Half his innings in his career are high leverage.

Of all his relief innings, 531 are HL, a total of 371 are Med or Lo.

If that’s 1.7 or higher, I call it 1.7 until you can show that he’s regularly higher.

You can call it whatever you want, but it’s kind of stupid to assume that all of the high leverage innings are the very lowest that a high leverage inning can possibly be. It’s *obviously* incorrect, so by assuming it you are guaranteeing that your answer will be incorrect.

Add all that up, and it’s at best 1.5.

Wow, tortured math! Well, you deliberately made a false assumption, so it’s not too surprising that you reach an absurd conclusion.

Still, I’m not sure I buy it.

Your prerogative, of course.

]]>Of his remaining career innings, about 28% are low leverage. The other 22% is medium leverage.

Add all that up, and it’s at best 1.5. Still, I’m not sure I buy it. I’d have to look into how BR defines leverage and what Tango says about closers in two or three runs games.

]]>You said: “But that means Mo’s 85 innings are worth as much as 170 average innings, and that already brings him close to a starter’s contribution. ”

Right. But what I said is that the B-R numbers suggested that the 85 innings (or 82 1/3 if you want precision) are worth close to twice as much *on average*, not that every single one of them is worth exactly twice as much.

Change in win expectancy.

Okay. So, what is your point? Are you saying that Mariano’s innings do *not* have leverage of 2.0 on average? That may be true — as I said, I couldn’t find a cumulative count anywhere. I’m going on his total number of High Leverage innings (HL is 1.7 and greater), along with the general LI for ninth inning Save situations, from Tom Tango’s tables. But that’s pretty rough, and if you think it should be lower, that’s fine. How about 1.9? 1.8?

You said: “But that means Mo’s 85 innings are worth as much as 170 average innings, and that already brings him close to a starter’s contribution. ”

““Top” by what measure?”

Change in win expectancy.

“Where did I go wrong? Please help!”

Where’s the evidence that each of Mo’s outs changes the win expectancy as much as you say it does?

Yes, 2 x 1 = 2. But it’s the leading 2 that I have a big problem with.

]]>Take a deep breath, then consider that you’re calling every single out Mo gets as two outs.

No, you must have misread.

Exactly. And for the top 38 post-season plays in recent Yankee history, not one is from a reliever. #39 is from Wetteland.

I don’t know what that means. “Top” by what measure?

Go back and read your definition then your math.

2 X 1 = 2.

That seems right. Where did I go wrong? Please help!

“It’s based on win expectancy.”

Exactly. And for the top 38 post-season plays in recent Yankee history, not one is from a reliever. #39 is from Wetteland.

“What do those facts have to do with it?”

Go back and read your definition then your math.

]]>Well, the simple answer is that leverage is a measure of how important it is to get the next out (similarly, how important it is to prevent the batter from reaching base, getting a double, etc.). So, yeah, an out in a leverage 2.0 situation is worth two outs in a leverage 1.0 situation, by definition. This means that what you are calling “tortured math” is in fact about the simplest possible exercise in arithmetic. 2 X 1 = 2.

You want me to explain how leverage is calculated? It’s not exactly simple — you can read Tom Tango’s articles on it if you want. But here’s a start. It’s based on win expectancy. You look at the situation in terms of how much the win expectancy is going to change with the next event (walk, out, DP, single, triple, etc.), weighted by how often each event occurs. The leverage index for the situation is proportional to how much of a swing there is in win expectancy between that situation and the ones that follow it after all the various possible events. Sometimes this will be very small, as when there are two outs in the bottom of the ninth and the home team trails by ten runs. Sometimes it will be extremely high, as with two outs in extra innings with the bases loaded. The average swing (again weighted by frequencies of situations and events) is, by definition, 1.0.

That’s the basic explanation.

