MIAMI -- Joe Maddon believes that offensive numbers in the Major Leagues are dwindling, and for good reason.
Teams now put shifts on players based on hitting tendencies, the pitchers study videotape to exploit any given hitter's weaknesses, and the outfielders and infielders are as athletic as ever.
"All the stuff that's going on and all this stuff that's talked about, whether it's data, matrixes, all the different stuff that's out there is all slanted toward the pitching and the pitching and the defense," the Rays manager said. "There's no way to slant it toward the hitters. I really think that all the stuff you see out there can only confuse hitters. There's nothing really there definite that the hitter can latch on to when he goes into the box that's really going to help him against [any given pitcher]. He might find a tendency or two, but you just never know if it's going to pop up or not."
Maddon said that is not the case with the pitchers.
"A pitcher pretty much knows a tendency of a hitter that holds true," Maddon said. "And the defense pretty much knows a tendency that's going to hold true. All this stuff, all this new stuff that everybody is utilizing definitely weighs more heavily in favor of the pitching and defense. The hitter's not really picking up any really good nuggets compared to what the pitching and defense is."
Thus, based on those truths about the games, Maddon believes offensive numbers have no place to go but down.
"They should," Maddon said. "I don't know what's going to happen on the horizon to help the hitter under these circumstances. ... As it moves forward, I don't know exactly what it is. It's something I've been thinking about a bit."