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An enlightening look at Pitch F/X
2008-07-21 22:36
by Bob Timmermann

Cory Schwartz of interviewed Prof. Alan Nathan of the University of Illinois about his presentation at the most recent SABR convention about Pitch F/x. It's a video of a little under four minutes and is quite enlightening.

One of Nathan's conclusions is that one of the most important aspects of pitching is not speed and not the amount of break, but rather location.

2008-07-22 02:26:18
1.   trainwreck
That was enlightening and I am sure there are teams out there working on getting this info to their managers and pitching coaches to decide when to pull a pitcher or make an adjustment and that can only improve the game.

The inside/outside information seems so simple and logical, but I just had never really thought about it.

2008-07-22 03:05:38
2.   PDH5204
"[first question]: Are there any theories or traditional notions about baseball that you think have been proven or perhaps disproven by the use of the Pitch F/x data?

[our man]: One of my favorite ones is the thing about the late-breaking curveball, or the late-breaking pitch. I've always felt that physics ought to be able to describe trajectories as being fairly smooth, and indeed, I think if you look at the trajectories of these pitches, they all are rather smooth trajectories."

Physics. All I've ever asked for.

Re things fairly smooth and what we ought to expect with respect to the same, well, given a very nearly uniform force acting on the ball once the ball is beyond pitcher influence, how could things not be fairly smooth? Now if a bird were to contact a ball in flight...

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