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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 4/26/19

Kolten Wong’s plate discipline; changing pitcher roles; the knuckle curve

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Milwaukee Brewers v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

FanGraphs | Ben Clemens: Kolten Wong has long been considered a good defender, but now it seems he has unlocked the powers of his bat. He now has excellent plate discipline, so good in fact that he has more walks than strikeouts this year. If this is truly real, and it might not be, than he may go from a league average to a star-level player, seemingly overnight.

Baseball Prospectus | Rob Arthur ($): For the first time in over 40 years, relievers have a higher ERA than starters. This is mostly due to the shifting roles of both more than a real performance issue, and it shows how much the line has been blurred between starter, opener, bulk innings guys, firemen, and closers.

The Athletic | Eno Sarris ($): Everyone loves the curveball, but the best way to throw it is as a knuckle curve. It’s called the “spike” curve because of the downward action it gets when you press your knuckle into the ball, and pitchers like AJ Burnett, Aaron Nola, Walker Buehler, and others use/used it because while it has less spin it creates even more vertical movement and travels faster.