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  1. Was there any attempt to adjust for park? I’ve seen quite a few references to Fenway specifically having a bit of a juiced gun, which could explain away a bit of Ramon Ramirez’s drop.

    Also, Tim Lincecum is going to be throwing 65 by the time he hits 35.

    Comment by Synovia — December 10, 2010 @ 4:30 pm

  2. I think that sometimes the teams with the fewest trips to the DL are more willing to let their players play through an injury, which could result in negative WAR from players who are above replacement when healthy. Or, a team with more trips to the DL might have a stronger bench and therefore a greater willingness to place starters on the DL. Obviously these ideas would not be the strongest factor in how many DL trips a team has, since so many injuries don’t leave much room for a choice. I just think that the topic may have a lot of complications that will make it difficult to study.

    Comment by Newcomer — December 10, 2010 @ 5:09 pm

  3. I believe that the reason that Lincecum lost some off of his fastball but still remained effective is because of his mechanics. With the way he launches himself forward with that long stride, he uses his legs to generate velocity even more than other pitchers, and I believe that it’s his legs that are betraying him as he ages, not his arm. This will continue to happen with age and, at some point, he will be forced to shorten his stride. How that will affect his ability to pitch well, I wouldn’t even care to guess.

    Comment by ChuckO — December 10, 2010 @ 5:22 pm

  4. Romero, Kershaw, Morrow, Masterson, and Cain all lost 1MPH on their fastball, but also gained some control (at least half a walk per 9 better). I feel like with these guys the loss of speed might be intentional as they’re learning finesse.

    Comment by Obligatory Sox Fan — December 10, 2010 @ 5:40 pm

  5. Interesting numbers on the bat/pitch speed. Good article.

    Comment by JoeS — December 10, 2010 @ 6:16 pm

  6. Why would Wilson’s velo drop be explained by moving from the ‘pen to the rotation but not Hughes’ (much smaller) drop?

    Comment by Kevin S. — December 10, 2010 @ 8:18 pm

  7. I would make sense with Hughes.

    Comment by Jeff Zimmerman — December 10, 2010 @ 8:52 pm

  8. a lot of the velocity changes has a lot to do with significantly increased innings pitched, right?

    Comment by grady — December 10, 2010 @ 9:06 pm

  9. At least by the guns on TV, Lincecum’s velocity was up and down all season. After the Giants confronted him about his conditioning, they started to climb and he was up 91-94 most of September and in the postseason.

    Comment by DrBGiantsfan — December 10, 2010 @ 10:04 pm

  10. That’s a very interesting point. I will admit, I’m shocked to see no correlation or negative correlation on that. You’d think that teams that have to bring in replacement players would end up with more sub-replacement play. Very interesting that we don’t see that, actually. You could be onto something. Wonder if there’s any way to infer stats about playing through injury.

    Comment by B N — December 11, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

  11. On a side note, I definitely appreciate these follow up articles. While they don’t necessarily give conclusive info, they raise some very interesting questions at least. Thanks for the follow-up.

    Comment by B N — December 11, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

  12. RE: Negative WAR and DL trips

    Did you control for expected team WAR prior to the season? For instance, it might be the case that good teams (projected) experience more negative WAR as DL days/trips increase, while poor teams (projected) see little effect.

    Comment by Mitch — December 11, 2010 @ 4:50 pm

  13. Lincecum’s stride length is 120% of his height. A good goal for most pitchers is 100%.

    His shoulder/hip rotation is so late/extreme there are no other real comparables (Roy Oswaly is close although he’s far more drop and drive).

    Let’s face it, TL55, is young and very reliant on pure ability. In other words, he’s not known as a very hard worker, probably is not in excellent condition, and well, when you’re smoking weed at 9AM, your fitness habits probably are not a top priority.

    In other words, his ups and downs probably have nothing to do with mechanics and more to do with his body’s natural intensity cycling. Simply put, sometimes he’s more tired than he is at other times.

    My concern with him has always been what happens when there’s a groin/oblique injury, and/or loss of flexibility with age, and how that effects his performance since he is the result of his amazing ability to repeat extreme mechanics.

    I think he is going to have to figure out that it is time to get serious about conditioning and stop settling for being the mega-talented “cool kid”.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 11, 2010 @ 5:47 pm

  14. i might be dumb, but don’t those #’s suggest pitch speed makes more difference?

    “For a 85 MPH pitch a 1 MPH increase in bat speed = 5.6 ft gain in distance
    For a 70 MPH bat speed a 1 MPH increase in pitch speed = 0.66 ft gain in distance”

    small increase in pitch speed has way more impact according to that.

    Comment by jack — December 12, 2010 @ 1:42 am

  15. Dontrelle Willis is an example of the extreme bad of things that can happen in the scenario you’ve outlined.

    Comment by Larry Smith Jr. — December 12, 2010 @ 3:19 am

  16. I think what this speaks to is the robustness of replacement level as a concept, and a bit of a helper effect from bench players, who are hopefully above replacement.

    Firstly, most of your bench players are going to be above replacement – In fact, the vast majority will be. Think of your utility infielders. Generally not replacement level. Those that are, are generally considered particularly odiously bad.

    Secondly, I believe it says the replacement level concept is fairly robust – It’s not hard to find 0 WAR performance. And in fact, in the wiggle room down around there, it doesn’t seem too hard to find slightly above 0 WAR replacement if you’re clever, because that’s a very low baseline.

    Comment by Patrick — December 12, 2010 @ 9:45 am

  17. Kevin,

    I think he just pointed out Wilson’s because it’s on the top of the list as the biggest drop.

    And in Hughes case, he’s been both before, so perhaps that’s why it didn’t change as much.

    Comment by Patrick — December 12, 2010 @ 9:47 am

  18. Jack… No. :)

    For an 85 MPH pitch, a 1 MPH increase in bat speed gives 5.6 ft of distance.

    For a 70 MPH BAT, a 1 MPH increase in pitch speed gives 0.66 ft of distance.

    The effect of a 1 MPH increase in bat speed is around 5 ft of distance, a 1 MPH increase in pitch speed is 1 ft or less.

    Check out this Book Blog thread for much more detailed fanciness:

    Comment by Patrick — December 12, 2010 @ 9:50 am

  19. Well his dad was clocked at 80-85 at age 55, so maybe they’ll bring in Chris to pitch instead.

    Comment by Christian — December 12, 2010 @ 2:09 pm

  20. Last season, Hughes’ average fastball velo was higher than in ’07 and ’08.

    Comment by Kevin S. — December 12, 2010 @ 3:51 pm

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