Chris Sale Newsbeat
Monday, August 01, 2016
Could the Yankees jump in on Sale?
Saturday, July 30, 2016
Those factors pretty much make this analysis useless.
Obviously, factors such as contract length, pending free agency status, team record and payroll availability all play a role in such trades. But from a pure, on-the-field baseball standpoint, it’s clear getting an equal return back for an ace in a deadline deal is a tricky proposition based on our findings.
Posted: July 30, 2016 at 08:10 AM | 14 comment(s)
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Monday, July 25, 2016
When will baseball ban scissors from locker room? Haven’t uniforms suffered enough? Of course, had the White Sox only used breathable cotton, this tragedy could have been averted.
Sale’s crazy plan to get out of wearing the throwbacks reminded some of the “Seinfeld” episode in which George Costanza tied the Yankees’ World Series trophy to the back of his car and dragged it around in an effort to be fired by owner George Steinbrenner.
“I fear no reprisals,” Costanza shouted into a megaphone.
Posted: July 25, 2016 at 08:44 AM | 12 comment(s)
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Thursday, May 26, 2016
Just one game (perhaps one inning) to shrug off ... or a sign of what’s to come?
The results have been striking. Batters are not swinging and missing Sale’s pitches in the same way — his swing and miss rate is all the way down to 9.2 percent. Hitters are not chasing his pitches out of the strike zone like they did. And even when they do chase, they’re connecting a lot more often. For the first time in his career, Sale is not striking out at least one batter per inning.
And the overall result? Well, for the first nine starts of the year, Sale was impossibly efficient. He started the year 9-0, completed three of those games (he threw a 99-pitch complete game) and posted a 1.58 ERA. The league was hitting .163 against him.
In the 10th game against Cleveland, though, he only lasted 3 1/3 innings and gave up seven hits and six earned runs. Cleveland went 7-for-17, a .411 average if you are scoring at home.
Of course, every pitcher will have a bad game now and again, and that might be the only thing that happened Tuesday. But here’s the question: Was Sale’s bad game INEVITABLE? Here’s what I mean: Sale’s shift in pitching tactics is based on a very simple premise. He wants hitters to make more contact. Sure, he still wants to get some strikeouts (he has 69 Ks in 71 2/3 innings, so we’re not talking about slow-pitch softball here) but strikeouts are hard on the arm, they require a lot of pitches, they are not always cost-effective. Sale wants, instead, for hitters to make light contact — ground balls, pop-ups, soft line drives — and for the White Sox defense to get the outs.
For nine games, this worked in a historic way. Nine games in, opponents’ batting average on balls in play (BABIP) was .197. How amazing is that? No pitcher in the record books has EVER held hitters a sub-.200 BABIP for a full season. When hitters put the ball in play, they will hit around .300; it has been that way for 20-plus years. One of the more prominent theories in baseball right now is that starting pitchers, no matter how good, do not have much control over BABIP. After bat meets ball, this theory goes, it is up to the team’s defense and the hands of destiny to determine whether it becomes a hit.
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