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Cedric Mullins and the buntin’ Birds

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5 minutes ago, Philip said:

That’s all true. But when you’re being shifted, and everybody in the infield is on the first base side of second except the third baseman, don’t you think there is enough Open ground for him to be able to bunt for a single often enough to at least keep them from shifting against him?

You're not accounting for the pitcher and the catcher.  You could still swing the shortstop to the 2nd base side, have the 2nd baseman out in very short RF, bring the first baseman in to protect against the bunt, you could also have the third baseman in on the bunt, too, if Davis were a threat to bunt.  IIRC, the most effective shifts against Davis have had the 2nd baseman in shallow RF, that seems to be the most crucial part of shifting against him.

In that case, if he bunts it up the first base side, the pitcher fields it and goes to first with it.  Or the first baseman has to field it, and get it to the pitcher who's covering, all depending on where the first baseman is aligned, there are some variables here.  And not a lot of first baseman have experience covering on bunts, there's no Keith Hernandez out there right now.   If he bunts towards third, it should be a pretty standard bunt play.

As Drungo noted, Davis' sprint speed gives the defense a lot of time to work with, much more than Mullins.  But that's all assuming that Davis could actually bunt.

 

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11 minutes ago, Philip said:

That’s all true. But when you’re being shifted, and everybody in the infield is on the first base side of second except the third baseman, don’t you think there is enough Open ground for him to be able to bunt for a single often enough to at least keep them from shifting against him?

I think you're underestimating how difficult it is to bunt a ball exactly where you want to, especially when the pitcher knows you're trying to do it (like when you show bunt on the first pitch and pull back because the ball wasn't where you need it to bunt)

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Mullins ceiling was always going to be a 4th OF/premium defensive replacement. Him and perhaps Alberto are the only players on the team I want bunting. It kinda annoys me that the Os keep bunting in extra innings. It's really not a great strategy when the other team also gets to star with a runner on second. When they are competitive I really hope they really limit doing that if the extras rule is still in place.

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I'm enjoying watching Cedric's game.  He's a throwback to the 80s when many teams had speed in the lead-off position (Rickey Henderson being the best).  Also good to have a CF with speed who can get to balls.  If he continues, he should at minimum be a solid 4th OF entering in late inning situations for defense, PR, situational bunts.

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11 minutes ago, CallMeBrooksie said:

 

Fast guys who can bunt with pinpoint accuracy will become the new moneyball market inefficiency. The Mullins Revolution has arrived.

 

o

 

Seasons: Maury Wills’ 1962 — Not to Be Taken Away

(By Jon Weisman)

https://dodgers.mlblogs.com/seasons-maury-wills-1962-not-to-be-taken-away-37a0abafc717

 

o

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1 hour ago, Moose Milligan said:

I'm surprised defenses haven't already adjusted.  Seems to be obvious as to what's been going on.

Being that it is something that's hardly employed anymore and that it's being done well when done, it's a tough play for a fielder.  It's not an easy hit to field when it's coming off the bat at 40mph, I think someone said.  Keep doing it until the defenses respond.

I love a good bunt!

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1 minute ago, drjohnnyfeva said:

Being that it is something that's hardly employed anymore and that it's being done well when done, it's a tough play for a fielder.  It's not an easy hit to field when it's coming off the bat at 40mph, I think someone said.  Keep doing it until the defenses respond.

I love a good bunt!

I do, too.  I'm not upset about this at all, keep doing it until you can't.

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32 minutes ago, CallMeBrooksie said:

Fast guys who can bunt with pinpoint accuracy will become the new moneyball market inefficiency. The Mullins Revolution has arrived.

It's funny, but there is probably some truth there.  When the entire world has decided there's just one way to do things it opens up opportunities for other strategies.  The world has decided that launch angles and homers are the only way to score runs.

Scouts are essentially 100% in agreement that you can't be a major leaguer without plus-plus bat speed.  I'd love to see a team stock an entire minor league level with guys like Tony Gwynn* who had 80 contact and 35 bat speed.  

* Obviously there isn't a Tony Gwynn behind every tree, but players out of that mold.

