Laurila: Q&A with Dino Ebel on positioning Angels in the outfield

From SABR member David Laurila at FanGraphs on July 14, 2016:

One of Dino Ebel’s responsibilities as Mike Scioscia’s bench coach is positioning the outfielders. It’s a data-driven task. Ebel — now in his 12th season with the Angels — relies heavily on information provided by the front office and scouting staff. When you see Kole Calhoun move in several steps or Mike Trout shifting into the opposite-field gap, you can be sure it was done with probability in mind.

Ebel explained what goes into positioning the Anaheim outfield prior to a recent game at Fenway Park.


Ebel on positioning the outfield: “We look at spray charts and who is pitching. We look at the last 150 at-bats to the last 1,000 at-bats, or whatever it is they give us. Our front office provides us with a lot of data and we put it all together. We have an in-house guy who does the dots.

 “We’ll play some guys deeper, but we won’t that do as an overall strategy. If a guy is a shallow-type hitter, we’re going to play him shallow and make him beat us over our heads. We factor in who is pitching that night — high velocity, low velocity, a lot of sliders or sinkers — and position our outfielders accordingly.

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Originally published: July 14, 2016. Last Updated: July 14, 2016.