Jaffe: Anthony Rizzo’s dramatic turnaround

From SABR member Jay Jaffe at FanGraphs on May 31, 2018:

It’s been overshadowed by the controversy surrounding his overly aggressive slide into home plate against the Pirates on Monday — a slide ruled legal by the umpires and replay officials at the time but later deemed interference by Major League Baseball, and dissected here by Craig Edwards — but Anthony Rizzo has turned the corner. Following a frigid March and April, he’s put together one of the majors’ hottest performances in May. In fact, he’s made one of the most drastic month-to-month turnarounds of any hitter thus far this year. His performance is worth a closer look.

Before we go there, though… to these eyes, Rizzo was in the wrong on the aforementioned slide into catcher Elias Diaz, just as he was last year, when he slid into Austin Hedges. I don’t have anything substantial to add to Edwards’ detailed breakdown of both plays, except to say that the three-time All-Star is going to wear the black hat for a spell as one of baseball’s villains. Perhaps he’s unpopular at the moment, but one play shouldn’t prevent us from noticing the other 99.9% of his season.

Read the full article here: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/anthony-rizzos-dramatic-turnaround/

Originally published: June 1, 2018. Last Updated: June 1, 2018.