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Friday, April 17, 2020

Dodgers’ Joe Kelly shatters window while practicing pitch in backyard

Some major league pitchers are working on adding to their repertoire during the coronavirus pandemic, while others are using the downtime to help with projects around the house.

Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly accidentally found a way to do both at the same time on Wednesday.

In an Instagram Live video posted by his wife, Kelly was working on a changeup in his backyard, throwing at a bull’s-eye in a large enclosed target. One throw, however, got away from him, missing the target completely to the right and shattering a window of his house.

“Wondering how quarantine is going?” Ashley Kelly asks in the video while panning to the broken bedroom window. “Joe was working on a changeup.

Sadly, since it was his own house, he was unable to run away and hide after doing this.

 

QLE Posted: April 17, 2020 at 12:48 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: joe kelly, pitching, windows

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Missed Time and the Hall of Fame, Part 3

Picking up where we left off in my series on the impact of missed time on Hall of Fame candidates, we turn to the active pitchers whose shots at Cooperstown might be harmed most due to the loss of a significant chunk or even the entirety of the 2020 season. In Part 1, I noted that whether we’re talking about the effects of military service during World War II and the Korean War or the strike-shortened 1981, ’94 and ’95 seasons, it appears that fewer pitchers were harmed in their bids than was the case for position players. Even so, lost time can prevent hurlers from reaching the major milestones — most notably 200, 250, or 300 wins, and 3,000 strikeouts — that so often form the hooks for their candidacies, and right now, there exists a cohort of starting pitchers whose electoral resumés are coming into focus.

As with the position players, I’ll focus on that group rather than younger hotshots who not only have more time to make up ground but also, inevitably, will probably face some kind of injury-driven challenge along the way (hello, Chris Sale). I’ll spare a thought for a trio of closers as well. As with the other pieces in this series, all WAR totals refer to the Baseball-Reference version.

And now, a consideration of the effects that a shortened or cancelled season may have for contemporary pitchers.

 

QLE Posted: April 15, 2020 at 12:52 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, in search of lost time, pitching

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Shohei Ohtani Close To Throwing Off Mound

Angels right-hander/slugger Shohei Ohtani has progressed to long tossing from a distance of 180 feet and is following those sessions up with higher-intensity throws from 60 feet, pitching coach Mickey Callaway told reporters on Tuesday (Twitter links via Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register and Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com). The next step for the righty would be to throw off a mound, and while Callaway didn’t put a specific timetable on when that might happen, he noted that it should be “soon.”

Ohtani, 25, hasn’t pitched in a game since Sept. 2, 2018, due to Tommy John surgery that wiped out his entire 2019 campaign — at least on the mound. He, of course, was able to return as the team’s primary designated hitter for much of the season and turned in a generally excellent year, hitting .286/.343/.505 with 18 home runs and a dozen steals in 425 plate appearances.

 

 

QLE Posted: April 08, 2020 at 12:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching, shohei ohtani, throwing, two-way players

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Call to arms: Compressed schedule could mean more pitchers

NEW YORK (AP) — When and if opening day comes around this year, New York Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake anticipates a brimming bullpen.

Major League Baseball and the players’ association have talked about a compressed schedule to get in as many games as possible. That will set off a call to arms.

“I think if you have 15 guys it gives you some depth,” Blake said Wednesday.

Active rosters were to expand from 25 to 26 from opening day through Aug. 31 in exchange for the limit dropping from 40 to 28 from Sept. 1 on. When a strike delayed the start of the 1995 season until April 25, teams were allowed 28 players through May 15.

And, should things end up poorly for a good hunk of the pitchers, A Farewell to Arms.

 

QLE Posted: April 02, 2020 at 01:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching, shortened season

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

6-man rotations? Piggybacking starters? Pitching, post virus

SEATTLE (AP) — Even with major leaguers likely to receive some semblance of another spring training to get ready, teams are going to have to be creative with how they handle starting pitchers whenever baseball returns.

The last thing anyone wants is arm problems to arise almost immediately after baseball restarts—whenever that ends up being because of coronavirus outbreak.

