One of the most important tasks of business owners is making sure that they have cybersecurity that can neutralize any threats. There are a lot of options out there, so it is important to narrow down what you are looking for. Take a look at the following factors to consider when you are choosing the best solution for your business.
There are many different types of cybersecurity threats, but you only need to have a solution for those that can harm your business. Threats can be external, internal, or partner. External threats make up more than 70% of breaches in business. Look at what your business is facing, and find the solution that is most effective for those types of threats.
Next, you need to consider your staff and determine whether you can manage your cybersecurity on your own. If you don’t have the personnel to cover this, you might consider outsourcing the job. There are professionals who devote all of their time to staying up-to-date on the latest threats, and they can protect you.
Another factor to consider is your industry. Different industries have different cybersecurity risks, and this will help you determine yours. Some industries are more likely to have hackers trying to steal client information, while others may be at risk from a malware attack. Ask others in your industry what they are most worried about to learn from their experiences.
You also need to make sure that you are working with a reliable vendor when you find your solution. Pay attention and look out for vendors who are more concerned with making a sale by scaring you than protecting your interests. They should not try to scare you into products. They should look at your existing cybersecurity and make recommendations that help you reduce your risk.
You should also make sure that your systems are secure. Make sure that cybercriminals can’t get into your data through third parties, including cloud providers and other services. This will help you evaluate your risks so that you can protect yourself.
The post Finding a Cybersecurity Solution for Your Business first appeared on Louis DeTitto | Business.
via Louis DeTitto | Business https://louisdetitto.com/finding-a-cybersecurity-solution-for-your-business/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=finding-a-cybersecurity-solution-for-your-business
Baseball has long been considered to be one of the most popular sports in the United States. It has remained largely unchanged as far as the rules go despite being around for so many years. The biggest thing that has changed is how sports teams make money. Read on to learn how baseball teams make money in modern times.
The biggest way that baseball teams make money involves television deals. There are two types of television deals and both of them are lucrative. Teams make money by signing national and local television deals. Games that play locally make teams a good amount of money, and nationally televised games make a lot of cash.
TV stations pay big money to get sports games on their networks. Sports broadcasts are still some of the most watched television shows in North America. Baseball games bring in more money from advertisers and help to get the networks better ratings. Those networks pay baseball teams a great deal of money to secure the rights to air their games.
As you’d expect, ticket sales are another way that baseball teams make money. This is the live gate for the baseball games that the team plays. A sellout crowd for a playoff game is going to bring in a lot of money. So baseball teams that have consistently high ticket sales will bring in more money than those with low attendance.
Merchandise sales help teams to earn money as well. Baseball teams sell all sorts of merchandise. Fans of different teams can buy baseball hats, jerseys, pennants, t-shirts, posters, and much more. All of these merchandise sales help to contribute to a team’s bottom line.
In Major League Baseball, teams also make money through revenue sharing. Every team contributes a set percentage of revenue, and that money is distributed evenly to all of the teams. This helps to ensure that teams in major markets don’t get an unfair advantage over teams located in smaller markets. It evens the playing field a little bit, but it doesn’t keep the more popular teams in big cities from being more profitable overall.
via Louis DeTitto's Sports Blog https://louisdetitto.net/how-baseball-teams-make-money/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-baseball-teams-make-money
This past Thursday the Phillies announced that they were parting ways with shortstop and 11-year MLB veteran Didi Gregorius by giving him his outright release. The move wasn’t much of a surprise as Didi wasn’t playing particularly well, and with Jean Segura set to return from the IL, and with 2019 first-round pick Bryson Stott ready to move to shortstop full time, Didi was clearly the odd man out.
The move may not have been a surprise, but it was newsworthy. Admittedly, writing “Didi wasn’t playing particularly well” is a bit of a sugarcoat, as he was downright abysmal in 2022, ranking dead last in bWAR among shortstops with -0.5 and second to last in OPS+ with 59. That level of performance and the subsequent release of a 32-year-old player who not that long ago was one of the better shortstops in baseball*was eyebrow-raising. It certainly had many people asking “What happened to Didi?”
The answer is nothing happened to Didi other than he became a victim of a torrid, but relatively short hot streak, and of fans’ (and dare I say MLB executives’) high expectations and misevaluations based on that streak.
