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 Post subject: Re: Good Article; Pirates are for real
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:42 pm 
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Willton wrote:
It would make sense if you read the article.

i did read the article - in fact i commented on it, did you miss that?


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 Post subject: Re: Good Article; Pirates are for real
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:46 pm 
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None of the numbers indicate a below average offense or a solid defense though. 9th in wRC+ and 1st in defensive efficiency are both above average and terrific, respectively.

If Starling Marte isn't in left field, this pitching staff a ERA is nowhere near the level it is now.

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 Post subject: Re: Good Article; Pirates are for real
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:51 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
ZelieMike wrote:
I remember the grief this FO took, from this board and elsewhere, when they rolled out spray charts and moved Nyger to LC rover.

Way ahead of the curve, probably too far ahead since their data were probably too new to use fully correctly. But, they were onto something then.

ZM


It's funny, they were talking about the Pirates on the rundown and they were talking about how hitters actually have very little control over where the ball is hit. Harold Reynolds, of course, was indignant and said batters absolutely can control where they hit the ball, using the counterargument "well then why do teams shift?".

Ummmm, it's because players largely CAN'T control where they hit the ball so you typically don't need to worry about them beating you on it. The Pirates were definitely ahead of the curve in recognizing this, so going to the SABR heavy shifts and decisions in the offseason shouldn't be overly shocking.

Like Brian Kenny said, Barmes and Martin were defensively about as solid an acquisition as any team made from a defensive standpoint in free agency.

Here comes a sentence I never thought I'd ever type.

Harold Reynolds is right.

Partially right, anyway. Hitters can't direct a ball to a spot with any sort of consistency. But they can choose to go to left or right, and, to some extent, try to hit the ball in the air or on the ground.

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 Post subject: Re: Good Article; Pirates are for real
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:56 pm 
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A hitter can go with a pitch. But if you pitch a guy a certain way and shift him, there's not much he can do. The name of the game is moving guys and getting on base without making an out. Shifting on a guy and throwing him terrible pitches to go the other way on puts him in a no-win situation.

For the most part, a guy has to take what's given to him and make the best of it. Can't ask a guy to go the other way if he's getting pounded inside.

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 Post subject: Re: Good Article; Pirates are for real
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:11 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
A hitter can go with a pitch. But if you pitch a guy a certain way and shift him, there's not much he can do.

If you pitch him away he's going to have a hard time pulling it, for sure, but it isn't all that hard to inside-out a pitch and take it the other way. The main reason that all this shifting works is because hitters aren't trying to adjust, and, for a lot of them, you really don't want them to. You don't want your big slugger dumping singles the other way, you want him to hit it over the wall.

I think that if this shifting continues, gradually you will see teams looking less for high strikeout, low average bangers and more for bat handlers like Rose or Brett Butler. Whatever happens, it's fascinating to watch the way that baseball evolves.

Sucks that you have to live a long time to notice it, though :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Good Article; Pirates are for real
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:18 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
If Starling Marte isn't in left field, this pitching staff a ERA is nowhere near the level it is now.

imo this is a bit of a stretch - the bucs pitching staff has made a living out of forcing ground balls while leading the league in fewest line drives and fly balls, i think they deserve some credit...


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 Post subject: Re: Good Article; Pirates are for real
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:29 pm 
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tprothro wrote:
StarlingArcher wrote:
If Starling Marte isn't in left field, this pitching staff a ERA is nowhere near the level it is now.

imo this is a bit of a stretch - the bucs pitching staff has made a living out of forcing ground balls while leading the league in fewest line drives and fly balls, i think they deserve some credit...


The infield gets full credit for the defense they have provided. But so do Marte and McCutchen for commanding the gigantic PNC Park outfield. Marte might be the best defensive LF I've seen since Bonds.


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 Post subject: Re: Good Article; Pirates are for real
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:00 pm 
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Since defense/tools/athleticism were being brought up earlier in the thread I thought I'd throw out this nugget from Keith Law's chat:

He clocked Gregory Polanco at a 3.90 from home to first on a groundball recently. That is absolutely flying and is going to give us a HUGE advantage at home with PNC's massive OF. Both because of our ability to cover it and Polanco's ability to burn you if a ball gets down out there.

Might even consider putting him in left and Marte in right so we can utilize Marte's arm more (Polanco's, by all accounts, isn't bad but Marte has plus-plus arm strength).

Edit: Law also thinks he could be ready by June 2014 and has a chance to be "special". I'd still be thrilled if he's up for the All-Star break.

Just one guy's opinion, but it's the only recent Polanco update I've really been able to see.

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 Post subject: Re: Good Article; Pirates are for real
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:15 pm 
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Regarding a batter "guiding" the ball when hit ...

I think batters have, as Sisyphus noted, considerable control over whether the ball goes to the pull side, up the middle, or opposite field.

Also, certain batters do indeed very directly "aim" for a spot. I make this comment after seeing Allen Craig, for the 3rd time I have personally observed this season, hit a chopper directly at the hole between 1st and 2nd when a runner is being held on first base.

He simply guides the ball that way, and all 3 times, the chopper went into RF and the runner on 1st wound up on 3rd base.


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 Post subject: Re: Good Article; Pirates are for real
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:19 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
Regarding a batter "guiding" the ball when hit ...

I think batters have, as Sisyphus noted, considerable control over whether the ball goes to the pull side, up the middle, or opposite field.

Also, certain batters do indeed very directly "aim" for a spot. I make this comment after seeing Allen Craig, for the 3rd time I have personally observed this season, hit a chopper directly at the hole between 1st and 2nd when a runner is being held on first base.

He simply guides the ball that way, and all 3 times, the chopper went into RF and the runner on 1st wound up on 3rd base.

I was a bad baseball player and yet I could go opposite field almost any time I wanted. I would have to presume that quality ballplayers, even against superior pitching, should be able to go the way they want.


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 Post subject: Re: Good Article; Pirates are for real
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:48 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
Regarding a batter "guiding" the ball when hit ... I think batters have, as Sisyphus noted, considerable control over whether the ball goes to the pull side, up the middle, or opposite field.

i agree, to a certain extent. i also believe that a batter's actual ability to do this, consistently, is way overblown. there are no doubt more than a few batters out there who are extremely talented and have tremendous control, relatively speaking, over where they go with the ball. but i just don't think this skill set is as commonplace as some would have you believe. heck, there are quality batters that can't hit safely in a shift to save their lives..


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