All Forums > SimLeague Baseball > MLB > Bunting against the shift
6/27/2013 11:47 AM
Posted by burnsy483 on 6/27/2013 11:20:00 AM (view original):
Posted by MikeT23 on 6/27/2013 11:14:00 AM (view original):
So now you're bunting Davis and Weiters?
Yes. And?
Well, it's retarded for one thing.

You're down by 1 in the 9th and you're asking your two sluggers to lay down bunts. 

Secondly, it's retarded to ask your two best sluggers to lay down a bunt when down by 1 in the 9th.

Finally, there's a lot of retarded things one could do when down by 1 in the 9th but the most retarded thing would be asking your two best sluggers to bunt.
6/27/2013 11:48 AM
Posted by Jtpsops on 6/27/2013 11:18:00 AM (view original):
No, I don't. 1) as was mentioned previously, it's a pride issue. most of those guys don't want to make their living off of singles, and 2) early in the game it makes sense to swing away. I'm not advocating Davis do it any other time, but when it's do-or-die and one run is the difference between playing on or going home, I think you take the (near) guaranteed baserunner.
So you don't think a .500 hitter would be valued?
6/27/2013 11:49 AM
Posted by MikeT23 on 6/27/2013 11:47:00 AM (view original):
Posted by burnsy483 on 6/27/2013 11:20:00 AM (view original):
Posted by MikeT23 on 6/27/2013 11:14:00 AM (view original):
So now you're bunting Davis and Weiters?
Yes. And?
Well, it's retarded for one thing.

You're down by 1 in the 9th and you're asking your two sluggers to lay down bunts. 

Secondly, it's retarded to ask your two best sluggers to lay down a bunt when down by 1 in the 9th.

Finally, there's a lot of retarded things one could do when down by 1 in the 9th but the most retarded thing would be asking your two best sluggers to bunt.
Thanks for your expert analysis.  And Weiters isn't one of the O's best sluggers.
6/27/2013 11:52 AM
Posted by MikeT23 on 6/27/2013 11:48:00 AM (view original):
Posted by Jtpsops on 6/27/2013 11:18:00 AM (view original):
No, I don't. 1) as was mentioned previously, it's a pride issue. most of those guys don't want to make their living off of singles, and 2) early in the game it makes sense to swing away. I'm not advocating Davis do it any other time, but when it's do-or-die and one run is the difference between playing on or going home, I think you take the (near) guaranteed baserunner.
So you don't think a .500 hitter would be valued?
If Davis could bunt a ball to the left side 50% of his atbats with the shift on, I'd argue he should do it every time until they stop shifting.
6/27/2013 11:58 AM
Depends Mike - what holds more value come contract time - a .500 hitter with no HR and a handful of RBI, or a .300 hitter with 40 HR and 100 RBI? I wouldn't advocate bunting against the shift every AB. But when a baserunner/run is critical, it should be highly considered.
6/27/2013 12:02 PM
When a run is critical and you have a guy who can account for that run by himself 40 times a year, seems like you'd want him attempting to do just that. 
6/27/2013 12:26 PM
No, it doesn't seem that way at all. Manufacturing one run is far easier, statistically, than hitting a home run. Davis hits a HR every 3+ games.
6/27/2013 1:10 PM
I don't think Davis has anywhere near a 95% chance of getting on base with a bunt.  He has 0 sacrifices in his career.  I would bet he doesn't practice bunting.  in 2010 (only year I could find data), players attempting to bunt missed the ball 8% of the time, bunted foul 42% of the time, and hit it fair only half the time.  Most of those attempts were probably by pitchers or speedsters that actually practice bunting so I would expect Davis to actually bunt fair less than half the time.  If he did lay one down successfully, the surprise factor and the shift would increase his chance of getting on base but I don't know that the total probability of him getting on base via a bunt would be higher than his chance of getting a hit swinging away.  If he had a 33% chance of bunting fair, he'd have to have a 100% chance of reaching base given the fair bunt to match his batting average and swinging away gives a chance of a HR or a double, a better outcome than a bunt hit. 
6/27/2013 1:12 PM
I'm not a fan of bunting often, but I do think it can be an effective strategy to combat the shift and keep defenses honest.  Hitters are going to need to practice it to make it effective, though. 
6/27/2013 1:19 PM
Posted by Jtpsops on 6/27/2013 12:26:00 PM (view original):
No, it doesn't seem that way at all. Manufacturing one run is far easier, statistically, than hitting a home run. Davis hits a HR every 3+ games.
Showalter, and probably 29 other MLB managers, disagree with you.
6/27/2013 1:26 PM
That's a question of approach, not probability.
6/27/2013 1:54 PM
Posted by trsnoke on 6/27/2013 1:10:00 PM (view original):
I don't think Davis has anywhere near a 95% chance of getting on base with a bunt.  He has 0 sacrifices in his career.  I would bet he doesn't practice bunting.  in 2010 (only year I could find data), players attempting to bunt missed the ball 8% of the time, bunted foul 42% of the time, and hit it fair only half the time.  Most of those attempts were probably by pitchers or speedsters that actually practice bunting so I would expect Davis to actually bunt fair less than half the time.  If he did lay one down successfully, the surprise factor and the shift would increase his chance of getting on base but I don't know that the total probability of him getting on base via a bunt would be higher than his chance of getting a hit swinging away.  If he had a 33% chance of bunting fair, he'd have to have a 100% chance of reaching base given the fair bunt to match his batting average and swinging away gives a chance of a HR or a double, a better outcome than a bunt hit. 
Couple things:

