Friday, April 12, 2013

SEC Weekend: MU @ Vanderbilt

♦  Be sure to check out Sam Nasci's Mizzou Matchup preview of the Vanderbilt Commodores here at

♦ Also check out our off-season South By Southeast posts about Vanderbilt Baseball:



Does Vanderbilt have a turf issue? Some fans think so, as evidenced by this message board discussion at And for a more thorough analysis, read Thoughts from Beyond the Bleachers (When It Strikes Me)
During the Florida and Tennessee weekend series, there were only a handful of innings that did not feature either a consistent mist, steady rain or the occasional downpour. As a result, in those six games (and a handful of other early season contests), there was quite a bit of discussion in the stands and on Twitter regarding what we’ll kindly call the “over-slide issue.”

All but the pitcher’s mound at Hawkins Field is now synthetic surface developed and installed by the Astro Turf company. The actual product used is the AstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D (called “Field Turf” from hereinout). When the newly installed Field Turf is wet, the synthetic fibers become significantly faster to slide on. While we’ve yet to see a player hydro plane across the base paths, one of the unmistakeable side effects of the Field Turf receiving rain is that the speed of slides decelerates at a far more slow rate, meaning that runners retain their sliding speed for significantly longer stretches of time.

The greater retention of sliding speed has two primary effects: a) players tend to reach the base with greater speed unless they start their slides significantly earlier and b) players tend to over-slide the bases, meaning that several on both the home and visiting sides have be tagged out after being unable to stop on the bag. The slip and slide effect obviously is impacted by the amount of water that hits the field...

Vanderbilt 2013 baseball compares favorably to 2011 (The Tennessean)
And yet run production is up in 2013 because of the spike in overall team speed, steals and aggressive base-running. That begins with leadoff hitter Tony Kemp (.375, 14 steals) and filters through the lineup.

“It’s a different dynamic,” senior right fielder Mike Yastrzemski said. “We’re not out there hitting 20 home runs with one person. We don’t have the size of the 2011, but we have a lot speed.”

“I write this email to the team every Monday and I find myself speaking to point of extra 90s (the feet between bases),” Corbin said. “Going from first to second because the ball has been thrown to another base, or first to third on a single, or stealing a base — the tendency is for this team to grab extra 90s. We didn’t do that as much (in 2011). It’s a different way to attract those runs.”...

No comments:

Post a Comment