February 20th

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Bryce Harper – Free Agent Update

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Phillies’ “total focus” is on Harper, with other free agents a second thought. They are still being cautious, as they don’t want to outbid themselves, thus overpaying. The Giants are said to only looking for a shorter (than 10 years) deal. Also MLB.com has written an article stating that the nationals are NOT willing to go near the 10 year $300MM that Machado got. That is a curious statement because there were multiple reports stating that thats about the offer that the Nationals gave him at the beginning of the offseason. Not sure what has changed, but maybe thats the money they gave to Patrick Corbin.

 

Josh Harrison – Signed with Tigers

The Detroit Tigers have signed veteran utility man Josh Harrison to a one year, $2MM deal with an additional $1MM in incentives. Harrison has experience playing both corner outfield spots, and the defensive metrics really favor him at 2B and 3B. His bat has had some good and bad seasons, but his base running stats have always been stellar. A solid pickup for the Tigers, who could be using this signing for a possible flip at the deadline since they aren’t looking too great to contend in the AL Central.

 

Tyler Clippard – Minor League Deal

Tyler Clippard was once one of the prime late inning relievers. Now after some bumps in the road, he is now accepting a minor league deal. Even has recently as 2014 he had a FIP of 2.75, he used to be right near closer territory for the Nationals. Right then the year after his FIP skyrocketed to 4.28. It has not been smooth sailing for the righty since, as the Indians will be the 8th organization in 6 years (Athletics, Mets, Diamondbacks, Yankees, White Sox, Astros, and now Indians). Yikes.

 

Trevor Plouffe – Minor League Deal

With Machado gone elsewhere, veteran 3B Trevor Plouffe has agreed to a minor league deal with the Phillies today, where he hopes to take the reins of the 3B spot. Currently the Phillies have Maikel Franco slotted to start the season there, but Plouffe and his veteran presence have a shot at making the team. With both Franco

 


 

Stat of the Day – Catch Probability

Catch Probability represents the likelihood that a batted ball to the outfield will be caught, based on four important pieces of information tracked by Statcast. 1. How far did the fielder have to go? 2. How much time did he have to get there. 3. What direction did he need to go in? 4. Was proximity to the wall a factor?

Accordingly, each tracked batted ball to the outfield is assigned an expected Catch Probability percentage — relative to comparable catch opportunities in the Statcast era — based on distance needed and opportunity time. The more time a fielder has to react to a ball and the less distance needed to reach it, the higher the Catch Probability.

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Distance needed is used instead of distance covered, which measures the ground a fielder covers from the point the ball is struck to the time the play is made, to prevent fielders from receiving additional credit for taking longer-than-necessary routes to the ball. Meanwhile, opportunity time is calculated from the point the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand (rather than when the batter makes contact) to credit instances in which a fielder adjusts his position based on where the catcher sets up or what type of pitch is called.

There have been two updates to Catch Probability since it’s release. In May 2017: it Accounted for going back on the ball, and in 2018 it started accounting for difficulty of getting near the wall.

TLDR: A lazy fly ball and a sinking liner can both be outs; while one is exponentially harder to catch. Catch Probability puts a number on it. 

 

Stat of the Day Curtesy of BaseballSavant.com and MLB.com

Header Photo Credit Curtesy by SI.com

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