Rueter gets his wish

As he himself said, Correia and Hennessey really should be starting. Of course, that means that he won't be starting, but what the hey.

The sad part is how Rueter is handling himself as his Giants career comes to an end. He has always been the model of the professional, unflappable, personable, nice guy. But here he is, complaining about not starting, yet acknowledging that he isn't doing enough to get the starting nod. And yet complaining. We should be the ones complaining about him making $6-7M this year for what he has been producing.

And yet I don't really because I know that he has given a lot to the Giants over the years. While I feel that I am a sabermetric person at heart, I can appreciate qualitative performances like that of Rueter. Most sabers scoff at Rueter, downgrading his performance as lucky, lucky he pitches for SF and its high power offense, lucky that he pitches at a pitchers park, lucky that he has had a good to great defense behind him all those years. In particular, those who believe in DIPS think that Rueter is one of the luckiest pitcher in history.

Rueter is the bumblebee of DIPS theory. Because the theory says that he cannot be successful doing what he is doing yet each year he was successful. So he cannot exist because the theory says he can't. Some adherents will point to the last couple of years and say that he's finally paying the price for not being a DIPS kind of pitcher, but they conveniently forget that a couple of years of failure doesn't cover up the years that he pitched so well for the Giants (and Expos). DIPS does not explain that - any player will eventually succumb to poor performance at some point in their career, crying wolf constantly on a player will eventually come true but it won't negate all he did previously. And he had the excuse of an injury affecting his pitching so they cannot say categorically that it wasn't the injury or even age that brought his results down.

Rob Neyer of ESPN wrote an article either in 2004 or 2003, where he analyzed Rueter's splits by bases empty vs. runners on, and found that Rueter appears to change his strategy depending on the situation. With it empty, he would try to get the batter to hit the ball for him. He gave up more HR and less walks that way. However, when there are runners on, he would work the corners, apparently, giving up more walks but much less HR that way.

So maybe DIPS was right, but it misses the fact that pitchers can change their approach to the batter depending on the situation and still be effective despite their horrible DIPS stats.


Anonymous Jamie Akridge said...

Thank you, I just wanted to give a greeting and tell you I like your blog.

Sat Dec 10, 07:29:00 AM PST  
Blogger obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Thank you for your kind comments, hope your holiday season is happy. Take care.

Sat Dec 10, 08:20:00 AM PST  

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