Thursday, 13 September 2012

This Could Be The Year

September! 

Irradiated 20-year olds with perky breasts and perfect skin may be the only ones amongst us that do not appreciate September. Their sun-soaked bodies are slowly returning to a healthier, less cardboard-y tone and texture and they are not pleased. I can only imagine the mental struggles that accompany such an event. Life is hard.

For everyone else, September is the fucking best. September is when baseball and football share the profound experience of simultaneous orgasm. Maybe October's your thing, but October's bogged down with shitty sports like hockey and basketball. It's also getting cold in October. Fuck October.

Today, a few things will happen:

The Orioles will play the Tampa Bay Rays and the Chicago Bears will play the Green Bay Packers. I will also probably consume a large amount of nachos. September is the best.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Los Angeles, Where Weird People Go.

Full Disclosure: I've never been to Los Angeles. Mind you, I'm not one to try things that I do not like. I'm not going to eat horse, despite President Obama's personal recommendation to me via the internet. I'm not going to read The Hunger Games despite the mad shout-out in Justin Bieber's take on "Call Me Maybe."

Seriously, are these kids not the coolest kids that you know? I'd hang out with Ashley Tisdale.


With all of this said, Los Angeles seems like an awful place to live and I have no intention of ever visiting that part of California.

But, it must be one hell of a time to be an LA Sports Fan.

The Kings are up 3-0 over the Blues and should make the Conference Finals as an 8 Seed.

The Lakers are up 2-1 over the Nuggets, and hell, even the Clippers are holding their own.

The Dodgers are the second best team in baseball (tied) and Matt Kemp is going God-Mode on opposing pitching. Twelve Home Runs is absurd.

Also, there's a fucking super moon tonight. SUPER MOON!



My Ubuntu Experience

I love linux. I really do. I used to be a Slackware nerd before discovering Gentoo. Having my computer act exactly as I intended with little bloat was probably an ego thing. I loved it. Then, I got lazy. I started using Ubuntu.

After leaving my phone at a friend's house, I had to install a computer alarm clock. Alas, the Alarm Clock application combined with Ubuntu has resulted in hilarity. What song would I choose?

T.G.I.F, T.G.I.F, T.G.I.F!


But, for some unknown reason, the alarm clock just kept replicating itself. NB: I'll always reference my own stupidity as 'some unknown reason.' I'm now blessed with a bunch of instances of the same alarm...


kristopher@kristopher-studio:~$ ps aux | grep alarm
1000      3407  0.0  0.1 387224  5332 ?        Sl   May01   0:00 /usr/lib/evolution/3.2/evolution-alarm-notify
1000      6935  0.0  8.9 1682960 363404 ?      Sl   May01   4:16 alarmclock
1000     15525  0.0  5.5 1287996 223228 ?      Sl   May03   1:33 alarmclock
1000     16979  0.0  4.7 1222552 193764 ?      Sl   May04   0:32 alarmclock
1000     17001  0.0  4.7 1222572 193732 ?      Sl   May04   0:32 alarmclock
1000     17015  0.0  0.5 870792 22240 ?        Sl   May04   0:10 alarmclock
1000     24884  2.8  0.6 812844 24504 ?        Sl   09:00   0:00 alarmclock
1000     24956  0.0  0.0   9380   908 pts/0    S+   09:00   0:00 grep alarm

Each alarm begins just milliseconds apart and makes sure to tell me that it is not happy about playing so many sounds at once.

It seems like only Ubuntu truly understands my love of Katy Perry.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Jason Grilli

I'll always remember Grilli's performance in the 2009 World Baseball Classic against Team Canada. It angered me.

Jason missed the entire 2010 season after surgery on his right knee (karma) and dominated AAA (karma) for the Phillies prior to signing with the Pirates (karma karma).

The 35-year old Grilli has been really, really good since signing with the Pirates though. Apparently he's paid his karma-bounty in full and is free to dominate the base and ball game.

I have absolutely no clue how this came to be, though.

Prior to his knee injury, Grilli posted ERAs of 5.40, 6.08, 7.40, 3.38, 4.21, 4.74, 3.00, and 5.32. Basically what you'd expect from a journeyman.

Then, 2011 happened. Grilli was still throwing about 92mph on the heater. Grilli was still throwing a breaking pitch about a third of the time. So what the hell happened?



Pitch Count Frequency H. Mvt V. Mvt Mph H. Rel V. Rel Spin Θ RPM
2007 Slider (SL) 176 25% 6.18 -29.11 85.67 -3.07 6.69 123 708
2008 Slider (SL) 490 40% 7.46 -29.53 84.84 -2.94 6.74 119 861
2009 Slider (SL) 305 32% 5.76 -26.27 85.11 -3.08 6.61 144 939
2011 Slider (SL) 195 38% 12.48 -37.59 81.91 -3.04 6.4 79 1348
2012 Slider (SL) 58 36% 9.99 -33.94 83.04 -3.21 6.5 92 1041


Cool.

That's almost a brand-new pitch and batters have been having a hell of a time with it. Batters have went from swinging at about a quarter of the pitches that Grilli throws outside of the zone (league average) to swinging at 40% of 'em.

After posting a 10.19 K/9 in 2011, Grilli's sitting pretty with a 16.20 K/9 mark in 2012.

What The Hell Guys?

Chris Sale found himself privy to the council many of my fantasy starters receive upon being drafted to my make-believe baseball squad. I invested time in Chris Sale and I'm rewarded with.... this?

If this is an injury concern then, well, treat the injury. If this a move to lessen the wear-and-tear on Sale's left elbow then someone needs to remind Kenny Williams that according to the Mayan Calender, 2012 is the year of the Closer Apocalypse*.

Sale is an asset not a relief pitcher. Addison Reed is a relief pitcher. A really, really, really good relief pitcher.

Why doesn't Chicago limit the number of sliders that Sale hucks rather than limiting the pitches?

*Andrew Bailey, Mariano Rivera, Joakim Soria, Drew Storen, Brian Wilson, Sergio Santos, Kyle Farnsworth, Ryan Madson, etc.

Drabek On The Bump

My fascination with Drabek's stuff is well documented. Last night against the Rangers, a game that I unfortunately missed, Drabek looked sharp against a plethora of smash-killing bats possessed by the best club in baseball.

Again, according to someone that loves baseball and is probably smarter than you, the keys to Drabek's success are as follows:


  1. Continued control over the change-up.
  2. Improved control on the sinker.
  3. Some whiffs on the bender.
And, how.

Drabek's control over the change wasn't astonishing, but he continued to use it as a swing and miss pitch. Opposing batters are swinging and missing 12.5% and Monday against the Rangers, he managed a couple whiffs on fourteen changes. Rarely was Drabek's change in the zone against the Rangers, but that's to be expected against a line-up featuring only one opposite-handed batter as Josh Hamilton was given the night off.



