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Podcasts

Stolen Signs

We talk with Ben Lindbergh and Kaz Yamazaki about the NPB posting system, differences between the mounds, balls, culture of MLB and NPB and dig a little deeper into some of the myths about Japanese pitchers coming over to MLB. We also look into the current state of the sabermetric community in Japan.
Effectively Wild Episode 1145: The Reigning-MVP Podcast (https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/effectively-wild-episode-1145-the-reigning-mvp-podcast/) Effectively Wild episode where Ben and Jeff Sullivan talk with Dennis Sarfate
Shohei Otani and MLB’s Japanese Fragility Myth (https://www.theringer.com/mlb/2017/12/5/16737454/shohei-ohtani-history-of-japanese-pitchers-in-mlb) from The Ringer
Shohei Otani’s life goals (http://m.mlb.com/cutfour/2017/12/06/262926572/check-out-shohei-ohtanis-life-goals-that-he-wrote-out-in-high-school)
Delta Graphs (http://1point02.jp/op/index.aspx)

We welcome Sean Forman from Baseball Reference, David Cameron from FanGraphs, Greg Matthews from openWAR, Rob McQuown and Jonathan Judge from Baseball Prospectus to the show.

With all the recent discussion about Wins Above Replacement statistics, we wanted to get people who create and maintain the statistics together to talk about how their respective stats are created and calculated. We talk about what replacement level is, positional adjustments, how to accurately portray confidence in the precision of the statistic.

Harry and Kendall look back at the World Series, discuss the Cy Young awards and the BBWAA vote has lined up with BP’s pitching metrics over the past few years.
Next up is a preview of some new pitching statistics that the Baseball Prospectus stats team is working on and why that’s proven to be a challenge. Harry gives a look into how these statistics are imagined, designed, tested, and tweaked throughout the process.

This week Harry and Kendall talk to Jarrett Seidler from the Baseball Prospectus Prospects team about the cyclical nature of baseball in general, and analytics specifically.
Harry and Kendall also take a closer look at how pitchers end up in the bullpen and examine their route to get there. For this exercise they looked at pitchers with a debut season of > 20 IP as a reliever, and fewer starter innings than reliever innings in that year and then went on to log > 75 IP as a starter in a subsequent season, with fewer reliever than starting innings. Check out the spreadsheet (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1B-zIHBTXAOnDeKi_4f2m4e1QgUR8OSZIBVagdwOcFow/edit#gid=0).
*This Week I Learned: *
Harry – A look into research done with Kate Morrison for Ben Lindbergh’s Ringer piece about Dallas Keuchel and the Dodgers – https://www.theringer.com/mlb/2017/10/24/16533310/houston-astros-los-angeles-dodgers-dallas-keuchel-kryptonite
Kendall – Is it possible that Major League Baseball is coming to Portland? – http://www.baseballamerica.com/columnists/expansion-trigger-realignment-longer-postseason/#IpHtEd8vb3JeJHOB.97

We start by talking about projection systems in general, then dive into 2017 PECOTA team projections. We look to see how adding in actual playing time affects the team totals. Then we talk about individual players that out-performed and under-performed their PECOTA projections.
This Week I Learned:
* Harry learns that “bullpenning” is a thing, sort of, maybe, kind of. (h/t Matt Trueblood (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=32960))
* Kendall learns to make adjustments in parenting, just like hitters like Mike Trout have had to make adjustments to high fastballs. (h/t to Jeff Sullivan (https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-history-of-the-adjustment-to-mike-trout/))

We sat down with Rob Arthur, Ben Diamond, Greg Matthews, and Travis Sawchik to talk about the MLB playoffs. We touched on playoff formats (past, present, and future?) and then moved on to talk about roster construction and optimization for the playoffs. After that, Harry and Kendall talk about the things they learned this week.

Links:

This week Harry and Kendall discuss pitcher similarity scores. Where did they come from? What are they? What can they be used for? And what might they evolve into.

This week Kendall learned a little about Ted Williams, and Harry learned something from Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Links:

You can email Kendall and Harry at stolen_signs@baseballprospectus.com and follow them on Twitter @stolen_signs.

With the news of Shohei Ohtani’s imminent posting from the NPB, this episode we talk with Sung Min Kim from the Sporting News about the posting system as well as a closer look at Ohtani. Harry and Kendall then discuss the precedence of two-way players in the Major Leagues and talk about what they’ve learned this week.
Links:
Frank HowardMLBAM Outs Above AverageHunter Greene’s future is on the moundCan Cincinnati Reds prospect Hunter Greene be this smart and this good? Yes

This week Harry and Kendall welcome Dan Brooks from Brooks Baseball and Russell Carleton from Baseball Prospectus. We talk with Dan and Russell about how baseball relates to their professional field of study, psychology. Russell has a new book coming out, called “The Shift”, which is available for pre-order. To steal a play from Russell’s playbook, we command you to pre-order it.

We go through a rough outline of the history of sabermetrics. And we also want to ask for your help. We’re sure we missed things. If you know of so key point in the history of sabermetrics, please help us add to our list.