Spring Training 2023 Thread

RoDaddy

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jun 19, 2002
3,285
Albany area, NY
Cool to see Murphy, Mata and Walter back to back to back today. Three dominant innings right there by the three highlighted by Mata's stuff and Merloni comparing Walter's slider to Sales' at one point. Love this early stage of ST when you get to see a lot of the prospects before they're sent to their minor league team complexes

The much faster pace looks like it can be successful and transformative to a game that so desperately needs a kick of something. If anything, it's too fast but I'm guessing that will loosen up a bit into the regular season
 

Ale Xander

Hamilton
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
75,412
Not sure where to put this since she's not really famous, so putting it here, but today at Roger Dean Stadium at the Cards Marlins game, I sat next to this old lady who was the teacher of Red Sox "legends" Al Nipper and Morgan Burkhart in Hazelwood West (St. Louis, MO).

@AlNipper49
 

Heating up in the bullpen

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 24, 2007
1,158
Pittsboro NC
Dalbec usually performs in spring training. It’s just frustrating he can’t keep it up when it matters sometimes
Article on MLB.com about Bobby D. Twice mentions the same thing you say about his Spring Training performance:
" Bobby Dalbec started what is an important Spring Training for him on Saturday afternoon by hitting two straight rockets. The first one was a hard double to right field. The second was another opposite-field bullet, this one clearing the wall for a two-run homer in a 6-6 tie between the Red Sox and Braves.
The knee-jerk reaction is that Dalbec has ripped the ball in Spring Trainings past and it hasn’t translated.
But a deeper look reveals that Dalbec spent the offseason revamping his swing mechanics, which is allowing him to hit the ball to the opposite field with authority."
...
"Cora has made note of Dalbec’s adjustments, which had been evident in live batting practice sessions all week before the 27-year-old got to showcase it in a Grapefruit League game on Saturday.
“I know everybody is going to say, ‘He rakes in Spring Training,’” Cora said. “But he went [to right field]. He’s not pull side. He stayed on pitches, and he went the other way. So that’s a good sign.”"
Bobby says his swing -- and approach -- changes were brought about by studying Sadaharu Oh.
https://www.mlb.com/redsox/news/sadaharu-oh-a-model-for-bobby-dalbec
 

shaggydog2000

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 5, 2007
11,786
Article on MLB.com about Bobby D. Twice mentions the same thing you say about his Spring Training performance:
" Bobby Dalbec started what is an important Spring Training for him on Saturday afternoon by hitting two straight rockets. The first one was a hard double to right field. The second was another opposite-field bullet, this one clearing the wall for a two-run homer in a 6-6 tie between the Red Sox and Braves.
The knee-jerk reaction is that Dalbec has ripped the ball in Spring Trainings past and it hasn’t translated.
But a deeper look reveals that Dalbec spent the offseason revamping his swing mechanics, which is allowing him to hit the ball to the opposite field with authority."
...
"Cora has made note of Dalbec’s adjustments, which had been evident in live batting practice sessions all week before the 27-year-old got to showcase it in a Grapefruit League game on Saturday.
“I know everybody is going to say, ‘He rakes in Spring Training,’” Cora said. “But he went [to right field]. He’s not pull side. He stayed on pitches, and he went the other way. So that’s a good sign.”"
Bobby says his swing -- and approach -- changes were brought about by studying Sadaharu Oh.
https://www.mlb.com/redsox/news/sadaharu-oh-a-model-for-bobby-dalbec
"He revamped his swing in the offseason" is probably second to "he's in the best shape of his life" on the spring training stories that don't mean much to me.
 

shaggydog2000

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 5, 2007
11,786
Tell that to J.D. Martinez.
Ok, so what do you say that puts the "revamped swing" article batting average at then? Not saying it's impossible for swing changes to help, but just like the "best shape of their life" article, it has zero correlation with improved player performance. Some get better with the article, some get worse, some get better without the article, some get worse.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Moderator
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
72,190
Ok, so what do you say that puts the "revamped swing" article batting average at then? Not saying it's impossible for swing changes to help, but just like the "best shape of their life" article, it has zero correlation with improved player performance. Some get better with the article, some get worse, some get better without the article, some get worse.
Yep, and plenty of players who revamp their swing over the winter go back to the earlier one by mid-April.
 

jbupstate

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2022
629
New York, USA
I cannot find the article but I think it was in the Sunday Globe…

Dalbec said he didn’t change his swing but wanted to work on his approach. He thought he was too mechanical in the batters box.

Swing changes tend to revert back to old swing when thing get dicey. But a change in approach for someone like Dalbec could lead to success…. First change would be to look more fastball. Not supported by data but it feels like he’s always taking a called strike on the high fastball when down 0-1. It’s a high school strategy to always look heat and fight off off speed. Cheat fastball.
 

BornToRun

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 4, 2011
17,585
I cannot find the article but I think it was in the Sunday Globe…

Dalbec said he didn’t change his swing but wanted to work on his approach. He thought he was too mechanical in the batters box.