Furthermore, Drabek found himself going to the cutter 18 times against the Rangers; eleven of which resulted in strikes, and four ended in whiffs. As seen by the green triangles, Drabek located the cutter extremely well against both lefties and righties by keeping it down and away. Drabek made his name as a prospect on the back of his cutter, but had drastically decreased its usage to open the season. Drabek's increased reliance on the cut-fastball over the past two games is something worth monitoring.

As for Drabek's sinker, he managed to throw 23 of 36 for strikes, despite being a little wild. He kept most of them off the heart of the plate and worked the edges well, but elevated more of them than I'd like to see.

Finally, it was nice to see Drabek really go to his breaking pitch as a means of inducing whiffs. Drabek threw 12 curveballs and nine of them went for strikes. Furthermore, he managed five whiffs on the pitch. For the game, Drabek induced 18 swing and misses and looked incredibly sharp. Drabek's 1.73 K:BB Ratio certainly isn't stellar, but it's blowing the pants off last year's horrendous 0.93 K:BB rate.

Drabek's certainly out-pitching his peripherals with a shiny 2.40 ERA, but there's plenty of reason to believe in the kid. 

Free: Brandon Belt

Imagine you are a fly on the wall in the Giants front office.

Smack. You are dead. Brian Sabean hates flies. As the longest tenured GM in baseball, he's become rather adept at killing them.

But what comes after is marvellous. Not only does Sabean kill you (which he wouldn't have been able to do had you remained human) but he also turns Bruce Bochy into the Manchurian Manager.

"Hopefully going out there every day, he's going to get comfortable"


These are words that came out of Bruce Bochy's mouth.


Thursday, 26 April 2012

Aero Bars


Lovely Lady #1 suggests, "Get the Aero Bar"

Lovely Lady #2 responds, "...but it tastes like soap!"

Lovely Lady #1 retorts, "It has all those air bubbles in it, so there's less calories."

Occasionally I overhear conversations and I smile. This was one of those moments.

Latin America: Cultural Hot Bed.

Regardless of subject, be it art, literature, or economics, I find myself perplexed by most references to the works of influential Latin Americans. Latin American names, you see, apparently coincide with the baseball portion of my brain. 

Without fail, any reference to Diego Rivera will illicit an impromptu scouting report: "Couldn't hit a change-up, but mashed the straight stuff. Got stuck in AA and never lived up to his potential"


Monday, 16 April 2012

MLB.com, Hrm.

I'm not really a Star Wars fan, but in Toronto, raising one's hand while forcefully lowering the other hand onto the head of a robot of the opposite sex signifies enjoyment whilst receiving a dirty gummer.

How this is the ultimate father-son experience is beyond me, but our boy C3PO looks to be having one hell of a time.



PS: I have Arizona (-1.5) parlayed with LAA (-1.5) and PHI (-1.5) for a pretty decent payout. Hopefully this turns out well. We'll see though.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Drabek on the Mound: Redux

Before Drabek's start, I posted words on the internet.

What I'd Like To See Today:
  1. Continued control over the change-up.
  1. Improved control on the sinker.
  1. Some whiffs on the bender which he only threw five times against the Red Sox
Let's go ahead and peg Drabek for 7IP, 3ER, 6K, 3BB. You'd take that, right?
I would say that Drabek outperformed my optimistic guestimate with his 7.1 IP, 2R, 1ER, 1BB, 6K performance.

Now, to the points:

The Drabek Change-Up:

Hot damn. Drabek threw eleven change-ups and didn't disappoint. It again had terrific sink to it and managed a swinging strike rate of just under 45%. Dirty.

The Drabek Two-Seamer:

I would say throwing 40 two-seamers and getting 27 strikes aint all that shabby. Toss in an average velocity of 93.7mph and it's pretty gosh-darn good. Drabek only managed three swing and misses on the sinker, but the pitch was incredibly effective for him.

The Drabek Breaking Pitch:

Drabek only threw fourteen breaking pitches, but managed strikes on eight of 'em. Of course, he only got whiffs on two of those fourteen pitches, but he really didn't to use the bender as an out-pitch.

All and all, a pretty impressive outing.  Here's some brooks' data to sort through:



Pitch Statistics
Pitch TypeAvg SpeedMax SpeedAvg H-BreakAvg V-BreakCountStrikes / %Swinging Strikes / %Linear WeightsTime to Plate
FF (FourSeam Fastball)93.4195.3-3.647.193421 / 61.76%1 / 2.94%1.64530.402
CH (Changeup)84.9986.8-6.801.19116 / 54.55%5 / 45.45%-0.16440.439
SL (Slider)80.6481.74.39-4.4495 / 55.56%2 / 22.22%-0.90090.463
CU (Curveball)80.4281.64.06-4.3153 / 60.00%0 / 0.00%-0.41570.465
FC (Cutter)90.9091.90.214.0941 / 25.00%0 / 0.00%-0.61740.408
FT (TwoSeam Fastball)93.7695.2-8.044.864027 / 67.50%3 / 7.50%-0.76510.401




Kevin Gregg: The Worst.

Kevin Gregg is the worst pitcher in the entire history of ball sports, including but of course not limited to, baseball.

Thanks, Buddy.


Old-Timey, New Timey.

Multitasking is something that my generation does remarkably well. Sure, old-timey housewives could manage a family while smoking, cleaning, and drinking copious amounts of red wine, but it's my generation that reigns supreme in the realm of multitasking.

The objects that we interact with are built for multitasking. My broom, specifically, acts not just as a sweeping tool, but also as an air guitar. It is currently functioning quite well as I've recently discovered Katy Perry. Also, my apartment is very dirty. I may be embracing Katy Perry's hit anthem Last Friday Night a little too much.

With that said, my television seems to be built as a single purpose device and is certainly unsuitable for baseball. Unsuitable at best! 

Baseball deserves nostalgia. Baseball deserve analysis. The television offers neither. Hint: Buck Martinez is stupid.

As such, I'll continue to crank the radio to the Fan 590 AM while viewing the Blue Jays pfx data via MLB Advanced Game Day. I'll do both these things while typing up a blog post and listening to Katy Perry's artistic masterpiece, Teenage Dream.



Over 99 million people watched this video on youtube before me and I sincerely hope that you were one of them.


Drabek On The Mound

So Kyle Drabek's set to take the mound against the O's later today and I'm cautiously optimistic. Drabek's currently sitting pretty with just a single earned run against in five and change innings, but the secondary statistics are still reason for concern.

