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Season 2 To Do Items
Posted by Allan Sellers on Sunday, Jul. 24th, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Here are a few areas of the game I'd like to improve in season 2.

1) Bunting - As mentioned in an earlier thread it needs an upgrade.

2) Determining Type of Hit - In the first incarnation of TMBL, we only had H and HR as real stats for pitchers (not doubles and triples).  We now have that with this stats package and that 'may' help with some situations like the Adam Dunn one that Jonathan mentioned.

3) Double Plays - Needs a review and should take into account fielder info (and hitter DP info).

4) Fielding - There may be some better/expanded fielding stats that could help us with improving accuracy.

5) Ground Out/Fly Out Ratio - We took into account this real info initially but as we moved to a different stats package we got away from it and don't now.  This again would improve accuracy as if you have a "ground ball pitcher", you'd expect more ground outs (or errors from your infielders).

6) Discussion on out of position - like a move from SS to 2b with only a small penalty.

7) Discussion on how to make trading happen - Its hard to trade right now as you have to cut a deal to ensure you have enough PAs from a position coming back to you or you could be in trouble later in the season.

8) Start investigating more situational conditionals (I think something Comrade Rob mentioned) - like a general setting to only pull a pitcher after X hits+walks and/or a specific pitcher setting to do the same.    Like maybe you want your starter to go for a complete game until he's given up X walks+hits or just X hits.

And more to be added...feel free to add more, please be specific so we have something to start to kick around 

Readers Comments

I would love to be able to add conditional instructions at a per-player level. We could have Tendency instructions for:
  * how often to bunt
  * how often to steal
  * how aggressive to be on the basepaths (these first three are the same as the "team"
  * how often to pinch hit for the batter - this would be very beneficial to batters with low avg against a particular handed pitcher (ie, I would pinch hit Julio Borbon against LHP in certain situations.)

I realize that not all managers out there would want to set the tendencies per-player, and are fine with setting them at the team-level. Therefore, I propose that there be an on/off switch for this on the Profile. If the Team-tendencies are set to "On", then use what we already have built. If set to "Off", then use the new per-player tendencies. 

Rob Peterson on Sunday, Jul. 24th, 2011 at 3:20 PM
 

I also feel that Saves need work. Right now, *any* reliever out there can become the league-leader in saves. Of the top 5 Saves leaders so far this season, we have the following real-life save numbers:

1) Venters - 2
2) Axford - 24
3) Valverde - 26
4) Coke - 1
5) Perez - 0

While saves in MLB may, arguably,be overrated, they are a major stat that has a major impact to how managers manage their games. I would like to see us incorporate Saves as a stat in the simulator. Pitchers with a fair number of saves have established that, for the most part, they are trusted to finish close games. Pitchers with fewer than 5 saves, or NO saves, have not been entrusted in these opportunities.

In a 'save' situation, the number of saves that a pitcher has should modify his pitching stats. To do this, I propose the following:
  * Establish the average number of saves for the past 3 MLB seasons (min 5 saves?)
  * For every 5 saves over/under the average, a pitcher's stats go down/up 10% (to a max +/- 30%). This will make it so that all of us who are using pitchers with 0 saves as closers (yes, I am guilty of doing this myself), will suffer a little penalty. 

Just using the 2010 stats, the average saves was 22. 
  * K-Rod (25 saves) would receive no bonus and no penalty to his status.
  * Chad Qualls (12 saves) would receive a -20% penalty to his stats.
  * Heath Bell (47 saves) would receive a +30% bonus to hisstats.

Rob Peterson on Sunday, Jul. 24th, 2011 at 4:43 PM
 

Love the starter list, Al.  Have to give it a bit of thought as to what else might be nice to add.  Rob, love the per-player idea if it's possible to do.

Have to disagree on the "saves" stat though.  I consider it among the most worthless and over-blown stats of the modern era.  A pitcher comes into the game and sometimes just needs to get one out before he gives up 3 runs?  Typically you're looking at a one inning appearance (3 outs) admittedly, yet still ridiculously common for a major league pitcher of any caliber.

