Category Archives: Analysis

Career Seasons by Late Bloomers – Batters Edition

The term career season usually denotes the best of a player’s career. For this post, though, I’m looking at single seasons equal or better than a player’s entire previous career. While such seasons may be fairly common early in a player’s career, they become scarcer as a player ages, so much so that only late bloomers are likely to post such campaigns when approaching or passing age 30. After the jump, more on players having this unusual type of career season. Continue reading

New faces in new places: 2018 AL Edition

“You can’t tell the players without a program” has never been more true in today’s game, with hundreds of free agent signings every year. To that end, MLB has helpfully provided projected starting lineups for all major league clubs as we head into the start of the new season later this week. After you’ve perused the MLB post, I’ll highlight some of the changes in each team’s lineup. More after the jump. Continue reading

Sixty feet six inches and the birth of relief pitching

This season marks 125 years since pitchers first launched their offerings from the current distance of 60½ feet from home plate. That’s 10½ feet or more than 20% further than before the 1893 season, a massive change that launched the 1890s “ultra-live ball” era but also introduced the more lasting change of pitchers who were used fairly frequently in relief roles. More after the jump. Continue reading

Baseball’s Takeaway/Giveaway Leaders

As football season gets underway, here’s a look at baseball’s version of the takeaway/giveaway margin. On the gridiron, the unit of measurement is turnovers and winning teams usually need to show a positive margin between turnovers forced (takeaways) and turnovers surrendered (giveaways). In baseball, the metric is more like points off of turnovers, as this post will consider unearned runs scored vs. unearned runs allowed, those runs being the “points” arising from errors forced and errors committed, More after the jump.

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Leadoff hitters are slugging at an unprecedented rate (in the first at bat)

Last week Anthony Rizzo, first baseman for the Chicago Cubs, hit leadoff for the first time in his seven year career. Before Rizzo’s first at bat, Cubs’ color man Jim Deshaies recalled:

Big Riz did it a couple of times in spring training, and on one occasion he went out there and ambushed the first pitch and hit a home run.

Two pitches into the regular season version of this experiment Rizzo hit a leadoff home run. The next evening Rizzo, still batting in the No.1 spot, made an impact one pitch sooner by hitting the first offering of the game over the outfield fence.

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