Drabek's first start against the Red Sox was an intriguing one. Only righties were able to snag hits off him (Youkilis, Pedroia, Ross) and only lefties managed walks (Ortiz, Sweeney, Ellsbury.) Drabek finished up with a WHIP of 1.125, but the K:BB ratio of 1.33 wasn't exactly...ideal. With that said, Boston's fairly patient and Drabek showed some serious improvements.

First, he felt comfortable going to his change-up against lefties. He had pretty solid command and control over the pitch, and really only made one blunder. Against Boston's big lefties, I incorrectly assumed that Drabek would go cutter-heavy. Brooks Baseball listed two pitches as cutters, but you could probably argue for a handful more after viewing the pfx data. Drabek's change-up looked decidedly major-league level. There was added sink, further velocity separation, and quality arm-side run.

The only real issue Drabek had against the Sox was locating his sinker. The pitch had terrific velocity, sink and arm-side run, but was all over the zone. Drabek went to it about a quarter of the time, but almost 61% of the pitches went for balls. Against lefties, Drabek somehow managed to toss almost 70% of his two-seamers for balls. On the plus side, the Red Sox just couldn't do anything with the pitch when they swung. They'd miss it, foul it, or pound it into the dirt.

Now, for the phrase that you've heard a thousand of times:

Kyle Drabek needs to trust his stuff.

Drabek looks primed for a break-out sometime soon if he can just trust his stuff. He may never be the 8K-per-9 pitcher that everyone expected, but he's got the arsenal to be a very good player.

Baltimore's a righty-heavy squad so Drabek should fair well. Only Markakis, Davis and the switch-hitting Wieters will have the platoon advantage. If Drabek pitches a good game, we could see some solid strike-out numbers. If Drabek tries to get too fancy and makes mistakes, the Orioles certainly have the power in their bats to make him pay.

What I'd Like To See Today:


  1. Continued control over the change-up.
  2. Improved control on the sinker.
  3. Some whiffs on the bender which he only threw five times against the Red Sox
Let's go ahead and peg Drabek for 7IP, 3ER, 6K, 3BB. You'd take that, right?

Travis Snider. Again.

I will not dub Travis Snider a AAAA player. I just can't do it. Currently, he's the Jays best option for LF, and possibly even CF. Tell me if you've heard this one before, but Travis Snider's pummelling AAA pitching:

YearAgeTmLgLevAffGPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSTBGDPHBPSHSFIBB
201224Las VegasPCLAAATOR83935815403150145.429.487.8001.2872810000
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/15/2012.

So Uh. Snider went 4-for-5 on Friday with a double and a grand-slam. Pretty okay.

As long as Snider can right the ship and not look awful against fastballs, he'll be fine. I have trouble attributing Snider's inconsistency and ineffectiveness against fastballs over the past two years to anything except a lingering injury. I understand his problems with sliders, but there's no reason why he should look so foolish against the high heat.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Henderson Alvarez: Opening Night

Alvarez still isn't striking batters out, but he was once again quite effective. The dip in velocity was to be expected, I suppose:

--

The pfx camera for this game was a bit whacky and gave Alvarez one hell of an arsenal.


Pitch TypeAvg SpeedMax SpeedAvg H-BreakAvg V-BreakCountStrikes / %Swinging Strikes / %Linear WeightsTime to Plate
FF (FourSeam Fastball)93.0196.5-6.16-3.083221 / 65.63%1 / 3.13%0.09180.397
CH (Changeup)84.6286.9-4.10-6.08138 / 61.54%0 / 0.00%-0.73180.435
SL (Slider)85.4589.42.77-3.361911 / 57.89%1 / 5.26%-0.57620.432
FC (Cutter)94.7595.4-1.530.3021 / 50.00%0 / 0.00%-0.01350.389
FT (TwoSeam Fastball)93.2495.9-9.07-4.352918 / 62.07%0 / 0.00%-0.44030.398


Those are some pretty heavy pitches, and should probably be adjusted about six-to-seven inches upwards on the vertical axis (this set doesnt include gravity).

Even still, Alvarez got quality movement. I was strangely surprised by his cutter last night, it's not a terrible pitch and gets pretty solid movement compared to his two-seamer. Definitely, the biggest problem is Alvarez's lack of swinging strikes: Two combined swinging strikes is a bit of a problem, even if you are getting tonnes of groundballs.

Furthermore, it is just one game, but it was nice to see Alvarez go to the slide-piece fairly often.

The fans also turned on the Blue Jays quick-fast. It's too be expected given that this is Maple Leaf country.

Revisiting The Nolascos

I'm back from the Jays home opener, although this'll certainly get posted tomorrow morning. Sergio Santos has blown two saves in a row, but his stuff is still filthy. The BB% will make this year very, very interesting.  Let's revisit my case of the Nolascos:

Ricky Nolasco: 8IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 6K, 0BB, 0.75 WHIP

Brandon Morrow: 7IP, 1H, 2R, 0ER, 3K, 3BB, 0.57 WHIP

Zack Greinke: 7IP, 4H, 0R, 0ER, 7K, 0BB, 0.57 WHIP

Chad Billingsley: 8.1IP, 3H, 0R, 0ER, 11K, 1BB, 0.48 WHIP

Matt Garza: 6IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 5K, 1BB, 1.00 WHIP

Daniel Hudson: 6.2IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 4K, 2BB, 1.05 WHIP

Derek Holland: 6IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 5K, 3BB, 1.00 WHIP

James McDonald: 6IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 3K, 2BB, 1.00 WHIP

Josh Johnson: 6IP, 10H, 3R, 3ER, 4K, 2BB, 2.00 WHIP

Mike Minor: 5IP, 6H, 6R, 6ER, 6K, 4BB, 2.00 WHIP

Josh Johnson and Mike Minor ruined a perfectly good first week. Boo-urns.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

A Case of the Nolascos.

Yup, I've got 'em. There's no known cure for the Nolascos. Penicillin doesn't do a thing. Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation or RICE just makes 'em worse. If you've been playing fantasy baseball more than five years, I bet you've got 'em too.

There are just some players out there that you cannot avoid. Every year, you pick 'em. They're like scabs that just won't heal.  If Doctor Gregory House (who's finally back to my internet tv tomorrow) were my doctor, his white board would read as follows:

Ricky Nolasco: Every year he posts a FIP in the 3.50 range, a walk rate under 2.00 batters per 9, and a half-decent K-Rate. Every freakin' year. Last year Nolasco posted a WHIP of 1.40 and I still can't avoid taking him in deeper leagues.

Brandon Morrow: Since joining the Blue Jays, he's struck out more than a batter per inning and posted back-to-back xFIPs of 3.50ish.

Zack Greinke: It's not a bad thing to have Greinke on your roster, but I've spent years assuming he's probably the best pitcher in the game. I was rewarded in 2009, but since then random chance has decided that another Cy Young award just isn't in his cards.

