"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

An Open Letter to Ron Gardenhire

Dear Ron,

Hi, how's things? Tough game yesterday. Say, I wanted to let you know about something pretty nifty. It's a stat called "Inherited Runners/Scored", or "IR/S". It's a ratio of how many runners a pitcher inherits from the previous pitcher to how many he allows to score. Taken over a significant period, it can help you decide which reliever to bring in when your starter falters. I know you're all about innovation, so I wanted to make sure you'd heard about this.

Take last night. Lohse was getting a little tired, and he put runners on the corners with one out in a tie game. So obviously you want to go to one of your best setup guys, and even though they both got used in the last game neither pitched more than an inning. The next three hitters due up are a lefty, a switch hitter, and another lefty, so you lean toward Romero.

Now, lefty batters are hitting .227 off Rincón, versus .174 off Romero, but the two are allowing virtually identical OBPs at .320 (Rincón) and .321 (Romero). Neither has given up an extra-base hit to a lefty batter this season. Romero has given up 4 hits, 2 hit batters and 3 walks with 4 RBI in 23 ABs, Rincón 5 hits and 3 walks with 2 RBI in 22 ABs. Given the next three hitters, we start to lean slightly toward Rincón despite the "handedness" matchups, because he's shown better control and allowed fewer RBI. But it's very nearly a wash.

So far, so good. Now, let's take a look at IR/S, shall we?

162/51 (.315) 45/21 (.467) 13/5 (.385) 100/28 (.280) 52/14 (.269) 6/1 (.167)

So, both historically and immediately, Rincón is definitely better at handling inherited runners. JC, meanwhile, has been terrible over the last season-plus, not just lately. Hmmm. Very interesting. It looks to me like putting Romero out there is almost begging that runner on third to score. He's definitely a start-an-inning kind of guy, don't you think?

So, Gardy, dearest, next time it's late in a close game and you've got runners on and both Romero and Rincón available, for the love of God, sit Romero the hell down.

And tell Silva to pull his pant cuffs up. He just looks wrong in the ankle-length "jogger" style.


Oh, and by the way--Thursday? Bunt on Sabathia. He hates that. He'll get all mad, plunk a batter or two (hey, free baserunners!), and get tossed. And we want him tossed, don't we? Yes, we do. Preferably early.

1 rejoinders:

frightwig sounded off...

TBL, where do you find updated listings of IR/S stats?