Are SixMan Rotations Ever Worth It

Noah Syndergaard, the New York Mets’ phenomenal young starting pitcher, throws 99 mph fastballs and hits home runs to straight center field. Dillon Gee, the guy Syndergaard replaced in the rotation in May, does not do those things. After a trip to the disabled list, Gee is back, but the Mets couldn’t just send a rookie nicknamed Thor back down to the minors. They also couldn’t keep Gee, a perfectly solid back-of-the-rotation pitcher, there either.So, flush with pitching talent, the Mets are trying something novel: They are deploying a six-man rotation. It might just be a brilliant way to safeguard the health of their pitchers.Earlier this year, sabermetrician Russell Carleton wrote that six-man rotations offer few obvious benefits in terms of pitching performance: The extra day of rest doesn’t seem to increase pitcher strikeout rates or reduce walk rates. And, because the extra man entails splitting up the workload among a larger group of people, it tends to dilute the effect of truly great starting pitchers. Over a full season, a six-man rotation results in about 30-50 fewer innings per starter. For a top-heavy Mets rotation that can send Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard to the mound, reducing their workload appears costly and counterintuitive.1Carleton estimates a team’s cost of this reduced workload, for an average No. 1 starter, at about 1.6 wins (and Harvey might be better than an average No. 1 starter).If there is a potential benefit of a six-man rotation, then, it must be its health effects. And the Mets could use some preventive medicine. As others have noted, the number of pitchers with elbow injuries has spiked.2Even so, the epidemic is not as bad as it seems. The injury concern goes double for the Mets, whose rotation relies on a recently recovered Harvey, 42-year-old Bartolo Colón and fresh-off-the-DL Gee. (The Mets also saw another young pitcher, Zack Wheeler, undergo Tommy John surgery this year.) Since the greatest predictor of future pitcher injury is previous injury, the Mets are in a precarious position.Previous attempts to figure out whether six-man rotations help pitchers’ health haven’t suggested much of a connection. When Carleton did it, he couldn’t find any benefit, but he looked over a long timeframe (going all the way to the 1950s). Because we have detailed injury data going back only about 10 years, Carleton had to use a model that incorporated both injuries and other factors that might remove a pitcher from the rotation (such as poor performance). Accordingly, Carleton found only a modest effect on injury probability for starters going on three days’ rest, and only in the past couple of decades.On the other hand, Eno Sarris pointed out that six-man rotations are standard in Japan’s highest professional league, and the rate of Tommy John surgeries is much lower there. This lower rate exists despite a similarly abusive3Or perhaps even worse than abusive schedule for young pitchers. Furthering Sarris’s point, Yu Darvish, the Texas Rangers ace and recent victim of elbow surgery, argued that such a change might reduce wear and tear on the arm. Nevertheless, there are many distinctions between Japanese professional baseball and MLB, and it’s hard to confidently pin the responsibility for fewer injuries on the rotation strategy alone.I took a more direct look, using injury information accrued by Baseball Prospectus (specifically, Corey Dawkins) from 2006 through 2014. Over this period, starting pitchers have been primarily used in a five-man rotation, usually getting 4.2 to 4.5 days of rest, on average, over the course of a year. As a result, we need to look at individual pitcher outings to see some evidence of an injury-prevention effect. By linking the injury data with the time between starts of every pitcher,4Using data from Retrosheet we can get an idea about whether a six-man rotation would help reduce injury risk.I found that there is a strong link between rest and injury rates. Looking at starts on three days of rest, 1.7 percent of pitchers suffered a reported injury within the next two weeks.5These results hold for time windows going out to about 60 days, after which the correlation between rest and injury rates trails off. At four days of rest, the typical amount in the modern age, that number drops precipitously to 1.0 percent. (Maybe that helps explain why the five-man rotation came to be.) Then the injury risk falls even further: at five days of rest — which would be standard for a six-man rotation — just 0.8 percent of pitchers are injured in the next 14 days, for a 20 percent decrease compared with four days of rest. That is a potentially meaningful drop in injury risk.6The difference in injury probability over two weeks hovers right at the edge of statistical significance (p=.06, using a two-tailed Fisher’s exact test), partially because the probability of an injury occurring over any two-week span is quite low. If you extend the test to consider longer time windows (such as 21 days), the p-value drops below .05.Despite the drop in injury risk, when injuries were suffered, they were no more severe for pitchers operating on short rest. On either four or five days’ rest, pitchers lost a median of about 21 days of time.7There were too few injuries after three days’ rest to make any comparison meaningful. So more rest may prevent injuries, but injuries on shorter rest are no worse when they do happen.There are still potential issues of correlation and causation. Managers might change usage patterns for pitchers depending on their injury risks. Alternatively, injury risk could be correlated with some other factor that dictates usage patterns. Furthermore, though the additional day of rest seems to reduce short-term injury risk, there’s no guarantee that it would work as well in the long term — perhaps more rest merely delays the inevitable.8You might expect this scenario if pitcher injury results primarily from the progressive buildup of damage in the ligaments of the arm. If that’s the case, you can delay the date of injury by reducing the frequency of starts and the workload, but you can’t really prevent it from happening.Even if you accept that longer rest periods lead to fewer injuries, it’s difficult to come to any hard and fast conclusions regarding the optimal strategy. Although it appears that starting with more rest is correlated with a lower injury probability, the benefit that might be gained will be different for every team and every rotation. Top-heavy rotations that deploy a Cy Young candidate will suffer from seeing their excellent pitcher throw fewer innings, but at the same time, they may be guarding against that pitcher’s suffering an untimely injury (at least in the short term).This is the situation in which the Mets find themselves. With Harvey anchored as a dominant starter who’s also recovering from a dangerous injury, the reward (potentially reducing his risk of relapse) could outweigh the risk (losing some of his innings in the near term). And, as noted above, Harvey is not the only injury risk on the staff.Regardless of whether the six-man rotation is a good idea for other teams, it seems to fit the Mets and their injury-prone rotation. The question now becomes whether their slick strategy will come to cost them a win or two, as Harvey or Syndergaard gives way to the less-talented Gee. Perched on the edge of playoff contention this year, but with a still-brighter future ahead, the Mets must carefully balance the reduced risk of injury with the possibility of a surprise October run. read more

