - Francisco Liriano, P10 (1.10 ERA)
6.8 - Mike Jackson, OPR (2.04 ERA)

* Spent most of the season as a starter

Full list of RSAA scores for each player can be found here.

Sim 5D Complete!

Wild Card Standings

The canned reports aren't intelligent enough to take our custom ATB league rules into consideration and the generic output for the Wild Card standings don't depict the playoff picture accurately. Hence, the need for this post.

Last year we had a 20 team league without a wild card. This was a mistake in hindsight, and we reintroduced the idea for ATB XI. Our rules state each league will have 2 Wild Card teams, and they do not need to come out of differing divisions. The Division Winners plus the next best two teams in the league will make the playoffs.

As play ends on sim date June 15, our playoff picture unfolds with the following:

Harry Caray League: La Chappelle @ Windy City; Planet 10 @ Bellevue
Vin Scully League: Rochester @ John McDonald; DC @ Helena

This causes as least some mild consternation. Both "Behind the Bag" and "It Might Be" are set to field 3 playoff teams each, while the remaining divisions are left with just one. The teams impacted are the 32-37 Willets Point "Mechanics" and 36-31 I Miss Rod Beck. The former has a -55 Run Differential and it seems 'fair' they aren't on track for the playoffs, while the latter is a good team and a case could be made they are getting jipped. Still, it is only mid-June and their is plenty of ball left to alter this standings considerably.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sim 5C Complete!

Sorry no blog updates today, tree fell down in the yard and onto my deck, spent the time taking it down.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sim 5B Complete!

How to Blow A Game, by the Cincinnati Redlegs

This deserved it's own post. Jay, owner and operator of the Potomac Rage, pointed me to this box score on his teams miraculous comeback against the Cincinnati Redlegs.

Down 8-0 (!) and getting 4-hit heading into the 8th inning, the Redlegs simply imploded:

8th Inning
Pitching well through 7, starter Cy Blanton hits a wall. He battled lead off hitter Joe Morgan, going to a 1-2 count before coughing up a seeing eye single to left field. Then - on just 4 pitches - 3 singles were sprayed into the outfield by the next three batters, Duke Snider, Mel Ott, and Jimmie Foxx. 2-runs scored and the outcome was still in little doubt, with an 8-2 Redleg lead.

That was all for Blanton, and Nick Maddox (3.97 ERA) came in to relieve him. Maddox struck out catcher Javy Lopez swinging, only to surrender a 3-run bomb to Charlie Keller, a monstrous shot for "Kong" down the right field line.

Maddox was done, and the lead cut to three.

It was Roberto Hernandez's turn, and he chose the 'bend and not break' strategy. He induced Jose Canseco to ground out to 1st for the second out, but gave up back to back singles to Derek Jeter and pinch hitter Chick Hafey, putting runners on the corners. In a curious move, Ryan Braun came in to pinch hit for lead off batter Joe Morgan, but lifted a lazy fly ball to center to end the inning. Plenty of damage was done however, and the game headed to the 9th at 8-5.

9th Inning
Hernandez, despite his struggles, came back out to start the 9th. It seemed like a masterful choice as he retired the first two batters on an easy ground out and short outfield pop-up.

But tt was not to be.

Normally a slick fielding third basemen, Al Rosen booted the third out to keep the Rage hopes alive, with the e-5 putting "Double X" on first. Pinch hitters Charles Johnson and Hanley Ramirez both proceeded hit ground ball singles to left field, both between the shortstop and soon to be goat, Rosen.

With bases loaded and 2-outs, after yielding 4 hits in his last inning of work, Hernandez next walked home a run on 4 pitches. 8-6.

So, what do the Redlegs do next? Keep Hernandez in the game, of course. "Ball 8" and the next run comes in, 8-7.

Finally, Hernandez was yanked in favor of Joakim Soria, but left those inherited runners on each and every base. Soria battled, ran the count to deuces wild - 2 out, 2 balls, 2 strikes - but Hafey again left his mark on the game, and won it with a walk off 2- run single.

To recap the disaster:

8th Inning
-Starter Yanked
-Three Run Home Run (8-5)
-Reliever Yanked

9th Inning
-Walk in run #6
-Walk in run #7
- pull the pitcher
- 2-run walk off single


Trio of 6 RBI Nights

June 6 -
Jimmy Collins hits two three-run home runs, doubles, and scores three runs to lead the Downsouth Brews over the Otherton Fishbiscuits, 14-9

June 6 -
Later in the night, Mark McGwire got hot for the the White Meadow Lake Black Stones and followed up a 1st inning 2-run shot with a grand-slam in the second, helping his squad knock off the Rochester Beau Brummels 9-6.

