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Three Run Homer

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  1. This is about where I am as well. Another possibility is Mountcastle and Mancini split time 1B and DH, with Stewart getting one more shot in LF and Nunez getting a shot at 3B. There are questions about whether Mountcastle has the arm even for LF. If it comes down to Nunez or Mountcastle at DH, I'd rather see Mountcastle. More upside with the bat.
  2. I had hoped that Davis would be released this offseason. However, given Elias' comments, it's clear that Davis will at least be allowed to show up at ST. At least Elias has given himself some wiggle room to release Davis prior to opening day, if Davis doesn't show any improvement in ST (not necessarily in terms of results, but in terms of observables such as bat speed, frequency and quality of contact, and so on). The 26th roster space makes it easier to keep Davis around, but any time he plays next season he'll be taking playing time away from someone more deserving or at least more important to the O's long term success (e.g. Mountcastle, Nunez, or DJ Stewart).
  3. I don't see how Ryan Mountcastle can get an opportunity in Baltimore as long as Chris Davis is still on the roster. The O's have too many LF/1B/DH types even without Chris Davis, and Mountcastle has done more than enough to earn a shot. I think this offseason is when they finally pull the trigger on Davis.
  4. Villar is probably having a career year, but even with some regression he's a much better player than I gave him credit for coming into the season.
  5. The only reason Mountcastle would start at AAA is if they are trying to fiddle with his service clock. He has nothing to prove at AAA.
  6. Has Harvey been used in any back to back situations this year (even in the minors)? Maybe they are just trying to get him to the end of the season without any injuries and they'll worry about building his resilience up next spring.
  7. There are videos of the play. Please watch it before you say that I am overreacting. There was a live play going on all around him, with his catcher racing to the backstop and runners circling the basses, and he just walked slowly off the mound like nothing was going on.
  8. I can understand brain farts. If Bundy just had a brain fart then at some point he would have reacted instinctively and made a break for home to try to get the second runner. But Bundy never even twitched towards home plate. His body language throughout the episode suggested that he was mad at his defense and didn't give a damn if two runs came in. That's bush league. He was putting his own anger and sense of grievance ahead of the team. The dictionary definition of "saunter", by the way, is to walk in a slow, unhurried manner. In what way was Bundy not "sauntering"? He was walking slowly towards the dugout the whole time.
  9. Bad defense is one thing. Sauntering off the pitcher's mound after a passed ball while two runners come in to score is another. Bundy's tantrum last night is one of the most disgusting things I've ever seen in an MLB game. I wouldn't mind one bit if the Orioles released him today.
  10. Getting back on topic, I see signs in recent weeks that Miguel Castro is figuring it out. He has the stuff to be a back-end reliever and is still young. The silver lining to being a non-competitive team is that you can keep giving a talented but inconsistent player like Castro chances to get better.
  11. Was it my imagination or did Sisco stumble on both of the throws in the 8th inning last night? Maybe it's his footwork rather than the arm strength that's the problem. A good throw definitely would have had the force at third on Merrifield's bunt. I don't think there was any chance to get the force at second on the previous bunt, even with the catcher running--the runner had too good of a jump. It was not just a poor throw by Sisco, but a poor decision (actually two poor decisions--the ball was rolling foul, and once he picked it up, he should have thrown to first).
  12. How does Rutschman look with the bat and glove so far? Does his on-the-field performance so far suggest that he will live up to being drafted 1:1?
  13. He went 3 for 5 tonight. Now slashing 0.358/0.368/0.604 in 13 games AAA. Good for him that he is seizing the opportunity and forcing his way into the Orioles' plans.
  14. There needs to be a special video tribute to those who are no longer with us who have done so much to make today possible...Dan Straily and David Hess.
  15. So I had a grand theory all ready to explain modern baseball, based on the impact of the information revolution on defense. According to the theory, better data has allowed teams to better measure individual defense and the contribution of defense to run prevention, which has led to increased emphasis on defensive ability in personnel decisions. Better data has also led to shifts and other improvements in defensive positioning. All of these factors have led in theory to improved defensive efficiency--an increase in the percentage of balls in play that are converted into outs. In turn, this has led to a change in optimal offensive strategies. If it's harder to get hits on balls in play, then it is less likely that you will be able to score runs by stringing a bunch of singles together, or by using small ball tactics like base stealing, the hit and run and the sacrifice. Teams thus optimally put more emphasis on power in personnel decisions, because a home run is the one way to score runs that can't be stopped by good defense. Great theory, huh? Then I looked at the data. Here are the numbers for aggregate defensive efficiency for MLB since 2001: 2001: 0.691 2002: 0.695 2003: 0.694 2004: 0.691 2005: 0.693 2006: 0.687 2007: 0.686 2008: 0.689 2009: 0.690 2010: 0.691 2011: 0.694 2012: 0.691 2013: 0.692 2014: 0.690 2015: 0.689 2016: 0.688 2017: 0.688 2018: 0.691 So twenty years into the defensive revolution, we have...the same defensive efficiency that we had in 2001. Teams on the whole are doing no better today at converting balls in play into outs than they were in 2001, despite all of the shifts and all of the zone ratings and other defensive measures that are now available. So much for my theory. Some earlier posts suggest another theory--improved pitch design and velocity have made it harder to hit for contact, which increases strikeouts and reduces batting average. In turn this leads to a greater emphasis on power at the expense of contact, increasing home runs, further increasing strikeouts and further reducing batting average. That theory may be correct, but it's less obvious to me that the correct strategic response to improved pitch design and velocity is to sacrifice contact for power. It could go the other way--in response to better pitching, it is even more important to hit for contact, to put the ball in play, to sustain an offense. It would take a model simulation to determine whether the optimal response to power pitching is to emphasize power hitting. Or it could just be a juiced ball!
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