The reality is that Didi had a rather long stretch – 555 games to be exact – in which he was a serviceable, but not a particularly good player. Then midway through the 2017 season, he turned into Cal Ripken for a 98-game stretch that carried over into April of 2018. Yet before the calendar turned to May in 2018, the real Didi returned for 416 more career games of below-average performance.
You may think there has to be more to it, and we’ll return to that in a minute, but let’s look at the clear lines of demarcation in Didi’s performance over his career. (*Author’s note: With the exception of 2015 when Didi played superb defense, his glove work and base running were more or less consistent over his career, so for the purposes of brevity we’ll stick to his offensive swings in production today.)
From the time Didi started to get regular playing time in 2013, through July 15th, 2017 Gregorius had 2,148 plate appearances and posted an unimpressive 93 wRC+. Then from that point through April 28th of 2018 (not counting his great ’17 postseason), he turned into Roger Maris if Maris could play shortstop. That 98-game stretch saw Didi post a 144 wRC+, .575 SLG with 25 long balls, and 79 RBI – all of which led MLB shortstops over that span.
Then when the clock struck midnight on April 28th, 2018, Didi lost his glass slipper and never got it back. Over the remaining 416 games and 1,677 PAs of his career, he’d put up a wRC+ of 88 – similar to the hitter he had been prior to July of 2017. Again, not terrible, but far more than a pitching wedge into the short porch away from good.
You may be thinking that the date of the start of his hot streak seems random, and perhaps Gregorius made an adjustment or philosophical change at the start of the 2017 season. His pull percentage in 2017 was a career-high and it did in fact continue to increase for four consecutive seasons after that. That may lead us to think that increasing pull rates in Yankee Stadium is what led to the increase in production. But that doesn’t explain why he held an essentially league average 102 wRC+ more than halfway through 2017, then immediately became an obliterator of baseballs with a 144 wRC+ over his next 98 games. It also doesn’t explain why his production continued to drop over the last several years of his career even as his pull rates stayed elevated.
Of course, you’re probably wondering when I’m going to acknowledge the elephant in the room that is Didi’s elbow injury and subsequent Tommy John surgery. Although one can never say an injury of that degree would have zero effect on a player, in this case, it had little to no effect. Didi injured his elbow in Game 2 of the ALDS in 2018 against Boston, and the regression to his personal mean began far before that. His 98 wRC+ over the previous five months was a big drop from his 144 wRC+ in the three baseball months prior.
Perhaps pitchers and defenses adjusted to him? In the case of pitchers no, as Baseball Savant shows no significant changes in how he was pitched to. Defenses did begin to shift against him more often after 2018, but his performance against shifted defenses varied both before and after 2018, so there was little effect on his long-term numbers, if any.
What was consistent throughout Gregorius’ career is that comparatively speaking, he never hit the ball particularly hard. In the eight seasons in which Statcast has tracked such matters, Didi finished below the 10th percentile in average exit velocity six times. In his two best seasons in this regard, he finished in the 17th and 28th percentile, so even at his best he wasn’t exactly worrying opposing fielders. (Unsurprisingly, his hot streak from July of ’17 through April of ’18 did have a 31-point bump in Batting Average on Balls in Play from the first half of 2017.) As you’re a reader of Off the Bench, you’re surely aware that if a batter doesn’t strike the baseball hard, it’s virtually impossible to sustain success for any substantive period of time.
To me, “What happened to Didi?” isn’t the correct question. “Which is the real Didi: The guy with close to 4,000 plate appearances of below-average hitting, or the guy who was productive over a 98-game stretch?” is the better question. The answer is that Didi was a serviceable but not impactful player who had a brief run that fooled folks in baseball into believing he was better than he was.
To be clear, this isn’t a knock on Didi. Baseball is very, very, hard, and the percentage of MLB players who can do it on a great level over the course of an entire career is infinitesimal. If this is indeed the end of Gregorius’ career, he can walk away knowing he had a very good one. Yet he is still a cautionary tale for the rest of us to beware of small sample sizes, and in baseball terms, 98 games is not a big one.
via Off The Bench https://www.offthebenchbaseball.com/2022/08/11/what-happened-to-didi/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-happened-to-didi
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via Off The Bench https://www.offthebenchbaseball.com/2022/08/11/eu9-is-one-of-the-trusted-online-casino/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=eu9-is-one-of-the-trusted-online-casino
There have been 50 players awarded the MLB Roberto Clemente Award since 1971. It is the trophy that carries the largest sense of community, baseball spirit and humanity.
