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A complicated take on Steve Pearce's 2014 season


Frobby

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Interesting read, thanks Frobby. This part in particular:

He is what I like to call a ?harvester?; his only means of being a productive major league hitter is to cheat to pull at all times. The classic recent example would be Raul Ibanez in Seattle in 2013; his ability to hit the ball where it was pitched with authority had eroded, and he had one weapon left; pull power. He harvested every last bit until pitchers found his newly expanded holes, and put him away for good.

I do expect some regression as pitchers figure out how to keep him from pulling the ball effectively, but hopefully there are enough mistake pitches made so that he can still be a productive member on the club. I think it's a bit dangerous to assume he will come close to his 2014 numbers, though. I hope he can, but I won't be entirely surprised if he can't.

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Interesting read, thanks Frobby. This part in particular:

I do expect some regression as pitchers figure out how to keep him from pulling the ball effectively, but hopefully there are enough mistake pitches made so that he can still be a productive member on the club. I think it's a bit dangerous to assume he will come close to his 2014 numbers, though. I hope he can, but I won't be entirely surprised if he can't.

I see a huge regression because he lost a lot of protection, in the lineup.

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Eh, sure Pearce pulls the crap out of the ball, but he's absolutely shown that he can and will go the other way. He's a lot like Delmon Young in that way. But so far he hasn't needed to go the other way. And to use a Buckism - his contact-to-damage ratio is probably pretty high.

Personally, I dont care if he pulls every darn ball.

Is he producing, then who cares where it is hit to?

The pitchers will try and make adjustments and then the hitter has to adjust to that.

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First, lineup protection is a myth. Second, the batter Pearce hit in front of the most was Adam Jones, followed by JJ Hardy.

Here we go again.

Lineup protection is very real and effectively used as an offensive strategy at all levels of the game. The myth is that its purpose is to improve a player's stats. Every study advancing the false claim that lineup protection does not exist starts with that false premise. Considering lineup protection to be an individual strategy, rather than a team strategy is the blatant flaw in all such arguments and studies.

Every current and former player and coach at all levels, right on down to your church softball league, is well aware of the benefits of lineup protection for the team. They score more runs. This is because the best hitters are being pitched to more often in key situations with men in scoring position when there is a good hitter on deck than when there is a weak hitter on deck. The coach does NOT expect that the hitter will do any better than he normally does - he wants him to perform just as he always does, which is better than a weak hitter. As a result of the strong hitter seeing more pitches to hit in those key situations, and succeeding at his normal rate, the team scores more runs. All managers in MLB will, of course, continue to employ this successful strategy and will, of course, continue to pitch around strong hitters in those key situations when a weak hitter is on deck. Proving that a strong hitter's rate stats aren't effectively changed by employing the strategy proves nothing. That is fully expected. His only stat that is improved is the counting stat of RBI, which the individuals claiming that lineup protection doesn't work conveniently disregard, saying that RBI are lineup dependent and shouldn't be considered. Circular logic. Of course RBI is a lineup-dependent stat, and this is a lineup strategy for the purpose of scoring more runs.

Now, having said all that, Pearce is not an example of a guy that will be any less protected this season than last. If anything, Pearce more-so provided protection last year than received it when he batted lower in the order, IMO. On the occasions that he bats in front of Jones he will be no more or less protected than he was last year.

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