Comments on: First Pitch: Maybe the Pirates Pitching Staff Won’t Regress http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/first-pitch-maybe-the-pirates-pitching-staff-wont-regress.html Your best source for news on the Pittsburgh Pirates and their minor league system. Mon, 08 Sep 2014 03:43:00 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Steve Zielinski http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/first-pitch-maybe-the-pirates-pitching-staff-wont-regress.html#comment-30572 Thu, 04 Jul 2013 19:53:29 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=59475#comment-30572 No jinx!
We need to dehex Mazarro.

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By: esd4 http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/first-pitch-maybe-the-pirates-pitching-staff-wont-regress.html#comment-30570 Thu, 04 Jul 2013 15:48:16 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=59475#comment-30570 Another factor in this year’s run prevention, probably a bigger factor than the shifts, is russell Martin. Martin is buying strikes with his pitch-framing, which has a lot of value in and of itself (about as much as the stated value of the shifts in Santelli’s article), but like the shifts, it also has ancillary benefits. The Pirates are throwing the fewest strikes of any pitching staff in baseball at 43.7%. There’s only a four percentage-point difference between them and the most strike-throwing staff in the game, but that small difference is having a big impact. Basically, the Pirates are throwing the ball low in the zone or even out of the zone and relying on Martin to buy them strikes. By keeping the ball low and out of the hitting zone, they’re getting consistently weak contact. Their GB% is by far the highest in the game, and their LD% is second-lowest (closer to first than to third). The weak contact is a big part of why the defense is able to turn so many BIP into outs. And Russell Martin makes it all possible by being able to buy so many strikes for the staff so that the pitchers can pitch on the edges instead of being forced to come into the zone.

(Just noticed sklieson’s comment above. I should have just responded to that. Coke to you, friend.)

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By: skliesen http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/first-pitch-maybe-the-pirates-pitching-staff-wont-regress.html#comment-30568 Thu, 04 Jul 2013 14:22:30 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=59475#comment-30568 Defensive positioning from the IF are certainly a major component to the Pitcher’s overall effectiveness as this article and James’ article claim. In addition, having Marte covering LF is a valuable piece of the equation, too. However, I would consider what Russell Martin bring to the party to be the biggest change from last year.

Martin’s ability to frame pitches gives “nibblers” like Locke a distinct advantage. Not to mention his cannon for an arm, too.

All of these factors play a part in the positive results generated this year, but Martin’s contributions outweigh the others in my opinion.

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By: rburgh http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/07/first-pitch-maybe-the-pirates-pitching-staff-wont-regress.html#comment-30561 Thu, 04 Jul 2013 11:02:15 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=59475#comment-30561 Hey Tim! You’re coming around. I’ve been making essentially this argument on various sites for about a month now, and I guess it’s starting to take hold. I’m pretty sure it’s a valid concept for discussions within one season, although I don’t think it will necessarily work very well from year to year.

Interestingly, the total number of “shifts” Santelli claims for the Bucs averages out to just over 3 per game, so it’s not like they can’t play straight-up defense very well. I would estimate that Locke’s regression “target” is an ERA of 3.20-3.30, based on his regressing to a BABIP of .265. This is surely good enough to win a lot of games.

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