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icehole3
02-24-2012, 07:06 AM
“All the people see is negative parts. The name of the game is he who touches home plate the most wins. It’s very simple. Runs. How you get them home doesn’t matter."

I agree with him, scoring runs is huge, RBI is huge too IMO. :)

RedsManRick
02-24-2012, 08:13 AM
“All the people see is negative parts. The name of the game is he who touches home plate the most wins. It’s very simple. Runs. How you get them home doesn’t matter."

I agree with him, scoring runs is huge, RBI is huge too IMO. :)

Unless, of course, your job is to figure out how to get more of them.

The Voice of IH
02-24-2012, 08:13 AM
Did someone follow up asking him if he believed their was better strategies to score runs than others? And if he could give a realistic example of how this team can manufacture them throughout the season?

klw
02-24-2012, 08:35 AM
“ The name of the game is he who touches home plate the most wins. ."

Wait lets slow down and make sure we understand this. Is what Dusty is saying that the team that gets the most runs win or is he saying we should train the catcher to tap the plate a lot when he is out there? I think it is the first but the second would be really interesting to run some sabr studies on. Come to think of it do we know of any studies that show how this score the most runs theory verifies?

Edit: I found this verification done for the 2011 season. http://espn.go.com/mlb/standings From what I can tell is they looked at which team scored the most runs in a game and assigned a win or loss result to it. They used the old school terms of win and loss as opposed to the more modern RC/27. It will be curious to see how Dusty's theory plays out over the 2012 season and which other teams will implement this philosophy of trying to score more runs than the opponent. From what chatter I have heard the theory is being adopted by most teams with the possible exception of Houston which is seeking to adopt golf scoring rules for this season.

Vottomatic
02-24-2012, 08:49 AM
The problem is, when some guys are batting, they tap home plate with the toe part of their shoes, and those don't count as runs.

Therefore, his quote doesn't completely make sense.

RANDY IN INDY
02-24-2012, 08:54 AM
It's a simple game.

redsmetz
02-24-2012, 08:56 AM
Out of fairness to Baker, the quote above is taken out of context. The blurb was about batters striking out. He mentioned Stubbs, but also included the number of K's for Votto, Bruce and Heisey. The paragraph prior to this said:

“Stubbs wasn’t the only guy,” Baker said. “He just had the most. Just imagine how good our offense would be if we put it in play a little more. We were still second in the league in runs scored."

The point of the piece was that the club plans on working with batters to cut down on those strike outs, although he noted that most of these guys (presumably being the type of batters they are) have had a number of K's their whole life.

Here's the link to the whole piece: http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20120223/SPT04/302230066

RANDY IN INDY
02-24-2012, 09:00 AM
Uhh, ohh.:rolleyes: Here comes the strikeouts aren't bad because double plays suck debate. :rolleyes:

Chip R
02-24-2012, 09:01 AM
Uhh, ohh.:rolleyes: Here comes the strikeouts aren't bad because double plays suck debate. :rolleyes:

http://www.kaputproducts.com/images/combo-bait-mini-blocks-4lb.jpg

icehole3
02-24-2012, 09:16 AM
Uhh, ohh.:rolleyes: Here comes the strikeouts aren't bad because double plays suck debate. :rolleyes:

Im sorry, I dont care about all the gazillion stats, K's are bad anyway you look at it :)

redsmetz
02-24-2012, 09:19 AM
Uhh, ohh.:rolleyes: Here comes the strikeouts aren't bad because double plays suck debate. :rolleyes:

Not sure where your comment is aimed, but I certainly didn't take that away from the article or Baker's comments. Or is it just the general expectation of where such a discussion ends up? While I'm sure it's commonplace, I'm glad the club intends to try to rectify this situation. It remains to be seen whether they can succeed, but anything that allows these guys to put the ball in play more often has to be a good thing.

RANDY IN INDY
02-24-2012, 09:50 AM
If you have been here a while, you know what happens when strikeouts get discussed. My take, is the same as icehole3:


I'm sorry, I dont care about all the gazillion stats, K's are bad anyway you look at it

Ghosts of 1990
02-24-2012, 09:54 AM
It's a simple game, yet it's not. Which is why it's so perplexing sometimes. Which is why many of us love it.

RANDY IN INDY
02-24-2012, 09:57 AM
It certainly lends itself to second guessing, where the "second guesser" can never be wrong. Where's red_in_la? He and I used to go round and round about second guessing. To the extent that I started defending a manager that I didn't care for. I miss him.

Sea Ray
02-24-2012, 10:01 AM
At least the strike out lovers around here have shut up on the Adam Dunn's a Hall of Famer talk. Be thankful for small miracles...

RANDY IN INDY
02-24-2012, 10:02 AM
At least the strike out lovers around here have shut up on the Adam Dunn's a Hall of Famer talk. Be thankful for small miracles...

:laugh:

:beerme:

Sea Ray
02-24-2012, 10:05 AM
:laugh:

:beerme:

The ironic thing is stats don't win arguments in the ORG. Time does and I take solace in that

nate
02-24-2012, 10:08 AM
This thread is the poster child for passive aggressive baiting.

Edd Roush
02-24-2012, 10:38 AM
This thread is the poster child for passive aggressive baiting.

Agreed. As a Dunn fan, I am not taking the bait.

Boss-Hog
02-24-2012, 10:46 AM
Uhh, ohh.:rolleyes: Here comes the strikeouts aren't bad because double plays suck debate. :rolleyes:

Comments like this do not add anything productive to the discussion.

Boss-Hog
02-24-2012, 10:47 AM
At least the strike out lovers around here have shut up on the Adam Dunn's a Hall of Famer talk. Be thankful for small miracles...

This doesn't, either. This is flat out baiting others and I have no tolerance for that.

Sea Ray
02-24-2012, 10:51 AM
This doesn't, either. This is flat out baiting others and I have no tolerance for that.

All right, we'll behave ourselves...:redface:

puca
02-24-2012, 12:51 PM
At least the strike out lovers around here have shut up on the Adam Dunn's a Hall of Famer talk. Be thankful for small miracles...

