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Analyzing the numbers

Discussion in 'Baseball' started by ShortSideOption, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. ShortSideOption

    ShortSideOption All Big 10 10 Year Member

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    Pretty disappointing year so far. 14 games to figure out how to make the B1G tournament. I went into our numbers to see what is going on, and this is certainly 30,000 foot view, so if there's another category to look at, please let me know. But generally, you can gauge how well things are going with a few of these.

    I looked at team ERA and team batting average. The rankings are out of roughly 300 teams or so. Let me know your thoughts on this:

    YEAR ERA (rank) BA (rank)
    2018
    5.34 (202nd) .264 (182nd)
    2017 3.73 (40th) .281 (103rd)
    2016 3.89 (68th) .281 (109th)
    2015 3.12 (24th) .276 (125th)
    -----Will Bolt to A&M-----
    2014 3.50 (79th) .293 (31st)
    2013 4.68 (186th) .291 (54th)
    2012 4.40 (146th) .315 (8th)

    I certainly am not claiming these numbers tell the whole story, but I think it does shed some light on things. I know they changed the bats/balls sometime in between here, but that's why I put national ranks as well so we could get a gauge there. Since Will Bolt left, we haven't been a top100 batting average team. In fact, in a year we were needing our bats to carry our injured bullpen, they are having the worst statistical year in the Erstad era. I'm not sure if Kirby is doing the hitting coaching, if he is, probably need to move on. 4 years is a good enough sample size I would think. If he isn't, maybe move on and bring someone in that can help out?

    In regard to Silva, not sure what to think here. We have actually been pretty good in team ERA 3 of the last 4 years, ranking in the top 20% of all programs. Definitely getting destroyed this year having to pitch true freshmen that aren't ready and upperclassmen who just have proven to not have it. But do the injuries outweigh what appear to be a "good" stat line for Silva in that regard?

    Whether it's recruiting or approaches at the plate, we probably need to do something there. In regard to Silva, i'm willing to hear an argument one way or the other, because looking at the stats, he doesn't appear to be doing that bad?

    Thoughts @HuskerWeatherman @BasilLongfellow @HuskerDB ?
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
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  2. BasilLongfellow

    BasilLongfellow Varsity 5 Year Member

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    We are just a bad baseball team. No way around it.

    I'm surprised at Silva's ERA numbers; those are pretty solid. The injuries are really concerning. Particularly with what I see out of the pitchers' arm action and confirmed by the pro scout that pays darn close attention to UNL baseball.

    The batting average is terrible. But, I could argue that a lot of that has to do with the B1G scholarship rules; if our hands our tied and we have a bad run of 5 o'clock hitters that are recruited, we are screwed no matter who is the hitting coach.

    If I were head coach, I'd bring in a hitting guru. A minor league hitting instructor or something like that. I'd also dump Silva, but this is kind of the Mike Riley argument, right? At what point did you just hire the wrong coach if you have to replace all of the assistants?

    That being said, I'm not sure where the outrage comes from here. You're going to have down years, especially in baseball. And the down years are going to be really bad when you are bitched on scholarships. The 99 team had 10 guys with batting averages over .300. The 2017 team? 3. Without the ability to build depth, it may not matter who the head coach is.

    I don't think people realize how big of a problem that Big 10 rule is. After watching this season, I am really convinced that this is a bad bad deal.
     
  3. ShortSideOption

    ShortSideOption All Big 10 10 Year Member

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    So... the reason I did this is because I was bitching to someone in the know and the text response I got was "go look at our team ERA rankings before you get too down on Silva." I was quite frankly shocked. That being said, I didn't know if that was able to overcome the injury issue. I would be ok with keeping Silva after looking at the numbers, but at what point are kids not going to come here if the injuries are that big of an issue. Further, the Riley argument is in play if you are firing all assistants just to keep the head coach.

    Our batting averages have just been plain bad. My problem is, Helman is from Lincoln and wanted to come here more than anything and is leading the Aggies in hitting at .395 in the SEC. But it's the chicken and the egg, if he comes here is he hitting .280? You've got two guys down at Hutch right now hitting what Helman did that are both from Lincoln. You got another kid from Prep. Just go get all 3 of them. But we don't have any money left unfortunately (luckily we spent it on the right guys in Nebraska). If we weren't in the B1G, we would have the money cause you could get rid of the dudes just not producing.

