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Baseball Therapy 

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08-19

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13

Baseball Therapy: Becoming An Adult f/x
by
Russell A. Carleton

08-12

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28

Baseball Therapy: I Believe In Clutch Hitting
by
Russell A. Carleton

08-05

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6

Baseball Therapy: Big Extension, Big Mistake?
by
Russell A. Carleton

07-29

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15

Baseball Therapy: Trading Ryan Howard For Nothing and Winning
by
Russell A. Carleton

07-15

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51

Baseball Therapy: Why Are We Playing Hunger Games with Minor Leaguers?
by
Russell A. Carleton

07-08

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7

Baseball Therapy: What is a Fast Runner Worth?
by
Russell A. Carleton

07-01

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4

Baseball Therapy: Do Some Pitches Do More Damage Than Others?
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-24

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17

Baseball Therapy: Is it Really Harder to Scout in New England?
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-19

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12

Baseball Therapy: Should You Trust the Projections?
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-17

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7

Baseball Therapy: What High School Has to Do with Tommy John
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-13

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3

Baseball Therapy: What You Can Do With Your Old Baseball Cards
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-10

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4

Baseball Therapy: Can Draft Lightning Be Bottled?
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-03

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19

Baseball Therapy: Introducing My Daughter to Baseball
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-30

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16

Baseball Therapy: The Hard Part About Preventing Tommy John Surgeries
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-27

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13

Baseball Therapy: The Annual Amateur Draft Guessing Game
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-20

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7

Baseball Therapy: Beware the Genius Tag for Coaches
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-13

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7

Baseball Therapy: Analytical Master or Leader of Men?
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-06

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5

Baseball Therapy: Is Oakland's Run Differential for Real?
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-29

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11

Baseball Therapy: Do Innings Limits Work?
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-22

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8

Baseball Therapy: The Houdini Hangover Effect
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-15

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16

Baseball Therapy: Why Sabermetrics Needs Translational Research
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-07

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9

Baseball Therapy: Beware of the Intentional Walk?
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-01

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14

Baseball Therapy: The Complete Value of a Complete Game
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-27

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15

Baseball Therapy: Advances in Chemistry?
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-24

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5

Baseball Therapy: The Complicated Recoveries of Aroldis Chapman and Salvador Perez
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-17

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22

Baseball Therapy: The Viability of Burying a Bad Bat
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-10

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13

Baseball Therapy: The Baseball Questions We're About to Be Asking
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-04

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9

Baseball Therapy: Why The Cardinal Way is the Most Important Book in Baseball
by
Russell A. Carleton

02-24

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22

Baseball Therapy: But…He Finished Strong Last Season!
by
Russell A. Carleton

02-17

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10

Baseball Therapy: Looking for Meaning Amid the Small-Sample Flukes
by
Russell A. Carleton

02-11

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15

Baseball Therapy: When Sabermetrics Gets Personal
by
Russell A. Carleton

02-03

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11

Baseball Therapy: How Would We Know That a Team Has Good Chemistry?
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-27

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38

Baseball Therapy: Why Are Smart Teams Spending Money on Relievers?
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-13

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15

Baseball Therapy: Building a Better Starting Rotation
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-09

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23

Baseball Therapy: The Hall of Fame Ballots By the Numbers
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-06

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11

Baseball Therapy: The Five-Man Rotation: The Appendix of Baseball
by
Russell A. Carleton

12-26

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7

Baseball Therapy: Rest an Extra Day to Keep the Doctor Away?
by
Russell A. Carleton

12-16

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28

Baseball Therapy: What Happened to the Four-Man Rotation?
by
Russell A. Carleton

12-09

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12

Baseball Therapy: What Happened to the Complete Game?
by
Russell A. Carleton

12-02

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5

Baseball Therapy: Dating the Impulse to Protect Pitchers
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-25

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38

Baseball Therapy: The Corner-Outfield Inefficiency
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-18

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20

Baseball Therapy: Why Do Teams Overpay for Free Agents?
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-11

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14

Baseball Therapy: The Cost of a Cost-Controlled Win
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-06

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4

Baseball Therapy: Is There a Pinch-Running Penalty?
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-04

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10

Baseball Therapy: What Do Fielders and Homecoming Queens Have in Common?
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-28

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3

Baseball Therapy: Is Cardinal Magic Real?
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-21

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7

Baseball Therapy: The Effects of the Shutdown (Inning)
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-16

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1

Baseball Therapy: Did Big Papi’s Big Home Run Give Boston the Big Mo?
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-14

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6

Baseball Therapy: Does Postseason Experience Really Matter?
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-11

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10

Baseball Therapy: Why Sabermetricians Don't Talk About Chemistry
by
Russell A. Carleton

<< Previous Column Entries Next Column Entries >>

Does the five-man rotation decrease the risk of pitcher injury?

Last time we met, we contemplated the curious case of the fifth starter. He is, somewhat by definition, worse than the other four guys who might otherwise be starting tonight’s game. Yet there he is, standing out there for the next 3 1/3 innings until he inevitably gets chased after giving up his sixth run. Why not just skip this exercise in futility and let the other (better) guys pitch the game? Last week, we saw that pitchers didn’t suffer much from going on three days’ rest. It was a high pitch count in his last outing that was a problem. If pitchers have, historically, performed just as well on three days’ rest as four, why is baseball so afraid to go back to the four-man rotation?

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December 16, 2013 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: What Happened to the Four-Man Rotation?

28

Russell A. Carleton

Is using a fifth starter a mistake?

