Sunday, December 04, 2016
Big Ed doesn’t like it when you don’t score runs for him. Please score runs for Big Ed.
Monday, November 28, 2016
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.
Friday, November 11, 2016
Wednesday, November 02, 2016
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Laurila drawing insight from Buchholz on pitching.
I think the cutter is the best pitch in baseball, as far as the stats go. Actually, I know that for a fact. [Red Sox director of pitching analysis and development] Brian Bannister and I were talking about that awhile ago — the numbers on guys who throw cutters. It’s the best pitch in baseball, in front of the split. Hard-sinking changeups are the third-best pitch. A four-seam fastball is the worst pitch as far as hard contact and batting average on balls put into play.
The game has evolved. When I got called up, a lot of guys were high-ball hitters. They would take that pitch and hit it out. You were taught to throw the ball down, down, down. Now everybody is worried about their bat path and how they can get that ball going down and lift it. There are a lot more low-ball hitters in the game today than there were 10 years ago.
Thursday, August 11, 2016
So what does this tell us? Does DRA confirm or negate the previous findings suggesting that groundball pitchers are more effective at run prevention? There appear to be three conclusions:
1. In modern baseball, using the most sophisticated measure of run prevention, higher groundball rates are well correlated to fewer runs allowed. It’s not an ironclad relationship—Scherzer and Verlander don’t get a lot of grounders—but inducing groundballs is a positive attribute.
2. To James’ point, if we look over the arc of baseball history, the conclusion above decays with time. Getting groundballs is really good today. It wasn’t necessarily good 40-60 years ago. So while we can say “groundball pitchers are generally better” today, that statement’s time-limited.
3. This illustrates the limitation of single-variable analysis in baseball. Inducing groundballs is positively correlated with run prevention. So is getting strikeouts. But grounders and whiffs are negatively correlated—groundball pitchers get fewer strikeouts than flyball pitchers. So getting a lot of grounders, just like getting a lot of strikeouts, isn’t enough to guarantee success. Among ERA qualifiers this year, Edinson Volquez has the seventh-highest groundball rate, and Ian Kennedy’s no. 18 in strikeout rate. Their ERA/FIP/DRAs are 4.99/4.38/4.85 and 4.03/4.92/3.95, respectively; the American League average is 4.21.
I’ll concede that James has a point about durable pitchers over the past 60 years. But I’ll stick with what I wrote in June, “I’m not backing away from the view that in contemporary baseball, groundball pitchers, in aggregate, are more valuable the flyball pitchers, in aggregate,” and DRA’s got my back.
Sunday, July 10, 2016
Boz examines pitching philosophies:
The Nats put the arms of Strasburg and Jordan Zimmerman, now a Tiger, ahead of short-term considerations. Those two are guaranteed to make more than $340 million in their careers. All five of the current young Mets starters combined, including Wheeler, are assured 1/30th of that. Is that exploitation? Do the Mets want to “win now” too much? Or the Nats too little?
Strasburg is 12-0, but it’ll take a few years to see how this turns out.
Saturday, July 09, 2016
We begin today’s story with MARS.
Not the delicious candy bar that sticks to your teeth; nor the planet that can grow Matt Damon’s potatoes. Rather, it is Multi-variate Adaptive Regression Splines, or MARS for short. MARS is a trademarked term, so the R or Python implementation is usually referred to as “earth.” Essentially, the MARS approach to regression improves upon basic multiple linear regression in three ways:
It breaks apart each regression line into multiple formulae (for example, incremental fastball velocity below 94 mph has a different value curve than velocity above 94 mph).
It prunes terms that aren’t beneficial to the model and pares it down to the important factors.
It can uncover relationships between variables (say, location and velocity).
I’ll step away here and encourage you to read the Wikipedia article linked above for a more thorough explanation.
Posted: July 09, 2016 at 11:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
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