June 8 -
It wasn't needed in a 14-2 blowout of Wedge Tornado, but Darryl Strawberry strutted his stuff in a spot start, hitting 2 home runs and driving in six for the Windy City Potato Pocketers.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sim 5A Complete!

Transactions Reminder

Just a note that I do not always have the time to make each transaction a specific blog entry. As in the past, all transactions will continue to be listed on the league reports page, under the report name Org Transaction Log.

League Standings Since May 1

Friday, June 19, 2009

ATB Now a Pitchers League?

ATB Faithful Matt B, owner of the "Mechanics" sent me a note the other day:
Do the leading ERAs seem awful low to you? Seems like much more of a pitcher's league than last year? All 5 P10 starters under 3.00 ERA in that hitters' park, what??
I did some investigating and ultimately dismissed, or at least disagreed, with the idea:
Incredible isn't it. Very frustrating. I wonder if we reached the tipping point with the number of players or something. With 18 or 20 teams, hitters dominate. Now that we have 24, maybe there are just not enough good batters to go around. Also - I personally find it easier to find good no-name pitchers as opposed to good no-name batters. Each year we get better pitchers, but don't seem to find any new batters.

On the other hand, we are scoring 4.5 runs per game this year as a whole and last years was 4.7. Not a big deal. Plus, weather plays a part and run scoring goes up in the summer, so I do expect it to be around 4.7 again. Which, of course, doesn't explain why Planet 10 has such a good staff. AAAAHHHHHH
But something ain't right, that is for sure. Get this, in investigating the Player of the Month for May I found 51 qualifying pitchers with ERA's under 3.00, and this doesn't include short reliever types, meaning the number will only increase. This seems incredible to me and I can't put my finger on what has changed or why. Is it the tipping point theory I mentioned to Matt? A game engine problem? Something else?

First, any ideas from the owner base would be welcome, sounds like an interesting topic.

What I did do however, was try to compare ATB XI to ATB X among starting pitchers, to see if the number of 2.00 ERA pitchers, 3.00 ERA pitchers, etc, has increased. Ditto with RCERA and WHIP as well. Below is what I found.

But first, a team totals update - comparing league pitching stats of this year to last:

On the surface, there is something there. ERA and RCERA are down, and it looks like the culprit is slight improvement across the board to HR rates, walk rates, and hit rates.

I mentioned to Matt that DMB takes into consideration weather. From the help file, the first bullet on the impacts of weather (and some more for the curious):
  • Warmer weather increases the level of offense
  • Extreme temperatures (hot or cold) cause pitchers to tire more quickly
  • The direction and speed of the wind can cause the level of offense to go up or down and may affect the flight of fly balls that are hit into or with the wind
  • Rain delays may cause a pitcher to tire more quickly and, if his arm stiffens during a long delay, may force a pitcher to leave the game
  • A wet field may cause a fielder to slip and misplay a ball
With that in mind, lets add in ATB X data through May:

Well, that makes it clear. At the league aggregate level there is little difference between ATB X and ATB XI at the same point in the season. It still begs the question on why there are so many pitchers with a low ERA. Here are the % of starting pitchers broken down by ERA, RCERA, and WHIP:

Interesting to say the least. Across all categories, there is a significant increase in the number of pitchers with elite type ERA's, RCERA's, and WHIP scores. There is also an increase, though not as dramatic, in the number of pitchers at the other end of the spectrum - very poor ERA's, RCERA's, and WHIP.

This reeks of small sample size alert and if forced to pick whether this is going to normalize during the summer or ATB has really changed, I would still choose the former - but the trend is interesting nonetheless and bears watching. I don't have the time at the moment to look at individual players through May 31 in ATB X, but a cursory glance does reveal the same trend - more elite stats than would be expected at this point in the season - but not nearly as many as we have found this season to date.

Players of the Month - May

Babe Ruth, left fielder and designated hitter for the Rochester Beau Brummels is the ATB Batter of the Month for May. Ruth was unstoppable, batting .382 / .537 / .865, with a 1.402 OPS, 7 2B, 12 HR, 24 R, 29 RBI, 77 TB, and 40.9 RC.

