The Hardball Times | Stephanie Springer: When we think of performance enhancing, the next word that comes to mind is usually “drug.” Yet we can likely expand performance enhancing to a wide variety of treatments that are sometimes not drugs and have questionable performance-enhancing abilities, but it is likely the frontier for it. Gene therapy, probiotics, LASIK; all of these could, or in the latter’s case does better your performance, and they are not “cheating” or drugs. Is the next step personalized treatments to improve? Maybe, because players didn’t and won’t stop trying secret codes to success.
Baseball Prospectus | Matthew Trueblood ($): The first pitch is mighty important, and its importance has ebbed and flowed over time. Hitters fell behind at a record rate in 2018, pitchers are getting better at throwing strikes, and hitters are only just catching up to the first-pitch strike percentage with more first-pitch swinging. There are some good, patient hitters, like Mookie Betts, and some great aggressive ones, like Jose Altuve and Freddie Freeman, but this is a league-wide trend to pay attention to, regardless.
Bill James Online | Dave Fleming: The Mets might not know what they have in Brandon Nimmo. Christian Yelich led the league in wRC+ but Nimmo was second, and while his counting stats look OK, park factors tell a different story that he is probably better than what’s on the page. Yet the Mets keep acquiring mediocre players to fill the glut if outfielders, and have a general ineptitude that could hamper their ability to both evaluate and effectively use Nimmo to his full potential.