The Stupidest and Most Useless Stat Rears Its Ugly Head Again

Last year, I railed against what I first called "the most useless stat" but then downgraded to "the stupidest and most useless stat":  team record when a player scores a run.  I think there are at least 27 reasons this stat is stupid and useless, so I'll just mention three:  the stat combines two team-dependent stats (runs and wins) to evaluate a single player; it rewards those who don't score much and/or only when the rest of the team is scoring runs; and the entire team can be great in this stat when it sucks otherwise.  And you can think of countless other reasons this stat is absurd.  And ridiculous.  And utterly silly.  And deserves never to be discussed again.

But then Jimmy Rollins, who had a .569 OPS through July 1, starts hitting again and has a 1.138 OPS over the last 11 games.  And the Phillies have won 9 of those games.  And he's scored runs in 7 of the 11, including 6 of the 9 wins.  And you know where this is going.

Yup, this weekend Larry Andersen and Scott Franzke were going on and on about how important Rollins is to the Phillies' offense because the Phillies have a 34-8 record (adjusted to today's stats) when he scores a run.

Now here's the thing - there are so many useful ways to hype Jimmy Rollins' improved performance.  Point to his 1.138 OPS over the last 11 games, for instance.  Or talk about how in the past 9 games he's had 10 walks.  (You read that right -- Jimmy Rollins has more walks than games in the past 9 games.  Amazing!)  Discuss his .500+ OBP in the past 11 games.  Or his always impressive defense.

But this stat about the team's record in games in which Rollins (or anyone else) scores a run just has to go.  If you need any more proof than the reasoning mentioned above and detailed in the links in the first paragraph, I'm giving you even more ammunition with this chart.  It shows the dreaded stat for each of the Phillies who has scored more than 10 runs this year.  The bottom line shows the Phillies' overall record when the team scores a run (in other words, the team's record in non-shutout games):

Player Wins Losses Win % Runs
Ruiz 9 1 0.900 11
Coste 9 1 0.900 12
Feliz 25 5 0.833 36
Rollins 34 8 0.810 51
Victorino 36 11 0.766 63
Howard 31 10 0.756 53
Utley 36 12 0.750 62
Werth 31 14 0.689 60
Ibanez 25 12 0.676 53
Stairs 7 4 0.636 11
Dobbs 6 5 0.545 13
Overall 48 36 0.571

If this hodgepodge chart tells you anything about the relative value of these players, you need to have your eyes checked.

As with last year when I looked at this, of the regulars, Pedro Feliz has the highest win percentage in games he's scored a run. And Jayson Werth again is toward the bottom (as is Raul Ibanez). Is Feliz in any way more valuable to this offense than Werth or Ibanez?

QED.

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