Craig linked to a piece from Jon Roegele at the Hardball Times last October which showed that the strike zone has been growing significantly, particularly in the lower part of the zone. This has coincided with decreased scoring in MLB. There was a report in February that MLB’s Playing Rules Committee planned to keep an eye on the strike zone this season to see if it needs to be changed for 2016. Well, according to Roegele, two months into the season, it’s actually expanding:
When I checked in on the strike zone after just the first weeks of this season, its overall size was noticeably smaller than last year. In addition, while the bottom of the strike zone was as robust as it was during the initial weeks of the 2014 season, there was still room for it to grow to reach the level where it settled by the end the year.
Now two months into the season, the story has changed. The fact that the zone has been expanding downward since the start of spring training has been noted elsewhere, and these numbers paint the same picture.
There is some really interesting data in this piece, particularly about the difference in the strike zone between right-handed batters and left-handed batters. It would appear that the deck is increasingly stacked against right-handed batters. Be sure to check this out.