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Rob Mains 

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04-24

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Flu-Like Symptoms: Marte, McCutchen, and Foolish Consistencies
by
Rob Mains

04-20

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14

Flu-Like Symptoms: Wearing One
by
Rob Mains

04-17

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9

Flu-Like Symptoms: Blowin' In the Win
by
Rob Mains

04-13

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10

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Scary Consequence of the Strikeout Scourge
by
Rob Mains

04-10

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2

Flu-Like Symptoms: Tracking Payroll Trends
by
Rob Mains

04-06

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8

Flu-Like Symptoms: Payrolls: It's All Relative
by
Rob Mains

04-03

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4

Flu-Like Symptoms: April's Biggest Lies
by
Rob Mains

03-30

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6

Flu-Like Symptoms: Extreme Makeover: American League Edition
by
Rob Mains

03-27

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3

Flu-Like Symptoms: Extreme Makeover: National League Edition
by
Rob Mains

03-23

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4

Flu-Like Symptoms: Has the Modern Bullpen Killed Late-Inning Comebacks? (Part Two)
by
Rob Mains

03-20

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BP Unfiltered: Enter the Vogelsong Awards Contest
by
Rob Mains

03-20

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Flu-Like Symptoms: Has the Modern Bullpen Killed Late-Inning Comebacks? (Part One)
by
Rob Mains

03-17

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2

Looking Back on Tomorrow: Houston Astros
by
Rob Mains

03-16

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3

Flu-Like Symptoms: One Not-So-Fine Day: Reliever Edition
by
Rob Mains

03-14

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9

Looking Back on Tomorrow: Pittsburgh Pirates
by
Rob Mains

03-13

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35

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Strategic Argument Against the DH
by
Rob Mains

03-10

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4

Flu-Like Symptoms: Power and Speed
by
Rob Mains

03-06

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11

Flu-Like Symptoms: One Not-So-Fine Day
by
Rob Mains

03-01

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3

Flu-Like Symptoms: In (Restrained) Praise of Dave Stewart
by
Rob Mains

02-20

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9

Flu-Like Symptoms: Fit to be Tied
by
Rob Mains

02-16

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8

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Profitability Canard
by
Rob Mains

02-13

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9

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Year of the Balk
by
Rob Mains

02-09

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15

Flu-Like Symptoms: Slaying the Extra-Innings Dragon
by
Rob Mains

02-07

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16

Flu-Like Symptoms: PECOTA and Moving Markets
by
Rob Mains

02-06

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1

Flu-Like Symptoms: Counting Cardinals
by
Rob Mains

02-02

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Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year's Resolutions: Team Hitting
by
Rob Mains

01-30

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2

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year's Resolutions: Team Pitching
by
Rob Mains

01-26

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Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year's Resolutions: Command
by
Rob Mains

01-23

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2

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year's Resolutions: Control
by
Rob Mains

01-19

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2

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year's Resolutions: Pitchers' Plate Discipline
by
Rob Mains

01-16

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9

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year's Resolutions: Hitters' Plate Discipline
by
Rob Mains

01-12

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3

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year's Resolutions: Ground-ball Pitchers
by
Rob Mains

01-09

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3

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year's Resolutions: Ground-ball Hitters
by
Rob Mains

01-05

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12

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year's Resolutions: Going the Other Way
by
Rob Mains

12-28

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2

Best of BP 2016: One Entire Season Of Baseball From the 1970s
by
Rob Mains

12-24

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2

Transaction Analysis: Ivan to Stay in Pittsburgh
by
Rob Mains

12-20

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7

Flu-Like Symptoms: How Versatility Became Cool
by
Rob Mains

12-16

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17

Flu-Like Symptoms: Will the Owners Actually Spend Their Money?
by
Rob Mains

12-12

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10

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Compilers
by
Rob Mains

12-05

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2

Flu-Like Symptoms: Pirates Postmortem
by
Rob Mains

11-29

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14

Flu-Like Symptoms: The World Series of Coin Flipping
by
Rob Mains

11-28

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Transaction Analysis: Vesatility, Depth, and Scenery
by
Bryan Grosnick and Rob Mains

11-22

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1

Flu-Like Symptoms: The 300-300 Club
by
Rob Mains

11-17

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13

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Singles Scene Turns Bleak
by
Rob Mains

11-15

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2

Flu-Like Symptoms: Where Did All The Running Go?
by
Rob Mains

11-09

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6

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Annual Vogelsong Awards
by
Rob Mains

10-24

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9

Flu-Like Symptoms: Andrew Miller Is Not Goose Gossage
by
Rob Mains

10-15

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Playoff Prospectus: Turning Down the Volume
by
Rob Mains

10-14

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11

Flu-Like Symptoms: Dusting Off a Bill James Postseason Prediction System
by
Rob Mains

10-13

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Flu-Like Symptoms: Uncaught Third Strikes and Poor Mickey Owen
by
Rob Mains

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April 24, 2017 6:00 am

Flu-Like Symptoms: Marte, McCutchen, and Foolish Consistencies

0

Rob Mains

Even smart teams can get stubborn.

Well, that was stupid.

Those four words seem sadly lacking in many aspects of contemporary life. You’ve said them, right? You try out something new, it fails, you realize your error, go back to what you were doing before, and move on. A new diet. A new workout. A new morning routine. Once I tried to remove a spot on my jeans with bleach[1]. Once I tried washing my hair with dishwashing liquid[2]. Once I crawled under my car, armed with a socket wrench and the intent to change the oil myself[3]. They all ended with the recitation of those four words.

