The Pirates are learning some lessons from the Golden State Warriors


This is interesting: Clint Hurdle made a comment about possibly resting Andrew McCutchen more this year. And it’s not just about rest. It’s something based in analytics learned from, of all places, the NBA:

“I read an interesting article a while ago on the Golden State Warriors, how they get maximum production with their players,” Hurdle said. “They’re actually playing less, and they’re playing better collectively as a group.”

And it’s not just a random comment from Hurdle. Jayson Stark reports that the Pirates’ front office has been studying minutes maximization in basketball and hockey and are thinking about how it might apply to baseball. How, from an overall production perspective, you may get more from your star playing 153 games and his backup playing in nine instead of 159 from the star and three from the backup. Which is an interesting thing to study that not a ton of folks who think casually about baseball have thought too much about.

This is a good example, by the way, of how that stuff we talked about earlier this morning regarding Jeff Samardzija works. There is literally no need whatsoever for, say, Andrew McCutchen to know how the formulas or calculations behind the metrics that may explain how playing time is best maximized. Let Neal Huntington’s staff figure that stuff out. Once they figure it out, they can tell Clint Hurdle, who can tell McCutchen that he’s going to get a bit more rest this year so he’s sharper when he plays. And Cutch will likely say “cool, Skip.”

Cody Bellinger wins 2019 National League Most Valuable Player Award

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Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger was named the 2019 National League Most Valuable Player by the Baseball Writers Associated of America. He received 19 of 30 first-place votes.

Bellinger, 24, was the NL Rookie of the Year two years ago and is now the MVP. In 2019, he hit .305/.406/.629 with 47 home runs, 115 RBI, 121 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases. Among qualified position players in the NL, Bellinger and Christian Yelich tied in Wins Above Replacement at 7.8, according to FanGraphs. Bellinger’s strong year helped the Dodgers win a franchise record 106 games, though they were stopped short in the NLDS by the eventual world champion Nationals.

Bellinger is the first Dodger to win the award since Clayton Kershaw in 2014. He also joins Kirk Gibson, Steve Garvey, Sandy Koufax, and Maury Wills to win the award since the team moved to Los Angeles. Bellinger is overall the 13th Dodger to be named the MVP. He is the 18th NL player to win both a Rookie of the Year Award and an MVP award.

Yelich finished in second place and Anthony Rendon finished in third place. They were followed by Ketel Marte, Ronald Acuña Jr., Nolan Arenado, and Pete Alonso. Also receiving votes were Freddie Freeman, Juan Soto, Jacob deGrom, Josh Donaldson, Trevor Story, Jack Flaherty, J.T. Realmuto, Yasmani Grandal, Max Muncy, Stephen Strasburg, Eugenio Suárez, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Paul Goldschmidt, Kolten Wong, Kevin Pillar, and Max Scherzer.