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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 5/9/19

Brad Hand’s fly ball switch; Jorge Alfaro’s BABIP; Josh Gibson’s 1943 campaign

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Miami Marlins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Ben Clemens: Brad Hand continues to be successful, but this time in a stranger way than before. He has essentially ditched groundballs as part of his attack, instead ridding himself of the two-seamer and reshaping his four-seamer such that it leads to more fly balls. The result has been a 1.08 ERA to start the year.

Baseball Prospectus | Zach Crizer ($): Jorge Alfaro is doing something pretty amazing: he currently has the highest BABIP in baseball history. He’s been doing this by hitting the ball on a more-or-less level plane, and as long as the strikeouts don’t catch up with him and lead (possibly inevitably) to weaker contact, then this could sustain a great season, and a great career.

Banished to the Pen | Bill Thompson: Negro Leagues player were sometimes more myth than reality, and none embodied that more than Josh Gibson. The height of Gibson’s stardom was in 1943, when he hit .486/.489/.862 and led his Grays to a Negro World Series win. Unfortunately he passed away just four years later from cancer, but the stories and memories of his greatness have and will live on.