Too Hot for IC

November 16, 2011

Wrote this for the blog I usually write at IllegalCurve.com – they didn’t think it was appropriate for the site so I’ll have it here for my personal records.

I don’t know if this will be a regular feature on the site, but I’ll give it a try. This could be our regular afternoon feature “Around the NHL”. Similar to the Winnipeg Jets Afternoon News, this will cover the top stories in the NHL. I’ll also add in a few non-NHL news articles as well.

What’s on TV tonight? – Montreal Canadiens vs. Carolina Hurricanes (TSN) – 6pm CST. TSN will also be streaming the game from TSN.ca. Personally, I’d like to see more programming streamed online from Canada’s leader in sports entertainment.

ESPN: Pierre LeBrun previews tonight’s match up which he considers the best rivalry in hockey; Vancouver Canucks vs. Chicago Blackhawks. On the Illegal Curve Hockey Show this past Saturday Drew called the best rivalry right now Anaheim vs. Nashville, I’ll take Vancouver v. Chicago any day of the week. It’s worth noting that Vancouver Called up former Manitoba Moose Eddie Lack from their farm team, Chicago. No word on how the Wolves’ attendance has gone this year after their affiliation moved from the Thrashers to the Canucks.

Globe & Mail: Suspension Alert! Suspension Alert! Could we see Brendan Shanahan in a new NHL.com video? The Globe says Chris Stewart could be suspended for a questionable hit on Niklas Kronwall. After viewing the hit it looks like Stewart ran him into the boards from behind, I could see him getting a few games for this. Nice to see Kronwalls teammates come to his defense (naturally…although after the events of the week, that wouldn’t be the case on all NHL teams).

The Score: Dion Phaneuf top 10 Hits – I was at the gym the other day and this came on the TV. Watch Dion Phaneuf’s top 10 hits, it’s a who’s who list of names. By who’s who, I mean literally, I have no idea who any of these guys are. Has Dion Phaneuf ever laid a body check on an All Star? Watch below Dion Phaneuf launch his body like a missile at fringe NHLers Andrew Ebbett, Matt Beleskey, Dana Tyrell, Stephane Da Costa among others.

NHL.com: The NHL asks you to vote one of five potential goals of the year, while no Jet is featured as a scorer in the top goal of the year, luckily none of them feature the Jets getting scored on in spectacular fashion. I saw the Paul Gaustad behind the back, spin-o-rama pass against the Jets on plays of the week, does not feel good watching plays like that as a Jets fan.

AP: If you’ve watched Dragons Den, you’ve probably heard of Brett Wilson, he’s the one who’s the most willing to throw his money away. He’s taken the plunge and purchased five percent of the company that manages the Nashville Predators and their arena. No word on what the cost of his investment was, but Wilson is the chairman of Canoe Financial which owns more than $2 Billion (!!!!!!!) in assets. Safe to say that it didn’t take too big a chunk out of his wallet. Also explains why he’s always so willing to invest on Dragons Den.

Icethetics: The Orlando Solar Bears are making a return to professional hockey. Manitoba Moose fans may remember them from the old International Hockey League (IHL) from 1995-2001. This reincarnation of the team will play in the ECHL, no word yet on their AHL and NHL affiliations.

Tweet of the Day: TSN 1290′s own Shane Hnidy is coming out of retirement…well not really. He’ll be playing his first game at one of Winnipeg’s local rinks tonight. Hopefully his legs are fresh after not having played for five months. Illegal Curve will be at Hnidy’s game and we’ll be the first to get his post skate comments. With the way the Jets defenseman have been hitting the IR, Hnidy may need to get in game shape sooner than we think. (Or that’s what the callers to the TSN 1290 post game show will tell you)

Outside the NHL – this is the part of the post where I get to have some fun and post some non-NHL related news.

The AV Club: Geniuses Trey Parker & Matt Stone have renewed South Park for three more seasons. This will take it into 20, sorry let me repeat that, TWENTY seasons of South Park. Who would have thought that a show where the pilot was called “Cartman Gets an Anal Probe” would last for at least TWENTY seasons. I’ll give these guys credit, the show now is not nearly the same show as it was when it began. It has evolved through the years and fans look forward to their unique brand of social commentary each week on Comedy Central. It is still a shame that we don’t get the episodes premiering here in Canada at the same time they do in the good ol’ U S and A.

New York Times: If you watched Bob Costas’ riveting interview with Jerry Sandusky the other day (not sure how you could have missed it), Bill Carter has a great behind the scenes article on how the interview came about. Carter is also the author of the book “The War For Late Night” which tells the tale of the NBC, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno love triangle. I haven’t read it myself, but it is on my Amazon wishlist.

