ST PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 04: Matt Moore #55 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches in the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers in Game Four of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 4, 2011 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
We may be in a dead time of the year for baseball news, but that certainly doesn't mean there's a dearth of cool articles to read. In fact, there were a number of articles yesterday that featured some interesting -- and new! -- sabermetric research. If you're into such things, don't waste a moment and check out these three pieces:
- Matt Swartz continued his series on the price of a Win, and he finished his piece with a chart of the $/WAR that teams have spent in every year going back to 1985. To me, it's fascinating to see how prices remained relatively stable through the '90s, but then started to skyrocket come the '00s. It also seems like that inflation is increasing faster and faster.
- Jeff Zimmerman looked at how intentional walks can screw up a player's perceived walk rate and patience. In short, players that see a boost in their intentional walk rate also typically receive a bump in their unintentional walk rate as pitchers will be more cautious around them and give them non-intentional walks. So when you see a player that boosted his walk rate dramatically, you should first stop and see if that's because the player has truly improved their plate discipline, or in large part because pitchers are being more cautious with them.
- Bill Petti has done some recent research on park factors affect a team's chance of winning, and he followed that work up by looking at how park factors and ERA estimators relate. Are certain ERA estimators more effective in hitter- or pitcher-friendly parks? Do ERA estimators that include batted ball profiles gain importance depending on the park? It's some interesting stuff, and will hopefully lead to even more research down the line.
And now, on to other baseball articles. If research bores you, there are still plenty of fun reads this morning:
- Jeremy Hellickson and James Shields have two of the best changeups in baseball? Color me shocked!
- Being a product of the '90s, I learned a bunch from this Baseball Nation article on the history of artificial turf. I never knew why AstroTurf was invented, but the story with the Astros makes a bunch of sense.
- The Padres are the most recent team to score a new TV deal, and they're set to rake in upwards of $30 million each year for the next 20 seasons. By the time the Rays are able to renegotiate their current deal, they're going to be well behind the times at this rate.
- It got announced yesterday that O's starter Zach Britton is still dealing with a shoulder injury that has lingered from the end of last season. While it's bad news -- and speaks poorly on the O's management of their young pitchers -- it's worth pointing out that their new GM has made some strides this year to fix that problem in the organization. Who knows if it'll pay off, but they're at least moving in the right direction.
- Carson Cistulli was gracious enough to have me on FanGraphs Audio yesterday, where I hopefully didn't make too big a fool of myself. We talked about a number of Rays-related topics, including Brandon Guyer, Matt Moore, Scott Kazmir, and (of course) Casey Fossum.