Over at the Replacement Level Yankees Weblog there’s a very interesting post showing “heat maps” for Mariano Rivera’s pitches, which are unique in that they’re rarely thrown over the middle of the plate. That may sound obvious, but as you’ll see if you click the link Rivera is actually an oddity compared to MLB pitchers as a whole and some of the league’s elite closers.
Replacement Level Yankees Weblog: Mariano Rivera’s pitch frequency
Rivera essentially throws one pitch and he commands it so well that he’s perhaps the only pitcher who can truly live on the edges of the strike zone while also walking fewer than two batters per nine innings. Just when you think we’ve run out of ways to show how amazing Rivera is, stuff like the heat maps comes along to shine a new light on his unique greatness.
The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.
A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.