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April 20, 2017 6:00 am

Flu-Like Symptoms: Wearing One

14

Rob Mains

Starters are lasting fewer innings, but the reasons may surprise you.

I’m going to show you a lot of charts in this post. So if you don’t like charts, read one of the other articles on the site today. They’re good!

I’m going to start out by showing you a chart and ask you to guess what it is. The x axis is the years from 1920 to 2016. The y axis is a familiar baseball metric. It’s not something obscure like my article on Monday about multiple blown saves. Here it is:

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April 17, 2017 6:00 am

Flu-Like Symptoms: Blowin' In the Win

9

Rob Mains

If a blown save is bad, what about two or more?

Something odd happened during the Giants-Diamondbacks season opener. No, not Madison Bumgarner hitting two home runs. And not the Giants losing a game they led entering the ninth inning, making Bruce Bochy think he’s living out Groundhog Day or something.

Rather, it’s something related to the scoring of the game. Here is the MLB.com box score for Giants pitchers in the game:

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How strikeouts put batters in harm's way.

In Monday’s Giants home opener, Diamondbacks right-hander Taijuan Walker hit Buster Posey in the head with a pitch in the first inning, forcing him from the game. Posey has been placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list.

I’m not going to link to the pitch here. You can find it easily enough if you want to watch it. I don’t, because I find these plays terrifying. They speak to a concern of mine: That baseball is heading toward another Ray Chapman moment, or something close, and I don’t know what can be done to prevent it.

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April 10, 2017 6:00 am

Flu-Like Symptoms: Tracking Payroll Trends

2

Rob Mains

Looking for return on investment when teams pay up.

Last week, I wrote about team payrolls as a percentage of the league average. I found that the Royals have increased their payroll on a relative basis for six straight years, and the Orioles have done so for five straight. During the past three years, the teams that have grown their payroll the most are the surging Astros and Cubs. The teams that have cut theirs the most are the rebuilding Phillies, Brewers, and Reds. That was all interesting, if not completely unexpected (except maybe about the Royals and O’s).

The article was prompted by baseball analyst Sky Kalkman, who tweeted on April 4:

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April 6, 2017 6:00 am

Flu-Like Symptoms: Payrolls: It's All Relative

8

Rob Mains

Freespending Royals? Pennypinching Yankees? Maybe!

I enjoy writing about baseball, but sometimes it’s a struggle to come up with a topic. That’s why I’m thankful for Twitter.

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April 3, 2017 6:00 am

Flu-Like Symptoms: April's Biggest Lies

4

Rob Mains

The early-season narratives you need to ignore.

As long as I’m writing about baseball, there are eight articles you can assume I’ll post each year:

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March 30, 2017 6:00 am

Flu-Like Symptoms: Extreme Makeover: American League Edition

6

Rob Mains

You can't tell the players without a scorecard. Especially the Mariners.

On Monday, I introduced a new made-up statistic, the Change Index, to estimate how much each National League team’s hitters and pitchers are turning over. You can read all the details here, but to give you a précis, I compared actual 2016 plate appearances and innings pitched to the projections in the BP depth charts. I added the absolute values of every change (reductions in playing time and additions to playing time) and divided the result by two to get the mean. Then I calculated a Change Index equal to the change in plate appearances, plus 3.5 times the change in innings pitched, all divided by 50.

Again, you can click the link to see exactly how this calculation works and why I chose 3.5 for the pitching weight. But I do want to reiterate a caveat: Don’t take this too seriously. These numbers are highly speculative. Our playing time projections don’t anticipate unexpected injuries, or ineffectiveness, or improved play, or trades. We don’t even know all the 25-man rosters yet. (Projected depth charts used here are as of mid-day, March 29.) Nothing’s finalized, and even when it is, it’s only a guess.

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March 27, 2017 6:00 am

Flu-Like Symptoms: Extreme Makeover: National League Edition

3

Rob Mains

You can't tell the players without a scorecard.

Every season necessarily brings with it change. Players become old and ineffective and are replaced by promising rookies. The injured get healthy and the healthy get injured. Some players exit via trade, waiver, and release, and some arrive by the same routes. Turnover is inevitable.

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Tire-spinning, one inning at a time.

Note: This article, and the one that preceded it this week, is based on a presentation I made at the Society for American Baseball Research Analytics Conference in Phoenix this month. You can hear the audio here, and follow along with the slides here, should you desire. Fortunately, there is no video.

Part Two: The Legacy of the Modern Bullpen

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The best of the rest.

Last year, we established the Vogelsong Awards to honor the best players who didn not appear in the BP Annual. Every month, I identified one hitter and one pitcher whose performance earned them a Full Vogelsong Award. (There's also a Lineout Vogelsong Award for players whose Annual entry is only a short "lineout" at the end of each team summary.)

Read the full article...

Bullpens are better than ever, but comebacks aren't totally dead.

Note: This article (and the one that will follow it later this week) is based on a presentation I made at the Society for American Baseball Research Analytics Conference in Phoenix. You can hear the audio here, and follow along with the slides here, should you desire. Fortunately, there is no video.

Part One: The Modern Bullpen

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