Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Saturday, July 02, 2022

Nation Unable To Enjoy Baseball Without Dozens Of Pitchers Hitting .124

Lamenting that it would never again be able to relish the game as it was intended, the nation reportedly admitted Friday that it was unable to enjoy baseball without dozens of pitchers hitting .124.

jimfurtado Posted: July 02, 2022 at 09:51 AM | 42 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dh, pitchers hitting

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: July 02, 2022 at 11:05 AM (#6085340)
No worries though. Plenty of outfielders are hitting .124
   2. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: July 02, 2022 at 11:37 AM (#6085343)
Indeed, when did Joey Gallo start taking the mound every fifth day?
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: July 02, 2022 at 01:09 PM (#6085353)
Jim lives.

   4. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 02, 2022 at 03:57 PM (#6085373)
His screen name is slightly different though, isn't it? Maybe he just forgot his password for a couple of years and then finally re-registered.
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: July 02, 2022 at 05:11 PM (#6085384)
is there anyone alive out there who celebrated the end of pitcher batting, yet can't get enough of batters pitching?

Mike Axisa
@mikeaxisa
·
1h
Replying to
@mikeaxisa
Eight position players have pitched since Monday. Eight position players pitched in 2011.
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: July 02, 2022 at 05:35 PM (#6085390)
Howie, all I know is that now that MLB has gotten rid of the scourge that is pitcher hitting, baseball is perfect.
   7. base ball chick Posted: July 02, 2022 at 08:10 PM (#6085409)
now that we can't watch michael lorenzen hit homahs, we're stuck with watching him give em up.

Oh yeah: The Jim is still numbah 1
   8. cardsfanboy Posted: July 02, 2022 at 08:16 PM (#6085410)
Howie, all I know is that now that MLB has gotten rid of the scourge that is pitcher hitting, baseball is perfect.


It would be better if hitters could actually hit still, but when the league average is .244, the difference between pitchers hitting and batters hitting isn't as pronounced as it was before. Yes there is of course walk difference and power difference, but at the same time, just letting a pitcher swing away isn't that much of a difference on batting average.
   9. Cblau Posted: July 02, 2022 at 09:55 PM (#6085415)
In 2021, when the overall league batting average was .244, pitchers collectively had a .110 batting average. In 1968, when the overall major leagues batting average was .237, pitchers collectively had a .133 batting average. So I would say that the difference is more pronounced than it was before.
   10. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: July 03, 2022 at 06:41 AM (#6085427)
Eight position players have pitched since Monday.

Position players are pitching? Well, then obviously teams don't have enough pitchers! Put 25 pitchers on each roster! Make them all pitch in every game, at gunpoint if necessary!
   11. Ron J Posted: July 03, 2022 at 09:26 AM (#6085432)
#10 Limited over cricket requires you to use a minimum number of bowlers. In the 50 overs format they're limited to a maximum of 10 overs. 4 overs in T20 format. This has the effect of forcing teams to carry a certain number of all rounders ( ie can hit and bowl) because you just can't afford to carry more than a few (maybe as many as 3 bowling specialists) non hitters.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: July 03, 2022 at 03:11 PM (#6085453)
Of course your standard T20 score is about 180-160. :-)
   13. BDC Posted: July 04, 2022 at 02:00 PM (#6085507)
Speaking of rule changes, last weekend I got to see both a collegiate summer-league game and a low-A game. I know that shifts are banned in low-A, and assume they were in the collegiate game because I didn't see any.

It bothers me less in practice than I thought it would. I still think it takes away some interest. Basically, in a shift-banned game, you've got fielders playing some version of what one used to call "straightaway" the whole time. So you just stop paying much attention to where the fielders are playing. But it doesn't mess with the play notably – as makes sense, it's more an absence than anything else.

I don't like the ban but I guess it won't kill my interest in baseball, just diminish it slightly. And there are probably not many fans like me who watch almost all the games they do in person, and enjoy defensive positioning.
   14. cardsfanboy Posted: July 04, 2022 at 02:09 PM (#6085508)
And there are probably not many fans like me who watch almost all the games they do in person, and enjoy defensive positioning.


