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Average velocity isn't simply (Vstart+Vend)/2 because the ball decelerates in proportion to the square of its speed, hence it'll decelerate more quickly earlier in the pitch. A more accurate average would be based on distance/time. However, I bet the difference is small.
One question, though: when in the delivery does a batter pick up the ball visually? As a tennis player when returning a serve, I paid as much attention to the path of my opponent's racquet as I did to the path of the ball. Could the same apply to pitchers? If so, than simply looking at release point doesn't tell the whole story of how well a pitcher hides the ball.
How does PASBP compare with PABBP (park adjusted BABIP) as well as PABBP vs BABIP? Along with the PASBP vs SLGBIP you've shown above, such a comparison might shed some light on any park factor peculiarities.
Oops, yeah you're right - I misinterpreted that phrase. Thanks!
Surely you can't fault the Tigers for not having "a star player as good as Joe Mauer"? Nobody besides the Twins and Cardinals can boast such a player.
Is it possible that Kuroda's injury is related to the line drive, either the impact itself or in reaction to it?
Keep in mind that starters' decision requirements are biased towards losses - they need to last 5 IP to have a chance for a win, but can be in line for a loss at any point. Relievers usually appear in poor outings by starters, reducing the exposure of relievers to loss scenarios. Inherited runners being charged 100% to starters also reduces the risk of initial relievers taking a loss. However, I wonder if the subset of closers have a net losing record since they usually enter with a lead.
I definitely like what Will is aiming at - that there's a lot of "why" not being explored that would explain the "what" that we're all seeing. Most of the learning has been attempts to analyze the "what" rather than investigate the "why".
Awesome article! I think the message is also clear that to many voters, MVP = MVY, most valuable Yankee.
During a FOX broadcast of a recent NY-BOS game I had to suffer the Buck-McCarver Campaign for Jeter Annointment. They even argued that Jeter's hard work in going from bad to average on defense (they actually cited advanced metrics) was more MVP-worthy than Mauer simply being great on defense already. And all those replays of Jeter diving into the stands! Perhaps they forgot that wasn't 2009. Where was the replay of Mauer's 2009 gem?
Sorry to vent to the choir here, but Mauer's season makes my jaw drop every time I see what he's doing. Plus, he has better sideburns than Jeter. :)
The S100 helmet is probably just bigger all around, making some players feel like every night is bobblehead night.
Nevertheless, I completely agree with you about protective gear - it has to be mandated. Didn't MLB introduce new material for ballcaps this year despite player complaints?
One part of your "Juice" book that I remember well is where you explained how most kids would still use a PED even if it guaranteed to shorten their life by many years.
How does cricket bowling compare to pitching in terms of head injury risk? Cricket batters sport some serious hardware and it doesn't seem to hamper them.
Did Cecil Cooper write the quick cut about Brett Cecil having a *strain* of his MCL?
What do players do in the offseason? Find second jobs, work out, study film, just relax?
What do players eat during the season? I've heard about the postgame spread, but wonder what else they do and how much attention is paid to food.
Thanks for opening up such a can of worms! Lots of great ideas here.
According to MLive, Zumaya "re-aggravated the stress fracture of the right coracoid" ... Ouch.
Hoping for a "TRIP" following your surgery!
How about using a HR derby to break a tie in the All-Star game after the 10th inning? Kind of like a shoot-out in hockey.
What's your take on Brandon Inge?
I commented on Steven's "wall rant" but I'm curious if you think hockey-style walls that flex on impact would be beneficial.
"...if outfielders will agree to stop running into walls." Has anyone ever studied the effectiveness of warning tracks? Whenever I played outfield I never noticed them underfoot while chasing a fly ball.
How about employing hockey-style wall panels that flex upon impact?
Out of curiosity, what bone did McCarthy and Washburn fracture and in what way? Thanks!
Will, did your dad's students compare those increased stresses between short and tall catchers? I wonder if tall catchers endure more stress in part because they have to crouch lower that most catchers to get the mitt into the target zone.
Along these lines, have you or anyone plotted height against injury rates or DL days, catchers or otherwise?
Thanks for writing something unique about the Matt Wieters debut!
I completely agree - good job, Joe.
We'll get bios of the contestants, but still no bios of BP's staff?
How about solving the official scoring problem by eliminating errors altogether? Put the ball in play and reach base safely - it's a hit.
At $135/game that's about $300K per season of savings for MLB and pitchers don't have to worry that their no-hitter hinges on the spin of a bunted ball.
Contacts can give you better than 20/20 vision, but I don't know to what extent it compares to laser.
Regarding DeRosa's quote, has anyone made all three outs in the same inning? I recall a Lance Parrish interview where he said that he once struck out to leadoff an inning, the Tigers batted around, and he hit into a DP to end it.
