links for 2009-04-30

by billfer on April 30, 2009 · 4 comments

in Links

 
 

{ 4 comments }

rings April 30, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Inge has shown a remarkable change in his hitting approach, that is pretty rare for a guy of his age. It’s only 20 games in a long season, but here’s to hoping the patience and all-field approach has finally taken hold.

Zoom also looked and sounded tremendous in his appearance and his interview. He seems much more polished – despite the NYY comment – and realizes he needs to take his job seriously. The two-strike breaking ball he flipped up there to Damon was a thing of beauty.

Chris in Dallas April 30, 2009 at 2:52 pm

When Z throws his breaking ball for strikes, it’s unfair.

Coleman April 30, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Not to beat a live and productive horse, but I’ll repeat my paradoxical opinion that last season Inge actually improved at the plate in ways that are helping him this season, primarily in becoming more selective. The key to buying into this idea is to accept his assertion that catching messes up hit hitting, and just look at his stats while playing 3rd. Last season he had 18 BB in 136 PA 13.2% (10.6 overall) vs 8.7% career avg. (8.0 overall), a 50% increase in BB rate, and would have been the highest on the team (Guillen was 12.3). So while his 15.3% BB rate so far this season does stand out, I think it might be more accurate to say that he is CONTINUING to become more selective at the plate, rather than seeing it as something that he discovered this season, or that came along with the new swing.

His overall pitches/PA last season was 3rd best on the team at 4.04, and no doubt much higher when playing 3rd; in fact he has always been near the top on the Tigers in this respect. The difference in 2008-2009 is that these multi-pitch ABs started turning into walks increasingly more.

I think these numbers are important because they are part of the “En-Ingematic” nature of Inge (to borrow from billfer). In other words the things he tends to do well are the things that are team weak spots. The negative side of guys like Cabrera (40% 1st pitch ABs!) Ordonez, Guillen, etc who mash 1st pitches is that when they aren’t hitting they are making outs quickly, leaving pitchers with low pitch counts–the classic 5-pitch inning we see often–which leads to more quick outs, etc. All those times it seems like hitters aren’t trying, letting pitchers off the hook, whatever.

Last night for example: Inge P/PA: 4.75. Rest of team: 3.26 P/PA. If Inge had taken as few pitches as the rest of the hitters it wouldn’t have hurt much–the Yankees would have thrown 124 total pitches instead of 130. On the other hand, if the rest of the team saw 4.75 P/PA like Inge, that would have left the Yankees at 181 pitches, which is quite different. The conundrum is that many of the guys in the lineup are at their best hitting early in the count, so would you really want them taking more pitches?

Either way running up pitch counts is a short commodity on the Tigers which gives Inge added value in this particular lineup of hitters.

Pitches per Plate Appearance, AL Teams, 2009
League avg: 3.82
DET team avg: 3.71
DET team rank: 12 (of 14)
(The Yankees, with the same record as DET, have seen 541 more pitches this season–that’s 26 pitches PER GAME.)
Inge P/PA: 4.25
DET avg -Inge: 3.65
Replacing Inge with team avg hitter: -51 pitches total

Kathy May 1, 2009 at 8:42 am

Just hearing or seeing Joel Zumaya’s name brings a smile to my face. I wish we had more guys like him.

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