With a 2.08 ERA and a 4-0 record in 6 starts, Jesse Tannehill of the La Chapelle-Aux-Saints Neanderthals is named ATB Pitcher of the Month for May. The ace of the staff pitched 44.2 innings giving up 34 hits and 3 walks for a 0.83 WHIP. He also struck out 22 batters and maintained a 1.79 RCERA and tossed a complete game shutout.

Players of the Month - April

Albert Pujols of Helena Handbasket is the first ever ATB Batter of the month. In April, Pujols batted .381 / .459 / .629 with a 1.088 OPS, 9 2B, 5 HR, 17 R, 18 RBI and 26.9 RC.

Warning Track Power's Pedro Martinez is named ATB Pitcher of the month for April. He went undefeated in 5 starts hurling 2 complete game shutouts. In total, his pitching line: 4-0, 0.86 ERA, 42 IP, 19 H, 41 K,1.00 RCERA, 0.67 WHIP.

Sim 5 Transactions

Helena Handbasket sign righty reliever Les Lancaster circa 1989. Lancaster was solid for John McDonald Fanclub last year, in 38 1/3 innings he held opponents to 40 hits and a 1.17 WHIP.

To makre room on the 30-man roster, back up Catcher Manny Sanguillen was released after appearing in two games.

The Great, The Good, and the Ugly - Week 4

Power Alley - Week 4

Top 5
Two changes to the Top-5 this week. I Miss Rod Beck drops 3 slots to #6 and Helena Handbasket drops 5 slots to #10. This made room for two new teams - John McDonald Fanclub and La Chappelle-aux-Saints Neanderthals.

Movers and Shakers
  • +6 - Edinburgh Caber Tossers. At 10-3 in Week 4, the Caber Tossers cracked the magical .500 Wpct barrier for the first time all season. They have been victorious 9 of their last 10 games and outscored their opponents 84-64. Their best batter, Tip O'Neill, was named Sim 4 player of the Week while their pitching staff was led by Whitey Ford who made two starts, winning both with a 2.93 ERA.
  • +6 - White Meadow Lake Black Stones. Another 10-3 team, the Black Stones broke out on offense, batting .310 / .375 / .455 and were third in scoring during the Sim. First Basemen Jason Giambi drove in 18 on 5 HR and compiled a .407 on-base percentage.
Losers and Fakers
  • -6 - Willets Point "Mechanics". Tough week for Willets Point. Heading into Sim 4, the "Mechanics were 24-22 and potentially on the cusp of contention. A sim later, they are 8 games out with a -52 run differential, though still in second place. Who's to blame? While their pitching wasn't too bad(4.00 ERA) their batting was awful. With team slash line of .243 / .307 / .356 they scored 3.7 runs per game, a far cry from the league leading Caber Tossers at 6.5.
  • -6 - Wedge Tornado. With an awful 2-12 sim record, and an even worse -44 run differential, Tornado has a .356 winning percentage and is on pace to lose 102 games. In Week 4, five regulars batted under .200 (Hack Wilson, Don Baylor, Mike Schmidt, Ryne Sandberg, and Ivan Rodriguez.
  • -5 - Helena Handbasket. All looked great for Helena coming into Sim 4. At 27-16, on a 6 game winnings streak, and having closed the gap with I Miss Rod Beck to just 1 1/2 games, Helena had a great opportunity to take the division lead. Instead, with a 4-9 record they lost a game in the standings to Rod Beck and the third place team, Bucky Dents Middle Name, gained 4 1/2 games. The culprits? Out of the pen Robb Nen, Earl Hamilton, Joel Hoerner, and Todd Frohwirth combined for a 8.18 ERA. On offense, Jackie Robinson, Lefty O'Doul, and Cal Ripken had OPS scores of .550 or worse.

Player of the Week - Cla Merideth

As with Mr. O'neill, the success of Cla Meredith coincided exactly with the turnaround of his team as a whole. The White Meadow Lake Black Stones went 10-3 in Sim 4, and now stand at .500 and just 5 1/2 games out first place. Meredith was quite good over the past 13 games and is awarded Week 4 Pitcher of the Week honors: 10 appearances, 8 Saves, no runs, 11.1 IP, 5 H, 6 K.

