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Pitching Newsbeat

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

No matter what Cubs do this Hot Stove season, last year’s failures hang over like a dark cloud

If the Cubs truly aren’t able to afford the top free agents on the open market this offseason, the main reason for that is because they’ve had to spend so much money in free agency on pitching the last few years. It’s also because they swung and missed in a major way last winter and are still feeling the effects.

The Cubs entered last winter feeling pretty good about the state of their offense but wanted to augment the pitching staff in a big way. So they went out and handed $198 million to Tyler Chatwood ($38 million), Brandon Morrow ($21 million), Steve Cishek ($13 million) and Yu Darvish ($126 million). They also paid Drew Smyly $3 million in 2018 to rehab from Tommy John surgery before he and the $7 million remaining on his deal were shipped off to the Texas Rangers last month.

The four free agent pitchers (not including Smyly, who didn’t throw a single pitch) combined for 1.1 WAR (FanGraphs) across 244.2 innings in 2018.

Alternatively, cleaning out the vents will get rid of much of that dark cloud in a hurry, especially if they open up a window.

QLE Posted: December 04, 2018 at 07:48 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: bad deals, cubs, hot stove, pitching

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Drafting High School Pitchers Is a Major Problem for MLB, Health of Young Prospects

White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech threw 90 mph at age 14, 94 mph at 17, 99 mph at 21 and now not at all at age 22. The rookie right-hander blew out his elbow and will miss virtually all of next year while trying to come back from Tommy John surgery.

If you are even a little bit surprised, you haven’t paid attention to what’s happening with high school pitchers over the past decade. They keep throwing harder and harder—and in more competition. And major league teams keep wasting first round picks on 18-year-old kids who throw harder than major league pitchers, which is kind of like hitching a ride with a kid with a learner’s permit behind the wheel of a Formula One racecar and hoping nothing goes wrong. Their still-developing bodies just aren’t equipped to handle the forces of extreme velocity over and over again.

A consideration of aspects of the game as it currently stands, and the consequences thereof.

 

QLE Posted: November 20, 2018 at 05:57 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: draft, high school, pitching, tommy john surgery, velocity

Saturday, October 06, 2018

MLB playoffs: Chris Sale’s velocity rebounds as he gives Red Sox their longest playoff start in five years

The Boston Red Sox started their American League Division Series against the New York Yankees on Friday night by sending ace Chris Sale to the mound. The question with Sale was where would his velocity. For at least a night, he seemed to put those concerns to rest.

Sale completed 5 1/3 innings, holding the Yankees to five hits and two runs in a 5-4 victory. He did strike out eight while averaging 94.6 mph on his fastball. He topped out at 97 mph and his final pitch, No. 93, clocked in around 96, per Statcast.

Chalk those up as positive signs considering Sale’s velocity had dipped from 96 mph in his first September start all the way down to 90 mph in his final regular-season appearance. This from a pitcher who averaged 95.3 mph on his heater overall.

If the Red Sox bullpen is on the level that they were in this game, it may be in the interest of the Red Sox to use their starters as if they’re Bob Gibson….

QLE Posted: October 06, 2018 at 06:59 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: chris sale, pitching, red sox

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Madden: Hey, Rob Manfred! The analytic geeks are ruining starting pitching and it’s making a joke of the game - NY Daily News

It’s tough when you can’t keep up with trends.

Most relievers aren’t worth big paychecks because their performances are more unpredictable from year to year. At the same time relievers, in general, are worth more than in the past because they are pitching a bigger percentage of their teams’ innings.

It’s silly to suggest teams aren’t trying to develop starters.

The money will sort itself out. The MLBPA needs to work to update the factors considered in arbitration. (Like most things, they’ve been behind the curve on this topic.)

“(The Rays) are having success with it now, but you just don’t know what’s going to happen down the road,” said Melvin. “You can’t develop starting pitchers using 1-2 innings at a time. I remember it was only a few years ago our analytics people were telling us ‘don’t waste money on relief pitchers, they’re only good for a year’. Now they’re saying just the opposite.

