Not So Random Rizzo Facts

In case you don’t follow every last thing I put out on my twitter feed you may have missed these strange factoids. Anthony Rizzo was traded from San Diego to Chicago for Andrew Cashner. Rizzo’s last Major League game was against the Cubs (0-3 with a walk) at Petco Park. In his final at bat, […]

Halladay’s pitch mix

Buster Olney had this to say about Roy Halladay‘s pitch mix: The percentage of Roy Halladay pitches that were fastballs in ’11: 27. Pct. of Halladay pitches that were fastballs in ’12: 8. — Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) May 28, 2012 I have no idea what he’s talking about. First and foremost, Doc doesn’t throw four-seam […]

Strange Lowe

Derek Lowe tossed a shutout on May 15, 2012. Mark it down. Three points of significance: It was Lowe’s first shutout since 2005 and the fourth of his career He didn’t strike out a single batter He shelved his slider and cutter for the night There’s a connection between Lowe’s pitch mix and whiff rate. […]

A short story about two sinkers

Jason Hammel picked-up (and/or emphasized) a two-seam sinker this year for the Orioles. Across the continent, Brandon McCarthy—as we all know—likes sinkers, too. While Hammel’s has flown under the radar, it shouldn’t for much longer. And perhaps McCarthy should look into the SI cover effect. In 2012, there are 54 pitchers with 110 or more […]

Shark attack

Shark Spellcheck F7 Jeffrey Alan Samardzija Starting pitcher Call him what you want, but Jeff Samardzija‘s impressive spring training carried over into the regular season. In just his sixth big league start, and first since the end of 2010, the former Notre Dame wide receiver was one Starlin Castro throwing error away from a complete […]

Danny Duffy PITCHf/x

Here’s something new. Jeffrey Gross from THT Fantasy and I are exchanging “watch this guy” ideas—fantasy picks from one side and PITCHf/x based picks on the other. First up is Jeff’s first breakout candidate for a cheap but valuable pitcher—Kansas City’s Danny Duffy. The PITCHf/x data we’re discussing can be seen on Duffy’s player card […]

Darvish will make pitch classification fun

Your definition of fun may vary. But Yu Darvish and his eight-pitch mix are going to make life interesting for catchers, hitters and even PITCHf/x analysts. Here’s a picture from his Cactus League debut. The pitch in red was a strike three splitter to end an inning. The axes show movement during the flight to […]

McCarthy declassified

Pitch classification is not an exact science. It requires a lot of review and rechecks over time to ensure no funny IDs have snuck in and that a pitcher’s arsenel is accurately reflected. That last point can be the most difficult, especially if a pitcher changes things over time. And then there are changes in […]

None nastier than Kimbrel

Craig Kimbrel throws a nasty breaking ball. He grips it like a spike slider (maybe) and the ball moves like a curveball (sort of). It’s a relatively short curveball, but one moving upwards of 87 mph when it leaves Kimbrel’s hand. The combination of speed and drop are unparalleled in the major leagues today. Checkout […]

Cliff Lee and the four-seam fastball

Cliff Lee can be described as a surgeon. Hitters may feel more like he’s performing a vivisection, but that’s just a matter of perspective. Lee’s impressive collection of scalpels includes a cutter, curve, sinker, change-up and slider. But it’s his fifth pitch, a four-seam fastball, which is our focal point for the moment. Specifically, where […]

The anticipated return of Wainwright’s curveball

It’s been a crazy offseason in St. Louis. Along with some new faces—or old ones in new roles—the Cardinals fans will be reacquainted with the second dome on their two-headed ace. New elbow not withstanding, it stands to reason that the youthful Adam Wainwright will return as 1a, not 1b, over the slowly, but gracefully, […]

Hot Holland

So Derek Holland just threw two consecutive complete games. He had two in his career (one in 2009, one earlier in June). Best part: The start before those back-to-back games lasted than an inning. Go figure. Naturally, this compelled me to look at some of his peripheral stats and plow through and finalize all of […]