Seriously because everyone knows lots of strikeouts imply not Hall of Fame worthy. Here is a list to prove it:



The Top 16 Major League Baseball career strikeout leaders (through the 2011 season):

1.Reggie Jackson – 2,597
2.Jim Thome – 2,487
3.Sammy Sosa – 2,306
4.Andrés Galarraga – 2,003
5.José Canseco – 1,942
6.Willie Stargell – 1,936
7.Alex Rodriguez – 1,916
8.Mike Cameron – 1,901
9.Mike Schmidt – 1,883
10.Fred McGriff – 1,882
11.Tony Perez – 1,867
12.Dave Kingman – 1,816
13.Manny Ramirez - 1,813
14.Adam Dunn - 1,809
15.Ken Griffey Jr. - 1,779
16.Bobby Abreu - 1,763

MikeThierry
02-24-2012, 01:36 PM
Seriously because everyone knows lots of strikeouts imply not Hall of Fame worthy. Here is a list to prove it:



The Top 16 Major League Baseball career strikeout leaders (through the 2011 season):

1.Reggie Jackson – 2,597
2.Jim Thome – 2,487
3.Sammy Sosa – 2,306
4.Andrés Galarraga – 2,003
5.José Canseco – 1,942
6.Willie Stargell – 1,936
7.Alex Rodriguez – 1,916
8.Mike Cameron – 1,901
9.Mike Schmidt – 1,883
10.Fred McGriff – 1,882
11.Tony Perez – 1,867
12.Dave Kingman – 1,816
13.Manny Ramirez - 1,813
14.Adam Dunn - 1,809
15.Ken Griffey Jr. - 1,779
16.Bobby Abreu - 1,763


Is this some inside joke I'm missing? Isn't strikeout rate the best way to look at strikeouts rather than pure strikeouts?

westofyou
02-24-2012, 01:56 PM
This thread is the poster child for passive aggressive baiting.

The epitome of weak

RedsManRick
02-24-2012, 01:56 PM
My 60 second rant on strikeouts:

Outs are bad. All of them. Full stop.

If you had the ability to choose between a strikeout and a batted ball, I'll take the batted ball. If that's all Dusty is saying, he's stating the obvious. But if he's suggesting that guys like Stubbs should being changing their approach in order to strikeout less, then he's opening a can of worms.

If a guy could just make a tweak to his approach and could strikeout a lot less, why hasn't he done so already? Sure, there are probably some guys who simply have never considered/tried that new approach. But it's not like cutting your swing down with 2 strikes is novel. You learn that in little league. By the time a guy gets the big leagues, I'm guessing he has a pretty good idea of what works for him, what produces the most overall given his skill set. If you're a bad contact hitter but you have some power, becoming a merely poor contact hitter at the expense of that power may not be the best idea.

How often a guy strikes out has a lot more to do with his talent than his approach and you can't change his talent. And if you change a guys approach, you can't just change the subset of outcomes you care about. You change all of the outcomes that are affected by that approach.

For some guys, you're going to get more production from them if you just let them strike out than if you force them to take an approach that doesn't take advantage of their natural talent, is not something they've done before and is not something they're comfortable doing.

I don't like strikeouts. Actually, I hate strikeouts. They're painful to watch and there's no possibility of a positive outcome. But I also hate weak grounders to SS and pop-ups behind 2B. At the end of the day, give me a guy who hits .240/.320/.450 and strikes outs out 200 times over one who hits .270/.330/.400 and only strikes out 120 times.

Those of us on the "pro strikeout" side of this debate hate strikeouts too. We just like the production that tends to come with them and don't want to seen the baby thrown out with the bathwater.

RedsManRick
02-24-2012, 01:57 PM
At least the strike out lovers around here have shut up on the Adam Dunn's a Hall of Famer talk. Be thankful for small miracles...

You know, it's funny how Dunn's production when down when he started getting obsessed about cutting down on the strikeouts. One could make an argument that worrying about strikeouts is what derailed his career.

Johnny Footstool
02-24-2012, 02:04 PM
The ironic thing is stats don't win arguments in the ORG. Time does and I take solace in that

No one has ever failed to win an argument in the ORG. Ask anyone.

Raisor
02-24-2012, 04:38 PM
I worry more about what a player is doing when he isn't striking out.

dougdirt
02-24-2012, 04:44 PM
If you have been here a while, you know what happens when strikeouts get discussed. My take, is the same as icehole3:

Strikeouts aren't the ideal result, but we know that strikeouts don't stop you from being productive, even though some would like to claim that they do.

AtomicDumpling
02-24-2012, 04:47 PM
How many outs you make is 100x more important than how you make them.

dougdirt
02-24-2012, 04:48 PM
How many outs you make is 100x more important than how you make them.

Certainly, but how often you strike out leads to how many outs you tend to make because BABIP generally works. A lot of other things go into it (power, walks, ability to avoid pop ups)....

Sea Ray
02-24-2012, 06:51 PM
I would opine that strikeouts are the biggest problem in Drew Stubbs game.

dougdirt
02-24-2012, 07:54 PM
I would opine that strikeouts are the biggest problem in Drew Stubbs game.

Certainly. But the fact that he strikes out a lot doesn't mean he isn't or can't be productive.

RedsManRick
02-24-2012, 10:05 PM
I would opine that strikeouts are the biggest problem in Drew Stubbs game.

Agreed completely. And if could cut them down without giving up other things he does well, I'd be 100% in support of that.

VR
02-24-2012, 11:00 PM
Bronson Arroyo needs to strike out more batters.

Wait, never mind. :)

cincrazy
02-25-2012, 12:07 AM
I haven't read through too much of this thread, so I'm not addressing anyone or anything in particular, but I think sometimes, me included, we tend to read too much into what Dusty says.

GAC
02-25-2012, 05:20 AM
The only time a strikeout bothered me was in slow pitch softball. Especially if it's a called third strike. :D

jojo
02-25-2012, 07:16 AM
Im sorry, I dont care about all the gazillion stats, K's are bad anyway you look at it :)

Special K as part of your regular diet can lower your cholesterol and help you lose weight. Also you can have cake without frosting but you can not have it without k..... It's one of life's ironies.... Remove the k from cake and all you're left with is cae....

edabbs44
02-25-2012, 07:27 AM
Agreed completely. And if could cut them down without giving up other things he does well, I'd be 100% in support of that.

That's kind of easy to say in a hypothetical sense.

edabbs44
02-25-2012, 07:28 AM
I haven't read through too much of this thread, so I'm not addressing anyone or anything in particular, but I think sometimes, me included, we tend to read too much into what Dusty says.

Yep.

blumj
02-25-2012, 08:00 AM
Special K as part of your regular diet can lower your cholesterol and help you lose weight. Also you can have cake without frosting but you can not have it without k..... It's one of life's ironies.... Remove the k from cake and all you're left with is cae....
If you can do gluten free, sugar free, nonfat, nondairy, eggless, you can certainly do K-free. I'd suggest a torte, but a gateau, pastry, or pudding could work as well.

