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Podcasts

Stolen Signs

Kendall Guillemette and Harry Pavlidis discuss baseball statistics, as well as look for the stories and people behind the stats.

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We talked with Jared Diamond about recent MLB rules changes. Specifically related to one of our favorite subjects, two-way players. We address how teams will have to designate players as, pitchers, hitters, or two-way and what effect those rules will have on the game. We also get a peak into Jared’s upcoming book.
Harry and Kendall also dig into some of the upcoming changes that MLB will be testing out in the Atlantic League.

We chatted with the creators and maintainers of four major projection systems, ZiPS (Dan Szymborski (https://twitter.com/DSzymborski)), Steamer (Jared Cross (https://twitter.com/steamerpro)), THE BAT (Derek Carty (https://twitter.com/DerekCarty)) and Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA (https://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota-projections/) (Harry Pavlidis (https://twitter.com/harrypav)) about how their systems are created, how the past is used to project future performance and how projecting young players without much track record can be tricky.
Music is “Open Your Face (https://parkerprojection.bandcamp.com/track/open-your-face)” by Parker Projection (https://open.spotify.com/artist/71yR5UGfJkZHeJ9kk3pezD?si=690DNsrQQHOLRBrNdcqM4g).

Shohei Ohtani revisited, baseball Hall of Fame bar lowering and how it affects who gets in, lining up optimal player development and what happens when you launch a new statistic.

Harry and Kendall talk about the quantifying The Opener phenomenon, Bill James’ comments about replacing players, trying to figure out if regular baseball fans could visibly tell the difference between top MLB talent and replacement level talent. Then cap it off with a discussion about the changes at Baseball Prospectus.

In the playoffs (and always) pitching and catching are important
Donate to the Lupus Foundation (http://bit.ly/2O7rtgh)
Required Reading
The unlucky legacy of the 2018 Houston Astros (http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/25024557/the-unlucky-legacy-2018-houston-astros) by Sam Miller (https://twitter.com/sammillerbb)
Joel Sherman writes about the plight of catchers (https://nypost.com/2018/10/24/its-not-just-gary-inside-the-catching-plague-thats-only-getting-worse/)

We talk about how you build a baseball team for the playoffs and the future. It’s good to talk about baseball. Enjoy the playoffs.

Harry and Kendall talk about the Women’s Baseball World Cup, then look at how the number of 🔥high velocity🔥pitchers has increased over the last 10 years. They wrap up with a discussion of how bullpen usage affects lineups and how it might affect your daily fantasy league.
Stolen Bases book (https://amzn.to/2wmOnJw) by Jennifer Ring, Ph.D. (https://www.unr.edu/political-science/people/jennifer-ring)
Women’s Baseball World Cup website (https://wbwc.wbsc.org/)
Women’s Baseball World Cup YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-UXjExO348UiOCxazH69hA)
Kalamazoo Yankees vs Colorado Silver Bullets (https://vimeo.com/162749016)
Bullpen (Mis)management Tool (https://legacy.baseballprospectus.com/pitchfx/bpm/index.php?org=CHN&grint=27&startgame=1&endgame=162&year_id=2018&Submit=Submit&utm_source=podcast&utm_campaign=stolen_signs_28)

We visit with Jason Benetti, television play by play announcer for the Chicago White Sox. We talk with him about his start in the business, taking over for a broadcasting legend, how he integrates Steve Stone’s first hand knowledge, with the plethora of statistical data he has access to.
We also touch on the All Star Game and how catchers are evaluated for the Hall of Fame.

Talking about the materials that make up a baseball with Dr. Meredith Wills (https://twitter.com/Bbl_Astrophyscs). We also revisit two-way players, dig into defensive metrics and why they’re difficult, and are reminded that everything old is new again.
How one tiny change to the baseball may have led to both the home run surge and the rise in pitcher blisters (https://theathletic.com/381544/2018/06/06/how-one-tiny-change-to-the-baseball-may-have-led-to-both-the-home-run-surge-and-the-rise-in-pitcher-blisters/)
Angels Live: What to make of ‘Seam Study’ (https://www.foxsports.com/west/video/1252393539925)

R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports came on to talk with us about the Rays recent usage of Sergio Romo as a starting pitcher. We talk about whether this concept will continue and if there may be other teams willing to try it out. We also talk with Anthony Rescan about his Baseball Prospectus Intern project for calculating surplus draft value. We threw in a handful of things we’ve learned over the last few weeks including tidbits about Kendrys Morales, Jordan Hicks, and the predictive value of xStats.

We discuss the Report of the Committee Studying Home Run Rates in Major League Baseball released on May 24, 2018. We talk with committee chair Dr. Alan Nathan, and committee member Dr. Dan Brooks as well as radar and target tracking research engineer, Dr. Sean O’Rourke. We examine what the report is saying and what it means going forward.

Sam Miller joined us to talk about his recent article about evaluating Statcast’s new Pop Time metric. Surprising exactly no one, we also talk about Shohei Ohtani, again. And take a look at Robinson Cańo’s Hall of Fame candidacy.

Below is a table showing the comparative ratings of some of the pitchers with the best command scores.

Command+
CMD
Name

1
9
Kyle Hendricks

2
19
Jordan Zimmermann

3
21
Alex Wood

4
10
Jeremy Hellickson

5
64
Masahiro Tanaka

6
86
Josh Tomlin *

7
25
Aaron Nola

8
12
Tyler Mahle

9
6
Jacob deGrom

10
3
Zack Greinke

12
4
Corey Kluber

20
2
Marco Gonzales

23
1
Kyle Davies

53
8
Doug Fister

101
5
Marco Estrada

122
7
CC Sabathia

Data pulled a few days apart, 151 total pitchers in COMMAND+ rankings and 130 in CMD
* Tomlin ranked sixth in CMD in 2017

Shohei Ohtani is flexible

https://twitter.com/shinjibvby/status/996478920110190592