Comments on: Do Switch Hitters Start Slow? http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/4837 This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6 By: Benny http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/4837/comment-page-1#comment-11890 Tue, 09 Mar 2010 16:03:01 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=4837#comment-11890 Yes Teixeira is a slow starter but not every switch hitter is. Looking at Mickey Mantle's stats for the month of April from 1952-1964 he is a .307 hitter with 33 homers and 98 ribbies, plus he walked 126 times in 535 at bats.

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By: BSK http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/4837/comment-page-1#comment-11883 Tue, 09 Mar 2010 03:30:41 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=4837#comment-11883 Mike-

I think your viewpoint is a bit arrogant. You are certainly right that more emphasis is put on first month/last month splits and it is often unnecessary. And it is certainly possible that it's just a bizarre coincidence with Teixeria. But we should note that this is true for him year-in and year-out, so I am less likely to think it's just a flukey thing. Also, maybe he knows something about his swing/approach that we don't. Maybe there are significant differences between his two swings. Maybe he doesn't swing a bat until spring training and needs extra time to get both in order. Or maybe it's just BS. We don't know for sure. But I think it's unfair to say with absolute positivity what is true when we don't have all the necessary info.

This is why I think there are issues with lumping guys in based on superficial characteristics. Yes, you found all the switch-hitters, but not all switch-hitters are the same. As noted, some have very similar swings regardless of the side of the plate they are on, while others have wildly different ones. It's the same thing as looking at a players performance vs LHP or RHP. Not all LHP are the same. Rather, we should look for players who actually have more in common and group them accordingly. Knowing that Jeter is 1-4 in his career against Bucholtz is meaningless, because the sample size is too small. Know Jeter is 2000-6000 against RHP is also not that meaningful, because it includes Pedro Martinez, Sydney Ponson, and everyone in between. But if we evaluate pitchers who have a similar arsenal, wind-up/delivery, and otherwise have a comparable pitching profile, we can get a meaningful sample size without so much noise.

Sorry, got off on a rant. Anyway, I certainly recognize the likelihood that this hypothesis is bupkis. But I don't think we can simply dismiss it, and I don't think lumping all switch-hitters in together is necessarily the way to get at the accuracy of it.

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By: Kelly http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/4837/comment-page-1#comment-11867 Mon, 08 Mar 2010 17:44:04 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=4837#comment-11867 I agree with the last two posters. The only way to test whether Tex's hypothesis (that switch hitters are slow starters because they have to work on two swings) is to compare switch hitters' starts to non-switch hitters' starts. The simplest test would be to test for statistical significance for A > B, where A=(switch hitters' OPS in March and April)-(switch hitters' OPS in May-October) and B=(non-switch hitters' OPS in March and April)-(non-switch hitters' OPS in May-October).

I will mess with Excel this afternoon and see what I come up with.

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By: Johnny Twisto http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/4837/comment-page-1#comment-11865 Mon, 08 Mar 2010 16:26:44 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=4837#comment-11865 SL, that's the right question to ask. I think (but didn't bother to confirm) that overall offense is generally a bit lower in April than the rest of the season.

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By: SL http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/4837/comment-page-1#comment-11864 Mon, 08 Mar 2010 15:05:14 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=4837#comment-11864 So are all MLB hitters in their first month hitting proportionally to the rest of the season? Just looking at the firt month .748 to the rest of the season .753 numbers for switch hitters may tell one part of the story, but if the first month is a disproportionally offensive month for non-switches, Teixeira may be speaking the truth.

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By: Mike http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/4837/comment-page-1#comment-11862 Mon, 08 Mar 2010 12:39:29 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=4837#comment-11862 "But isn't it possible that it's true for him yet not generally true for switch hitters?"

No. If it wasn't the "first month" people wouldn't ascribe any significance to it. If he had a .750 career OPS in June, nobody would try to figure out "why". As for Teixiera, he's just making an excuse to get the moronic mainstream media off his back with their silly questions.

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By: Tex’s early season woes not shared by other switch hitters | River Avenue Blues http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/4837/comment-page-1#comment-11861 Mon, 08 Mar 2010 05:01:16 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=4837#comment-11861 [...] it does make sense for Teixeira himself, but as Raphy at the B-R blog notes, his fellow switch hitters do not share this predicament. Raphy ran the numbers on every switch [...]

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By: JGS http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/4837/comment-page-1#comment-11858 Sun, 07 Mar 2010 21:00:34 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=4837#comment-11858 but Teixiera clearly thinks it does, so in his case it might be a self-fulfilling prophecy

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By: Raphy http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/4837/comment-page-1#comment-11855 Sun, 07 Mar 2010 14:42:19 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=4837#comment-11855 I suppose that you're right. Maybe my last sentence was a bit too sweeping.

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By: BSK http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/4837/comment-page-1#comment-11854 Sun, 07 Mar 2010 14:01:52 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=4837#comment-11854 But isn't it possible that it's true for him yet not generally true for switch hitters?

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