April 18, 2021

Forgoing Evan Marshall: A Tactical Analysis (FanGraphs)


Spring games are a blast, a return to baseball after a starved winter of boring transaction rumors. They’re the first chance to see major league players in their natural environment, and the pinnacle of baseball talent facing off against each other (and, inevitably, against some overmatched minor leaguers getting their first taste of the big time). One thing they are most assuredly not, however, are tactical masterpieces. The highest-leverage decision a manager makes is whether to bat their veterans at the top of the lineup so that they can duck out early. In the majors, though, tactical decision-making started when the regular season began. Almost immediately, a neat situation came up, and I’m excited enough to talk tactics that I’m going to give it far more coverage than it deserves.

In the second game of the season, the White Sox were in a pickle. After busting out to a 7–1 lead over the Angels, they’d frittered most of it away. A three-run shot from Albert Pujols here, an Adam Eaton three-base error there, and it was 7–6. A laugher had turned into a struggle for survival.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Angels were again threatening. After Mike Trout led…

Read “Forgoing Evan Marshall: A Tactical Analysis” at FanGraphs