With rumors swirling about the Cardinals kicking the tires on the recently released Justin Speier, and also potentially John Smoltz I thought it would be a good idea to familiarize ourselves with Speier while comparing the two pitchers.  The data is after the jump

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According to a Matt Baker (who you should be follwing on twitter if you are at all interested in Cardinals prospects) interview with John Mozeliak, the Cards have no current interest in the recently DFA’d John Smoltz.  That’s all well and good, but should they?  My initial reaction would be that if he has any interest in continuing his career in the bullpen, then the Cards should at least kick the tires.  Doing a real quick batted ball data look I came up with the following

Pitch Number Whiff % SLGCON
<40 25.5% 0.373
40+ 20.2% 0.911

It appears that Smoltz is better in the beginning of his outings getting more whiffs and less solid contact. He does have a BABIP of 0.293 in the first 40 so the SLGCON could be due for an increase, but there is some room there for it to get worse and him still be effective. Also of note is that those are vs. all handed batters and he has struggled against lefties this year. More to follow…

Roy Oswalt’s fill in tomorrow, Bud Norris, worked three innings of relief against the Cubs, so we have a little Pitch F/X data to work with.  He’s had a pretty good year at Houston’s AAA team posting a 3.41 FIP with a 8.4 K/9.  Check out the Pitch F/X overview after the jump

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In the comments from the last post Nick from Driveline Mechanics posed the question of what happened to Adam’s fastball.  I decided to poke around with his Pitch F/X data from last year and this year and see if I could come up with a diagnosis.  Fangraphs has AW’s fastball “worth” -16 runs (i.e. 16 runs below average) which is nearly as bad as his curveball has been good.  I investigated both movment and location, and while neither one by itself is very telling, the combination of the two (along with some batted ball data) is fairly telling.  First the average movement for the last two years.

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In the finale of the series we’ll look at how the 5 candidates are locating their pitches.  All the fun after the jump

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In this portion of the analysis I’ll take a brief look at who’s getting the best results with there stuff.  The first metric will be swings and misses.  I have two data points in this table, All, and Swings Only.  “All” is the percent of swings and misses across all pitches, and “Swings Only” is the percentage of swings and misses across only attempted swings.

Pitcher All Swings Only
Boggs 10.8% 25.1%
Walters 9.7% 22.8%
Wellemeyer 7.8% 17.2%
Thompson 6% 12%
Hawksworth 4.7% 9.2%

By both metrics Boggs has had the most success getting swings and misses, with Walters a close second (tonights game not included).  Part 3 will look at location for all 5 guys.

I had a request to add P.J. Walters to the mix, which makes sense as he’s in the same bin as Hawksworth and Boggs.  His graphs, and updated comparisons to league average are after the jump

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Over the next few posts I’ll do a breakdown of the pitchers that could theoretically hold down the number five spot in the Cards rotation for the second half of the season.  Part one will consist of a look at each pitcher’s “stuff”, starting with movement graphs.  All the fun stuff after the jump Continue reading »

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