Pirates Discussion: Commanding the Robo Zone

How would the Robo Zone affect pitchers?

Ever since the on-screen strike zone box was introduced, there are probably fewer things that have aggravated fans to the degree of a blatant missed call. Especially now that we have instant feedback.

The rhetoric often surrounds a pitcher hitting his spots and not getting a call, or the pitch framing ability of catchers, such as Henry Davis, and how he’d benefit from a robo zone.

But would we actually be masking a key development of pitchers in the long term? Would command and control become outliers, just as is expected to be of framing ability?

The thought popped into my head watching Tyler Beede pitch to Victor Robles on Wednesday. Beede walked Robles on five pitches. MLB Gameday zone showed two of those balls were in the strike zone.

The second pitch, Perez was set up inside. Beede missed the spot, clipping the outside edge, while the ball hit off the edge of Perez’s glove and caromed to the backstop.

Robo zone: “Strike”

The third pitch, he did hit his spot, and should’ve been called a strike, but I digress.

I think back to Tyler Glasnow’s limited time in Pittsburgh. The second called ball for Beede is precisely one of the many instances I remember with Glasnow. He’d throw a high 90’s heater on the opposite side of the plate from where the catcher was set up, and it be called a ball. From missing his spot so bad, and the catcher having to reach across his body, removing his ability to frame it.

In the short term, it’d be a boost to our psyche as fans, but long term, would the overall development of pitcher’s control be placed on the backburner? Robo Zone would likely provide a boost to finesse pitchers, but throwers may just always remain throwers.

A prospect like Jared Jones, with his stuff, would only have to worry about “throw it in or around this area” as opposed to hitting spots.

BREWERS @ PIRATES

Time: 7:05 PM EST

Pirates Starter: Roansy Contreras (2-1, 2.76)

Brewers Starter: Corbin Burnes (6-4, 2.41)

Contreras Notes: Contreras goes up against 2021 NL Cy Young Winner, Corbin Burnes. Ro tossed five innings of one run ball against the Rays his last time out, although he walked five in the process. This will be the first time seeing Contreras for most of the Brewers lineup, as they have gone a combined  0 for 8 in limited exposure. It’ll be a glimpse into a future marquee matchup, between two front end starters. If Contreras pitches at least five innings, he’ll graduate from all prospect lists.

Lineups: Check back prior to the game.

LINEUPS:

Pirates

Brewers

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TNBucs

I’m just rational enough to not really think Shelton does his best to turn deficits into embarrassing blowouts, but it has crossed my mind that by sinking our Pythagorean record he gives his supporters a chance to tout his ability to get his players to outperform their talent level.

PiratePrimate

VanMeter, the Pirates answer to Ohtani

1979andCounting

The charity graphic on the screen is apropos with the 17-1 score next to it. Donate now!!!

PiratePrimate

Hey, we only need three slams and we’re back in this game

1979andCounting

A big crowd on a Friday night turns into a laugh fest. Nutting was in the house for charity night, wonder if he’s feeling good about his team and putting paying fans thru this.

TNBucs

I hate the way Shelton does this, and really don’t understand his reputation for looking after his players.

PiratePrimate

It was brutal. I’m sure they’ll give him a pat on the back when they send him down after the game.

hoffmark83

This is almost as bad as the DSL Black team’s game the other day

PiratePrimate

Wait until the 9th

b mcferren

tonight’s the night we audition Oneal on the mound?

PiratePrimate

He only closes

PiratePrimate

Vieux’s gonna have to go down just to decompress

hoffmark83

Ok. Which position player is going to pitch the 9th for the Pirates?

hoffmark83

Christ! Vieux is pitching like he is a position player.

AdministrativeSky236

Just got home and new we were down big but i figured id throw it on and watch anyway… it is worse than i imagined

chappy

Just another confirmation of the rule: When something good happens to the Pirates there will be an equally bad-or worse-event that will counteract the good.

zebug

So who’s going tomorrow for the buccos? Got a pool party and wanna know if it’s going to be a sad one watching 8 runs come across in two innings or a happy one lol.

Iowasteel

Well, no no hitter, and no shutout. Small victories, but victories just the same.

roibert.kasperski

One down and 8 to go!

endofline

Games like this is a reminder of how far the Pirates need to go to be competitive.

PiratePrimate

Games like this are what happens sometimes when you play 162

endofline

For most teams a game like this is a once or twice event in a decade. For the Bucs it’s happened several times this year.

skliesen

So much for watching a pitching duel tonight.

Unhappy Ro Day.😩

John Dreker

The good news is that if he pitched five innings tonight, he would have lost his prospect status. Still a top prospect in the system….

PiratePrimate

Let me tell you how good news, bad news works 🙂

1979andCounting

I have a bad feeling. Shelton likes to use position players to pitch.

hoffmark83

Yikes! Not a very happy Roansy day!

PiratePrimate

Well, thank goodness. I thought Shelton was going to leave him in until the game got out of hand.

1979andCounting

This reminds me of Banda’s final performance. Roansy grooving center cut FB’s.

1979andCounting

Tellez HR was just a hot LH hitter turning on a decent inside pitch. But that may be his red zone that you don’t want to go to.

ArkyWags

Yikes Ro…

PiratePrimate

Yelich went far enough and Angel rung him up. I love it when he starts acting like a little bitch. Roansy owns him now.

b mcferren

sources saying Gamel and Vogelbach heading to the Brewers for Cutch

announcements before the national anthem

we sure do need a right handed bat…

Last edited 1 month ago by b mcferren
b mcferren

anybody else notice Oneal’s nod (hat tip) to Cutch last night with the way he crossed home plate after his homerun?

