Outcome Bias & Jeff Niemann | The Process Report

Outcome Bias & Jeff Niemann

By R.J. Anderson //

Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis spent time on the disabled list with shoulder weakness. Since returning, Niemann has average four innings per start, walking and striking out an equal number of batters (five), allowing two homers, 15 hits, striking two batters with pitches, and 17 earned runs. Batters are hitting .395/.489/.711 against him. Meanwhile, Davis has went 13 innings, allowed 12 hits, struck out eight, walked three, and four batters have crossed the plate against him while hitting .235/.278/.412.

The Rays have not discovered body-swapping technology, otherwise Carl Crawford’s physical abilities would be swapped into a player willing to take an affordable extension. With that option ruled out, maybe Niemann is still fatigue or working out the rust. I don’t know. I’d rather not speculate carelessly. What I do find aggravating is the outcome bias stemming from the Rays’ decision against having Niemann and Davis throw rehab starts.

Should they have? Maybe. They know better than I or anyone else do about the pitchers’ abilities to bounce back. People are only saying this about Niemann, though, which is why it’s completely outcome bias. There’s no concern about Davis because he’s pitched well. If Niemann had pitched well too you can guarantee nobody would mention those words.

Some people likely did call for rehab starts all the way and this isn’t intended for them, just the people playing false prophets.

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