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Tuesday, October 02, 2018

How Much of a Role Did Steroids Play in the Steroid Era?

is the suddenness of the change: a large step jump from one stable, self-consistent era to another such over a single season,” Walker says. “There is no other possible explanation than a change in the baseball.” It’s certainly suggestive that the seasons with the largest year-over-year increases in home run rate on contact are, in order, 1977 (when MLB changed ball manufacturers, from Spalding to Rawlings); 1969 (when the mound was lowered and the strike zone shrunk); 2016 (the first full season with the reduced-drag ball); and 1993, followed by 2015 (the season in which the reduced-drag ball made its first appearance).

eric Posted: October 02, 2018 at 02:51 PM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: home runs, steroids

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Dodgers bash their way to MLB history with record-tying seven 20-homer hitters

Home runs are dramatically up in MLB this season and that means some home run history will inevitably be made. The Dodgers fulfilled that idea Wednesday, entering the history books with a booming homer from Matt Kemp in the second inning of their game against the Rockies.

Kemp’s solo shot bumped his season total up to 20 and gave the Dodgers their seventh 20-homer hitter on the season, tying an MLB record for most 20-homer hitters on a team in a single season. The Los Angeles group now includes Kemp, Cody Bellinger, Yasmani Grandal, Enrique Hernandez, Max Muncy, Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig.

The Dodgers came close to such a mark last year with six players reaching the milestone, and they managed to hit seven this year without three of the hitters from last year (Corey Seager, Chris Taylor and Justin Turner).

For those of you who were wondering how a team that has felt like it has been underperforming all season has remained in the position it is relative to the playoffs…..

 


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Why the Cubs and Yankees Should Swap Tyler Chatwood and Sonny Gray

The biggest reason this perfectly reasonable idea wouldn’t happen is that Chatwood is guaranteed more money, but I like the idea behind it, at least:

Gray is still getting decent or better swinging-strike rates on his primary pitches. His velocity is pretty stable this year — and might actually be up a tick over last year — so there’s no obvious explanation for Gray’s struggles except for the change in approach he adopted when he came to New York. As for Chatwood, we knows he’s pitched poorly — and the pitch-value data suggests he’s struggled with his four-seamer and sinker more than other pitch by far. Yet those pitches also account for close to 60% of his offerings, with his changeup and curveball both in the single digits. The latter two pitches are actually above average on a rate basis, though. The whiff numbers on Chatwood’s secondaries are strong and, interestingly, Statcast suggests that Chatwood’s biggest control problems are on his four-seamer and sinker. He has better command, it seems, of his cutter, changeup, and curve.

Gray, in other words, would benefit by moving away from his secondary pitches, Chatwood by embracing them. Per Pitch Info, those two pitchers are on the worst teams for making those specific changes.

Cubs pitchers are throwing fewer secondaries than any other staff in the majors, the Yankees more of them. At some level, these figures are reliant on the actual personnel employed by the clubs. When the numbers are so divergent across an entire roster, however, it at least suggests the possibility of an organizational philosophy at work. By these numbers, Gray might benefit most from a move to Chicago, Chatwood from a move to New York.


 

 

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