Okay, Mariano pitched 82 1/3 innings last year, not 85. Not sure what your point is there. And I don’t understand what you mean by saying I have “ignored” the fact that Mo almost always has a lead and often starts an inning with no runners on base. What do those facts have to do with it?

]]>As for a better definition of leverage, I don’t know. I haven’t looked at it enough. Since you seem to believe it, how about you explain it to me? Then maybe we both learn something…

]]>Saying leverage exists is one thing. Saying some outs are worth twice as much as others is something else entirely.

Uh. It is? What do you think it is, then?

Outs in a situation with a 2.0 leverage are worth twice as much as outs in a situation with a 1.0 leverage. That’s what leverage is.

]]>15 career mL starts says he does.

But then there’s this from Lohud:

Cashman said the Yankees would have to “make some real tough choices” in order to carry a second lefty this season. He also said the Yankees aren’t setup to carry two situational lefties, and he considers Damaso Marte a situational lefty on this team.

I really hope he’s just laying the groundwork for the right decision and that’s how he sells it to Joba.

]]>Then again, maybe Joba actually *needs* time in the minors. If improved mechanics can restore his velocity, then that alone would justify the decision.

]]>Of course, Mo almost always enters the game with a lead and often with no runners on base.

]]>It’s a fine theory, but they didn’t do that last year – when they need a starter to replace Wang. Why would they do that this year?

I think the whole notion of spot starts they’re leaving to guys like Aceves and Mitre.

]]>I agree, and I agreed with this plan last year. My point is that this does not appear to be the team’s plan. And frankly, given the way Joba Rules and the Hughes experiment worked out last year (when many of pleaded for Phil to be used for more than one inning), do you trust the organization to Santanaize Phil this season?

If anything, they *might* use him as a starter at the beginning of the year and then convert him to the Eighth-Inning-Guy if need be at the end of the season. Otherwise, I suspect it will be 140 INN between MLB and AAA as a starter and then shutdown time.

]]>Good question about Park and Mitre…I hope they aren’t putting too much stock into either.

]]>Your question about the BP is more relevant, but again, I have a feeling that they are committed to making the two starters AND in avoiding the Joba-rules-type stuff from last year. That means neither is likely to see time in the BP, except perhaps later in the year.

I wonder to what degree picking up Chan Ho Park, not to mention Mitre’s ever-improving luck, has (in the FO’s mind) solidified the BP such that JobaHughes can be used exclusively as starters.

]]>That’s a very big stretch. Outs are outs. You can’t simply turn 3 or 4 into 6 or 8 based on the context. That’s not how the game works.

No, I’m afraid that’s wrong.

Not all outs are created equal. That’s why people are interested in leverage indexes. Some innings in a season are more important than others, and some are much more important than others. Andy Pettitte pitching the sixth inning of a 7-1 game is a very unimportant inning; Joba pitching the 8th in a 1-run game is enormously important.

To win lots of games, it’s essential to have your best pitchers on the mound in the most important innings. But you can’t manage a starter that way — or anyway the opportunities to do so are minimal. Bullpen pitchers are the opposite: you choose exactly which ones to take the mound in various situations.

The value of a pitcher is in preventing runs. Good pitchers prevent runs from scoring, compared with mediocre pitchers. But it’s much more important to prevent runs in a 1-run game in the 8th inning than to do it in a 6-run game in the fifth. If you have an A-grade reliever, you can get much more value per inning pitched than you get from an A-grade starter. Add that to the fact that Joba may well be an A-grade reliever and a B-grade starter and he might well have as much value to the team in the bullpen as he would in the rotation.

]]>Unless the Yankees flat out think Hughes is a much better option as a starter, then it really makes no sense to demote either one. Someone has to pick up those innings, and right now that looks like Boone Logan (or Sergio Mitre or Chan Ho Park).

]]>I guess what I’m saying in a roundabout way is that *if* the Yankees have not given up on Joba or Phil as starters, then one or the other would almost have to start in AAA this season.

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