LATEST STORIES FROM FANGRAPHS

The Worst Called Ball On Record

Last Monday, in what was a pretty critical game against the Mariners, Josh Donaldson got ejected in the seventh inning. Officially, he was ejected for arguing balls and strikes, but, unofficially, he was ejected for being a jerk. During his seventh inning at-bat, Donaldson tried to check a swing, and he disagreed with the determination that he didn’t check it enough. A couple pitches...
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2 hours ago  |  Discuss

NERD Game Scores for September 24, 2016

Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by sabermetric nobleman Rob Neyer, and expanded at the request of nobody, NERD scores represent an attempt to summarize in one number (and on a scale of 0-10) the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. Read more about the components of and formulae for NERD scores here. *** Most...
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6 hours ago  |  Discuss

The Best of FanGraphs: September 19-23, 2016

Each week, we publish north of 100 posts on our various blogs. With this post, we hope to highlight 10 to 15 of them. You can read more on it here. The links below are color coded — green for FanGraphs, brown for RotoGraphs, dark red for The Hardball Times and blue for Community Research. MONDAYA Long-Needed Update on Reliability, by Jonah Pemstein Jonah doesn’t write that frequently...
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7 hours ago  |  Discuss

Chase Utley Hustles for History

Rewinding the clock roughly 11 months, we’d find Chase Utley in a very different place. He had just completed a .212/.286/.343 season that led to 423 plate appearances of replacement-level value. He was the subject of significant (justified) criticism for tackling Ruben Tejada and breaking his leg during the NLDS. Then 36, Utley was staring into the twilight of his career and it...
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A Dialogue on the Urgent Matter of Jharel Cotton’s Cutter

In light of Oakland right-hander Jharel Cotton‘s minor-league success, his major-league success (which includes a 1.50 ERA over three starts) isn’t an entirely surprising development. More surprising, perhaps, is how he’s achieved that success — less by means of his celebrated changeup and more by means of his barely-ever-mentioned-once cut fastball. Curious as to what might...
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1 day ago  |  Discuss

“Pitch” Pilot: The Right Woman for the Job

“Pitch”, FOX’s new hour-long drama, premiered last night. It was a strong first episode, both dramatic and entertaining. It presents a likable yet complex protagonist in Ginny Baker (played by actress Kylie Bunbury), while also introducing us to a supporting cast that has the potential to be compelling. What follows is a recap of the show. As such, there are spoilers below...
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Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 9/23/16

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Weak Contact and the American League Cy Young Race

Over in the National League, differing philosophical differences could shape the voting for the Cy Young award. Unless voters choose to embrace a closer like Zach Britton or look at only wins, however, we don’t have the same type of arguments over which to rage in the American League. In the AL, for example, there’s no pitcher with a massive, Kyle Hendricks-like difference in...
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1 day ago  |  Discuss

NERD Game Scores for September 23, 2016

Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by sabermetric nobleman Rob Neyer, and expanded at the request of nobody, NERD scores represent an attempt to summarize in one number (and on a scale of 0-10) the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. Read more about the components of and formulae for NERD scores here. *** Most...
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1 day ago  |  Discuss

How to Judge the Atlanta Braves’ Rebuild

Atlanta Braves fans are waiting for their team to be consistently good again. After winning the division handily in 2013 but losing in the NLDS, the team fired general manager Frank Wren at the end of the following year. They replaced him with a duo: president of baseball pperations John Hart and GM John Coppolella. These two combined with longtime Braves executive John Schuerholz...
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The Most Extraordinary Team Statistic

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the Rangers’ success in one-run games. They actually lost by one run yesterday, but if you’ve been paying attention, that was the first time that’s happened all season, probably, and one game doesn’t upset the whole pattern. The regular season is just about done, and the Rangers have put together an incredible stat. That’s — well...
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2 days ago  |  Discuss

Late-Season NL Contact-Management Update

We’re headed down the regular-season home stretch, with nearly a full campaign’s worth of data in the books. In my next two posts, we’ll measure the contact-management performance of qualifying starting pitchers in both leagues. Today, let’s look at the National League. The data being examined today runs through September 12. Pitchers in the table below are listed in order...
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2 days ago  |  Discuss

