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05-17

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12

Raising Aces: Stuffing the Ballot, First Quarter
by
Doug Thorburn

04-12

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24

Pebble Hunting: The Best Pitches Thrown This Week
by
Sam Miller

04-06

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7

BP Unfiltered: Jose Bautista's One-Way War with Umpires
by
Ben Lindbergh

08-31

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5

Wezen-Ball: Do You See Every Pitch of Every Game?
by
Larry Granillo

08-31

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5

Pebble Hunting: The Best Pitches Thrown This Week (Yu Darvish Edition)
by
Sam Miller

08-04

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2

BP Unfiltered: Efficient Felix
by
Ben Lindbergh

07-20

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4

Pebble Hunting: The Best Pitches Thrown This Week
by
Sam Miller

02-10

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14

The Stats Go Marching In: What Are the Rays Expecting from Jose Molina?
by
Max Marchi

01-31

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9

Baseball ProGUESTus: The Knuckleball Mystique: Using PITCHf/x to Distinguish Perception from Reality
by
Alan M. Nathan

10-19

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23

World Series Prospectus: The Midwest Showdown
by
Baseball Prospectus

09-30

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21

Baseball ProGUESTus: A New Take on Plate Discipline--Redefining the Zone
by
Matt Lentzner

09-24

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71

Spinning Yarn: Removing the Mask Encore Presentation
by
Mike Fast

08-17

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11

Spinning Yarn: Why are Batters Hit by Pitches?
by
Mike Fast

07-20

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14

Spinning Yarn: A Zone of Their Own
by
Mike Fast

04-08

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8

Baseball ProGUESTus: The Rookie Effect
by
Brian Mills

03-18

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23

Baseball ProGUESTus: Looking at Pitches Through the Batter's Eyes
by
Matt Lentzner

02-16

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59

Spinning Yarn: The Real Strike Zone
by
Mike Fast

10-26

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8

Spinning Yarn: Interpreting Pitch Classifications
by
Mike Fast

10-14

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8

Manufactured Runs: Just a Bit Outside
by
Colin Wyers

09-24

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12

Ahead in the Count: Predicting Strikeouts with Whiff and Swing Rates
by
Matt Swartz

07-20

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13

Prospectus Q&A: C.J. Wilson
by
David Laurila

06-30

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15

Checking the Numbers: A No-No
by
Eric Seidman

11-12

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12

Checking the Numbers: Extending the Discipline Detection
by
Eric Seidman

11-06

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11

Checking the Numbers: Detecting Discipline
by
Eric Seidman

10-22

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9

Checking the Numbers: Crossing Over
by
Eric Seidman

10-21

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30

Ahead in the Count: What Happened to Cole Hamels?
by
Matt Swartz

10-05

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9

Checking the Numbers: Location and Perception
by
Eric Seidman

05-06

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11

Zumaya's Zooming
by
Ben Lindbergh

04-23

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31

Checking the Numbers: Inside Pitch-f/x
by
Eric Seidman

02-19

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18

Attack of the Finesse Pitchers
by
Eric Seidman

12-12

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4

Player Profile: Ervin Santana
by
Marc Normandin and Eric Seidman

07-25

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0

Prospectus Today: Manageable Workloads
by
Joe Sheehan

06-09

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0

Ballad of the Fatigued
by
Eric Seidman

05-13

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0

Furcal En Fuego
by
Eric Seidman

04-10

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: Defense and Pitch Classification
by
Dan Fox

10-11

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: On Atmosphere, Probability, and Prediction
by
Dan Fox

09-13

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: The Return of the Fish Eye
by
Dan Fox

08-23

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: Visualizing Pitches
by
Dan Fox

07-05

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: Searching for the Gyroball
by
Dan Fox

06-28

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: Playing Favorites
by
Dan Fox

06-21

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: Gameday Meets the Knuckleball
by
Dan Fox

06-14

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: The Science and Art of Building a Better Pitcher Profile
by
Dan Fox

06-07

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: Gameday Triple Play
by
Dan Fox

05-31

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: Physics on Display
by
Dan Fox

05-24

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: Batter Versus Pitcher, Gameday Style
by
Dan Fox

05-10

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: Phil Hughes, Pitch by Pitch
by
Dan Fox

10-16

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0

Future Shock: Monday Morning Ten-Pack
by
Kevin Goldstein

10-16

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0

Prospectus Today: LCS, Day Six
by
Joe Sheehan

10-14

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0

Future Shock: Where Did the Tigers and the Athletics Come From?
by
Kevin Goldstein

10-14

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0

Prospectus Today: LCS, Day Four
by
Joe Sheehan

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October 22, 2009 2:00 pm

Checking the Numbers: Crossing Over

9

Eric Seidman

The challenge of changing speeds while integrating perceived velocity into the mix.

