Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Photo

To bunt, or not to bunt? That is the question.

  • Please log in to reply
116 replies to this topic

#41 RegularJoe62

RegularJoe62

    Elizabethton Twins

  • Member
  • 37 posts

Posted 03 April 2018 - 07:16 PM

Sorry, I just don't get this notion that putting on a shift is good strategy, but bunting against it disrespects the game.

  • SQUIRREL, TheLeviathan, jimmer and 1 other like this

#42 Nine of twelve

Nine of twelve

    Minnesota Twins

  • Member
  • 2,516 posts
  • LocationEarth, for the time being

Posted 03 April 2018 - 07:28 PM

Not sure how you could know their intent, without ever having met them.

Just going with the odds. Like 99.99% odds.
  • RegularJoe62 likes this

#43 Mr. Brooks

Mr. Brooks

    Senior Member

  • Member
  • 7,865 posts

Posted 03 April 2018 - 07:51 PM

Just going with the odds. Like 99.99% odds.


Do you have any basis for that number, or are you just making it up?
It's common for people to celebrate their accomplishments. It doesn't mean they are always intending to ONLY disrespect someone.
  • jimmer likes this

#44 USAFChief

USAFChief

    Bad puns. That's how eye roll.

  • Moderator
  • 25,311 posts
  • LocationTucson

Posted 03 April 2018 - 08:10 PM

No. It says 2/3 of the bunts put in play worked, not 2/3 of bunts attempted. Only 38% of bunts were put in play and two thirds of those worked (so it is still only 25% of all bunts laid down). So below a .250 BA on bunt attempts.
And that's a small sample size. Imagine if there was an average of only 3 shifts per game. Almost 5k games, that's about 15K PAs and only 200 attempts. And only for batters that the manager was comfortable enough with to even try.

I know.

2/3 of bunts put in play.

2/3 of fair bunts.

We don’t know what ended up happening on the 62 percent of bunt attempts that were not put in play. The PA didn’t end there. The hitter might have walked, might have K’d, might have grounded out, might have hit a HR. But he didn’t get the bunt attempt in play, so unless he tried with two strikes, he’s still hitting.

A bunt against a shift, if put in play, worked two of every three times.

Again...you’re misreading your own data.
  • Platoon and Vanimal46 like this

Cutting my carbs...with a pizza slicer.


#45 jimmer

jimmer

    A former AF SNCO who values integrity.

  • Member
  • 10,212 posts

Posted 03 April 2018 - 08:51 PM

No, I am not, but I am not going to continue to explain it.

#46 Kelly Vance

Kelly Vance

    Junior Member

  • Member
  • 714 posts

Posted 03 April 2018 - 09:13 PM

"Unwritten rules ain't worth the piece of paper they ain't written on."

 

--Kelly Vance 2018

  • Dantes929, TheLeviathan, jimmer and 3 others like this

#47 Kelly Vance

Kelly Vance

    Junior Member

  • Member
  • 714 posts

Posted 03 April 2018 - 09:14 PM

 

Sorry, I just don't get this notion that putting on a shift is good strategy, but bunting against it disrespects the game.

I agree. You take what they give you

  • jimmer, Strato Guy and Nine of twelve like this

#48 Kelly Vance

Kelly Vance

    Junior Member

  • Member
  • 714 posts

Posted 03 April 2018 - 09:25 PM

 

It's all about adjusting to the adjustments in sports.Bunting will become a more more common thing methinks.

I agree. Its Spy v Spy, for all you Mad Magazine fans. But hey, the bunt was in the game before the shift. At least I think. Anyway, I say the bunt against the shift is the only way to get rid of that silly shift strategy. I mean.... come on.... 5 infielders? Where is Connie Mack or John McGraw when you need em? 

Edited by Kelly Vance, 03 April 2018 - 09:26 PM.


#49 Kelly Vance

Kelly Vance

    Junior Member

  • Member
  • 714 posts

Posted 03 April 2018 - 09:27 PM

They are out drinking with the ghost of Earl Weaver. 