The award was named in honor of Roberto Clemente, and it was originally known as the Commissioner’s Award. They renamed the title after Clemente passed away in 1973. He was heroically trying to send supplies to the victims of the Nicaragua earthquake.
Although no one should have to die for a cause, this moment really cemented the ideals of the Commissioner’s award like no speech or film could – using your wealth and reach to help others is exactly what the Roberto Clemente Award is all about.
Looking through the list of outstanding people, we want to showcase the best players in the collection of 50. These people shattered World Series Odds as well as breaking down social barriers.
In no particular order, we start this list of amazing people with David Ortiz. The Red Sox player was awarded the Roberto Clemente award in 2011 after he spent a lot of his own money and time helping children receive care in both the US and the Dominican Republic. He set up pediatric hospitals and financially supports the David Ortiz Children’s Fund to help children who cannot afford the care they need.
The Hall of Fame baseball player, Derek Jeter, received the Roberto Clemente award in 2009. The Yankees player was given the award for his years of contribution to the Turn 2 Foundation. This charity was created to help motivate young people into healthy lifestyles including playing baseball or other sports.
Jeter created the foundation to help children stay clear of drugs and alcohol.
Biggio received his Roberto Clemente award in 2007 for his work with the Sunshine Kids Foundation. This charity was first created in 1982 and aimed to help children with cancer.
Although they have connections to research institutes, their main goal is to create positive activities to make outstanding memories for children who are terminally ill.
These activities are free of charge thanks to contributions from Biggio and others like him.
Smoltz was given the Roberto Clemente award for his contributions to his two charities set up with his wife Dyan Smoltz. They raised millions for the King’s Ridge Christian School and the John And Dyan Smoltz Foundation.
The private school didn’t really need a charity donation, and the foundation services to support Christian churches and schools.
As a Hall of Famer though, Smoltz has won almost every title you can think of including being the only pitcher to compile 200 wins and 150 saves.
Martínez received his Roberto Clemente award in 2004. Throughout this MLB career, the Hall of Fame star donated millions of dollars to various charities, which is why he was awarded the title.
The amazing player was known for his 0.579 batting average against Mariano Rivera and his 75% vote to enter the 2010 Baseball Hall of Fame.
Jim Thome was given the award in 2002 for his charity work to raise money and awareness about paralysis. His nephew Brandon Thome was part of a freak accident that created a spinal cord injury. With his spine injured, Brandon became paralyzed and unable to walk.
Thome had been donating to the Steve Palermo Chapter of the National Paralysis Foundation, to help find a cure for his nephew and find ways to make his life active again.
Gwynn was given the Roberto Clemente award not for one particular donation, but as a recognition of character. He also won the Branch Rickey award in 1995 and the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award in 1998, making him the “triple crown” winner of humanitarian awards.
Puckett, like Gwynn, didn’t have just one area of charity which made him a candidate for the Roberto Clemente award. Instead, he lived in a way that allowed respect, kindness, and helpfulness to brew.
Puckett was a well-respected person both on and off the field.
Smith’s motto was to live life in a small way, making little changes for the better. When he came into fame and fortune as a Hall of Fame baseball player, this attitude didn’t weaken. Instead, it only grew stronger.
He donated a lot of his time and money to help charities across the country.
Nelson Cruz is the most recent winner of the Roberto Clemente Award. He was nominated by the Minnesota Twins even though he was traded to the Rays. This shows that their ideas of Cruz’s charity work exceeded his connection to the team.
Cruz won the award due to his humanitarian efforts with the Dominican Republic, helping to feed over 700 families during the pandemic, and providing a whole town with more fire trucks and ambulances.
Each of these MLB players are heroes of baseball and heroes to humanity. They have all given their time and effort to help those in need.
The post Top 10 Players Who Won the MLB Roberto Clemente Award appeared first on Off The Bench.
via Off The Bench https://www.offthebenchbaseball.com/2022/08/08/top-10-players-who-won-the-mlb-roberto-clemente-award/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=top-10-players-who-won-the-mlb-roberto-clemente-award
Just a few years ago, the trade deadline was a month-long affair. Starting well before the All-Star break, clubs would make major and minor moves, building to a crescendo before the buzzer on July 31. When MLB moved the amateur draft from early June to mid-July, front offices could no longer focus on trades until later in the month. Now, it seems they all happen at the same time in the 36 hours before the deadline.