    The scholarship deal is just ridiculous. It's why Will Bolt won't come back, it's why Indiana's coach that got them to the CWS bolted to Arizona State. But to your point, could hiring a hitting guru help? We've had two guys, one that did really well (Bolt) and one that seems to be underperforming (Kirby). The 3 years we had Bolt, our BA was .300 over 3 years, we are now at .276 with 4 years under Kirby. Conversely, A&M was .281 the 3 years we had Bolt and now that they have had him for 4 years they are sitting at .292. I think Bolt is a pretty good coach, not sure if those numbers do anything or not for you but seems like more than a coincidence.
     
  4. Ackos

    Ackos Heisman 15 Year Member

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    I was just about to run these numbers, saved me some time. :thumbsup:
     
  5. Ackos

    Ackos Heisman 15 Year Member

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    Errors/Fielding %/National ranking


    12) 59 .974 36th
    13) 44 .981 2nd
    14) 59 .976 21st
    15) 46 .979 5th
    16) 56 .976 30th
    17) 51 .977 37th
    18) 47 .967 178th
     
  6. BasilLongfellow

    BasilLongfellow Varsity 5 Year Member

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    Silva's numbers certainly are respectable; and I think you are right that he should get another year, but they gotta get this arm thing figured out. Last thing you want, as you posted, was another school saying: "Nebraska's a great school, no doubt. You have a bright future, pro ball is in your cards. Do you want to risk blowing out your elbow there?"

    That's a chicken and egg with the JUCO kids, right? Would they be swinging it like they are if they hadn't had the JUCO reps and coaching?

    I do think the Bolt numbers are telling. A .011 increase in team batting average in the SEC is nothing to sneeze at.
     
  7. HuskerDB

    HuskerDB Recruit 2 Year Member

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    To me this is the more telling stat. Erstad prides himself of defense and this team is flat out bad in that category. This stat doesn't even count the other 'errors' like not covering first base on a bunt, letting a popup land in the infield for a double, etc, etc that we've seen in the last week alone.

    Defense and doing little things like bunting, moving runners along, not giving juicy pitches on 0-2 counts are what are killing us.

    Kirby absolutely needs to be shown the door.

    I've always been hesitent on Silva because we have been respectible. This year's issue is not freshman pitchers (we've used 3 and the one with over half the innings has a very respectible ERA). Where I do get upset with Silva is that our pitchers often seem to have their best year as freshmen.

    Not doing little things and drop off in talent are what's killing us, and I don't think the drop in talent is a one year issue. I'm terrified at our lineup next year without Schrieber.
     
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  8. ShortSideOption

    ShortSideOption All Big 10 10 Year Member

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    That lets us know how gross we are this year in that category for sure. But illustrates that this year is an absolute exception to the rule.
     
  9. ShortSideOption

    ShortSideOption All Big 10 10 Year Member

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    I agree, that is bad. But looking at those fielding numbers, what Erstad prides himself on we have been top 15% in the country every other year, so that's pretty good.

    I think after looking at it, I would agree about Kirby. Heck, hard to believe we could get worse.

    I wouldn't say our problem is freshmen arms, but it's that we are having to pitch guys we otherwise wouldn't. Keegan Watson, Max Schreiber, those are redshirts all day and they are having to come in and get crucial outs to preserve leads or stop the bleeding. Byron Hood had 5 appearances all of last year now all of a sudden he has 12 and he has no business pitching that much, he's a guy we put in when the game is out of hand. If we had Luensmann, Palkert, Steinhoff, McSteen, Curry instead of having to play these guys, we might be ok.

    We have had a lot of pitchers get better throughout their career with Silva, not quite sure where the "their best year is freshman year" thought comes from. Certainly true for some guys, not at all for others.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
  10. Rainbow Dash

    Rainbow Dash Helpy Helperton, Bastion of Integrity 2 Year Member

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    I’m an MLB freak who doesn’t watch a lot of college baseball, but here’s my take. Take it with a grain of salt because I’ve only seen about 6 Nebraska games this year (that’s about all I can stomach).

