SaberSphere 5/14: Johnny Stops Steals, The Dodgers Struggles, and Ubaldo's Improved Consistency

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It's Tuesday people! The SaberSphere never misses when it comes to the 4th day before the weekend. We know you need your baseball reading fix, and the folks that comprise today's SaberSphere haven't disappointed. Learn about hitters and luck, discover the newly refined Ubaldo Jimenez, and don't forget to grab a hotdog and beverage while you're at it.

Today's SaberSphere truly makes the rounds. We find fascinating pieces on hitting, hitting for power, base running, and hitting in the clutch. Maybe those aren't the 5 tools, but we use the only tool that matters when analyzing baseball, our brains, and today's roundup of great analysis makes good of that notion.

Previously on Beyond the Box Score

Stolen Base Rates for Pitchers and Johnny Cueto by James Gentile - Beyond the Box Score

A base runner steals a base by possessing incredible speed, stealing on a pitcher that is not quick enough to the plate, or by playing on a catcher that has difficulties throwing out base runners. All three aspects factor into most stolen bases, but given that runners are more often thrown out than swipe bases safely, the pitchers and catchers must be doing something right. BTBS veteran (looking for an extension from the front office) James Gentile tackles this issue from the point of view of the pitcher.

A Closer Look at Home Run Perception by Chris St. John - Beyond the Box Score

It wouldn't be a Tuesday if I couldn't present another though provoking article by BTBS writer Chris St. John. Recently Chris has had a penchant for analyzing home runs, and in this weeks piece, Chris delves deeper into his recently created metrics concerning home runs, showing us the importance in testing one's discoveries, no matter the outcome.

The "Luckiest" and "Unluckiest" hitters of 2013 by Andrew Ball - Beyond the Box Score

By now, if you have read Beyond the Box Score even leisurely, you should be accustomed to the idea of luck and randomness. No matter how precise we become in quantifying the actions that go on on a baseball diamond, randomness & luck will always be the 10th and 11th players on the field. Since this fact is a given, it's important to dissect the game, understanding what constitutes lucky and what does not. Andrew "gets this," and tries to convey where luck is playing a role in hitting thus far in the young 2013 season.

Around the Sabersphere

"The Dodgers (And Others) Struggles With Runners In Scoring Position" by Bill Chuck - BaseballAnalytics.org

If you've never heard of Baseballanalytics, jump on the bandwagon. Bill Chuck, one of the most consistent writers for the site takes a look at a very important issue in baseball. How teams fare with runners in scoring position is vital to success both offensively and defensively. Take some time and analyze the graphs displayed, they possess lots of useful information.

Pebble Hunting: The Strike Zone Solution by Sam Miller - Baseball Prospectus

When one throws a pebble into a body of water ripples come about. Sam Miller's articles are all ripples of the Baseball prospectus pebble thrown into the baseball pond years ago. In this edition of his ongoing writing, Miller discusses the recent umpire issues, but takes specific note of strikes and balls, and whether umpires call the strike zone properly.

Just How Far Gone is Ubaldo Jimenez by Jeff Sullivan - Fangraphs

Have you seen the Cleveland Indians this season? Well if not, get on it, but for those who have taken notice of the tribe, you may have noticed the incredible hitting from their lineup thus far in 2013. Still, hitting doesn't solve all problems, and some of the Indians' pitchers are on their game (see Justin Masterson's performance vs. the Yankees yesterday). The tribe traded for Ubaldo Jimenez a few seasons ago, and while the prospects in that deal are coming to the majors only now, Jimenez has been underperforming for Cleveland. Jeff Sullivan takes a look at Jimenez's 2013, and some of the positive changes Ubaldo has made thus far.

Around SB Nation

Jonathan Papelbon and a generous (human) strike zone by Marc Normandin - SB Nation

I recently made it known throughout Beyond the Box Score that Mariano Rivera receives an incredibly generous strike zone. I was told that this has been an ongoing and studied concept. Marc has taken notice of another pitcher receiving a generous strike zone, and this one is also a dominant closer. Hmmm....

"Where have the African-American pitchers and catchers gone?" by Rob Neyer - Baseball Nation

Baseball has been around for a long time in comparison to its sport counterparts in the U.S. Some of the world's best athletes have played the game, and many have been black. Recently African Americans have been drawn elsewhere, namely to Football and Basketball. Rob looks at this from a specific angle, remembering the last black catcher. We all know of Josh Gibson, but remember, he never played in Major League Baseball.

Ball Park Concession Guide by Phil Coke's Brain - Bless You Boys

Every baseball fan interacts with a given ballparks food and drinks. Those concessions become an integral part of the MLB experience. Some ballparks do it better than others, but the experience remains constant.

Outside the Sabersphere

New Magnetic Graphene May Revolutionize Electronics - Science Daily

Heard of Graphene? Well I hadn't, but it's an important substance, and scientists have recently discovered an important and possibly revolutionary aspect involving magnetism. The analytics of baseball derive from the scientific method, which is the most useful tool in the history of progressive thought. All scientists utilize this method every day, so honor the process by taking a look at discoveries in all fields.

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