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Rick Eckstein on the triangle defense


Docwaukee

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Nice little blurb on the post game with Eckstein about using metrics to establish fielder position.  Seems like they have a four man team accumulating data to filter down to the club.  They replayed 3 balls hit directly into the shift with the guys positioned perfectly.  Love it. 

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These shifts are one reason offense has been down in recent years.  Everyone points to PED, but there are other factors.  More attention is being given to defensive metrics and other specialization.  Strike zone has been enforced more accurately. Bat specifications have gotten more strict.  

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Nice little blurb on the post game with Eckstein about using metrics to establish fielder position.  Seems like they have a four man team accumulating data to filter down to the club.  They replayed 3 balls hit directly into the shift with the guys positioned perfectly.  Love it. 

 

This is really some of the greatest stuff being reported in ages.   These are the sorts of saber principles we were all hoping the Dipoto regime would usher in.   If it took a season like last year for the Angels to go all in with some of this stuff then I'm glad last year happened.  Stuff like this pays off forever.

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I love this

 

It worked out well for the Pirates last season. Implementing shifts netted them 12.8 wins last year according to defensive metrics.

 

That is crazy. That's the difference between first and fourth place.

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Not sure if this has been posted, Im guessing at some point it will get it's own thread if it doesn't have one already..  But this is a pretty neat read and again, shows how the team is really working to get on the same page.

 

The Angels have completed their organizational manual

 

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/ana/angels-complete-organizational-manual-of-baseball-labor?ymd=20140323&content_id=69957598&vkey=news_ana

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I love it.

A great approach to defense positioning, and also harkens back to a classic Jim Healy audio from the 1980s.

Walt Hazzard in describing the different gimmick defenses UCLA will play talks about "box and one, triangle and two, and then DIAMOND AND TWO."

Walt was good for a few audios, like when he said "I haven't eaten well lately, my food doesn't taste very good".

Edited by Angel Oracle
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I'm not looking forward to how we will react when this doesn't work. Obviously when people are on base the shifts will be less extreme, but I can see us freaking out when a lead off hitter gets on base because he hit a ground ball right where the 3rd baseman usually is. We will obviously blame Scioscia (we always do) when I'm guessing this is not his idea.

I personally love the idea of using technology to better prepare for games.

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Not sure if this has been posted, Im guessing at some point it will get it's own thread if it doesn't have one already..  But this is a pretty neat read and again, shows how the team is really working to get on the same page.

 

The Angels have completed their organizational manual

 

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/ana/angels-complete-organizational-manual-of-baseball-labor?ymd=20140323&content_id=69957598&vkey=news_ana

 

Interesting use of stats, at least to me:

 

Also in the book are two key stats: productive team plate appearances and free bases allowed.

A productive team plate appearance is any walk, hit by pitch, out advancing a lead runner, sac fly, sac bunt or eight-pitch at-bat. It's like "quality at-bats," but without the subjectivity of hitting balls hard. You get 17 of those productive team plate appearances a game, Servais said, and you win about 75 percent of the time.

A free base allowed is any walk, wild pitch, passed ball, stolen base or error. The goal is to give up no more than five of those a game, because if clubs do, they'll lose almost 80 percent of the time -- no matter what is done offensively.

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I'm not looking forward to how we will react when this doesn't work. Obviously when people are on base the shifts will be less extreme, but I can see us freaking out when a lead off hitter gets on base because he hit a ground ball right where the 3rd baseman usually is. We will obviously blame Scioscia (we always do) when I'm guessing this is not his idea.

I personally love the idea of using technology to better prepare for games.

 

No different than how people have always reacted.  Fans tend to ignore facts in the heat of the moment.  If you're an Angels pitcher you are loving these developments.

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No different than how people have always reacted.  Fans tend to ignore facts in the heat of the moment.  If you're an Angels pitcher you are loving these developments.

I'm not sure it's ignoring facts so much as a lot of psychological things. When a shift doesn't work it doesn't work, that's a fact. The issue is that people conclude from it not working that shifts are bad and should never be used.

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As one of Scioscia's most vocal detractors, gotta give him an atta boy here.

What happened to " I have always done it this way, and I'm not going to change now"

Being more judicious with it, even his small ball tactics might become acceptable.... even exciting.

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Weren't the Angels under Scioscia one of the first teams to employ the shift in recent times? I know Maddon is given credit for that but I seem to recall the Angels being ahead of the pack in this area initially. I don't see why people would think MS is against it.

 

Also didn't he occasionally bring in Erstad to play infield when the situation called for it? That was pretty unorthodox.

Edited by eaterfan
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I'm not sure it's ignoring facts so much as a lot of psychological things. When a shift doesn't work it doesn't work, that's a fact. The issue is that people conclude from it not working that shifts are bad and should never be used.

 

Well, clearly it's more of a heat of the moment reaction...  But, bitching about an adjustment that's playing to the odds is IMO an example of ignoring facts..    And I agree with you, people do tend to react the way you are depicting.

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Weren't the Angels under Scioscia one of the first teams to employ the shift in recent times? I know Maddon is given credit for that but I seem to recall the Angels being ahead of the pack in this area initially. I don't see why people would think MS is against it.

 

Also didn't he occasionally bring in Erstad to play infield when the situation called for it? That was pretty unorthodox.

 

Yep -- the Angels did a lot of things that were viewed as outdated.   I still remember the mocking references to the Angels putting a premium on defenses when some teams viewed defense as an afterthought.   Of course, those were the days when the same sources would constantly talk about the Angels outperforming their periphs and how it was silly to think it could continue.  

Nowadays the "smart" teams all have shut down pens, great defenses, and think pitching first.

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Robots playing baseball actually would be kind of awesome

 

 

in the future there will be only two teams, the yankees and the red sox. the players for both teams will be human slaves and we, the fans, will all be robots. whoaaaaaaaa!!!!!!

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