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The Strike Zone During the PITCHf/x Era

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#1 Willihammer

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 12:06 PM

This is a really interesting read.

http://www.hardballt...he-pitchfx-era/

TL;DR the zone that umps call today is lower, and tighter than it was in 2008. Overall, its bigger. And it looks like pitchers are slow to take full advantage of the (new) low strike.

#2 Jarends703

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 01:49 PM

Did it say in the article why this may be happening? I skimmed it and couldn't find anything as to the reason behind the change. That may be a moot point anyway.

I wonder how how adept pitchers may be at making these kinds of adjustments from season to season or even in season. It takes pitchers years to refine their abilities to even reach the majors.

#3 Willihammer

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 12:09 PM

Couple things. In 2001 MLB started training umpires to tighten up on the sides of the zone, ie. to not call as many strikes that are off the outside corner. Then starting in 2008 when pitchf/x was implemented, self-evals showed they weren't calling the low strike even though it fit the rulebook definition ("bottom of the knee"), and have called a lot more of them ever since.

#4 Willihammer

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 12:10 PM

A 3rd factor could be pitch framing. As teams have gotten their hands on pitchf/x data too, and started teaching their catchers how to frame.

#5 thetank

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 08:29 AM

You would have to believe that pitch framing has come to the attention of MLB umpires and there would be an adjustment. Maybe they can use technology in the future to determine the corners.

#6 jay

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 09:39 AM

Very interesting, indeed. A takeaway that popped into my head is how umpires appear to be calling more low strikes overall and that is the section of the zone where Mauer struggled to get calls, possibly due to his comparative size.