Yesterday, Fangraphs published their Q&A with newly promoted Cincinnati General Manager Dick Williams, conducted by David Laurila. We're all aware that it'll be another year before Williams truly takes the reigns of the Reds front office and, if all goes well this offseason, the Reds rebuild/reboot will be well underway. Thusly, if President of Baseball Operations Walt Jocketty wants the transition to be a smooth and successful one for the franchise that he's ran for nearly a decade, Dick Williams's voice is one he's going to be hearing loud and clear throughout this crucial year.
The article's pretty damn interesting. In it, Williams discusses the time he's spent learning under Jocketty.
It's hard to work for a guy for eight years and not learn from him as you go. Walt has been an executive of the year for a couple of different teams. He's been here for 20-plus years and has a ring. I've learned a lot from Walt.
More interestingly is how Williams draws the line between scouting and advanced analytics, and how he (and the Reds front office) meld the two mindsets together and also how important they both are in their decision making. It's obvious, of course, that a baseball team is using analytics in their rating analysis in the year 2015. But, for a team whose main architect has been repeatedly thumped in public opinion about his lack of trust in sabermetrics, well, what we read from Williams on his openness to these issues comes off as a breath of fresh air.
None of us really know what everybody else is doing, but I would put our analytics up against anybody. Our goal is to provide as much information as our decision-makers can use. We're constantly hiring - building our team - and we're constantly improving the outputs we get from those different models. It's an evolution, and it's going to continue to be an evolution.
The article goes further. Williams provide insight to his thoughts on lineup construction, the role that scouting plays to go along with analytics and how his team is very open into the scouting methods, so it's definitely not going to be all number crunching, And it shouldn't be. Maybe it's just these words coming from a new voice, or perhaps it's because they're coming from a young voice. Hell, it's not like we haven't been duped before. But, for the time being, I'm impressed.
The Cy Young Award winners were announced last night. In the NL, Jake Arrieta walked away with the crown over LA Dodger counterparts Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw. I don't know that there was really a wrong answer in this one, because they were all absolutely incredible this year. Advanced statistics point to Kershaw, but the "eye test" and traditional metrics split between Arrieta and Greinke. I would've went with Greinke, probably, as his effort seemed to be the most sustained over the entire season, but the last half that Arrieta put up was completely amazing and worth it's own recognition. It's reasonable to believe that Greinke and Kershaw pulled votes from one another, as well, and that may be at least part of the reason why we ended up with this particular result. But damn, NL pitching is incredible.
In the American League, voters sided with Dallas Keuchel over David Price and Oakland's Sonny Gray. I presume Price would've been the favorite going in, but late season struggles (particularly his manager losing all faith in him in the playoffs) probably put a larger hole in his chances than expected. Couple that with the fact that it was Keuchel, not Price, that hit that magical 20 win mark and, bam, you have yourself a Cy Young Award winner.
As mentioned in previous Reposter threads:
- The Reds want to trade Aroldis Chapman before the Winter Meeting start on December 7th. Fire up the stove!
- Bronson Arroyo is interested in returning to the Reds, if they're interested in having him back. I'm interested in the interest, but would probably vote, "nah."