Are you ready for the "dead ball era" to be over? There's a chance we're going to see some more offense in the years to come.
Scoring is up across baseball this year. Not only that, but a number of pitcher-friendly trends have plateaued or even reversed themselves. For the first time in recent memory, strikeouts are decreasing in frequency, and home runs—and runs overall—are increasing for only the second time. Take a look below at first-half numbers from the last six seasons.
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That's a pun because this article is about Matt Holliday's injury and the possible end of the Cardinals' run of offense
From 2011 through 2013, four Cardinals qualified for the batting title with an OPS+ north of 120 each year. They were the first NL team since the 1975–77 Reds to manage that for three consecutive seasons. Impressively, too, they did so without perfect (or even significant) stability among that core of their lineup. In 2011, the four guys who met these criteria were Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman, Yadier Molina, and Matt Holliday. In 2012, five guys did it: Allen Craig, David Freese, Carlos Beltran, Holliday, and Molina. In 2013, there were five again: Beltran, Craig, Holliday, Molina, and Matt Carpenter.
After a down year for the entire offense in 2014, in which Holliday was the only qualifying hitter with at least a 120 OPS+, the 2015 Cardinals are back in the saddle. This time, the four qualifiers meeting our criteria are: Carpenter, Holliday, Jhonny Peralta, and Kolten Wong. For much of the last two weeks, Wong, Carpenter, Holliday, and Peralta have batted first through fourth in the Cardinals' batting order.
Or, would the Yankees be better off starting Derek Jeter or Brendan Ryan at shortstop?
Team captain and 39-year-old farewell tour participant Derek Jeter is currently the starting shortstop for the New York Yankees. That is the way of things and has been since I was in high school. But the Yankees also have Brendan Ryan on their roster. Ryan is a noted defensive wizard while Jeter is [must…not…make…Jeter fielding joke]. However, Ryan “hit” only .197/.255/.273 last year in 349 plate appearances. Is there a case to be made for Ryan as the starting shortstop based on his defensive prowess? Keep in mind that the Yankees could bury Ryan in the batting order to limit his exposure, move the ever-under-appreciated Brett Gardner up to the two-spot, pinch hit for Ryan late in the game, and enjoy that sweet glove for eight innings a night. Is that enough to overtake De-rekJe-ter?
St. Louis' slump, and some final musings on Mike Matheny.
The story of the Cardinals’ loss, both in Game Six and in the World Series as a whole, is simple: they didn’t hit, recording only a collective .224/.273/.299 line. And when you come right down to it, that’s not a very interesting story.
When I started working on a series about revising WARP, I didn’t expect to have much to say on the subject of offense. Measuring offense is probably the least controversial part of modern sabermetrics. So why start here? I have a few reasons:
Does it matter that Joey Votto isn't driving in runs?
Something is amiss with Joey Votto. Sure, he’s getting his walks, but as the Big Bat in the lineup paid to drive in runs, he’s struggling tremendously. He has just eight runs batted in—fewer than hardly noted run producers like YunieskyBetancourt, Brett Gardner, Marlon Byrd and notoriously light-hitting teammate Zack Cozart. Clearly, with the overly passive Votto, there’s trouble in River City.
That’s one way to look at the first 22 games of the best player on the National League Central favorite Cincinnati Reds. Maybe how we would have evaluated him in 1980.
Can statistics help us see the effects of steroid use?
While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.
Can we detect the use of steroids statistically? Nate attempted one approach in the piece reprinted below, which was originally published on March 30, 2005.
It's a folly to suggest that the 2012 Tigers--or any other team--will be able to score 1,000 runs.
During the first series of the season, the Tigers rolled up 26 runs while sweeping a three-game series from the Red Sox, after which Boston Globe columnist Nick Cafardo dropped an item in his Sunday notes column about the high-powered offense driven by Miguel Cabrera and newcomer Prince Fielder. "Some baseball people believe the Tigers could score close to 1,000 runs with these two hitting back to back," wrote Cafardo, never elaborating as to who those baseball people might be.