2022’s frenetic deadline featured dozens of trades, almost all of which occurred on August 1 or August 2. Here’s the best 26-man roster of players traded in the last week or so.
via Off The Bench https://www.offthebenchbaseball.com/2022/08/03/2022-trade-deadline-26-man-roster/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=2022-trade-deadline-26-man-roster
Have you ever taken a guided tour of a cave? The backstory is always something like, “In 1821, Farmer Wilson was tending his cattle when a crack opened in the ground and swallowed his favorite Heffer.” Or maybe like, “Three teenagers were playing with some spare TNT they looted from an army base in 1923 and discovered a massive cavern system.” These natural wonders took millions of years to form and were right under our feet the whole time, but we were none the wiser.
That’s analogous to our knowledge of catcher value. For the entire history of baseball until about a dozen years ago, we kind of assumed catcher defense was important in a special way, but we had no way to measure it other than caught-stealing percentage. We had no idea just how massively important it was until we learned to quantify pitch framing.
The problem is that, in our exploration of this newfound cavern, we immediately hit a fork in the tunnel. We turned in one way, which led to a much more advanced understanding of present and future catchers, but we never doubled back to explore the other prong — reevaluating catchers of the past. If decrepit, old José Molina suddenly became super valuable to the 2012-2014 Rays despite having no other skills than pitch framing, what does that say about Jim Sundberg‘s entire career?
The catcher position has always been far more important than we’ve given it credit for. In spite of this, there are only 19 catchers in the Hall of Fame! The only position with fewer Hall of Famers is third base (17). Given how grossly we’ve underestimated backstops all these years, the Hall voters need to reframe their collective decision-making regarding the position.
Given that it was already an underrepresented position group before even considering framing and defense retrospectively, we should double the number of catchers in the Hall to 38. Here are the next 19 who deserve a plaque.
Any catchers on the fence immediately get welcomed over.
Bill Freehan– Defense factors heavily into this exercise because that’s the main reason why catchers were overlooked. Freehan was an 11-time All-Star who won five Gold Gloves in 15 years for the Tigers. He earned consecutive top-three MVP finishes in 1967 and 1968.
Thurman Munson– Even under the traditional framework for Hall-of-Fame catchers, Munson belongs in Cooperstown. The 1976 AL MVP is 12th in JAWS, which is the highest of any catcher not currently in the Hall except for Joe Mauer, who isn’t eligible yet. His WAR7 trails only Gary Carter, Johnny Bench, Mike Piazza, Iván Rodríguez, Mauer, Yogi Berra, and Carlton Fisk.
Jorge Posada– It’s a little harder to argue for Posada because his defense was actually subpar. Still, he posted better era-adjusted numbers in his 17-year career than Hall of Famers Ernie Lombardi, Ray Schalk, and Rick Ferrell. (Even by doubling the position group, Ferrell probably doesn’t deserve to be enshrined. However, this is about putting more players in, not taking them out.)
Gene Tenace– In the 1970s, people underappreciated Tenace twice over. They failed to recognize his value as a catcher as well as his stellar .388 career on-base percentage. He led the league in walks twice and won four World Series championships — including the 1972 World Series MVP award.
Negro Leagues, Cuban Leagues, and Black Baseball
There are four current Hall-of-Fame catchers from Negro League baseball: Roy Campanella, Josh Gibson, Biz Mackey, and Luis Santop. Despite recent inductions, the Hall still does not have equal representation of players from the Negro Leagues, Cuba, and other Black baseball leagues. (Hat tip to Seamheads and Hall of Stats for help compiling these names, as well as the SABR Bio Project.)
Frank Duncan– Duncan was best described by his Kansas City Monarchs teammate, pitcher William Bell. “Dunk was an excellent catcher. Every owner wanted him. He played in nearly as many places as Hamlet: The Philippines, Japan, Hawaii, Cuba, South America, and North America.” He enjoyed a 22-year playing career followed by a successful stint as manager of the Monarchs from 1942-1947. From 1926-1930, he slashed .323/.408/.453.
Regino García- García was among the premier catchers in the early Cuban leagues from 1901-1914. He was elected to the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in 1941.
Gervasio González- González was part of the initial induction class of the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939. He played from 1901-1919, primarily for Almendares.