One of my complaints about TV broadcasts is that they don't the high behind the plate broadcast showcasing the formation of the defense (nor do they often do the high behind centerfield either) Other sports have perfected it (NFL) or at least do a good job on replay (NHL) of showcasing the entire defensive field... baseball just doesn't seem interested in doing that for some reason. After every play, a replay should be shown where you can see every infielder on the play, then another replay showing the entire of all fielders (well maybe not every play, but it should be fairly common)
   15. Walt Davis Posted: July 04, 2022 at 04:15 PM (#6085515)
#14 I see shots like that of the infield before the pitch fairly commonly. (Who cares where the OF are?) It would make sense to show that as part of the replay when it matters -- which seems to me I've been seeing fairly often too.

But it's just not that big of a deal in baseball. In football/hockey/bball, there are lots of moving parts, you've got questions like "why did Chris Paul pass it to that guy instead of one of the other guys" or "how did that guy get so open?" In baseball, there's essentially just one moving part (the ball) and where the 3B was and where he moves usually doesn't matter on the GB between first and second. The replay you want is key when there's lots of movement off the ball but baseball is primarily a "react to the ball" sport.
   16. cardsfanboy Posted: July 04, 2022 at 04:23 PM (#6085516)
#14 I see shots like that of the infield before the pitch fairly commonly. (Who cares where the OF are?) It would make sense to show that as part of the replay when it matters -- which seems to me I've been seeing fairly often too.


I've seen it enough to know that it's possible, but not enough to think that it's common, nor to thank that they take it seriously enough. One of the reasons why there is this belief that the NFL is more fast paced has to do with their desire to use replay all the time so that the fans watching the game, don't realize how slow paced it really is. MLB has never caught on to the fact that it's seen as slow, is because it doesn't cheat in the same way. Fill the broadcast with action and stop with long winded stories that don't talk about the game at hand.

But it's just not that big of a deal in baseball. In football/hockey/bball, there are lots of moving parts, you've got questions like "why did Chris Paul pass it to that guy instead of one of the other guys" or "how did that guy get so open?" In baseball, there's essentially just one moving part (the ball) and where the 3B was and where he moves usually doesn't matter on the GB between first and second. The replay you want is key when there's lots of movement off the ball but baseball is primarily a "react to the ball" sport.


And I think that is a stretch to be honest, even in football where you have 11 people reacting to 11 people, the actual play still ultimately rests in what a few people do, the rest of the play is feints and what ifs. Yes the individidual players have more of a say on what is going on, even those not in the play directly in football or hockey, but ultimately the plays is usually a result of just a few players. Understanding why the players are doing what they are doing does matter and should matter, and would make the broadcast more interesting than telling some story over the course of 15 pitches about how the analyst got struck out by a famous pitcher back in the day.

Mlb just doesn't understand how to present the sport.
   17. Ron J Posted: July 04, 2022 at 09:30 PM (#6085536)
#16 I don't precisely disagree with your points about presentation.

But MLB for all of its other cluelessness isn't the entity making presentation decisions.
   18. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: July 05, 2022 at 08:43 AM (#6085556)
now that we can't watch michael lorenzen hit homahs, we're stuck with watching him give em up.



I can't believe the Angels haven't used him as a hitter at all.
   19. Lassus Posted: July 05, 2022 at 11:31 AM (#6085579)
As per this page, the DH batting average is .251. However, it has this qualification - To qualify, a player must have at least 3.1 PA/game

I wonder if doing the BA for ALL DH ABs would be higher or lower? I gotta guess lower. Can someone smarter than me determine the complete DH BA for 2022 to date?
   20. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: July 05, 2022 at 11:46 AM (#6085586)
   21. Lassus Posted: July 05, 2022 at 11:50 AM (#6085589)
Thank you. (I did try BBREF but as usual ended up cowed by the amount of info.)

I wonder how that ranks by position?
   22. Ron J Posted: July 05, 2022 at 12:31 PM (#6085602)
#21 It's a 104 OPS+. Only 1B is meaningfully better: .259/.334/.438 -- a 118 OPS+
   23. Lassus Posted: July 05, 2022 at 01:23 PM (#6085609)
Gotcha, thanks.

