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From 2018: Yanks relying too much on analytics?
1 month ago  ::  Sep 25, 2020 - 10:44PM #1
Jon
Posts: 2,332

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It’s no secret that analytics have become a huge part of Major League Baseball today. Even since Billy Beane and the Moneyball Oakland Athletics started using baseball sabermetrics, the numbers movement has taken the game as we know it by storm. Pretty much every baseball team nowadays uses analytics in some way, shape, or form.


The New York Yankees are no exception.


In fact, out of all the teams in the MLB, the Yankees are one of the most analytics driven. That’s all well and good with me for the most part.


It’s been proven that managing using analytics works more than it doesn’t in today’s MLB. They help you figure out the angles of the game to get the most out of your team. Like it or not, baseball sabermetrics are a necessity in today’s game and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. However, this is where we have to ask when is too much just too much, and where do we draw the line? And have the Yankees crossed that line?


Are the Yankees relying too much on the analytics? It’s time we look at the evidence that suggests they might be and why it could be problematic.


Resting Players Too Much


Let’s face it guys. The Derek Jeter and Cal Ripken Jr. days are over and done with. Position players are not playing 162 games a year anymore, and pitchers will rarely pitch complete games. One of the biggest advantages of analytics is letting organizations know when to rest players and when to pull pitchers. Combining the analytics with sleep study as well as team doctors and teams know exactly what games to rest a certain batter and what pitch count is a certain pitcher’s limit.


Again, for the most part, I’m perfectly fine with this. But once again, the Yankees might be taking it too far in this regard; it seems as if they will always rest players whenever they planned too and refuse to adjust when necessary. One of the biggest examples this season was the Aug. 9 game again the Texas Rangers. Neil Walker had a two home run night, one from each side of the plate, and was hitting .340 in the second half up to that point. He was not in the lineup the next day. Furthermore, when Neil Walker was struggling in the first half, the Yankees rarely rested him.


I don’t care what the analytics say, there is such a thing as hot and cold in sports, and baseball is no exception. You have to reward players when they start having the success that Walker was having at the moment, especially when you consider how much he struggled in the first half. But it seemed the Yankees had Aug. 10 penciled in as an off day for Walker, and there was nothing he could have done to change their minds. You have to take into consideration what decisions like these can do to a guys confidence.


One Dimensional Offense


Looking at the game of baseball today, there is no doubt we are living in a live ball era. There are more home runs and strikeouts in the game than ever before. And analytics have a lot to do with this. Teams now value power numbers and metrics such as slugging percentage, exit velocity, and launch angle while fundamental numbers such as batting average, on base percentage, and stolen bases are being devalued. They don’t care if you bat your weight and strikeout 40% of the time if you hit enough home runs.


That’s exactly how this Yankee team is built right now. This season, the Yankees have hit a grand total of 247 home runs, breaking the franchise record of 245 set back in 2012, and closing in on the all time home run record by a team in a season, 264 by the 1997 Seattle Mariners. Furthermore, they’re second in the Majors in slugging percentage with .448. On the downside, the Yankees rank only 15th in batting average at .248. and have the ninth most strikeouts with 1322.


So what’s the problem you might be asking? It’s quite simple. By following the analytics and building their offense around the home run, the Yankees have become a one dimensional offense; they score pretty much all of their runs via the home run and have nowhere else to go. This has proven to be problematic multiple times throughout the season, and especially of late, where the Yankees couldn’t score runs because the opposing pitcher shut down the home run. When you field a lineup that can only score via the home run in the postseason, where you’re going to be facing the best pitchers that know how to shut down the home run, it’s not going to end well.


Lack of Fundamentals


Out of all the concerns with the Yankees and analytics, this one is by far the biggest. Fundamental baseball has been a problem for them all season. Too often the Yankees would make silly errors in key moments, whether it be defensively or on the base-paths. Furthermore, as previously mentioned, their reliance on hitting the home run takes away from their ability to hit for contact when needed. You shouldn’t be swinging for the fences when all you need is a single to tie the game or take the lead. All this lack of fundamental baseball has to potential to bite the Yankees hard come October.


Now this is purely speculation; I could be and hope I’m wrong about this but it has to be asked. Is it possible that this is what the Yankees wanted when they decided to not bring back Joe Girardi and hired Aaron Boone? Brian Cashman said one of the reason’s the Yankees decided to move on from Girardi was him being too assertive and stiff with the players. They wanted someone who was more laid back, and Aaron Boone fit that requirement to a T.


Why do the analytics matter when it comes to this? That is where we have look at the two styles of managing. Joe Girardi definitely used his front office’s analytics during the years he managed with the Yankees. However, he never forgot to stress fundamentals to his players despite that. Whether or not he should’ve been as stiff as he’s been with some of the players is another debate. Regardless, the Yankees never neglected the fundamentals under Joe Girardi.