Mitchell Murray– Murray was one of the top hitters of the 1920s. From 1922-1926, playing mostly for the St. Louis Stars, he hit .388 with a 139 OPS+.
Quincy Trouppe– Trouppe was truly one of the great ambassadors of baseball. His playing career began with the St. Louis Stars as a 17-year-old switch-hitting catcher in 1930 and culminated with the Cleveland Indians in 1952. Along the way, he donned a myriad of uniforms, with his most productive years occurring from 1939-1944 in the Mexican League. He was a successful player/manager for the Cleveland Buckeyes and Chicago American Giants, then later became the first African American scout for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Doc Wiley– Wiley was among the best players on the legendary barnstorming New York Lincoln Giants in the 1910s. In games for which we have box scores, his batting average was at least .314 in every season from 1913-1918.
Not Yet Eligible
Players must be retired for five years before Hall consideration.
Joe Mauer- In his 15-year career with the Twins, Mauer won three batting titles, three Gold Gloves, and the 2009 AL MVP. He is seventh all-time in catcher JAWS ahead of Hall of Famers Bill Dickey, Gabby Hartnett, Mickey Cochrane, and Ted Simmons.
Yadier Molina– If we’re properly considering catcher defense, Molina is a no-doubt Hall of Famer. His nine Gold Gloves (and counting?) are the third most ever by a catcher trailing only Iván Rodríguez (12) and Johnny Bench (10). Of course, to get to the Hall he will have to eventually retire someday.
Buster Posey– Posey retired this past offseason following one of his best years, albeit for good reason. In a relatively short career, he won the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year, 2012 NL MVP, and three World Series rings. Altogether, his resume is very similar to Thurman Munson’s.
Ironically, catcher was viewed as a defense-first position more than 100 years ago and any offense was a bonus. Now we’ve come full circle.
Charlie Bennett– Bennett first personified the term “everyday catcher” at a time when mitts weren’t padded yet. He obliterated early National League records for games caught in a season and career. During his peak for the Detroit Wolverines from 1881-1888, he compiled a 143 OPS+.
Wally Schang– Schang was a switch-hitter who straddled two distinctly different eras of baseball, playing from 1913-1931. He played for four different dynasties: the Philadelphia Athletics of the early 1910s, the Babe Ruth-as-a-pitcher Red Sox, the Babe Ruth-as-a-slugger Yankees, and the second great Athletics group in 1930. His .393 career on-base percentage is fifth-best by a catcher in MLB history (minimum 1,000 PA).
Charles Zimmer– Zimmer was among the most respected game-callers of the 1800s, playing from 1884-1903. He spent most of his career with the Cleveland Spiders where Cy Young himself credited Zimmer for developing him as a young pitcher. In 1900 and 1901, he was the leader of an early players union and successfully negotiated to repeal the reserve clause (though the AL and NL later ripped up the agreement). He then became a manager and umpire.
Bob Boone– Boone would’ve won more than seven Gold Gloves if so much of his career hadn’t overlapped with Johnny Bench’s. He collected his last Gold Glove in 1989 at age 41; only Greg Maddux won one at a more advanced age. Using dWAR for catchers is imprecise at best, but his 25.8 career dWAR is fourth-best ever behind Iván Rodríguez, Yadier Molina, and Gary Carter.
Jim Sundberg- Sundberg’s 25.3 dWAR is right behind Boone’s and his overall JAWS is similar to Molina’s and Charlie Bennett’s. He averaged 4.1 WAR per season from 1977-1982 and owns six Gold Gloves.
In His Own Category
Elston Howard– Howard didn’t get to play his natural position on a regular basis until 1960 when he was already 31 years old. He debuted with the Kansas City Monarchs as a teenager in 1948, then had his contract purchased by the Yankees in 1950. He served in the military in 1951 and 1952 before resuming his career in the minor leagues. When he was called up to New York in 1955, he was blocked at catcher by Yogi Berra. In spite of all of the roadblocks, he became a 12-time All-Star and won the 1963 AL MVP at age 34. If he had the chance to play as a catcher in MLB from the onset of his career, there’s no doubt he would be in the Hall of Fame today.