Regarding Mauer... I've seen talk of moving him to 3B due to the back issues, but is 3B any easier on the spine than catcher? There's lots of bending and twisting while bent over at third, but I'm not sure if the location of Mauer's pain is the same as most cases of lumbar inflammation. Thanks!
Awesome stuff, Eric.
What strikes me about this data is how vertical movement varied more than velocity. I'm no physiologist but I wonder if the effects are related to neurological fatigue, not structural weakness; i.e. less-rested pitchers are still able to launch their arms hard enough to maintain velocity, but aren't snapping the wrist as sharply to create spin.
Could this explain the reduced PFZ with "too much" rest by losing some muscle memory but also with "too little" rest by neurological fatigue? Just tossing out ideas; please let me know if I'm nuts.
Will, is it possible that the Tigers are using the "anxiety" label as a motivational tactic on Willis? Kevin Goldstein's recent Future Shock:
...seemed to imply that Willis is becoming complacent. Although perhaps true anxiety could be perceived as complacency or apathy?
Does humeral retroversion also apply to tennis players hitting a serve? Photos of Andy Roddick seem to bear this out, at least if I understand what Will is saying.
As a young kid most of my "practice" came from going down to the train tracks with friends and throwing rocks at targets for hours at a time.
I can get my right (serving/throwing) arm to ~150-160 degrees, but only <120 on my left. Will's advice to "throw, not pitch" reminded me of my rock-slinging ways and it got me wondering if that was the secret to the booming serve I had years ago.
Scott Baker was hurt for a month last season... How does he get an unqualified green light?
Wieters has an unusually high BABIP of .383 compared to his LD% of 16-18% in 2007:
Is that not a reason to temper PECOTA\'s excitement or does it consider such factors already?
Wow, this was one of those cases where a comment was a better read than the article itself! Good job, JayhawkBill.
Your discussion of the \"generic types\" gave me an idea for a fun bit of research that is beyond my ability - hopefully BP will write about it someday:
If one were to calculate the average MLB career for EVERY batter and pitcher in history, what one player best matches each profile? i.e. who is Mr. Average of MLB history?
One could do the same for the average MLB season as well, i.e. who had a season closest to the average of all MLB players in history?
Even if BP never tackles this, thanks for writing an article that got me wondering!
This is one of the better articles I\'ve read about the PED issue and especially impressive due to its brevity. Awesome job, Will.
Excellent work! When will a movie be made about PEDs? I think we just read one of the key scenes. :)
It\'s also ironic that less than a week ago, Will initiated a \"wisdom of the crowds\" article:
I appreciate that Will\'s success depends heavily on his ability to access closed source information, but open source knowledge - properly used and understood - is very powerful.
Hopefully he doesn\'t entirely dismiss the \"peer reviews\" provided by his readers! :)
Excellent article! In hindsight I would\'ve loved reading similar coverage of the other playoff teams. I hope you do this next year.
The tools ideas are great, and I\'ll add the idea of giving an overall rating of players on a 20-80 scale.
For example, seeing that #11 is a 40 in one farm system helps compare another farm system whose #11 is a 50.
Plus it\'d show the gaps between players, e.g. if #1 is a 65... is #2 a 64 or a 59? You could even sum or average the numbers to get an overall farm system rating.
Adding this would allow readers to make tons of cross-comparisons and analyses on their own.
Regarding Quentin... Will, do you suspect that his injury was a stress reaction/fracture that finally gave way? He\'s said that he\'s always pounded his bat like that, but I\'m curious if it was just a freak fracture from missing his mark or if it built up over time.
Isn\'t Nick Blackburn a rookie? If Ziegler and Smith are among the ROY \"honorable mentions\" then it would only be fair to include Blackburn.
An interesting comparison is that the average American adult is about 5\'9.5\", 189 lbs, 27.5 BMI. (Source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ad/ad347.pdf)
That means ALL Major League pitchers are above average height, even the \"diminutive\" Lincecum. That seems extreme enough to be more than just bias.
However, how accurate are players\' reported heights? Certified doctors and nurses have measured my height with an error of +/- THREE inches. If there is a bias for taller pitchers, wouldn\'t most teams tend to err on the plus side and throw off the data?
In order to optimize the talent of pitchers like Halladay and Sabathia, what do you think of using them as non-traditional relievers? Is it physiologically possible to get 200+ innings of sub-3.00 ERA without \"wasting\" a significant portion of those innings on blowout victories? One idea: If a team has a 3-run lead after 2 innings, bring in Halladay/Sabathia for the save.
The \"Delgado for MVP\" thing already happened in 2006 where Morneau was quite arguably the 4th most valuable player on his own team behind Mauer, Santana and Nathan.