Joined: 11 Aug 2006 Posts: 3466 Location: Portland
Posted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:51 pm Post subject: Pitching and advanced statistical analysis
Don't know if anyone linked this from USA Today last month. An interesting article on how the Royals' Brian Bannister uses advanced statistical analysis to compensate for a lack of "stuff." I guess Max Scherzer also uses this as well.
WASHINGTON — Brian Bannister won't have time to analyze Stephen Strasburg when the pitchers go head-to-head here Wednesday. He will have his own performance to take care of, not to mention having to bat against the Nationals rookie sensation.
No problem. Bannister, a Kansas City Royals right-hander, will do what he does after most games — turn on his computer and dissect pitching performances everywhere, starting with his own.
He will be less concerned about how many hits or runs he allowed than with terms such as PITCHf/x, BABIP and xFIP. And while Bannister's performance this season — 6-5 with a 5.70 ERA — will not get him confused with Strasburg, the 29-year-old is unique in another way, as the only pitcher using the newest technology and latest advanced statistics to seek an edge and, in his case, possibly keep alive a major league career.
...Teammate Gil Meche calls Bannister the smartest player he has met, and Zack Greinke, another teammate, credits him with some of his success last season, when Greinke won the American League Cy Young Award.
"I'm a follower, since Brian Bannister is on our team, of sabermetric stuff and going into details of stats about what you can control," Greinke says.
...Bannister says he's not sure his scientific approach is a good match for traditional coaching.
"The only way it's going to happen is if I write a book about it," he says. "When it becomes conversation among Little League coaches, I'll know I've made it."
But Milwaukee Brewers pitching coach Rick Peterson, who introduced Bannister to advanced statistical methods when both were with the Mets, disagrees. "This is the direction coaching is going," Peterson says.
Dan Brooks of Brooksbaseball.net says he's aware of one other major league player regularly visiting his site, Detroit Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer, 25. _________________ The greatest feeling in the world is to win a major league game. The second-greatest feeling is to lose a major league game. ~Chuck Tanner, quoted in The Sporting News, 15 July 1985
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