Thursday, October 5, 2017

Discussion of 2017 AL and NL Division Series

Discussion for the 2017 postseason's AL and NL Division Series is open.

Home plate umpire performance is listed following the completion of each contest according to pitch f/x and UEFL Rules 6-2-b-a (horizontal bound, "Kulpa Rule") and 6-2-b-b (vertical strike zone, "Miller Rule"). Fouls, swinging strikes, balls batted into play, and hit-by-pitches are excluded from the analysis, while the remaining callable pitches are organized by type: "ball" or "called strike."

Plays include significant plays and instant replay reviews, if such plays occur. Call +/- also included/highlighted.

- 10/05, BOS@HOU Gm 1: Dan Bellino: pfx. 98/101 Balls + 57/60 Strikes = 155/161 = 96.3%. +2 HOU.
- 10/05, NYY@CLE Gm 1: Vic Carapazza: pfx. 110/113 Balls + 52/55 Strikes = 162/168 = 96.4%. +0.

- 10/06, BOS@HOU Gm 2: Angel Hernandez: pfx. 113/116 Balls + 46/53 Strikes = 159/169 = 94.1% +2 BOS.
- 10/06, NYY@CLE Gm 2: Dan Iassogna: pfx. 141/143 Balls + 68/75 Strikes = 209/218 = 95.9%. +1 CLE.
- 10/06, CHC@WAS Gm 1: Cory Blaser: pfx. 70/72 Balls + 47/49 Strikes = 117/121 = 96.7%. +0.
- 10/06, ARI@LAD Gm 1: Paul Nauert: pfx. 115/118 Balls + 38/43 Strikes = 153/161 = 95.0%. +0.

- 10/07, CHC@WAS Gm 2: Ron Kulpa: pfx. 98/102 Balls + 37/41 Strikes = 135/143 = 94.4%. +2 WAS.
- 10/07, ARI@LAD Gm 2: Phil Cuzzi: pfx. 105/111 Balls + 54/60 Strikes = 159/171 = 93.0%. +0.

- 10/08, HOU@BOS Gm 3: Ted Barrett: pfx. 105/108 Balls + 40/46 Strikes = 145/154 = 94.2%. +1 HOU.
- 10/08, CLE@NYY Gm 3: Dana DeMuth: pfx. 87/89 Balls + 29/31 Strikes = 116/120 = 96.7%. +2 NYY.

- 10/09, HOU@BOS Gm 4: Mark Wegner: pfx. 121/122 Balls + 48/52 Strikes = 169/174 = 97.1%. +1 BOS.
- 10/09, WAS@CHC Gm 3: Fieldin Culbreth. pfx. 97/99 Balls + 40/42 Strikes = 137/141 = 97.2%. +0.
- 10/09, CLE@NYY Gm 4: Brian O'Nora. pfx. 115/118 Balls + 61/64 Strikes = 176/182 = 96.7%. +0.
- 10/09, LAD@ARI Gm 3: Gerry Davis. pfx. 109/111 Balls + 49/54 Strikes = 158/165 = 95.8%. +5 ARI.
Series Complete: ALDS HOU Over BOS 3-1, 95.4%, 628/658, Net Skew: +0 Neutral.
Series Complete: NLDS LAD Over ARI 3-0, 94.6%, 470/497, Net Skew: +5 Arizona.

- 10/11, WAS@CHC Gm 4: Laz Diaz: pfx. 84/87 Balls + 52/57 Strikes = 136/144 = 94.4%. +4 CHC.
- 10/11, NYY@CLE Gm 5: Jeff Nelson: pfx. 97/99 Balls + 60/68 Strikes = 157/167 = 94.0%. +2 NYY.
Series Complete: ALDS NYY Over CLE 3-2, 95.9%, 820/855, Net Skew: +3 New York.

