The Cleveland Indians made their first relatively big splash into the free agent market on Sunday, signing Outfielder David Murphy to a 2-year contract with a club option for a third year.
The Indians hope the 31-year old Murphy can return to form after batting a career low .220 that enabled an awful .656 OPS in 476 plate appearances for the Texas Rangers. The Rangers declined to give Murphy a qualifying one year deal at the end of the season, effectively ending Murphy’s seven year tenure in Arlington.
The signing helps fill a hole in the Indians outfield where he will likely platoon with Ryan Raburn, who re-signed with the Indians for two more seasons after a successful 2013 campaign in a part time role.
Murphy has an impressive career .816 OPS against right-handed pitching, making him a great complement to the right-handed hitting Raburn.
The 8-year MLB veteran had a career year in 2012, hitting .304 with 15 homers and 61 RBI, helping the Rangers to their second straight World Series appearance. He has experience at all three outfield positions but will likely see the most time in the corner spots, where he’s seen time in 705 career games. Continue reading →
It’s the top of the 9th inning. Chris Perez is coming on for a save attempt in a monumental divisional game for the Cleveland Indians, a team that since 2007, its last postseason appearance, has been viewed as irrelevant to the outside world.
But for us, as Indians fans, the magic might be back.
We are in the wild card race, and only three games behind Detroit in the AL Central. Somehow, someway, the Indians are back to their winning ways.
A win here puts them two behind the Tigers, with three more games to go in the series. Despite being 3-9 on the year against Detroit, the Indians may have broken through the psychological vice the Tigers have held in the head to head matchup. Continue reading →
One of my favorite features of the box score of a game on Baseball-Reference is the Win Probability Chart. Given a particular situation during a game, such as a specific inning, score, or base-out situation, there are advanced statistics that can estimate the probability of the home team winning the game. So EVERY time a certain situation occurs during a game, win expectancy will tell you the percentage of time an average home team wins the game. This is called win expectancy.
Here’s an example: Top of the 7th inning with 1 out and nobody on base and the away team leading 6-4. 82% of the time, the away team holds on to win this game.
And again, that is assuming both home and away teams are league average teams.
Single plays can completely flip the win expectancy during a game. In the play described above, say the batter hits a single, so now there is 1 out and a runner on first with the away team leading 6-4. In this situation now, the away team wins 84% of the time. The batter increased his team’s win expectancy by 2%. Continue reading →