Chad Billingsley: Just when I thought he was on the verge of making the hump to 8.00 K/9 and lowering his BB/9 to under 3.00, 2011 happened and he sucked. It's not like that'll stop me from drafting him, though.

Matt Garza: Hrm. His playoff performances really made a name for him, but up until last year, he was routinely average. Finally his fastball-slider combination lived up to the hype and he had a pretty solid year.

Daniel Hudson: Hudson has actually looked pretty sharp and I think 2012 is the year he gets that K-Rate above 8-per-9 while maintaining a BB-Rate of under 2-per-9. Should make the jump from good to great this year.

Trevor Cahill / Brett Anderson: Cahill got traded and while the move out of Oakland will hurt, facing a pitcher rather than DH will certainly help. He's a ground-ball pitcher, but there's no reason why he shouldn't be able to get Ks with his slider, curve and change. They all have respectable whiff/swing rates. Could be in for a break-out year.  As for Anderson, he's hurt and hasn't been able to ever put it together. I love the former Oakland duo and maybe Anderson comes back strong. I've been stashing him on my DL in a handful of leagues.

Derek Holland: He broke out in last year's playoffs, but I fear he might be overvalued because of it. I still think that Holland's five pitch arsenal is one of the better ones in the game and his control is only going to get better.

James McDonald: Still Waiting. McDonald was awful to open the season and awful to close it, but everything in between was stellar. Remove his 7.66 ERA in March/April and his 4.95 ERA in Sept/Oct and you've got a pretty solid pitcher.

Josh Johnson: I'm sure you can guess why.

Mike Minor: I've got a feeling that he'll be a mainstay on this list. With Atlanta's current rotation he's already undervalued. Toss in Delgado, Teheran and Vizcaino and Minor will be overlooked for the next ten years.

A few more and then guys that'll probably be on this list next year: Jon Niese, Phil Hughes, Brian Matusz, Kyle Drabek, Nathan Eovaldi.

Yah, this basically accounts for the majority of my pitching staffs in almost every league that I'm in.


Brett Lawrie's April Fools Joke.

Upon reading this...
I was left contemplating what outcome would be more terrifying(ly awesome) for Blue Jays fans:

A) The 22-Year old Lawrie bridled with the responsibility of parenthood

or

B) The 22-Year old Lawrie playing for the Padres.

....

In the end, I decided that I would be okay with either. Brett would almost certainly post numerous irresponsible parent photos to twitter. If anyone's going to paint a Jose Bautista beard on a baby, it's going to be Brett Lawrie. If anyone's going to challenge their infant to a game of Edward 40-hands, it's going to be Lawrie. Plus, as an added bonus, we'd get to listen to Lawrie talk about how being a father forced him to mature overnight in an overtly sarcastic tone.

On the other hand, the only team with a farm system as deep as Toronto's is San Diego. It'd probably take Yonder Alonso, Rymer Liriano, Jedd Gyorko, and Robbie Erlin to get Brett Lawrie and Toronto would be absolutely posed for a run in 2014-2015. Oh yah, we'd get Jaff Decker too (because he's fat, coming off a sub-par year, and would make a solid DH.)

Thursday, 29 March 2012

The Blue Jays' Best Cutter


Well, we all know who had the best cutter in the Blue Jays organization for a long, long time. Then, the next best cutter was traded away for some Canadian kid that everyone's talking about these days.

Now, an organization that basically taught everyone the cutter is sorely lacking. Litsch and Cecil seem to be able to cut the ball a little bit, but neither player really relies on the pitch. Romero can work his fastball every which way, and Brandon Morrow did what? Watch out, American League!

As a tangent, I'll take a quick look at Morrow's cutter: 1.95 inches horizontal movement compared to 4.51 on his slider. The slider comes in around 88mph with 30 inches of drop (inc. gravity) with his cutter adding a couple more mph and subtracting about 10 inches of drop. With a sample size of about 100, it looks like Morrow was comfortable enough throwing it for strikes, and got batters to swing 51% of the time and swing-and-miss 12% of the time. Batters fouled off about 20% of the pitches and put another 20% into play. Thankfully, for the fly-ball machine, more than half of those balls in play were ground balls. 

Morrow's only thrown 100 of the pitches in game action so I feel good about his ability to improve his command and control of the pitch. Considering that Morrow's largely a fastball-slider pitcher, the cutter will go a long way to help him get opposite handers out and induce ground-balls. 

Casey Janssen provides an interesting case for the best cutter in the organization. He consistently throws it for strikes and often gets plenty of foul balls and called strikes despite his lacklustre 6.7% whiff rate. Ten-and-change percentage of his cutters are hit into the ground for relatively easy outs and he throws the pitch about 40% of the time. With great horizontal movement and good vertical movement, the 91mph is a dandy, despite average pitch values.

So who has the best cutter? Well, probably Janssen (or maybe even Morrow!) but I'm going to give the nod to the player received in the Halladay-deal, Kyle Drabek. In 2011, Drabek had huge issues with commanding his cutter, and tossed it for a ball 47% of the time, but the pitch is a 91.4mph beast that jumps out of his hand and barrels in on lefties.

Drabek's issues were across the board, not really cutter-specific, and he'll hopefully be able to fix 'em up this year. Considering his arsenal, especially with that cutter, he could still be a terrific player (if he can just throw fuckin' strikes).

Sorry for swearing, but I'm sure you feel me. For now, at least until I see Morrow's pitchf/x in 2012, I'm going to give it to Drabek. Brandon's got one hell of a shot to be a devastating pitcher this year, though. 



Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Blue Jays Pitchers: The Best Slider

This is a toughy because Brandon Morrow's slider is absolutely filthy. Morrow threw his slider over 712 sliders in 2011 and gets almost 30 inches of vertical drop, including gravity. Horizontally, the pitch comes in at about 4.5 inches, and tops out in the high-80's in terms of velocity.

But, Morrow's slider isn't quite as filthy as Sergio Santos'.

Santos acquired a wSL of 9.0 despite only throwing the pitch 317 times. While his 32% reliance on the slider is somewhat worrisome, it's absolutely unhittable. Batters only put 8% of his sliders in play and whiff an astonishing 34% of the time. At 86mph, Santos gets a full 7.39 inches of movement on the horizontal plane and -34.6 inches on the vertical plane (again, gravity included.)

Morrow is right behind Santos on both the fastball and the slider, and extra points must be given because he starts games and faces the order a few times through, but based on just pure stuff, Santos has to win.

The Best Fastball, Change-Up, and Curveball.

After looking through the PFX for the Blue Jays, it makes sense to make a completely arbitrary list, right? So, here's the best pitches in the organization. I'll consider run value, velocity, movement, and a handful of other statistics.