How much weight is "meaningfully" carrying? ;-)
   24. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 05, 2022 at 01:28 PM (#6085610)
One of the reasons why there is this belief that the NFL is more fast paced has to do with their desire to use replay all the time so that the fans watching the game, don't realize how slow paced it really is. MLB has never caught on to the fact that it's seen as slow, is because it doesn't cheat in the same way. Fill the broadcast with action and stop with long winded stories that don't talk about the game at hand.
MLB broadcasts do show replays after the play, just like football. Baseball’s (main) problem is the dicking around between pitches - replay can’t really help with that.
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: July 05, 2022 at 01:35 PM (#6085611)
Baseball’s (main) problem is the dicking around between pitches - replay can’t really help with that.


Exactly. No one is really complaining about the time between plate appearances.
   26. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: July 05, 2022 at 01:43 PM (#6085615)
How much weight is "meaningfully" carrying? ;-)


LF is 105 and if you sort by that column 3B is ahead of DH though it shows the same 104 (stupid decimals) so I think the "meaningfully" makes sense. Technically DH is 4th but really it's no different than 2nd. All other individual positions are under 100.
   27. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 05, 2022 at 01:52 PM (#6085619)
Exactly. No one is really complaining about the time between plate appearances.
Although that could certainly be improved too.
   28. Ron J Posted: July 05, 2022 at 01:52 PM (#6085620)
dupe
   29. Ron J Posted: July 05, 2022 at 01:53 PM (#6085621)
C   85
1b 118
2b  95
3b 104
ss  96
lf 105
cf  96
rf  98
dh 104
p  106
ph  84 


EDIT: 23 PAs for pitchers
   30. Lassus Posted: July 05, 2022 at 02:16 PM (#6085623)
EDIT: 23 PAs for pitchers

Who are doing better than DHs! AHA!

Anyhow, thanks guys.

The gap between the 95-98 OPSs and 104-106 OPSs is interesting, with nothing in between.
   31. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 05, 2022 at 02:18 PM (#6085624)
What I hate the most about baseball telecasts is the in-game interviews where the camera focuses on the interview rather than on what's actually going on on the field. It's like the game itself is an afterthought. The practice reaches its nadir in the postseason.

Sometimes it's a dugout interview with a manager, sometimes it's an interview with a celebrity or charity pitchman in the broadcast booth, but AFAIC it's always an annoyance.
   32. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: July 05, 2022 at 02:19 PM (#6085625)
Are those actual pitchers hitting, or position player pitchers who happen to bat while in the position?
   33. Ron J Posted: July 05, 2022 at 02:27 PM (#6085626)
#32 I think it's Dave Robertson (once) and a bunch of position players.
   34. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 05, 2022 at 02:38 PM (#6085627)
Are those actual pitchers hitting, or position player pitchers who happen to bat while in the position?

The latter, mainly (if not entirely). I checked the 2 XBH and one was hit by Giants OF Luis Gonzalez and one was hit by Reds IF Matt Reynolds during garbage time relief appearances.
   35. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: July 05, 2022 at 03:29 PM (#6085631)
What I hate the most about baseball telecasts is the in-game interviews where the camera focuses on the interview rather than on what's actually going on on the field. It's like the game itself is an afterthought. The practice reaches its nadir in the postseason.

Sometimes it's a dugout interview with a manager, sometimes it's an interview with a celebrity or charity pitchman in the broadcast booth, but AFAIC it's always an annoyance.


I really think there is so much opportunity to better use modern screens. At this point virtually everyone is watching in HD so they have a rectangular screen rather than the old style screen. It seems like split screen in some form could be so much less invasive than it used to be but they don't use to it. It was a big deal in the 70s and 80s, fast guy on first they'd show the runner and the pitch. I'd love to see them do something that shows the base runners all the time somehow. That seems doable.
   36. Walt Davis Posted: July 05, 2022 at 05:22 PM (#6085655)
#16 ... But that's my point. There's usually nothing interesting to show during a baseball replay. Most of the time, nobody is making any sort of decision of note. Here's a LD that splits the LF and CF. They both run towards the ball as fast as they can as it hits the wall then starts slowly rolling somewhere. The batter rounds first and jogs into second. Presumably the 2B and SS get into proper positions in case there's a play at 2B but of course there isn't, there's a lazy throw in from the OF. It's like the replay of the QB taking a knee.

But they'll still show you the full replay anyway. Here's the slo-mo pitch, see the contact. Here's the ball bouncing to the wall. Here's the batter rounding first, see that key moment when he decides busting it still won't get him to third so he eases up. Here he is clapping or pounding his chest or pointing to God in self-congratulation. Let's look at the pitch again, see how it didn't break but hung there in the middle of the plate. Say Bob, since the pitcher hasn't even bothered to get back on the mound yet, what did you have for dinner last night?

