Tuesday, May 21, 2013
It’s been an incredible couple of months for the previously unheralded second-year pitcher. Corbin came into spring training having to compete for the fifth starter’s spot in the rotation, but he entered his start on Monday night at Coors Field as one of the bigger revelations in baseball in the first month and a half of the season.
And he didn’t disappoint, beating the Colorado Rockies by throwing the first complete-game of his career, giving up just three hits in a 5-1 victory, the Diamondbacks’ fifth win in their past six games. [...]
After posting a 4.54 ERA in 107 innings last season, Corbin on Monday night lowered his ERA to 1.44 through nine starts. He’s throwing harder — his average fastball velocity is up about 1 mph from last year, and he occasionally touches 95 mph — and his slider has been much sharper. [...]
“When you’re in the 90-95 mph range from the left side, it’s a very, very small category in the big leagues,” Diamondbacks right-hander Brandon McCarthy said.
Posted: May 21, 2013 at 07:57 AM | 1 comment(s)
Saturday, May 18, 2013
As it turns out, Livan Hernandez gave us the highest pitch count from a single game in the past ten years, throwing 150 pitches against the Florida Marlins back in 2005. A handful of pitchers have rivaled that total since 2002, including Edwin Jackson’s 149 pitch no-hitter, eight-walker from just a few years ago. Hard-nosed, flame-throwing strikeout beasts like Randy Johnson, Jason Schmidt and Kerry Wood all topped 140 pitches at one point or another in the last decade, yet remarkably it was the crafty soft-tossing Livan Hernandez who managed to reach this milestone on four separate occasions since 2002.
But something about Livan’s 150-pitch game really intrigued me.
We all know that Livan was never feared for his ability to carve through lineups racking up tremendous strikeout totals. He was in many ways the quintessential ‘finesse’ pitcher, relying on pitch-to-contact philosphies—forcing the hitters off-balance, keeping the ball in the park, and handing out no free-passes, etc. [...]
Livan threw 150 pitches that evening and only one of them went passed a swinging bat. [...] Since 1988, when pitch count data is first available to Retrosheet, there have been five games where a pitcher threw at least 100 pitches without a swinging strike and did not surrender a run. In three of those bizarre outings, the pitcher went the full nine for a complete game shutout
Posted: May 18, 2013 at 11:59 PM | 0 comment(s)
swing and a miss
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Well, we quickly have an idea of strikeout rate, ground ball and fly ball tendencies, and (somewhat less quickly), walk rate. Over a season, you can get a pretty good idea of a pitcher’s single and HBP rates. Strangely enough, singles stabilize a lot faster than the alleged “true” outcome of HR rate. Some of the classic one-number rates (OBP, SLG) can stabilize over the course of a year for a full-time starter. And yes, BABIP still needs a lot of data (roughly 2000 balls in play), but that number is actually about half of what I had once estimated elsewhere. [...]
When I say that strikeout rate for pitchers stabilizes at 70 batters faced, what I mean is that we can be reasonably sure that his strikeout rate over those 70 batters is a good reflection of his talent level over those 70 (now past) plate appearances. This is different from saying that once a pitcher has gotten to 70 batters, we can assume that he will perform this way for the rest of the season. That’s an assumption. It’s not a bad one, but it is an assumption. Instead, what it means is that if his underlying skill set has changed in some meaningful way, we’ll know in 70 plate appearances.
Posted: May 12, 2013 at 01:44 AM | 2 comment(s)
The average starter establishes the fastball early, throwing it the most the first time through the order, much like a reliever does in facing a hitter only once. This makes sense to me given that I would assume velocity could be higher at the start of the game when the pitcher is fresh, so why not make use of the extra ticks on the fastball while they are available. As starters work their way through the order the second time and beyond, we see offspeed pitch usage rise, at the expense of the fastball. These are the offerings that starters shift to in a likely attempt to disrupt the timing that a batter may have learned from an earlier plate appearance.
It is interesting to me that between the first and second time through the order, while offspeed pitches are increased in use, the slider+curveball+changeup combination only increases 8%, often just about one pitch per inning. So it certainly isn’t a wholesale departure from the fastball that pitchers make, but enough of a transition that it is certainly perceivable when looking at a larger amount of data.
