In today's links we find out when velocity changes during a start, we celebrate the success of Jason Grilli and Scott Kazmir, and we have the good fortune to hear Jim Leyland's thoughts on shifting. Let's dive in!
Previously on Beyond the Box Score
- How and when does velocity change during a start? by Jon Roegele │ Beyond the Box Score
We have found that fastball velocity tends to fluctuate from start to start, but how does it change during the same game? Jon does his best to give us an answer, providing a study on differences in velocity as it relates to pitch count while accounting for the base-out state.
- Successfully transitioning from the bullpen to the rotation by Alex Kienholz │ Beyond the Box Score
Many more teams are using the bullpen as a way to break in young pitchers. How do those pitchers fare in the starting rotation after they've already spent a season or more in the pen?
Around the Sabersphere
- Climbing, with Jason Grilli by Jeff Sullivan │ Fangraphs
In case you've missed it, Pirates' closer Jason Grilli has gone from Major League journeyman to quite possibly the best reliever in the game. Jeff takes us on the long, crazy journey that it's been. My favorite statistic from the piece? If you add up his current ERA-, FIP-, and xFIP-, you get Tim Lincecum's career ERA-.
- How Scott Kazmir got his groove back by Kyle Boddy │ The Hardball Times
Speaking of pitchers that have come out of nowhere, Scott Kazmir has reasserted himself as a Major League caliber starting pitcher. This is just one year after he was toiling on the mound for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the unaffiliated Atlantic League. Kyle asks the million dollar question, how?
- Eyewitness Accounts May 16 by the BP Prospect Staff │ Baseball Prospectus
In the news I'm most excited about, Baseball Prospectus has announced they will be altering the way they cover the Minor Leagues. Moving forward, Jason Parks and his team will be giving first hand accounts of players, a really exciting development showing again that BP does a great job of blending traditional scouting with advanced analysis. The first notebook features accounts of some of the best pitching prospects in the game.
- The Stats Go Marching In: Catcher Framing before PITCHf/x by Max Marchi │ Baseball Prospectus
BP has been among the leaders in new analysis of catcher performance and specifically pitch framing. Much of that analysis has been made possible because of the developments in PITCHf/x. That data has given us 6 seasons of information to work with, but that's not enough for Max. No, he decided to use Retrosheet pitch sequencing to look at the last twenty seasons.
- Point/Counterpoint on Rodgers' Extension by Brian Burke │ Advanced NFL Stats
Right, so not a baseball article, but still a really fascinating (self) argument on the merits of Aaron Rodgers new contract. I'm still not certain which side I feel is more correct.
Around SB Nation
- The Rotation: Making a More Compelling MLB Draft by SB Nation MLB Staff │ SB Nation MLB
While I'm sure many of us, myself included, already find the Rule 4 draft exciting, it just doesn't interest the majority of baseball fans. So how do we fix that? Eight SB Nation writers weigh in with their changes for the draft.
- Jim Leyland holds court on the shift by Grant Brisbee │ Baseball Nation
Does Jim Leyland have an opinion on shifting? You bet he does.
- There will be a Mariachi Band at Petco Park. ¡ SI SE PUEDE! by Dex │ Gaslamp Ball
This Saturday there will be six Mariacha Bands roaming around San Diego's ballpark. No special occasion, just an attempt by the Padres to bring something new and different to fans. I love it as much as I love the video in the article.
Outside the Sabersphere
- Although it's probably old news at this point, after 8 long years and tons of fantastic episodes, WE FINALLY HAVE SEEN THE MOTHER. I'm really looking forward to season 9.