What in the hell are “OPSBIs”?


Fact: two Major League Baseball teams gave Jim Bowden the keys to the entirety of their baseball operations.  Just thought you should remember that when you read one of the ways in which he likes to evaluate players:

I get asked all the time which two or three common statistics I would pick to evaluate a team or players. My quick answer would be the following:

1. For a team: Run differential
2. For a hitter: OPS + RBIs, or OPSBIs
3. For a pitcher: ERA, WHIP, SO

Yeah, it’s number two that stands out.  He says “OPS + RBIs gives me a general feel for the level of player.”  Setting aside why, from a hardcore statistical point of view, combining those stats makes no sense (it’s beyond apples and oranges; it’s in the realm of apples and nickel-metal hydride batteries), I’m struggling to thing what such a metric would even tell Bowden.  Yes, when you add up those numbers you get a list of good players.  But there are a lot of numbers that will do that for you while telling yourself something else useful too, which this does not.

And, thinking more broadly, if a man with decades of player development experience needs some complicated number to give him “a general feel for the level of player,” than there are much bigger problems afoot.

Clayton Kershaw completes spring training with a 0.00 ERA

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Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.

In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.

The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.

The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.