Last edited 1 month ago by b mcferren
AdministrativeSky236

He’s done that for both of his homers so far

BackintheBucs

If you would have told me on June 1st that Hayes and Reynolds would have the same batting average on July 1st, I would have had serious doubts about your baseball expertise, but here they are both at .258.

PiratePrimate

They’ve been going in opposite directions for the last month. Hayes hit a cool .198 in June. Reynolds, .333.

EightMenOut

I like the human element of calling balls and strikes, but it is frustrating when there are calls that are multiple inches off or just too many calls missed in a game. I think one answer is to figure out a way to make the umpires better. One way to do this would be not letting umpires that consistently miss calls to go behind the plate. Move umps up and down between the majors and the minors relatively quickly, such that you have to be good to get called up, and stay good to stick, just like the players. There are also probably training and practicing exercises they could do to get better. Umpire union will not like that, but if the other option is robos umps, then maybe they will!  I have to believe that you can find a few dozen umps who are really good at calling balls and strikes.

TNBucs

The umpires union is probably too powerful for that plan, even though it makes perfect sense. I’d like to see them blend technology with the human element. This could happen in at least a couple of ways. One is to give teams challenges on ball/strike calls and any pitch that is called a ball/strike < x% of the time is overturned. Another is to makes calls outside/inside the zone by at least y inches automatic (ump could get a signal in their headset).

In either case they’d be giving the umps the edges to use their judgement and skills like framing and command (hitting the catcher’s target) remain important.

roibert.kasperski

Happy Ro Day Y’all!!

NMR

Boy do I have a different read on this one.

Removing the extra couple inches from parts of the zone where hitters inarguably struggle most will only increase the value of command for a pitcher, I have to imagine.

The lesson I took from Glasnow’s development wasn’t that he literally started throwing it down the pipe, it was that the natural movement on his pitchers meant that he could target dead nuts and all the ball to carry to the edges. I think command development will only increase in importance as pitchers loose a couple inches off the parts of the zone where hitters struggle most.

PiratePrimate

Marcano batting ninth and we’ve got that second leadoff man which gives a DH lineup an edge. And any team which has a power hitter like Michael Perez batting eighth is a modern version of Murderer’s Row 🙂

Last edited 1 month ago by PiratePrimate
PirateRican21

Shelton has Perez batting 8th’???? Shelton sux!

Iowasteel

Perez improved from -0.8 bWAR to 0 bWAR last night (fangraphs was slightly less kind, but not much). Now if he could only work a little more on that .150 BABIP- it was .115 just two weeks ago.

hoffmark83

Can’t believe he’s not batting cleanup! Fire Shelton now!!

NMR

Matchup of past and future Cy Youngs, you love to see it!

PirateRican21

It’s all about the slider command with Roansy.

hoffmark83

Happy Bobby Bonilla day everyone!

PiratePrimate

It should be Happy Bobby Bonilla’s Agent Day!

PiratePrimate

Anxious to see the Pirates new found power against one of the best in the league. Reynolds, Cruz, Vogelbach and Suwinski make every mistake an adventure in how far can a baseball fly.

AdministrativeSky236

How many 20 HR guys do we have this year? Reynolds, vogey, suwinski all seem like locks if healthy and stay in PGH, chavis could happen and i wouldnt put anything past cruz. I dont know if even the 2013-15 teams had this much boom potential

EightMenOut

Perez just needs 220 more ABs to get to 20 homers, or are we still not suppose to say good things about him?

Wilbur Miller

Could be interesting. 40-for-400 with 20 dingerz and 325 Ks.

AdministrativeSky236

Honestly if he stays up the full year, I could see that happening

ricramer

Roansy likely to break the 50 IP mark for his career tonight.

AdministrativeSky236

This is a really good point BnP! I have found myself becoming more and more frustrated by missing calls, which has felt especially sided against the Bucs recently but likely is recall bias.

My days as a fan have far exceeded my days as an aspiring pitcher at this point, but I do wonder if a pitcher really earns the strike if they yank a FB across the zone, like you described. Are we looking at a future where a lot of guys with loud stuff just have a catcher set up middle middle half the time as that puts them in the best position to catch on either side of the plate? Maybe that is pushing the point too far, or maybe it isn’t. I don’t know, but I do agree that there will be some significant ramifications in the game beyond just getting balls and strikes being called more accurately

john_fluharty

To me it doesn’t matter much where he was throwing it. The strike zone is the strike zone if it’s a strike it’s a strike, period. Some pitchers in general are going to be a lot better off if they just try to throw to an area forget about being so precise. Plus if you miss your spot badly enough it’s a good chance the ball’s going to get clobbered.

tedwins

I simply can not understand why anyone wouldnt want to have pitches called correctly. It is the coolest battle, pitcher vs batter, and having the human error of an umpire is no fun for me…Tennis has gotten it right, point won by who actually won it, sure baseball can do the same…. long day, im irritable, night blog🤷‍♂️🤣

hoptown

What I would do. 7/1 edition.
1) When Gamel is ready, DFA J Van Meter
2) When Newman is ready, send D Castillo down for a little more playing time/seasoning and DFA E Stout
3) When Underwood is ready, DFA A Banda
4) When Tsutsugo is ready, option H Park to AAA
5) When Peters is ready, option A Fletcher to AAA
6) Start de Jong next time thru the rotation
7) Look to trade Gamel, Vogelbach, Newman, Quintana, Stratton, and Crowe, if you can get anything for them. Quintana is the only one with any real value. The others would get a low level suspect at best.
8) Listen to offers for Reynolds and Bednar, but I’d have to be blown away.

ricramer

DFA Tsutsugo when Underwood is ready otherwise not bad. What about Mears?

AdministrativeSky236

Banda was already DFA’d I believe

hoptown

Correct. Forgot. Chg that to A Brice.

AdministrativeSky236

Done! Lol

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