Friday, November 30, 2012

Tommy Hanson, Why You Hating On Me

The big news for the Angels was the trade for Tommy Hanson. Hanson has had his ups and downs over the past year, regressing a little bit from the hot start his career got off to. Nonetheless, he has still posted some pretty good peripherals over the past two seasons. Looking at his numbers over the past two years, while giving more weight to the most recent season, Hanson has still put up some pretty decent numbers. Hanson's tendancy is to be more of a fly ball pitcher, which makes his higher than normal walk rate a little troubling... hopefully Angels Stadium can help suppress that. Overall, I think the trade was a good one for the Angels. They need starting pitching and Hanson is better than he is given credit for. His closest comparable pitchers "skill-wise" are strike-out machines who are a little on the wild side.

Top 20 Most Similar Starting Pitchers

NATommy Hanson8.793.521.00
1Matt Moore9.074.080.87
2Erik Bedard8.573.771.23
3Brandon Beachy9.203.070.87
4Michael Pineda9.112.890.81
5Bud Norris8.713.481.00
6James McDonald7.773.780.96
7Felipe Paulino8.953.611.23
8Brandon Morrow8.933.200.95
9Ryan Dempster8.183.101.23
10Lance Lynn9.193.281.39
11J.A. Happ8.483.930.97
12Felix Doubront9.343.971.32
13Jarrod Parker6.873.111.44
14Josh Johnson7.873.051.52
15Clayton Kershaw9.262.341.27
16Justin Verlander9.012.181.09
17Tim Lincecum9.174.031.49
18Cole Hamels8.712.061.36
19Ryan Vogelsong7.333.021.21
20James Shields8.552.321.59

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Zack Greinke, All I Want For Christmas

The Dodgers are a leading candidate to land free agent Zack Greinke, so let me take a look at his comparables.  Remember I am looking at three of the most skill related peripherals, and taking data from both the 2011 and 2012 season with a heavier weight on the 2012 numbers.  The Dodgers would love to have a second starting pitcher who can come close to matching the skillset and results of Clayton Kershaw.  If you are going to spend all this money, you mind as well make sure you've loaded your team to the brink of being a heavy favorite.  A healthy Zach Greinke would do just that.  His peripherals on the K/9 and BB/9 are almost an exact match of those of Kershaw.  Greinke has a better GB/FB ratio than Kershaw which in general is a good thing as less fly balls equals less homeruns.  The only draw back for a ground ball pitcher on the Dodgers might be Hanley Ramirez or Dee Gordon's glove out at SS.  But you can't hang that on the pitcher.  Ho! Ho! Ho!

Top 50 Most Similar Starting Pitchers

NAZack Greinke9.172.321.64
1Clayton Kershaw9.262.341.27
2Cole Hamels8.712.061.36
3James Shields8.552.321.59
4CC Sabathia8.812.121.56
5Madison Bumgarner8.322.091.41
6Matt Garza8.682.831.42
7Felix Hernandez8.622.331.68
8David Price8.752.521.61
9Anibal Sanchez8.292.491.37
10Chris Sale9.002.361.39
11Jeff Samardzija9.302.891.35
12Adam Wainwright8.362.361.93
13Jarrod Parker6.873.111.44
14Stephen Strasburg10.972.551.31
15Josh Johnson7.873.051.52
16Johnny Cueto6.732.241.70
17Roy Halladay8.031.731.51
18Cliff Lee8.991.371.29
19Justin Verlander9.012.181.09
20Ryan Vogelsong7.333.021.21
21Doug Fister6.961.841.70
22Ian Kennedy8.062.320.92
23Matt Cain7.682.270.96
24Josh Beckett7.462.621.08
25C.J. Wilson7.953.631.63
26Vance Worley7.513.101.35
27Hiroki Kuroda6.972.131.56
28Gio Gonzalez9.143.671.52
29Jordan Zimmermann7.011.901.16
30R.A. Dickey7.822.181.43
31Chris Carpenter7.152.031.49
32Mat Latos8.182.801.18
33Jon Lester7.743.181.63
34Daniel Hudson6.992.121.06
35Wandy Rodriguez6.672.731.44
36Yovani Gallardo9.003.191.41
37Jaime Garcia7.252.271.99
38Ivan Nova7.103.021.55
39Brandon Beachy9.203.070.87
40Roy Oswalt6.582.071.31
41Michael Pineda9.112.890.81
42Edwin Jackson7.502.781.35
43Derek Holland7.522.801.18
44Jeff Niemann7.332.591.44
45Wade Miley6.751.881.26
46Chad Billingsley7.533.281.36
47Felipe Paulino8.953.611.23
48Jon Niese7.532.391.66
49Dillon Gee7.233.101.57
50Gavin Floyd7.452.861.29

