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Tampa Bay Rays news and links: How will hitters adjust to the high fastball?

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MLB: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

One of the ongoing stories of the past five years in baseball has been the rise in strikeouts, the rise in fly balls, and the change, in part driven by the arrival of pitch and hit tracking data, in how both hitters and pitchers approach each other.

Different teams have successfully approached their matchups in different ways, but the Rays have been on the leading edge of the rising high fastball renaissance.

David Laurila asked 20 hitters, pitchers, and coaches whether hitters would soon start adjusting to the increase in high fastballs. It’s a really good compilation, with a few Rays-centric highlights: Derek Shelton (now with Toronto) talks about Tampa Bay targeting guys who can pitch there plus the importance of sequencing; James Shields talks about the move from pitching low to pitching high; and Matt Bowman of the Cardinals gives evidence that other teams think of this trend as being driven by the Rays.

Worth your time.

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