Okay all you Boone Logan Haters

But how can you tell how good or bad he was based solely on statistics? After all, we do know (I think) that the WAR arguments do not work very well with relief pitchers. Some look at win probability (WPA) when judging relief pitchers. If we consult that statistic, Logan scored just barely in the negative at -0.06 in that category in 2011 after posting a positive number of 0.24 in 2010. Logan had a “clutch” rating of -0.09 in 2011 after a clutch number of -0.38 in 2011. Okay, now I’m really confused. So he was a slight drag to the team in 2011 after being a slight positive in 2010? How else can we look at it then?

And so I decided to perform a study of his game log from 2011 just to get a gauge on how good or bad a relief pitcher he was last season. I decided to rate each performance and see if that would help. I gave a rating to each outing. The rating was either, “fail,” for his outings that mattered that didn’t go very well, a, “NI,” or, “not important,” rating was given for outings that didn’t matter to the outcome and a, “success,” if he pitched a meaningful outing with positive results. Consider it a less scientific sort of WPA. Here are the results:

  • Not important – 12
  • Fail – 20
  • Success – 32

To translate that a bit. Logan pitched twelve times where the game was decided before he got there. These would include blowouts either for or against. Twenty times he pitched in important situations and failed to get the job done and 32 times succeeded in important situations. One of the comments on the last post stated that Logan was only called for to get one batter out and could never do so. Logan had 19 such outings and retired the batter 13 times. That means his on-base percentage against in such situations was .316 or less than the league’s on-base average.

Is there anything else we can look at? How about inherited runners? Logan came into games with a total of 61 runners on base. Thirteen of them scored. That’s an inherited runner percentage of 21.3 percent. The league average was 30 percent and the Yankees average was 24 percent. So Logan shows in a positive light there.

Have I proved anything here? I don’t really know. What do you think? In 52 meaningful situations, he succeeded 62 percent of the time. The Yankees won 60 percent of their games. So he was slightly more successful than his team as a whole. He blew two save situations, had ten holds and won five games while losing three. He is deemed to be getting paid to get left-handed batters out. While he did strike out thirty percent of the lefty batters he faced, he still allowed an OPS against of .789 against them which is higher than league average. But he was really good against 67 right-handed batters he faced (.673 OPS). All in all, it seems a bit of a mixed bag.

Yes, I am comfortable when Boone Logan comes into a game. He succeeds more than he fails and it seems the Yankees could do a lot worse with other left-handed pitchers out there. But perhaps the bottom line is that he isn’t as good as I thought he was and is better than what you probably think he is.

 

William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at www.passion4baseball.blogspot.com since 2003.

15 thoughts on “Okay all you Boone Logan Haters

  1. BrienJackson

    Boooooooooooooooooooooo!

    Seriously though, I think Logan's problem is that he has a tendency to fail rather spectacularly, which makes his bad outings more memorable than his solid ones. As far as left-handed middle relievers go, he's not particularly bad by any means.

    • williamjtasker

      He does fail rather spectacularly. But even more than that, he has bad stretches where three or four bad outings in a row occur. I think that's what drives the boo-birds too..

  2. Norm

    I agree. Logan isn't horribly bad, he's just not the lights out reliever Yankee fans seem to expect from everyone in the bullpen. I call it the Rivera effect. We've gotten so spoiled by Mo's dominance over the years we expect it from every Yankee reliever.
    P.S. As another expatriate from the suburbs of NYC (in my case, Long Island), it's good to find someone else in the Pine Tree State that's a Yankee fan. There's so few of us, or at least that's how it often seems.

    • williamjtasker

      It is kind of fascinating up here in the top of Maine, Norm. Before cable came, there was only one television station and the only televised baseball was the Game of the Week on Saturday. The only baseball people up here could get regularly was on radio. And in the evening, the only signal that seemed to get up this far was New York AM stations that somehow came in crystal clear. So at the top of Maine, an entire generation became Yankee fans. The youngins who have grown up with cable follow the Red Sox.

      • Norm

        That's a interesting point. I live in the Portland area, so the only Yankee games I get to see are when they play the Sox, of if they're on Fox, which I usually avoid, because I can't stand McCarver and Buck. (Before anyone brings it up, no, I don't have the MLB network. can't afford it) However, I digress. Down here, for every car I see with a Yankees bumpersticker, there are a 100 with that stupid "I don't brake for Yankee fans" or some other such nonsense. So, it's always great to hear from someone else in Maine that's a Yankee fan.