Now all of a sudden, fundamentals are a problem under Aaron Boone, which again begs the question. Maybe the Yankees wanted someone who wouldn’t make a big deal over fundamental errors the way Girardi did. Instead they wanted a manager more concerned with analytics. Since Boone is a rookie manager and still developing his own style, he’s obviously going to rely heavily on the analytics, and maybe that’s what the Yankees want. Maybe they’re stressing analytics to a point that they’ve neglected the fundamental aspects of baseball. We should all pray that this isn’t the case.



1 month ago  ::  Sep 26, 2020 - 9:26AM #2
yankoldfan
Posts: 10,516

Sep 25, 2020 -- 10:44PM, Jon wrote:


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It’s no secret that analytics have become a huge part of Major League Baseball today. Even since Billy Beane and the Moneyball Oakland Athletics started using baseball sabermetrics, the numbers movement has taken the game as we know it by storm. Pretty much every baseball team nowadays uses analytics in some way, shape, or form.


The New York Yankees are no exception.


In fact, out of all the teams in the MLB, the Yankees are one of the most analytics driven. That’s all well and good with me for the most part.


It’s been proven that managing using analytics works more than it doesn’t in today’s MLB. They help you figure out the angles of the game to get the most out of your team. Like it or not, baseball sabermetrics are a necessity in today’s game and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. However, this is where we have to ask when is too much just too much, and where do we draw the line? And have the Yankees crossed that line?


Are the Yankees relying too much on the analytics? It’s time we look at the evidence that suggests they might be and why it could be problematic.


Resting Players Too Much


Let’s face it guys. The Derek Jeter and Cal Ripken Jr. days are over and done with. Position players are not playing 162 games a year anymore, and pitchers will rarely pitch complete games. One of the biggest advantages of analytics is letting organizations know when to rest players and when to pull pitchers. Combining the analytics with sleep study as well as team doctors and teams know exactly what games to rest a certain batter and what pitch count is a certain pitcher’s limit.


Again, for the most part, I’m perfectly fine with this. But once again, the Yankees might be taking it too far in this regard; it seems as if they will always rest players whenever they planned too and refuse to adjust when necessary. One of the biggest examples this season was the Aug. 9 game again the Texas Rangers. Neil Walker had a two home run night, one from each side of the plate, and was hitting .340 in the second half up to that point. He was not in the lineup the next day. Furthermore, when Neil Walker was struggling in the first half, the Yankees rarely rested him.


I don’t care what the analytics say, there is such a thing as hot and cold in sports, and baseball is no exception. You have to reward players when they start having the success that Walker was having at the moment, especially when you consider how much he struggled in the first half. But it seemed the Yankees had Aug. 10 penciled in as an off day for Walker, and there was nothing he could have done to change their minds. You have to take into consideration what decisions like these can do to a guys confidence.


One Dimensional Offense


Looking at the game of baseball today, there is no doubt we are living in a live ball era. There are more home runs and strikeouts in the game than ever before. And analytics have a lot to do with this. Teams now value power numbers and metrics such as slugging percentage, exit velocity, and launch angle while fundamental numbers such as batting average, on base percentage, and stolen bases are being devalued. They don’t care if you bat your weight and strikeout 40% of the time if you hit enough home runs.


That’s exactly how this Yankee team is built right now. This season, the Yankees have hit a grand total of 247 home runs, breaking the franchise record of 245 set back in 2012, and closing in on the all time home run record by a team in a season, 264 by the 1997 Seattle Mariners. Furthermore, they’re second in the Majors in slugging percentage with .448. On the downside, the Yankees rank only 15th in batting average at .248. and have the ninth most strikeouts with 1322.


So what’s the problem you might be asking? It’s quite simple. By following the analytics and building their offense around the home run, the Yankees have become a one dimensional offense; they score pretty much all of their runs via the home run and have nowhere else to go. This has proven to be problematic multiple times throughout the season, and especially of late, where the Yankees couldn’t score runs because the opposing pitcher shut down the home run. When you field a lineup that can only score via the home run in the postseason, where you’re going to be facing the best pitchers that know how to shut down the home run, it’s not going to end well.


Lack of Fundamentals


Out of all the concerns with the Yankees and analytics, this one is by far the biggest. Fundamental baseball has been a problem for them all season. Too often the Yankees would make silly errors in key moments, whether it be defensively or on the base-paths. Furthermore, as previously mentioned, their reliance on hitting the home run takes away from their ability to hit for contact when needed. You shouldn’t be swinging for the fences when all you need is a single to tie the game or take the lead. All this lack of fundamental baseball has to potential to bite the Yankees hard come October.


Now this is purely speculation; I could be and hope I’m wrong about this but it has to be asked. Is it possible that this is what the Yankees wanted when they decided to not bring back Joe Girardi and hired Aaron Boone? Brian Cashman said one of the reason’s the Yankees decided to move on from Girardi was him being too assertive and stiff with the players. They wanted someone who was more laid back, and Aaron Boone fit that requirement to a T.


Why do the analytics matter when it comes to this? That is where we have look at the two styles of managing. Joe Girardi definitely used his front office’s analytics during the years he managed with the Yankees. However, he never forgot to stress fundamentals to his players despite that. Whether or not he should’ve been as stiff as he’s been with some of the players is another debate. Regardless, the Yankees never neglected the fundamentals under Joe Girardi.


