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ESPN to add more graphics, bells and whistles to its broadcasts

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ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts include a strike zone box on the screen at all times. It’s rather annoying. Last year during the American League Wild Card game ESPN upped its usual quotient of graphical garbage to include a 3D strike zone box, which it calls K-Zone 3D — on certain pitches. It’s a cutaway thing that looks like this:

 

If you don’t like cutaways you didn’t like K-Zone 3D. If you do, well, you’re in luck because a lot more cutaways are coming this year: ESPN is going to integrate that feature into all of its Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts. And it’s going to use them far more often. In the Wild Card game they went to it three times. ESPN says it wants to use it 12-15 times a game this year.

ESPN will also be adding more information to the score bug in the corner of the screen, including each team’s record and how many games out of first place it is. It’s also going to use a feature called “catch probability” for every fly ball. It’ll show the distance an outfielder has to run and how fast he’d have to run to make the catch. Which I suppose will mostly be used to show how fast speedy outfielders are, but could totally — and entertainingly — be used to see how far behind each ball less-than-stellar outfielders like, say, Wil Myers lag.

If you’re the sort of person who likes their baseball broadcasts uncluttered, without a lot of analysis-for-the-sake-of-analysis and broadcasters talking to hear themselves talk, well, I don’t have any news for you. Sorry.

(via Awful Announcing)

 

Bradley Zimmer to miss 8-12 months after shoulder surgery

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Indians outfielder Bradley Zimmer is out for the year after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder, the team announced Saturday. The projected recovery timetable spans anywhere from 8-12 months, which puts Zimmer’s return in the second half of the 2019 season, assuming that all goes well.

Zimmer, 25, had not made an appearance for the Indians since June 3. He racked up a cumulative nine weeks on the major- and minor-league disabled lists this season and will have finished his year with a .226/.281/.330 batting line, seven extra-base hits, and four stolen bases in 114 plate appearances.

The outfielder reportedly sustained his season-ending injury during a workout in Triple-A Columbus, where Cleveland.com’s Joe Noga says Zimmer began feeling discomfort in his shoulder after completing a set of one-handed throwing drills. Comments from club manager Terry Francona suggest that the Indians have every reason to believe that he’ll make a full recovery by next summer, though it’s not yet clear whether or not he’ll need additional time to readjust to a full workload when he takes the field again.