Other replays are "ground ball gets past the IF." What is there to discuss? If he'd been shifted 4.2 feet further left he'd have gotten to that one? It doesn't matter in the least what the 1B, SS, 3B, C, LF, CF, RF were up to on that play. There's not very much to describe, nothing to explain. That's especially true since this GB replay looks an awful lot like the GB replay 3 batters ago. What of interest will a wide-angle, full-field replay show you on that?

These days they might supplement that with the velocity of the pitch, the velocity and angle of the batted ball, if relevant maybe the sprint speed of the OF.

In football, at least you can usually show a block or two or you can show how one of the defensive linemen almost got to the QB or the great job the o-line did in making sure nobody got close to the QB. You can show how the saftey decided to step up to cover the guy coming across the middle, leaving the corner alone on the reciever going long. On almost every play the announcers can at least pretend it could have been a much bigger deal or could have been stopped if somebody had done something differently. In baseball it's "unless the SS was playing right there, that was gonna be a single; unless the OF really screwed up and let it get past him."

On any given play in football, pretty much everybody is in motion and are in motion in an attempt to stop/improve the outcome of the play. In baseball, the 3 OF barely move at all half the time and most of the IF movement is to minimize the damage if they really screw it up. Double plays and close plays on the bases are pretty much the only time when multiple fielders have to coordinate. And that's not including all the exciting pitches when nothing happens at all except the C catching the ball (the job title is the job description!) There are 140 pitches per team per game and maybe 30 of them require a fielder to actually move.

EDIT: I do agree more can be done with split screens.
   37. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: July 05, 2022 at 05:32 PM (#6085657)
My biggest beef by far is that 50% or more of the broadcast is a closeup of the pitcher's face as he stares intently at the catcher.
   38. McCoy Posted: July 05, 2022 at 07:27 PM (#6085671)
Just watch baseball on radio.
   39. Walt Davis Posted: July 05, 2022 at 07:45 PM (#6085676)
Some of those numbers in #29 are pretty startling.

SS at 96 -- this has been happening off and on for a while but used to be SS would be around 88-90. Average SS is now an average hitter give or take.

1B at 118 -- that's pretty darn high. They (or DH) are pretty much always #1 but I don't think they're usually that high. I find it doubly interesting in that, with shifts, the defensive requirements at 1B seem to have gone up substantially.

RF below 100 -- LF has been very spotty for several years now but RF are usually fairly close to 1B. I'm not sure what this is about -- greater emphasis on RF defense? Just a fluke?

All told, with more Ks and FBs, the value of IF defense should be at a historic low which should mean better-hitting, worse-fielding SS. I believe for the last several years that SS have hit at least as well as 2B. If they haven't yet, bWAR should undertake a serious re-evaluation of positional adjustments.
   40. The Honorable Ardo Posted: July 06, 2022 at 01:03 AM (#6085709)
Walt, I think it's a natural outgrowth of fewer BIP/relatively more fly balls and liners, plus two other factors.

A) In a previous generation, a lot of today's middle infielders (especially the physically larger ones) would've been typecast as outfielders in the minor leagues, or even as amateurs, and never gotten the chance to play 2B/SS in MLB.

B) With shifting, the "off-side" outfielder has to cover a vast area of grass and pursue shift-beating fly balls (usually low-EV bloops and flares) that drive fans and managers crazy when they land safely. For right-handed batters - the majority - that duty falls to the right fielder. So I'm not surprised to see LF OPS > RF OPS.

At tonight's Tigers game, Victor Reyes, playing RF, dropped a foul fly ball that he should've caught but that he had ran a LONG way to reach. He was nonetheless charged with an E9, and the batter followed up with an RBI single.
   41. sunday silence (again) Posted: July 06, 2022 at 06:29 PM (#6085815)
With shifting, the "off-side" outfielder has to cover a vast area of grass and pursue shift-beating fly balls (usually low-EV bloops and flares) that drive fans and managers crazy when they land safely. For right-handed batters - the majority - that duty falls to the right fielder.