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24 minutes ago, CallMeBrooksie said:

I think you're underestimating how difficult it is to bunt a ball exactly where you want to, especially when the pitcher knows you're trying to do it (like when you show bunt on the first pitch and pull back because the ball wasn't where you need it to bunt)

Oh I have no illusions about difficulties. I know it’s hard. But so what? Thats his job. I forgot about the need to get it past the pitcher, But beyond the pitcher are acres of vast empty space. Regardless, if he honestly can’t bunt, then even he can’t deny his uselessness.

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15 minutes ago, beantownrefugee said:

I'm enjoying watching Cedric's game.  He's a throwback to the 80s when many teams had speed in the lead-off position (Rickey Henderson being the best).  Also good to have a CF with speed who can get to balls.  If he continues, he should at minimum be a solid 4th OF entering in late inning situations for defense, PR, situational bunts.

Unfortunately he's a throwback to the worst of the 80s, when teams would lead off a guy with a .290 OBP because speed rocks.  

Luis Aparicio led off approximately 12 million times, stole a lot of bases, and never scored 100 runs in a season because he had a .311 OBP.  Mullins has a .287.

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28 minutes ago, CallMeBrooksie said:

I think you're underestimating how difficult it is to bunt a ball exactly where you want to, especially when the pitcher knows you're trying to do it (like when you show bunt on the first pitch and pull back because the ball wasn't where you need it to bunt)

Which is harder, Chris Davis making solid contact swinging away, or Chris Davis bunting successfully?  I'm not confident in whatever the answer is.

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9 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Which is harder, Chris Davis making solid contact swinging away, or Chris Davis bunting successfully?  I'm not confident in whatever the answer is.

We will be making Chris Davis references long after his time here is up. Our children's children will know of the legend of Chris Davis. He might deserve the O's hof based on that alone.

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58 minutes ago, CallMeBrooksie said:

Fast guys who can bunt with pinpoint accuracy will become the new moneyball market inefficiency. The Mullins Revolution has arrived.

 

29 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

It's funny, but there is probably some truth there.  When the entire world has decided there's just one way to do things it opens up opportunities for other strategies.  The world has decided that launch angles and homers are the only way to score runs.

I think you guys are on to something here.  

Think about it.  Historic results will tell you that in most situations, bunting is an even or negative proposition.  In situations where it is actually positive (say, it makes you more likely to score at least one run in the inning), it still almost always reduces the probability of a big inning, due to the expected out you will be giving up.

However:  Keep in mind that the majority of historic stats and results that tell you this were contributed prior to the Age of Analytical Shifting that started in the early to mid 2010s.   

As far as I know, no one has put up a dedicated experiment of a bunch of speedy control guys bunting all the time.  What does that do to the defense, when they can't play their normal stupid shifting on your guys due to having to not give up guaranteed singles to them every time they come up?  If the defense alters their normal shifts, can your speedy guys (and other guys in the lineup who benefit from reduced shifting because you have base runners on more often during their at bats) take advantage of this exploited defense?

There may very well be more here than meets the eye.

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5 minutes ago, Morgan423 said:

 

I think you guys are on to something here.  

Think about it.  Historic results will tell you that in most situations, bunting is an even or negative proposition.  In situations where it is actually positive (say, it makes you more likely to score at least one run in the inning), it still almost always reduces the probability of a big inning, due to the expected out you will be giving up.

However:  Keep in mind that the majority of historic stats and results that tell you this were contributed prior to the Age of Analytical Shifting that started in the early to mid 2010s.   

As far as I know, no one has put up a dedicated experiment of a bunch of speedy control guys bunting all the time.  What does that do to the defense, when they can't play their normal stupid shifting on your guys due to having to not give up guaranteed singles to them every time they come up?  If the defense alters their normal shifts, can your speedy guys (and other guys in the lineup who benefit from reduced shifting because you have base runners on more often during their at bats) take advantage of this exploited defense?

There may very well be more here than meets the eye.

I think the "mullins revolution" was a bit tongue in cheek.  You'll never convince someone to deploy 9 soft hitting fast guys in a lineup.  Simply pinching your corner infielders in and allowing the .147 cedric mullins bat every time he comes up wouldn't work so well.

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