Monday, August 12, 2013

Patient Red Sox Lead Majors In Pitches Seen

Boston Grind Sox (AP Photo)
Ever since Theo Epstein brought his Moneyball-like approach to Fenway, the Red Sox have been among the leaders in hitting discipline—AKA grinding out at-bats. This year is no exception as Boston has five players in the top 52 in most pitches seen per plate appearance, making them #1 overall in MLB. Believe it or not, Mike Napoli is ranked #1—unfortunately he's also #1 in strikeouts. Dustin Pedroia is #12 and Daniel Nava is #13 on the "patience" list, while Jacoby Ellsbury and David Ortiz are in the top 52 as well. Rays manager Joe Maddon has had to deal with this phenomenon for a long time. He states, "This has been going on for several years -- them and the Yankees. In this division, notoriously, you have to get your pitchers to be able to get hitters out in the strike zone. There are other teams you get hitters out outside of the strike zone, so that's why they're such a good offensive club. You've got to get them out throwing the ball within the strike zone, and therein lies the rub. That's why they've been so good for so many years."