Gottlieb: Mariners analytics team is changing the game

From David Gottlieb at on March 4, 2019:

Behind every big league manager, there is an elite team of baseball nerds called the analytics department.

And in Seattle, manager Scott Servais isn’t afraid of the data they bring to the table.

“I’m really open to the information,” Servais said. “How can we use the data to help coach?”

Ever since Michael Lewis published Moneyball, his best-selling account of the Oakland A’s use of advanced metrics to overcome the disadvantages of a small market, clubs have adopted increasingly data-oriented approaches to fielding competitive teams.

At the front office level, the result is executive suites full of Ivy League number-crunchers. On the field, the game has seen increased employment of infield shifts, hard-throwing relievers and patient but powerful hitters.

The prevalence of data has also shaped Servais’ approach to coaching, allowing him to be more evidence-based. For example, if a specific pitch isn’t coming out right, Servais can point to precise data about that pitch’s spin rate and release point from a TrackMan data-capturing system.

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Originally published: March 4, 2019. Last Updated: March 4, 2019.