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The Hit-And-Run Rays Tank

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MLB Chatter

The biggest story yesterday was that Mike Fast published another stellar research piece, this time looking at the hit-and-run. I honestly haven't had a chance to fully digest the whole thing yet, but it's interesting to me how the Rays' use of the hit-and-run varies so much on a yearly basis. I think everyone hit the nose on the button earlier when commenting that the Rays' heavy use of the hit-and-run in 2011 was a result of their roster construction.

I'm somewhat encouraged by the fact that research like the Fast's work still appears in the public domain. Sabermetrics has progressed so far in recent years, but I don't think it's accurate to say that innovation and research are dead. There was that tremendous piece on pitch blocking earlier this fall, and our understanding of certain aspects of baseball keeps continually getting more refined (i.e. SIERA). I wish there were more people out there consistently doing research like Fast, but there's a reason more people don't emulate him: it's difficult, time-consuming stuff. Oh, and many of the people that can do this sort of research have already been snatched up by teams.

Anyway, moving on. Quick hitting links:

  • You should all read this interview with Justin Masterson, like, right now. I had no idea he was such an engaging, fun person, and he sheds some good insight into pitching.
  • Yuniesky Betancourt is back with the Royals. Really, there are no words to state how fitting that is.
  • Marc Normandin took a look at a recent rumor involving Adam Jones -- apparently the Braves were interested in acquiring him. I know Jones was supposed to be one of those pieces the Orioles would build around, but he's getting older before our eyes and it seems likely they O's will need to enter another re-rebuilding phase. He'll probably get dealt sooner or later; it just depends how long it takes for the O's to give up.
  • Over at Grantland, Jonah Keri wrote about the Yankees' quiet offseason. I must say, with all the holes in their rotation, I wasn't expecting them to be this chill.

Rays Talk

There's not much going on in the Rays blogosphere right now, but the most recent rumor involving the Rays links them to Carlos Beltran again. Apparently they're "seriously in the mix", but I'll believe that when they sign him.