Joe Maddon on league-wide drop in offense: “The hitter’s at a total disadvantage right now”

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Rays manager Joe Maddon is going to spend the off-season answering a question he posed to MLB.com’s Bill Chastain: “What do you do to where the hitter gains an advantage?”

Maddon continued:

“It’s becoming an industry-wide situation,” Maddon said. “Offenses. It’s gone backwards. The next big frontier is to figure that out. How do you generate offense in 2015 like you did several years ago, when we were able to combine pitching and defense with victories because we got up one-run plus as opposed to one-run minus.

[…]

“The hitter’s at a total disadvantage right now,” Maddon said. “And there’s no advantages on the horizon. I don’t see it. That’s why it’s going to take a lot of creative thinking.”

Maddon’s Rays entered Sunday’s action averaging 3.83 runs per game, the second-lowest in the American League behind the Red Sox. But he’s right: offense has been in freefall over the last five seasons. In 2009, the major league average OPS was .751. In 2010, it dropped to .728, then to .720, rose slightly up to .724, fell to .714, and currently sits at .701. It’s the lowest average OPS since 1992, when it was an even .700. It hasn’t been below .700 since 1989, when it was .695.

There are a plethora of explanations, all of which could explain to some degree the lack of offense. Maddon suggests the recent technological advances have benefited pitching and defense more than hitting. Harsher punishments for using PED’s, the rise in dominance of relievers, and the increase in strikeouts could also have played a factor.

O’Day retires following 15 seasons for 6 major league teams

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ATLANTA (AP) Right-hander Darren O'Day, who posted a 4.15 ERA in 28 games with the Atlanta Braves in 2022, announced Monday he is retiring after 15 seasons for six teams in the major leagues.

O’Day said on his Twitter account “it’s finally time to hang ’em up.”

“The mental, physical and time demands have finally outweighed my love for the game,” O’Day said.

O’Day, 40, featured an unconventional sidearm delivery. He was 42-21 with a 2.59 ERA in 644 games, all in relief. He made his major league debut in 2008 with the Angels and pitched seven seasons, from 2012-18, for the Baltimore Orioles.

He posted a 4.43 ERA in 30 postseason games, including the 2010 World Series with the Texas Rangers.

O’Day also pitched for the New York Mets and New York Yankees. He pitched for the Braves in 2019-20 before returning for his second stint with the team last season. He became a free agent following the season.

He set a career high with six saves for Baltimore in 2015, when he was 6-2 with a 1.52 ERA and was an AL All-Star.