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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 5/10/19

Freaking out about Vladito’s start; the changing curveball; the Nationals train-wreck

MLB: Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Craig Edwards: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hasn’t been hitting... should we be worried? Probably not, as what really matters is what happens from hereon out. There have been top prospects who have faltered at first—Mike Trout, Mark Teixeira, Alex Gordon, and Matt Wieters all had a very poor ~40 plate appearances to start their careers.

Baseball Prospectus | Rob Arthur ($): Pitches continue to change, and the curve is no exception. Pitchers are tossing the pitch with even more velocity, and even more downward drop, to the point where there is nearly 20% more movement than ten years ago.

The Ringer | Michael Baumann: The Nationals, despite losing Bryce Harper, came into the season a division favorite. Yet now they find themselves just clawing their way back to .500, so how did that happen? One is injuries, and losing Juan Soto, Ryan Zimmermann, and Trea Turner hasn’t helped at all. Another is that the bullpen beyond Sean Doolittle and Kyle Barraclough have been atrocious, and they have seen downturns from their bit performers like Brian Dozier.