One-Batter Pitchers — The Hardball Times
But an interesting fact about Kevin Gryboski. He was used to face only one batter fourteen times last season — no righthanded pitcher did that more. He got his man all fourteen times — no pitcher had a perfect record in as many attempts. Fluke.
I believe the 14 outs in 14 appearances includes the total number of outs recorded in those appearances, which includes double plays, so he might not have been perfect in those situations. Still pretty good, but of course we remember the times he was left in the game for multiple batters (and batterings).
Was bored so I compiled some statistics on Kevin Gryboski. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/gamelog?statsId=6905 I am not sure where the Hardball Times is getting their statistics from, but I used ESPN.COM’s profile for Gryb and here is what I got:
Only 7 times in 19 single-batter-faced appearances did he get an out. Of those appearances twice he gave up a hit (batter out trying to advance an extra base?)
Anyway, I found this also interesting, although I am not sure it fits within the subject of this topic:
In 19 games appeared in with one-third or less of an inning recorded, Gryboski had a 10.13 ERA with a 1-1 record. Twelve hits allowed in just 5.1 IP, 9 Runs, 6 Earned Runs, 10 BB / 4 K. 153 pitches or 4.14 pitches per batter faced.
And one other thing. June 22nd he faced one batter against the Marlins and was credited for the loss after, what else, giving up a walk.
“Florida had just two hits and trailed 3-0 after five innings, but Miguel Cabrera got the rally started with an RBI double in the sixth.
Jeff Conine and Alex Gonzalez opened the seventh with consecutive singles off Jaret Wright and advanced on a wild pitch.
Wright gave way to the bullpen after striking out Mike Redmond, and the relievers couldn’t hold the 3-1 lead.
Kevin Gryboski (1-1) loaded the bases with a walk to Harris, and Chris Reitsma allowed all three inherited runners to score — he had not allowed any to cross the plate previously this season.
Juan Pierre walked, and Luis Castillo followed with a run-scoring fielder’s choice. Castillo barely beat what could have been an inning-ending double play.
Lenny Harris then scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.
“It slipped out of my hands a little bit, and I pulled it pretty bad,” Reitsma said. “I was trying to make it a little too good for the situation.”
After shaking up his batting order Sunday — dropping Pierre to seventh and moving Conine to second — McKeon returned it to normal. Still, the Marlins struggled to score. They have scored just 19 runs in their last seven games.”
My whole point of posting this information is that when you think Gryb’s great and you see a statistic that looks good about his performance, there’s probably a legitimate reason why it isn’t accurate. In this case it can be credited to poor research.
Great job, Eric. That’s the Grybo I know and (cough) love!
Sorry, but I think you might want to review your own research before calling someone else’s “poor.” Here’s a list of one-batter appearances by Gryboski, which is exactly the same as ESPN’s.
5/4: Induced double play
6/20: Gave up single, one runner scored, other runner out at home
8/6: Induced double play
9/13: Gave up single, runner subsequently out stealing
He gave up 3 hits in 12 at bats. In all, he inherited 22 runners in one-batter situations, and allowed 4 to score.
Been enjoying your work at The Hardball Times for a long time, Studes. Keep up the good work.
Well, the important thing is that I don’t know how to read.
Anyway, Gryboski has some value, as I’ve said. He just doesn’t have enough to justify giving him a big arbitration award.
Gryboski has value, but I’d rather not see him used in close games. And certainly he shouldn’t get any sizable arbitration award.
“Sorry, but I think you might want to review your own research before calling someone else’s “poor.” Here’s a list of one-batter appearances by Gryboski, which is exactly the same as ESPN’s.”
I can’t say that I read over the study in great detail — I went there to look at the numbers for Gryb and point out that 14 outs in 14 CONSECUTIVE appearances wasn’t true. It wasn’t even close.
This was because I was going on what Mac said (and later admitted he doesn’t know how to read, which I suffer from as well) as fact as he is usually spot on with his comments:
“But an interesting fact about Kevin Gryboski. He was used to face only one batter fourteen times last season — no righthanded pitcher did that more. He got his man all fourteen times — no pitcher had a perfect record in as many attempts. Fluke.”
In my jest for Gryb hatred I was blinded by a chance to push him back down where he belongs and jumped the gun. I apologize and that is my mistake.