Lyft begins testing car rentals in San Francisco

first_img CES 2019: Ride along with us in an autonomous Lyft Now playing: Watch this: Tech Industry Mobile 0 Tags Share your voicecenter_img Post a comment Lyft 3:21 You might be able to drive these Lyft vehicles all by yourself.  Lyft Just as Uber’s stock market debut gets off to a rocky start, rival ride-hailing company Lyft is exploring the possibility of car rentals in San Francisco.Lyft said its vision is to reduce the need for personal car ownership. As part of a small test, Lyft is experimenting with letting riders rent cars for long-distance trips. Lyft users will pay about $60 per day to rent a standard sedan and $100 per day for an SUV, according to a report Friday from Engadget. It’s unknown at this time how many people are participating in the test and how many vehicles are available for rent. The vehicles are reportedly new and there aren’t any mileage caps or options for hourly rentals.lyft car rentalLyft’s app could soon include car rentals. Lyft “We’re constantly adding multimodal options so people can use Lyft for any kind of trip. We’ve added bikes, scooters, and public transit info into the app in cities across the country, and we’re currently testing a small-scale rental option for long-distance trips, like a weekend away,” a Lyft spokesperson confirmed on Friday.Originally published May 10 at 11:16 a.m. PT.Update, 11:23 a.m. PT: Addd statement and images from Lyft.last_img read more

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton posts steady rise in organic growth

first_imgIn less than a month from now, luxury goods maker LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton will be announcing its decision on payment of interim dividend. The French conglomerate had posted an increase of six percent in organic growth sales for the third quarter (Q3) ended September 2016, up from three percent in Q1 and four percent in Q2, while overall sales came in at €9,138 million.The organic growth was led by perfumes and cosmetics segment that rose 10 percent, while the watches and jewellery segment grew by just two percent.For the nine-month period, the company’s sales stood at €26,326 million, up four percent from €25,288 million in the corresponding period last year.From an organic revenue growth perspective for the first nine months of calendar year 2016, the segments showed divergent trends.The wines and spirits business group grew seven percent, while the fashion and leather goods segment rose two percent. Its perfumes and cosmetics revenues increased eight percent and the watches and jewellery posted four percent growth, according to the company.Curiously, the company is not doing well in its domestic market, France.”Asia, excluding Japan, showed a significant improvement during the quarter. The United States remains well positioned, as does Europe, with the exception of France which continues to feel the impact of a decline in the number of tourists,” according to LVMH statement.At around 7.10 pm (IST), the share price of LVMH was trading at €163.45 per share.last_img read more