I dont think your logic holds up. First off, just to make sure I understand you. YOu are saying:

Modern day shifting, puts an additional responsibility on the "off side" OF. Therefore, RF has greater responsibility, thus less emphasis on his offensive ability (to a small, but discernible degree). Right?

BUt nobody positions their players inefficiently. Agreed? Whatever large gaps the RF has to defend, presumably that is offset because more balls are being hit to the LF. You wouldnt play OFs in other than equidistant spacing, unless you believe that batted balls will be hit in some pattern to the power side. So presumably, if RF have more ground to cover vs RHB its only because LFs are getting more balls hit to them.

And there's no logical reason to think that somehow shifted players or players on the power side will get easier plays to make. Right? The batted ball distribution to the LF or the RF still has to be a sine wave with the player positioned at the peak. RIght Otherwise you havent positioned them correctly. *


If anything, balls hit to the "off side" are more likely to be bloopers, I think as I recall. So maybe those flyballs easier but that doesnt help your argument. I mean I thought LDs were more likely to be hit to the power side, but maybe Im misremembering.


*This reminds me a few weeks ago DUke made a similar point which Walt then seemed to support. I guess he was saying players like I dunno Longoria or DOnaldson or someone were getting easier plays to make because they were on "off side" of the shift. That makes no sense either. When I challenged that no one responded so whatever.
   42. sunday silence (again) Posted: July 06, 2022 at 06:58 PM (#6085820)

Some of those numbers in #29 are pretty startling.


Yeah, that's an understatement if anything. I dont know how to explain those. To Ardo's credit he uses an example of the RF which make his point very clear, so kudos for the clear writing. Tempted to say the shift has something to do with these but then why wouldnt we have seen these trends in motion at least back in 2016 or whenever?

Yeah those are weird. Here's a link to the original discussion, where DUke in post 20 suggests that shifting makes it easier to field, which I dont get:

https://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/newsstand/discussion/damn_that_should_be_a_hit_mlb_players_sound_off_on_the_infield_shift_--_bef

Walt: did you have a response to that or no?

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
rr
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOMNICHATTER for the week of August 8-15, 2022
(16 - 7:26pm, Aug 08)
Last: The Duke

NewsblogPete Rose brushes off question about alleged sex with minor: ‘It was 55 years ago, babe’
(69 - 7:24pm, Aug 08)
Last: Miserable, Non-Binary Candy is all we deserve CoB

NewsblogJarren Duran misplays two fly balls, shouts at fans in Red Sox vs. Royals game
(1 - 6:49pm, Aug 08)
Last: Zach

NewsblogMariners add a free agent: Tucker, the clubhouse dog
(2 - 6:27pm, Aug 08)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogTo challenge their hitters to improve, Orioles minor league coaches go to great lengths to develop 'nasty stuff' for batting practice
(2 - 6:10pm, Aug 08)
Last: Tom Goes to the Ballpark

NewsblogEjected Twins manager Rocco Baldelli blasts overturned call in loss to Jays as 'one of the worst moments' of umpiring he has ever seen
(3 - 5:39pm, Aug 08)
Last: SoSH U at work

NewsblogSt. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs to play 2-game series in June of 2023 in London
(29 - 5:00pm, Aug 08)
Last: Karl from NY

NewsblogRed Sox announcer and Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley to retire from NESN after the 2022 season
(8 - 4:49pm, Aug 08)
Last: Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful

Newsblog2022 NBA Playoffs thread
(4082 - 3:10pm, Aug 08)
Last: tshipman

NewsblogDorktown: How to score 10 runs in the first inning and lose
(6 - 2:50pm, Aug 08)
Last: Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome

NewsblogGuardians designate Franmil Reyes, their Opening Day cleanup hitter, for assignment
(6 - 2:38pm, Aug 08)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogOMNICHATTER for the week of August 1-7, 2022
(393 - 2:01pm, Aug 08)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogAtlanta Braves sending struggling right-handed starting pitcher Ian Anderson to minors
(5 - 1:58pm, Aug 08)
Last: My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo

NewsblogMiguel Cabrera of Detroit Tigers clarifies stance on future, says he'll return next season as initially planned
(9 - 11:54am, Aug 08)
Last: Jobu is silent on the changeup

NewsblogThe Baseball Stadium That “Forever Changed” Professional Sports
(36 - 11:01am, Aug 08)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

Page rendered in 0.5206 seconds
45 querie(s) executed