Mario-Rijo
02-25-2012, 09:02 AM
You know, it's funny how Dunn's production when down when he started getting obsessed about cutting down on the strikeouts. One could make an argument that worrying about strikeouts is what derailed his career.

1st one would have to prove he ever started obsessing about it. I don't think anyone has even a shred of proof he even cared about changing it at all, let alone enough to consider it an obsession.

Mario-Rijo
02-25-2012, 09:04 AM
Certainly. But the fact that he strikes out a lot doesn't mean he isn't or can't be productive.

I think it will mean he can't be, then what? Maybe we can blame it on him becoming obsessed with changing it.

Sea Ray
02-25-2012, 09:10 AM
Agreed completely. And if could cut them down without giving up other things he does well, I'd be 100% in support of that.

My point is, strike outs do matter and they're a bad thing. If Drew Stubbs made more contact he'd likely be a very productive starter for us. If he continues 2011 into 2012 then he'll likely find himself out of a job. That's how important strike outs are

dougdirt
02-25-2012, 09:13 AM
I think it will mean he can't be, then what? Maybe we can blame it on him becoming obsessed with changing it.

Except he already has been.

dougdirt
02-25-2012, 09:23 AM
My point is, strike outs do matter and they're a bad thing. If Drew Stubbs made more contact he'd likely be a very productive starter for us. If he continues 2011 into 2012 then he'll likely find himself out of a job. That's how important strike outs are

Except Rick's point is, simply being able to strike out less may not mean better production. Only if the contact is reduced while also keeping up the ability to hit the ball with authority. If he has to become Juan Pierre and just flail at the ball to make "enough contact", then he isn't likely to actually become "very productive".

Clearly, if Stubbs could cut his strikeout rate to 20% and still maintain his normal BABIP, walk rate and power output he would become a vastly superior player (.285/.355/.460 would roughly be his new line if all of that worked out). But, could Stubbs drop his strikeout rate significantly while also being able to do those other things? History doesn't suggest too many guys can.

Sea Ray
02-25-2012, 10:14 AM
Except Rick's point is, simply being able to strike out less may not mean better production. Only if the contact is reduced while also keeping up the ability to hit the ball with authority. If he has to become Juan Pierre and just flail at the ball to make "enough contact", then he isn't likely to actually become "very productive".

Clearly, if Stubbs could cut his strikeout rate to 20% and still maintain his normal BABIP, walk rate and power output he would become a vastly superior player (.285/.355/.460 would roughly be his new line if all of that worked out). But, could Stubbs drop his strikeout rate significantly while also being able to do those other things? History doesn't suggest too many guys can.

No question. I think we all get that but if Stubbs career ends with him not being able to improve his game what will his epitath be? I'd venture a guess that it'd be something like this "man, he really would have been something if not for all the strike outs".

My point is too many strike outs is a negative factor when evaluating a player. What makes guys like Manny and Vlad so valuable is that they can put up such gaudy numbers without many strike outs. Ditto for Joe Dimaggio

dougdirt
02-25-2012, 10:30 AM
No question. I think we all get that but if Stubbs career ends with him not being able to improve his game what will his epitath be? I'd venture a guess that it'd be something like this "man, he really would have been something if not for all the strike outs".

My point is too many strike outs is a negative factor when evaluating a player. What makes guys like Manny and Vlad so valuable is that they can put up such gaudy numbers without many strike outs. Ditto for Joe Dimaggio

Every player could have the same thing said about them. Ken Griffey Jr could have been Ted Williams.... if he didn't strike out as much. Sure, Stubbs has a much larger strikeout problem than Griffey did. But everyone could be better if we took their largest weakness and made it less of a weakness while keeping their strengths the same.

Sea Ray
02-25-2012, 11:01 AM
Every player could have the same thing said about them. Ken Griffey Jr could have been Ted Williams.... if he didn't strike out as much. Sure, Stubbs has a much larger strikeout problem than Griffey did. But everyone could be better if we took their largest weakness and made it less of a weakness while keeping their strengths the same.

No question. I don't think we've identified any disagreement.

Stubbs' strikeout rate is a weakness. In the past some have argued that strikeouts are not a weakness and that they're just another out

jojo
02-25-2012, 11:40 AM
No question. I don't think we've identified any disagreement.

Stubbs' strikeout rate is a weakness. In the past some have argued that strikeouts are not a weakness and that they're just another out

Stubbs has a career krate of 28%. Mike Cameron had a similar krate during one of his best seasons.

IslandRed
02-25-2012, 11:40 AM
Stubbs' strikeout rate is a weakness. In the past some have argued that strikeouts are not a weakness and that they're just another out

I think it's the difference between, are you looking at strikeouts in the context of the process or of the outcomes? As one of many possible outcomes, strikeouts are often a non-factor. Just another out. No argument there. When looking at it from a process perspective, there's a tipping point where so many at-bats are spent walking back to the dugout that it makes it very difficult to make up for it in the remaining plate appearances. If Stubbs can't get his K rate down, I'm afraid that's where he's going to end up.

Or, put another way: there's striking out a lot as a side effect of power production and then there's striking out a lot because you can't hit.

dougdirt
02-25-2012, 12:11 PM
No question. I don't think we've identified any disagreement.

Stubbs' strikeout rate is a weakness. In the past some have argued that strikeouts are not a weakness and that they're just another out

No, I think you misunderstood their position. Strikeouts are a weakness, but it is usually one worth accepting because of what usually comes along with them (power and walks). The "just another out" argument can be taken a bunch of different ways, but it mostly comes down to the idea that most guys are going to have to alter their swings a lot in order to cut down on the strikeouts, thus resulting in more weak contact and more outs despite more contact and so whether the strikeouts are the outs or now its just a bunch more of weak grounders to the infield, it doesn't matter because an out is an out.

RANDY IN INDY
02-25-2012, 12:42 PM
Why does the improvement in contact only equate to weak groundballs to the infield? That's a rather weak, blind and limited argument. Sometimes the improvement is not cutting down on the swing but better pitch selection. Swinging at better pitches usually results in better contact.

Chip R
02-25-2012, 12:49 PM
Why does the improvement in contact only equate to weak groundballs to the infield? That's a rather weak, blind and limited argument. Sometimes the improvement is not cutting down on the swing but better pitch selection. Swinging at better pitches usually results in better contact.

It doesn't. However, if a player cuts his strikeouts by 50 and the result - hypothetically speaking - are 50 more popups, what's the difference?

dougdirt
02-25-2012, 12:51 PM
Why does the improvement in contact only equate to weak groundballs to the infield? That's a rather weak, blind and limited argument. Sometimes the improvement is not cutting down on the swing but better pitch selection. Swinging at better pitches usually results in better contact.

