Previously on Beyond the Box Score
Inspired by the recent discussion about including IFFB in ERA estimators, Max Weinstein created IFFB+ and IPO+, ERA estimators that include both IFFB% and park factors.
Mariners 1B Justin Smoak's last season adjustment to his approach at the plate allowed him to abuse opposing pitchers to the tune of .341/.426/.580 last September and October in 101 PA. Noah Woodward provided an extremely detailed look at the PITCHf/x data to determine if Smoak can maintain his hot streak for the Mariners in 2013.
First basemen produced the lowest fWAR among position players in 2012. Lance Rinker examined the decreased offensive output at 1B and whether or not we should be concerned about it.
Cubs prospect Javier Baez has been impressive so far this spring, posting a .302/.318./.628 line in 44 PA. I took a closer look at Baez's minor league performance to determine if he will be ready to make his MLB debut for the Cubs at some point in 2013.
Noticing that quite a few pitchers ended up with similar rates, Lee Trocinski took a closer look at the numbers to see the different paths pitchers took to get there.
Around the SaberSphere
Diamondbacks' SP Brandon McCarthy posed an interesting question regarding Opening Day starter's first pitch selection.
? for my stat enthusiast followers- in last 5 years, has any team's opening day starter started the season with an off-speed pitch?— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) March 19, 2013
Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs examined PITCHf/x data in an attempt to find out how often Opening Day starters choose to begin the season by throwing an offspeed pitch.
Jered Weaver recently made a comment about reverting back to the lower arm slot he threw out of earlier in his career. Sam Miller at Baseball Prospectus took a look at PitchF/X data to find out what effect a change in Weaver's arm slot might have on his performance in 2013.
Jonah Keri at Grantland discussed changing trends in team stolen base numbers and talked with Oakland A's OF Coco Crisp about the base stealing tactics that have allowed him to swipe 120 bags in the last 3 seasons.
The baseball community is divided over the Reds' decision to try and convert their star closer Aroldis Chapman into a starter. Mike Axisa at CBS Sports took a look at Chapman's 2012 performance as a closer and his 2013 ZiPS projections in an attempt to determine which role Chapman would provide the most value for the Reds this season.
Around SB Nation
Drawing a comparison between Nationals SP Gio Gonzalez and Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are charter, Max, Garrett Hooe at Federal Baseball provided a detailed explanation of what Nationals fans can expect out of Gonzalez in 2013.
The Mariners unexpected power surge has been a cause for optimism in Seattle this spring. Michael Barr at Lookout Landing explained why Mariners fans shouldn't expect the increased offensive output to carry over into the regular season.
Rumors of performance enhancing drug use by Brewers star Ryan Braun have begun to swirl once again following the appearance on a list of alleged Biogenesis clients. Grant Brisbee at Baseball Nation explains why the speculation surrounding Ryan Braun is a lose-lose situation for MLB.
Outside the SaberSphere
I'm a huge music fan so I decided to share a Spotify playlist of songs that I enjoy listening to while I'm working. The overwhelming majority of the songs are 90s Hip-Hop with a few newer Hip-Hop songs mixed in as well as some Indie Rock, Classic Rock and Alternative Rock. Click shuffle and enjoy your day.