The last twenty comments in true blog fasion, with the links to their authors and the player commented upon.

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Enrique Hernandez Los Angeles Dodgers

Kike was edged out by Kolten Wong for the Fielding Bible Award at second base (45-44) but easily won at  mutliposition (45-27) over Tommy Edman.

Looking at each team in terms of Defensive Runs Saved at each position, the Dodgers had the second best defense in the majors with 29 DRS. Second base and right field accounted for 30 of these.

Alex Patton Alex
Mike Mayers Los Angeles Angels

Mike falls into the Risky group of Todd Zola's classification of closers with the comment, "A two-month stretch doesn't erase years of mediocrity."

Hansel Robles is nowhere to be found.

Alex Patton Alex
David Robertson Philadelphia Phillies

Another member of the M*A*S*H Unit in the Z Files at Rotowire.

"I'm old enough to remember when he was good."

Alex Patton Alex
Kirby Yates San Diego Padres

Todd Zola puts Kirby in the M*A*S*H Unit in his classification of closers at Rotowire.

"Return from bone spur removal generally yields positive results, but will be 34 years old this spring." 

Alex Patton Alex
Ryan Tepera Chicago Cubs

Todd Zola, tongue firmly in cheek at Rotowire, puts him in the elite class of closers with the comment, "Looking to build on an MVP calibre season"

Alex Patton Alex
Hector Neris Philadelphia Phillies

I think the "lucky/unlucky" confuses you. This pitcher had an unlucky BABIP and a lucky HR/FB if you buy that these outcomes are to some extent random.

Alex Patton Alex

I am serious ... and now I can't tell if I'm confused ... wait ... that means that for sure I am confused ... isn't "balls that stayed in play" and "balls that didn't go out of play" two ways to say the same thing?

BABIP, by definition/name, is about "balls that stay in play" ...

HR/FB ... isn't that more a metric about "balls that don't stay in play" ... and less a metric about "balls that didn't go out of play"?

OK ... that seems like I'm less confused ... and hoping you made a typo ... worthy of a kid ...

Howard Lynch LynchMob
Aaron Civale Cleveland Indians
Alex Patton Alex
Eugenio Suarez Cincinnati Reds

By going 2-for-5 in his last game, Suarez pushed his batting average back above the Mendoza line.

Did he beat the shift? Or did he simply drive two balls through the shift?

Since he drove in two runs with a single and double, I suspect the latter.

All told, Suarez faced the shift 103 times this year. The BIS video scorers judged that the shift robbed him of ten hits and gifted him two. 

If you add eight hits to his 2020 stats, he bats .242. Not great but a whole lot better than .202.

How many homers would he lose trying to go the other way? That's the question.

I predict he's not going to change his approach and he'll face the shift far more than 45 percent of the time next year.

Alex Patton Alex
Max Kepler Minnesota Twins

Max faced even more shifts this year than Dom Smith and lost the same number of hits (9) as a result. In a universe that outlaws shifts, he would have batted .281.

I don't advocate such a universe. But I strongly recommend Max drop a few bunts down toward third.

Alex Patton Alex
Dominic Smith New York Mets

In 53 percent of his plate appearances this year, Dom faced the shift. The Handbook reports, "Those shifts caused him to lose 11 hits and gain two for a net loss of 9 hits... If we imagine a world without shifts and add back his net loss of 9 hits, his batting average would be raised 51 points to .367. That puts him above D.J. LeMahieu" whose .364 led the majors.

Get ready for more shifts next year, Dom.

Alex Patton Alex
Matt Joyce Miami Marlins

Shifting doesn't always work. 

According to the BIS Video Scouts who report their findings in The Bill James Handbook, Matt Joyce faced the shift 73 times this year. Two times the shift robbed him of a hit. Ten times he beat the shift by going the other way.

His net gain of eight hits facing the shift tied him for the best in the majors with Mookie Betts.

Alex Patton Alex
Nick Castellanos Cincinnati Reds

Nick faced the shift last year in 82.6 percent of his plate appearances. I wonder how that compares to 2019?

In his 181 plate appearances against the shift, when he hit a ground ball or short line drive his BABIP was .216.

Alex Patton Alex
Colin Moran Pittsburgh Pirates

Two of the Top 30 Shifted Batters last year bat right. Nick Castellanos faced 181 shifts, two more than Moran. When Castellanos hit a ground ball or short line drive in a shift situation, he batted .216. Moran batted .206.

Alex Patton Alex
Michael Conforto New York Mets

That's the head-scratcher. Why don't batters adjust? LHB should at least drop a bunt down leading off an inning. It seems to me there are fewer bunts now than there were back before the shifting business began.

in 2011 there were 2,350 shifts in both leagues. in this year's 60-game season there were 23,375.

Alex Patton Alex
Hector Neris Philadelphia Phillies

I can't tell if you're serious but I was talking about his BABIP and HR/FB.

Alex Patton Alex
Jason Vosler San Diego Padres
Michael Conforto New York Mets

What's the common understanding of how/why major league hitters can't / don't adjust to the shift?

Is Conforto a smart cookie ... or lucky?

Go Beavs!

Howard Lynch LynchMob
Hector Neris Philadelphia Phillies

What's the difference between "balls that stayed in play" and "balls that didn't go out of play"?

I kid because I care :-)

Howard Lynch LynchMob
Michael Conforto New York Mets

The Bill James Handbook lists the Top 30 Shifted Batters. 

Then it looks at all 30 to determine what happened when they hit a grounder or short line drive against the shift.

Ten of them hit under .200.

One of them hit over .300. Conforto.

In 93.5 percent of his plate appearances he looked out at the shift. When he hit a grounder or short line drive, he batted .303.

Then again, on the rare occasion that he came to the plate and didn't face the shift, he hit .500.

And when he hit a long line drive or a fly ball?

He did a lot of damage.

Alex Patton Alex

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