Beyond the Box Score has a major study on Derek Lowe's strike zone, focusing on his unusually high amount of balls thrown. I find this funny because I was on the verge of writing a piece about Lowe's strike zone before reading this. Another recent study by BTB has Lowe receiving the second widest zone in the league.â†µ
Mike Fast of Baseball Prospectus did a recent study on catchers' targets being a big reason for an umpire's calls. It's tremendous work to find a conclusion that many in baseball know about. If you continuously hit a target, no matter the location of it, you will tend to get that call. But, of course, that isn't everything in the article. It's great stuff.â†µ
Lowe's target is continuously low and away, and when he is able to hit it enough, he will get the extra inch low and away. Also something I noticed when looking at Lowe's strike zone calls is the fact that he doesn't get many calls up in the strike zone. The umpire is forced to change his eye level, and the catcher is forced to move his mitt drastically, so it's not surprising.â†µ
This will bring back bad memories for Atlanta Braves fans, but you have to admit it's pretty funny. You certainly don't see a bobblehead spotlighting a moment like this very often. My only problem with it is Ron Gant's arms clearly aren't big enough.â†µ
Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star held a Royals-related chat on the paper's site today. A couple Braves-related notes are that he believes Melky Cabrera will be the Opening Day starter in center. Lorenzo Cain is breathing down his neck, but the Royals are playing it smart by giving him work in the minors for now. Dutton also believes the Braves will regret trading reliever Tim Collins. The lefty was acquired in the package for Yunel Escobar and then sent to KC for Kyle Farnsworth and Rick Ankiel. Eh, he's a minor league reliever.