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Britton on the use of analytics in New York vs. Baltimore

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Britton has one of the best seasons a reliever has ever had his last healthy season in Baltimore. How much more could analytics change that?

Plus it doesn’t seem like other teams’ pitchers are that smart to see how to find Davis’ holes in his swing to to throw low and away breaking balls to Jones, Machado, and Schoop. 

Edited by sportsfan8703
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3 hours ago, Frobby said:

This is interesting information.    All I know about Gelles is she went to Amherst, like Duquette.   I’d be interested to know what kind of specific negative things you’ve heard about her.    I could see the old school guys saying negative things just because they don’t like the newfangled analytics.  Or, I could see people who know what they’re talking about saying she’s not as good as her peers in the industry.    In any event I think we are under-resourced in this area.  

From this 2016 article https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/sunday-notes-orioles-analytics-freeland-expos-more

Quote

 

Sarah Gelles was recently given a new title. The Baltimore Orioles’ Director of Analytics since April 2014, she is now the Director of Analytics and Major League Contracts. Based on her career track, don’t be surprised if she one day becomes a general manager.

In 2010, Gelles graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College with a degree in Law, Jurisprudence & Social Thought. Along the way, she interned for the Pirates in their baseball operations department. Upon leaving school, she worked for Major League Baseball’s Labor Relations Department. After that, she served a year-long internship with the Orioles before being hired full time when Dan Duquette became team president in November 2011.

She began making her mark even before Duquette arrived. While still an intern, Gelles “identified an area of need in the organization, and started to build out our first internal database.”

Think about that for a moment. One year out of college, an intern initiated one of the most-meaningful advancements in team history.

 

It sounds as if she was given this role a year out of college with a degree completely unrelated to analytics, because what they had before was stone zero.

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1 hour ago, sportsfan8703 said:

Britton has one of the best seasons a reliever has ever had his last healthy season in Baltimore. How much more could analytics change that?

Plus it doesn’t seem like other teams’ pitchers are that smart to see how to find Davis’ holes in his swing to to throw low and away breaking balls to Jones, Machado, and Schoop. 

I think the fact that the Astros can turn Charlie Morton into a lights out pitcher or that the Yankees consistently find gems like Luke Voit speaks to the value of the non-obvious benefits of analytics.

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22 minutes ago, theocean said:

I think the fact that the Astros can turn Charlie Morton into a lights out pitcher or that the Yankees consistently find gems like Luke Voit speaks to the value of the non-obvious benefits of analytics.

Analytics allowed Charlie Morton to all of a sudden throw a high 90s fastball in his mid thirties?

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12 minutes ago, Mendoza Line said:

Analytics allowed Charlie Morton to all of a sudden throw a high 90s fastball in his mid thirties?

It's simple they went, Charlie, the analytics show you will be more successful if you threw the ball a lot harder.

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13 minutes ago, Mendoza Line said:

Analytics allowed Charlie Morton to all of a sudden throw a high 90s fastball in his mid thirties?

That wasn’t analytics that was just pushback against traditional coaching of a low effort delivery and it happened before he joined the Astros.

Now both him and Cole and others have improved with the Astros due to there analytics based philosophy of pitch selection.

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There is an avalanche of potentially helpful data being developed, much of it developed by teams (like the stuff Britton appears to be talking about) and vendors and not publicly available. To use that data effectively, you need two things.

The first is a staff that is sufficient in size and effective at thinking creatively about, developing and presenting that data. I have long had the impression, confirmed by the numbers from the Athletic earlier today, that the Orioles have a smaller and less effective staff than most other teams. I understood, though it was probably just an assumption on my part, that the small staff was the result of the owner's parsimony and lack of interest in analytics, as part of his decision to pour money into the MLB payroll and skimp everywhere else. I heard good things about Gelles a few years ago, but nothing lately -- didn't even know she was still around. Maybe she's part of the problem. But you can't expect the Orioles analytics people to accomplish with a staff of five what the Yankees do with 20. You've got to find good people and pay them enough to retain them.

The second is team leaders, in the front office and the dugout, who are open, even aggressive, about considering new ideas and approaches (and how adept that person at deciding, with input and recommendations from those with expertise) which ones to embrace, which ones to consider skeptically and which ones to reject. I don't know how Duquette was out on that. It's obvious that Buck never was, and almost certainly never will be, open to making extensive use of analytics, especially new, cutting-edge stuff. It's not a matter of age -- that's just Buck.

I hope the Orioles take this opportunity to fix their deficiencies in both areas. But then again, I hope for a lot of things.      

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3 minutes ago, Luke-OH said:

That wasn’t analytics that was just pushback against traditional coaching of a low effort delivery and it happened before he joined the Astros.

Now both him and Cole and others have improved with the Astros due to there analytics based philosophy of pitch selection.

They are heavy into spin rate, also Verlander.

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Britton with the Yankees

August: Innings Pitched - 13.2, Earned Runs - 7, WHIP - 1.350

September: Innings Pitched - 9, Earned Runs - 0, WHIP - 0.724

Something helped him improve. Analytics?

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What are some examples of analytics? Guess I don't know much since the O's don't do it. I saw someone mention outfielders have cars with spray charts for different hitters, any other fun examples? 

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2 hours ago, Mendoza Line said:

Analytics allowed Charlie Morton to all of a sudden throw a high 90s fastball in his mid thirties?

Thank you.

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Zach didn’t much need those analytics when he was an actual closer...unlike whatever he is now for the MFYs.  Best to just shut up, Zach, old buddy. 

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3 hours ago, Mendoza Line said:

Analytics allowed Charlie Morton to all of a sudden throw a high 90s fastball in his mid thirties?

I don't think that's true. I think working with an outstanding pitching coach who truly understand movement patterns and contraints had more to do with that than analytics.

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9 hours ago, esmd said:

While overall I agree with you, in this case Britton went out of his way to state that he wasn't getting this info in Baltimore.  He could've just said that it's great info and it helps him prepare and be more effective, the standard boilerplate response.  But he didn't do that, he went out of his way to say how much more it was in NY vice here.  That's not overblown, IMO, and it's fair to conclude that we're behind other teams.

I upvoted you. Thank you for a well reasoned and thought out response. Somewhat rare here.

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