Vahe Gregorian writes that while Matt Quatraro will be data-driven, he won’t be a slave to the numbers.
Because he rejects the narrative that you’re either an analytics person or a baseball person.
Because the data, he said, “doesn’t make the decisions. It informs the decisions, and it creates more questions that you can ask that help you make better decisions down the road.”
Or as he added later: “All of that information, all the input are kind of the guardrails. And within those guardrails, there is room for interpretation. Now, the better we feel about our process and our information, the closer those guardrails get together, and we’ll make those decisions within those parameters.
“But this game is played by human beings, and there’s a lot of emotion.”
David Lesky at Inside the Crown reacts to Quatraro’s press conference.
This is what had me smiling throughout the presser. I don’t remember what led to this, but Quatraro mentioned that the best teams win on the margins. Those decisions are what can turn a good season into a great season or a mediocre one. They can turn a mediocre season into a good season or bad. And they can turn a bad season into a mediocre one or a terrible one. But this is something that teams without the luxury of a massive payroll absolutely have to win to be able to compete consistently. Things aren’t always going to be perfect, but you can gain small edges that I just don’t feel the Royals had been gaining for a long time.
Some of these things are lineup choices. Some are who to pitch in certain situations. Some are when to pull a starter from the game. Some are as simple as defensive positioning. If you can think back to the 2014/2015 Royals, what stood out about that team? It certainly wasn’t star power. Yes, Lorenzo Cain had a great year in 2015 and they had a lot of talent, but they won games because they won on the margins.
Craig Brown at Into the Fountains gives his thoughts on Quatraro saying the data informs the decisions.
The data doesn’t make the decisions. The data informs the decisions. The most successful teams have found a comfortable nexus between data and instinct. There’s nothing wrong with going with your gut. But wouldn’t you feel better if your gut was filled with some relevant data that helped guide you?
This is exactly why I was hoping that Quatraro would be the choice. From everything I heard about him once the managerial position opened, he backed up with his comments on Thursday in his introductory press conference. He’s not beholden to the analytics, but he will incorporate them into his process. You can’t ask for much more than that.
Anne Rogers writes about what’s next for the coaching staff.
Quatraro will be looking for coaching candidates who are “curious,” and “open-minded,” as well as those who can communicate and collaborate well.
He was clear Thursday that he doesn’t want to micromanage any of his coaches.
“We’ll be talking about things, but the pitching coach and the bullpen coach, they’re the managers of that area,” Quatraro said. “The hitting guys, the same in their area. The more plugged in they are to those players, the more back and forth there is in that area. And then the more growth we get, the faster we see the improvements.”
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