When a pitch begins its flight towards home plate, the radar gun registers a specific velocity-one that correlates quite strongly to the start speed component of PITCHf/x-which unfortunately becomes the gospel as to how hard the pitch was thrown. Various factors, like the natural loss of velocity as the pitch reaches home plate, the true distance of the release, the actual flight time, the location, when the batter picks the ball up, and what pitch the batter initially anticipated all work together to alter a hitter's perception of velocity.

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October 21, 2009 12:42 pm

Ahead in the Count: What Happened to Cole Hamels?

30

Matt Swartz

Is the pitcher taking the mound in this year's NLCS Game Five that much different from last year's?

At this point in the season, most baseball fans are aware that the Phillies' Game Five starter this evening, Cole Hamels, has had far more trouble preventing runs in 2009 than he did in 2008. In 2008, Hamels seemed unhittable for much of the season and the post-season, and the Dodgers knew going into Game Five last year that they had their work cut out for them as they faced elimination, down three games to one. After knocking him around in the fifth inning of last Thursday's series opener, the Dodgers are confident that they are up against a different pitcher than the one that stymied them for the clincher last October, as they face elimination yet again.

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October 5, 2009 2:39 pm

Checking the Numbers: Location and Perception

9

Eric Seidman

Changing speeds can depends as much upon where you throw as how hard you're throwing.

The velocity recorded by the radar gun and what the batter perceives do not always match. As discussed previously, several factors can cause a pitch to appear faster or slower to hitters. One such factor is the flight time from the point of release to when the ball crosses home plate relative to the flight time the PITCHf/x system projects at 55 feet away. Pitches released any closer than this predetermined distance result in a higher perceived velocity with the inverse true of pitches let go from distances greater than the default. During our initial look it was observed that a few pitchers generated perceived velocities dissimilar to their recorded velocity, a proof of concept that was much more important than the velocity discrepancies themselves. Johnny Cueto, for example, averaged 92.9 mph with a perceived 90.8 mph, while Ian Snell found himself perceived to throw just 87.6 mph in spite of the reported 91.7 mph. But where Snell threw these pitches must also enter the equation, since the location of a pitch works in conjunction to the flight time to add or subtract perceived miles per hour.

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May 6, 2009 11:55 am

Zumaya's Zooming

11

Ben Lindbergh

Diagnosing how a phenomenon gets hot, goes bad, and comes back might involve changing things up.

Three years ago, Joel Zumaya took the AL by storm, flashing an overpowering fastball on his way to a full season of stellar relief. Since 2006, though, he's fallen on hard times. Now that the big righty has recently reclaimed his role in Detroit's bullpen, let's take a look at his prospects for future success by using all of the tools at our disposal.

Zumaya broke camp as a member of the Tigers' bullpen in 2006, after fellow rookie Justin Verlander had claimed a rotation spot in spring training. Except for a single appearance in relief as a 17-year-old in the GCL, Zumaya had worked exclusively as a starter in the minors, but his migration to the pen didn't come as a complete surprise. Although Baseball America ranked him among Detroit's top four prospects in each year from 2004-2006, talent evaluators frequently cited his intensity, max-effort delivery, inconsistent mechanics, limited repertoire (before 2005), and three DL stints (for back and shoulder spasms) as factors arguing for a shift to short relief work.

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April 23, 2009 12:30 pm

Checking the Numbers: Inside Pitch-f/x

31

Eric Seidman

Dissecting a day at the office for the Mets' Johan Santana.

Due to local blackout rules and the lack of a land-line phone capable of proving that my Penn State University residence was not in Philadelphia, I relied on MLB Gameday instead of MLB TV for a good chunk of the 2007 season. The application had been around for a while, but I soon noticed strange terminology and new data accompanying each pitch. Why are there two velocity readings? What does 13" of pFX mean? And what the heck is BRK? A little research soon made sense of the information, and within a few months I became hooked on the data set known as Pitch-f/x. Fast-forward two years, and Pitch-f/x continues to evolve, revolutionizing baseball research in the process. Unfortunately, with updates to system configurations and the amount of information offered, too many readers and baseball fans experience confused reactions similar to mine when they first encounter the data. In an attempt to quash this issue, it seemed prudent to explain some of the more commonly used numbers, discussing what they mean as well as how they should be used. Instead of merely defining terms, the system will be explored in action, with periodic discussions of its inner workings, much as Dan Fox did back in May 2007.

