The second installment of a series designed to reveal whether batters are striking back against defensive shifts.
Last week I started a season-long series devoted to tracking bunts for base hits with the infield shift in effect; this is the second installment. To bring you up to speed on the series’ premise and methodology will take but two brief excerpts. Excerpt one:
Stuff that had never happened happened, but did it happen if we don't notice it happening?
As was immediately identified by everybody with a Play Index subscription and/or common sense, Danny Salazar's 3.2/6/5/5/2/10 pitching line yesterday was a unique pitching line. Shoot, the bookends alone are brand new; all the hits, runs, and walks are irrelevant, as there has never been a 3.2 inning, 10-K start before. To this, the esteemed Zachary Levine suggested that
2013 first overall pick Mark Appel made an exhibition start in Houston, and PITCHf/x was watching.
Earlier this week we got our first look from a pitch tracking system at Mark Appel, the first overall selection in the 2013 draft and one of Houston’s (and baseball’s) top prospects. The data come from a preseason exhibition contest that was played on the final day of spring training—but because it was played in Houston, and because the PITCHf/x cameras were operational and outputting information, we got some stats to supplement the scouting reports we’ve read.
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.
BP teams up with again Fantasy Rundown to provide your 2014 top prospect compilations
Over the past several years, I've put together top prospect compilations from sources across the Internet. I have linked to the files below. The Excel workbooks contain tabs at the bottom representing each of the league’s divisions as well as a tab for top 100 lists and positional analysis.
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All of the stats about your 32 prediction contest ballots.
This year’s 32 Predictions contest had almost the exactly the same number of entries as last year’s, with 686. Forty-nine entries left at least one question blank, and 11 of you decided not to name your entry. (At least we can never make fun of you for it.)
Important things that happened when Daniel Murphy went away.
Congratulations go out to Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy and his wife on the birth of their first child, Noah on Monday night. Murphy left the Mets and went to Florida to be there for... well, let's see here... ONE OF THE BIGGEST EVENTS THAT WILL EVER HAPPEN IN HIS LIFE. In doing so, Murphy invoked his right, under the MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement, to a few days of paternity leave. The Mets were able to bring up Wilmer Flores to take Murphy's spot on the roster until Murphy returned to actionon Thursday.
Thanks to the well-timed retirements of Chipper Jones, Mariano Rivera, and Derek Jeter, we've been plagued by treated to back-to-back-to back retirement tours in 2012, 2013, and now 2014. Ostensibly, the most memorable aspect of these final laps around the league is the chance to get a last glimpse at an outgoing great, but we all know that what we really remember is each team’s choice of retirement gift. I don’t remember Jones’ ceremony in San Diego, but I do remember that the Padres gave him a surfboard. I don’t recall how the Rays recognized Rivera, but I’ll never be able to unsee the creepy golem-like sand structure they created for the occasion. And so on.
Are you overly optimistic about your favorite team?
Sam Miller and I recently interviewed 28 Baseball Prospectus 2014authors as part of the Effectively Wildseason preview podcast series. At the end of each episode, we asked our guest to predict the 2014 win total for the team we’d just talked about. Listener Jeffrey A. Friedman sent us the following unsolicited submission about bias in these predicted win totals, which we decided to publish with his permission. Beware of bias in your own predictions! —Ben Lindbergh