  • Platoon likes this

#50 nicksaviking

nicksaviking

    Billy G.O.A.T

  • Moderator
  • 14,898 posts

Posted 04 April 2018 - 07:09 AM

 

This might be true, but hitting it for a line drive has the potential to reward the hitter with multiple bases, or even a home run.

 

It does, but getting on base might not even be the biggest benefit of bunting against a shift. The larger prize may be to get teams to stop shifting.

 

  • SQUIRREL, ashbury, USAFChief and 6 others like this

#51 Vanimal46

Vanimal46

    What's His Velocity?

  • Member
  • 12,859 posts
  • LocationAustin, TX

Posted 04 April 2018 - 07:21 AM

Here's data from last season in a Joe Posnanski article on MLB.com

 

 

 

Last year, based on Statcast™ numbers, players who got a bunt down against the shift hit .568. This is more complicated than simple batting average numbers because, among other things, it doesn't include those who fail to get the bunt down, but the point is: Major League players can beat the shift time after time after time if they so choose.

But they don't because the shift is more than a defensive strategy. The shift is a psychological game, and has been since the days of Ted Williams. It is meant to convince hitters that they don't really have the option to bunt or chop the ball the other way. To do that, the shift suggests, is to hurt yourself and the team.

 

  • ashbury, USAFChief, nicksaviking and 2 others like this

#52 ashbury

ashbury

    Twins fan, no joke!

  • Moderator
  • 24,638 posts
  • LocationNatick, MA

Posted 04 April 2018 - 07:41 AM

Here's data from last season in a Joe Posnanski article on MLB.com

As Platoon said earlier, the numbers we are looking at represent BABIP. Since league-average BABIP is normally around .300, you have to sit up and take notice at what look like sustainable BABIPs above .500. Yes, you're trading away SLG for OBP. And not every bunt attempt is put in play - the plate appearance goes on, in that case, and if two strikes are reached then probably the batter swings away. Like any skill, it's hard, and the pitcher has at least a little recourse - four-seamers thrown for high inside strikes would be my first guess what to try*. But basically, moar bunting, plz!

 

* Though, if I guess wrong, and a batter like Dozier isn't bunting, the ball could end up in the stands.

  • SQUIRREL and USAFChief like this

We laugh at gypsies, fortune tellers, and horoscopes, yet we trust baseball prospect lists.


#53 Craig Arko

Craig Arko

    Baseball and thought

  • Member
  • 8,677 posts
  • LocationThe ballpark of the mind

Posted 04 April 2018 - 07:42 AM

 

It does, but getting on base might not even be the biggest benefit of bunting against a shift. The larger prize may be to get teams to stop shifting.

The chess game within the game.

  • SQUIRREL, nicksaviking, Vanimal46 and 1 other like this
"Be humble for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars." - Old Serbian proverb

#54 Vanimal46

Vanimal46

    What's His Velocity?

  • Member
  • 12,859 posts
  • LocationAustin, TX

Posted 04 April 2018 - 07:53 AM

 

The chess game within the game.

 

And really, that's the beauty of everything we've been discussing on this thread. Analytics aren't going away, and teams will continue to mine thousands of batted balls to determine where you're most likely going to hit the ball in play. This is just the next move players can do to rebut the data. 

  • SQUIRREL, ashbury, Platoon and 1 other like this

#55 TheLeviathan

TheLeviathan

    Twins News Team

  • Member
  • 16,930 posts

Posted 04 April 2018 - 08:07 AM

 

And really, that's the beauty of everything we've been discussing on this thread. Analytics aren't going away, and teams will continue to mine thousands of batted balls to determine where you're most likely going to hit the ball in play. This is just the next move players can do to rebut the data. 

 

Also, putting runners on greatly reduces the ability to shift.You might free some players from facing the shift by way of getting on base and putting the opponent back in a more normal infield alignment.  