It doesn't have to Randy, but it often does. The reason is simple.... guys aren't swinging as hard. I agree that better pitch selection is ideal, but there is usually a reason that guys don't often make improvements of note in their plate discipline once they leave the minors. It is usually because they simply struggle to differentiate between certain pitches, be it fastball/change up, fastball/slider or whatever combo that they see and what it actually is. By the time guys are Stubbs age, they probably aren't going to improve their selectability because they simply can't figure out whatever pitch it is that they can't hit at this point. So how does someone like that improve their contact rate? By swinging slower to improve bat control (hopefully) and shortening the swing to compensate for slowing the swing down. It results in much less power because you are taking away both the bat speed and the bat path that gives you more power. That usually results in a lot more weak contact.

RANDY IN INDY
02-25-2012, 02:16 PM
It doesn't. However, if a player cuts his strikeouts by 50 and the result - hypothetically speaking - are 50 more popups, what's the difference?

I don't know. That's your hypothetical. I'm saying that recognizing and swinging at better pitches should result in better contact and less weak outs. Doug is correct in that pitch recognition is difficult for some players and is a big contributer to high strikeout totals. Taking a more controled swing is a lost art for most players thesr days. You have to practice it. The other big contributer is the players mental state and preparation. The strikeout bug is often as much a mental problem as a physical one.

Chip R
02-25-2012, 02:21 PM
I don't know. That's your hypothetical. I'm saying that recognizing and swinging at better pitches should result in better contact and less weak outs. Doug is correct in that pitch recognition is difficult for some players and is a big contributer to high strikeout totals. Taking a more controled swing is a lost art for most players thesr days. You have to practice it. The other big contributer is the players mental state and preparation. The strikeout bug is often as much a mental problem as a physical one.

You're avoiding the question.

RANDY IN INDY
02-25-2012, 02:33 PM
I've made my statement and it makes good sense. If a playet hits 50 pop ups on good pitches, he won't be around long. Pardon me if I don't take the "rat bait."

RedsManRick
02-25-2012, 04:00 PM
That's kind of easy to say in a hypothetical sense.

My point exactly.

Sea Ray
02-25-2012, 04:38 PM
No, I think you misunderstood their position. Strikeouts are a weakness, but it is usually one worth accepting because of what usually comes along with them (power and walks). The "just another out" argument can be taken a bunch of different ways, but it mostly comes down to the idea that most guys are going to have to alter their swings a lot in order to cut down on the strikeouts, thus resulting in more weak contact and more outs despite more contact and so whether the strikeouts are the outs or now its just a bunch more of weak grounders to the infield, it doesn't matter because an out is an out.

Doug, I can clearly remember threads where they argued that a strike out is just another out. I participated in them and I explained that strike outs are not just another out because it doesn't move runners along and it doesn't give the fielders a chance to boot the ball. I was answered with challenges to that like "well. the catcher might drop the ball or the hitter might hit into a double play", etc.

757690
02-25-2012, 04:40 PM
Considering Stubbs' BABIP, which is extremly high, he is one player that would benefit the most from reducing his strikeouts. 50 weak ground balls for Stubbs probably means 5-10 more times on base.

IslandRed
02-25-2012, 05:18 PM
Considering Stubbs' BABIP, which is extremly high, he is one player that would benefit the most from reducing his strikeouts. 50 weak ground balls for Stubbs probably means 5-10 more times on base.

I generally subscribe to the "don't worry about strikeouts" camp, but Stubbs is one specific case where I genuinely feel he would be a better hitter whiffing less. You pointed out one reason; his speed props up his BABIP.

The main reason, though, is situational. I don't care if he continues to sit on a pitch and swing from the heels early in the at-bat. That's cool. But in those instances where he's behind in the count with two strikes... well, it's pretty much not possible for him to be worse than he is. His OPS after getting behind 0-2 or 1-2 last year was down there with Paul Janish and, don't laugh, Homer Bailey. There would be absolutely no harm in him shortening up in this specific situation and just trying to put it in play. You wouldn't want a true power hitter to do this. But in the actual record, Stubbs doesn't produce enough power in these situations for anyone to worry a millisecond about losing it.

RANDY IN INDY
02-25-2012, 05:24 PM
Exactly, and his speed puts pressure on the opposing defense every time he puts it in play, particularly on the ground.

mth123
02-25-2012, 05:36 PM
I generally subscribe to the "don't worry about strikeouts" camp, but Stubbs is one specific case where I genuinely feel he would be a better hitter whiffing less. You pointed out one reason; his speed props up his BABIP.

The main reason, though, is situational. I don't care if he continues to sit on a pitch and swing from the heels early in the at-bat. That's cool. But in those instances where he's behind in the count with two strikes... well, it's pretty much not possible for him to be worse than he is. His OPS after getting behind 0-2 or 1-2 last year was down there with Paul Janish and, don't laugh, Homer Bailey. There would be absolutely no harm in him shortening up in this specific situation and just trying to put it in play. You wouldn't want a true power hitter to do this. But in the actual record, Stubbs doesn't produce enough power in these situations for anyone to worry a millisecond about losing it.

Stubbs gets eaten up with breaking balls from right handed pitching when he has two strikes. They start it looking like its over the plate and then it breaks down and away. Since there are two strikes, its too good to take so he swings and misses or swings and makes poor contact off the end of the bat. The answer for him isn't to alter his swing, but to swing at those fat ones earlier in the count that the pitchers are getting ahead of him with in the first place.

He hits lefty pitching well, because in that same situation, that ball would be breaking toward his wheelhouse and not toward the end of his bat. When they talk about Stubbs being more selective, the issue isn't that he needs to take more, its more about hitting the good pitches that he sees before he's up there with 2 strikes in the first place.

I have very little confidence that he'll actually be able to improve in this area. I think the team should have cashed him in over the offseason.

dougdirt
02-25-2012, 05:38 PM
Doug, I can clearly remember threads where they argued that a strike out is just another out. I participated in them and I explained that strike outs are not just another out because it doesn't move runners along and it doesn't give the fielders a chance to boot the ball. I was answered with challenges to that like "well. the catcher might drop the ball or the hitter might hit into a double play", etc.

And "they" were probably right about it. Moving a runner over/grounding into a double play tend to even themselves out over the season.

dougdirt
02-25-2012, 05:45 PM
I generally subscribe to the "don't worry about strikeouts" camp, but Stubbs is one specific case where I genuinely feel he would be a better hitter whiffing less. You pointed out one reason; his speed props up his BABIP.