Blue Jays Rotation and Pen: The Best Fastball

This one is incredibly tough because Brandon Morrow's fastball averages almost 95mph and garners whiffs and fouls 10% and 21% of the time, respectively. He throws it fifty-eight percent of the time, and relies on it heavily. Yet, Morrow's fastball routinely posts rather average run-values. Meanwhile, Ricky Romero's fastball exhbits quality sink, induces ground-balls 8% of the time and came out on top in terms of run-value.

While it was tempting to go with a Toronto starter, I had to settle on Sergio Santos. Santos' fastball clocks in at 96mph but unlike Morrow's, gets a called strike 25% of the time. Santos' whiff rate sits at a meagre 4.45% but he makes up for it by inducing 7.71% groundballs with the pitch. Santos has the velocity of Morrow with Romero's ability to limit fly-balls and line-drives.


Blue Jays Rotation and Pen: The Best Change-Up


There isn't much of a contest here, but Henderson Alvarez looks to be slowly working his way into the picture. Ricky Romero features the Jays' best change and outpaces his competition in every facet except velocity. Alvarez barely nudges out Romero in terms of velocity but gets less movement on both planes.

Romero gets a terrific 24% Whiff Rate on his change in addition to a 10% Called Strike Rate. The total linear run value on his change-up was 13, almost 8 ahead of Henderson Alvarez.

Alvarez has a pretty fantastic change-up of his own, but Ricky Romero is head and shoulders above the competition as you'd expect.


Blue Jays Rotation and Pen: The Best Curveball


In terms of batted-ball profile, movement, and value, Janssen's curveball comes out on top. Janssen gets a called strike twenty-six percent of the time he throws the pitch in addition to a 15% whiff-rate. Only 1.65% of the curveballs he threw in 2011 were hit square for line-drives compared to 11.57% hit on the ground. Janssen went to the pitch 121 times in 2011 and got 15.42 inches of horizontal movement with -47.99 inches of vertical movement (including gravity.) The pitch only comes in at 77mph, but helped Janssen compile a 4.7 wCB and a 3.89 wCB/C.




Up Next... Slider, Cutter, Sinker.

The Blue Jays Pitching: pfx-timey.

I figured I'd put together a little catalogue of PFX data from the 2011 season. The Blue Jays are an interesting group and the entire pitching staff seems to be shaping up nicely. Obviously there are questions, but the addition of Sergio Santos, Darren Oliver and Francisco Cordero should keep things....interesting.

**All Data From Brooks Baseball and includes the effect of gravity to make it more discernible.

Starters:

Ricky Romero - Lefty, 6'0", 200lbs, 27 Years Old, Debut: 2009, Active.

W L SV G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
15 11 0 32 32 225 7.12 3.2 1.04 0.242 79.20% 54.70% 13.20% 2.92 4.2 3.8 2.9

Pitch Count Frequency H. Mvt V. Mvt Mph H. Rel V. Rel Spin Θ RPM
Fourseam (FA) 1606 48.00% 3.84 -17.39 92.72 2.83 6.04 152 1485
Sinker (SI) 738 22.00% 9.95 -22.62 92.31 2.85 6.06 116 1662
Slider (SL) 52 2.00% -1.67 -33.51 85.31 2.53 6.22 335 171
Curveball (CU) 300 9.00% -6.24 -53.43 77.79 2.47 6.33 340 1714
Changeup (CH) 629 19.00% 9.33 -33.98 85.7 2.6 6.25 82 1307



In terms of surface statistics, Romero was the Blue Jays' Best Pitcher in 2011. Romero relied heavily on his low-90's fastball (and sinker) to record outs. Although Romero's heat generally sat in the low-90s, he managed to garner six and seven percent whiff rates on his four-seamer and sinker, respectively. Toss in a solid amount of Called Strikes and Foul Balls on his two-fastballs, and you've got an effective primary offering. Both pitches exhibited heavy sink and set up his devastating change-up. Speaking of Romero's change, it's in the upper echelon of Major League change-ups and places Romero in the company of Cole Hamels, Felix Hernandez, James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson, Jered Weaver, Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum.


Brandon Morrow - Righty, 6'3", 200lbs, 27 Years Old, Debut: 2007, Active.

WLSVGGSIPK/9BB/9HR/9BABIPLOB%GB%HR/FBERAFIPxFIPWAR
111103030179.110.193.461.050.29965.50%36.00%10.40%4.723.643.533.4

Pitch Count Frequency H. Mvt V. Mvt Mph H. Rel V. Rel Spin Θ RPM
Fourseam (FA) 1743 58.00% -5.69 -11.86 94.57 -2.66 5.96 206 2104
Sinker (SI) 170 6.00% -10.93 -15.82 92.5 -2.88 5.8 228 2180
Cutter (FC) 97 3.00% 1.95 -20.75 90.09 -2.14 6.15 174 1054
Slider (SL) 712 24.00% 4.51 -29.12 88.17 -2.51 6.03 106 449
Curveball (CU) 155 5.00% 4.77 -41.77 82.03 -2.38 6.13 29 961
Changeup (CH) 119 4.00% -10.5 -25.09 86.69 -2.77 5.87 245 1627



Morrow trailed on Alexi Ogando, Justin Verlander, Davie Price, Michael Pineda, Edwin Jackson and Derek Holland in terms of average fastball velocity and his swinging strike rates reflect that. Yet, hitters continue to have average success against the pitch. For the second straight year, Morrow's posted an ERA a full run higher than his FIP or xFIP would indicate. After the heat, Morrow relies on his quality slider probably a bit too much for my liking (24%). Almost everyone believes that this is the year for Morrow which should come as no surprise given his improvement in walks-per-nine while maintaining his ridiculously high 10 K/9 rate.


Brett Cecil - Lefty, 6'1", 250lbs, 25 Years Old, Debut: 2009, Active.

WLSVGGSIPK/9BB/9HR/9BABIPLOB%GB%HR/FBERAFIPxFIPWAR
41102020123.26.333.061.60.26773.30%38.20%13.30%4.735.14.470.4

Pitch Count Frequency H. Mvt V. Mvt Mph H. Rel V. Rel Spin Θ RPM
Fourseam (FA) 689 37.00% 5.45 -15.43 89.34 0.69 6.78 157 1953
Sinker (SI) 289 15.00% 10.49 -21.28 88.4 0.74 6.75 129 1806
Cutter (FC) 33 2.00% 4.47 -27.55 84.14 0.44 6.73 137 914
Slider (SL) 375 20.00% 1.51 -29.33 83.35 0.83 6.75 153 577
Curveball (CU) 111 6.00% 1.54 -42.14 78.46 0.79 6.84 26 521
Changeup (CH) 376 20.00% 10.77 -28.65 80.77 0.82 6.85 124 1577



Cecil saw his velocity take a dip of about a mph across the board in 2011. His pair of fastballs aren't exactly anything to write home about but his off-speed offerings are quite effective. While he rarely uses his curveball, it gets great depth and compliments his slider and change well. It's going to be tough for Cecil to put it all together in 2012, but it's definitely possible. All of his pitches show great movement and he gets fairly decent swing-and-miss rates with everything other than his pedestrian fastball.