That’s what made it poor research in my opinion, so yeah, …
ANYWAY, Back to the point of all this — I think the Braves would be so much better off if they hadn’t offered him arbitration. Last year he had 23 BB, 54 hits allowed, with only 24 K in 50.2 IP. His previous years are very similar, too. I suspect he’s in for a terrible year.
Thanks. I appreciate it.
I didn’t see Gryboski that much, but he doesn’t seem that bad to me, based on the stats. Obviously not as good as his ERA would indicate, but an average major league reliever — maybe slightly better than average.
It’s just that he’s going to get paid for that ERA, which isn’t a true reflection of the way he pitched.
Studes, you are exactly right. All the Grybo-bashing going on here is ridiculous. He is a good, at least a decent reliever, esp. in groundball situations, which is exactly what the numbers show and exactly where Bobby used him.
And yes, I know Juan Cruz was in a Braves uniform last year. I liked him too, an I too would have used him more often, but he just cannot pitch every day. And while his SO/BB are much more impressive than Grybo’s, he postet a GB/FB ratio of 1.30, the best of his career, while Grybo had 2.16, 4.50 and 2.35 the last 3 years.
And one more thing: The Grybo-bashing went on and on the whole year and had nothing – nothing – to do with the money he is probably going to make next year at all. “He still sucks” – THAT ist what you are saying, Mac & Eric.
Holy cow, we are so into dead horse time here – a pitchers job is to get batters out and prevent runs from scoring. Any, and I mean ANY meaningful look at his performance last year reveals he didn’t do a very good job of it. You can cherry pick his stats as much as you like, but it just doesn’t change the facts. Sure we can take one batter situations – because by definition, he probably only faced one guy because he got an out. When he didn’t record an out, which was a LOT of times, really bad things happened. His low ERA merely reflects that other guys bailed his ass out, which is generally more than he did for whomever he came in for. I say again, he ranked in the BOTTOM 20 of relievers allowing inherited runners to score. If he can’t do that, than what exactly is his job?
Check those RISP/Close&late splits, and someone construct an argument for why he should come in with either runners on or the game on the line. Yeesh, that’s a gaudy line.
One thing I think I should mention about Gryboski — I don’t hate the guy. I’ve never met him but I do know as a baseball player he is a liability.
If you remove the month of June from his stats last season, then there’s an entirely different pitcher there:
3-1 1.93 ERA in 56 games. 2 saves in 4 chances (not exactly the first choice they had to replace Smoltz). 42.0 IP 38 Hits allowed 11 Runs 9 earned runs 2 Home runs 18 Walks 23 Strikeouts.
Last year he gave up 6 UNEARNED runs. If you factor those into his ERA (or take his Runs Average) it jumps up a whole run to 3.91 instead of 2.84.
So, which is he? I’m not sure. Maybe a little bit inbetween, something like a 3.30 ERA and a 4-2 record. In any event, I do know that walks and hits will catch up to you sooner or later. These are things the pitcher, in most cases, HAS control over.
Isn’t ERA a bit misleading? I mean, should a pitcher not be “punished” for giving up unearned runs? (The worst aspect of ERA is a passed ball or error on the pitcher counting as UNearned runs, when in fact it was the pitcher who put himself in a position to have those runs scored.) Anyway, I have always found that to be a bit misleading because the pitcher should not lose ALL responsibility for the runs he was charged with — afterall, they DO count towards the score, regardless of who is at fault, EVEN IF it is the pitcher himself that threw a ball away.
Also, if an outfielder leaps over the fence to bring a homerun back, it’s credited as the same kind of an out as comebacker to the mound. A few inches further and it’s an entirely different result. (Granted, all sports are a game of inches and in the end the final result is all that matters) However, the pitcher throwing the ball that almost got out of the stadium for that homerun does not have this counting against him. Think of the number of runners Gryboski puts on base, coupled with Andruw Jones losing a step or two in the outfield, which can easily add up to more and more runs scoring. This is why I see him as having a bad year, either this season or one in the not so distant future.
Infield defense is much more important than outfield defense to Gryboski, who gets almost 3 times as many ground balls as fly balls, so Andruw shouldn’t affect him too much either way.
There is a school of thought that argues that largely, pitchers in fact don’t have control over hits. Instead, they only control walks, strikeouts, and home runs. Gryboski isn’t great with walks or Ks, but he seems to do alright at preventing homers.
Shouldn’t inherited runners scored be somewhat fluky anyways? Kind of like BA with RISP? That’s a tough stat to solely judge a reliever on.