Lately, I’ve been wondering about the development of the modern pitching staff. I’ve looked at how we got to the point where no one completes a game anymore and why pitch counts have fallen over the years. Here’s another. What happened to the four-man starting rotation? It used to be that a team had four starters, each of whom pitched on three days’ rest…or so the story goes. There were always days off and travel days, and then there were doubleheaders, so there were swingmen who picked up the occasional start. While we can’t yet be sure what happened, we at least have an idea of when it happened. Here’s a chart showing the percentage of starts featuring a pitcher who was on three days of rest (or fewer) from 1950 to 2012.

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December 9, 2013 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: What Happened to the Complete Game?

12

Russell A. Carleton

Should starting pitchers be asked to finish what they started more often?

In 2013, Adam Wainwright led Major League Baseball by pitching five complete games. In 2012, Justin Verlander was much more of an ironman and pitched six. A mere 30 years ago, in 1983, six complete games would have landed Verlander in a tie for 42nd place with such notables as Storm Davis, Bob Forsch, Jim Gott, Ken Schrom, and Bruce Hurst. Even 20 years ago, six complete games would have been good for a tie with David Cone for 15th place in MLB. What happened to finishing what you started?

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Reconstructing historical pitch counts for a look at how starter usage has changed.

How many pitches did pitchers really throw “back then?” You know, during the days when men were men, a mustache was a mustache, and pitchers weren’t coddled. No one did any drugs ever, especially in baseball, and pitchers finished what they started. Just ask any lawn care professional who specializes in youth removal and was a fan of the game back then. Yes, the 1960s and 1970s were the halcyon days of high pitch counts, when all that you needed was a 10-man pitching staff. It was glorious.

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November 25, 2013 6:09 am

Baseball Therapy: The Corner-Outfield Inefficiency

38

Russell A. Carleton

Are teams passing up an advantage by not telling their corner outfielders to trade places based on the batter?

On Friday’s episode of Effectively Wild, listener Matt Trueblood emailed the show to ask Ben and Sam a fascinating question. Why is it that teams do not have their left and right fielders switch places more often, particularly if one of them is a better fielder than the other? We know that some players like to pull the ball, while others like to hit to the opposite field. Why not put the better fielder in the place where it’s more likely that the ball will be hit? It’s a fascinating question because there is no rule that prohibits it from happening. In the era of the infield shift, why hasn’t anyone tried this?

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November 18, 2013 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Why Do Teams Overpay for Free Agents?

20

Russell A. Carleton

An argument in favor of more nuanced free agent analysis.

It’s free agent season, which means it’s time to complain about whom your favorite team is signing. Or not signing. Or reportedly thinking about signing. Or reportedly thought about signing and whom you would have complained about if they had signed him, but now that you know that they are not signing him, you’re angry that they didn’t have the courage to do it. In the eyes of their fans, all 30 teams will do so much to damage their potential for a World Series championship in the next three months. And they’re mostly right. There will be 29 teams that will fail to win the World Series next year. Teams are really bad at this.

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November 11, 2013 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: The Cost of a Cost-Controlled Win

14

Russell A. Carleton

And why scouting and player development are your team's hidden superstars.

It’s free agent season, a time traditionally reserved for the baseball commentariat to wonder aloud how we’ve gotten to the point where passably decent outfielders are worth $10 million a year. The standard line is that, in the free agent market, one win above replacement retails for about $5 million. More recent research suggests that GMs actually ended up paying about $7 million per win for free agents during the 2013 season.

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November 6, 2013 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Is There a Pinch-Running Penalty?

4

Russell A. Carleton

Do runners perform worse when they're inserted late in games?

With the end of the playoffs last week, we’ve reached the end of designated pinch runner season. Quintin Berry had a good run on the Red Sox postseason roster, appearing three times (once in each of Boston’s three postseason series) as a pinch runner and stealing a base each time. Over the past few years, it seems that teams have been more willing to use that strategy in the playoffs. The nice thing about a playoff roster is that with plenty of off-days, having guys on the bench who can cover for tired regulars isn’t as important. A lot of times it frees up a spot for a designated runner, a guy who is really, really fast, but has very little value in any other part of the game.

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An open letter in response to Murray Chass' recent rant about fielding metrics and the Gold Gloves.

Mr. Chass:

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October 28, 2013 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Is Cardinal Magic Real?

3

Russell A. Carleton

Investigating St. Louis' success with runners in scoring position.

The St. Louis Cardinals hit .330/.402/.463 with runners in scoring position during the 2013 regular season.

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October 21, 2013 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: The Effects of the Shutdown (Inning)

7

Russell A. Carleton

Does pitching a shutdown inning deserve the recognition it gets on baseball broadcasts?

In the month of October, we’ve been hearing a lot of talk about shutdowns. No, not the debt ceiling thingy. The one that really matters: the shutdown inning. It’s playoff time, during which we often confuse something that players routinely do for an amazing feat of bravery and virtue. This postseason, everyone’s all a-twitter with thoughts of “shutdown innings.” For a pitcher, it’s the half-inning after your team scores (according to some people, it has to be scoring that leads to your team tying the game or taking the lead). Your job, in this most sacred of innings, is to keep the other team from scoring. It’s totally okay to give up runs if your team didn’t score last inning, apparently. Suddenly, that other shutdown seems downright logical.

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Putting momentum to the test.

Last night, the Tigers and Red Sox faced off in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. It was the first meeting between the teams since the Red Sox tied up the series at one game apiece after trailing 5-1 going into the eighth inning. In case your short-term memory isn’t so good lately, that was the game where David Ortiz, a man who has had great troubles in the past during key situations, did this:

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