Kudos to both of you for resisting confirmation bias, both of you actually came towards each other in your attitudes — which I suspect is correct. Lewis will be a great signing for the Rangers, but not because he tears up the league. His contract is cheap and I think it’s very likely that he’s more than worth it as a decent innings eater.
Carson — nice job, excellent summary. Although I prefer “tater” to “donger” when referring to the home-run, I suppose different strokes for different folks is good.
As I asked over at Mr. Hulet’s post: do you have any insight on how the Japanese game differs from MLB? Specifically, is the baseball itself any different in size or mass?
I’ve got my last draft of the year — a 9-team AL-only auction draft on Tuesday night — would you go over $10 for Lewis?
And T-Ball, I agree — Lewis will likely eat innings and keep the Rangers in the game over well over half the time — not bad for a cheap contract at the back end of your rotation. He won’t contend for a Cy Young, but he doesn’t need to do that well to justify his spot on the roster.
Patrick Newman, the NPB Guru, covered your question in his “Questions and Answers,” series on this very site. Below, find the relevent “copy and paste”-iness!
“The main issue with baseballs in Japan is that there is no uniform ball at all. In fact 4 different types of manufacturers are used to produce balls within specified parameters. Also, certain balls are made to be more “live” than others. Big instance being the ones used for the Yomiuri Giants which are one of the liveliest out there.”
“My (unofficial) translation of the official rule is “the strike zone’s upper limit is the point mid-way between the batter’s shoulders and the top of his pants, the lower limit is the bottom of the batter’s knees, and covers the area over homeplate”. So that’s not too far off the MLB strike zone. In practice, I have noticed that the umpires can get a little generous at times.”
One start is too little a sample size to make any conclusions off of his stats, including his strikeouts and walks. BTW, 9 swinging strikes in a game for a starter is very good. The league average 6-7 per 100 pitches for a starter.
I think we have between 8.0% and 8.5% for average SwStrk% for starters. In any case, point taken. Fact is, I was probably expecting something much closer to 100% swinging strikes for Lewis. To learn otherwise is kinda like finding out that my mother is the Tooth Fairy.
Which reminds me: Hey, everyone. Sorry to break it to you, but my mother is the Tooth Fairy.
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