Cardinals news from a Sabermetric point of view

The sac bunt: That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Unseen

John Mozeliak notes that the Cardinals “still think we have some holes.” One is right field, stomach and Carlos Beltran would fill it well.

Despite currently polling at Fungoes as the Cardinals

3 Responses to “The sac bunt: That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Unseen”

  1. Brandon Says:

    Great piece! Couple thoughts:

    1) The other “unseen” element that is usually dismissed is the failed sacrifice bunt. So it isn’t just that Jay has better than a 30% chance of successfully reaching base without making any outs at all, but it’s that Jay did not have a 100% chance of successfully bunting to begin with. Fans see the successful bunt and say “what a team player! That’s smart inside baseball!” What they didn’t see is that the batter making the deliberate attempt to make an out did not have any assurance that even his humble objective would be accomplished.

    2) There is also an opportunity cost in roster construction – if you intend to bunt with guys on base all the time, it is probably suboptimal to construct a roster full of power hitters who get on base a lot but cannot run.

  2. Brandon Says:

    In other words, if sacrificing with Jay was actually a good idea, it would seem that the Cards should be bunting a lot more. And if you’re going to do that, then the only things that matter are getting somebody on base, making sure that people can beat out bunts and score from second on every single, and play great defense.

  3. gkersh Says:

    Great application of the broken window fallacy to the sac bunt. Nice foreshadowing by Brandon here as Carpenter sac bunted into a double play the day after his comment. The sac bunt is like punting on 4th down. Nobody gets fired for doing it, even though you can clearly demonstrate that it is not a great idea. You typically have something to show for the sac bunt (runner in scoring position), so managers keep doing it. The manager is more likely to be criticized when nobody makes it past 1st base.
    -Gil

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