Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sabermetric Review

As part of my preparation for my Tiger season preview which I'll do in a week or so, I went back and reviewed many of the sabermetric analyses I presented this winter. Here is a brief summary:

  • The Tigers finished 71-91 28 games behind the White Sox and 12 games behind the third place Twins.
  • They were 11th in the league in offense with 723 runs scored and 8th in defense allowing 787 runs.
  • They finished 4th in the league in batting average, 7th in isolated power and dead last in isolated walk percentage (or times on base without getting a hit). This should make it fairly obvious why they ranked so low in runs scored.
  • They were 12th in the league in pitching (fielding independent pitching or FIP) and 8th in fielding (Defensive Efficiency Record or DER). So their fielding was a little better than their pitching.

The following individual hitters were most responsible for the team rankings:

  • None of the Tigers who had full seasons finished in the top 20% of the league in any offensive categories.
  • The players most responsible for their high team batting average were Chris Shelton, Rondell White, Placido Polanco, Carlos Guillen and Magglio Ordonez. All finished in the top 20%.
  • The players most responsible for the low isolated walk percentage were Ivan Rodriguez, Omar Infante, White, and Nook Logan all finishing in the bottom 20% of the league. Only Carlos Pena finished in the top 20% and he had only 295 at bats.
  • Shelton was the only regular finishing in the top 20% in slugging while Guillen was in the bottom 20%. Pena also finished in the top 20% in limited playing time.

Now for the pitchers:

  • Jeremy Bonderman was 16th among American League starters in FIP ERA indicating that he pitched better than his actual ERA.
  • No other starters were above average and the fifth starters (Wil Ledezma, Sean Douglass, etc.) raised their FIP significantly.
  • The Tiger relievers pitched worse than their ERAs for the most part. Fernando Rodney, Chris Spurling, Franklin German and Craig Dingman all had FIP ERAs essentially a run or more above their actual ERAs. Only Kyle Farnsworth finished with a FIP ERA in the top 30% of the league.

And the fielders:

  • The fielders contributing most to their DER were Brandon Inge and Nook Logan.
  • The fielders hurting their DER the most were Magglio Ordonez and Craig Monroe.

I guess that was not so brief but I wanted to put this all in one place. I’ll likely be referring to some of these items again when I do the team preview.


  1. The bottom line is, the White Sox had an INCREDIBLE record in one-run/clse games. I don't know HOW many they won in the late innings -- and their extra inning record was amazing, too.

    The Tigers, on the other hand, were awful in close games.

    THAT'S where I hope Jimmy Leyland can help.

  2. Greg, The White Sox were 35-19 in one run games. I doubt they will repeat this year. I'm picking them to win because of their pitching but I think they'll win fewer games this year.


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