Carleton: Is Brandon Inge worth 10 wins behind closed doors?

From Russell Carleton at Baseball Prospectus on March 21, 2013:

Brandon McCarthy thinks that Brandon Inge is worth 10 wins or so to a team behind closed doors. Jonny Gomes, too. Participating in a player panel at the SABR Analytics Conference earlier this month, McCarthy posited that if Inge and Gomes had been removed from the 2012 Oakland A’s, they might have fallen from a 94-win team to a 70-win team, purely by virtue of being deprived of the effect the two players had in the clubhouse. According to WARP, Gomes was worth 2.2 wins last year, while Inge was worth 0.6. So, assuming that if neither had been on the team, they would have been replaced by… well, replacement level players, that means that Inge and Gomes somehow combined for 21.2 wins just by being good guys in the clubhouse.

Okay, so maybe McCarthy was exaggerating. Maybe the point that he wanted to make was that Inge and Gomes were fun to be around in the clubhouse and that that helped him and other players out quite a bit. Maybe he wasn’t trying to be accurate to the third decimal place—or even the tens place. He just wanted to say that he believes that these sorts of things can make a difference on the field. But it does raise a question that I seem to be visiting a lot lately. What measurable difference can a player make behind the scenes?

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Related link: For more coverage of the 2013 SABR Analytics Conference, visit

Originally published: March 21, 2013. Last Updated: March 21, 2013.