- 10/12, CHC@WAS Gm 5: Jerry Layne: pfx. 129/134 Balls + 50/55 Strikes = 179/189 = 94.7%. +0.
Series Complete: NLDS CHC Over WAS 3-2, 96.4%, 704/730, Net Skew: +2 Chicago.

NOTE: The highest plate score during the 2016 Division Series was Brian Knight's 96.9% (ALDS B1).
The highest plate score overall during the 2016 Postseason was Jim Wolf's 98.6% (ALCS Game 2).

Instant Replay Reviews (R-QOC Colors: Green [Confirmed], Yellow [Stands], Red [Overturned]):
- ALDS B1: HP Umpire Dan Bellino's time play ruling of "no run" prior to the third out is reversed.
- ALDS B1: LF Umpire Mike Everitt's out ruling is overturned to a trap and single.
- ALDS A2: 2B Umpire Brian O'Nora's safe call is reversed when injured runner rolls ankle off base.
- ALDS A2: 2B Umpire Brian O'Nora's safe call is overturned to a successful pickoff play.
- ALDS A2: RF Umpire Vic Carapazza's fan interference and base award (2nd) call is confirmed.
- NLDS B1: 2B Umpire Fieldin Culbreth's safe call stands on first RBI of the NLDS.
- NLDS B2: RF Umpire Cory Blaser's home run call is confirmed as no fan interference occurred.
- ALDS B3: 1B Umpire Mark Wegner's out call stands on back end of a double play at Fenway.
- NLDS A3: HP Umpire Gerry Davis' foul ball call stands on review for hit-by-pitch.
- NLDS B4: 1B Umpire Jerry Layne's safe call is overturned to give Chicago a late-inning pickoff.
- NLDS B5: 2B Umpire Cory Blaser's safe call stands to lead off the first inning of Game 5.
- NLDS B5: 2B Umpire Cory Blaser's slide rule violation no-call is confirmed in Washington.
- NLDS B5: 1B Umpire Will Little's safe call on pickoff attempt is overturned in the 8th.
Totals: 3 Confirmed + 4 Stands + 6 Overturned = 7/13 = .538 RAP.
NOTE: There were 16 Replay Reviews during the 2016 Division Series (10/16 = .625 RAP).

Other Notable Plays (QOC: Green [Correct], Yellow [Irrecusable/Inconclusive], Red [Incorrect]):
- ALDS A2: HP Umpire Dan Iassogna's HBP call survives Girardi's failure to challenge the call.
- NLDS B1: HP Umpire Cory Blaser rules Zimmerman out for runner's lane interference in the 9th.

2017 Arizona Fall League Umpire Roster

2017's Arizona Fall League will be officiated by the following Minor League Baseball umpires chosen from Triple-A's International (IL) and Pacific Coast League (PCL) umpiring staffs. Previous AFL experience (if applicable) and MLB call-up information is also listed.

2017 AFL Umpire Roster:
> Ryan Additon, IL, Davie, Florida. 2016 AFL, MLB Fill-In.*
> Ramon De Jesus, PCL, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. 2016 AFL, MLB Fill-In.*
> Bryan Fields, PCL, Phoenix, Arizona. 1st AFL, 2017 MiLB Postseason.
> JJ January, PCL, Southaven, Mississippi. 1st AFL2017 MiLB Postseason.
> John Libka, PCL, Port Huron, Michigan. 2016 AFLMLB Fill-In.*
> Shane Livensparger, IL, Jacksonville, Florida. 2016 AFL, MLB Fill-In.*
> Nick Mahrley, PCL, Phoenix, Arizona. 2016 AFL, MLB Fill-In.*
> Roberto Ortiz, IL, Kissimmee, Florida. 2016 AFL, MLB Fill-In.*
> Garrett Patterson, PCL, Scottsdale, Arizona. 2016 AFL2017 MiLB Postseason.*
> Jeremie Rehak, IL, Monroeville, Pennsylvania. 1st AFL2017 MiLB Postseason.*
> Alex Tosi, IL, Lake Villa, Illinois. 1st AFL2017 MiLB Postseason.*
> Jansen Visconti, IL, Latrobe, Pennsylvania. 1st AFL2017 MiLB Postseason.