How often does any pitcher give up 3+ runs in an inning?  Taking the last week of real games as an example, there were 1,746 half-innings played.  A team scored 3+ runs in any half-inning only 87 times.  That's less than 5% that any pitcher (starter or reliever) or combo of pitchers gave up 3+ runs.  1 in 20.  To expect that only a specialized "closer" can accomplish what routinely happens 95% of the time in the league is media hype and not an indication of any pitcher's real value.

For further evidence, compare "closer" stats with "hold" stats.  For those not familiar with the term, a "Hold" is when a pitcher comes into the game in a save situation, only it's not the last pitcher appearance.  For example, a pitcher enters in the 7th inning with a 2-run lead and over the course of his appearance he doesn't let the other team tie it up or take the lead.  Then when he exits with his team still leading, he gets the "hold."  A new pitcher comes in the 8th inning and gets another "hold."  Then the closer comes on in the 9th and gets the special "save" stat for doing no more or less than the two guys before him did.  Get 3 outs without giving up the narrow lead.  A guy entering in the "hold" spot in the 7th or 8th inning can still get a "blown save" stat just like a closer if he gives up the lead.

So far this major league season, there have been 35 players with 5+ saves that at some point were designated as their team's primary closer (not even counting Ryan Franklin, who didn't make it to 5 saves before losing the job and then his big league roster spot entirely).  They have a combined 727 saves/holds and 111 blown saves.  155 other guys have a combined 1154 saves/holds and 224 blown saves.  For those keeping score, that means that the specialized Closers have an 86.75% success rate at not blowing a lead when they enter the game.  All the other guys who are not closers who enter the game in identical run situations have an 83.74% of doing the same thing.  3% difference does not merit any special stat considerations such as boosting or subtracting from their baseline stats.

And all of that goes without even hitting on the fact that no Closer controls their own fate independently.  Take Heath Bell or Craig Kimbrel this season as examples.  They can only get a lot of saves if their team is up just a few runs when they come in.  If either of their teams had better hitters, then they would be up 4+ runs more often and no one would be talking about them because they'd come in to close out games up by 4 or 5 runs instead of 2 or 3.  No save = no hype.  Similarly, a really good reliever on a really lousy team can have better stats than most closers, but by the time they ever get in a game their team is already behind and they never get a save chance.  On a better hitting team, they could be the league-leader in saves.  Or in the Venters/Kimbrel situation this season, Venters could easily be a closer on half the teams in the league, he just has a guy behind him in the bullpen who already has that spot.  Not his fault, so if he ends up on a team that doesn't have a "closer" by rite of getting X number of a certain arbitrary stat then he should be able to fulfill that role without suffering any penalty.

But that's just my rant.  I'd be totally in favor of the Save stat being re-done so that it's only a save if when you enter the game the tying run is either already on base or will be the first batter you'll face.  That's pressure and bailing your team out of a jam, worthy of the "save" label.  Some day, when Bud Selig asks me to take over for him, it'll be the first thing on my agenda.  Until then, I'd prefer that this league not worry about the "save" label at all in terms of pitching ability since it relies on so many things that are outside a pitcher's control.  In my mind it's the same as saying that a hitter can only hit "cleanup" (4th in the batting order) if he achieved X number of RBI in the prior season, as if any player can control who does or does not get on base in scoring position in front of them.

Kevin Martin on Monday, Jul. 25th, 2011 at 11:33 PM
 

I've always had a niggle with the Save stat and I have to congratulate Kevin on a superbly argued position. Once Holds were mentioned (of which I'd never previously heard), I was convinced.

James Andrew on Monday, Jul. 25th, 2011 at 11:50 PM
 

Baseball Stars (ypu, back to that again) had a LUCK category.  I think something that might be "fair" is a clutch category across the board for all players.  "Fair" is in quotations because how would one fairly establish a clutch factor?  Maybe Saves/Blown Saves for closers, Holds/Blown Saves/IRS for other relievers, complete games/games started minus quality starts for starters, GWRBI/GIDP/LOB for batters and who knows what for fielders.  Whatever the real life numbers are, I'd say they shouldn't affect the outcome any more than "home advantage".

Rob Baptiste on Tuesday, Aug. 9th, 2011 at 12:13 AM