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Old 08-15-2012, 10:07 AM   #1
AstaSyneri
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How to evaluate pitchers and efficiently use them?

Now (being a Baseball newbie) after playing half a season of OOTP 13 I am still enthused and slowly get a feel of the game.

One thing that still baffles me (despite having success) is how to evaluate the worth of pitchers and how to use each one effectively.

How important are the ratings (Pitcher overall, Stuff, Movement, Control, each pitch type and Stamina)?

Starting Pitchers
AFAIK you want your best players to start (with Stuff, Movement, and Control being high). They should have decent Stamina (50+ ?) and a good plethora of high-rated pitches.

What value is most important (ST, MOV, CON)?
What pitches or combination of pitches are most important for a SP?
Does he need to have four different ones, or are three or even two enough?

Middle Relievers
These would be the same as SP (ideally), but with less Stamina, or diminished Ratings (compared to the SPs)

Closer
Somebody who can make sure in the decisive 9th inning that you get a 0 for the opponent. He'd need great Control, good Stuff and a fast Fastball. Does he?

Changing Roles
Imagine I have a high-Stamina pitcher with three decent pitches that is tagged as a CL. Under what circumstances should I redesignate him as a SP or MR? Are there any hard and quick rules?

Assigning your pitching line-up
In the end, how do I decide the pitching line-up (sure, I can let the manager do it, but I want to KNOW ;-))? Especially the multiple MR positions confuse me a bit...


It'd be very helpful for somebody much more knowledgeable than me to explain how this all works. Thank you!
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:07 AM   #2
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I'd add GB% to your list but that can be a function of other things.

1. I find that movement and control are more key for starters, though good stuff can help, it's not enough by itself, IMO. More pitches than three can be looked at as a bonus if they are decent. Take a look at splits, too, as drastic splits can mean trouble for a stater.

2. Because I'm often looking for K's from relievers, I go somewhat the opposite route with them and prioritize stuff. This isn't to say that relievers can't succeed without stuff, but they need the other two without it. Don't discount stamina as it means a reliever can pitch more often and the pen as a whole won't be as tired.
It's usually that they are relievers because they have less than three pitches.

3. Closer is about your philosophy in the role. Usually it's my second or third best pitcher with stuff as a priority but usually above average ratings in everything. A lot of GMs make it their top reliever, but I'll explain more in the last question. Again, stamina is even more important here as you want him out there as many games as possible in a row.

4. No. Just give it a shot and see what happens.

5. I tend to put my best reliever as the #1 setup because he gets the most innings, and the most high-leverage innings. The second most tend to go to the #1 reliever with the closer getting not as many innings but often important ones. So my second best goes in the one reliever and the third best the closer. The #2 reliever tends to get a lot of innings, too, but the #3 and #4 not as much, especially if your pen is good. So I rank whatever I have left in best to worst.

Hope that helps.

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Old 08-16-2012, 06:27 AM   #3
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Unsure if this will be that relevant but...

I look at how they have pitched. For my starters a metric of FiP and WHiP gives me an idea of how they are pitching in the game. Of course seeing why your team won or lost helps whether it was due to poor hitting or pitching.

but once I get the metric (just multiply the FiP x the WHiP) i get a order of how I put my starters in order.

Relievers is a combo of their stats and going over the game reports to gauge how they are going.

Closer is a little easier, if the closer is not giving up hits/runs when he is pitching, he stays in
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:26 AM   #4
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Hmm. Okay. Thanks so far! Looking at all those stats doesn't give me much information yet.

My problem appears to be that I have only decent SPs, but a huge amount of (apparently) high quality MRs and CLs, some of which are getting unhappy being stuck in the AAA team. Obviously I want to be sure to keep the best ones before I trade any of them away!

What happens when you redesignate their position - do they lose a step while they adjust to the new position, or doesn't it really matter whether the top Middle Reliever is a MR or CL?
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AstaSyneri View Post

What happens when you redesignate their position - do they lose a step while they adjust to the new position, or doesn't it really matter whether the top Middle Reliever is a MR or CL?
Not really. You will notice that in some cases changing a SP to MR increases stuff and MR to SP decreases it to reflect the energy/pace they need to account for.
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:12 AM   #6
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Just a side note as well Asta, when you're looking at pitchers, and not sure what role they will fill, the game will give you its suggested role in the right panel of the pitcher's screen - this will take into account their pitching ratings, pitches, stamina, etc. Sometimes it's not quite right, but it can be easy to miss things like low stamina, for example in the draft. In the draft I've found that a lot of pitchers are mislabelled for position - lots of SPs are really going to be relievers because they don't have enough stamina to start, or they may have two good pitches and a thiird terrible one - pretty iffy for a starter.

Having a ton of good relief pitchers is a good thing - an excellent bullpen is a very good thing. For relievers, I look for guys who have only two pitches but they are really, really good, and who have as good a rating as possible across the board. If you have spares, you can use the "Shop Player" to see if you can maybe trade them for a starter or another position you have a need for.

During the season, I just keep a close eye on how my bullpen is performing, from the team home screen, and if one or two guys are bad, especially the #1 slots, you can move them around.

