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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Five New Pitches Making a Difference in 2017 – The Ringer

Among 96 pitchers who’ve thrown their sliders at least 50 times this season, only six have gotten swings more often than Bundy, and only seven have gotten a higher percentage of whiffs per swing. Bundy’s extra sliders have come at the expense of his four-seamer, which he’s throwing much slower this season, either because he’s simply lost velocity or because he’s intentionally trying to save his strength. Bundy faded down the stretch last season and has never stayed healthy enough in any one season to throw more than the 109.2 innings he totaled in 2016. Maybe the combination of a less strenuous fastball and a bat-missing slider will help him stay on the mound while still logging enough strikeouts to thrive.

Bundy’s teammate Kevin Gausman has also gone slider-heavy this season, bringing back the breaking ball he threw in college to complement his curve. But unlike Bundy, he’s off to a miserable start, walking 15 and striking out only 17 in 24 innings over his first five outings.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 25, 2017 at 09:52 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

FiveThirtyEight: We Rated Every Rotation In MLB. How Does Your Team’s Stack Up?

Today, we’re hoping to provide you with an answer to one of those types of questions: Who has the best rotation in baseball? Mets fans like to think they do, in part because their starting pitchers have the league’s greatest hair. The Dodgers have a rightful claim since they employ Clayton Kershaw, the best pitcher in baseball. And the Red Sox have a pair of aces, Chris Sale and Rick Porcello, haunting the AL East, with David Price waiting in the wings.

But all of them are behind the Chicago Cubs, the team with the best rotation in baseball, according to FiveThirtyEight’s pitcher score metric.

Pitcher score takes into account a pitcher’s performance, looking at how deep he usually goes into a game, how dominant he is, and how many runs he allows.1 Applying that metric across the league, we can evaluate each team’s pitchers2 and how good a team’s rotation is.

And surprise, surprise: The best team in baseball has the best rotation in baseball. These days, it’s one title after another for those lovable losers.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 05, 2017 at 12:15 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: fivethirtyeight, pitching

Saturday, March 18, 2017

High cost of the heater Fastball mania not good for baseball

A record 31 big league pitchers touched 100 mph on the radar gun last season, according to PITCHf/x data, and two pitchers — Aroldis Chapman and Mauricio Cabrera — averaged at least 100 mph for the season.

There is more heat in the forecast. Baseball America documented another 71 prospects who clocked at 100 mph in the minor leagues last year.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2017 at 07:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fastballs, injuries, pitching

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Baseball Prospectus: DRA 2017: The Convergence

I’m just not a fan of attempts at creating a be-all, end-all stat. Doing so just limits your stat because you have to make too many compromises to make the data work. Why not have one metric that looks back and another that looks forward?

On another note, does anyone know if DRA has separate components for pitching in the stretch and in a full wind up? Some old research suggested the difference can have a significant impact on runs allowed.

Two years ago, I wrote the first DRA essay, focusing on the challenge of modeling descriptive versus predictive player performance. At the time, my prognosis for threading that needle was rather grim:

What is it, exactly, that you want to know? For example:

(1) Do you care primarily about a pitcher’s past performance?

(2) Are you more worried about how many runs the pitcher will allow going forward?

(3) Or do you want to know how truly talented the pitcher is, divorced from his results this year or next?

The reader’s likely response is: “I’d like one metric that excels at all three!” Sadly, when it comes to composite pitcher metrics, this might not be possible.

The article reviewed a variety of metrics from plain RA9 to Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) to SIERA (Skill Independent Earned Run Average) to show that all of them made sacrifices that committed them to one direction or the other.

DRA itself has tried to ride alternate sides of this fence. In its first year (2015), we elected to focus on descriptive performance, and designed DRA to be the best descriptive metric of what had previously happened short of RA9 itself.

Last year, we began to question the value of prioritizing descriptive performance, and switched to focusing on future performance instead. Again, though, this was presented in terms of a choice: decide which direction you care about, and resign yourself to it.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 09, 2017 at 09:47 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dra, pitching, sabermetrics

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

High cost of the heater Fastball mania not good for baseball

A record 31 big league pitchers touched 100 mph on the radar gun last season, according to PITCHf/x data, and two pitchers — Aroldis Chapman and Mauricio Cabrera — averaged at least 100 mph for the season.