Henderson Alvarez - Righty, 6'1", 210lbs, 21 Years Old, Debut: 2011, Active.

W L SV G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
1 3 0 10 10 63.2 5.65 1.13 1.13 0.281 77.20% 53.50% 15.10% 3.53 3.97 3.38 1

Pitch Count Frequency H. Mvt V. Mvt Mph H. Rel V. Rel Spin Θ RPM
Fourseam (FA) 273 28.00% -7 -16.95 94.37 -2.19 6.18 222 1628
Sinker (SI) 433 44.00% -11.06 -21.24 93.81 -2.39 6.05 248 1773
Cutter (FC) 19 2.00% 2.39 -25.73 88.39 -2.24 6.17 165 582
Slider (SL) 83 8.00% 7.05 -33.06 83.37 -2.23 6.23 96 732
Changeup (CH) 174 18.00% -7.39 -29.8 86.06 -2.61 5.92 261 1060




Henderson Alvarez was a little bit of a rookie phenom despite his below-average strike-out rate. Alvarez succeeded despite his 5.65 K/9 thanks to a spectacular 1.13 BB/9 and a 93mph sinking fastball. Still just 21-years old, there's plenty of time for Alvarez to polish his secondary pitches. His change-up has a solid velocity differential and a great amount of sink and fade but his slider has yet to show up as a swing and miss pitch despite terrific movement on both planes. Heading forward, Alvarez's best pitch will continue to be his terrific change, but he's still a quality breaking pitch away from big-league success.



Dustin McGowan - Righty, 6'3", 230lbs, 30 Years Old, Debut: 2005, Active.

W L SV G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
0 2 0 5 4 21 8.57 5.57 1.71 0.276 66.90% 50.00% 19.00% 6.43 5.6 4.38 -0.1

Pitch Count Frequency H. Mvt V. Mvt Mph H. Rel V. Rel Spin Θ RPM
Fourseam (FA) 136 36.00% -5.8 -12.51 93.93 -2.62 5.93 208 2051
Sinker (SI) 109 29.00% -11.75 -16.85 93.14 -2.6 5.97 233 2154
Slider (SL) 80 21.00% 4.83 -28.45 87.26 -2.63 5.93 124 544
Curveball (CU) 19 5.00% 8.98 -41.13 80.66 -2.36 6.04 59 1062
Changeup (CH) 32 9.00% -11.45 -24.03 87.06 -2.62 5.95 244 1778


At this point, I don't even know how to approach McGowan. He's regained some of the velocity, averaging about 94mph on the heater, and still possesses a solid two-seam sinking fastball but most of his pitches are average at best. Without a 95-96mph fastball, it's going to be difficult to predict McGowan's future.



Kyle Drabek - Righty, 6'1", 230lbs, 24 Years Old, Debut: 2010, Active.

W L SV G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
4 5 0 18 14 78.2 5.83 6.29 1.14 0.31 69.00% 44.70% 12.70% 6.06 5.52 5.13 -0.2

Pitch Count Frequency H. Mvt V. Mvt Mph H. Rel V. Rel Spin Θ RPM
Fourseam (FA) 543 37.00% -3.82 -12.23 94.31 -1.95 6.36 199 2010
Sinker (SI) 387 26.00% -10.41 -16.35 93.96 -2.05 6.29 228 2033
Cutter (FC) 265 18.00% 1.52 -20.37 91.38 -2.06 6.23 176 1009
Slider (SL) 27 2.00% 1.71 -28.92 85.15 -1.9 6.37 167 424
Curveball (CU) 124 8.00% 4.8 -40.81 82.11 -1.74 6.43 36 808
Changeup (CH) 119 8.00% -11.81 -25.34 86.88 -2.29 6.14 247 1736


As far as pure stuff goes, Drabek still looks great. With a fastball that he can sink, cut, and let rip, it's hard to give up on him. Drabek's off-speed offerings still possess terrific, game-changing, swing-and-miss qualities, but he's always had issues translating stuff into results. Drabek's K/9 numbers continued their free-fall in 2011, while he posted a career-high 6.9 BB/9. Once the jewel of the Roy Halladay trade, Drabek has fallen behind both D'Arnaud and Gose (Michael Taylor->Brett Wallace).

With stuff like Drabek's, if he ever figures out how to locate his pitches, he'll become the ace that we all expected.

Relievers:


Sergio Santos - Righty, 6'3", 240lbs, 28 Years Old, Debut: 2010, Active.

W L SV G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
4 5 30 63 0 63.1 13.07 4.12 0.85 0.269 74.30% 43.00% 11.30% 3.55 2.87 2.69 1.6

Pitch Count Frequency H. Mvt V. Mvt Mph H. Rel V. Rel Spin Θ RPM
Fourseam (FA) 584 59.00% -3.52 -12.51 96 -2.8 5.83 201 1844
Sinker (SI) 1 0.00% -10.92 -16.27 94.37 -3.01 5.68 231 2235
Slider (SL) 317 32.00% 7.39 -34.63 85.77 -2.84 5.84 69 801
Changeup (CH) 90 9.00% -10.92 -23.86 88.06 -2.95 5.59 245 1707

With a blazing fastball and an absolutely disgusting slider, it's hard not to like the Blue Jays' acquisition of Santos. His 13K-per-9 rate is amongst the best in the game, but Jays fans will certainly experience their fair share of nail biters in the 9th thanks to his 4+ BB/9. Santos is basically unhittable and should provide the Blue Jays with a shutdown closer at a reasonable price.

Darren Oliver - Lefty, 6'2", 200lbs, 41 Years Old, Debut: 1993, Active.

W L SV G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
5 5 2 61 0 51 7.76 1.94 0.53 0.282 76.60% 37.90% 6.00% 2.29 2.77 3.24 1.3

Pitch Count Frequency H. Mvt V. Mvt Mph H. Rel V. Rel Spin Θ RPM
Fourseam (FA) 485 51.00% 2.63 -18.15 88.97 1.48 5.98 162 1480
Sinker (SI) 169 18.00% 12.61 -18.51 89.86 1.48 6.05 129 2242
Curveball (CU) 285 30.00% -7.13 -38.93 77.69 1.53 6.06 277 712
Changeup (CH) 13 1.00% 14.29 -27.72 83.71 1.5 6.05 112 1969

So, he's 41-years old. Oliver mixes his pitches well and he's not just a lefty-specialist. While he excels against lefties, he still posts very reasonable numbers against righties. All of his pitches get great sink and he'll continue to post solid GB-rates. However, dwindling ground-ball rates and rising line-drive rates may suggest that the end is near for Oliver despite his fourth consecutive season with an ERA under 3.00

Jason Frasor - Righty, 5'9", 180lbs, 34 Years Old, Debut: 2004, Active.