Links to other player comparables...

Clayton Kershaw
Josh Beckett
Chris Capuano
Aaron Harang
Ted Lilly
Chad Billingsley

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chad Billingsley, Handle With Care

Of the six Dodgers starting pitchers I have looked at so far, Billingsley probably has the fourth best set of comparables.  Falling behind Kershaw, Beckett and Capuano and ahead of Harang and probably Lilly.  Billingsley's strikeout rate is right up there with Beckett and Capuano but he walks quite a few more hitters.  Billingsley does however induce the most groundballs of any Dodgers starting pitcher which is a good thing.

Top 50 Most Similar Starting Pitchers

NAChad Billingsley7.533.281.36
1Jarrod Parker6.873.111.44
2Josh Johnson7.873.051.52
3Ryan Vogelsong7.333.021.21
4C.J. Wilson7.953.631.63
5Vance Worley7.513.101.35
6Matt Garza8.682.831.42
7Ervin Santana6.852.981.15
8Mat Latos8.182.801.18
9Jon Lester7.743.181.63
10Clay Buchholz6.233.121.42
11Wandy Rodriguez6.672.731.44
12Erik Bedard8.573.771.23
13Ivan Nova7.103.021.55
14Philip Humber6.853.021.07
15Edwin Jackson7.502.781.35
16Derek Holland7.522.801.18
17Jeff Niemann7.332.591.44
18Dillon Gee7.233.101.57
19John Danks6.432.931.17
20Gavin Floyd7.452.861.29
21Chris Narveson6.883.671.17
22Luke Hochevar6.542.911.35
23Ryan Dempster8.183.101.23
24Jason Hammel6.923.411.58
25Jake Arrieta7.553.461.26
26Matt Moore9.074.080.87
27Luis Mendoza5.782.971.83
28Clayton Kershaw9.262.341.27
29Johnny Cueto6.732.241.70
30Roy Halladay8.031.731.51
31Justin Verlander9.012.181.09
32Jered Weaver7.132.150.76
33Tim Lincecum9.174.031.49
34Cole Hamels8.712.061.36
35James Shields8.552.321.59
36Doug Fister6.961.841.70
37Ian Kennedy8.062.320.92
38Matt Cain7.682.270.96
39Josh Beckett7.462.621.08
40Ricky Romero6.574.361.91
41Jeremy Hellickson6.023.170.97
42CC Sabathia8.812.121.56
43Hiroki Kuroda6.972.131.56
44Nathan Eovaldi5.973.721.40
45Gio Gonzalez9.143.671.52
46Kyle Kendrick6.172.271.32
47Jordan Zimmermann7.011.901.16
48Madison Bumgarner8.322.091.41
49Ross Detwiler5.572.681.59
50Justin Masterson6.803.392.16

Links to other player comparables...

Clayton Kershaw
Josh Beckett
Chris Capuano
Aaron Harang
Ted Lilly

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ted Lilly, Should He Stay Or Should He Go

There he is, Jered Weaver.  Showing up a third time as the number one comparable for a Dodger starting pitcher.  He was number one on the chart for both Josh Beckett and Chris Capuano.  I think with Lilly though this may be slightly misleading because the walk rates are quite a bit different, with Lilly walking 0.58 more batters per 9 innings than Weaver.  Where the difference is made up at is the heavy fly ball rates both pitchers have.