1) If a slugger missed the bunt the first time, he can try again on the next pitch.
2) Some pitchers really suck at bunting, and the majority of bunters are pitchers.  Often they aren't the most athletic people in the world.  I would guess that sluggers aren't necessarily much worse than pitchers.
6/27/2013 2:16 PM
Maybe, or he could be facing a non-shifted defense having given away a strike.  And again, the point here is that he not only has to get the bunt down fair, he has to get it down fair, the other way, and get it past the pitcher.  Most sluggers aren't speed demons.   And Mike's point is dead on about how these guys get pitched.  I don't know if it applies to everyone, but I'm guessing it's similar, but Ryan Howard gets shifted and basically only sees stuff jamming him in, or off the plate outside, unless a mistake is made.  Neither is conducive to getting a bunt down fair to the left side - and if a pitcher makes a mistake, well, I hope my slugger isn't bunting at it...

To me, it would be a great thing to try every once in a while to have in the back of the defense's head, but if anyone tried to do it on a regular basis,  I think we'd quickly see why no one does. 
6/27/2013 2:22 PM
Posted by MikeT23 on 6/27/2013 11:47:00 AM (view original):
Posted by burnsy483 on 6/27/2013 11:20:00 AM (view original):
Posted by MikeT23 on 6/27/2013 11:14:00 AM (view original):
So now you're bunting Davis and Weiters?
Yes. And?
Well, it's retarded for one thing.

You're down by 1 in the 9th and you're asking your two sluggers to lay down bunts. 

Secondly, it's retarded to ask your two best sluggers to lay down a bunt when down by 1 in the 9th.

Finally, there's a lot of retarded things one could do when down by 1 in the 9th but the most retarded thing would be asking your two best sluggers to bunt.
I've never agreed more with Mike.
6/27/2013 4:02 PM
Posted by burnsy483 on 6/27/2013 1:54:00 PM (view original):
Posted by trsnoke on 6/27/2013 1:10:00 PM (view original):
I don't think Davis has anywhere near a 95% chance of getting on base with a bunt.  He has 0 sacrifices in his career.  I would bet he doesn't practice bunting.  in 2010 (only year I could find data), players attempting to bunt missed the ball 8% of the time, bunted foul 42% of the time, and hit it fair only half the time.  Most of those attempts were probably by pitchers or speedsters that actually practice bunting so I would expect Davis to actually bunt fair less than half the time.  If he did lay one down successfully, the surprise factor and the shift would increase his chance of getting on base but I don't know that the total probability of him getting on base via a bunt would be higher than his chance of getting a hit swinging away.  If he had a 33% chance of bunting fair, he'd have to have a 100% chance of reaching base given the fair bunt to match his batting average and swinging away gives a chance of a HR or a double, a better outcome than a bunt hit. 
Couple things:

1) If a slugger missed the bunt the first time, he can try again on the next pitch.
2) Some pitchers really suck at bunting, and the majority of bunters are pitchers.  Often they aren't the most athletic people in the world.  I would guess that sluggers aren't necessarily much worse than pitchers.
1)  He can try again but I don't know how that helps him.  He's likely lost the element of surprise and didn't become a better bunter between attempt #1 and attempt #2.
2)  I think that'd be a bad guess.  Pitchers bunt regularly, around 10% of their plate appearances in the NL.  Sluggers bunt almost never.
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