If you’ve been counting along, we’ve now added 18 catchers to the Hall, leaving us one short of the goal. At this point, there is a bit of a dropoff in quality. Depending on your big-Hall/small-Hall preference, you could approve of any number of the following players for enshrinement — or possibly none at all! At the risk of crossing into the absurd…
Old-Timey Great- Johnny Kling
In His Own Category- Joe Torre, who is already a Hall of Famer as a manager. No one has ever been inducted as both a player and in another capacity.
via Off The Bench https://www.offthebenchbaseball.com/2022/08/01/lets-add-19-catchers-to-the-hall-of-fame/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=lets-add-19-catchers-to-the-hall-of-fame
For fantasy baseball managers in weekly leagues, utilizing two-start pitchers is one of the most important decisions to make each week. Managers have to take into consideration the caliber of pitcher, the pitcher’s team, the opponent, the venue, the weather, and the likelihood of the pitcher actually making the two starts scheduled for the upcoming week. Late in the season last year, I evaluated the two-start pitcher rankings from Clay Link and Todd Zola on the RotoWire Two-Start Pitchers podcast, which comes out on Fridays. Now that we’re past the All-Star break, it’s a good time to repeat the evaluation based on the first half of this season.
The RotoWire Two-Start Pitcher Podcast comes out on Friday and is focused on ranking the pitchers projected to make two starts the following week, along with some always interesting pre-ranking conversation between Clay and Todd. The duo is entertaining and informative beyond the two-start rankings and it’s a podcast I highly recommend.
Because baseball players, managers, and the weather can be unpredictable, not all of the pitchers they rank end up making two starts in the following week. Through the week ending before the All-Star Break, roughly 69 percent of these pitchers actually made two starts, 26 percent made one start, and five percent made no starts. That’s something to keep in mind when deciding whether to use a pitcher for a projected two-start week—only about 70 percent of them will actually make two starts.
When they give their rankings, Clay and Todd discuss each pitcher and ultimately settle on a number from 0 to 5, with a ranking of 5 essentially meaning “start in all leagues” and the lower numbers meaning “proceed with increased caution” as you move down from 5 to 4 to 3 and so on. A good rule of thumb is thinking of 4s and 5s as good starts, 0s and 1s as high-risk starts, and 2s and 3s as “on the fence.”
Clay and Todd have different views and different rankings, as you’d expect. Through the first 14 weeks, they agreed on their rankings 68 percent of the time, with a low of 48 percent during the week beginning May 2 and a high of 81 percent for the week beginning July 11. Also, it should be noted that Todd updates his rankings on Sundays, but for this analysis I am using the rankings from the Friday podcast. With that out of the way, let’s look at the results for Clay and Todd individually, starting with Clay.
Clay Link’s Results
Almost without exception, Clay’s rankings follow the expected pattern where the higher the ranking, the better the result. Looking at innings pitched per games started (IP/GS), Clay’s 5s averaged six innings per start, his 4s and 3s averaged 5.5 innings per start, his 2s, 1s, and 0s, averaged 5.2, 5.1, and 5.0 innings per start, respectively.
The wins per games start percentage (W/GS%) follows a similar pattern, with his 5s earning wins 44 percent of the time, his 4s and 3s earning wins 35 and 31 percent of the time, and his 2s, 1s, and 0s, earning wins 23 to 25 percent of the time.
Except for one exception (Clay 1s), ERA and WHIP were better as the rankings were better, from a brutal 4.96 ERA/1.44 WHIP for Clay 0s to a superb 2.92 ERA/1.07 WHIP for Clay 5s. Starting a Clay 0 is a risky proposition that only the truly desperate managers should consider. You’re likely to hurt your ERA and WHIP, won’t get many strikeouts, and have a one in four chance for a win.
Continuing the pattern, these pitchers’ strikeout rate increased as you’d expect, from a 17.7 percent strikeout rate for Clay 0s to a 27.2 percent strikeout rate for Clay 5s, while their home run rate also followed the expected pattern decreasing from 3.4 percent HR/FB for Clay 0s to 2.6 percent HR/BF for Clay 5s.
Finally, the three columns on the right show how often each group of pitchers actually made two starts, with Clay 5s, 4s, and 3s making two starts 73 to 76 percent of the time, his 2s making two starts 69 percent of the time, and his 1s and 0s making two starts 61 percent of the time.
An Alternative Way of Using Clay’s Rankings
As an alternative to the 0 to 5 ranking scale used by Clay and Todd, I created two other ways to consider their rankings The first table below shows Clay’s two-start pitchers from the first half separated into three tiers, with his 5s and 4s combined together, his 3s and 2s combined together, and his 1s and 0s combined together. This method provides more distinct separation between the groups. It basically says, “start your 4s and 5s, bench your 1s and 0s, consider your categorical needs with your 2s and 3s.”