    Erstad should let Kirby go at the end of the year and bring in a reputable hitting coach while changing his hitting philosophy. This small ball stuff has got to go, we aren’t playing at TD Ameritrade where it’s hard to hit home runs and attack gaps. Bring in a hitting coach who understands launch angles. I don’t see anything remotely positive with this team regarding launch angles. I’m not a descriptive statistics guy, but they nearly all have to be at 11 degrees or under. Just horrible on multiple levels. They need to recruit more power, but there are several kids on that team that have enough torque to hit gaps and homeruns at a way higher rate.

    I’m fine with bringing Silva back. I actually think their pitching is more talent related than coaching. They are throwing the right pitches more than not, it’s more locations missed and and velocity, stuff that can be corrected with better arms. The injury stuff I don’t know enough about, different athletes and body type require different arm slots.

    Erstad and Silva need to come up with a better recruiting strategy. Perhaps Ledbetter can help with that. Too many decent local players we are missing out in recently.

    I don’t doubt that the move to the Big 10 and scholarship distribution has affected the program. It’s still all relative in the conference though and I have a hard time believing this program shouldn’t be winning 40+ games every year. There’s really no reason to be as bad as we are this year.

    If I’m Moos, I’m going to fix Nebraska basketball first. Make no mistake though, if this baseball stagnation doesn’t get ironed out in 2 years, I’m going to figure it out for Erstad & company.
     
  11. All 'N' 011808

    All 'N' 011808 Former Walk-on 2 Year Member

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  12. HuskerDB

    HuskerDB Recruit 2 Year Member

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    I'm no baseball guru, but everything you said sounds reasonable to me.

    I think we need to be better at fielding than we are this year though too. I think we lack middle infielders (recruiting/talent evaluation issue) but normally I assume fielding is a matter of practice and discipline. Historically we have been very good, so not sure what the issue is this year, but it needs to get fixed asap.
     
  13. NUFootballTim

    NUFootballTim Scout Team 10 Year Member

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    appreciate the insight in this thread.
     
  14. Bean

    Bean Grey Shirt 2 Year Member

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    I agree and hope Moos is taking a long in-depth look at what NU's strategy is and how to improve it. This includes coaching changes, IMO.
     
  15. ShortSideOption

    ShortSideOption All Big 10 10 Year Member

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    I posed this question to Basil... i'll open it up to everyone...

    We have 3 local guys currently killing it at A&M, i'll give a brief summary then get to my question:

    Logan Foster - Absolute stud from Lincoln Southwest, problem is he wanted to play for Childress and there was no way we were getting him. So let's just give a pass there.
    Michael Helman - From Piux X, and no one gave him a scholarship offer out of high school. After his first year at Hutch JUCO, his only offer was UNOmaha, and he verbatim told me "i'm from Lincoln and grew up dreaming to play for the Huskers." We unfortunately didn't reach out after the first year (file this away for my qeustion) and gave A&M too much time and they swooped in and grabbed him. Now leading the team in hitting and will be All-SEC.
    Nolan Hoffman - From Lincoln Southeast, asked to walk-on to Nebraska and we didn't let him. Went down to Hutch and didn't get a ton of recruiting attention. After his second year A&M grabs him. He's now their closer with a .89 ERA and 25 appearances.

    So here's the question I have. Forgetting Foster, both those guys needed JUCO to develop. Do you just go and grab them after their first year where they are above average and then bring them in and develop them for a year? Or do we advocate that we should have been able to see where they were going? Our problem is, Hutch likes SEC offers and IWCC has shut the door on us after the incident and is funneling and actively promoting Iowa. So what community college would we want to go to?

    Erstad bit the bullet with the 2018 class and got some dudes that could leave us in the draft (Gomes had a dozen scouts at one of his last pitching outings). And we cleaned up in-state recruiting for 2018. 2019 isn't as loaded, but we are holding a bit back in case someone breaks out this spring/summer.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
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