Jose Abreu Is Halfway to Strikeout Bingo

Just in case you’ve missed it — Jose Abreu, earlier, was a massive disappointment. For as long as the White Sox were worth paying attention to this year, Abreu was underachieving. It was one of the critical things holding them back, as Abreu generated a first-half line that was a little worse than average. In the second half, as the White Sox have faded, Abreu’s been fantastic...
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Projecting Orioles Call-Up Trey Mancini

With the minor-league playoffs finished, the Baltimore Orioles summoned first-base prospect Trey Mancini from Triple-A Norfolk this week to help sure up their offense. Mancini wasted no time making an impact for the O’s, notching his first career home run in Tuesday’s game against the Red Sox. Mancini broke out in 2015 when he slashed an outstanding .331/.370/.539 between High...
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2 days ago  |  Discuss

Projecting Manny Margot and Other Padres Call-Ups

Following the end of their Triple-A affiliate’s championship season in the Pacific Coast League, the San Diego Padres promoted a small collection of players to their major-league club on Tuesday. Below are forecasts for the three most notable prospects of that group — Carlos Asuaje, Hunter Renfroe, and Manuel Margot — according to my KATOH system and presented in order of projected...
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2 days ago  |  Discuss

Eno Sarris Baseball Chat — 9/22/16

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Zach Britton on Sinkers, WPA, and the Cy Young

In October 2011, a Q&A titled Zach Britton, Oriole in Progress was published in these pages. Britton had just completed a rookie season in which he went 11-11, with a 4.61 ERA, in 28 starts. He’d thrown his signature pitch 53% of the time. Fast forward to today. Britton is still in Baltimore, but much has changed. He became a reliever in 2014, and the results have been nothing...
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2 days ago  |  Discuss

NERD Game Scores for September 22, 2016

Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by sabermetric nobleman Rob Neyer, and expanded at the request of nobody, NERD scores represent an attempt to summarize in one number (and on a scale of 0-10) the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. Read more about the components of and formulae for NERD scores here. *** Most...
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2 days ago  |  Discuss

Terrance Gore Is Human After All

This is not how a catcher reacts to your typical regular-season caught stealing: And this is not the sort of enthusiasm with which a catcher is typically met in the post-game high-five line: If you missed what happened in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s game between the Cleveland Indians and the Kansas City Royals, I’ve already spoiled the surprise. Terrance Gore, pinch-runner...
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The Astros Gave the Rangers a Quality Outfielder

I don’t know how else to begin, so let’s begin like this: Over 126 games spent with the Astros, Carlos Gomez was worth 0.6 WAR. Over 25 games spent with the Rangers, Carlos Gomez has been worth 0.7 WAR. Now you know the story — there are characters, there’s a plot. When the Astros acquired Gomez in the first place, they figured he could be a real difference-maker. He’s...
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3 days ago  |  Discuss

Alex Reyes Might Have Saved the Cardinals’ Season

Alex Reyes was only called up in August. He’s appeared in just 10 games, started just three and thrown only 35 of the Cardinals’ 1352.1 innings. He is certainly not the most valuable player on the team. He isn’t the most important, either. He’s not their best reliever (because of Seung Hwan Oh‘s great performance), and he’s not the best starter on the team (that’s Carlos...
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3 days ago  |  Discuss

Let’s Watch Miguel Cabrera Make a Run Happen

In the past, I’ve done a few Let’s Watch posts about Billy Hamilton‘s baserunning. This is because Billy Hamilton is probably the best baserunner in baseball, so some of the things he’s able to do are extraordinary. I know we’ve all gotten used to it — one of the great shames of existence is how quickly we get used to certain things — but Hamilton is legitimately amazing...
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3 days ago  |  Discuss

Kenta Maeda, Then and Now

In 2012, Kenta Maeda threw a curveball or two a game. He threw three or four four-seam fastballs for every sinker. He was a four-seam/slider guy with the occasional changeup, is what he was. And that’s what I had to work with when I tried to find a comp for him and settled on pitchers like Aaron Nola and a young Kenshin Kawakami. I was probably wrong, but it’s also possible...
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3 days ago  |  Discuss

Erasmo Ramirez, Super-Reliever

On Monday, I published a post about Addison Reed, and his Andrew Miller-like transformation with the New York Mets. Within that post, I talked about the Mets’ abundant, high-leverage usage of Reed, and to support that claim, I drew from some numbers hosted on Baseball-Reference — a combination of multi-inning relief outings (meaning three outs or more) and average leverage index...
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3 days ago  |  Discuss

Dave Cameron FanGraphs Chat – 9/21/16

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