I don’t see any cheap guys that would automatically be better than him, but there’s no need to give him 1 million plus, either. I guess I don’t mind him as much as some, as long as he’s not overpaid. As already stated, he’s just an average reliever. They can’t all be setup guys or closers.
You can’t count unearned runs against a pitcher unless he makes the error or mistake that leads to the unearned run. What if DeRosa makes 3 errors on one play that allows a guy to score when he should have been thrown out at first? Is that the pitcher’s fault? Absolutely not.
Grybowski’s had his moments, but he’s not near as bad as most of the middle relievers on the Astros’, Phillies’ or even Yankees’ 2004 teams. You gotta look at game by game situations to fully determine it, not just pick one or 2 stats out (like ERA, that could be inflated by one or two very bad outings) and make a determination.
bwarrend, your point about unearned runs is true, but incomplete. although it isn’t gryboski’s fault that the run scored because of the bad play derosa made, if he goes on to allow two home runs after there are two outs in the inning, he isn’t faulted at all. while derosa bears blame for extending the inning, it’s also the pitcher’s job not to allow homers.
that’s why people don’t love era, especially for relievers.
Alan Schwarz has an interesting article, “When a Game Saved Was a Game Earned,” in today’s New York Times that discusses how a pitcher’s save statistic has become far less important recently than in years past. Schwarz specifically mentions Retrosheet and how that volunteer organization’s stats could support Bruce Sutter and Goose Gossage’s bids to enter the Hall of Fame.
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Come on! Gryboski for ROOGY of the Year!
OK, OK, I’m sorry…
Grybo is by no means a terrible pitcher. He has good stuff if he could just control it. Which is why I think he gets used more than he probably should. ecause p[eople see that nasty sinker and think he “should” be a better pitcher than he is, but he walks too many batters. If he cut his walks in half he’d be somewhat decent middle relief.
I like how the answer to evidence of Gryboski’s success is “fluke.” What sense does that make? “Fluke” is how people explain the success of someone they don’t want to succeed.
Studes, you’re right Gryboski isn’t that bad, but try explaining it to these guys who cite circumstantial evidence as gospel against his performance. Saying that “In 19 games appeared in with one-third or less of an inning recorded, Gryboski had a 10.13 ERA with a 1-1 record” isn’t arguing anything. Look at all relievers’ stats when they pitch a third of an inning or less and they’re stats will be horrible. Guys pitching in these runners-on situations develop bad stats, but the above citation really claims nothing. Grybo’s overall numbers were fine, he had a decent season, which is all you ask of guys whose only role is to thanklessly clean-up bad situations.
[i]Look at all relievers’ stats when they pitch a third of an inning or less and they’re stats will be horrible. Guys pitching in these runners-on situations develop bad stats[/i]
Maybe their ERA or other meaningless statistic for a reliever will be horrible, but the average number of hits/walks shouldn’t be affected by this, and Gryboski was below league average in WHIP and has been for the past three years (though he has shown improvement over this time).
As has been said numerous times, Gryboski is an effective groundball to flyball ratio guy, which is good to have, even with the walks. That type of pitcher is not who I want in the game with runners in scoring position, which Bobby used him for on way too many occasions. That was my problem during the season. Now my problem is that the shiney ERA of 2.84, which means nothing in middle relief, is going to make him cost more than he’s worth. It’s a mild complaint, and a problem that won’t cost us a hell of a lot, but it still bugs me.
The 1/3 of an inning statistics were because I misinterpreted the subject of the initial link. They weren’t meant to underline anything. The original subject of this thread was one-batter pitchers, which can easily be confused with 1/3 of an inning or less. But of course you are not the type to easily be confused, are you?
I’m well aware of the general debate surrounding Keving Gyrboski and his role on the team. It doesn’t really take a genius to figure that out, and what I was saying about his length of outings is perfectly germaine to the discussion. I didn’t see every Braves game last year, but I like what I saw from Grybo. He’s not blowing anybody away, but I don’t think it’s possible to get that out of guy you ask to eat up one or two batters each appearance. I don’t expect genius from a fairly thankless role, just solid pitching. The stumblings of Ortiz, Hampton, and Reitsma were more influential on the team in my opinion (although Hampton was great in the second half and playoffs). Perhaps my position means “confused” to you, but that doesn’t matter to me at all.