The main reason, though, is situational. I don't care if he continues to sit on a pitch and swing from the heels early in the at-bat. That's cool. But in those instances where he's behind in the count with two strikes... well, it's pretty much not possible for him to be worse than he is. His OPS after getting behind 0-2 or 1-2 last year was down there with Paul Janish and, don't laugh, Homer Bailey. There would be absolutely no harm in him shortening up in this specific situation and just trying to put it in play. You wouldn't want a true power hitter to do this. But in the actual record, Stubbs doesn't produce enough power in these situations for anyone to worry a millisecond about losing it.

No one has power in an 0-2 count. Joey Votto has an IsoP of .086 in an 0-2 count for his career. In a 1-2 count it jumps up to .106. In a 2-2 count he jumps up to .120. Guys, even very good ones, don't hit for power in 2 strike counts.

RANDY IN INDY
02-25-2012, 05:47 PM
And "they" were probably right about it. Moving a runner over/grounding into a double play tend to even themselves out over the season.

Probably?

757690
02-25-2012, 05:50 PM
Stubbs gets eaten up with breaking balls from right handed pitching when he has two strikes. They start it looking like its over the plate and then it breaks down and away. Since there are two strikes, its too good to take so he swings and misses or swings and makes poor contact off the end of the bat. The answer for him isn't to alter his swing, but to swing at those fat ones earlier in the count that the pitchers are getting ahead of him with in the first place.

He hits lefty pitching well, because in that same situation, that ball would be breaking toward his wheelhouse and not toward the end of his bat. When they talk about Stubbs being more selective, the issue isn't that he needs to take more, its more about hitting the good pitches that he sees before he's up there with 2 strikes in the first place.

I have very little confidence that he'll actually be able to improve in this area. I think the team should have cashed him in over the offseason.

Other hitters have learned to lay off this pitch, or to shorten their swings so they can foul it off. I agree Stubbs hasn't shown the ability to adjust yet, but I'm willing to give him one more season to see if he can.

dougdirt
02-25-2012, 05:52 PM
Probably?

Well, since we are talking about multiple people and I didn't go back and review each and every response, I am sticking with probably, based on the information that was given to me.

IslandRed
02-25-2012, 06:06 PM
No one has power in an 0-2 count. Joey Votto has an IsoP of .086 in an 0-2 count for his career. In a 1-2 count it jumps up to .106. In a 2-2 count he jumps up to .120. Guys, even very good ones, don't hit for power in 2 strike counts.

Which would seem to reinforce the argument that if Stubbs isn't going to hit for any power in two-strike counts anyway, there's little for him to lose and something to gain with a "just put it in play" approach in that specific situation. Of course, as in all endeavors, it's more easily said than done.

I also agree with what mth said about him needing to recognize the hittable pitches early in the count so he's not in the hole so often.

mth123
02-25-2012, 06:08 PM
Other hitters have learned to lay off this pitch, or to shorten their swings so they can foul it off. I agree Stubbs hasn't shown the ability to adjust yet, but I'm willing to give him one more season to see if he can.

Its not about laying off. Its about hitting the good ones before he ever gets to that point. Babe said, "Pick a good one and sock it" not "Pick a good one and let it go by." You let the good ones go by and you end up being forced into swinging at crummy ones. That's what poor hitters are made of.

Plate discipline isn't just about taking a bunch of pitches, its about swinging at the right ones.

RANDY IN INDY
02-25-2012, 06:35 PM
Its not about laying off. Its about hitting the good ones before he ever gets to that point. Babe said, "Pick a good one and sock it" not "Pick a good one and let it go by." You let the good ones go by and you end up being forced int swinging at crummy ones. That's what poor hitters are made of.

Plate discipline isn't just about taking a bunch of pitches, its about swinging at the right ones.

Totally agree. Hitting with two strikes is not easy, particularly 0-2, 1-2, and 2-2.

dougdirt
02-25-2012, 06:38 PM
I also agree with what mth said about him needing to recognize the hittable pitches early in the count so he's not in the hole so often.

I agree and have been suggesting Stubbs looks at hittable strikes early in the count since he was in Dayton. He needs to swing more early in the count at fastballs.

Mario-Rijo
02-25-2012, 10:14 PM
Except he already has been.

In your opinion apparently. I don't accept one season as proof, he certainly wasn't successful last season. He did nothing but get worse once the league had a good solid book on him.

AtomicDumpling
02-26-2012, 05:35 AM
Doug, I can clearly remember threads where they argued that a strike out is just another out. I participated in them and I explained that strike outs are not just another out because it doesn't move runners along and it doesn't give the fielders a chance to boot the ball. I was answered with challenges to that like "well. the catcher might drop the ball or the hitter might hit into a double play", etc.

In addition to a possible groundball double play (or triple play ;)) or a fly ball double play where a tagging-up runner gets gunned down, you also run the risk of causing the lead runner to be thrown out at third base or home plate on a ground ball. These are all outcomes that are mega-worse for your team's win probability than simply striking out. These events cancel out the occasions where a "productive out" advances a runner. Broadcasters love to point it out when a batter advances a runner with a groundout ("he does the little things") but they never say "We would have been better off if he had struck out" after the batter hits a comebacker to the pitcher that results in the runner on third base being tagged out easily at home plate. Once I started asking myself after every play whether or not a strikeout would have been preferable I was surprised by how often the answer was yes.

There are even several occasions during games each season where a strikeout would have been preferable to a base hit -- usually when a runner gets thrown out at the plate on a single but there are other ways it can happen. There are also rare occasions where injuries to players on the basepaths could have been avoided if the batter had simply struck out. Another beneficial side effect to strikeouts is they usually take several pitches, which means the pitcher is forced to go deeper into the count and runs extra risk of walking the batter (Deep counts lead to more Ks and BBs, so batters who strikeout a lot tend to walk more as well). These extra pitches also tire out the pitcher faster, leading to an earlier call to the bullpen. An early call to the bullpen means your batters get to face the middle relievers, which are usually the worst pitchers on the team -- and that means your team is more likely to score.

Tango calculated a few years ago that a strikeout was 0.02% worse than a contact out on average. I believe he based this on WPA values (Win Probability Added) from thousands of real MLB games. So there is essentially no difference between a strikeout and a contact out once everything is factored in.

There are a lot of players that have good OBP and SLG stats despite striking out a lot. Many players have poor OBP and SLG stats despite rarely striking out. I think it is a lot more informative to grade players on their rate of production rather than how they make their outs.