A third way to consider the rankings is a binary look that separates the pitchers into two basic groups and simply says, “start the 3s, 4s, and 5s and bench the 0s, 1s, and 2s.” Consider this the quick-and-dirty, thumbs up/thumbs down method.
Todd Zola’s Results
The two statistics that most precisely fell in line with expectations based on Todd’s rankings were innings pitched per games started (IP/GS) and wins per games started (W/GS%). Todd’s 5s shined brightly by averaging 5.9 IP/GS, which helped them win 46 percent of their starts. The pattern generally continued down the line all the way to his 0s, who averaged just 5.0 innings per start and won 25 percent of their efforts. There was a notable separation at the top in wins per start, with the top two tiers winning 46 and 35 percent of their starts, respectively, while the bottom four tiers won just 25-26 percent of their starts.
When it comes to the other categories, the results for these pitchers generally correspond well with Todd’s rankings, with the main exception being his 2s and 1s. In the first half, his 1s outperformed his 2s in ERA, WHIP, strikeout rate, home run rate, and percentage of weeks with two starts. There was a slight anomaly in WHIP for Todd’s 4s (1.23 WHIP) versus Todd’s 3s (1.19 WHIP), but the 4s were better in W/GS, ERA, and strikeout rate, which made them a better choice to start all things considered.
Just as above with Clay’s pitchers, we can compress Todd’s pitchers from six different rankings down to three by combining the groups. This produces a more distinct tiering, with his 4s and 5s being good options, his 0s and 1s being high-risk, and his 2s and 3s being on the fence.
Finally, the binary, take it or leave it, simple yes or no option for those who don’t want to think too much.
The Change In Offensive Environment In May
In addition to the usual difficulties predicting how a pitcher will perform over a seven-day period, this year we saw an added twist—a dramatic shift in home run rate in May, which led to more home runs allowed and an increase in ERA and WHIP for pitchers. The first two-start week for the podcast was the week beginning April 11. The fourth two-start week ended on May 8. When we look at the four weeks from April 11 to May 8 compared to the 10 weeks from May 9 to the All-Star break, we see how the change in offense affected the two-start pitchers.
During the first four weeks that Clay and Todd ranked two-start pitchers, the pitchers combined for a 3.69 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and allowed home runs to 2.6 percent of the batters they faced. Right around May 9, something changed (The baseball? Humidors? Weather?). From that point to the All-Star break, the two-start pitchers combined for a 4.21 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and allowed home runs to 3.3 percent of the batters they faced. The strikeout rate remained the same and the walk rate went down, but that home run rate increased significantly, which just added another layer of difficulty to predicting what a two-start pitcher will do in a given week.
For historical context, a 2.6 percent HR/BF is similar to the seasons from 2007 to 2015, which was right before the MLB home run rate increased significantly in the middle of the 2016 season. A 3.3 percent HR/BF is the same as 2017 and 2021, which were two of the four highest HR/BF seasons in MLB history (with only 2019 and 2020 being higher).
The post Evaluating RotoWire’s Weekly Two-Start Pitcher Rankings appeared first on Off The Bench.
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After putting up a franchise-record 107 wins last season, this year’s iteration of the San Francisco Giants hasn’t measured up to quite that level of dominance. Their 48-43 record at the All-Star break was still plenty respectable; they were within a game of the third wild card spot. Optimistic Giants fans can point to their +51-run differential in the first half being twenty runs better than the Padres, who occupy the second spot in the NL West standings, as a sign that general manager Farhan Zaidi should reload at the deadline and make a splashy, Kris Bryant-reminiscent acquisition in the next week. Do they really have what it takes to hang with the Dodgers, Mets, and Braves for a shot at the World Series come October, though? If the first half was any indication, not really. Their lifeless play from June 15th to July 8th, in which they went a miserable 4-14 in 18 games, was indicative of some deeply rooted roster flaws that can’t be fixed by selling their souls for Juan Soto.
