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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Hayhurst: An Insider’s Guide to Baseball’s Mysterious ‘Eephus’ Pitch

We, LaRoche’s pitching staff in 2009, had reached Triple-A by way of throwing hard. Hundreds of thousands of reps had already been logged trying to execute with fast, late-moving, sharp-acting ammo. Even if we rolled out of bed and played catch, we’d still be doing it harder than The Lob’s max velocity.

Our bodies were used to a natural velocity far exceeding the effort the normal human would put into a throw. When we wound up and lobbed the pitch, more than one of us threw the ball ...

Read More...
bobm Posted: June 21, 2014 at 11:18 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: eephus, pitching

Fangraphs: Mixing Pitches, Situationally

league averages. Let’s establish a baseline:

Bases Empty: 63% fastballs (cutters included)
Runner(s) On: 61% [...]

I looked at every pitcher who’s thrown at least 1,000 pitches since the start of 2013. The following graph plots their relevant fastball rates. The sample pool numbers nearly 400 [...]

Out of the pool, 24 pitchers have decreased their fastball rates by at least 10 percentage points with runners on base.

bobm Posted: June 21, 2014 at 10:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching

Hardball Times: Exploring the Shift Dynamic

As it seems, the onset of the shift has not really changed the probability of an opposite hit ball. But, for those most shifted in 2013, there has been a large decrease across the board in the value of their batted balls, with the average ground ball losing 66% of it’s value until this year—where there seems to be a spike in ground ball run values.  But the most surprising factor is the apparent effect of the shift on the fly balls and line drive value, which have both dropped significantly ...

Read More...
bobm Posted: June 21, 2014 at 08:54 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: analysis, shift

BtBS: Running the bases: An analysis

Good things occur on the basepaths as well [as bad], and I would be remiss if I didn’t point these out. It doesn’t have the same catchiness the Mistake Index has, but if I’m going to show negative outcomes, I should point out the positive as well, such as stolen bases, reaching on errors or taking an extra base (for example, going from first to third on a single). [...]

Given this, let’s expand this list and look at the ratio of good events to bad: [...]

This doesn’t help Puig but shows ...

Read More...
bobm Posted: June 21, 2014 at 08:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: baserunning

NY Post: The challenger to d’Arnaud’s status as Mets’ catcher of future

After a pedestrian April, when he hit just .250 with three extra-base hits for Double-A Binghamton, the 23-year-old [Kevin Plawecki] has been on a tear since the calendar turned to May, hitting .352 with a .946 OPS. His totals for the season stood at .326 with six homers and 41 RBIs heading into Friday. 

Plawecki has caught the eye of an American League scout, who called him a “future All-Star” and “the best catcher in the organization.”

“He can hit, catch, throw,” the scout ...

Read More...
bobm Posted: June 21, 2014 at 07:52 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Rantankerous: Prepare your JAWS for a sabermetric WAR

Brian “What We Learned” Tynes vs. George “Hot Reads” Jones. I got through 5:18…and then it was back to my Räjäyttäjät party.

If you don’t know wSB from TMZ, you’re in the right place.

One of those is a baseball statistic and the other is a celebrity news web site. The legitimacy of both is debatable.

In this week’s discussion, George jumps on the sabermetric bandwagon and tries to argue the merits of such nonsensical acronyms as UZR, wOBA, BABIP and OOPS, which are all baseball ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: June 21, 2014 at 07:11 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Friday, June 20, 2014

OMNICHATTER 6-20-2014

Chatter up, up the chatter?

Gamingboy Posted: June 20, 2014 at 02:27 PM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Orioles starters can’t fool hitters

Orioles starters have trouble getting batters to swing at pitches out of the zone, particularly Ubaldo Jimenez:

“Hitters swing at only 24.5% of Jimenez’s pitches out of the zone, fewer than one out of four. This is great, because he throws out of the zone so rarel—err, no, wait, he throws out of the zone 53.6% of the time. Dang.”

rpollack Posted: June 20, 2014 at 02:02 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, pitchfx, pitching, strike zone

Did Chewing Tobacco Kill Tony Gwynn?

Keith Olbermann is a blowhard. By his logic we should stop pitchers from throwing because Dave Dravecky had a cancerous desmoid tumor in his left arm. THE SAME ARM HE PITCHED WITH!

Gwynn cancer-related death is a tragedy. Linking that tragedy to smokeless tobacco (a repugnant product) with no evidence is just exploitation.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 20, 2014 at 01:34 PM | 96 comment(s)
  Beats: keith olbermann, tony gwynn

Yasmani Tomas defects from Cuba

Cuban authorities say hard-hitting outfielder Yasmani Tomas has defected, multiple media outlets reported Friday.
...
Tomas went 6-for-16 during the WBC with two homers, one double and four strikeouts.

According to official statistics, Tomas hit .275 for Industriales last season with 10 home runs and 59 RBIs in the 90-game regular season and seven playoff games.

He dipped to six home runs while hitting .290 in 257 plate appearances for Industriales this season, but a source told Baseball ...