*Worked 2017 MLB Spring Training.
The 2017 AFL season's 12 umpires include: six IL, six PCL, and six MLB Fill-In.

Hometown information from REFEREE Magazine.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Discussion of 2017 AL and NL Wild Card Games

Discussion for the 2017 postseason's AL and NL Wild Card Games is now open.

Home plate umpire performance is listed following the completion of each contest according to pitch f/x and UEFL Rules 6-2-b-a (horizontal bound, "Kulpa Rule") and 6-2-b-b (vertical strike zone, "Miller Rule"). Fouls, swinging strikes, balls batted into play, and hit-by-pitches are excluded from the analysis. Of the remaining callable pitches, the Definition of Terms shall govern: "A STRIKE is a legal pitch when so called by the umpire, which...passes through any part of the strike zone."

Plays include significant plays and instant replay reviews, if such plays occur. Call +/- also included/highlighted.

- 10/03, MIN@NYY ALWC: Alfonso Marquez: pfx. 120/122 Balls + 46/49 Strikes = 166/171 = 97.1%. +1 MIN.

- 10/04, COL@ARI NLWC: Jim Reynolds: pfx. 85/87 Balls + 47/52 Strikes = 132/139 = 95.0%. +1 ARI.

NOTE: The highest plate score during the 2016 Wild Card Games was Gary Cederstrom's 95.8% (ALWC).
The highest plate score overall during the 2016 Postseason was Jim Wolf's 98.6% (ALCS Game 2).

Instant Replay Reviews (R-QOC Colors: Green [Confirmed], Yellow [Stands], Red [Overturned]):
- N/A.
NOTE: There was one Replay Review during the 2016 Wild Card Games (1/1 = 1.000 RAP).

Other Notable Plays (QOC: Green [Correct], Yellow [Irrecusable/Inconclusive], Red [Incorrect]):
- ALWC: 1B Umpire Mike Winters rules Granite out on Castro's appeal for missing first base.

Monday, October 2, 2017

2017 Wild Card & Division Series Umpires Roster

The 2017 AL and NL Wild Card Game and Division Series umpire roster is now available, listed by crew assignment. The Replay Official does not join the on-field crew for the Wild Card Games nor Division Series.

AL Wild Card 'A' (American League / Minnesota Twins @ New York Yankees)
HP: Alfonso Marquez
1B: Mike Winters*
2B: Eric Cooper
3B: Lance Barksdale
LF: Tripp Gibson ^1st^
RF: John Tumpane ^1st^

NL Wild Card 'B' (National League / Colorado Rockies @ Arizona Diamondbacks)
HP: Jim Reynolds
1B: Gary Cederstrom*
2B: Mark Carlson
3B: Chris Guccione
LF: Jordan Baker ^1st^
RF: David Rackley

Wild Card Game Replay Officials (MLBAM / NY): Mike Muchlinski and Bill Welke.

AL Division Series A (AL Wild Card Winner @ Cleveland Indians) [Game 1 Alignment Shown]
HP: Vic Caparazza [Game 1 Plate]
1B: Dan Iasogna [Game 2 Plate]
2B: Dana DeMuth* [Game 3 Plate]
3B: Brian O'Nora [Game 4 Plate]
LF: Jeff Nelson* [Game 5 Plate]
RF: Adrian Johnson ^1st^

AL Division Series B (Boston Red Sox @ Houston Astros) [Game 1 Alignment Shown]
HP: Dan Bellino [Game 1 Plate]
1B: Angel Hernandez [Game 2 Plate]
2B: Ted Barrett* [Game 3 Plate]
3B: Mark Wegner [Game 4 Plate]
LF: Mike Everitt* [Game 5 Plate]
RF: Marty Foster