Also, if you have that guy who is marked as a reliever, with decent stamina, and three decent pitches, you can try putting him in the spot starter slot - it will give him an occasional start and a bit of a "try-out" in the starter position, if he is good you can move him to SP.
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:18 PM   #7
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Okay. Talking about shopping around. I more or less recently promoted a SP from my AAA team to the Champions League team. Kazio Tofil is a 35 year old SP with less than ideal stats (afaics) but he had a very positive impact (a lot better than #2 starter Fernando Buzzacarina).

Now I have an offer to exchange this high-flying old warhorse against a promising young pitcher, 20 year-old Aurelia Mosca.

My hope would be set Mosca to be a Starting Pitcher in the AAA team and hopefully have him learn a third pitch, while ditching a mediocre (?) aged pitcher that is having the run of his life and can only regress from there?

What do you guys see in the information presented? Good trade or not?
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:24 PM   #8
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Just for comparison/reference - these are the team's pitching stats so far and the profile of #2 pitcher F. Buzzacarina.
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:30 PM   #9
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Did you mention whether or not you're playing with scouts on?

Your #2 looks like he's definitely having an off year, but it looks like there's some bad luck involved, like opponents are stringing walks, hits and runs all together at once.

As for the trade, learning a third pitch is very, very rare, not to mention the offered player has a low stam for a starter. So, while I'd still make the trade simply due to improved long-term value and selling your guy high, it's highly unlikely you're getting a consistent starter.

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Old 08-16-2012, 05:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isryion View Post
Did you mention whether or not you're playing with scouts on?

Your #2 looks like he's definitely having an off year, but it looks like there's some bad luck involved, like opponents are stringing walks, hits and runs all together at once.

As for the trade, learning a third pitch is very, very rare, not to mention the offered player has a low stam for a starter. So, while I'd still make the trade simply due to improved long-term value and selling your guy high, it's highly unlikely you're getting a consistent starter.
Yes, I am playing with Scouts and I fudged mine to have quite high ratings. Still doesn't get everything right.

Why is Tofil so successful? Is that a fluke in the other direction? Or is the Defense helping him so much (my outfield is quite proficient)?

So is shopping him around the right move? He is currently my second most productive SP and there isn't really much obvious help behind him. I am much better equipped with MRs (four 4.5-stars) and CLs (three 5-stars)
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:11 PM   #11
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Toril has really near elite control and good movement. I'd like him for a starter for those reasons but would like to see a third pitch. A player like him would benefit from good defense, too, as you mention.

Looking at his stats, he's also been a bit lucky as his BABiP is only .216, a tough number to maintain. My expectation, unless your scout is very wrong and he's better than we see here, is that he will regress, especially as a starter.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AstaSyneri View Post
How important are the ratings (Pitcher overall, Stuff, Movement, Control, each pitch type and Stamina)?
I do not look very much at the specific ratings. I look at the overall quality of the ratings. A low stuff players is going to get less Ks and more balls will be in play. This can lead to more baserunners which is never good. IIRC a low movement players will give up more hits in the air. This usually leads to more HRs. A low control player will give up more BBs. Each rating has pros and cons, if you are looking at a player with low (I consider low 40 or under on a 1-100 scale depending on the ratings of my other options) you are picking your poison.

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Starting Pitchers
AFAIK you want your best players to start (with Stuff, Movement, and Control being high). They should have decent Stamina (50+ ?) and a good plethora of high-rated pitches.
3 pitches and a stamina over 25 on a 1-100 scale. I have started players with 2 pitches and a high stamina. The results have been mixed. Some have done well, some useless (8.00+ ERA) and some did well for a season or two and then they got shelled.
On a scale of 1-100 a 25? maybe 30 is the "minimum" to start. A stamina of 25+ should get you 100 pitches. If I have a starter with a stamina that low I keep a close eye on them and check their box scores to see if they are consistently giving up runners and runs as their pitch count gets above the 80-90 range. You can also play it safe and set their pitch count in their "Player Strategy" screen.

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Originally Posted by AstaSyneri View Post
What value is most important (ST, MOV, CON)?
What pitches or combination of pitches are most important for a SP?
Does he need to have four different ones, or are three or even two enough?
3 pitches is what you are looking for, you can get away with two sometimes.

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Middle Relievers
These would be the same as SP (ideally), but with less Stamina, or diminished Ratings (compared to the SPs)
Stamina under 25 and/or 2 pitches.

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Closer
Somebody who can make sure in the decisive 9th inning that you get a 0 for the opponent. He'd need great Control, good Stuff and a fast Fastball. Does he?
This is a whole debate about the overinflated value of closers and the Save stat.
Without dragging you into that fiasco... Yes. You want an excellent closer. Once you learn more about baseball and the idea of High Leverage Situations then you may change your mind. In the interest of fun and keeping it light I will stick with Yes.

