Pitchers nowadays are on speed

A certain young Cincinnati pitcher named Aroldis Chapman has generated some buzz over the past week by throwing the fastest pitch ever thrown in the history of the world. Or did he? It turns out that’s not an easy question to answer either simply or accurately, even though we have a lot more and better […]

A Minor report

Mike Minor throws a four-seam fastball against the Mets in Spring Training, March 3, 2010. (Icon/SMI) Though I’ve always been interested in pitch grips, you may have recently noticed that fascination extending to my articles here at the Hardball Times. I don’t have much substance to add to what has already been written about Mike […]

Leaders in kwERA

I’ve been watching Joaquin Benoit‘s season as the set-up man for the Tampa Bay Rays. In case you haven’t noticed, he’s been putting up some pretty nice numbers: an ERA of 0.70 and a WHIP of 0.55. He has struck out 53, walked six, and allowed 15 hits and three runs, all on solo home […]

What does Hellickson throw? I don’t know.

I’m looking for a little scouting help here. Jeremy Hellickson made his major league debut for the Tampa Bay Rays last night, tossing seven frames, striking out six and allowing only two runs on three hits to help his team pick up the victory over Carl Pavano and the Minnesota Twins. The win was an […]

A very important article on fielding

Baseball Prospectus has published an article by Colin Wyers today that may be one of the most important pieces written about fielding measurement in the last decade. The full piece is available only to BP subscribers, but let me briefly recap some of the topics Colin covers. Colin reiterates the point that uncertainty in fielding […]

Can we objectively evaluate advanced fielding data?

Colin has an article at Baseball Prospectus today that is required Sabermetrics 101 reading. It’s been linked already in the THTLinks Twitter feed this morning, but it deserves more prominence and more discussion. This is an article of fundamental importance for the baseball analysis community. Anyone who is evaluating fielding, which is almost everyone in […]

Were the All Stars really throwing that hard?

If you watched the All-Star Game on Tuesday night, you may have noticed a lot high-nineties fastballs zipping from pitcher to catcher. At one point Fox put up a graphic listing the fastest fastballs of the night: Pitcher Speed (mph) Price 100 Verlander 99 Johnson 99 Some people wondered, particularly with David Price, whose average […]

The palm ball

Fernando Rodney throws a change-up against the Dodgers on June 13, 2010. (Icon/SMI) On Friday night, Rob Neyer tweeted the following, “Fernando Rodney supposedly throws a palm ball. Is he the only one?” I knew Trevor Hoffman threw the palm ball, but I wasn’t sure about Fernando Rodney or anyone else. I did a bit […]

Red Sox opposition running game

Early in the year, Boston was being eaten alive by the opponents’ base stealers. The Red Sox allowed 36 stolen bases in their first 16 games, with only one runner caught stealing. This was capped by the Texas Rangers stealing nine bases off of Tim Wakefield and Victor Martinez in the game on April 20. […]

Strasburg from the stretch

Does Stephen Strasburg lose velocity on his fastball when he pitches from the stretch? According to MGL at the Book blog, that’s what Bob Feller alleged in comments after Strasburg’s start in Cleveland on Sunday: He loses about two or three miles per hour on his fastball with men on base, I noticed that on […]

How slow could you throw?

A few days ago Bill Simmons posed the following question on Twitter: “Bar argument/physics question: what’s the slowest possible pitch (MPH) you could throw that would reach home plate?” David Gassko in turn posed the question to the Hardball Times writers’ list. It was mentioned that famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson had provided the following […]

The shuuto

Hisanori Takahashi throws his shuuto against the Nationals on March 7, 2010. (Icon/SMI) Here’s my theory on the shuuto: it’s Japanese for “inshoot”, and it can describe any pitch that tails to the pitcher’s arm side, including the two-seam fastball, the circle change-up, the screwball, and the split-finger fastball. I came to this conclusion after […]

Objective knowledge

Tommy Bennett has a thought-provoking piece today at Baseball Prospectus on the nature of baseball analysis. It’s a fascinating article that has me thinking. There exists, I think, a certain set of analysts in baseball who adhere to a sort of logical positivism. That belief is demonstrated by the drive to completely separate outcomes from […]

Does the stretch cost a pitcher fastball speed?

Earlier today, Rob Neyer wrote about Ubaldo Jimenez‘s no-hitter at his Sweet Spot blog at ESPN. He linked to an article by Thomas Harding about Jimenez’s switch of pitching deliveries mid-game: It was after the fifth-inning leadoff walk that Apodaca mentioned the idea that saved the game and set up Jimenez for history. At the […]