Thursday, March 31, 2016

Those Shifting Pirates

Baseball Prospectus is running a series entitled "Winter is Leaving." It examines each team in the league. The author chooses something obvious about the team--e.g., the Giants article today talks about how Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner are both good--and expands on it. It's been an entertaining series, and, for those of you unwilling to pay for a BP subscription (despite my recommendation that you do so), it's free.

Anyway, I wrote the article on the Pirates. It's here. The obvious thing I discuss is that the Pirates shift their infielders a lot. The analysis is that the shifts are only the most visible manifestation of the Pirates' run prevention strategy: Get catchers who get a lot of borderline pitches called strikes, pitchers who, aided by the strike calls, generate a lot of ground balls, which are hit to infielders who are positioned optimally to make the play. It's the biggest platform for which I've written. If you click the link, I hope you like it.

And, to follow up on the blatant self-promotion, here is a link to the PowerPoint and here is a link to the audio for the presentation at the Society for American Baseball Research conference I mentioned last week.

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