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Climbing the Ladder: How the Playoff-Bound Rays Won 96 Games With MLB’s Lowest Payroll

泰勒:Bechtold

The odds have been long stacked against a 坦帕 Bay Rays franchise that has close to a non-existent attendance base and hasn’t ranked higher than 25th in Opening Day payroll since 2011.

这并没有阻止创新, analytics-driven Rays from posting back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since a six-year run from 2008-13. And the stunt the ’19 club pulled on the way to the second-most wins in franchise history was one of the organization’s most eye-opening tricks yet.

坦帕 Bay’s 2019 total payroll easily ranked at the bottom of the majors at just over $63 million and isn’t even in the same stratosphere as the top-spending Boston Red Sox ($229M) and No. 芝加哥小熊队(2.18亿美元),根据spotrac.com. 更糟的是, the club lost American League Cy Young winner Blake Snell for nearly two months due to elbow surgery and Tyler Glasnow, 另一个顶级起动器, 因为前臂拉伤,已经有四个月了.

Yet the Rays managed to finish 12 games better than both the Red Sox and Cubs – neither of which made the playoffs – and reached the postseason for the first time since 2013 despite once again playing in front of an American League-worst 14,在毫无吸引力且似乎无法逃避的纯果乐球场,每场比赛734分.

具有讽刺意味的是, 坦帕队将在周三晚上参加在奥克兰运动家队举行的美联外卡赛, another cash-strapped club crafted by executive vice president of baseball operations and the man behind the Moneyball movement – Billy Beane. Given the similar circumstances to the team that was featured in the hit book and movie, 比恩必须感谢光芒队能走到这一步.

Much like Beane’s clubs, the Rays aren’t necessarily getting it done with home-grown prospects alone. 而不是, 管理层愿意把赌注押在其他球队的废品上, take on reclamation projects and execute bold trades have invited Moneyball comparisons and transformed 坦帕 into a 90-game winner for the second straight season.

“我认为,在目前的情况下,vip威尼斯登录入口必须认识到这一点, we have to take some chances that come with real short-term discomfort that you hope longer-term gets paid back and you get rewarded for it,’’ Rays senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager Erik Neander told the 坦帕 Bay Times. “We’ve made a lot of decisions that turned the direction of the franchise and some were very difficult.

“它们并不都能工作. vip威尼斯登录入口也有失误的时候,没关系. vip威尼斯登录入口必须继续努力,最终达到这一点.’’

他们接受了一些受过教育的, data-driven risks prior to the 2018 trade deadline by shipping popular right-hander Chris Archer to the Pittsburgh Pirates for former top prospects Glasnow and Austin Meadows, 从圣. Louis Cardinals in a four-player trade and picking up journeyman first baseman Ji-Man Choi from the Milwaukee Brewers.

坦帕湾光芒队的Ji-Man Choi

They also dealt outfield prospect Jake Bauers to the Cleveland Indians for infielder Yandy Diaz in December, signed Chicago White Sox castoff Avisail Garcia to a one-year deal in January and added catcher Travis d’Arnaud from the Los Angeles Dodgers for cash.

事实证明,梅多斯的尝试是值得的 .291人,33支全垒打,89分打点,第一次成为全明星. 范教授(.273, 21小时)、崔(.261,19),迪亚兹(.267、14)、加西亚(.282,20)和d 'Arnaud (.263,帮助坦帕队获得了4分.场均75分——这是自场均4分以来最好的进攻表现.95 in 2010.

它在投手丘上, 然而, 在哪里,光芒队与那些高消费的对手区别开来. 坦帕 was considered at the forefront of the movement that believed that throwing high fastballs at high velocity could suppress home runs and counteract the new hitting approach called ‘launch angle.’

现在,似乎没有人能更好地执行这一战略. For the Rays, the high heater doesn’t appear to be merely a set-up or put-away pitch. 相反,他们更早、更频繁地使用它.

光线队打算投45球.7% of all their fastballs either up in the strike zone or up and out of the zone – easily the highest percentage in the majors. 坦帕 tries to climb the ladder with a fastball on no-strike counts a league-high 34.8%的时间,远远领先于太空人队的23次.8%. 在一个罢工方面, 光线队打算将他们的快速球投出联盟最高的45%,并且有两个好球, 他们打算提高加热器的温度.在专业中,这一比例是最高的.

It’s proven to be effective as 坦帕 finished with the third-most strikeouts (1621), fourth-fewest walks (453) and allowed just 181 home runs – the fewest in the majors. The Rays also topped the bigs in whiff+ and ranked third in raw value+ (cumulative), BIP第四,纪律第五. 总的来说,坦帕的投手们以第五好的投手大战结束.3).

嗅+公制衡量一个球如何产生挥杆和失误, 原始值+为每一次演讲的每一个结果赋值, BIP- measures how well a pitcher is at limiting quality contact and discipline- tracks how well a pitch forces a bad choice by the hitter (for example, 挥球或击球).

但这一切并非偶然. 光线队的投手都配备了火焰喷射器和93号投手.快速球的平均时速为97英里,在棒球中排名第六. 他们的快球速度达到了94.68英里每小时,当他们点燃他们在区域, and they led majors in opponents’ raw value+ and ranked third in whiff+ and fourth in BIP+ on fastballs in which they intend to throw up in the strike zone or up and out of the zone.

当你有迈克·祖尼诺和达·阿诺两个捕手时,这当然会有帮助, 谁在框架比赛中都名列前十.

坦帕, 谁也被认为是现代棒球的“开门红”, continued that strategy this season behind a bullpen that led the majors in holds (118) and ERA (3.66)并允许项目事务处排名倒数第五(.他投了联盟最高的772局. 埃米利奥异教, 这是他第3个赛季的球队, 对于雷队的管理层来说,这是一个杰出的发现.平均责任失分31次,70局以上有全队最高的20次扑救.

查理·莫顿, 签了两年的合同, $30 million deal (one of the largest free-agent contracts in franchise history) in December, will get the ball in the wild-card game after going 16-6 with 240 strikeouts and a 3.05自责分33秒开始. The hard-throwing right-hander ranked fourth in the majors in fielding-independent pitching (2.85), which helps show how well a pitcher actually performed, regardless of how well his fielders did.

本土投手瑞安·亚伯勒(11- 6,4.平均责任失分13)和基里诺斯(9-5,3.尽管斯涅尔离开了很长时间,但他的病情也在逐渐好转, 格拉斯诺以1比1赢了.12场比赛78 ERA. 整体而言,坦帕先发以3分领先大联盟.37工厂检验计划.

vip威尼斯登录入口鼓励每个人不断提出问题, 去寻求vip威尼斯登录入口现在没有的解决方案或创新,棒球运营高级副总裁Chaim Bloom说. “The great thing about feeling that you don’t have this all figured out is that you’ll always have a chance to be better tomorrow than you are today.

“这对vip威尼斯登录入口来说是一件鼓舞人心的事情,希望对vip威尼斯登录入口的对手来说是一件可怕的事情.’’

根据拉斯维加斯Bovada的说法, Oakland is favored to get past 坦帕 Bay and advance to the American League Division Series. That’s likely fine with the Rays, who have been the underdogs for much of their existence.

 

数据分析由Lucas Haupt提供