Bunts Are Not The Problem | Disciples of Uecker

Disciples of Uecker

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Bunts Are Not The Problem

By on August 10, 2012

Jean Segura attempted a suicide squeeze in Friday night’s game against the Astros, which fired up at least a segment of the Fire Ron Roenicke machine on Twitter. That said, let’s take a look at some data, shall we?

Brewers attempted sacrifice bunts by non-pitchers (technically, from any batting order slot other than 9, but that’s close enough for me) in 2012:

54 attempts, 12 hits, 30 successful sacrifices, 5 reached on errors, 1 double play, 6 failed sacrifices, -0.0 WPA (negligibly under zero)

In 2011:

55 attempts, 9 hits, 36 successful sacrifices, 3 reached on errors, 1 double play, 6 failed sacrifices, +0.4 WPA.

Overall, Ron Roenickes bunts with position players have actually been a net gain over an average hitter. Considering most of these have come from Carlos Gomez or Nyjer Morgan, the actual net gain might be even higher.

Ron Roenicke likes to bunt, and that can get on the nerves of those who have had it driven into them that the run expectancy with a runner on first and nobody out is higher than that with a runner on second and one out. This is true, but not all bunt calls are created equally. Often, they come for hitters that are able to place a bunt to a point where the runner can beat it out, or they’re in a situation where playing for one run actually is the right play — and one single run is actually more likely after a successful sacrifice in most situations. The Brewers have had plenty of issues in 2012. Excessive bunting is not one of them.

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