MLB Trends: Sandy Alcantara Becomes Baseball’s Best Workhorse How the Yankees made a major upgrade inside the radar.

The 2022 MLB regular season is more than two months old and the contenders are now separating themselves from the pretenders. Many of the teams that started hot are returning to Earth (like angels) and others that have started slowly (like Brave) are climbing the standings. That said, there is still much – much – to be played this season.

With that in mind, our weekly series, which breaks down trends across the league, will focus on a starter’s dominant race on Wednesday, a hitter’s improved communication ability, and a team’s efforts to limit stolen bases. Continuing with the look. Last week we broke Hunter Green’s use of fastball, Charlie Morton’s crewball problems, and the home run spike in mid-May..

The era of Alcantara’s domination

It’s been almost four years since the great Marlins Fire Cell of the 2018-19 off-season, and the results are mixed. The Giancarlo Stanton trade was a direct pay dump. The Christian Yelch trade was a complete disaster, bringing back zero value. Sexto Sanchez’s ability to stay healthy will ultimately determine whether JT Realmuto’s business was valuable.

The Marcell Ozuna trade has, so far, been the best selling trade for Miami. The trade with the Cardinals gave the Marlins four young prospects, including Zack Galen, who was later turned over to Jazz Chesholm, one of their best players. This trade brought Sandy Alcantara. Alcantara has since emerged as one of the game’s best pitchers, and he’s in the midst of a very dominant pull.

On Monday night, Alcantara stopped the rising Phillies by two runs in 7 2/3 innings and this was the first time that he allowed more than one earned run in seven starts. In his last six starts, he allowed a total of three earned runs with an average of eight to eight! – Innings per start. Opponents have hit .156 / .214 / .208 in their last seven starts and 55 2/3 innings against Alcantara.

“He’s the best in our league, I think. I really do.” National Manager Dave Martinez told MLB.com Alcantara after throwing six hit shutouts against a recognized weak Washington lineup last week. “He has good things. He was tough all night. He kept us off balance. You won’t see anything better there. He’s really good.”

This is the first time since Max Scherzer in May 2017 that he has averaged eight innings at six start stretches, and the first time Clayton Karsha and Chris Cell have thrown at least 55 innings at seven start stretches since they did so in 2016. Is. Alcantara, 26, has become one of the sport’s leading figures. In fact, he may be the man to play the best innings of the game.

“I saw (Karsha’s seven starting stretch), and it was great.” Marlins manager Don Mattingley told MLB.com. “You (Alcantara) don’t want to be categorized or labeled, but he’s becoming a man you trust. He’s counting his pitch soon. Yes, and he is finishing it all, there is a lot to handle. ”

Since joining the Marlins in the Rotation for Good in 2019, Alcantara has been one of the league leaders whose innings and batsmen have faced, with just 26 days on the COVID list in 2020 making it to the top of every list. Stopped receiving:

(The appearance of Nola and Wheeler on these leaderboards is a testament to their effectiveness and durability, and at least partly to the fact that Gerardie, a former Fleischer manager, did not trust his billpin and rode his horses as long as possible.) Is a function.)

Alcantara is definitely more than an innings. It has a 1.68 ERA this season and a 2.76 ERA from 2020, which is 52% better than the league average adjusted to the aggressive environment of the ball park and the league. It ranks fourth in all. Alcantara leads all players (pitchers and hitters) with 3.9 fights this season. He’s an ace, by the way, and the best player of all time who met Marilyn three and a half years ago in the fire cell business.

Improved hip communication ability

Headshot image

It has been a difficult time rebuilding the Cubes. Probably more difficult than expected, as Chicago continues to lose eight games and is on track to finish with one of the game’s five worst records for the first time since 2013. Certainly not bad news. Ian Heap is back from a 2021 deficit and is having his best, full offensive season.

