Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 2/28/13
While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com. Wow. Some very interesting data here on Masterson- “Every year, Masterson has had way more pitches in the zone called balls than the average. Every year, Masterson has had fewer pitches out of the zone called strikes than the average. This confirms what we were talking about above — Masterson hasn’t been pitching to the same strike zone as everyone else. It makes you wonder how much better Masterson could be if the zone treated him more fairly. I mean, it’s intuitive. Take some of Masterson’s balls and turn them into strikes. Masterson ends up with more favorable counts, and that works to a pitcher’s advantage. Every ball/strike switch has a certain run value, and it isn’t negligible. Those can add up over the course of a season. For the sake of visual example, let’s look at Masterson throw a couple balls that might ordinarily go as strikes…” [Sullivan/FanGraphs] —- “Ultimately an effective defense controls most if not all of these factors we’ve looked at. They force tough shots, which also results in less accuracy. They control the number of attempts by forcing turnovers and rebounding their opponents’ misses. But the defensive metrics we typically rely on – FG% allowed, turnovers forced, rebounds corralled – are products, measure of output. To some degree they can be swayed by random occurrences and the impact of exceptional individual abilities. Just like looking at wins and losses can obscure the true level of team’s performance, looking only at these measures hides much about the way a team defends. By peeling back one layer and looking at shot selection allowed we can remove some of the random events and the outliers of talent to see some more detail about which teams understand and implement an efficient brand of defense.” [Levy/Hickory High] —- “The Cavs really have something with Livingston / Ellington / Speights / Walton / Miles. I cannot stress enough how putrid 4th quarters used to be. The Cavaliers bench is dominating opponents. As for the starters, they’ve gone through the grinder this season. And while there is much work to be done – the talent is undeniable. It’s nice to see games like this where the Cavs seem to put it all together. They had a gameplan, they didn’t get pushed around by a team playing tougher (been a huge problem so far this season) and they executed offense in the halfcourt. I hope the basketball acumen of guys like Walton and Livingston is being rapidly absorbed by the “rising stars”.” [Pestak/Cavs the Blog] —- Can the Lakers make the playoffs? The odds may not be in their favor- “The projections continue to view the Lakers’ chances of making the playoffs at well below 50 percent and there’s no overwhelming reason — from recent play to the remaining schedules to external factors – to doubt the numbers. Simply put, making the playoffs will require the Lakers to play better down the stretch than they have to this point and to benefit from better luck with injuries than they have enjoyed. It will also almost certainly require either the Jazz or the Rockets, most likely the Jazz, to falter to a degree that deviates sharply from their recent stretch.” [Golliver/Point Forward] —- Oh no, cover jinx? [WFNY Tumblr]
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