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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 5/31/18

The next starter-to-reliever; why the shift gives us more walks; the best curves in baseball

MLB: Houston Astros at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Jake Mailhot: Edwin Díaz was moved from the rotation to the bullpen, which is a common enough shift. Jordan Hicks was another, as well, and while this does happen often in baseball, predicting that is a different matter. Seranthony Domínguez is one pitcher that may make that jump, as he has gone from minor league starter to making high-leverage appearances for the Phillies already this season.

Baseball Prospectus | Russell A. Carleton ($): Carleton found in his last study that while the shift took away grounders, it contributed more walks. Why? He found that pitchers are throwing more off-speed and are trying to tailor pitches more carefully to the shift, leading to more balls and thus more walks. The fix could be psychological (getting pitchers to just throw as usual), or it could mean turning down the dial for players other than, say, the Joey Gallo types.

The Athletic | Eno Sarris ($): Sarris takes a look at the best curves in baseball using movement and velocity, and it should be no surprise that the likes of Lance McCullers Jr. and Charlie Morton are near the top.