SABR

Laurila: Q&A with Bruce Chen, saber-savvy southpaw

From SABR member David Laurila at FanGraphs on June 20, 2013:

Bruce Chen isn’t getting younger. The journeyman left-hander — currently with the Kansas City Royals — celebrated his 36th birthday yesterday. Since signing out of Panama, in 1993, he has made 365 big-league appearances. He has played for 10 teams.

Chen has gotten smarter as he’s gotten older. He has long survived on guile, and in recent years, he’s developed an appreciation for advanced stats. Not surprisingly, it came via a former teammate known for his analytic ways.

 “The guy who introduced me to it was Brian Bannister,” Chen said. “He’s really big into it. I don’t use data to get ready for a game; I’ve been around long enough to know the teams. But I do look at it to see how I’m pitching. Am I being lucky or not really lucky? If a guy has a 4.50 FIP and is consistently pitching at 4.00 or 3.80 [ERA], that has to mean something. Or if he has a 4.50 FIP and is pitching at 5.00, that is something too. There has to be something going wrong.”

Bannister had a lot go wrong, and Chen is learning from that, as well. While a shoulder injury is what ultimately derailed Bannister’s career, many feel he hurt himself by changing his approach. Chen wants to use data to his advantage, but he also doesn’t want to over-think.

Read the full article here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/bruce-chen-saber-savvy-southpaw/

This page was last updated June 20, 2013 at 12:09 pm MST.

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