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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 8/14/18

ZiPS Cy Young projections; Max Scherzer adding another pitch; Diamondbacks’ stellar defense; Statcast fielding roles

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MLB: Game Two-Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Dan Szymborski: If we were to use ZiPS to predict the Cy Young race down the stretch, the American League is likely led by Chris Sale followed by Trevor Bauer and Luis Severino. In the National League it is nearly no contest, as Max Scherzer has a comfortable lead with a 54.8% chance of winning down the stretch.

The Athletic | Eno Sarris ($): Speaking of Scherzer, he may have added a fourth pitch, a “‘German’ three, using the thumb and two fingers”. He’s only thrown it three times, and it’s unclear how a slow slider will improve his overall arsenal considering how good he already he is, but it’s truly haunting to imagine the best pitcher in baseball adding another plus pitch.

Bill James Online | Mark Simon: If the Dimaondbacks continue on their pace, they will finish with the most Defensive Runs Saved since it started being calculated in 2003. That’s pretty unbelievable to think about, and it’s due to, unsurprisingly, being good everywhere. Every position except third base has at least 3+ DRS, and they lead the league at catcher, pitcher, and right field. They’ve also added the shift to good effect, as they lead the league with 28 Shift Runs Saved.

Tangotiger Blog | Tom Tango: Statcast is adding “roles” instead of position, and that’s because with the use of shifts, a shortstop could be playing literally anywhere in the infield, for example. By assigning location and percentage of use at that location, we can get a better idea of who players where and how that effects defensive value re:positioning. UPDATE: As Tango notes in the comments, I will clarify that roles will be added in addition to position and will not replace them.