An experimental broadcast with a sabermetric slant got off to a slow start, but some 'in-game' adjustments gives us hope.
The news of a saber-oriented broadcast option for Game One of the NLCS gave me some mixed feelings. While it is always promising when a major broadcaster embraces "advanced" metrics, it's a little disheartening for it to be a separate offering, rather than something integrated with the primary broadcast.
Host Kevin Burkhardt was joined by a solid panel, including some of our friends. Padres manager Bud Black had the least broadcast experience of the group but offered the perspective of how advanced metrics are actually applied or understood by the men in the uniforms. Well known saber-scribe Rob Neyer was there, a man well-versed in communicating the subject matter at hand, along with two former big leaguers with a strong curiosity and appreciation of sabermetrics, Gabe Kapler and C.J. Nitkowski. Kapler, the former position player, has managing experience in pro ball. Nitkowski was a well traveled pitcher whose career included time in Japan.
Another BP meet-up in Chicago is fast approaching.
Join us in Chicago on Saturday, May 24 at Pizzeria Serio on the North Side of Chicago for three hours of pizza and baseball talk. Our focus will be on the upcoming MLB First-Year Player (Rule 4) Draft.
After two years on the shelf with a shoulder injury, Michael Pineda appears to have recovered his old stuff.
The Yankees got a major boost during the opening week when Michael Pineda took the mound for his first MLB game since 2011. When we last saw Pineda, he was wearing a Mariners uniform and facing a sudden dropoff in velocity, the first sign of the shoulder woes that have kept him out of the big leagues since his days in Seattle.
New pitches and pitchers we've gotten glimpses of already this season.
Spring: a season of renewal and rebirth. Also a time of new pitches and pitchers. A lack of bona fide new arms in the early going has slowed the usual flurry of new PITCHf/x data to ogle, but some established pitchers have made some notable changes.
The best receiving catchers (and the best receiving teams) of the upcoming season.
One of the benefits of our recently released catching defense metrics is they’re essentially ready-to-project, thanks to the regression feature of the model (the "R" in RPM). RPM also gives us two ways to assign value to framing, one using context (the ball-strike count) and one using a flat value (recently adjusted* to ~.155 runs).
[T]he expected runs produced from each plate appearance starting with a strike decreases by .029 runs and increases by .040 for every ball thrown on a first pitch. In other words, having as many of those 0-0 'striballs' called strikes can greatly impact the outcome of the game.
Harry draws on a conversation with former big-leaguer Brian Bannister to extend his PITCHf/x research on changeups from earlier in the year.
A few months ago, I started a series on changeups focused on figuring out the qualities that make a good one. Click the following links to read part one and part two.
If there was a noteworthy finding in the early stages, it was that pitchers who succeed at coaxing ground balls with their changeups generally looked dissimilar from those who missed bats with theirs. The pitchers who can do both are the best. Stephen Strasburg topped that list, so the first waft of the sniff test was passed.
Did the starters and relievers who worked in the Futures Game and the All-Star Game enjoy velocity bumps? Harry digs into the PITCHf/x data for the answer.
Pitching ruled the All-Star break. The Futures Game featured a gaggle of power arms and a grand total of six runs. And that was twice the output of the main event, where the National League's best failed to score a run. Mariano Rivera made an emotional appearance. And, in the Home Run Derby, Ron Harper showed off a cutter of his own.
I have a confession to make: I think the Futures Game is the best part of the All-Star break.