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Changing Roles
Imagine I have a high-Stamina pitcher with three decent pitches that is tagged as a CL. Under what circumstances should I redesignate him as a SP or MR? Are there any hard and quick rules?
Depending on your current SPs, I would replace your worst rated/performing SP with him and see how it goes. It is worth a shot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AstaSyneri View Post
Assigning your pitching line-up
In the end, how do I decide the pitching line-up (sure, I can let the manager do it, but I want to KNOW ;-))? Especially the multiple MR positions confuse me a bit...
Other people have posted really good ideas on this. If I contradict them go with the one that makes the most sense to you. I am trying to keep in mind that you are also learning baseball along with the game.
I always set my SPs 1st. They are far more important than the bullpen. A healthy Sp will pitch 200+ innings per season. Some will be closer to 250. A top not MR or Setup pitcher, with good stamina will pitch 75?, 95?, 110?, maybe 125ish innings per season. A 5 Star Ace is worth far more than a 5 Star Reliever. I then place my best reliever at closer. Others will argue this choice with valid reasons. I am not convinced that the game uses my #1 MR or my #1 Setup man in High Leverage situations consistently enough for me to change this approach. I place my 2nd best reliever in the #1 MR spot. In my experience this spot gets the most reliever innings. My 3rd rated reliver in the setup role and then #4 MR-> #5 Setup-> #6 MR-> #7 MR. I keep 12 pitchers. Some players will keep 11 or 13, that changes the approach a little.

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It'd be very helpful for somebody much more knowledgeable than me to explain how this all works. Thank you!
These are just my opinions, I read a few posts above that contrdict some of what I do. I do not think any of them have flawed logic, just a different approach.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:51 PM   #13
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Just a note on which reliever shows more often no.1 MR or Setup...I've found it depends on close games or not. As my setup tends to be involved in more decisions, my hunch (though no full data) is that he gets in in the higher leverage situations.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:29 PM   #14
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Just a note on which reliever shows more often no.1 MR or Setup...I've found it depends on close games or not. As my setup tends to be involved in more decisions, my hunch (though no full data) is that he gets in in the higher leverage situations.
Probably right.
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:43 AM   #15
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Getting better and better. Thanks guys!

Looking at the screen shot above (the very first one), I see that there are 12 pitches in the game. While I understand some of them, I am wondering what combination does an ace pitcher make? Is it necessary to have a fastball, or can a pitcher be successful with just "trick pitches"?

Is there a combination that you should seek out?

How important is velocity (I just watched that Reds Closer on TV and his 100 mph pitches look very impressive ;-))?
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:03 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by AstaSyneri View Post
Getting better and better. Thanks guys!

Looking at the screen shot above (the very first one), I see that there are 12 pitches in the game. While I understand some of them, I am wondering what combination does an ace pitcher make? Is it necessary to have a fastball, or can a pitcher be successful with just "trick pitches"?

Is there a combination that you should seek out?
I do not think the combination matters but I have not looked at pitch type in much detail so I could pretty easily be wrong.

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How important is velocity (I just watched that Reds Closer on TV and his 100 mph pitches look very impressive ;-))?
It is tied to Stuff. Typically a high velocity pitcher will have high Stuff.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:40 AM   #17
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Yeah, if stuff=strikeouts, then velocity tends to be part of Stuff as higher velocity tends to mean more strikeouts.

As for pitches, certain pitches impact rating and types of balls puy in play. Like a sinkerballer tends to have higher MOV and GB rate, but I'd agree that how many seems more important than which pitches as long as they have the ratings/ stats you're looking for in a pitcher.
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Old 08-20-2012, 06:03 AM   #18
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Pitching Stats explained?

Fine. So far. BTW, after I ditched Kazio Tofil my whole team went into a downslide, as the pitching team (with subpar Buzzacarina continuing his miserable pitching - despite great ratings) couldn't hold up.

Consequently I did some high-end dealing - unload some of my veteran substitutes / Relievers and AAA dead-enders against two (hopefully) top of the line-up SP.

Trying to find suitable trades I tried to dig through the multitude of available stats and hence my new question:

What pitching stats tell you the most about any pitcher - and what do the actually tell you?
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:57 AM   #19
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What pitching stats tell you the most about any pitcher - and what do the actually tell you?
The following is opinion and preference:

I check ERA (it is a contextual stat but it is still useful), then I check K/BB ration, WHIP, BABIP and see if any of those stats explain the ERA.

To me the bottom line is the number of run allowed. How they are, or are
not, being allowed is important to understand if it is my pitcher, bad luck or my defense.


This will also help:
BABIP
WHIP
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:19 AM   #20
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The following is opinion and preference:

I check ERA (it is a contextual stat but it is still useful), then I check K/BB ration, WHIP, BABIP and see if any of those stats explain the ERA.

To me the bottom line is the number of run allowed. How they are, or are
not, being allowed is important to understand if it is my pitcher, bad luck or my defense.

This will also help:
BABIP
WHIP
ERA was my first step as well. But that my be totally skewed by other factors if I am looking for a good trade (their ballpark may be larger, reducing home runs) or the team's defense may be very strong, covering for the pitcher's mistakes.

I used BB/9 to get rid of unreliable pitchers - that I found didn't have the Stuff to get out of tight situation (runners on).

Any other worthwhile stats?
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