With the pace of life being what it is for me right now, lengthy research related posts will likely be few and far between (hopefully not non-existant). With that being said, I’ll hopefully be posting smaller peices more frequently. The aim of these pieces will be a lot like my Motte piece the other day, saber-slanted questions or observations from recent games/series, probably backed up with a little data (read: hours of effort not days). Enough caveating, here we go
1) Is it me or is Tony bunting more with position players so far this year? Maybe it’s selective memory, but we’ve already bunted/attempted to bunt at least twice with runners on 2nd on nobody out. From a historical Run Expectancy perspective a succesful sacrifice is a 0.206 run loss. The basic gist is that the sacrifice increases your chances to score a single run, but decreases your chances to score multiple runs. The second piece is what it does to Win Expectancy. Fangraphs has Ramsus’s sacrifice as a -0.002 WPA.
There’s still a little more work to be done here as I’d like to approximate a RE matrix for the Cardinals specifically and see if that changes the dynamic anyway (that’ll fall into the days not hours research though, so it’ll have to wait until another day).
2) There’s been some talk of Carpenter’s problems. Ryan Jones of Cardinals GM tweeted that Carp’s velocity was down ~2 mph (link forthcoming when I have Twitter access) from comparable starts last year (i.e. first two last year compared to first two this year). Just out of curiosity I looked at least season’s game averages and Carp only had a couple starts where he had similar velocity to what he has right now: May 25th, May 30th, and June 9th.