W L SV G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
3 3 0 64 0 60 8.55 3.9 1.05 0.304 80.30% 37.00% 10.00% 3.6 4.09 4.04 0.3

Pitch Count Frequency H. Mvt V. Mvt Mph H. Rel V. Rel Spin Θ RPM
Fourseam (FA) 768 71.00% -4.48 -13.01 93.81 -1.97 5.92 202 1921
Slider (SL) 131 12.00% 5.54 -32.85 84.95 -2.22 5.75 84 561
Splitter (FS) 181 17.00% -8.48 -30.27 87.19 -2 5.86 269 1168

Frasor became a different pitcher when he started throwing his split-fingered fastball back in 2009. The pitch has devastating sink and fade and should continue to help him strike-out around a batter per inning.

Francisco Cordero - Righty, 6'3", 245lbs, 36 Years Old, Debut: 1999, Active.

W L SV G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
5 3 37 68 0 69.2 5.43 2.84 0.78 0.214 82.30% 50.00% 8.70% 2.45 4.02 4.14 0.1

Pitch Count Frequency H. Mvt V. Mvt Mph H. Rel V. Rel Spin Θ RPM
Fourseam (FA) 442 41.00% -7.68 -12.57 93.57 -0.64 6.48 210 2160
Cutter (FC) 323 30.00% 3.89 -24.34 87.77 -0.79 6.41 151 883
Curveball (CU) 108 10.00% 5.37 -41.77 79.62 -0.87 6.49 45 847
Changeup (CH) 205 19.00% -10.08 -22.97 86.33 -1.16 6.17 233 1645

It's fairly clear that Cordero isn't the pitcher that he once was. He's not striking out 12-per-9 (2007) or 10-per-9 (2008), and not even 7-per-9 (2010). Cordero is striking out about five and a half per 9, which isn't exactly good news for the future of the former closer. Surprisingly though in 2011, Cordero posted a 2.45 ERA, so what gives? Well, a lot of luck (.214 BABIP - 82% strand rate) and a few intriguing changes (sub-3 BB/9, 50% GB Rate)

Cordero's FIP and xFIP were in the fours, and realistically, he probably won't come close to repeating an ERA south of 3.00. But the drastic change in his batted ball profile is something worth noting. Cordero posted career lows in Line-Drive Rate, and Fly Ball Rate to go along with a career high ground-ball rate which should play well in Rogers Centre.

It seems as though Cordero has been able to adjust to his fastball losing about 3mph over the past few years. After routinely throwing the heat sixty-plus percent of the time, Cordero saw his fastball usage plummet to 37%. The difference was made up by his surprisingly effective change-up and the addition of a curveball.


Casey Janssen - Righty, 6'3", 225lbs, 30 Years Old, Debut: 2006, Active.

W L SV G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
6 0 2 55 0 55.2 8.57 2.26 0.32 0.296 81.40% 47.30% 4.30% 2.26 2.45 3.04 1.3

Pitch Count Frequency H. Mvt V. Mvt Mph H. Rel V. Rel Spin Θ RPM
Fourseam (FA) 252 29.00% -0.9 -14.08 92.78 -1.25 5.35 187 1678
Sinker (SI) 104 12.00% -6.65 -19.95 92.63 -1.27 5.29 227 1299
Cutter (FC) 345 40.00% 2.78 -21.05 91.32 -1.29 5.33 162 912
Slider (SL) 36 4.00% 6.1 -31.84 86.2 -1.25 5.44 85 672
Curveball (CU) 121 14.00% 15.42 -47.99 76.9 -1.2 5.65 63 1885
Changeup (CH) 6 1 -6.26 -23.89 84.66 -1.19 5.57 220 1247

It seems as though plenty of Blue Jays pitchers flash three different fastballs. Janssen threw his four-seamer, sinker and cutter almost 80% of the time and had relative success. According to Pitchf/x values, all three of Janssen's fastballs played positively and only his slider was a negative pitch. He garnered a solid amount of whiffs with both breaking pitches and should continue to be a solid righty option out of the pen. A repeat of his 2011 2.26 ERA might be pushing it, but with a great GB to FB ratio and good stuff, a low-3.00s ERA should be in store.


Jesse Litsch - Righty, 6'1", 235lbs, 27 Years Old, Debut: 2007, Active.

W L SV G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
6 3 1 28 8 75 7.92 3.36 1.2 0.281 69.80% 44.20% 14.90% 4.44 4.24 3.63 0.7

Pitch Count Frequency H. Mvt V. Mvt Mph H. Rel V. Rel Spin Θ RPM
Fourseam (FA) 381 30.00% -1.76 -16.76 89.76 -1.85 6.07 192 1572
Sinker (SI) 333 27.00% -9.35 -19.69 89.8 -1.86 6.04 229 1758
Cutter (FC) 18 1.00% 3.36 -16.8 89.54 -1.85 6.05 169 1616
Slider (SL) 360 29.00% 3.1 -32.85 83.97 -2.2 5.81 94 266
Curveball (CU) 56 4.00% 7.97 -49.88 77.55 -2 6.01 35 1446
Changeup (CH) 108 9.00% -5.52 -32.46 82.56 -2.18 5.93 258 778

Litsch certainly doesn't overpower batters, but he does a decent job confusing them. The horizontal spread between his sinker and cutter that both come in at 90ish mph is over a foot. All of his pitches play about average, with his fastball and cutter leading the pack.


Carlos Villanueva - Righty, 6'2", 235lbs, 28 Years Old, Debut: 2006, Active.

W L SV G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
6 4 0 33 13 107 5.72 2.69 0.93 0.271 72.80% 35.60% 7.50% 4.04 4.1 4.48 1.1

Pitch Count Frequency H. Mvt V. Mvt Mph H. Rel V. Rel Spin Θ RPM
Fourseam (FA) 645 38.00% -2.95 -12.63 89.71 -1.26 6.73 192 2139
Sinker (SI) 145 8.00% -8.49 -16.14 89.13 -1.7 6.46 215 2027
Slider (SL) 342 20.00% 5.02 -34.03 82.62 -1.57 6.52 96 508
Curveball (CU) 227 13.00% 10.03 -51.27 73.6 -1.46 6.6 52 1305
Changeup (CH) 353 21.00% -5.31 -25.22 81.93 -1.63 6.48 213 1289

Villanueva's K/9 sank in 2011 to a career low 5.72 batters-per-9. Shockingly, the downturn came a year after he posted a career high 11.45 K/9 in his final year in Milwaukee. While some of it can be attributed to workload and role, his offspeed offerings were much more hittable. Villanueva saw his O-Contact jump to 72% after posting consecutive 44.2% seasons. Villanueva also followed up a career high 12.8% Swinging Strike rate in 2010 with a career low 7.5% rate in Toronto. While in Milwaukee, Villanueva posted a wSL/c and wCU/c of 1.21 and 1.92, respectively. In Toronto, the pitches lost vertical movement in favour of horizontal movement and returned to earth with a 0.62 wSL/c and a 0.44 wCU/c. With a return to a permanent bullpen role, I wouldn't be surprised to Villanueva regain his 2010 form.