Player of the Week - Tip O'Neill

Our week 4 batter of the week is Tip O'Neil of the Edinburgh Caber Tossers. O'neill was a one man wrecking crew and led his squad to the best Sim 4 record in the league,10-3. The DH batted .475 / .508 / .738 with 3 doubles, 5 triples, and a home run. He also scored 11 runs, recorded 12 RBI, and swiped 5 bases.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sim 4E Complete!

Shake Up on Duke Street

At 23-33 and a miserable 13 games out of first place in the Harry Caray "It Could Be" division, the Duke Street Kings have admitted it's time for a change. Most ATB changes (outside the famous Chips pre-season fire sale) end up being a few tweaks to the rotation or minor changes to the lineup, but Jeff Burns, owner and operator of the Kings, wants none of it.

The phrase, "The buck. Stops. Here.", was found on an inter-office memo to the Kings executive hierarchy, outlining Burns required changes:
  • #1 Starter Mort Cooper and his 4.75 ERA are out of the rotation, and will be relagated to mop-up duty until he can get his head back in the game.
  • The rotation moves to a 4-man: Ted Lyons (4.22 ERA), Bobby Shantz (3.61 ERA), Rich Harden (4.38 ERA), and Dolf Luque (4.91 ERA)
  • 9th hitter Oyster Burns (.307 AVG, .361 OBP) is now batting lead-off
  • George Sisler, who is killing the ball (.341 / .397 / .544) , moves from the top of the order to the 5-hole
  • DH Reggie Jackson rides the pine versus lefties in favor of Mike Stanley
  • Ditto with Chipper Jones at third base versus righties, benched in favor of Heinie Zimmerman
  • Finally, the bullpen has been decimated: Steve Howe, Latroy Hawkins, John Wetteland, Hank Robinson, and Brendan Donnely have all been given their outright release.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sim 4C Complete!

The Heck With Pitch Counts

Most Pitches Thrown in a Game
  • 149, Hal Newhouser (Rabble): 7.2 IP, 3 R, Loss
  • 145, Jesse Tannehill (Neanderthals): 9 IP, 0 R, Win
  • 143, Denny McLain (Brews): 7.1 IP, 4 R, Win
  • 143, Randy Johnson (Fishbiscuits): 9 IP, 0 R, Win
Most Pitches Thrown Year to Date
  • 1660, Randy Johnson (Fishbiscuits): 23.7 BF/G
  • 1345, Dwight Gooden (Rod Beck): 28.2 BF/G
  • 1259, Cy Blanton (Redlegs): 29.2 BF/G
  • 1256, Bob Feller (Tornado): 28.9 BF/G
  • 1219, Pedro Martinez (Power): 31.8 BF/G

Draft Analysis Pick Sheet

Forgot to link to an excel sheet that categorizes each and every draft pick. It's here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sim 4B Complete!

Draft Analysis - Part I

With the conclusion of Sim 3 we officially passed the ¼ mark of the ATB Season. Each year, we take a look back on the draft and see which players were steals, which were busts and some of those in between. With 700+ players drafted it makes little sense to write about each of them, and instead we’ll focus on a few key contributors (or non-contributors). Fear not however, as ATB tradition demands, no stone is left unturned and we’ll at least provide statistical summarizations for each player drafted that will highlight the bargains and disasters.

To analyze each player, I broke their results down into tiers based upon their Runs Created or Runs Saved scores. The tiers were:

Excellent – Blue
Very Good – Bright Green
Good – Dark Green
Yellow – OK
Orange – Poor
Red – Very Poor

Gems of the Draft
We have several. The latest player taken that can still be considered “good” was 1990 Zane Smith, drafted by John McDonald in the 28th round. Smith has pitched 24.1 innings with a 1.85 ERA. Along the same lines, just a round earlier, Joe Neale of the Windy City Potato Pocketers has a 1.88 ERA in 28.2 innings of work.

If you prefer truly elite players, Frank Killen is your man. Killen is one of the few bright spots on the otherwise woeful Otherton Fish Biscuits. An 18th rounder, the reliever/spot starter has yielded a 1.13 ERA in 56 innings for the last place Biscuits. One has to wonder how long it will last however. Otherton is running with a 3-man rotation and Killen has no starter rating, meaning his arm is about to fall off. He joined the rotation on May 6th and lasted into the 7th inning, giving up no runs. Since then, his innings pitched have fallen off precipitously:

Start 1 – 6.0 IP
Start 2 – 4.0 IP
Start 3 – 5.0 IP
Start 4 – 3.1 IP
Start 5 – 4.2 IP
Start 6 – 2.2 IP with just 11 batters faced.