Top 50 Similar Starting Pitchers

NATed Lilly6.922.730.82
1Jered Weaver7.132.150.76
2Ryan Vogelsong7.333.021.21
3Ian Kennedy8.062.320.92
4Matt Cain7.682.270.96
5Josh Beckett7.462.621.08
6Jeremy Hellickson6.023.170.97
7Ervin Santana6.852.981.15
8Daniel Hudson6.992.121.06
9Shaun Marcum7.512.770.86
10Alexi Ogando6.662.250.95
11Freddy Garcia6.752.951.02
12Randy Wolf5.912.891.09
13Philip Humber6.853.021.07
14Javier Vazquez7.592.340.74
15Bruce Chen6.282.440.74
16Derek Holland7.522.801.18
17Mike Minor7.532.920.86
18Jason Vargas5.852.410.93
19John Danks6.432.931.17
20Chris Capuano7.652.481.04
21Brett Cecil6.843.210.85
22Travis Wood6.663.190.77
23Carlos Villanueva7.372.290.75
24Phil Hughes7.392.300.69
25John Lackey6.073.151.08
26Wei-Yin Chen7.212.670.88
27Jarrod Parker6.873.111.44
28Josh Johnson7.873.051.52
29Clayton Kershaw9.262.341.27
30Justin Verlander9.012.181.09
31Cole Hamels8.712.061.36
32Jair Jurrjens4.752.891.07
33Vance Worley7.513.101.35
34Hiroki Kuroda6.972.131.56
35Nathan Eovaldi5.973.721.40
36Kyle Kendrick6.172.271.32
37Jordan Zimmermann7.011.901.16
38Dan Haren7.251.631.05
39Madison Bumgarner8.322.091.41
40Ross Detwiler5.572.681.59
41R.A. Dickey7.822.181.43
42Matt Garza8.682.831.42
43Brandon McCarthy6.201.651.29
44Kyle Lohse5.821.761.13
45Matt Harrison5.812.601.54
46Jeff Karstens5.731.661.18
47Chris Carpenter7.152.031.49
48Mat Latos8.182.801.18
49Jon Lester7.743.181.63
50Clay Buchholz6.233.121.42

Links to other player comparables...

Clayton Kershaw
Josh Beckett
Chris Capuano
Aaron Harang

Monday, November 26, 2012

Aaron Harang, The Weakest Link

Next up on our journey through the Dodgers starting pitcher comparables is Aaron Harang.  One whiff of his comparables and you get a sense as to why Harang's name is being bandied around as a player who could be traded to make room for a top free agent signing to join the rotation.  Harang moreso than Capuano would be the pitcher you would want to trade from the Capang duet.  Harang strikes out an average amount of hitters but walks a ton of them.  His low GB/FB ratio does not match well with someone who walks so many hitters.  No ground balls to erase them on double plays and extra base runners to trot home on the fly balls that land in the bleachers.