“I sometimes wonder if a lot of this has to do with money. I have to think it’s going to hurt starting pitchers in arbitration. Some of their biggest arguing points were innings and wins. I looked it up the other day. In 2011 there were 40 pitchers with 200 or more innings. This year it looks like there will be only 11.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 23, 2018 at 11:46 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching

Friday, September 21, 2018

Angels’ Francisco Arcia makes history by catching, pitching, homering in same game

OAKLAND, Calif.—Los Angeles Angels catcher Francisco Arcia began the day behind the plate, did a brief stint on the mound and ended up in the major league record books.

Arcia pitched two innings of relief and hit his sixth home run in the Angels’ 21-3 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Thursday.

In doing so, Arcia became the first player to catch, pitch and homer in the same game in the modern era (since 1900), according to Elias Sports Bureau.

The things we wind up doing on a night when our team is being utterly hammered…..

QLE Posted: September 21, 2018 at 08:05 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, catching, francisco arcia, pitching

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Revived offense could provide the best fix for Cubs’ bullpen

PHOENIX—Perhaps the Chicago Cubs found the secret to playing without a true closer: Dominate the opposition at the plate while taking save opportunities out of the equation. There was no need for any ninth-inning nail-biting on Tuesday, as a team in a hitting slump for much of the second half is beginning to wake up.

“We stacked them one on top of the other,” second baseman Daniel Murphy said of Cubs at-bats after a 9-1 win over Arizona. “Sustained pressure on the opposing pitcher. Traffic early in innings.”

The Cubs were up 5-1 after two—thanks in part to a single and a home run by Murphy—then added on runs later, taking some sting out of the pregame news that righty Brandon Morrow is finished for the year. The closer’s nagging bone bruise in his forearm, which has sidelined him since the All-Star break, hasn’t healed. Meanwhile, his backup, Pedro Strop, is also down, so the Cubs will be mixing and matching more than ever late in games.

I’m not exactly sure that “if you score more runs, it becomes harder for the bullpen to blow it” is exactly a major newsflash, but, given what we’ve seen concerning Maddon and handling pitchers…..

QLE Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, pitching, scoring

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Death Of The Shutout - BtBS

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mourn the passing of a once relevant statistic: the shutout. It’s been in hospice for many seasons, with hardly any pitchers coming to visit. Now, it has finally succumbed to death by singularity. For the first time in history, we may finish the season without a single pitcher accumulating more than one complete game shutout.

The kind reader is reminded that a SO (Shut Out) is only awarded to a pitcher when he pitches a complete game, therefore a CGSO is redundant.

Bote Man Posted: September 11, 2018 at 08:06 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching, rotation

Friday, September 07, 2018

Could a pitching staff built around guys who throw 88-mph balls succeed in today’s MLB?

This is a little old but it’s relevant to some recent events.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 07, 2018 at 09:10 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching, tommy john

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Joe Maddon’s circle of trust shrinking as Cubs struggle

So, how long before he has twenty pitchers on his roster and only uses three of them?

MILWAUKEE—For contending teams, September often can be about finding out who you can trust in big moments—and who you can’t. Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon might be able to use Tuesday’s ugly 11-1 blowout loss to the Milwaukee Brewers for the latter category as his circle of trust might be shrinking right now.

Let’s start on the mound, where he’s still searching for plus and minus relievers—those guy who can keep a game close in which the Cubs are trailing, and of course those who can hold a lead as well.

“We self-destructed, pitching-wise,” Maddon said of Tuesday’s game.

QLE Posted: September 05, 2018 at 08:26 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joe maddon, pitching

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Lindbergh - The Opener’s Opening Act

Before Kevin Cash and the Rays made headlines for their starting rotation experimentations, Tony La Russa and the 1993 A’s implemented a pioneering plan to limit their starters’ exposure. Their tinkering came too soon to set a trend, but with hindsight, it’s proving prophetic.

Bote Man Posted: August 21, 2018 at 07:00 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, pitching, relief pitching, rotation

Thursday, August 02, 2018

The most influential role in baseball may cease to exist

The Tampa Bay Rays have dispensed with the traditional starting pitcher—and succeeded

The Fallen Reputation of Billy Jo Robidoux Posted: August 02, 2018 at 09:13 AM | 122 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching, rays, starter usage

 

 

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