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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 8/21/19

Position players pitching; more to Lynn than fastballs; what Álvarez means to the Astros

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: Every team except for the Mets has put a position player in to pitch this year, with Mike Ford recently being the most outlandish example. A couple of them, like with Roman Quinn in extra innings, have actually come with high leverage indexes. But for the most part, this trend has caught on because the purpose is to save an actual pitcher from being burned in an otherwise low leverage spot, and it will continue, even if the three-batter minimum will cut into this.

Baseball Prospectus | Matthew Trueblood ($): People think of Lance Lynn’s resurgence as fastball-oriented, which is only partially the truth. Not all fastballs are created equally, and his are full of movement and required mechanical changes to make them work properly. He also benefited from the excellent skills of Jeff Mathis, who has excellent framing, and calling a game via sequencing.

The Ringer | Michael Baumann: Yordan Álvarez is the next big bopper in the Astros’ lineup, and he now leads baseball in wRC+. For a team that seemed more methodical than explosive like they used to be in recent years, adding Álvarez makes them an even more formidable lineup that could be hard to beat come October.