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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Magic dust, spin rates and buy-in: How the Astros make good pitchers even better - The Washington Post

“Every team has an analytics department, and this is no knock on the Twins, but seeing the time [the Astros] put in and the scouting reports you’re given, it’s like, ‘Whoa.’ It’s a different level,” Pressly said. “You kind of see, ‘Wow, if I just pitch a little more to this percentage instead of that percentage I can have some better results.’ When I came over here, they were like, ‘Look, your curveball is your best pitch. Everyone tells you your best pitch should be your fastball. But with the amount of spin you have on the ball, you need to throw that more, and it will set up your fastball even more.’ ”

Luhnow described the acclimation process into the Astros’ philosophy as more of a two-way street: “It’s really, ‘Tell us about your repertoire, your experience.’ It starts with them telling us what they’re trying to accomplish every time they go in. And then it’s us: ‘Let’s start with the basics. This is what we love about you. Let’s keep doing this.’ Are there areas maybe we can try something? Sure. But they’ve got to want to do it.”

Added Manager A.J. Hinch: “The beauty of what we have going on right now is there’s an immediate buy-in when guys come over, because of some previous success stories. … Our analytics team, our front office does a great job of providing information, providing thoughts, ideas. But it circles back to the player. I always credit the player, because he has to be the guy — he is the guy with the ball in his hand.”

...

“The key principle,” Cole said, “was using a lot of the data and information they have to discern what is your strength. So you have a pitch that looks great on the charts, and then you have the [video]. … It’s not like they were reinventing the wheel. They were just showing me what I did well and then allowed me to just attack.”

“I don’t think it’s a secret,” Morton added. “It’s not something where they put you in a chamber, and they push a button and you come out a new pitcher. You’re the pitcher you are, with the tools you have, and they give you suggestions on how to utilize your stuff a little bit better. … For people to say, ‘Oh they must be doing something illegal or special — because why aren’t [other teams] doing it?’ Well, they haven’t caught up yet.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 16, 2018 at 10:33 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, astros

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Nick Cafardo: Red Sox manager Alex Cora went against analytics in Game 3 — and the result was spectacular

Alex Cora managed it. It’s that simple.

He saw that what he had drawn up wasn’t working. As much as he loved and believed in the lineups in the first two games, he had left two of the hotter hitters of the past couple of weeks on the bench. So even though Brock Holt and Rafael Devers had horrific numbers against Luis Severino, he put them in the lineup anyway.

This was one of those nonanalytic moments. Cora simply had a feeling, a Joe Morgan hunch, that the two lefthanded hitters would do something significant. And he was right. Man, was he right. As in 16-1 right and a 2-1 lead in the series with the possibility the Red Sox could win the clincher Tuesday.

 

Jim Furtado Posted: October 09, 2018 at 01:43 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, red soxs

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

‘Cold Hard Cash’: How Brian Cashman played the long game and used analytics to transform the Yankees’ culture – The Athletic

Some great stuff about the Yankees, including a mention of an old Usenet baseball legend.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 03, 2018 at 05:32 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, brian cashman, yankees

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Has baseball analytics killed the art of hitting?

Moments after being doused in celebratory suds last Wednesday, a soaked Christian Yelich was slapping on headphones and a microphone, settling in for a post-game interview. The 26-year-old National League MVP candidate and his Milwaukee Brewers had just beaten the St Louis Cardinals and booked their place in Major League Baseball’s playoffs which start on Tuesday.

It was a strange time for MLB Network personalities to get into a hitting discussion, but the hosts insisted on knowing Yelich’s thoughts on one of baseball’s newer stats: “the vertical angle at which the ball leaves a player’s bat after being struck,” also known as launch angle.

The stat is at the core of a debate concerning a philosophical shift in hitting. Over the past several seasons, hitters have increasingly abandoned the more traditional, contact friendly, line-drive swing, in favor of a riskier method that sends balls high into the air as often as possible. The chances of a home run increase but so do the chances of striking out. This during a time where hitters are already facing a never-ending stream of hurlers who hit 95mph or more on the radar gun and tally up strikeouts.

More or less the same thing we’ve seen millions of time- but usually not written for a British audience….

QLE Posted: October 02, 2018 at 09:33 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, hitting, yes, another of these columns

Friday, September 28, 2018

How Alex Cora changed the culture of the Red Sox regarding analytics

Knowledge is power.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 28, 2018 at 03:28 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, joey cora, red sox

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Baseball Statisticians Unveil New Analytics Model Measuring Precise Amount Of Joy They Suck From The Game

Saying the breakthrough would change baseball statistics forever, the Society Of American Baseball Research unveiled a new analytics model Friday that measures the precise amount of joy their work sucks from the game.

Master of the Horse Posted: August 25, 2018 at 03:37 PM | 152 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, bill james, theonion

Friday, August 24, 2018

The Braves traded into their strengths

But it wasn’t just happenstance. Gausman was a calculated upgrade for the Braves, who were also rumored to be in on Chris Archer at the deadline. Archer wound up with the Pirates for a significant cost while Alex Anthopoulos and his team grabbed Gausman for relatively cheap. But Gausman’s profile, and how that profile matched what Atlanta already had, surely helped Atlanta decide it wasn’t worth the price to pony up for Archer. Not when that profile could provide some hidden value.

If you don’t know what I mean, here’s Gausman’s 2018 batted ball profile:

2018: GB% 47.6% FB% 31.6%

And since he’s gotten to Atlanta, those numbers have actually improved:

with ATL - GB% 50.7% FB% 26%

The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: August 24, 2018 at 08:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, braves, trades

Monday, August 20, 2018

What did David Price change? – The Athletic $

Eno Sarris does David Price’s homework.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 20, 2018 at 08:06 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, david price, red sox

Friday, August 10, 2018

Cardinals executive on radar in Mets’ GM search

In the nascent stages of the Mets’ general manager search, Gary LaRocque’s name is among those receiving consideration.
[...]
Multiple individuals connected to the team have indicated Mets patriarch Fred Wilpon, 81, is unlikely to hand the organization’s reins to a young, purely analytics-driven GM with whom he would perhaps have difficulty connecting. The growing belief is Wilpon will look toward a more traditional baseball person.
[...]
There is thought among team officials that perhaps the Mets became too analytics driven in recent seasons under Sandy Alderson’s watch, and a veteran leader with a pure baseball background would help shift the organization toward the center.


Monday, July 30, 2018

Detroit Tigers’ Jack Morris’ Hall of Fame speech

It must be done.

“I believe in the human heart and human spirit, and no analytics can define them.”

Lest we forget Posted: July 30, 2018 at 08:22 AM | 155 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, hall of fame, jack morris

Friday, May 18, 2018


Monday, May 07, 2018

Poll of 70 big leaguers reveals what they value to gauge performance

When you look at your stats at the end of a given year to evaluate yourself, what number do you gravitate toward and why?

We didn’t get any Wins Above Replacement votes (“I still wish I understood WAR,” Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said.), but we did get a handful of “team wins” votes, which we will strike from the record because they run counter to the emphasis here on the individual.

In some cases, we didn’t get a vote at all.

“I hate ‘em all,” Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson said, “because there’s always another stat that will make you look bad.”


Wednesday, May 02, 2018

The AZ Snake Pit Statcast Primer

If you don’t know how to use MLB’s Statcast tool, then start here!

Time some of you fossils learned something new   ;)  OK….I’m a fossil too.

shoewizard Posted: May 02, 2018 at 05:48 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, statcast

 

 

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