Swing changes tend to revert back to old swing when thing get dicey. But a change in approach for someone like Dalbec could lead to success…. First change would be to look more fastball. Not supported by data but it feels like he’s always taking a called strike on the high fastball when down 0-1. It’s a high school strategy to always look heat and fight off off speed. Cheat fastball.
Entirely anecdotal but I feel like we spent a lot of time watching Bobby stare down a hittable fastball earlier in the count before going fishing on stuff he couldn’t hit.
 

GB5

New Member
Aug 26, 2013
707
The first way to help Bobby is to stop letting him have 70% of his at bats against righties. If he is going to make the team, give him only lefties the first month or two. If he starts off well, then maybe sprinkle in some at bats against righties. Need to build his confidence back up and then expand.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
21,271
Maine
Duran has looked great so far. The 4th OF spot is between him and Refsnyder, right?
There may be room for both. With Mondesi expected to start the year on the IL, the last bench spot might come down to Duran vs Dalbec (assuming Wong, Chang, and Refsnyder are the others).
 

Benj4ever

New Member
Nov 21, 2022
388
Ok, so what do you say that puts the "revamped swing" article batting average at then? Not saying it's impossible for swing changes to help, but just like the "best shape of their life" article, it has zero correlation with improved player performance. Some get better with the article, some get worse, some get better without the article, some get worse.
What does the "article" have to do with anything? The point is that swing changes can make a difference (e.g., JD). Even if there's zero statistical correlation (which you have not proven), you cannot discount the upper tail of the distribution. I'm not saying that every guy who changes his swing will suddenly be successful at the major league level, anyway. All I'm saying is that there's reason for hope. If hope isn't your thing, then fine.
 

BornToRun

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 4, 2011
17,585
What does the "article" have to do with anything? The point is that swing changes can make a difference (e.g., JD). Even if there's zero statistical correlation (which you have not proven), you cannot discount the upper tail of the distribution. I'm not saying that every guy who changes his swing will suddenly be successful at the major league level, anyway. All I'm saying is that there's reason for hope. If hope isn't your thing, then fine.
He was doing a thing and that thing wasn’t working. Now, he’s going to do a new thing and maybe he will start to have more success because of it. Spring training articles that blow smoke up everyone’s ass are always going to be there and they probably amount to nothing more often than not but you’re completely right, there’s no reason not to wait and see if he’s figured something out. At least he’s trying to change his approach instead of being stubborn.
 

Benj4ever

New Member
Nov 21, 2022
388
He was doing a thing and that thing wasn’t working. Now, he’s going to do a new thing and maybe he will start to have more success because of it. Spring training articles that blow smoke up everyone’s ass are always going to be there and they probably amount to nothing more often than not but you’re completely right, there’s no reason not to wait and see if he’s figured something out. At least he’s trying to change his approach instead of being stubborn.
Well, Ok. It is interesting, though, that NESN did an in-game bit recently showing the difference between Duran's swing this year vs. last, and how it should help him handle certain pitches better. I think we can all agree with you that being stubborn would be a one-way trip out of the game for Duran.
 

shaggydog2000

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 5, 2007
11,786
Entirely anecdotal but I feel like we spent a lot of time watching Bobby stare down a hittable fastball earlier in the count before going fishing on stuff he couldn’t hit.
Well, according to his stats, he saw first pitch fastballs at pretty close to the league average over his career, and the percent of pitches in the zone seems about the same. He just has problems making contact. Over the last 3 seasons he improved his contact rate and cut down on his swinging strikes, but both of those are still considerably below average, and in the process his hard hit rate has plummeted to league average. His barrel % was almost half what it was in his first full season. Last year he was bad because he wasn't driving the ball or making enough contact. So I don't know what he changed about his approach before, and what he is changing now, but I doubt they've told him to just go back to swinging hard and missing most of the time. His out of zone swing percentage has gotten better, but it was never that bad.

https://www.fangraphs.com/players/bobby-dalbec/19966/stats#plate-discipline
 

JM3

often quoted
SoSH Member
Dec 14, 2019
16,750
No shade, but you're posting other team's feeds with highlights of Pivetta shitting himself last season?
That's what pops up when I tried to find out his health status (that & him dropping out of the WBC for Canada) - I even posted the link to the search I did. I can't help it that this is what the internet wants to post about Pivetta in lieu of updates about his health. I would guess it means he's probably still home sick & away from the team, but hopefully he will obtain a swift and full recovery.

In the general spring training thread no less?
I'll make sure to use the Pivetta home runs allowed videos containment thread next time.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
That's what pops up when I tried to find out his health status (that & him dropping out of the WBC for Canada) - I even posted the link to the search I did. I can't help it that this is what the internet wants to post about Pivetta in lieu of updates about his health. I would guess it means he's probably still home sick & away from the team, but hopefully he will obtain a swift and full recovery.



I'll make sure to use the Pivetta home runs allowed videos containment thread next time.
Did the internet make you post it?
 

