Podcast: Early battle for American League supremacy


2:17: Brian Goodwin’s immediate impact

7:21: Carlos Rodon’s near no-no

14:13: Pitcher usage after rain delays

19:54: Minor League Report

24:08: Tampa Bay Rays series preview

48:59: P.O. Sox

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Must-read article on 538 about homering 3-0 in a blowout. Of particular interest is the reaction to the only such homer that was more “disrespectful” than Mercedes’.



I read that. You would think TLR reaction would have been stronger, given the “worst” one was back in the Golden Days of the unwritten rules.


I see Shane Beiber’s spin rate on his curveball was down 310 rpms from his YTD average yesterday. It will be interesting to see if that continues.

Joliet Orange Sox

The last P.O. Sox question about trying to trade for Brandon Lowe is prefaced by the questioner stating that Lowe “is left-handed and did well in the playoffs”.

I agree that Lowe is left-handed. I disagree that Lowe did well in the playoffs. Lowe has 102 career post-season plate appearances and has a 0.501 career post-season ops. I personally do not view a 0.501 ops as having done well. The sample size is small and Lowe may or may not do well in the post-season in the future.

Last edited 2 years ago by Joliet Orange Sox

Fun podcast!

You mentioned keeping an eye on how Tony uses pinch hitters. Apropos of that, I’ve been remembering the precepts from Tom Tango’s “The Book” and applying some of them to Tony’s decisions that strike me as odd.

It looks like AL non-pitchers excluding pinch hit appearances have a batting average of .242, but AL pinch hitters have an average of only .207. This is remarkable because the theory of pinch hitting in the AL is almost entirely about handedness/getting the platoon advantage. That said, it is consistent with years of data that indicate that PH have a BA of around .030 below starters.

Just looking at RHH versus LHP, the a average for AL non-pitchers and non-pinch hitters is .257 and for pinch hitters it is .207. That’s a big difference, and a small sample size, but it does highlight the weakness of the rationale for mid-inning pinch hitters. If we can’t expect Andrew Vaughn to get a hit versus a lefty, and there’s enough game left that he will be playing defense for 4 innings AND presumably facing RHP in subsequent at bats then maybe it isn’t a good decision.

Many of Tony’s strangest pinch hitting decisions this year seem to happen with two outs. For the season, AL pinch hitters are batting .154 with two outs. Maybe that number comes up as the sample size grows, but it does seem kind of silly to put so much on one at bat where even drawing a walk (with a runner on second) may not do anything to appreciably change the team’s chances of scoring.