I think Stubbs' problem is his pitch recognition -- he flails at bad pitches and takes good pitches because he can't distinguish fastballs from breaking balls quickly enough. He gets fooled on nearly every pitch. If he guesses correctly he makes solid contact. If he could improve his pitch recognition his production would improve greatly. I don't know if it is a vision problem or if he has just not learned enough from the experience and coaching he has received.

RedsManRick
02-26-2012, 10:40 AM
When I look at the data, I don't see it backing up the "failing" problem. Of Reds regulars back for 2012 (2011 Pitch f/x discipline data from FanGraphs):

What does he get to hit?
- Stubbs is middle of the pack in terms of balls seen in the strike zone, slightly fewer than league average
Conclusion: He's not being pitched to all that differently

When does he swing?
- Only Hanigan swings at FEWER pitches out of the zone than Drew Stubbs. Stubbs is way below league average: GOOD
- Only Hanigan swings at FEWER pitches in the zone than Drew Stubbs. But Stubbs is silghtly above league average: NEUTRAL
Conclusion: Stubbs swings a bit less than the average player, but that's because he's good at laying off stuff out of the zone.

When does he make contact?
- Stubbs makes less contact on his swings at balls out of the zone than anybody else: BAD
- Only Chris Heisey makes less contact on swings at balls in the zone -- Stubbs is closer to Votto than Heisey: BAD
Conclusion: Regardless of what Stubbs swings at, he's sucks at making contact.



Name PA O-Swing% Z-Swing% Swing% O-Contact% Z-Contact% Contact% Zone%
Ryan Hanigan 304 19.7% 55.1% 38.7% 80.2% 97.1% 93.1% 53.7%
DatDudeBP 675 34.8% 72.0% 53.0% 68.3% 91.0% 83.4% 48.8%
Joey Votto 719 24.8% 62.8% 41.9% 67.3% 84.5% 78.9% 44.9%
Jay Bruce 664 29.8% 69.3% 47.2% 52.5% 86.5% 74.5% 44.0%
Drew Stubbs 681 23.9% 62.7% 42.7% 47.9% 82.8% 72.8% 48.6%
Chris Heisey 308 30.4% 70.7% 50.3% 52.3% 79.4% 71.1% 49.3%

Lg Average --- 28.6% 62.1% 45.3% 64.7% 88.0% 80.6% 49.8%

As I see it, Stubbs problem is not in his approach. That's not to say he couldn't continue to improve pitch selection; every major leaguer can. But no amount of pitch selection improvement is going to fix his fundamental problem -- as major leaguers go, he stinks at putting the bat on the ball.

He's pretty good at laying off stuff he knows he can't hit. If you ask him to swing more often, you're asking him to start swinging at pitches that he has trouble recognizing or that he believes he can't hit. Do people think he's purposefully taking fastballs early in the count because he's waiting for something better? Maybe he is, I've just not seen any actual evidence. I know some people swear that he does based on having watched him. But confirmation bias is a powerful thing. Once you start looking for something, the times you see it stick in your brain disproportionately. Just ask anybody who has bought a new car and starts seeing them all over the place.

I'm curious what people think his thought process is. My general approach is based on an assumption that hitters want to hit; no hitter prefers a walk to a well-struck ball. If a guy is swinging too much, if he's too aggressive, you can get him to dial it down and stick to the balls he hits the best. But if a guy isn't swinging enough, it's probably because his experience has told him that he's not good at hitting the pitches he's taking. Now, if the guy is generally a good contact hitter, it might make sense to get him to expand a bit and take advantage of that skill. But if a guy is a very poor contact hitter? That strikes me as asking for trouble.

I'm sure there are ways to work with a guy to help him improve his hand-eye coordination. But unless you can identify a very specific pitch he's laying off but should be able to whack, you're not going to help him back asking him to swing more often.

RANDY IN INDY
02-26-2012, 11:01 AM
Thing is, if a hiitter is thinking about any of this stuff, he's probably in big trouble. In order to hit, he has to go to the plate with a single task oriented thought, relax, and be confident in his preparation. See the ball.

_Sir_Charles_
02-26-2012, 11:06 AM
Thing is, if a hiitter is thinking about any of this stuff, he's probably in big trouble. In order to hit, he has to go to the plate with a single task oriented thought, relax, and be confident in his preparation. See the ball.

Awesome post. Everytime I see one of these long posts with paragraphs and paragraphs of stats pointing out ways to improve a hitter or something...THIS is what I think of. Too much thinking. This is exactly how my golf game gets screwed up. I'm thinking of all the corrections and adjustments I've been shown and then I end up whiffing. :O)

mth123
02-26-2012, 11:09 AM
When I look at the data, I don't see it backing up the "failing" problem. Of Reds regulars back for 2012 (2011 Pitch f/x discipline data from FanGraphs):

What does he get to hit?
- Stubbs is middle of the pack in terms of balls seen in the strike zone, slightly fewer than league average
Conclusion: He's not being pitched to all that differently

When does he swing?
- Only Hanigan swings at FEWER pitches out of the zone than Drew Stubbs. Stubbs is way below league average: GOOD
- Only Hanigan swings at FEWER pitches in the zone than Drew Stubbs. But Stubbs is silghtly above league average: NEUTRAL
Conclusion: Stubbs swings a bit less than the average player, but that's because he's good at laying off stuff out of the zone.

When does he make contact?
- Stubbs makes less contact on his swings at balls out of the zone than anybody else: BAD
- Only Chris Heisey makes less contact on swings at balls in the zone -- Stubbs is closer to Votto than Heisey: BAD
Conclusion: Regardless of what Stubbs swings at, he's sucks at making contact.



Name PA O-Swing% Z-Swing% Swing% O-Contact% Z-Contact% Contact% Zone%
Ryan Hanigan 304 19.7% 55.1% 38.7% 80.2% 97.1% 93.1% 53.7%
DatDudeBP 675 34.8% 72.0% 53.0% 68.3% 91.0% 83.4% 48.8%
Joey Votto 719 24.8% 62.8% 41.9% 67.3% 84.5% 78.9% 44.9%
Jay Bruce 664 29.8% 69.3% 47.2% 52.5% 86.5% 74.5% 44.0%
Drew Stubbs 681 23.9% 62.7% 42.7% 47.9% 82.8% 72.8% 48.6%
Chris Heisey 308 30.4% 70.7% 50.3% 52.3% 79.4% 71.1% 49.3%

Lg Average --- 28.6% 62.1% 45.3% 64.7% 88.0% 80.6% 49.8%

As I see it, Stubbs problem is not in his approach. That's not to say he couldn't continue to improve pitch selection; every major leaguer can. But no amount of pitch selection improvement is going to fix his fundamental problem -- as major leaguers go, he stinks at putting the bat on the ball.

