Welcome to the Majors, Daniel Schlereth

This time last year, Daniel Schlereth was waiting to be drafted by a team. The University of Arizona reliever found himself chosen by the hometown Arizona Diamondbacks in the first round. A few days ago, Schlereth got the promotion from Double-A, only he didn’t report to Triple-A, instead he jumped into the majors. Two low leverage situations later, Schlereth was tossed into the fire last night.

Entering the 8th inning, the D-Backs held a 5-1 lead over the hosting Dodgers. Tony Pena took the mound, taking over for Dan Haren after seven solid innings. Matt Kemp greeted Pena with a single, but Pena would sit down a pair of former Astros as Brad Ausmus popped out and Mark Loretta struck out. Juan Pierre would single, placing runners on the corners for Rafael Furcal, who drew a walk. Orlando Hudson would walk as well. Making it a 5-2 D-Backs lead with two outs and the bases loaded. Rather than allow Pena to face James Loney, A.J. Hinch went to the youngster to defuse the threat.

Schlereth would allow a double to Loney, allowing the bases to clear and tie the game. Casey Blake would then single, giving the Dodgers their first lead of the night. The D-Backs would face Jonathan Broxton in the ninth inning and go down 1-2-3 with a pair of strikeouts and a groundout. It’s a bit hard to peg this one on Schlereth though. A glance at his strikezone plot from Brooks Baseball in the Blake at-bat shows that he was squeezed on two strike calls:

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The top and bottom of strikezones change with different hitters. Blake’s top is at the 3.58 mark and extends to 1.7. The constant is the width of the zone – or at least should be. It’s hard to argue that pitches three and four aren’t strikes, yet that’s how the umpire called it. Nobody can say for sure how a strike call on pitch three sets up pitch four or five, or if there is a pitch five, but we know how the situation played out in reality, and I’m guessing the D-Backs and Schlereth would love to try their luck with a 1-2 count instead of a 2-1 count; especially given the .300 point swing in OPS between the counts.

Schlereth gets tagged with his first major league loss, and his first major league squeezing.




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7 Responses to “Welcome to the Majors, Daniel Schlereth”

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  1. Steve says:

    Can you show where all called strikes passed your plot? Maybe the umpire’s zone was consistent.

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  2. Justin says:

    Pretty tough spot to put a kid in for his 3rd appearance in the bigs against one of the better offensive clubs in the game.

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  3. matthew says:

    if you think that was a squeeze go look at ball 2 of the first batter in the 9th inning for broxton

    plus if i remember correctly…. for that pitch he got squeezed in, the catcher set up inside and had to rush his glove to even catch the ball so theres no way you could call that a strike anyways

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    • Aaron/YYZ says:

      Sure there is, if it passed through the strike zone I don’t care if the catcher had to do cartwheels to catch it, it’s still a strike.

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  4. John says:

    matt, it doesnt matter wat the hell the catcher does. the umpire is obligated to call the ball where it goes, not the acrobatics the catcher did. Plenty of GOOD umpires call it the correct way and dont get nailed by questec. anyway, how is that borderline? Its 3.5 to 4 inches from the outside of the plate (acc. to the graph). If that’s borderline, over 55% of the plate is borderline, and under 45% is true strike zone. That dont make any sense.

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    • Base says:

      Uh… I would think that everyone would realize that in baseball very often the letter of the law/rule isn’t followed. Expecting an umpire to call a strike on a ball a catcher has to reach across the plate to catch, strike or not, is alot like expecting every driver to slow down and stop at every yellow light. That’s what every driver should do, but they don’t.

      And that’s just the way things are.

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