GB5

New Member
Aug 26, 2013
707
Re: Duran v Dalbec, can anything be read into the fact that Duran has been starting with what looks like the majority of the MLB lineup while Dalbec including tonight has been playing with a Worcester”ie” like lineup or is it just the randomness of spring training?
 

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
21,865
Rogers Park
Re: Duran v Dalbec, can anything be read into the fact that Duran has been starting with what looks like the majority of the MLB lineup while Dalbec including tonight has been playing with a Worcester”ie” like lineup or is it just the randomness of spring training?
I think the thing that can be read into it is that Duvall isn’t playing the outfield in games yet (much? At all?). So Duran and Rafaela have been getting the time out there.
 

Niastri

Member
SoSH Member
Well, according to his stats, he saw first pitch fastballs at pretty close to the league average over his career, and the percent of pitches in the zone seems about the same. He just has problems making contact. Over the last 3 seasons he improved his contact rate and cut down on his swinging strikes, but both of those are still considerably below average, and in the process his hard hit rate has plummeted to league average. His barrel % was almost half what it was in his first full season. Last year he was bad because he wasn't driving the ball or making enough contact. So I don't know what he changed about his approach before, and what he is changing now, but I doubt they've told him to just go back to swinging hard and missing most of the time. His out of zone swing percentage has gotten better, but it was never that bad.

https://www.fangraphs.com/players/bobby-dalbec/19966/stats#plate-discipline
The point is, if you can only hit fastballs in the zone, watching any of them go past you without swinging is a bad idea.

Dalbec probably needs to hunt first pitch fast balls until they stop throwing them, and then hunt second pitch fastballs in the 1-0 count.

Dalbec just isn't the type of hitter who can work the count and not strike out far too often. At least if he swings and misses at that first pitch fast cash he gave himself a chance to do something positive.

EDIT: I guess his rookie year got me thinking Dalbec could only hit fastballs, but he crushed curves that year. Last year he could only hit uncategorized pitches well... So only ones that slipped out of the pitcher's hand?

I'm a Dalbec prospect apologist, but he needs to do something right and quickly before he's out of baseball.

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/savant-player/bobby-dalbec-666915?stats=statcast-r-hitting-mlb
 
Last edited:

Sandy Leon Trotsky

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2007
6,704
The point is, if you can only hit fastballs in the zone, watching any of them go past you without swinging is a bad idea.

Dalbec probably needs to hunt first pitch fast balls until they stop throwing them, and then hunt second pitch fastballs in the 1-0 count.

Dalbec just isn't the type of hitter who can work the count and not strike out far too often. At least if he swings and misses at that first pitch fast cash he gave himself a chance to do something positive.

EDIT: I guess his rookie year got me thinking Dalbec could only hit fastballs, but he crushed curves that year. Last year he could only hit uncategorized pitches well... So only ones that slipped out of the pitcher's hand?

I'm a Dalbec prospect apologist, but he needs to do something right and quickly before he's out of baseball.

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/savant-player/bobby-dalbec-666915?stats=statcast-r-hitting-mlb
I never thought he’d be the August’21 version of himself but there were earlier stretches in ‘21 when a normalized BABIP would have turned him into a consistent .800 high SLG hitter- figuring his defense would improve.
Perhaps his new approach and/or swing will help him but I don’t think he should have the opportunity to find out on the Sox any longer. He needs to be sent to Oakland/Pittsburgh/KC/Denver?
 

shaggydog2000

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 5, 2007
11,786
The point is, if you can only hit fastballs in the zone, watching any of them go past you without swinging is a bad idea.

Dalbec probably needs to hunt first pitch fast balls until they stop throwing them, and then hunt second pitch fastballs in the 1-0 count.

Dalbec just isn't the type of hitter who can work the count and not strike out far too often. At least if he swings and misses at that first pitch fast cash he gave himself a chance to do something positive.

EDIT: I guess his rookie year got me thinking Dalbec could only hit fastballs, but he crushed curves that year. Last year he could only hit uncategorized pitches well... So only ones that slipped out of the pitcher's hand?

I'm a Dalbec prospect apologist, but he needs to do something right and quickly before he's out of baseball.

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/savant-player/bobby-dalbec-666915?stats=statcast-r-hitting-mlb
These numbers are probably better than the fangraphs ones I was working from. It really is hard to say he can just lay off this or hunt for that based on his 2020 and 2021 numbers. He hit fastballs and breaking balls, he just whiffed too much all around. Whatever he did last year with his swing reduced his whiff rate on fastballs only but reduced his hard hit rate and exit velocity and made him below average against fastballs. I don't see that as an overall improvement.
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
31,146
These numbers are probably better than the fangraphs ones I was working from. It really is hard to say he can just lay off this or hunt for that based on his 2020 and 2021 numbers. He hit fastballs and breaking balls, he just whiffed too much all around. Whatever he did last year with his swing reduced his whiff rate on fastballs only but reduced his hard hit rate and exit velocity and made him below average against fastballs. I don't see that as an overall improvement.
IIRC, he was swinging early in the count and out of the zone. So he took more pitches and fell behind a lot. I *think* that was the sort of thing he was referring to when he talks of changing his approach this year.