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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 6/28/18

A Rays pitcher at first base; a peek into the aging curve; the DH penalty; John Gant’s Vulcan change

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Tampa Bay Rays v Seattle Mariners Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

FanGraphs | Jeff Sullivan: The Rays have been playing tricks all year, and we saw yet another one two days ago: they had Jesus Alvarado pitch, then move to first base, then back to pitcher when the matchup was in their favor. He didn’t have to do complex fielding at first, but you can see the trade-offs if he had. It’s definitely another interesting experiment from Kevin Cash.

ESPN The Magazine | Sam Miller: Sam Miller is always a joy, especially when talking about aging. Whether it’s how performance peaks later than ability, or how players learn to use their abilities more effectively, to the plain realities of watching a ball player slowly disintegrate well into their 30s, no writer is better at illustrating what this looks like as a snapshot.

Baseball Prospectus | Rob Mains ($): Is the DH penalty getting worse? Probably not, despite the anecdotal evidence that JD Martinez is hitting much better as a fielder than as a DH. Despite the fact it feels like the penalty should grow with smaller benches, it’s just a high-variance penalty from year to year. The fact remains: being a DH hurts your OPS relative to playing in the field.

The Athletic | Mark Saxon ($): John Gant has found new success in the Cardinals’ rotation, and it’s because of an odd, nerdy pitch: the Vulcan changeup.