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SaberSphere 4/24: Votto, Cano and Umpire Run Values

We're nearly halfway through the work week and there's some great baseball writing to read, as always. There's plenty of articles being published here at Beyond the Box Score and throughout the SaberSphere for any aspiring Sabermetrician to enjoy. Take a look!


Over here at Beyond the Box Score, we have some research on umpire run values that we could use your comments on as well as a look into whether Joey Votto has too much patience. Besides that, there's some other excellent examinations of stolen base attempts, the possibility of arm injuries based on April velocity and a conversation with Paul Maholm.

Previously on Beyond the Box Score

Around the Sabersphere

  • Where Have All The Stolen Bases Gone? by Dave Cameron | FanGraphs Baseball
    In the late '90s and early '00's when batters were ripping the cover off of the ball, stolen base attempts were dropping almost every year. It made sense. Batters were hitting the ball so much that teams didn't need to risk giving up outs on the base paths to score. So far this year, stolen base attempts per opportunity are seriously low at 5.3%.

  • Does an April Drop in Velocity Predict An Arm Injury? by Bill Petti | FanGraphs Baseball
    Bill has been studying the velocity of pitchers during the early parts of April and has concluded that pitchers whose pitches are down at least one MPH compared to April of last year will finish the season with a lesser velocity of at least one MPH 38% of the time. Those who are throwing slower also have an increased chance of experiencing an arm injury although it's not really 100% conclusive.

  • Batter Similarity by Dan Brooks | Brooks Baseball
    The amazing Dan Brooks has teased a preliminary batter similarity scatterplot on his Twitter. The MDS algorithm looks at the "dissimilarity of swing rate, whiff/swing and ISO in each of 25 locations for each pitch type" according to his tweet. The image isn't of the highest resolution but this is a very interesting concept. Looking forward to reading more about it!

  • 10 Minutes With Braves Pitcher Paul Maholm by Jonah Keri | Grantland
    Jamie Moyer is my favorite baseball player and so any pitcher that suddenly gets good during the years in which they are supposed to be declining piques my interest. Paul Maholm has drawn a ton of Moyer connections over the past year since he's reinvented himself during the second half of 2012 and has carried over his success so far this season. Over at Grantland, Jonah Keri interviews Maholm to try and figure out what adjustments he's been focusing on making.

Around SB Nation

  • Chad Billingsley to undergo Tommy John surgery by Marc Normandin |
    Surprise! A player who has a tear in his UCL tries to rehab over the winter to avoid the dreaded Tommy John Surgery only to inevitably go under the knife. Off the top of my head, Rafael Furcal, Chad Billingsley and Carl Crawford have all tried the rest and rehab route over the past year just to succumb to surgery on their elbows. Actually, I'm curious to see if there has been any serious success stories about rehabbing from UCL tears. Needless to say, the Dodgers went from having a surplus of starters but now they're struggling to trot out a starting five.

  • Jackie Bradley's, Aaron Hicks' struggles remind us they can't all be Bryce Harper by Marc Normandin |
    Jackie Bradley and Aaron Hicks were both popular players to follow in the spring training as they were top prospects smacking the ball all over the place without Triple-A seasoning. Both were on their respective team's Opening Day roster but Bradley was sent down last week and Hicks is bound to follow soon with his .059 AVG. Since Bryce Harper came up last April and produced the greatest season a player under the age of 20 has ever had, these prospects may have had some unfair lofty expectations set for them.

  • How long until Félix Hernández wins another 100? by Rob Neyer | Baseball Nation
    King Felix is still just 27 years old and notched his 100th win on Monday night. Only five pitchers reached 100 at a younger age than him but only two of those won over 95 games for the rest of their career.

Outside the Sabersphere

  • Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket Set AmericanaramA Summer Tour | Billboard
    So Wilco and My Morning Jacket are going to be opening up for the legendary Bob Dylan this summer. It's like a travelling mini-festival for Dad-rock fanatics that's going to be catching fire across the country. Wilco and MMJ are both incredible acts to see in concert, almost to the point where their studio recordings are inferior to their live counterparts. Plus, how many more opportunities will we have to see Bob Dylan? This show is a must-see.