3/31 Video games
The Cubs are hoping the advanced video system will help prepare players better for situations when there are runners on base.
“It was a problem last year with the Cubs and so far, it’s been a problem this spring, too,” Dale Sveum said about hitting with runners in scoring position.
What he and the other coaches have tried to do is show the players what a pitcher’s tendency is using data from video.
“They’re not going to pitch you the same when you came up in the second inning leading off with nobody on base,” Sveum said. “That’s the mindset you have to make younger hitters and people who may struggle in those situations understand what pitchers are doing.”
For example, if history shows that a pitcher doesn’t throw inside when runners are on base, don’t look for a pitch inside.
“A lot of guys who hit with guys in scoring position, it’s because they’re able to relax more and their anxiety level doesn’t get up,” Sveum said. “That’s why some guys hit well with two strikes because the anxiety level isn’t as high as other guys and they don’t feel like they have to do it. ”
He said players are often unaware of the tendencies until they’re shown the information.
“May of the guys are like, ‘Wow, I had no idea it was that blatant of a stat’ or data when you can look at a grid and Joe Blow, 90 percent of every ball he throws is away,” Sveum said. “You put that into play in your head when you walk up to the box and you say, ‘I just saw this so I don’t have to worry about anything inside.”
The Cubs hit .232 with runners in scoring position last year.
— Carrie Muskat