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On the Decline in Scoring

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Joel Sherman has an excellent analysis here

To summarize:

(1) PED use is down. Even though hGH can only be currently detected by blood tests, you don’t see so many swollen mellons (hello, Barry!) out there. They still need to make testing more comprehensive and accurate and sensitive, but you don’t see the WWE body types around MLB so much anymore. That’s fine.

(2) Pitching is better. Look at all the live arms you see, and look at all the flamethrowers that just got drafted (50 guys who hit 95+). He throws in a sentence about the cutter, but I think he doesn’t include enough about the fact that you see very few straight, flat fastballs anymore. Everything moves a ton. There’s that whole class of pitchers that are all two-seamer (seamer)/slider guys, but unlike in the past they also throw the cut fastball which helps them against opposite handed guys, since sinker/slider guys tend to have big(ger) platoon splits.

(3) Defense is better. Charting is much more exact, teams are willing to use radical shifts, and teams are much more willing to play guys who can actually field rather than taking extreme Moneyball-esque approaches with, as Sherman says it, guys who mash but all field like Dave Kingman.

(4) The last few new ballparks are places where flyballs go to die.; yeah, Target Field, Citi Field, and PETCO are not hitter-friendly at all. No matter what they measure down the lines, all those parks are, uh, spacious in the power alleys, between which, say, 70-80% of homeruns are hit. Target isn’t overly huge in right-center, but with the ridiculous wall height (some kind of bizarre nod to the “baggie” from the Metrodome, as if anyone was going to miss that mess in right…then again, I am so old I actually remember watching games broadcast from the Met….)

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Written by jjvedamuthu

June 7, 2011 at 21:42

Posted in Uncategorized

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