TPR11 Excerpt: The Foreword by Jonah Keri | The Process Report

TPR11 Excerpt: The Foreword by Jonah Keri

Twitter offers 140 characters per message. We’re going to go with up to 140 words per excerpt –and yes, we’ll be excerpting every chapter of the book from now until the release date– or roughly five percent of the book for free. Up first is Jonah Keri’s delightful foreword:

A typical observer might look at Matt Joyce’s .080 batting average vs. left-handed pitchers last season and conclude that a full-time platoon is needed. The writers at TPR go deeper. They point out the lack of opportunity Joyce had to improve vs. southpaws, the possibility of positive regression ahead, and the ways to get Joyce’s plus glove on the field while also finding workable match-ups against certain left-handed pitchers.

A typical observer might wonder why Maddon would stack his lineup with left-handed batters against select left-handers, or go with copious right-handed hitters against a handful of righties. TPR’s writers mine the data, and the Rays’ thought process, to uncover “The Danks Theory,” which holds that certain pitchers throw change-ups which nullify opposite-handed hitters, making unusual lineups the best way to fight back.