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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 8/25/18

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Zack Wheeler’s improvement; the adjustments to the shift’s flaws; the best framing teams and players; Jacob deGrom as a Bayesian coin flip

MLB: San Francisco Giants at New York Mets Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Stephen Loftus: The Mets may be a disaster, but that isn’t the case for Zack Wheeler. Wheeler has increased velocity, a lower arm slot, and an added splitter, and that gives New York slightly more confidence pitching-wise heading into 2019.

Baseball Prospectus | Russell A. Carleton ($): One of the downsides of the shift is that pitchers actually pitch more carefully in front of it, leading to more walks. Is it possible that teams have picked up on this? Yes, because the league-wide percentage of balls outside the zone during the shift has already dropped a couple of points since 2015.

Bill James Online | Mark Simon: It should not be a surprise that the better teams have great framing catchers, like the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Astros, and Red Sox. The best catchers this year framing-wise have been Max Stassi, Austin Barnes, Tyler Flowers, and Yasmani Grandal, to name a few.

Tangotiger Blog | Tom Tango: This seems to be about a discussion on how much Citi Field has affected Jacob deGrom’s performance, to which the answer is: the same as every year in his career. The only thing that has changed over time is that our prior has changed by adding more data and history on Citi Field. Just like with a coin flip, your prior on the probability of a non-weighted coin is based on the prior, or “pre-flips.”