clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

SBs - The New Moneyball?

New, 4 comments

Update [2007-5-3 16:58:10 by Eric Hz]: No sooner do I catch on to the A's proprietory trade secrets than they throw up a diversion by trading for archetype, Jack Cust - all walks and power.

Christina Kahrl of Baseball Prospectus has a nice article about the LA Angels in this morning's NY Sun. She asks why the Angels don't get any credit for the 21st century success. She partially attributes that lack of recognition to the Angels being without a Moneyball-esque accelerator. I agree. The team also plays the game in ways that the statheads disdain.

What I found interesting is this combo-quote from Angels' manager Mike Scioscia and Ms. Kahrl:

"With that combination the time we had for the pitcher [coming to the plate] and throwing time [for the catcher], I thought we had a better than 75% chance of making it." Scioscia is no dummy; 75% is pretty much where any stathead would tell you stealing makes sense.
There is statistical analysis going on about stealing bases based on measured times of pitchers deliveries and catcher throwing times? It shouldn't be surprising, but it is nonetheless thanks to the drum-beating of the Moneyball faithful.

Blah, blah, blah.

What really drew my attention to the quote was some thoughts I have been having regarding the Oakland A's. In April, the teams stole 11 bases after swiping just three in the previous April. Given the A's are always looking for something different in the ways of building a roster (the true Moneyball lesson), I wonder if they have found some statistically-valid relation between SB attempts and wins, CS and wins, "unexpected" SB attempts and wins, time-lagged relationships between wins and SB attempts, etc. If there is something here, it was likely discovered sometime after the 2005 season.

Year Team SB
2007 11
2006 61
2005 31
2004 47
2003 48

Or the 11 SBs are just a fluke. (FWIW, the monthly SB totals for 2006 were 3, 10, 14, 12, 7, 13.)