Posted: 2019-05-07 07:22:22 (ET) [ 322 views ]
Since in MLB, the teams are scheduled to travel around the US, playing 2, 3 or 4 game series in each of two to three stops per road trip, then keeping track of each teams’ recent exposure (at game speed and focus) can only be done in the technology age, which none of the experienced coaches could have done in the past. However, this capability has given us a microscope into both the physical aspects of player preparation and a clue as to the psychological aspects of focus. It is valuable for assessing the team, as well as the individual since the entire team travels together with only an occasional day off.
The schedule changes each year enough so, that a team such as the Dodgers may travel first to San Francisco, then Arizona, then Colorado for a road trip, which means they are exposed to more movement against the Giants, then less movement in Arizona and the least movement of all to end the trip in Colorado. However, the following road trip, or certainly the next year, the schedule may reverse the trip to Colorado, then Arizona, and end in the most movement against the Giants.
This tends to affect their winning record as it is easier to become familiar with additional movement first, then transition to lesser movement and lesser yet, than it is to experience several "step-ups" in ball movement during the road trip.
This type of analysis is within the scope of the VMI to track and see the results both as a team and as an individual. By indexing the physical ups and downs of ball movement, which is the source of the challenge to both hitters and pitchers, we have been able to see into both the norm and the extreme. This allows us to determine when the average pitcher should be able to hit the strike zone about 63% of the time, or when he is choosing to keep certain pitches out of the zone more frequently.
Hitters also maintain norms that we can determine “when” will he be out of his element and therefore “when” he will be challenged to meet his averages. The degree of the VMI tells us whether his issues will be a real physical challenge, or has he become so comfortable with the physical challenge as to lose his focus on the basics of hitting. Therefore, the extremely minor VMI’s tell us more about his psychological preparation than his physical capability.
The pitchers too, challenge us with their repertoire of pitch combinations, just like they challenge the hitters. In order to reduce the amount of time a fantasy player must spend to see the effects of nine or ten pitch-types in MLB and how a team/player will most likely react to each in comparison to his normal average, we have identified certain types of pitchers, as Tight, Loose, Reverse or Knuckleball pitchers. This allows the fantasy player another microscope to use in looking at a match-up between the starting pitcher and the line-up of hitters he will face.
A “Tight” pitcher throws the upward lifting four-seamer primarily and the more often used slider and two-seamer as secondary pitches.
A “Loose” pitcher throws a larger repertoire of downward breaking pitches, such as the curveball, slider, cutter and he mixes in a few splitters, etc.
The “Reverse” pitcher is one who throws primarily the faster pitches that either do not lift as much as the four-seamer, or are fast, but downward breaking. They include the sinker, two-seamer, and cutter.
Using our “Detailed Match-Ups” the fantasy player can see several years accumulated data lined up against the ADI and VMI and the production against the pitcher and each of his pitches. The fantasy player can also see the opponent’s production lined up against the ADI and VMI for each of the starters’ pitch-types. While these are hardly exact matches to what will be today's actual performance, they certainly are strong tendencies that will help you to make decisions for your purposes.
We are now entering into a phase of including the bull-pen into the match-ups. We have a Tight-Loose-Reverse pitchers' report which can be manipulated to see all the pitch-types of the bull-pen. While it is still under construction, we believe it is going to be a big help in analyzing an entire game. Stay tuned.
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