“Possibly having a six-man rotation or something along those lines. Maybe a piggyback situation for us just those first couple outings,” Seattle left-hander Marco Gonzales said during a conference call on Tuesday.

 

QLE Posted: April 01, 2020 at 01:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, pitching, six-man rotation

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Unlocking Dylan Bundy’s Potential

The Angels acquired Dylan Bundy in the off-season in December, and Brent Maguire (formerly of the Athletic) writes a nice piece for about breaking down Bundy’s pitch selection and swinging strike percentages of various pitches to see if maybe there’s some unlocked potential that Halos can squeeze out of the former first-rounder…

“Acquired in a trade this past December, Bundy represented the biggest addition to the Angels pitching staff. That may sound underwhelming given the Angels atrocious pitching performance last year but Bundy is a quality arm who will make an immediate impact.

Bundy’s pedigree is well-known…

JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: February 29, 2020 at 11:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: analysis, angels, dylan bundy, pitching

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

New ‘smart mound’ can help analyze pitchers’ efficiency

FARMINGTON, Conn. (AP) — Central Connecticut pitcher Michael Delease was throwing fastballs inside the Center for Motion Analysis and wasn’t getting much movement on his pitches.

His problem was quickly diagnosed by coaches and scientists looking at data gathered by the instrumented pitching mound from which he was throwing, the electrodes attached to his body and the motion-capture cameras in the lab.

A slight arm angle adjustment and moments later, Delease’s ball was jumping.

“Just a couple little tweaks and my spin rate went up by a few hundred RPMs,” the senior said. “It really improved it. That’s leaps and bounds from where I was at.”

Something for those curious about the spread of technology in association with the game.

 

QLE Posted: February 11, 2020 at 01:10 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching, smart mound, technology

Thursday, February 06, 2020

The Biggest Holes on Contending Teams, Part Two: Pitching

A sample of the analysis on offer:

Los Angeles Angels
The Hole: The Angels had only a single pitcher throw more than 100 innings last year. That’s bad. What’s worse is that it was Trevor Cahill, who had a 5.98 ERA and still beat his FIP (6.13), good for a -0.8 WAR effort over 102.1 innings. He’s a free agent at the moment, and that was the pitcher the Angels used most.

It’s hard to disentangle this from Tyler Skaggs’ tragic death, and I don’t intend this to be an indictment of team building, or a dig at the franchise’s response. The team’s 2019 season was tragic, and those woes need not carry into 2020.

Despite a lot of churn, however, they aren’t exactly running out an inspiring rotation. Shohei Ohtani is back, and projects to be their best pitcher on a rate basis, but he’ll be on a strict innings limit. Dylan Bundy is somehow only 27, but it’s hard to see anything but an average pitcher with injury risk to the downside given his uneven career.

Julio Teheran is probably a FIP beater, but with Steamer projecting him for a 5.47 FIP, that isn’t enough. Andrew Heaney is basically Dylan Bundy, only a year older (somehow) — a guy you’d like as an innings-eater but with a checkered injury history.

 

QLE Posted: February 06, 2020 at 01:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: holes, pitching

Thursday, January 30, 2020

MLB rule changes 2020: Phillies most affected by the new 3-batter rule

MLB’s new three-batter rule for relievers should have a fairly significant impact on the way managers manage and pitching coaches handle their bullpens.

To review, the new rule is that a pitcher entering after the starting pitcher must face at least three batters or pitch to the end of the current inning. So, for example, if Adam Morgan comes in with two on and two outs in the sixth inning and gets the third out, he does not need to come back out for the seventh.

This rule will obviously most affect relief specialists. Let’s use Jose Alvarez as an example. Last season, Alvarez was one of the few Phillies pitchers who didn’t take a step back from the prior year. He had a 3.36 ERA in 67 appearances. In 14 of those appearances, Alvarez faced one or two batters. It’s why he amassed just 59 innings in those 67 appearances.

As best as they could, the Phillies tried to avoid having Alvarez face right-handed hitters. But it still happened frequently because there are more righties than lefties and because other teams routinely try to gain the platoon advantage by pinch-hitting.

Wait- this is a bad thing?

 

QLE Posted: January 30, 2020 at 01:32 AM | 126 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, pitching, rule changes

 

 

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