Top 50 Similar Starting Pitchers

NAAaron Harang6.573.830.96
1Jeremy Hellickson6.023.170.97
2James McDonald7.773.780.96
3Chris Narveson6.883.671.17
4Brett Cecil6.843.210.85
5Travis Wood6.663.190.77
6Barry Zito5.513.451.02
7John Lackey6.073.151.08
8Matt Moore9.074.080.87
9Jarrod Parker6.873.111.44
10Josh Johnson7.873.051.52
11Ryan Vogelsong7.333.021.21
12Josh Beckett7.462.621.08
13C.J. Wilson7.953.631.63
14Jair Jurrjens4.752.891.07
15Vance Worley7.513.101.35
16Nathan Eovaldi5.973.721.40
17Ervin Santana6.852.981.15
18Mat Latos8.182.801.18
19Jon Lester7.743.181.63
20Clay Buchholz6.233.121.42
21Wandy Rodriguez6.672.731.44
22Shaun Marcum7.512.770.86
23Alexi Ogando6.662.250.95
24Freddy Garcia6.752.951.02
25Tommy Hanson8.793.521.00
26Jhoulys Chacin6.554.091.54
27Erik Bedard8.573.771.23
28Ivan Nova7.103.021.55
29Randy Wolf5.912.891.09
30Philip Humber6.853.021.07
31Bud Norris8.713.481.00
32Bruce Chen6.282.440.74
33Edwin Jackson7.502.781.35
34Derek Holland7.522.801.18
35Ted Lilly6.922.730.82
36Kevin Millwood5.982.831.31
37Jeff Niemann7.332.591.44
38Mike Minor7.532.920.86
39Chad Billingsley7.533.281.36
40Jason Vargas5.852.410.93
41Felipe Paulino8.953.611.23
42Dillon Gee7.233.101.57
43John Danks6.432.931.17
44Gavin Floyd7.452.861.29
45Jeremy Guthrie5.282.641.07
46Wade Davis5.143.080.85
47Chris Capuano7.652.481.04
48Luke Hochevar6.542.911.35
49Ubaldo Jimenez7.814.411.15
50Mike Pelfrey5.062.871.44

Links to other player comparables...

Clayton Kershaw
Josh Beckett
Chris Capuano

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Show Him Some Respect, The Chris Capuano Story

Next up on my look at the most similar pitchers to Dodger pitchers is Chris Capuano.  Capuano had a very good season for the Dodgers last year, though he did teeter out towards the latter part of the season.  Still, his peripherals were quite good and his good skills show up in this list of top notch pitchers in his list of comparables.

Just like Josh Beckett, Capuano's top four comparables are all the same.  In fact, Josh Beckett is Capuano's number five top comparable.  Beckett and Capuano both add solid depth to the Dodgers pitching staff.

Top 50 Similar Starting Pitchers

NAChris Capuano7.652.481.04
1Jered Weaver7.132.150.76
2Ryan Vogelsong7.333.021.21
3Ian Kennedy8.062.320.92
4Matt Cain7.682.270.96
5Josh Beckett7.462.621.08
6Jordan Zimmermann7.011.901.16
7R.A. Dickey7.822.181.43
8Ervin Santana6.852.981.15
9Mat Latos8.182.801.18
10Daniel Hudson6.992.121.06
11Shaun Marcum7.512.770.86
12Alexi Ogando6.662.250.95
13Freddy Garcia6.752.951.02
14Anibal Sanchez8.292.491.37
15Philip Humber6.853.021.07
16Javier Vazquez7.592.340.74
17Edwin Jackson7.502.781.35
18Derek Holland7.522.801.18
19Ted Lilly6.922.730.82
20Jeff Niemann7.332.591.44
21Mike Minor7.532.920.86
22Gavin Floyd7.452.861.29
23Homer Bailey7.262.251.20
24Ryan Dempster8.183.101.23
25Jake Peavy7.842.010.86
26Carlos Villanueva7.372.290.75
27Phil Hughes7.392.300.69
28Wei-Yin Chen7.212.670.88
29Jarrod Parker6.873.111.44
30Josh Johnson7.873.051.52
31Clayton Kershaw9.262.341.27
32Johnny Cueto6.732.241.70
33Roy Halladay8.031.731.51
34Cliff Lee8.991.371.29
35Justin Verlander9.012.181.09
36Cole Hamels8.712.061.36
37James Shields8.552.321.59
38Doug Fister6.961.841.70
39C.J. Wilson7.953.631.63
40Jeremy Hellickson6.023.170.97
41CC Sabathia8.812.121.56
42Vance Worley7.513.101.35
43Hiroki Kuroda6.972.131.56
44Kyle Kendrick6.172.271.32
45Dan Haren7.251.631.05
46Madison Bumgarner8.322.091.41
47Ross Detwiler5.572.681.59
48Matt Garza8.682.831.42
49Brandon McCarthy6.201.651.29
50Kyle Lohse5.821.761.13

Previous Similar Pitcher Tables
Clayton Kershaw
Josh Beckett

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Who Is Similar To Josh Beckett?