NL Division Series A (NL Wild Card Winner @ Los Angeles Dodgers) [Game 1 Shown]
HP: Paul Nauert [Game 1 Plate]
1B: Phil Cuzzi [Game 2 Plate]
2B: Gerry Davis* [Game 3 Plate]
3B: Alan Porter [Game 4 Plate]
LF: Bill Miller* [Game 5 Plate]
RF: Quinn Wolcott `1st DS`

NL Division Series B (Chicago Cubs @ Washington Nationals [Game 1 Shown]
HP: Cory Blaser [Game 1 Plate]
1B: Ron Kulpa [Game 2 Plate]
2B: Fieldin Culbreth* [Game 3 Plate]
3B: Laz Diaz [Game 4 Plate]
LF: Jerry Layne* [Game 5 Plate]
RF: Will Little `1st DS`
'Note: Layne replaced originally scheduled crew chief Jeff Kellogg, who is out due to a head injury. Original crew assignments were 2B: Jeff Kellogg -cc, and LF: Fieldin Culbreth.'
Related PostInjury Scout - Jeff Kellogg Struck by Flying Bat (9/24/17).

Division Series Replay Officials (MLBAM): Greg Gibson, Tom Hallion*, James Hoye, Tim Timmons.

Bold text denotes Game/Series Crew Chief, * denotes regular season Crew Chief, ^1st^ denotes first postseason assignment; `1st DS` denotes first Division Series assignment. Per UEFL Rule 4-3-c, all umpires selected to appear in the Wild Card games shall receive one bonus point for this appearance. Umpires assigned to the Division Series shall receive two bonus points for this appearance; crew chiefs shall receive one additional bonus point for this role (two or three points total). Officials assigned to replay review only do not receive points for this role.

UEFL Year in Review - Tmac's 2017 Replay Recap

Let's take a look at some replay numbers from 2017 with tmac's Replay Review stats. It is hard to fathom after 1336 reviews, that we nearly split 50-50 on outcomes: 671 were upheld and 665 were overturned (50.2% upheld vs 49.8% overturned).

Link: UEFL's Replay Review Statistics & Sabermetrics page.
The Good (Fewest Overturned Calls)
With apologies to Dale Scott, who statistically was the only "Perfect Replay" umpire in 2017 (all of his reviewed calls were upheld via Replay), we removed him from the analysis since, due to his season-ending concussion injury in April, he only worked approximately two weeks of the season, and only saw two of his calls go to New York (though, again, both were affirmed).

Umpire Pat Hoberg.
Thus, we turn to Pat Hoberg, who, in his first year as a full-time umpire, had only one overturn. Sometimes the whackers don't find you. For a full-timer, Hoberg was fairly invisible this season—he flew so under the radar, I thought he was injured (even though he wasn't). He was challenged over a span of three months just once and only eight times on the year: that's a Review Affirmation Percentage (RAP) of .875, a mark which only minor league call-up umpire Ryan Blakney matched (Blakney was also 7-of-8 in Replays).

Chad Fairchild also had a very quiet and very good year with only two overturns.

Speaking of "good," there are two predominant lines of thinking when it comes to umpires and Replay Review stats. The first posits that the highest RAP-bearer is the best Replay umpire: he who fares best on review is king. The second holds that the fewest number of overturned calls determines superiority: he whose calls are correct to begin with avoids Replay Review altogether because managers won't challenge such quality rulings.

The 2017 regular season's Top Replay Umpires.
Regardless of which philosophy you subscribe to, the best RAP umpires were 1) Scott, 2) Hoberg, 2) Blakney and 4) Fairchild. Meanwhile, the umpires with the least number of overturned calls were 1) Scott, 2) Hoberg, 2) Blakney, and 4) Fairchild. The only other umpire with just two overturned calls was fill-in umpire Sean Barber, whose RAP was .667 (T-12th), while fellow fill-in Chris Segal had three overturned calls to his 10 affirmed (.769 RAP, 5th). It's very clear who DESERVES to be amongst the next few hires, but as we know in the umpiring world what's right and what happens do not always go hand in hand.