Now all of a sudden, fundamentals are a problem under Aaron Boone, which again begs the question. Maybe the Yankees wanted someone who wouldn’t make a big deal over fundamental errors the way Girardi did. Instead they wanted a manager more concerned with analytics. Since Boone is a rookie manager and still developing his own style, he’s obviously going to rely heavily on the analytics, and maybe that’s what the Yankees want. Maybe they’re stressing analytics to a point that they’ve neglected the fundamental aspects of baseball. We should all pray that this isn’t the case.






Shooting from the hip or out thinking the other team with some kind of surprise move is a thing of the past... Managers have a different book to play by than they did a few years back... I liked the couple of moves Donny Baseball made last night, they didn't work all that well but they put pressure on our defense and like too many times lately our defense laid a rotten egg...

1 month ago  ::  Sep 26, 2020 - 10:17AM #3
chl45
Posts: 2,489

I have been one of the biggest opponents to the Yankees overuse of analytics' the past few years for some of the very reasons mention in those articles. The planned days off and no variation from it is absolutely ridiculous. Building the team around homerun hitters is fine but no variation during the game to a little small ball when needed is also ridiculous. Knowing when to make moves with certain pitchers and starters should have some gut instinct and the eye test at times.


Over all my biggest voice on it has been to use the Analytics sabermetrics as a guide not a bible. Use what is working don't forget about a players personality and confidence and overall you can not live and die with a plan and not have someone who can make their own decisions on the spur of the moment. IMO the total insanity of playing live baseball like a strato-magic board game is, well, a losing proposition as we see because the Yankees go overboard with their "plans".


Sometimes it really isn't just the players fault. The resting and the injuries it seems to be producing and the interruption of any "roll" a player is on is evident on this present team. The ebb and flow of the team is also a result of analytics IMO in regard to how some of our players respond to the time off and the "plan" for them the sheets have. Sometimes you just have to play the game the way it has been played for decades with help from technology IMO. 

you miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
1 month ago  ::  Sep 26, 2020 - 10:38AM #4
GottaGoToMo
Posts: 80,629

I think the resting of the players has more to do with injury prone players instead of analytics ... some of it is analytics, but I think at this point this season most of it is due to injury issues.

1 month ago  ::  Sep 26, 2020 - 10:46AM #5
chl45
Posts: 2,489

Sep 26, 2020 -- 10:38AM, GottaGoToMo wrote:


I think the resting of the players has more to do with injury prone players instead of analytics ... some of it is analytics, but I think at this point this season most of it is due to injury issues.




Read that article. It's worth it. The "planned" resting of players is taught by analytics and a chart is made accordingly on when to rest them and come hell or high water that is when they rest them. To me that is the reason for some of these injuries so in a way the Analytics are partially responsible.

you miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
1 month ago  ::  Sep 26, 2020 - 10:51AM #6
GottaGoToMo
Posts: 80,629

Sep 26, 2020 -- 10:46AM, chl45 wrote:


Sep 26, 2020 -- 10:38AM, GottaGoToMo wrote:


I think the resting of the players has more to do with injury prone players instead of analytics ... some of it is analytics, but I think at this point this season most of it is due to injury issues.




Read that article. It's worth it. The "planned" resting of players is taught by analytics and a chart is made accordingly on when to rest them and come hell or high water that is when they rest them. To me that is the reason for some of these injuries so in a way the Analytics are partially responsible.




I read the article before I commented.  I think the resting of players is why so many of them go cold ... if you're hot you should keep playing.

1 month ago  ::  Sep 27, 2020 - 11:58AM #7
yankoldfan
Posts: 10,516

Sep 26, 2020 -- 10:51AM, GottaGoToMo wrote:


Sep 26, 2020 -- 10:46AM, chl45 wrote:


Sep 26, 2020 -- 10:38AM, GottaGoToMo wrote:


I think t


he resting of the players has more to do with injury prone players instead of analytics ... some of it is analytics, but I think at this point this season most of it is due to injury issues.




Read that article. It's worth it. The "planned" resting of players is taught by analytics and a chart is made accordingly on when to rest them and come hell or high water that is when they rest them. To me that is the reason for some of these injuries so in a way the Analytics are partially responsible.




I read the article before I commented.  I think the resting of players is why so many of them go cold ... if you're hot you should keep playing.




I agree with you Mo, these players, right in the prime of their lives, and suppositly great shape, and working/playing a boys game, if they can't play a game that last 3 plus hours from which they are sitting on the bench for about half the game, if they can't do that, how can some people that work 10 hours a day doing phyical labor do it ??? And this year of all, 60 game schedule ??? I personally think players are babbied too much...

4 weeks ago  ::  Sep 28, 2020 - 3:09PM #8
Jon
Posts: 2,332

To be fair, some players are naturally injury prone, like Judge. He's 6'5" and violently swings the bat in such a way it'll make him prone.


The same can be said of Kerry Wood. His stuff came from contorting so badly he was a TJ surgery waiting to happen.

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