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Spring Training Newsbeat

Friday, April 07, 2017

Why playing in the WBC actually might be safer than spring training

The positions of those officials are understandable, given the seemingly greater injury risk for players under the intensity of international competition, as opposed to the relative indifference of spring-training games.

Yet, according to figures compiled by Major League Baseball, players who participated in the past two tournaments actually got hurt at a lower rate than players who did not.

Among pitchers on 40-man rosters, only one of 40 from the 2013 tournament (2.5 percent) opened the season on the disabled list, as opposed to 61 of the 605 who remained with their clubs (10.1 percent).

The most recent WBC produced a comparable result: Only three of 55 pitchers from the tournament (5.5 percent) opened on the DL, as opposed to 75 of the 601 who remained with their clubs (12.5 percent).

Some of the pitching injuries for non-WBC participants carried over from the offseason or previous season, skewing the numbers somewhat. On the other hand, there is no way to know if certain injuries from the WBC also would have occurred under normal spring-training conditions.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 07, 2017 at 11:10 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, spring training, world baseball classic

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Curious Case of Cutch: Andrew McCutchen on his lost 2016, and why 2017 will be better

Only two players that debuted on the day a pitcher won their 300th game went on to post at least 10 bWAR: McCutchen and Randy Myers. Here’s hoping McCutchen can rediscover his stroke.

Regarding the worst, most mystifying season of his career, Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen made a startling admission to me: He lost his nerve to run.

Slumps are the viral illnesses of a hitter. They strike without warning or known cause and run their course, be they days, weeks or, in McCutchen’s case last year, five months. They happen. But perhaps most alarming about McCutchen’s 2016 season was the poor body language from one of baseball’s best and most exciting base runners.

McCutchen didn’t try to steal bases very often, and when he did, he was thrown out more times (seven) than he was successful (six). Just three years earlier, in his MVP-winning season of 2013, McCutchen had advanced from first base to third base on nearly half the singles his teammates hit. He did so only 17% of the time last year—just five times all season. He went first-to-third less than slow-footed Albert Pujols and 173 other players.

ajnrules Posted: March 14, 2017 at 02:24 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew mccutchen, pittsburgh pirates, spring training, tom verducci

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Not all spring training numbers are meaningless

Was this article meant to convince us about something?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 09, 2017 at 07:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, spring training

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Which spring training stats actually matter?

If you ask me, the only stat that matters is WINS.

In 2015, however, Dan Rosenheck, an editor at The Economist, presented a paper at the MIT Sloan Analytics Conference arguing that some spring training stats do matter—at least a little bit. He wrote that despite the limited number of games and the uneven quality of opposition faced, “the claim that spring-training numbers are useless is wrong. Not a little bit wrong, not debatably wrong—demonstrably and conclusively wrong. To be sure, the figures are noisy. But they still contain a signal.”

The key is knowing what stats to look at. Rosenheck’s study showed that peripheral stats like walk and strikeout rate stabilize much quicker in spring training than usual go-to stats like batting average or ERA (this is true in the regular season as well)—and thus were more predictive of what does happen in the regular season. This was especially true for young players. Isolated power is another stat with some predictive value. Take Story, for example. At Double-A and Triple-A in 2015, he had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.76. In spring training it was an improved 2.17, with power to go with it. That rate didn’t hold up in the majors (3.71), but it was perhaps a sign that he was improving his approach. Likewise, Hendricks’ strong spring peripherals were a positive sign heading into the regular season. Franco, meanwhile, had 12 strikeouts against just three walks—the same overly aggressive approach that has held him back once the games started to count.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 25, 2017 at 09:35 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: spring training

 

 

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