Despite Carlos Rodón and Logan Webb putting up brilliant numbers at the front of the rotation, the Giants’ defense – once one of the club’s biggest strengths – has now become a glaring weakness that has cost them time and time again. Their league-best 3.38 FIP has been offset by a lackluster -29 DRS as a team, leading to a more average 3.84 team ERA. Brandon Crawford, once arguably the premier defensive shortstop in the game, has looked much more human on both sides of the ball compared to his standout year last season. He also has made two trips to the IL already this season, and his companion on the left side of the infield, Evan Longoria, has only managed to appear in 47 contests. Brandon Belt, a perennial Gold Glove candidate at first base throughout his career, appeared in just 53 games himself and hasn’t made much of an impact when healthy enough to play.
In the absence of these aging defensive wizards, an assortment of below-average defenders have stretched to play multiple positions at a sub-par level. When LaMonte Wade Jr., an outfielder by trade, is asked to play first base on a semi-regular basis, it’s not hard to fathom why the infield defense has struggled so much. Wilmer Flores and Tommy La Stella, two of the slowest non-catchers not named Albert Pujols in the game today, have never been known for their smooth hands and quick feet. Mike Yastrzemski has been an asset in the outfield, but Joc Pederson and Darin Ruf don’t have the range to chase down anything other than the most routine flyouts. The defense has suffered, and with a roster devoid of almost any youth or athleticism, it’s not a problem that’s going to turn around with guys taking a few more pregame grounders.
The Giants won titles in their heyday with a lack of star power relative to other championship teams – they did the little things well, and the team was greater than the sum of its parts. This team doesn’t have a Buster Posey or a Hunter Pence to rally the troops, nor does it have a Julio Rodríguez or a Mookie Betts to provide a spark of dynamism. There are no marketable stars on the team to drum up fan interest, save for maybe Carlos Rodón, but he only plays every five days and surely will be testing the free agent market once again this winter. This is a team that won a franchise record number of games just last year and is still over .500, yet they’re only 13th in the majors with an average draw of around 30,500 fans per game. Ten years ago, by contrast, they were in the middle of a remarkable 530-game sellout streak. Whether its fans becoming disillusioned with the Giants’ apparent master plan or just a general disconnectedness with the guys wearing the uniforms, the fans have found this version of the Giants pretty near unwatchable.
Marco Luciano, Kyle Harrison and the rest of the next wave of talent toiling away in the minors is the key to the team’s rejuvenation, and then building around those guys with a known star, like Aaron Judge or Juan Soto could have see the Giants become a powerhouse again. Trading three or four budding young stars for Soto, who will inevitably cost over $450 million to lock up anyway, is not the answer for them right now. If they squeak into a Wild Card spot, that’s all well and good, but you really have to squint to envision the Giants going toe-to-toe with the real big dogs in the National League. They don’t have the offensive firepower. They don’t have the defense. They don’t have the bullpen. Trevor Rosenthal has been a nice bandaid on a larger problem area. The Giants front office has a tough assignment deciding whether to buy or sell over the next week, with long-term implications that could make or break the team’s future hang in the balance.
The post San Francisco Giants First Half Respectable and Disappointing appeared first on Off The Bench.
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It is always positive when employees get along well, but some businesses wonder if it can be better if they actually become friends. In fact, studies have shown that there are benefits for both employees and businesses when people have close friends at work.
How Work Friendships Benefit Companies and Employees
When people have friends at work, they are usually more engaged. They are more satisfied at work, and this is particularly the case for women.
They also found that employees who have friends at work are more likely to take steps to benefit the business. This can have a positive impact on profitability, safety, inventory control, and customer loyalty.
How to Encourage Friendships at Work
There are ways that you can encourage friendships at work. The best way to do this is to provide opportunities for people to get to know each other, and then the friendships will develop naturally.
You can use a buddy system to welcome new employees. Giving new employees someone who can show them how things are done is a great way to encourage new friendships.
Another way to encourage friendships is by providing opportunities for people to eat together. You can have a potluck once a month, or bring in pizza once a week. This is a great way to give employees an opportunity to build friendships.
If you hold meetings offsite a few times a year, it gives people a chance to get out of the office and get to know each other.
You can also create challenges where you encourage teams to compete with one another. Host an active challenge to get people to meet wellness goals, or have a dance party where everyone dances around the desk for 15 minutes. This encourages people to let down their guard and be more social.
You can create teams such as volleyball or softball so that people have a chance to spend time together outside of work. You can also plan monthly outings, such as bowling, playing pool, and more. These are all ways to encourage people to get to know each other outside of work.
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Louis DeTitto is a Philadelphia-based security management expert and sports fan.