Posted: May 12, 2013 at 01:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
Thursday, April 18, 2013
This was the best hope among Red Sox fans regarding the team’s fortunes in 2013: that 2012 would be an outlier for the starting rotation; that the return of John Farrell would mean the return of performance from Lester and Buchholz to their former peak; and that any projections that included any influence of 2012 would be assessing the rotation too negatively. While it’s less than one month, it’s fun to see that hope be fulfilled to date.
Sunday, April 14, 2013
During spring training in 2010 as the Cardinals tried to indoctrinate fastball jockey Brad Penny into the organization’s philosophy of sink, pitching coach Dave Duncan and his staff kept a running tally for Penny’s benefit on a markerboard in the coaches’ office.
In one column, the pitching coach counted every fly ball allowed during spring, and in another all of the groundballs. Beside each was the number of extra-base hits in the air or on the ground. That number, so much higher by the fly ball totals, showed that when it came to pitches put in the air “extra bases are everywhere,” a coach said. Duncan wanted to prove to Penny, who had the game’s hottest fastball for several years and an eagerness to flex it high in the zone, the benefit of staying down, down, down.
Posted: April 14, 2013 at 02:30 PM | 16 comment(s)
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
The Toronto Blue Jays announced that the left-hander has been optioned to single-A Dunedin of the Florida State League.
The move came shortly after Romero picked up the win in Toronto’s 6-3 victory over Pittsburgh. It was considered a make-or-break start for Romero, who had a decent outing but didn’t do enough to make up for his spring struggles.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
The phrase “pitch to contact” has been deleted from the Twins lexicon. It is gone forever.
Like Mikhail Gorbachev’s birthmark in official Soviet Union portraits, it has been expunged. All traces have been removed and no one is allowed to speak of it. As far as anyone is concerned, the phrase, like the birthmark, has dissipated into thin air.
“I’m never saying it again,” Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson said.
“pitching to contact.” We’ve always been at war with Balls in Play.
Saturday, January 19, 2013
MLB Network examines the benefits of pitcher specialization, four-man rotations and strict innings limits for starters.
It might not happen for twenty years, but anybody have any suggestions to keep games from happening where each team uses nine pitchers in a routine 5-4 game?
Posted: January 19, 2013 at 08:07 AM | 20 comment(s)
for his generous support.
You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.
: [OTP-May] Politico: Congressional baseball game, May 1, 1926
(3861 - 10:30am, May 22)Last:
: OT: NBA Monthly Thread - May 2013
(1059 - 10:29am, May 22)Last:
: Posnanski: Jeff Francoeur and ANT
(64 - 10:28am, May 22)
Last: Rants Mulliniks (formerly Cold Prosimian)Newsblog
: White Sox Ace Chris Sale Eats and Eats and Eats Without Gaining Any Weight
(88 - 10:28am, May 22)
Last: Adam GNewsblog
: JM Catellier: Is Pedro Martinez a First Ballot Hall of Famer?
(144 - 10:27am, May 22)Last:
SoSH U at workNewsblog
: Yanks, Manchester City awarded MLS expansion team
(30 - 10:20am, May 22)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)Newsblog
: Mike Trout hits for the cycle in Angels' 12-0 win over Seattle
(5 - 10:16am, May 22)
Last: Los Angeles El Hombre of AnaheimNewsblog
: OT: The Soccer Thread, May 2013
(1055 - 10:15am, May 22)Last:
Shooty is in the Trust TreeNewsblog
: Megdal: The Reds have grown up together as a team
(5 - 10:12am, May 22)
Last: TDF, situational idiotNewsblog
: ESPN: Chapman Eats18 Pastries, Blows Save
(7 - 10:11am, May 22)
Last: Los Angeles El Hombre of AnaheimNewsblog
: Arizona Diamondbacks broadcaster Bob Brenly says it’s time for robo-umps in baseball
(3 - 10:03am, May 22)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Done Jumped The ShipNewsblog
: Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-22-2013
(6 - 9:56am, May 22)
Last: Neutral Milk Dotel (Dan Lee)Newsblog
: Gonzales: No plans to dismantle White Sox
(3 - 9:52am, May 22)
: Barry Bonds: Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera 'the best' ... but not better than me
(66 - 9:18am, May 22)
Last: Ron J2Newsblog
: Dollar Sign on the Glistening Muscle: Scouting Ballplayers in 1980s Playgirl
(28 - 9:11am, May 22)
Last: Dock Ellis on Acid