Consumerist: One of my favourite websites lists their “Top 5 Things Not to Buy This Holiday Season“. Great for those who are starting to to their holiday shopping. One of the more obvious items on the list…Calendars. Everyone knows you wait until AFTER the new year where you can pick from the scraps at half price. My personal favourites are those page-a-day calendars that have a fun fact or trivia question. Those are fun for the first few weeks of the year until you forget to start ripping off the pages. If I need to know what date it is, I’ll check my Blackberry, thanks.

Winnipeg Sun: Looks like there was a hefty drug bust in Portage La Prairie,  MB. It seems like there is one of these each week.

Well that’s it for today’s “Around the NHL” and other news.  Love it? Hate it? Post any feedback in the comments, or tweet me @mremis


First Try at Evaluation

May 27, 2008
Player AVG CT % BB % BABIP HR HR/FB
Navarro, Dionner 0.369 89.0% 6.7% 0.408 1 3.4%
Francisco, Ben 0.338 82.4% 2.6% 0.390 2 6.7%
Ludwick, Ryan 0.333 72.0% 12.0% 0.386 13 28.3%
Molina, Benjie 0.327 94.0% 3.5% 0.327 5 6.8%
Hamilton, Josh 0.327 86.0% 7.8% 0.337 12 18.5%
Bradley, Milton 0.325 76.1% 16.4% 0.388 8 17.4%
Uggla, Dan 0.317 71.0% 11.2% 0.368 16 22.9%
Kemp, Matt 0.315 72.2% 7.2% 0.417 3 8.8%
Giles, Brian 0.302 89.0% 14.3% 0.329 3 5.1%
Hart, Corey 0.302 78.8% 6.4% 0.357 6 12.5%
Sweeney, Ryan 0.293 81.0% 10.1% 0.348 2 5.7%
Pence, Hunter 0.292 78.0% 7.0% 0.343 7 13.0%
Gonzalez, Adrian 0.283 77.0% 6.3% 0.306 14 20.9%
Burrell, Pat 0.276 76.5% 19.8% 0.291 13 21.7%
Scott, Luke 0.269 75.7% 10.0% 0.298 5 13.1%
Rios, Alexis 0.263 75.6% 9.3% 0.336 3 5.5%
Castillo, Luis 0.259 90.2% 13.3% 0.281 1 3.7%
Suzuki, Kurt 0.253 86.0% 6.8% 0.289 1 1.4%
Cust, Jack 0.252 64.0% 21.9% 0.333 8 26.7%
Dunn, Adam 0.252 72.2% 20.5% 0.260 13 25.5%
Beltre, Adrian 0.247 83.0% 10.6% 0.252 10 15.6%
Reynolds, Mark 0.225 64.7% 10.4% 0.298 8 15.1%
Hafner, Travis 0.217 72.0% 12.8% 0.275 4 10.3%
Delgado, Carlos 0.215 77.3% 10.0% 0.235 8 16.0%
Swisher, Nick 0.205 76.0% 16.2% 0.284 4 13.7%

This is my first try at looking at players rate statistics and making inferences. I chose a few players who recently have had high and low batting averages and then looked at their component stats to determine what is the cause of their BA. The HR and HR/FB% only apply to some people, that is really for another post, but is interesting nonetheless.

Here are a few points that I found.

-Ben Francisco has a terribly low walk rate of 2.6% but in the minors it was around 11%. I would expect that to rise. He has a high BABIP, but has a contact rate that supports it. If he gets his walk rate up to minor league levels, he could be legit.

-Benjie Molina has improved his contact rate 4% since the past few years. His BABIP is high at 327, it should naturally regress. But he should have a lower than average BABIP because he is such a slow runner.

-Milton Bradley is posting the highest walk rate of his career. His BA should decline due to the high BABIP and below average ct%. But he should be a decent low end OF in fantasy.

-Dan Uggla has been hitting HR’s at an alarming rate. He is at 22.9%. His career level is 13%. It could drop off or he has increased his ability for home runs. His BA will drop eventually with his low ct% and high BABIP

-Matt Kemp has increased his walk rate 2% since last year.

-Corey Hart looks like the same guy he was last year

-Adrian Gonzalez’s HR/FB% has increased 5% since last season.

-Pat Burrell’s 21.7% HR/FB% is the highest of his career. He walks a ton and in a contract year he is looking to get PAID next season. I’m curious where he will go and what he will get.

-Alex Rios’s contact rate and HR/FB% are way below last years numbers. I would expect those to go up and him to increase his production.