  • Brock Beauchamp, SQUIRREL, ashbury and 5 others like this

#56 Platoon

Platoon

    Cooperstown

  • Member
  • 5,115 posts
  • LocationTwinsWorld

Posted 04 April 2018 - 08:19 AM

From Joe P. "But they don't because the shift is more than a defensive strategy. The shift is a psychological game, and has been since the days of Ted Williams. It is meant to convince hitters that they don't really have the option to bunt or chop the ball the other way. To do that, the shift suggests, is to hurt yourself and the team.". This is most likely why more players don't bunt. And I think you can add one or two others. Certain players have been, since they started playing, known for their hitting more than any other part of their game. I have no doubt that many view bunting as beneath their status as an offensive threat, and............... The money is in home runs, not in bunting. This could or could not be what Joe P. meant by "hurt yourself", but it is how I would interpret some players insistence on hitting against the shift.
  • USAFChief, Vanimal46 and Nine of twelve like this
TwinsWorld: Did you hear we just updated the Stadium Club?

If I wanted balls and strikes called by a robot, I would get an Xbox!

#57 USAFChief

USAFChief

    Bad puns. That's how eye roll.

  • Moderator
  • 25,311 posts
  • LocationTucson

Posted 04 April 2018 - 08:21 AM

 

From Joe P. "But they don't because the shift is more than a defensive strategy. The shift is a psychological game, and has been since the days of Ted Williams. It is meant to convince hitters that they don't really have the option to bunt or chop the ball the other way. To do that, the shift suggests, is to hurt yourself and the team.". This is most likely why more players don't bunt. And I think you can add one or two others. Certain players have been, since they started playing, known for their hitting more than any other part of their game. I have no doubt that many view bunting as beneath their status as an offensive threat, and............... The money is in home runs, not in bunting. This could or could not be what Joe P. meant by "hurt yourself", but it is how I would interpret some players insistence on hitting against the shift.

I have no doubt that players will need to swallow a little pride to bunt.

 

It's not manly. It's too easy. It's what pitchers are asked to do, ferpetesakes.  

  • nicksaviking, Platoon, Vanimal46 and 1 other like this

Cutting my carbs...with a pizza slicer.


#58 snap4birds

snap4birds

    Cedar Rapids Kernels

  • Member
  • 114 posts

Posted 04 April 2018 - 08:26 AM

I saw that article on ESPN claiming Dozier was 'playing the long game'.But the funny thing is, you could just as easily claim that Sisco was playing it, too.His team was down 6 runs with one out in the ninth.If he gets on base, how much does that raise his team's win probability?How much more does it rise if he hits a solo home run?Not much, in either case.But him putting down a successful bunt in that situation just might make teams re-consider that shift against him the next time around.And it's a good opportunity to practice it so he will be better at it, too.  

 

 


#59 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    A Little Teapot

  • Owner
  • 22,873 posts

Posted 04 April 2018 - 08:43 AM

I spent a decade complaining that Ortiz didn't bunt to break the shift with a bunt on a regular basis so it's pretty clear where I stand on this topic.

 

Go ahead and shift but be warned that a smart player will hurt you for it.

  • SQUIRREL, Platoon and Nine of twelve like this

#60 ashbury

ashbury

    Twins fan, no joke!

  • Moderator
  • 24,638 posts
  • LocationNatick, MA

Posted 04 April 2018 - 08:44 AM

I saw that article on ESPN claiming Dozier was 'playing the long game'.But the funny thing is, you could just as easily claim that Sisco was playing it, too.His team was down 6 runs with one out in the ninth.If he gets on base, how much does that raise his team's win probability? 

The WPA stat kept by baseball-reference.com doesn't get down into the decimals, so by their computation it's approximately zero. But, if you look at the graph just above the play-by-play, you do see just the tiniest wiggle, when Machado singled Sisco over and our chances plummeted to 99%. :)

  • snap4birds likes this

We laugh at gypsies, fortune tellers, and horoscopes, yet we trust baseball prospect lists.