Sean Doolittle explains sabermetrics to you

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Athletics reliever Sean Doolittle provides a nice service today. In filling in for Buster Olney at ESPN.com, he provides a nice primer to sabermetric concepts. Both educating uninitiated readers and putting lie to the notion that players themselves have no use for advanced metrics.

He even goes further, providing an inside view of some of the more esoteric, proprietary stats used by the Oakland A’s. For example:

BABIP: That’s batting average on balls in play, right? Wrong. It’s baseball averages compared to Bip Roberts. According to Baseball-Reference.com, over 12 seasons, Bip Roberts held a .294 batting average and a .358 on-base percentage and had a 162-game average of 36 stolen bases per year. Roberts played his final season for the A’s in 1998, but sabermetricians still use his stats when evaluating players.

Hmm. I’m starting to think only half of the column is to be taken seriously. Though, to be fair, his version of BABIP is more useful than some of the stats others use with a straight face.

The Mets are doing something really weird with Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey

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Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports that the Mets are going to give Noah Syndergaard the start for tomorrow’s game. But here’s the hitch: he’ll only get one inning and then Matt Harvey will enter in the second inning and go from there. Harvey was originally scheduled to take the start. Syndergaard, of course, has been out since April. Harvey has been pitching under the loosest definition of the term.

I can see, if they are intent on putting Syndergaard in a real game, having him start one rather than come in out of the bullpen for purposes of preparation and routine. At the same time, however, if he’s only able to throw one inning at this point, with a little over a week left in the season, what’s the point of him pitching at all? As for Harvey relieving: he’s kind of a mess right now. Is he someone whose routine you really want to throw off?

I guess this doesn’t hurt anything — at least as long as Syndergaard doesn’t hurt himself throwing in a meaningless game at the end of the season — but it certainly is odd. It makes me wonder if this is some sort of “Dave” or “Moon Over Parador” situation in which the Mets are just trying to create the impression that Syndergaard is still alive.

Could Kevin Klein pitch an inning? Richard Dreyfuss?

Girl hit by foul ball at Yankee Stadium has “a long road ahead”

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There are few details about the toddler who was hit by the foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, mostly because of patient confidentiality considerations. We are learning a little bit in drips and drabs, and it’s sounding like the child was very seriously injured.

While Joe Girardi said the other day — likely innocently speculating based on third-hand information — the the kid was “OK,” the New York Posts spoke to an anonymous family member of the child who makes it sound more serious:

“She’s stable. It’s going to be a long process,” said the family member, who didn’t give his name, at New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.

That could mean any number of things, but it’s hard to escape the conclusion that, whatever situation she’s in, the injury is a significant one.

As we’ve noted in the past two days, several teams who have been non-committal have come forward to say that they will now add additional netting to their ballparks. It’s a shame it took a serious injury to a child to get them to finally come to their senses, but thankfully they are, in fact, coming to their senses.