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February 19, 2009 12:05 pm

Attack of the Finesse Pitchers

18

Eric Seidman

How do the guys who attack the zone with something less do something more with it than you might expect?

"Hitting is timing. Pitching is upsetting timing."-Warren Spahn

Prior to his July 10 meeting with the Phillies, Albert Pujols was sporting a gaudy .346/.467/.613 line with just 28 strikeouts in 334 plate appearances. The season's eventual MVP had been giving opposing pitchers fits, and it seemed unlikely that a pitcher with a 4.50 defense-neutral ERA and an average game score of 49 could do anything to change that. The Phillies, however, were counting on a starting pitcher with just those numbers in one Jamie Moyer, who was preparing to engage in another prototypical David vs. Goliath showdown with the game's best hitter, an imposing and muscle-bound 230-pounder standing no more than 60'6" away from a scrawny 46-year-old lefty with a fastball slower than Joe Sheehan's.

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December 12, 2008 12:48 pm

Player Profile: Ervin Santana

4

Marc Normandin and Eric Seidman

Future success for this newly minted ace may depend on his ability to maintain his newfound approach.

The Angels have long hoped that Ervin Santana would translate his potential into production, but before 2008 the Dominican right-hander had struggled to maintain any consistent success on the mound. This past season though, things finally came together, with Santana turning in an ace-like campaign that helped the Angels reach 100 wins. Is this change in production sustainable, or was that as good as it gets for the young hurler?

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July 25, 2008 12:00 am

Prospectus Today: Manageable Workloads

0

Joe Sheehan

The pendulum's swung too far towards protecting pitchers, to the game's loss and to a team like the Mets.

It’s been a couple of days, but I can’t get Tuesday night’s events at Shea Stadium out of my head.

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June 9, 2008 12:00 am

Ballad of the Fatigued

0

Eric Seidman

How do starters who throw particularly high pitch-count initial innings perform subsequently?

Delivering to the dish with a 2-2 count, Wandy Rodriguez hit the outside corner with a 91 mph fastball with which Edgar Renteria could do nothing but whiff. This heater happened to be the 55th pitch that Rodriguez threw in the inning on August 1, 2007. While the pitch brought the inning to a close, it simultaneously placed Rodriguez atop a list of the pitchers who had thrown the most pitches in a single inning. Compiled by Retrosheet's David Smith and posted on the Inside the Book blog, the list is composed of the pitchers with the most pitches thrown in an inning from 2004-2007.

I decided to examine the Pitch F/X for Wandy's game. Analyzing the velocity and movement of Rodriguez's fastball, I was surprised to find that his fastball sustained its velocity and "bite" as he went deeper into the inning. However, during the rest of the game things changed a bit. In the second inning, his velocity lost three miles per hour, but his movement increased. It has been theorized before that some pitchers may throw with more movement when they tire due to a dropping of their arm angle; perhaps this happened here, as Wandy lost velocity but threw with more movement.

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May 13, 2008 12:00 am

Furcal En Fuego

0

Eric Seidman

The shape of the blistering-hot performance of the Dodgers shortstop.

Past experience can generate expectations. Certainly, when they signed Rafael Furcal to a three-year, $39 million deal following the 2005 season, the Dodgers believed that the former Braves leadoff batter would provide a significant spark to their offense. He did not disappoint in 2006, finishing 14th in NL MVP voting. Last year, however, a nagging ankle injury suffered in spring training kept him out of action for the first couple of weeks as well as the final weeks of the season; it also hindered his production level during the 138 games in which he played. A player whose modus operandi involves speed playing with an ankle injury is not a good combination.

Similarly, when Joe Torre signed on to manage the team this offseason, he was fresh off of managing a shortstop that happened to be the longtime face of the most prominent franchise in sports. He may have known his new shortstop could produce at an all-star level even, after that rough 2007. Suffice it to say he could not possibly have had any idea Furcal would be this productive.

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A new season brings a new batch of PITCHf/x data from which to learn.

"With me, being a hard thrower ... no matter what, they're defending that heater, man. So the more confidence I have to throw that [changeup] in any count, I'm going to throw it. I'm just going to. I don't care anymore. It's going to help me and I realize that."
--A.J. Burnett on his pitch selection. PITCHf/x has confidence in his fastball as well.

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Ranging across a couple of old and new themes, explaining that there's something about the weather, and Pythagoras can rock steady.

"All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism."
--Unknown


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