There is more heat in the forecast. Baseball America documented another 71 prospects clocked at 100 mph in the minor leagues last year.

The fastball fixation is nothing new. You can fairly trace pitching history through baseball’s rapidly spinning seams, from Walter Johnson to Bob Feller to Bob Gibson to Nolan Ryan to Aroldis Chapman.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2017 at 08:32 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: fastballs, pitching

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Is 300-wins club done adding members?

JoePos clearly underestimates the drive of Rick Porcello. Next 300-game winner right there.

No one in baseball now threatens that magic 300 number. The active leader in victories is Bartolo Colon with 233, and while we would be the last people to ever underestimate Colon, no, he won’t win 300. After him is CC Sabathia with 223 wins. He’s just 36, but he has been trending down for a while now. Sabathia has a combined 18 victories his past three seasons.

After that, you drop to John Lackey with 176. He doesn’t have nearly enough time left. Then there’s Justin Verlander with 173. We will get back to him.

Point is, once again people are saying that 300-game winner is a dodo bird. And this time, they could be right, but perhaps not for the reasons usually given. Yes, there are pitch counts and, yes, starters go fewer innings and, yes, fewer pitchers win 20-plus games in a season than they did in, say, the 1970s.

But pitchers still could win 300.

It comes down to desire. Ambition. Zeal. If you look at history, most of the pitchers who won 300 games had not done it by the time they turned 40. Some of them, like Niekro and Johnson, were not even close to 300 wins after their age 40 season. They were still effective and they would not stop.

 

ajnrules Posted: February 22, 2017 at 11:23 AM | 130 comment(s)
  Beats: 300 wins, joe posnanski, pitching, randy johnson

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Velocity drops in Spring Training can be red flags. | Sports on Earth

Pitching is hard.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 09:54 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching, sabermetrics

Thursday, February 09, 2017

The MLB Ace Is an Endangered Species

They must have a certain je ne sais quoi. Or not.

Although a few things made me scratch my head, overall it’s worth a read.

While those pitchers share certain statistical markers, they also share something intangible. Identifying an ace isn’t always scientific; it’s also about feel, the marriage of perception and reality brought on by sustained dominance. Certain accomplishments and thresholds help define the standing, but there are no absolute requisites. It’s as much about reputation and attitude as it is about fastball command and complete game tallies.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 09, 2017 at 10:33 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Embrace the Barrel — Baseball’s Newest Statistic

Although this is an improvement, I’m still not a fan of FIP.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 17, 2016 at 08:16 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching, sabermetrics, statcast

Sunday, December 04, 2016

The Unluckiest Pitching Staff Ever Assembled

Big Ed doesn’t like it when you don’t score runs for him. Please score runs for Big Ed.

gehrig97 Posted: December 04, 2016 at 10:49 AM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: bob gibson, ed walsh, nolan ryan, pitching

Monday, November 28, 2016

Swydan: Job Posting: Boston Red Sox Baseball Operations Analyst

Location: Boston

Description:
The Boston Red Sox are seeking an Analyst for the team’s Pitching Development and Baseball Research & Development groups. The role will focus primarily on using an analytical approach to evaluate pitcher performance and provide support to development staff in the field. The analyst will work closely with VP, Pitching Development and the R&D team to develop methods to improve the effective understanding and application of pitch tracking data throughout Baseball Operations.

The position reports to VP, Pitching Development and VP, Baseball Research & Development, and candidates are expected to start in January, 2017.

Sounds great! Except…

Ability to work evening, weekend, and holiday hours is a must.

Also, pillow and blanket not included.

Renegade (((JE))) Posted: November 28, 2016 at 02:12 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: analysts, analytics, job posting, pitching, red sox

Friday, November 11, 2016

Rich Hill leads return of curveball pitchers | MLB.com

Curving pitchers into quality hurlers.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 11, 2016 at 08:09 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching, statcast

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Ask BA: Who Are The Minors’ 100 MPH Pitchers? | BaseballAmerica.com

100 MPH ain’t what it used to be.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 02, 2016 at 06:15 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching

 

 

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