The resurgent Planet 10 has the honor of both the latest drafted “very good” and “good” players. Jose Rijo, their 18th rounder, has a 2.44 ERA in 55.1 IP and their 19th rounder, Fritz Peterson, has maintained a 2.74 ERA in 9 starts while holding opponents to a .230 batting average.

You’ve likely noticed no batter has made these lists, further proof that it is much simpler to find hidden pitcher than batter bargains. In fact, looking at those players tagged as Good, Very Good, or Excellent there are 19 pitchers selected late in the draft before we get to the first batter, Dwight Evans of Willets Point.

Busts of the Draft
Unequivocally, Randy Johnson, another Fishbiscuit, has been a disaster and the most disappointing player in ATB XI. Taken as the 9th overall pick, Johnson is 2-12 with a 4.67 ERA and is on pace to give up 40 home runs. Lefty batters are somehow batting .312 off him while his WHIP is 1.43. The Fishbiscuit 3-man rotation isn’t working out very well for the 6’10” lefty.

The 6th overall pick, Hugh Duffy of the Downsouth Brews, has just a .726 OPS, tied for 93rd best in the league among qualified. Worse still, Roger Connor from Old Pete’s Rabble, taken just two picks later has a .584 OPS though his .252 batting average is at least somewhat respectable.

Two other players stick out like a dog’s cojones – Lou Brock and Ron Guidry. Brock, another Brew from Downsouth has the lowest OPS I have ever seen at .328. The game engine actually displays his isolated power as a negative number and the poor outfielder has no extra base hits in over 100 plate appearances. Guidry, almost as bad for the Edinburgh Caber Tossers, turns all right handed batters into Tip O’Neil as they are collectively batting .338 / .392 / .562 off of the lefty. His ERA is 7.61 and has just 3 Quality Starts in 9 chances. Both Brock and Guidry were 3rd round picks.

First Round Summary
No draft review could be considered complete without a rundown of the most important picks of the draft – the first rounders.

Each of the Top-5 picks are performing extremely well, along with 10th pick Rogers Hornsby, 15th pick Tip O’Neill, 17th pick Albert Pujols, and 20th pick Ty Cobb.’

Even though they are in yellow, Honus Wagner and Arky Vaughan are likely still worth 1st Round choices due to their great defense in key positions; and Ted Williams has played extremely well but has collected only 100 plate appearances due to two freak injuries.

We haven’t mentioned Dan Brouthers, Eddie Collins, Jimmie Foxx, Walter Johnson, and Nap Lajoie, all of whom are struggling, but have track records that should provide hope to their owners that a turn-around is at least possible if not probable.

That leaves Fred Dunlap and Hack Wilson. Dunlap has been schizophrenic this year batting .329 / .379 / .494 in May but just .237 / .321 / .247 in April. As it’s the second baggers first season in ATB, nobody knows which his true level of play is.

Wilson is a bit more problematic. A teller mine for unsuspecting rookie owners, Wilson shall be called the “batting Mordecai Brown” forthwith.

Two months of play are meaningful, but not completely so, and as the dog days of summer wind down, we’ll take a look at the draft again in Part II.

Baserunning Leaders

Steals of 3rd
8 - Tony Gwynn (Rod Beck)
6 - Rickey Henderson (Fish Biscuits)
5 - George Davis (All Stars)
4 - 6 tied at

Going 1st to 3rd on a Single
11 - John McGraw (Beau Brummels)
10 - Jackie Robinson (Handbasket)
9 - Craig Biggio (Rod Beck)
9 - Jesse Burkett (Rod Beck)
9 - Rod Carew (DC Chips)
9 - Hank Aaron (Handbasket)

Going 1st to Home on a Double
4 - Jackie Robinson (Handbasket)
3 - 7 Tied at

Caught Stealing 3rd
4 - Tony Gwynn (Rod Beck)
3 - Mike Tiernan (Black Sox)
3 - Hughie Jennings (Franchise)
3 - Billy Hamilton (Power)

Most Times Picked Off
5 - Pete Hill (Planet 10)
5 - Hughie Jennings (Franchise)
3 - Five Tied At

Thrown out at Home
3 - Joe Medwick (Rod Beck)
3 - Holmes (Franchise)
3 - Simmons (Power)
3 - Delgado (Black Sox)
3 - Shaffer (Black Stones)

Standings Charts - As of May 25