        • Yankees fan living just south of Boston here, Norm. I was just up in Maine this weekend and saw several of those "I don't brake for Yankees fans" bumper stickers. Funny, I don't see many of them in Boston, unless that's because I take the T to work, so I don't look at bumper stickers all that much.

          I don't have MLB.tv, but the MLB/NFL Networks (and the NBA and NHL networks, I suppose, if they actually exist. I honestly don't care) come with my cable package, or I pay like $5/month extra, I really don't remember. So, it seems like the Yanks are on MLB network and ESPN once a week each, plus the more than occasional FOX game of the week, and the 18-19 times a year vs. the Sox. So, it still works out pretty well for me to see the Yanks quite frequently here.

    • williamjtasker

      That is a great point, Norm. But it goes beyond Rivera. There's a long history of such great relief pitchers back to Goose Gossage. And the championship years were Rivera and Nelson and Stanton, etc., who always seemed to end the game by the seventh inning. So yeah, Yankee relief pitchers are expected to be perfect.

  3. Herb Sevush

    For a Lefty specialist he's pretty effective against right handers. The problem is as a LS his job is primarily to get out lefty's, and he's below average there, and the perception of him is based on how he does his primary job. He's not terrible, he's worth having around, I still would like to have a Graham Lloyd to go to when we need it.

  4. Who are you (all of YOUZ!) to try to sway me and the rest of us knuckledraggers though well-designed and pointed logic about our disdain for BOOOOONE Logan? Jeebus, he wears Farnsworthless' old number! Isn't that enough?

    His momma named him BOO, I'ma gonna call him BOO.

    Lies, damn lies and statistics that try to paint Boone in a positive light. GET OFF MA LAWN.

    If I ever get my lazy kiester up to whatever state is north of Massachusetts, it's go time.

    • williamjtasker

      Ruh-roh…

    • Norm

      Do I look worried?

  5. roadrider

    One of the comments on the last post stated that Logan was only called for to get one batter out and could never do so.

    I think you're referring to my comment on your original post. I said no such thing. For the record, this is what I wrote:

    You can cite his K/9 ratio and K/BB ratio against lefties all you want but I suggest you look at what happened in between the strikeouts or simply count the times Logan was brought in specifically to face a lefty (the job description of a LOOGY) and failed.

    Since I don't have time to look up the details of Logan's appearances in 2011 I will concede your point that he was successful around 60% of the time. Is that good? It seems awfully close to hit or miss to me. How does it compare to other lefty specialists (remember, I asked specifically about his record in "get this lefty out" situations")? How does it compare to all relievers? Comparing Logan's success rate to the team's overall winning percentage is … ummm .. interesting. But is it a valid comparison? I don't know – perhaps one of statistics savants who post on this site could address that point.

    And the idea that those of us who are skeptical about Logan are holding him to the standard of Mariano Rivera is a silly straw man argument. I never said that and I don't expect anyone to be Mariano Rivera (or Sparky Lyle or Goose Gossage). Mike Stanton would be a good comparison.

    Finally for the record I don't hate Boone Logan. I expressed skepticism about his effectiveness and a lack of confidence in his ability. I root for Logan to do well like I root for all Yankee players to do well. All I'm saying is that he hasn't shown me much.

    • williamjtasker

      Left-handed relief pitchers faced one batter a total of 829 times in 2011. Of those 829 times, 159 of those batters got on base. That's an on-base percentage of .192. That is far, far better than the .316 Logan recorded in such situations in 2011. So there you go.

  6. Professor Longnose

    i think there’s a statistical hole in your argument. If you use 5 pitchers in a game, and each one succeeds 62% of the time, you don’t have a 62% chance of success, you have a much lower one (62 to the 5th power). As roadrider says above, you need to compare him to other pitchers.

  7. Yoshi Hearts

    My Teacher was in love with him when they were in high school together, she didnt have the balls to tell him. She was going to tell him the last day of school, but he didnt go and she never seen him since. Me and my class mates are going to make a fun raiser to take her to a yankee game and make an announcement for him. (BTW she stills regret to telling him and she cries here and there)

    Wish Us Luck

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