He's pretty good at laying off stuff he knows he can't hit. If you ask him to swing more often, you're asking him to start swinging at pitches that he has trouble recognizing or that he believes he can't hit. Do people think he's purposefully taking fastballs early in the count because he's waiting for something better? Maybe he is, I've just not seen any actual evidence. I know some people swear that he does based on having watched him. But confirmation bias is a powerful thing. Once you start looking for something, the times you see it stick in your brain disproportionately. Just ask anybody who has bought a new car and starts seeing them all over the place.

I'm curious what people think his thought process is. My general approach is based on an assumption that hitters want to hit; no hitter prefers a walk to a well-struck ball. If a guy is swinging too much, if he's too aggressive, you can get him to dial it down and stick to the balls he hits the best. But if a guy isn't swinging enough, it's probably because his experience has told him that he's not good at hitting the pitches he's taking. Now, if the guy is generally a good contact hitter, it might make sense to get him to expand a bit and take advantage of that skill. But if a guy is a very poor contact hitter? That strikes me as asking for trouble.

I'm sure there are ways to work with a guy to help him improve his hand-eye coordination. But unless you can identify a very specific pitch he's laying off but should be able to whack, you're not going to help him back asking him to swing more often.

The thing is, I don't want him to expand his zone. I want him to swing earlier in the count when the good pitches to hit are going by and being called strikes and prevent him from having to expand his zone (or swing at really tough strikes) later because he's behind in the count. Its not that he's always swinging at balls 6 inches outside, but a curve ball on the outside corner at the knees is pretty tough to hit. He can't take that pitch, becuase he's already let the PA get to two strikes by taking the pitch he should have crushed earlier in the PA. Its not always that he's swing at pitches out of the zone, but a lot of times he's being forced to swing at the really tough ones in the zone becuase he let the good one to hit go by and fell behind in the count.

Here is my guess on his thought process, but I really don't know. I'm guessing that somewhere along the way he heard the basic theory that taking a lot of pitches is good. But instead of going about it correctly by being selective on a pitch by pitch basis, he goes up there determined not to swing at the first couple of pitches no matter what. Pitchers figured it out and the best pitches to hit come early in the count and he takes them. A pitcher's basic plan is usually get ahead early in the count and make the hitter swing at the tough ones late because the hitter needs to protect against being called out on strikes. Stubbs helps them out by refusing to swing at the early ones that are the best ones to hit that he sees. Left Handed Pitchers can't do it to him as much, because his biggest trouble is hitting the curve ball breaking away from him. The result is he hits left handed pitching pretty well and right handed pitching makes him look like a pitcher hitting up there.

RedsManRick
02-26-2012, 11:20 AM
The thing is, I don't want him to expand his zone. I want him to swing earlier in the count when the good pitches to hit are going by and being called strikes and prevent him from having to expand his zone (or swing at really tough strikes) later becuase he's behind in the count. Its not that he's always swinging at balls 6 inches outside, but a curve ball on the outside corner at the knees is pretty tough to hit. He can't take that pitch, becuase he's already let the PA get to two strikes by taking the pitch he should have crushed earlier in the PA. Its not always that he's swing at pitches out of the zone, but a lot of times he's being forced to swing at the really tough ones in the zone becuase he let the good one to hit go by and fell behind in the count.

Here is my guess on his thought process, but I really don't know. I'm guessing that somewhere along the way he heard the basic theory that taking a lot of pitches is good. But instead of going about it correctly by being selective on a pitch by pitch basis, he goes up there determined not to swing at the first couple of pitches no matter what. Pitchers figured it out and the best pitches to hit come early in the count and he takes them. A pitcher's basic plan is usually get ahead early in the count and make the hitter swing at the tough ones late because the hitter needs to protect against being called out on strikes. Stubbs helps them out by refusing to swing at the early ones that are the best ones to hit that he sees. Left Handed Pitchers can't do it to him as much, because his biggest trouble is hitting the curve ball breaking away from him. The result is he hits left handed pitching pretty well and right handed pitching makes him look like a pitcher hitting up there.

I understand this perspective. But I think it is predicated on an assumption not backed by objetive evidence. I'd like to see some evidence that:

A. He takes a lot of good pitches early in the count
B. He knows they're good pitches and takes them anyways

We're making an assumption, particularly regarding B. I don't think Stubbs is taking good pitches on purpose. I think that, like Dunn, he's zone of what a "good pitch" is for him is smaller than what it is for the average player. So what looks like a "good pitch" to us, may actually be one that he struggles with.

Now, to your point, he may just need to come to terms with the idea that the strike he struggles with is better than putting himself down 0-2, 1-2 and facing that breaking ball 3 inches off the plate. But I'd like to see a little evidence that he's knowingly taking pitches he can hit well.

RANDY IN INDY
02-26-2012, 11:25 AM
By the way. Pitchers are told from the time they are little, "Get ahead."

Mario-Rijo
02-26-2012, 11:34 AM
I still say his issue is his bat speed (and to a lesser extent what Mth said). He cannot hit the fastball unless he is sitting on it and you can pretty much understand what happens from there. Sits on fastball on FB counts gets breaking/offspeed stuff, sits on breaking ball and gets a FB. Occasionally he guesses right. And if I'm right he'll go nowhere but down, he will never guess right often enough to remain competitive even with guys getting behind and walking him from time to time. What he might be able to do to offset this enough to stick in the show with his wheels and potential defense is bunt more often where bat speed isn't an issue.

nate
02-26-2012, 11:38 AM
When I look at the data, I don't see it backing up the "failing" problem. Of Reds regulars back for 2012 (2011 Pitch f/x discipline data from FanGraphs):

What does he get to hit?
- Stubbs is middle of the pack in terms of balls seen in the strike zone, slightly fewer than league average
Conclusion: He's not being pitched to all that differently

When does he swing?
- Only Hanigan swings at FEWER pitches out of the zone than Drew Stubbs. Stubbs is way below league average: GOOD
- Only Hanigan swings at FEWER pitches in the zone than Drew Stubbs. But Stubbs is silghtly above league average: NEUTRAL
Conclusion: Stubbs swings a bit less than the average player, but that's because he's good at laying off stuff out of the zone.

When does he make contact?
- Stubbs makes less contact on his swings at balls out of the zone than anybody else: BAD
- Only Chris Heisey makes less contact on swings at balls in the zone -- Stubbs is closer to Votto than Heisey: BAD
Conclusion: Regardless of what Stubbs swings at, he's sucks at making contact.



