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I’m not entirely certain where to start a blog post after not having made an appearance for a large number of months.  I’ve been absent from the interwebs for a few reasons (note this is the part to skip if you want to get to the baseball analysis).  I’ve migrated jobs a few times (all positive), but now have less free time on my hands at work to randomly do baseball analysis.  At the same time I’ve just not been very interested in doing data analysis outside of work after having spent the entire day doing it at work.  If you’ve read anything I’ve done in the past it was always very data heavy, and I didn’t feel I had a whole lot to add to the discussion without being able/willing to get my hands dirty on the data side.  So now what?  I’m going to try and ease my way back into it with some sporadic posting and we’ll see where it goes from there.

 

A lot has happened since I wrote anything baseball related.  The Cards capped an unfathomable run with a World Series title (YAY!), Albert Pujols left for the greener pastures of Anaheim (BOO!), the Cards didn’t hamstring their payroll with the Albert Pujols contract (YAY!), and Tony LaRussa retired (YAY!, no BOO!, well I don’t know).  My opinions on those are concisely summarized in the parentheticals, and I’m sure a great deal of sabermetric ink has been spilled on the topics as well.  I’m going to let those topics lie and look at Lance Lynn, starter.

Unfortunately we are not blessed with much Pitch FX data for Lance Lynn as a starter, especially from last year.  We can go back to this game where Lynn threw 90+ pitches over 5 innings.  We can use the following chart to observe how well Lynn held his fastball velocity 

The chart shows only pitches classified as fastballs (two or four seam varieties).  There’s nothing that jumps out from that particular chart as he appeared to hold his velocity ok.  Of note, clearly Lynn had spikes in velocity after moving to relief, so it will be interesting to see if he pitches around 90 to 91 like he did in this start or if he pitches at a velocity more in line with his relief outings.

Clearly there is more to life than velocity, so we can also look at his control via this table from BrooksBaseball.net

Inning-by-Inning Pitch Totals
Inning Pitches in Inning Strikes in Inning Strike% in Inning Cumulative Total Pitches Pitch LWTS in Inning
1 26 14 53.85 26 0.742
2 12 9 75.00 38 -0.062
3 27 16 59.26 65 1.058
4 11 8 72.73 76 -0.834
5 18 11 61.11 94 -0.848

 

Lynn threw about as many strikes near the end of the game as he did at the beginning.  Clearly from this table we don’t have any insight into his command within the strike zone, so we’ll have to pay attention to that too.

 

Of final interest, BrooksBaseball also has lists of similar pitchers now.  Lynn’s list looks like the following

Pitcher Distance
Alex Burnett 142
Christopher Volstad 143
Jeff Niemann 161
Zack Greinke 162
Blake Beavan 168

which include some positive names and a few less promising comps.

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Steve Sommer

Simulation analyst by day, father and baseball nerd by night

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