Injuries and the Boston Red Sox

Here’s a look at the remarkable number of injuries the Red Sox have sustained this season. Red represents the number of “starters” missing games, with “starters” consisting of eight fielders, one DH, and one starting pitcher. The Red Sox fielded 10 starters only four times during the season (games 1-4), and then a rash of injuries commenced with a fateful collision between Jacoby Ellsbury and Adrian Beltre. (It’s also worth nothing that Beltre subsequently took out Ellsbury’s replacement— Jeremy Hermida—in similar fashion.) During a brutal stretch beginning in late June, the Red Sox lost Dustin Pedroia, Clay Buchholz, and Victor Martinez in successive games in San Francisco.

Introducing PayScale

After a long week and a hard-earned paycheck, let’s take a look at who’s earning their paychecks in MLB. PayScale plots prorated salary (Y axis) against WAR (X axis) and uses a rough baseline of $4.5M per win as “fair compensation.” Players which a higher $/win are classified as overpaid, while players with a lower $/win are classified as bargains.

Here’s a look at two big market teams – the Yankees and Red Sox. Some things that catch my attention: For the Yankees, it’s the rock-solid value (still!) of their old guard of Posada, Jeter, Rivera, and Pettite. For the Red Sox, it’s the tremendous value they’re getting out of Youkilis, Lester, Buchholz, and Pedroia (Boston’s younger version of the Yankees’ old guard).

Next up: PitchCode

As a follow-up to the introduction of BatCode, here’s its estranged twin PitchCode. In this post I’ll share two ways to use PitchCode for John Lester’s 2009 season. The first works just like BatCode – showing the results of each at-bat (against Lester) with a line representing a walk or hit and line thickness representing power. The second approach zooms out to the inning level and shows each of Lester’s 2009 innings, with line thickness representing the number of runs Lester allowed in each inning.

Which one (if any) do you like? What do they reveal (if anything) about Lester’s 2009 season?

Starting Pitching in the AL East

Using the Rank-o-meter, lets take a look at starting rotations in the AL East.  I’m experimenting with a different approach to ranking pitchers – this time looking at each team’s best starter, then second best starter, and so on.   Lets take a look, with the best rotations first:

1. The Rays have the best and deepest rotation thusfar

2. The next best rotation is probably the Yankees, although right now they’re essentially a 3-deep rotation.

3. The Jays are off to a surprising start, driven by a well-balanced rotation.

4. The Red Sox come in 4th, with a very disappointing start.  Bucholz and Beckett have been fine, but the rest of the rotation has been a disaster.

5. Bringing up the rear is the Orioles staff.  Not too pretty…

2010 Red Sox Schedule

Here’s a visual I’ll be using to show the 2010 schedule and results.  We’re a little over 1 week into the season…

Introducing the Paintomatic

Here’s a visualization of the Red Sox starting rotation (using 2009 stats).  The size of the circle represents how often the pitch is thrown, and the color indicates how effective the pitch was.  Pitch abbreviations are FB (fastball), CT (cutter), CB (curveball), CH (changeup), and XX (where you’ll find Wakefield’s knuckleball and Bucholz’s and Lackey’s sliders).

Josh Beckett’s 2009 Season

Continuing my “hot and cold” theme of late, here’s a visual of Josh Beckett’s 2009 season, with red indicating a quality start (minimum 6 innings pitched with no more than 3 earned runs allowed).  The squares represent innings completed, with earned runs allowed inside each inning.

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