Read More...
Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: June 20, 2014 at 01:20 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban baseball

As a Clinton staffer, Rahm Emanuel wanted to go after Daryl Strawberry for drugs

Typical spiteful Cubs fan.

The baseball part is his advice about how the Clinton White House should nose itself into baseball and drugs. Not steroids — no one cared about that yet — but about players abusing recreational drugs. Specifically, Daryl Strawberry:

In one 1995 memo, Emanuel even suggested that the president jump into the fray over New York Yankees star Darryl Strawberry testing positive for drugs. He called for Clinton’s drug czar, Lee Brown, to meet with Yankees owner George ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 20, 2014 at 11:05 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: bill clinton, daryl strawberry, drugs, mets, politics, rahm emmanuel

SocraticGadfly: It’s once again time to swat down the David Ortiz Hall of Fame claims

Big Arias: Rake progress.

Craig Calcaterra at NBC is the latest to get on my wrong side regarding David Ortiz and the HOF, with this, over Ortiz’s ######## about an official scorer’s ruling:

  Let’s ... focus of the pettiness of a guy with a Hall of Fame resume throwing a little temper tantrum over a scoring call that will matter not one iota in the course of this season let alone his career.

Is Ortiz already a member of the “Hall of Very Good”? Yes.

Hall of Fame? No. As I said in ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: June 20, 2014 at 10:23 AM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

‘Dynamic Pricing’ May Be To Blame For Empty Seats At Kauffman Stadium

Are you sure its not Mike Moustakas’ strikeouts?

“If you’re a diehard to your team, you’ll show up,” said Moffitt a Royals home game.

But plenty of diehard fans during the most recent homestand did not.

The St. Louis Cardinals last week drew less than 30,000 in each of their games at Kauffman Stadium. That hasn’t happened since 2007.

For Tuesday’s game against the Cleveland Indians, the 25,000-plus attendees exceeded two of the three games against the Yankees.

Royals Director ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 20, 2014 at 09:54 AM | 76 comment(s)
  Beats: dynamic pricing, revenues, royals

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-20-2014

Milwaukee Journal, June 20, 1914:

Howard McLarry, second baseman of the Louisville American association baseball team, and Miss Villa Glassman, Lincoln, Neb., were married [in Kansas City] yesterday. The bride sat in the grand stand at yesterday afternoon’s game between Kansas City and Louisville. Louisville’s victory was due largely to McLarry’s hitting. He made two home runs and one single, and was responsible for four of Louisville’s runs.

Not sure how many bonus points you get on your ...

Read More...
Jerry Lumpe Rutherford (Dan Lee) Posted: June 20, 2014 at 08:10 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, polly mclarry

MLB, the MLBPA announce the creation of the Puerto Rico Summer League

Players from Puerto Rico are subject to the Major League draft, which, kills the incentive for teams and scouts to go there and develop teenage talent like they do in the Dominican Republic or Venezuela. Since the imposition of the draft in Puerto Rico in 1990, the once rich vein of talent heading from there to the big leagues has all but dried up.

But not to worry, this summer league is sure to turn around 25 years of decline.  Problem meet solution.

 

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 20, 2014 at 02:32 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: media, rangers, wtf

Gavin Floyd suffers fracture in elbow

Floyd broke the olecranon—the bony tip of the ulna that sticks out behind the elbow—as he made the first pitch of the seventh inning, a curveball that Jayson Werth pulled foul, deep along the left-field line.

“In the big picture, I think he’s going to be OK,” Gonzalez said.

A similar injury ended the career of Detroit Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya in 2010.

“I mean like a really big picture.  It probably won’t kill him is what I’m saying.” ...Read More...

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 20, 2014 at 02:17 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, injuries

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Economist: A perfect conundrum

An argument that people who want to #KillTheWin should also recognize that Clayton Kershaw’s masterpiece should not be considered a perfect game, because baseball is at its heart a team sport.

The problem with assigning wins and losses to pitchers is it gives them undeserved credit or blame for their teammates’ performances. Defining perfect games as an individual achievement falls victim to the exact same fallacy…If we want to #KillTheWin, let’s kill the perfect game and RBI too, as well ...

Read More...

Posnanski:  A Barry Bond thought

‘Elo kiddies, ‘elo kiddies
Whatcha gonna do when your head’s exploding?
You lead a life of crime
You know they’re out to get you

Baseball Reference has this cool thing called the Fan EloRater, where they have fans rank players against each other and then use the millions of rankings to form a list of the greatest players in baseball history. It’s a great concept and great way to show what fans think about the game.  Trouble is … it really is what fans think about the game — unfiltered ...

