Rays Consultant Presents Paper on Roster Flexibility at the Sloan Conference | The Process Report

Rays Consultant Presents Paper on Roster Flexibility at the Sloan Conference

From Zachary Levine’s piece on the Sloan Conference:

The lone baseball paper to make the list of 10 finalists at Sloan was Douglas Fearing and Timothy Chan’s work on the impact of roster flexibility in the major leagues. You can and should read the paper here (.pdf). Fearing, whose work is in operations research, felt there is still a very good future for serious sports-based research in the academy.

[…]

As long as projects like theirs can get off the ground and find a setting like Sloan, then the ideas marketplace will never really stagnate in the face of teams’ hiring binges. Still, even Fearing said he had to be careful. He’s drawn a paycheck from the Tampa Bay Rays as a consultant.

Fearing’s paper can be read here. The Rays get one explicit mention:

According to this metric, the Nationals’ and Rays’ rosters are the least robust to injuries. In each case, the lack of robustness is due to the presence of a superstar third-baseman (Ryan Zimmerman and Evan Longoria, respectively),  whose injury would result in approximately replacement-level players moving into the lineup (Danny Espinosa/Adam LaRoche for the Nationals and Jeff Keppinger /Elliot Johnson for the Rays)



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