Heap, now one of the club’s longest-serving players, owns the .274 / .374 / .458 batting line-up with seven home runs and the lowest strikeout (20.2%) and swinging strike ( 10.1%) in his career. No player has increased their contact rate on strike zone pitches this year as much as HEP (at least 400 plate appearances in 2021 and 200 plate appearances in 2022):

  1. Ian Heap: + 8.5% (77.8% to 86.3%)
  2. Matt Chapman: + 6.0% (76.1% to 82.1%)
  3. Eric Hausmer: + 5.9% (87.4% to 93.2%)
  4. Austin Hayes: + 5.6% (86.9% to 92.5%)
  5. Christian Walker: + 5.3% (82.2% to 87.5%)

Truth be told, Hep’s better communication ability is from last season. He had a miserable first four months of last season before making some adjustments and hitting his lead in August. Heap made its debut in August and has not slowed down since. Numbers before and after:

From April 2021 to July 2021

312

.180 / .294 / .326

28.8%

12.8%

77.6%

From August 2021 until now

461

.281 / .369 / .519

24.7%

11.9%

82.1%

“It’s just trying to find a way to get there on time.” Heap told MLB.com about his turnaround last August. “Finding a way to stay on time and relying on the fact that when you are on time, you will have the ability to succeed. There are some mechanical things that are falling into a certain place.”

The hip is a switch heater and most of its improvements are attached to its right hand swing. He wrote a weak .213 / .301 / .352 line against Southpaz last season and his career before 2022 was no better than the average against the Left. This year it is hitting .354 / .415 / .542 against Hepleaves. Small sample size warnings apply, although Hep never hit the lefties in his career as he has, even at random intervals of two months.

“We talked to him a little bit about a mechanical movement inside him during spring training.” Cabs coach Greg Brown told MLB.com last month. “He’s done a lot with his right hand. I think he’s very proud of it. So, I think you can see his overall profile is strong, because his right hand is really strong.”

Heap has always brought strong exit speeds and hard rates to the table, although sometimes contact was a real struggle, and pitchers can take advantage of the holes in its swing. It doesn’t completely close those holes – the heap is still sensitive to high-speed fastballs – but it does close them so that it improves its communication ability and thus its overall productivity. Coins

Given his place in the standings and the fact that Happ is set to become a free agent after next season, chances are that his name will be popular on the trade deadline. So, if nothing else, this great start and better communication capability makes its trading stock a little better. At the time, Hep was a hitter last year that needed to be fixed. Now he is a comfortable above average heater who has already made adjustments and fixed himself.

Yankees controlling the running game

At 45-16, the Yankees have the best baseball record of five games. And they are one of the best beginnings of the wild card era.. They excel at every stage of the game: offense, pitching, defense, and base running. Basinger works both ways. The Yankees themselves are running the bases better. They are also doing a better job of restricting the opposition to bases.

Last season, the Yankees were one of the worst baseball teams to prevent theft. You can walk on them almost at will. This year, they are among the best teams to prevent theft. The numbers are:

Theft bases are allowed.

86 (Ninth in MLB)

16 (lowest in MLB)

Rate of theft caught

17% (second worst in MLB)

36% (3rd best in MLB)

Twenty stolen attempts per game

0.64 (Tenth in MLB)

0.41 (lowest in MLB)

For reference, the teams are attempting to steal 0.68 per game with a theft rate of 24% caught this year. The Yankees were well below average last season and are well above average this season. New York’s ability to keep teams in check at bases has changed dramatically. It’s hard to get that extra 90 feet in 2022.

Staff changes, especially the replacement of catcher Gary Sanchez with Jose Trevino, have helped. It goes beyond that. As Athletic recently explained.New third base coach Louis Rojas has spearheaded the Yankees’ efforts to prevent stolen bases, including relaying strategies to catch pitch users. Athletic:

(Yankees Quality Control and Catching Coach Tanner) Swanson sets the Yankees menu for Holds and Pick Off at PitchCom, allowing 27 options – nine types of pitches, nine different locations and nine separate controls for the running game instructions. ۔ Other coaches study the anti-base runner’s attitudes and exchange ideas with Rosas on various strategies that could work against a particular base runner.

“We’re just more aware of the situation: ‘These are the guys who are running. Here’s how they’re running. Here are the things you need when they’re at base.’ “(Pitching coach Matt) Blake said. “People don’t have to choose. We’ve chosen the boys. But you’re not trying to pick them up. You’re trying to control them. It’s more of an effort against us.”

The Yankees are off to an incredible start, not because they are doing well in one or two areas, but because others lack them. They are doing everything right now, including controlling the game going on. Last year it was a weakness that could be taken advantage of, especially in close games where one run meant a lot. Now the Yankees don’t give that extra 90 feet easily.