Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tejada's GIDPs

Tejada has been much-maligned in the past few days based on the number of times he has grounded into a double play. In an earlier post, it was pointed out that Tejada has led the NL in GIDPs in each of the last two years with 32 in 2008 and 29 in 2009.

Citizen Ryan pointed out, however:
I'm not saying Tejada is worth 8 figures by any means, but I just have to laugh when people say he shouldn't get money because he grounds into double plays. He grounds into double plays because he doesn't strike out much. It's a trade off. I'm sure for every rally-killing double play ball he's had, he's had a simple 6-3 to score a run because he didn't strike out. How hard is this to figure out?

So let's take a gander at Tejada's GIDPs from 2009.
April: 3
May: 3
June: 7
July: 4
August: 6
Sept/Oct: 6

1st-3rd Inn: 13
4th-6th Inn: 10
7th-End Inn: 6

When HOU was losing: 16
When HOU was leading: 5
When game was tied: 8

To end the inning: 16
w/RISP: 9
when GIDP scored a run, anyway: 0

So. What can we gather from this? 23 of his 29 GIDPs came in the 1st-6th innings, and 24 of them occurred when the game was either tied or Houston was losing. I only saw one instance in which Tejada represented the winning run at the plate in the 9th, and GIDPed to end the game. In four instances, Tejada GIDPed 2+ times (2 GIDPs three times, and 3 GIDPs once).

In nine instances, there were runners in scoring position when Tejada GIDPed, and the run didn't score in all nine cases. And looking at this, there was obviously someone on 1st base when Tejada GIDPed, and in nine instances there was at least one runner in scoring position. Once was there someone on 2nd and 3rd. So that's 39 (give or take a baserunner here and there. Screw it, let's call it 40) baserunners that Tejada took off the basepath. Given that he hit in front of Berkman and Lee most of the year, how many of them can reasonably be expected to score? All 40? Probably not. So let's say that Tejada cost the Astros 20 runs (it's arbitrary, I know) with the GIDPs. That would put the Astros at 663 runs scored, to 743 against, which would put the Pythagorean W-L at 76-86, or two games better than their final record.

It should be noted that this is so subjective, it's borderline absurd. It's hard to quantify how many games were lost because of this. Tejada ended the inning 16 times, meaning there were 0 outs when he GIDPed in 13 cases. What happens if he just strikes out? Or if he pops out? Would Berkman drive him in? Would Lee? No way to know.

Obviously, Tejada represented quite a few outs because of his bat, but as Ryan pointed out, he only struck out 48 times in 673 PAs. That's one K per 13.2 ABs, and was the best in the National League (and 3rd-best in the Majors). So did he GIDP? Hell, and yes, he did. Is Ryan correct? I believe so...