Name PA O-Swing% Z-Swing% Swing% O-Contact% Z-Contact% Contact% Zone%
Ryan Hanigan 304 19.7% 55.1% 38.7% 80.2% 97.1% 93.1% 53.7%
DatDudeBP 675 34.8% 72.0% 53.0% 68.3% 91.0% 83.4% 48.8%
Joey Votto 719 24.8% 62.8% 41.9% 67.3% 84.5% 78.9% 44.9%
Jay Bruce 664 29.8% 69.3% 47.2% 52.5% 86.5% 74.5% 44.0%
Drew Stubbs 681 23.9% 62.7% 42.7% 47.9% 82.8% 72.8% 48.6%
Chris Heisey 308 30.4% 70.7% 50.3% 52.3% 79.4% 71.1% 49.3%

Lg Average --- 28.6% 62.1% 45.3% 64.7% 88.0% 80.6% 49.8%

As I see it, Stubbs problem is not in his approach. That's not to say he couldn't continue to improve pitch selection; every major leaguer can. But no amount of pitch selection improvement is going to fix his fundamental problem -- as major leaguers go, he stinks at putting the bat on the ball.

He's pretty good at laying off stuff he knows he can't hit. If you ask him to swing more often, you're asking him to start swinging at pitches that he has trouble recognizing or that he believes he can't hit. Do people think he's purposefully taking fastballs early in the count because he's waiting for something better? Maybe he is, I've just not seen any actual evidence. I know some people swear that he does based on having watched him. But confirmation bias is a powerful thing. Once you start looking for something, the times you see it stick in your brain disproportionately. Just ask anybody who has bought a new car and starts seeing them all over the place.

I'm curious what people think his thought process is. My general approach is based on an assumption that hitters want to hit; no hitter prefers a walk to a well-struck ball. If a guy is swinging too much, if he's too aggressive, you can get him to dial it down and stick to the balls he hits the best. But if a guy isn't swinging enough, it's probably because his experience has told him that he's not good at hitting the pitches he's taking. Now, if the guy is generally a good contact hitter, it might make sense to get him to expand a bit and take advantage of that skill. But if a guy is a very poor contact hitter? That strikes me as asking for trouble.

I'm sure there are ways to work with a guy to help him improve his hand-eye coordination. But unless you can identify a very specific pitch he's laying off but should be able to whack, you're not going to help him back asking him to swing more often.

Great post, Rick. High five!

I can't recall who made the point, perhaps it was you but I think the Reds have done a fine job of confusing Stubbs. "You're a power hitter!" "Use your speed!" "Make more contact!" "Wait for the best pitch!" "Breathe through your eyelids!" The best thing for Stubbs career is probably to go to another team and let them try a different approach.

The best suggestion I've seen with Stubbs is to let him hit lower in the order and just be himself.

edabbs44
02-26-2012, 11:49 AM
Great post, Rick. High five!

I can't recall who made the point, perhaps it was you but I think the Reds have done a fine job of confusing Stubbs. "You're a power hitter!" "Use your speed!" "Make more contact!" "Wait for the best pitch!" "Breathe through your eyelids!" The best thing for Stubbs career is probably to go to another team and let them try a different approach.

The best suggestion I've seen with Stubbs is to let him hit lower in the order and just be himself.

Do you know for sure that they have been "confusing" him, or is this a go to type of excuse that is used for certain players like ONeill, Dunn and Stubbs?

The knock on Stubbs coming out of school was he had all the tools, but they were unsure if he could hit consistently in the bigs. To this point, they've been pretty on point.

Marc D
02-26-2012, 12:44 PM
On the topic of Dusty's philosophy of offense, I wish he would show us he understood that guys have to get on base before they can touch the plate and that foot speed doesn't overcome an inability to get on base.

nate
02-26-2012, 01:45 PM
Do you know for sure that they have been "confusing" him, or is this a go to type of excuse that is used for certain players like ONeill, Dunn and Stubbs?

Baiting and logical fallacy aside, note the use of "I think" to denote opinion:


I think the Reds have done a fine job of confusing Stubbs.


The knock on Stubbs coming out of school was he had all the tools, but they were unsure if he could hit consistently in the bigs. To this point, they've been pretty on point.

I don't know/care what "the knock" is/was nor do I (or to be quite honest, anyone else) know what "consistently" means. None of that really has anything to do with my point which was that I think he's unsure of what to do at the plate.

I don't see what's so terrible about suggesting the Reds might have had a hand in that.

edabbs44
02-26-2012, 02:25 PM
You went a few steps further than suggesting what you were saying. Just my opinion. I know you threw some qualifier words in there, but your position was a little more than a random suggestion.

757690
02-26-2012, 03:32 PM
The problem with the "O swing" "Z swing" stat is that there is a big different between a strike and good pitch to hit, just as there is a big difference a ball and good pitch to take.

There are only a few strikes that a hitter should swing at, and there are some balls that a hitter should swing at. The issue is what is a good pitch to hit with authority, not which pitches are strikes and balls.

Stubbs clearly does not have a strong understanding of that difference.

dougdirt
02-26-2012, 03:38 PM
The problem with the "O swing" "Z swing" stat is that there is a big different between a strike and good pitch to hit, just as there is a big difference a ball and good pitch to take.

There are only a few strikes that a hitter should swing at, and there are some balls that a hitter should swing at. The issue is what is a good pitch to hit with authority, not which pitches are strikes and balls.

Stubbs clearly does not have a strong understanding of that difference.
What ball should a hitter swing at? I don't want a batter swinging at any pitch out of the zone.

757690
02-26-2012, 03:49 PM
What ball should a hitter swing at? I don't want a batter swinging at any pitch out of the zone.

Hanging curveballs and hanging sliders. A lot of them end up high, out of the strike zone, but are very crushable.

Change ups or weak fastballs just off the plate and high sliced the opposite way.

And every good hitter has a location that they love to crush, even when it's off the plate just a bit.

IslandRed
02-26-2012, 06:53 PM
I'm curious what people think his thought process is.

My guess in a second, but first, the two data points that lead:

* He led the free world in strikes-out-looking last season.

* An at-bat against Shawn Marcum, a guy who normally throws a bunch of offspeed slop. He threw Stubbs three straight batting-practice fastballs down Broadway and Stubbs never took the bat off his shoulder.

That's telling me he's a guess hitter. (If not all the time, at least when he's struggling.) He's looking for something specific on every pitch and if he gets crossed up, he can't pull the trigger. Combine that with iffy contact skills when he does swing, and there you go.

What I don't have any idea about is, how would you fix that?