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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 5/8/19

Madison Bumgarner’s return to normal; Tim Anderson’s exciting brand of play; the rise in hit by pitches

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Craig Edwards: Could Madison Bumgarner finally be fully “back”? After missing time to injury and his performance suffering since then, it finally looks like he’s back to normal. His velocity is as high as it’s been since 2015, and he is inducing even more swings out of the zone than usual. If he stays healthy, this could be his best season in years.

Baseball Prospectus | Matthew Trueblood ($): Tim Anderson has been a main character of the season so far, and it’s no wonder why. He has sported polarizing bat flips that will likely draw in new, younger fans, and his brand of baseball—being aggressive and hitting home runs while also swiping a ton of bags—is just plain exciting to watch.

The Athletic | Eno Sarris ($): One of the new trends that is more odd than others is the rise in hit by pitches. This is due to a variety of reasons: one is the rise in breaking pitches and the decline in fastballs. Another is the changing balls, whose seams cause less drag and thus more run and movement. Pitchers are also just throwing up-and-in more, which leads to this natural conclusion.