Umpire Marty Foster.
Three other members of the full-time staff had three overturns. One of those umpires—you may be surprised to know—is Marty Foster. Foster has very quietly turned himself into a very good base umpire. The other full-timers with three overturns are Jordan Baker and Hunter Wendlestedt (excluding the reduced-schedule-working Mike DiMuro). Jeff Kellogg, Vic Carapazza and Scott Barry are next closest with 4 OTs on the year. Greg Gibson was challenged 29 times to lead all umpires, and was overturned 12 times (.586 RAP, 28th in the league). Ever present, Joe West was subject to replay more often and had the most overturned calls of any umpire whose RAP was in the Top 10 in the league: West was overturned six times and affirmed 15 times (21 total replays) for a RAP of .714, landing Cowboy Joe seventh best in the bigs (and the highest ranked crew chief not named Dale Scott).

Most Overturns
Larry Vanover leads the way with 18 overturned calls which is by far the most for any crew chief this season, much less any umpire in general. Sam Holbrook is next closest crew chief, with 12 overturned calls. Chris Conroy is the next closest full-time member with 12.  Several call-up umpires also had double figure overturns, including Chad Whitson (13), Tom Woodring (12), Clint Fagan (11), and Stu Scheurwater (10).

UEFL Awards Outlook
I really can't wait for this year's UEFL Umpire of the Year.  There are some great candidates.  Over the past two seasons, Jeff Kellogg has been overturned seven times; that is a remarkable number.

Hunter Wendlestedt has been flipped eight times, but neither is the leader for umpires who have worked more than 200 games. Instead, that honor again goes to Hoberg, who has only had his calls changed five times, which is flat out amazing. Nobody is saying Hoberg should be umpire of the year, but he's in great company with those numbers and he should at least be in consideration for one of the other awards. You can check out the CCS all time awards winners here:  http://portal.closecallsports.com/historical-data/awards-history

FWIW here are my top three umpires this season:
1) Jeff Kellogg;
2) Alfonso Marquez;
3) Hunter Wendlestedt.

Who do you think had the best season?  Also don't forget to join us here at CCS for our daily Playoff Blog unlike any other.  If you can give us a like on Facebook we'd be grateful; we're nearing 3200 likes at https://www.facebook.com/UmpireEjections. Also, follow us on Twitter for all the latest news. Help us get to 2500 followers, over at https://twitter.com/UmpireEjections.

Tell your friends!!  Like a call? Hate a call? Have a question let us know!!  And let the playoffs begin!!

Full Replay stats are available on the site here:  http://www.closecallsports.com/p/replay-stats.html.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Injury Scout - Jeff Nelson Leaves Due to Eye Issue

Jeff Nelson left his final plate game of the 2017 regular season due to an issue with the umpire's right eye.

Rockies trainer examines Nelson's eye.
In the bottom of the 1st inning of Sunday's Dodgers-Rockies game, Nelson met with Colorado's training staff regarding an undisclosed issue with his right eye. He remained in the game at the time, but ultimately left the contest prior to the top of the 3rd inning. The substitution ran so smoothly, neither broadcast mentioned the umpire switch to begin the inning.

2B Umpire Ryan Blakney replaced Nelson behind home plate, while 1B Umpire Cory Blaser and 3B Umpire Doug Eddings split the field umpires' duties. Eddings additionally assumed the role of acting crew chief for the game's remainder.

Relevant Injury History: Nelson left a May 23, 2016 game between the Rockies and Pirates after dirt kicked up by a sliding runner became embedded in his eyes.

Last Game: October 1 | Return to Play: TBD | Time Absent: TBD | Video as follows: