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Tony-OH

Amazing Video on pitchers cheating in MLB

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1 hour ago, Camden_yardbird said:

I will say what I have said before on Means, there is little evidence in his movements charts that he has gained significant advantage from anything, other than the fact that he now throws a very good curveball that he did not throw his first two years in the league.  I dont know how you measure the effect in the change in performance on the curve and attribute that to either 1) grip enhancer or 2) a guy decided to work on what had been his fourth pitch and improve its performance.

Vertical movement in inches of drop (2018,19, 20, 21):

FB: 16.2, 13.3, 11.8, 11.5

Change:  22.2, 24.6, 20.9, 22.1

Slider: 3.4, 4.6, 4.2, 3.6

Curve: 50.3, 51.9, 54.3, 53

Horizontal (inches)

FB: 3.8, 5.9, 6.4, 6.4

Change: 11, 12.3, 13.4, 12.8

Slider: 3.4, 4.6, 4.2, 3.8

Curve: 0, 3.8, 13.6, 13.8

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/savant-player/john-means-607644?stats=statcast-r-pitching-mlb

For all we know he's been using Bullfrog since he was in high school.

One thing I haven't seen discussed it that it's likely that a significant number of pitchers have been using this stuff for years and if they quit cold turkey they could see performances drop off the side of the planet.

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1 minute ago, DrungoHazewood said:

There's basically no correlation between annual HBP rates and walk rates, which I would expect if the recent increase in HBP was control-related.  It's actually slightly negative meaning over time HBP are a little higher when walks go down.  Walks have stayed between 2.5 and 4 per nine pretty much forever, but HBP have varied from 0.16/game to 0.46/game in the last 40 years.  HBP have nearly tripled since the 80s while walks have stayed between 2.8 and 3.5.

HBP are predominantly being driven by batters standing on top of the plate and wearing protective gear so that they can reach and drive pitches on the outer half.  Maybe aided a little by replay that shows if the ball grazed a sleeve, as well as umps almost never refusing first for the batter not attempting to avoid the pitch. I'd be okay with some rules changes here, like moving the batters box a few inches away from the plate, and requiring batters to wear any protective gear as they run around the bases.  Armor up all you want, but you have to keep it on until you get back to the dugout.  Or... you have to wear it the whole game, in the field, too.

Good points Drungo. I do think some of this is related to the "armored up" batters diving into pitches, but it is interesting the spike since 2018. I honestly don't know what the reason is but it does seem like a lot of guys are getting hit in the head and face of late at all levels.

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1 hour ago, Camden_yardbird said:

I will say what I have said before on Means, there is little evidence in his movements charts that he has gained significant advantage from anything, other than the fact that he now throws a very good curveball that he did not throw his first two years in the league.  I dont know how you measure the effect in the change in performance on the curve and attribute that to either 1) grip enhancer or 2) a guy decided to work on what had been his fourth pitch and improve its performance.

Vertical movement in inches of drop (2018,19, 20, 21):

FB: 16.2, 13.3, 11.8, 11.5

Change:  22.2, 24.6, 20.9, 22.1

Slider: 3.4, 4.6, 4.2, 3.6

Curve: 50.3, 51.9, 54.3, 53

Horizontal (inches)

FB: 3.8, 5.9, 6.4, 6.4

Change: 11, 12.3, 13.4, 12.8

Slider: 3.4, 4.6, 4.2, 3.8

Curve: 0, 3.8, 13.6, 13.8

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/savant-player/john-means-607644?stats=statcast-r-pitching-mlb

The question is, was this stuff what he started to use in the spring of 2019 and beyond?

I see a pretty significant change in fastball Vertical movement from 2018 to now which is probably driven by spin rates. I see more horizontal movement on his change and slider as well and we've seen the development of the curveball in 2020.

BTW, I don't blame Means or any other pitcher for doing this stuff. Doctoring the baseball has been going on for generations and pretty much everyone is probably doing it to some degree. 

It just appears that the new stuff just gives pitchers too much advantage and that's why we're seeing this new emphasis. Saying that, I'm not too thrilled with this happening in the middle of a season because it seems like something that should be addressed in the offseason to give pitchers a chance to adjust.

Either that, or work through the collective bargaining agreement and decide what substance will be allowed to enable pitchers to get a better grip than just mud-rubbed up baseballs.  

 

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Just now, Tony-OH said:

Either that, or work through the collective bargaining agreement and decide what substance will be allowed to enable pitchers to get a better grip than just mud-rubbed up baseballs.  

 

Might I suggest Rosin?  It's a sticky substance derived from fir tree sap.  They could put it in a bag on the mound.  😉

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Palmer said the best way to use the rosin bag was to put it on his forearms - to stop the sweat from reaching his hands.  He said he wouldn't put it on his hands.  Sweat was the biggest problem for him in gripping the ball.  

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10 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

Might I suggest Rosin?  It's a sticky substance derived from fir tree sap.  They could put it in a bag on the mound.  😉

I'm fairly certain you know that I know that rosin bags exist. Clearly pitchers have been using more than Rosin for a long time, so it either doesn't work well enough or pitchers just realize they can get more of advantage using other substances. 

"strict rulebook interpretation says that you can’t use anything but the rosin bag. Rosin does little besides dry a pitcher’s hand, which can actually inhibit grip to a degree." https://www.blessyouboys.com/2021/1/11/22221047/major-league-baseball-pine-tar-pitching-angels-trevor-bauer-gerrit-cole-max-scherzer

 

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7 minutes ago, Tony-OH said:

I'm fairly certain you know that I know that rosin bags exist. Clearly pitchers have been using more than Rosin for a long time, so it either doesn't work well enough or pitchers just realize they can get more of advantage using other substances. 

"strict rulebook interpretation says that you can’t use anything but the rosin bag. Rosin does little besides dry a pitcher’s hand, which can actually inhibit grip to a degree." https://www.blessyouboys.com/2021/1/11/22221047/major-league-baseball-pine-tar-pitching-angels-trevor-bauer-gerrit-cole-max-scherzer

 

Right, hence the emoticon. 

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28 minutes ago, Tony-OH said:

The question is, was this stuff what he started to use in the spring of 2019 and beyond?

I see a pretty significant change in fastball Vertical movement from 2018 to now which is probably driven by spin rates. I see more horizontal movement on his change and slider as well and we've seen the development of the curveball in 2020.

BTW, I don't blame Means or any other pitcher for doing this stuff. Doctoring the baseball has been going on for generations and pretty much everyone is probably doing it to some degree. 

It just appears that the new stuff just gives pitchers too much advantage and that's why we're seeing this new emphasis. Saying that, I'm not too thrilled with this happening in the middle of a season because it seems like something that should be addressed in the offseason to give pitchers a chance to adjust.

Either that, or work through the collective bargaining agreement and decide what substance will be allowed to enable pitchers to get a better grip than just mud-rubbed up baseballs.  

 

I went back and watched some video of Means in Bowie vs his no hitter this year (again, screw you Severino...) 

It could just be the camera angle for the minors, but his arm slot has changed. When he was with Bowie and Frederick, he released the ball from a slightly above 90 degree arm slot. With Baltimore against Seattle, his arm slot was more “vertical.” He still had some elbow bend, but not nearly as much. He also seems to put more emphasis into the pitch while having a more pronounced follow thru towards 3rd. Before, he would just kind of “finish” in that direction where now, he spins that way more aggressively. Throwing from a more “vertical” axis could explain his curveball being more developed, due to the angle.

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30 minutes ago, Legend_Of_Joey said:

I went back and watched some video of Means in Bowie vs his no hitter this year (again, screw you Severino...) 

It could just be the camera angle for the minors, but his arm slot has changed. When he was with Bowie and Frederick, he released the ball from a slightly above 90 degree arm slot. With Baltimore against Seattle, his arm slot was more “vertical.” He still had some elbow bend, but not nearly as much. He also seems to put more emphasis into the pitch while having a more pronounced follow thru towards 3rd. Before, he would just kind of “finish” in that direction where now, he spins that way more aggressively. Throwing from a more “vertical” axis could explain his curveball being more developed, due to the angle.

Thats in line with what Driveline teaches pitchers.  As much as spin rate matters, the axis of that spin, as effected by arm slot, grip, etc, matters just as much if not more.

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On 6/8/2021 at 3:54 PM, Tony-OH said:

I watched this video and was pretty amazed at how often pitchers are clearly cheating in the MLB.

Watch this. What are your thoughts?

 

This was a really good video, thanks for sharing it.

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