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Dylan Bundy - Did Our Saber Guys Fail Us?

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https://www.forbes.com/sites/tonyblengino/2020/08/20/the-dylan-bundy-breakthrough-was-totally-foreseeable/#28b9889956db

Not sure if this was posted somewhere else, but somewhat disturbing news if true.  

Article claims we had him using a sub-optimal pitch mix instead of more sliders, fewer FBs.  His BB is down, his K rate is up and his Adjusted Contact Scores are doing very well.

I thought our FO was supposed to do this to other teams, not have it be done to them.  

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I don't know man, throw good pitches more, poor pitches less is pretty next level stuff.

It's been seven starts, he had some good stretches with the O's.  I'm not certain he isn't the same guy.

 

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Water under the bridge, different regime. Even if he were better than he was for us, it would still have been a good idea to trade him, the only difference would’ve been the return.

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10 minutes ago, Philip said:

Water under the bridge, different regime. Even if he were better than he was for us, it would still have been a good idea to trade him, the only difference would’ve been the return.

I don't understand this post.  What does different regime mean?  He pitched in front of Elias and Mejdal for a year.  

The article says another front office simply changed his pitch mix and he has gone from around ERA+ 99 to 178.

Maybe he is pitching against much weaker lineups, but on the surface - this is embarrassing IMO.

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Per an article I saw in Fangraphs, the trends in his pitch mix largely  started last year.   They’ve moved a bit further in the same direction this year.   The one exception is he used his slider just a bit less last year than the year before, but this year has reversed that.   

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/you-can-dream-on-dylan-bundy-again/

PS - I think there’s a Bundy thread already in the MLB forum.   I don’t mind discussing this Forbes article here since it’s related to our pitching development program in a backhand way.   

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7 minutes ago, hoosiers said:

I don't understand this post.  What does different regime mean?  He pitched in front of Elias and Mejdal for a year.  

The article says another front office simply changed his pitch mix and he has gone from around ERA+ 99 to 178.

Maybe he is pitching against much weaker lineups, but on the surface - this is embarrassing IMO.

Yes you’re right. I didn’t recall how long he was here. But I do think that regardless, Bundy isn’t any kind of indictment. He worked with the previous regime for his whole career, spent one year, a year of huge change, under the new group, and didn’t show any significant change. I don’t think that’s unusual, or at least not unexpected. 
 

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Also you have to keep in mind that Elias and Mejdal came in and didn’t have an existing analytics apparatus in place, so they had to essentially build it from scratch, and they probably didn’t have all the data they needed to properly optimize Bundy’s pitch mix until it was too late.  Although to be fair, Bundy was much better in the 2nd half last year, so maybe those were the first signs that he was starting to follow the data and optimize his pitch mix.  I think this is the first year we were going to truly see our data & analytics system make a difference with our pitchers, especially at the major league level,  now that our internal database is fully in place.  Sig’s team was basically building out the data system on the fly last year, and admittedly, they had a lot of catching up to do.  Sure, it looks bad right now that Bundy has gotten off to such a good start, but I don’t think it’s fair to say that the O’s were negligent in how they handled him last year.  As we all know, Bundy has had really good stretches before, only to then struggle, so consistency was really his issue more than anything else.  Clearly the Angels figured out the best way to optimize his pitches and pitch selection, and they deserve credit for that, but I think Bundy was capable of doing the same thing had he still been here this year.  Same goes for Mike Yastrzemski had we given him a chance to play here and not traded him away when we did.  We’ll just never know for sure because we didn’t get a chance to see it happen.

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5 minutes ago, Obando said:

Also you have to keep in mind that Elias and Mejdal came in and didn’t have an existing analytics apparatus in place, so they had to essentially build it from scratch, and they probably didn’t have all the data they needed to properly optimize Bundy’s pitch mix until it was too late.  Although to be fair, Bundy was much better in the 2nd half last year, so maybe those were the first signs that he was starting to follow the data and optimize his pitch mix.  I think this is the first year we were going to truly see our data & analytics system make a difference with our pitchers, especially at the major league level,  now that our internal database is fully in place.  Sig’s team was basically building out the data system on the fly last year, and admittedly, they had a lot of catching up to do.  Sure, it looks bad right now that Bundy has gotten off to such a good start, but I don’t think it’s fair to say that the O’s were negligent in how they handled him last year.  As we all know, Bundy has had really good stretches before, only to then struggle, so consistency was really his issue more than anything else.  Clearly the Angels figured out the best way to optimize his pitches and pitch selection, and they deserve credit for that, but I think Bundy was capable of doing the same thing had he still been here this year.  Same goes for Mike Yastrzemski had we given him a chance to play here and not traded him away when we did.  We’ll just never know for sure because we didn’t get a chance to see it happen.

It's pitch mix.  You don't need a whole system for pitch mix.  The data is out there, even at the fan level.

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31 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

It's pitch mix.  You don't need a whole system for pitch mix.  The data is out there, even at the fan level.

Forbes and Fangraphs both have it, so we certainly can assume Sig had it.   

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It is possible that he is pitching better and that is affecting his pitch selection, i.e. if he is ahead in the count more. 

Also it looks like he has steadily reduced his FB%. The trend started on the O's even if he is taking it to a new level. (61% in 2015, down to 50% in 2019, 39% this year).

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He's definitely pitching better, but I think he has benefited from facing some more forgiving lineups in some bigger ballparks as well. He's still getting a lot of fly ball outs, but Anaheim, Seattle and Oakland are a lot better for a fly ball pitcher than Baltimore, New York and Boston. 

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While sabermetrics and analytics reign king right now, getting out of Camden Yards and the AL East is a big factor.  However, most importantly, COACHING still reigns supreme.  And let's just say, there is a chasm the size of the Grand Canyon between Doug Brocail and Mickey Callaway as far as pitching coaches go.  

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1: I don't think he was entirely healthy last season, and i think the long off-season benefited him.  2: he's had 10-15 game spurts with this level of performance in the past. 3: he probably benefits from park effects more than most.

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9 hours ago, lovetoaster said:

He's definitely pitching better, but I think he has benefited from facing some more forgiving lineups in some bigger ballparks as well. He's still getting a lot of fly ball outs, but Anaheim, Seattle and Oakland are a lot better for a fly ball pitcher than Baltimore, New York and Boston. 

I think this has a lot to do with it as well.  Bundy has traditionally pitched well against the AL West teams if you look at his track record, and while there are definitely some good teams in that division, it’s collectively not as tough as facing AL East teams have been over the last 4 years, not to mention the AL West ballparks are generally more pitcher friendly than parks like Camden Yards, Fenway & Yankee Stadium.  Even Toronto tends to be hitter friendly.  Only Tropicana Field can be considered a pitcher friendly park in the AL East, whereas in the AL West, Oakland, Seattle & Anaheim are clear pitcher friendly parks, while Texas & Houston are more borderline, but probably slightly favor the hitters.

So I think the park factors, plus Bundy throwing his mediocre fastball about 10% less this year, have all contributed to why he has been so successful, at least so far.

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