Well, next up on the Dodgers starting pitcher depth chart is Josh Beckett who came over to the Dodgers in their much belliehood trade with the Red Sox last year.  Below, are the Top 50 most similar pitchers "peripheral-wise", based on K/9, BB/9 and GB/FB over the past two seasons.

So are you impressed that his number one comparable pitcher is Jered Weaver who has gone 38-13 for the Angels over the past two seasons?  The big difference being that Weaver has outpitched his FIP/xFIP by quite a bit while Beckett has not.  Could be some luck involved there for Weaver or perhaps pitching in a ballpark that turns fly balls in to outs.  The two pitchers are at different points on the aging curve, but over the past two years their peripherals have been highly comparable.

2012 Top 50 Similar Starting Pitchers

NAJosh Beckett7.462.621.08
1Jered Weaver7.132.150.76
2Ryan Vogelsong7.333.021.21
3Ian Kennedy8.062.320.92
4Matt Cain7.682.270.96
5Vance Worley7.513.101.35
6Jordan Zimmermann7.011.901.16
7R.A. Dickey7.822.181.43
8Ervin Santana6.852.981.15
9Mat Latos8.182.801.18
10Daniel Hudson6.992.121.06
11Wandy Rodriguez6.672.731.44
12Shaun Marcum7.512.770.86
13Alexi Ogando6.662.250.95
14Freddy Garcia6.752.951.02
15Anibal Sanchez8.292.491.37
16Philip Humber6.853.021.07
17Javier Vazquez7.592.340.74
18Edwin Jackson7.502.781.35
19Derek Holland7.522.801.18
20Ted Lilly6.922.730.82
21Jeff Niemann7.332.591.44
22Mike Minor7.532.920.86
23John Danks6.432.931.17
24Gavin Floyd7.452.861.29
25Homer Bailey7.262.251.20
26Brett Myers6.602.401.42
27Chris Capuano7.652.481.04
28Luke Hochevar6.542.911.35
29Brett Cecil6.843.210.85
30Ryan Dempster8.183.101.23
31Jake Peavy7.842.010.86
32Carlos Villanueva7.372.290.75
33Brian Duensing6.132.481.21
34Phil Hughes7.392.300.69
35Wei-Yin Chen7.212.670.88
36Jarrod Parker6.873.111.44
37Josh Johnson7.873.051.52
38Clayton Kershaw9.262.341.27
39Johnny Cueto6.732.241.70
40Roy Halladay8.031.731.51
41Cliff Lee8.991.371.29
42Justin Verlander9.012.181.09
43Cole Hamels8.712.061.36
44James Shields8.552.321.59
45Doug Fister6.961.841.70
46C.J. Wilson7.953.631.63
47Jeremy Hellickson6.023.170.97
48Jair Jurrjens4.752.891.07
49CC Sabathia8.812.121.56
50Hiroki Kuroda6.972.131.56

Friday, November 23, 2012

Who Wants To Be A Kershaw-lionaire

Using 2011 and 2012 data and looking at K/9, BB/9 and GB/FB numbers I computed similarity scores for any starting pitcher who has thrown 150 or more innings the past two years.  Out fo the qualified starting pitchers here are the "Top 50" pitchers with the most similar numbers to Clayton Kershaw. I will have lists for other Dodgers pitchers up in the near future.  In this exercise I weighted the 2011 data by a factor of 3 and the the 2012 data by a factor of 5 as the most recent data has a slightly better representation of the pitcher's true talent level.  Keep in mind that this exercise is just looking at what I feel are the top three peripherals and does not base its similarity scores off of handedness, age or any other factors.

