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April 21, 2006

Small Sample Size Theater, Part 1
by SG

I've been playing around with some automated number crunching, which allows me to present some Yankee Sabermetric stats through 14 games. And yes, I know it's too early to do this.

On offense, here are the leaders in Runs Created, and OPS+.

How has the defense been so far? Funny you should ask.

I don't think anything can hammer home the point of how early in the season it is than seeing the Yankee defense as average so far.

And what of the pitching?

Most of these pitching stats should be familiar, but in case they are not:


Invented by John Thorn and Pete Palmer, this is a measure of the number of runs a pitcher saved compared to average. The formula is league-average RA/IP minus park-adjusted RA/IP, times total innings pitched. This is the same formula as Lee Sinins' RSAA (see below).


Fielding Independent Pitching, a measure of all those things for which a pitcher is specifically responsible. The formula is (HR*13+(BB+HBP)*3-K*2)/IP, plus a league-specific factor (usually around 3.2) to round out the number to an equivalent ERA number. FIP helps you understand how well a pitcher pitched, regardless of how well his fielders fielded. FIP was invented by Tangotiger.


Expected Fielding Independent Pitching. This is an experimental stat that adjusts FIP and "normalizes" the home run component. Research has shown that home runs allowed are pretty much a function of flyballs allowed and home park, so xFIP is based on the average number of home runs allowed per outfield fly, and adjusted for the home run tendencies of the ballpark. Theoretically, this should be a better predicter of a pitcher's future ERA.


ERA measured against the league average, and adjusted for ballpark factors. An ERA+ over 100 is better than average, less than 100 is below average.

Component ERA (CERA)

Definition: A statistic that estimates what a pitcher's ERA should have been, based on his pitching performance.

The last three numbers are my own creations. Similar to ERA+, I calculate the pitcher's BB rate, HR rate, and K rate and compare it to the league average and adjust for park factors. This is not per inning, but per batter. For BB+ and HR+, the higher number, the worse. For K+, the higher the number, the better. Man, Tanyon Sturtze is awful. He's allowing HRs at a rate of 3.4 times the average pitcher so far.