Lindbergh: On batters’ fatigue and strike-zone judgment

From SABR member Ben Lindbergh at Baseball Prospectus on June 21, 2013:

Over the last few weeks, a press release has been making the rounds. It’s a persuasive press release that reports some interesting research, and wherever it goes, it produces a post. There’s just one problem: the research it reports is a little misleading.

The press release, which you can view here, was put out by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. It summarizes the results of a recent study on the effect of fatigue on strike-zone judgment. The source of the study is a research abstract published in an online supplement of the journal SLEEP—you can access the abstract (PDF) on page A408 here—and the principal investigator behind it is Scott Kutscher, MD, an assistant professor of sleep and neurology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.


So, is this study misleading? There are three aspects of the research that deserve some scrutiny. First, there’s the claim that plate discipline erodes throughout the season. Second, there’s the claim that the cause of that erosion is fatigue. And third, there’s the claim that baseball’s amphetamine ban has exacerbated the effect of this fatigue.

Let’s tackle each of those in turn.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: June 21, 2013. Last Updated: June 21, 2013.