Hey folks, sorry I’ve been a little non-existant lately, but family and life in general was put first. That being said, with the playoffs cranking up, I thought I’d try to dive into the opposition a little, starting with Randy Wolf. One quick caveat, I haven’t updated my database in a while, so this is only up through mid September (the 14th I think). All the fun after the jump.
First just a quick summary of his stuff
A couple of things jump out right away: First how good his fastball has been, as that’s a very low SLGCON. Fangraphs pitch values agree as he ranks second in total runs saved with his fastball, and 3rd in runs per 100 fastballs thrown. Side note, 4 of the top seven in runs per 100 fastballs are in this series… Carpenter (1), Kershaw (2), Wolf(3), and Piniero(7). Second, it appears that we should be able to take advantage of his slider and changeup. As splits go, the slider has been hammered by right handed batters (SLGCON of 0.854) but not by lefties (SLGCON of 0.175). Overall, righties have a 0.508 to 0.286 advantage in SLGCON.
The following charts show how he’s locating, first to RHB
and to LHB
A quick explanation, the outside black box is the edge of what I’d call “on the black”, while the inside black box is the “middle of the plate”. It’s an attempt to distinguish good location from fat pitches. One takeaway from these charts is how much he uses the outside part of the plat to lefties (not uncommon clealry) especially with the breaking balls. I’d assume this would explain the sizable slider platoon split. To both handed batters he’s appeared to have not left a great deal of pitches over the middle of the plate.
Finally, I’ve got a heat map of SLGCON by location vs. RHB. This is my first attempt at one of these so be nice I couldn’t figure out how to get the strikezone to show up in the time I had to get the post done, but it should be about from -1 to 1 on the horizontal axis and 1.5 to 3.5 on the vertical.
The takeaway here is that right handed batters are doing a lot of their damage up in the zone and out over the plate. The balance there is that if I did a similar chart for whiff%, I’d guess that’s where he’s getting a good portion of his swings and misses too… Kinda the pitching version of Jim Edmonds if you will…