Read More...
Gonfalon B. Posted: June 19, 2014 at 05:16 PM | 103 comment(s)
  Beats: bonds, clemens, posnanski

Sports on Earth: THE BEST PITCHERS AGAINST EACH TEAM

Notes: The second-best pitcher ever against the Rangers was Moe Drabowsky. Drabowsky is probably better known for the pranks he pulled than the pitches he threw. I wrote about Drabowsky in this space a few months back. Here’s part of what I wrote then:

Perhaps the most famous example came when he was playing against the Kansas City A’s in Kansas City. Having played for the A’s, Drabowsky knew the intricacies of the stadium’s bullpen phone system. He also knew the number for the home team’s ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 03:57 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: randy johnson, roger clemens

ESPN’s Keith Law Comes Down Hard On Ausmus, Calls Remark ‘Nauseating’ « CBS Detroit

Does somebody’s children need to be taken away?

Keith’s a good guy and means well but this reaction is over the top.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 19, 2014 at 02:58 PM | 140 comment(s)
  Beats: brad ausmus, tigers


MLB’s New Home-Plate Rule Had Its Lowest Moment

The bases were loaded—this was a force play. Bucs catcher Russell Martin received the throw, tapped home plate with his his foot, then got out of the way of the sliding Devin Mesoraco. Mesoraco was ruled out; Bryan Pryce argued, and after a lengthy chat with the replay office in New York, umpires overturned the call.

Natty Fan Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:40 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: catcher collisions, pirates, reds, rules

OMNICHATTER 6-19-14

Are you ready for OMNICHATTER?

Gamingboy Posted: June 19, 2014 at 10:29 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

The Essence of Velocity: The pitching theory that could revolutionize baseball, if only the sport would embrace it - SBNation.com

What would happen if we got Perry Husband and Mike Marshal together?

Jim Furtado Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:42 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching

Frustrated Ortiz rails against error call - ESPN Boston

If the scorer changes the call, should the pitcher then stop the game and start yelling at the scorer?

The official scorer, Bob Kelly, after viewing a couple of replays, charged Mauer with an error. When the inning ended, according to several reporters watching, including Kyle Brasseur of ESPNBoston.com (I’d gotten up to use the restroom), Ortiz could be seen yelling at the press box, making a thumbs-down motion several times to indicate his displeasure with the call.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 19, 2014 at 09:23 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: bullshit, red sox

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-19-2014

Pittsburgh Press, June 19, 1914:

Bert Dorr, the first man to master the art of curving a baseball, died at his home [in Binghamton, New York] today. Dorr was considered one of the game’s greatest pitching stars in the old days. He was a member of both the old Cincinnati and Washington teams.

Seemed like the sort of player I’d want to learn more about, so I looked him up. Dorr was ten years old when Candy Cummings made his “major” league debut, so it’s tough to make a case for him as the inventor ...

Read More...
Jerry Lumpe Rutherford (Dan Lee) Posted: June 19, 2014 at 07:36 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: bert dorr, dugout, history, obituaries

Kershaw throws second Dodgers no-hitter of 2014, fans 15 Rockies

This grumble from Dodger pal Glossops+: “When Koufax was throwing his no-hitters…the strikeout rate was like minus 2 or something!”

The Rockies had no answer for Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday night. The Dodgers southpaw threw his first career no-hitter against Colorado, and he was only a Hanley Ramirez throwing error away from a perfect game.

The 26-year-old Kershaw threw 107 pitches in the no-hit effort, so his pitch count was never an issue. His career high is 132 pitches, set last April. ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: June 19, 2014 at 05:35 AM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

ESPN: CHICAGO: Kyle Schwarber moves up quickly

It took all of five games for Kyle Schwarber, the Chicago Cubs’ 2014 first-round pick, to get a promotion. Schwarber dominated Northwest League pitching, racking up four home runs and 10 RBIs to go along with a .600 batting average.

While last year’s top pick, Kris Bryant, spent 18 games with short season Class-A Boise, Schwarber is headed to Low-A baseball in Kane County much quicker. The difference is Schwarber was playing college baseball up until a couple of weeks ago and signed quickly ...

Read More...
Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: June 19, 2014 at 04:19 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: 2014 draft, cubs, indiana, prospects

Basehall Hall of Fame: Babe’s on Film: New research confirms earliest known moving images of Ruth in Yankee uniform

As the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum finishes its preparations for the opening of the new Babe Ruth: His Life and Legend exhibit on June 13, senior curator Tom Shieber has identified what he believes to be the earliest known footage of Ruth in a Yankee uniform.

Shieber, who received the 36-second clip from the University of South Carolina’s Moving Image Research Collections in December 2013, was recently able to date the footage. He has confirmed the video was filmed just months ...

Read More...
bobm Posted: June 19, 2014 at 03:40 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, hall of fame

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ken Levine: My Tribute to Tony Gwynn

M*A*S*H/Cheers/Frasier writer remembers Captain Video.

He and I shared a cab to Shea Stadium in New York one afternoon. Somewhere in the streets of Queens the cabbie lost control and the cab did a full 360 spin before coming safely to a stop. Once we caught our breath I said to Tony, “You realize that if anything had happened the headline in all the papers and on all the news shows would be ‘Tony Gwynn and passenger killed in car accident.’ My life would be reduced to ‘passenger.’ ...

Read More...
Gonfalon B. Posted: June 18, 2014 at 02:38 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: rip, tony gwynn

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