Luis Perez - Lefty, 6'0", 210lbs, 27 Years Old, Debut: 2011, Active.

W L SV G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
3 3 0 37 4 65 7.48 3.74 1.25 0.327 70.70% 60.30% 18.40% 5.12 4.64 3.79 0

Pitch Count Frequency H. Mvt V. Mvt Mph H. Rel V. Rel Spin Θ RPM
Sinker (SI) 778 73.00% 14.32 -21.95 93.34 1.39 5.8 110 2168
Slider (SL) 202 19.00% 0.04 -36.36 82.87 1.26 5.91 17 305
Changeup (CH) 86 8.00% 8.54 -26.3 83.41 1.26 6.02 129 1414

Perez's line was pretty ugly, but a lot of that can be attributed to his 18.4% HR/FB rate and there's no way in hell that he doesn't regress. His fastball was atrocious despite quality movement and a good bit of zip.


Chad Beck - Righty, 6'4", 255lbs, 27 Years Old, Debut: 2011, 40-Man.

W L SV G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
0 0 0 3 0 2.1 11.57 0 0 0.2 100.00% 40.00% 0.00% 0 0.45 1.53 0.1

Pitch Count Frequency H. Mvt V. Mvt Mph H. Rel V. Rel Spin Θ RPM
Fourseam (FA) 29 78.00% -3.8 -11.23 95.75 -2.13 6.13 199 2030
Slider (SL) 5 14.00% 4.9 -24.4 87.27 -2.25 6.14 148 941
Changeup (CH) 3 8.00% -8.02 -23.64 88.6 -2.18 5.95 235 1436

We didn't see a lot of Beck, but a 96mph fastball ain't all that shabby. His fastball runs pretty straight on both planes, but he should be able to get away with it. He gets good depth on both his slider and change and should end up being a useful piece of the pn.


Joel Carreno - Righty, 6'2", 220lbs, 25 Years Old, Debut: 2011, 40-Man.

W L SV G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
1 0 0 11 0 15.2 8.04 2.3 0.57 0.25 95.60% 53.70% 7.10% 1.15 2.83 3.13 0.2

Pitch Count Frequency H. Mvt V. Mvt Mph H. Rel V. Rel Spin Θ RPM
Fourseam (FA) 28 13.00% -4.63 -15.18 92.01 -2.48 5.95 205 1758
Sinker (SI) 64 29.00% -11.16 -20.69 92.33 -2.42 5.82 243 1823
Curveball (CU) 117 53.00% 8.84 -37.77 80.96 -2.42 6.03 75 965
Changeup (CH) 12 5.00% -12.66 -24.57 86.15 -2.45 5.69 246 1868

Carreno throws his curveball more than 50% of the time which is quite strange. He shows good control with it and follows it up with a quality fastball and sinker combination. While his change-up certainly has potential in terms of movement, he's still not quite comfortable with it.


Danny Farquhar - Righty, 5'9", 180lbs, 25 Years Old, Debut: 2011, 40-Man.

W L SV G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
0 0 0 3 0 2 4.5 9 0 0.5 33.30% 25.00% 0.00% 13.5 5.03 6.28 0

Pitch Count Frequency H. Mvt V. Mvt Mph H. Rel V. Rel Spin Θ RPM
Fourseam (FA) 10 15.00% -14.49 -16.64 92.12 -1.73 5.17 237 2393
Sinker (SI) 35 54.00% -15.39 -27.89 91.38 -3.38 3.4 275 2280
Cutter (FC) 3 5.00% -2.48 -21.73 89.72 -1.74 5.11 209 1009
Slider (SL) 12 18.00% 3.84 -31.77 83.06 -3 3.59 111 345
Curveball (CU) 2 3.00% 1.91 -42.06 79.77 -1.84 5.11 11 700
Changeup (CH) 3 5.00% -13.74 -26.93 84.15 -2.31 4.51 250 1948

Basically a sinker / slider pitcher, Farquhar desperately needs to work on his change-up or cutter. His sinker and slider get quality movement, but he's still just barely topping 90 with the pitches.


Trystan Magnuson - Righty, 6'7", 220lbs, 26 Years Old, Debut: 2011, 40-Man.

W L SV G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
0 0 0 9 0 14.2 6.75 3.07 1.84 0.261 57.00% 32.70% 12.00% 6.14 5.21 4.69 -0.1

Pitch Count Frequency H. Mvt V. Mvt Mph H. Rel V. Rel Spin Θ RPM
Fourseam (FA) 146 46.00% -6.11 -13.4 93.57 -0.96 6.61 207 1954
Sinker (SI) 32 10.00% -13.15 -15.41 92.7 -1.11 6.42 231 2370
Cutter (FC) 35 11.00% -0.06 -20.23 88.77 -0.88 6.77 184 1225
Slider (SL) 91 29.00% 3.24 -25.98 87.5 -0.87 6.72 150 675
Changeup (CH) 11 3.00% -11.3 -24.31 84.74 -0.99 6.59 237 1708

Toronto reacquired Magnuson and Farquhar from Oakland after dealing them for Rajai Davis after the 2010 season. Magnuson has a pretty straight fastball that clocks around 94mph and a plethora secondary pitches. He's effective with the slider and gets a quality amount of whiffs.


Evan Crawford - Lefty, 6'2", 190lbs, 25 Years Old, Debut: None, 40-Man.

Pitch Count Frequency H. Mvt V. Mvt Mph H. Rel V. Rel Spin Θ RPM
Fourseam (FA) 41 60.00% 7.15 -15.07 91.7 2.2 6.15 147 2015
Slider (SL) 17 25.00% 0.81 -34.49 84.18 2.13 6.15 54 304
Curveball (CU) 10 15.00% -5.85 -52.08 76.12 2.21 6.25 338 1445

Crawford's data isn't from MLB but rather Fall Ball in Arizona. He's a quality lefty and should provide Toronto with a left-handed safety net for the pen. He doesn't overwhelm batters but shows a solid fastball with two pretty good breaking pitches.