-Kurt Suzuki is walking less than last season. If he gets the walks up, his high contact rate should support a high average

-Jack Cust is Adam Dunn…with more strikeouts

-Adrian Beltre is having a great season, his highest walk rate as a Mariner and since 1999. He is also sporting the highest HR/FB% since his monster ’04 season. He should continue to put up solid numbers.

-Looks like Travis Hafner has gone on a major decline this year. He is striking out more, walking less and less of his fly balls are going for homeruns. His walk rate this year is 12.8% in his ’06 season it was at 18%. This season his HR/FB% is 10.3%, in his best seasons it was 30.2% and 24.4%. I don’t think he is a buy low. I’d trade him if you can convince someone to take him.

-Carlos Delgado is on his last legs. He was amazing in his prime as a Blue Jay, now he is a shell of his former self.

-Nick Swisher should be fine, he is in line with his career numbers.

Alright, well that was my first take on this. Hope you found some of this interesting, thanks for reading.


Some points to remember

May 27, 2008

This is my first blog post. I will try (if I keep this up), to look at baseball players and their skill statistics and make inferences based on these stats.

Certain stats that I will be looking into are.

BABIP – Batting Average on Balls in Play. How often a ball put in play goes for a hit. Hitters average around .300, pitchers is varied as some pitchers have the skill to get more outs. Shitty pitchers will have higher BABIP’s. Check the pitchers career line for BABIP.

Contact Rate CT% – AB-K/AB – How often a player makes contact, makes an out on a ball put in play. Average ct% is 81%. The best are over 85% and worst are below 75%.

Walk Rate bb% – How often a player walks. Average is 9%. Best over 10%. Worst under 5%

HR/FB% – The amount of home runs per fly ball.

Here we go.

Ron Shandler and Co. have determined that true .300 hitters post a contact rate of 86% or better and a walk rate of 11% or better


Contrasting Rotations

May 27, 2008

I have taken the time to assemble the statistics of two American League rotations. At the top of the list is the Toronto Blue Jays, who have a solid rotation one through five. At the end of the list is the Seattle Mariners, who happen to be my favourite team, they have a beyond bad rotation.

Here is what a good rotation looks like. While GB% is not relevant for all pitchers, for some it is a staple of their success.

Toronto Blue Jays
Pitcher ERA WHIP K/9 BB/9 K/BB FIP BABIP HR/9 GB%
Halladay, Roy 3.11 0.98 6.89 1.11 6.21 2.72 0.278 0.56 59.7%
Burnett, AJ 4.69 1.47 7.82 4.12 1.90 3.52 0.327 0.57 48.4%
McGowan, Dustin 3.90 1.42 6.82 3.76 1.81 3.54 0.317 0.42 46.9%
Marcum, Shaun 2.64 0.87 8.16 2.64 3.10 3.70 0.194 1.00 47.4%
Litsch, Jesse 3.57 1.16 5.28 1.24 4.25 4.37 0.278 1.40 48.7%

Why have the Blue Jays been so successful? As a rotation, only one pitcher has an ERA above 4, and only one pitcher has an FIP above 4 (not the same pitchers). The Blue Jays pitchers minimize the number of walks, with an average K/BB of 3.454. Roy Halladay has been the best and most efficient pitcher with a K/BB of 6.21 and inducing ground balls 60% of the time. He has a minuscule WHIP of 0.98. The Blue Jays pitchers have also kept the ball in the park, as a staff average of 0.79 HR/9, only one pitcher allows more than 1 HR/9. These guys are good, I would look for their success to continue.

On the contrast, here are the statistics for the mariners rotation.

Pitcher ERA WHIP K/9 BB/9 K/BB FIP BABIP HR/9 GB%
Bedard, Erik 4.70 1.30 7.83 3.91 2.00 5.03 0.263 1.57 42.6%
Hernandez, Felix 3.60 1.47 7.44 3.96 1.88 3.97 0.319 0.84 49.1%
Silva, Carlos 5.14 1.37 3.42 1.71 2.00 4.48 0.313 1.05 42.8%
Washburn, Jarrod 6.54 1.51 5.37 2.18 2.46 4.78 0.282 1.34 36.1%
Batista, Miguel 6.47 1.97 6.47 5.73 1.13 4.69 0.374 0.74 45.0%

Wow, these guys are brutal. Jesse Litsch, the 5th starter for the Blue Jays would lead the Mariners in ERA. The mariners have three pitchers with ERA’s above 5. They walk too many batters, with a collective average K/BB of 1.89. The WHIP’s across the board are average, and the BABIP’s are high. Soon enough some of these guys will lose their job. I thought the Carlos Silva signing was bad when it was announced, but man does it look awful right now. Yuck.

I would also like to add that Felix Hernandez has been allowing ground balls at a 50% rate, compared to his career rate of 60%.


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