Kershaw's 2011 Top Similar Pitchers

2012 Top 50 Similar Starting Pitchers

NAClayton Kershaw9.262.341.27
1Justin Verlander9.012.181.09
2Cole Hamels8.712.061.36
3James Shields8.552.321.59
4CC Sabathia8.812.121.56
5Madison Bumgarner8.322.091.41
6Matt Garza8.682.831.42
7Mat Latos8.182.81.18
8David Price8.752.521.61
9Anibal Sanchez8.292.491.37
10Zack Greinke9.172.321.64
11Chris Sale92.361.39
12Jeff Samardzija9.32.891.35
13Jarrod Parker6.873.111.44
14Stephen Strasburg10.972.551.31
15Josh Johnson7.873.051.52
16Johnny Cueto6.732.241.7
17Roy Halladay8.031.731.51
18Cliff Lee8.991.371.29
19Jered Weaver7.132.150.76
20Ryan Vogelsong7.333.021.21
21Doug Fister6.961.841.7
22Ian Kennedy8.062.320.92
23Matt Cain7.682.270.96
24Josh Beckett7.462.621.08
25C.J. Wilson7.953.631.63
26Vance Worley7.513.11.35
27Hiroki Kuroda6.972.131.56
28Gio Gonzalez9.143.671.52
29Jordan Zimmermann7.011.91.16
30Dan Haren7.251.631.05
31R.A. Dickey7.822.181.43
32Ervin Santana6.852.981.15
33Chris Carpenter7.152.031.49
34Felix Hernandez8.622.331.68
35Jon Lester7.743.181.63
36Daniel Hudson6.992.121.06
37Wandy Rodriguez6.672.731.44
38Yovani Gallardo93.191.41
39Shaun Marcum7.512.770.86
40Alexi Ogando6.662.250.95
41Freddy Garcia6.752.951.02
42Tommy Hanson8.793.521
43Erik Bedard8.573.771.23
44Ivan Nova7.13.021.55
45Brandon Beachy9.23.070.87
46Philip Humber6.853.021.07
47Javier Vazquez7.592.340.74
48Roy Oswalt6.582.071.31
49Marco Estrada8.941.810.78
50Michael Pineda9.112.890.81

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

High Hopes For Dodgers In 2013

High Hopes For Dodgers In 2013

Los Angeles Dodgers fans had to go through the agony of watching their biggest rival, San Francisco, win their second World Series title in three seasons this October. With a stocked roster prepared for a full 2013 season together, fans are hoping that the script can be flipped around this time next year. Are the Dodgers fully prepared for a World Series run though?

As is the case with every baseball team, the Dodgers are only going to make a push in the NL West if they can remain healthy. The team started off great, but actually faltered after the big trade with the Dodgers. Injuries to franchise player Matt Kemp, as well as the pitching trio of Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley and Ted Lilly, left the team too shorthanded to hold off the hot Giants.

Speculating is hard to do in November, especially when a team figures to be a somewhat major player in the free agent market. With Josh Hamilton, James Shields, Hiroki Kuroda and Zack Greinke all receiving a heavy dose of attention from the the front office, there is a chance that the Dodgers on paper could be even better come spring training, as well as being packed with fantasy baseball starters..

With so many bats in the lineup, the Dodgers seemed focused on getting that solid #2 or #3 starter who can be relied on. With Billingsley coming off an injury and Lilly aging, Shields or Greinke could be a dominant enough pitcher to rely on in a short playoff series. If the Dodgers can learn one thing from the Giants, it is that a team must have dependable pitching in the playoffs in order to win. The offense is going to be there for the Dodgers if they stay healthy, but pitching, outside of Kershaw, has not always been there.

Many look at the Dodgers and their fall out of contention after the trade deadline as some sort of failure with the Red Sox blockbuster trade. Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzales, Nick Punto and Josh Beckett will all provide value for the Dodgers in 2013, and possibly beyond. If the team can complete a few of the speculated moves in the offseason, there will be no better team in the National League up and down the roster.