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    Comment by Omar — March 6, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

  2. Though I am told that the s/t guns are differently shaped than the regular guns and therefore don’t give as accurate of a reading. That won’t stop me from being concerned, he has a bit of an inverted W and young fireballers get injured and lose velocity all the time. Oh I remember the Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes chronicles.

    Comment by Omar — March 6, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

  3. Sounds like he’s employing or modifying the Justin Verlander strategy: Ease up a bit with bases empty, then start throwing your hardest with runners on base.

    Comment by Bryz — March 6, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

  4. I had a feeling this trade wouldn’t work out.

    Comment by keg411 — March 6, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

  5. Law and Rosenthal’s Yankee-related comments always have to be taken with a grain of salt. The Yankees inspire controversy whenever they are mentioned, and as such, some, if not most, reporters have difficulty being objective when discussing them. Law and Rosenthal, impressive through their resumes are, definitely fall into this category.

    Comment by Ben — March 6, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

  6. I wasn’t concerned before, but I am now. Coming into camp out of shape and taking a while for your velocity to peak is pretty normal. But intentionally pitching through starts of real games with reduced velocity because you don’t feel comfortable throwing hard for 6-8 innings? That’s a legit concern. Could explain his crappy 2nd half(I know the periphs say he was unlucky) and the mariners willingness to deal him.

    Comment by TheOneWhoKnocks — March 6, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

  7. So is the August 21 start the only game where he started slow? If not, it would be really great to see some (small sample) analysis of how he did when starting slow.

    Comment by Barkey Walker — March 6, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

  8. Pineda also wasn’t a very good pitcher when he switched to dialing it back early though. The Yankees have to be hoping they see first-half Pineda.

    Comment by cpebbles — March 6, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

  9. I know this will concern a lot of Yankee fans, many of whom do not trust Cashman’s baseball acumen one bit, but Dave’s analysis is spot on. Now is not the time to panic and declare the trade a bust for the Yaks. Not even close.

    Comment by Ben — March 6, 2012 @ 12:19 pm

  10. Looks to me like Rosenthal and Law each just reported objective facts. What scouts were saying and what Pineda threw last spring. They did not draw any conclusions nor fail to be objective in any way.

    Comment by RationalSportsFan — March 6, 2012 @ 12:20 pm

  11. God being traded to the Yankees is not something I’d wish on anyone. Poor dude can’t even stretch his arm out in spring training without being second guessed.

    Comment by Hutch — March 6, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

  12. It’s as if you didn’t bother reading the article below the headline.

    Comment by GripS — March 6, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

  13. I wouldn’t be concerned at all. You are talking about the first game of Spring Training… Like Dave says. If you still see this during the regular season… ya know… when it actually matters. Then be concerned.

    Comment by GripS — March 6, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

  14. The Yankees inspire controversy whenever they are mentioned, and as such, some, if not most fans have difficulty being objective when reading about them (and often project their biases onto others).

    Comment by NS — March 6, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

  15. Exactly what I thought when I heard about it this morning. This is all about nothing really.

    Comment by GripS — March 6, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

  16. Forget his velocity, can someone explain whiskey dick? Majorly disappointing.

    Comment by keg411 — March 6, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

  17. A sub-par fastball is what scouts took away from Pineda’s two innings yesterday?

    For me, that pitch that wiped out Victorino was all I needed to see. If he can neutralize left-handers, he’s set since right-handers have virtually no chance against him.

    Comment by high and tight — March 6, 2012 @ 12:31 pm

  18. Sabra hummus is delicious. I could totally go for the roasted pine nuts one right now.

    Comment by keg411 — March 6, 2012 @ 12:31 pm

  19. It’s called selective reporting. Some scouts were raving about Pineda’s change-up. Others were stating concerns about his velocity. The pro-Yankee analysts emphasized the change-up, the anti-Yankee analysts emphasized the velocity. This is classic subjective reporting-emphasize the “objective facts” that best support your position.

    Comment by Ben — March 6, 2012 @ 12:33 pm

  20. It wasn’t much of a story but there was some talk on Sunday about the accuracy of spring training pitch speeds after Andrew Cashner threw 10 fastballs and averaged 102.2 mph.

    Comment by Drakos — March 6, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

  21. What Verlander does isn’t so much soft-toss early in the game or with the bases empty, it’s that he leans on a nasty curve early in the game and stops throwing it when he starts to tire. His fastball doesn’t really become an out pitch like the curve, but he does try to substitute with heat.

    Comment by Chris — March 6, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

  22. Next time I use sarcasm I’ll misspell words, use all caps, and lots of exclamation marks.

    Comment by Omar — March 6, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

  23. Kim?

    Comment by Omar — March 6, 2012 @ 12:40 pm

  24. But they didn’t take any position. They merely reported the more interesting (i.e newsworthy) news story.

    But, yea, they clearly hate the Yankees.

    Comment by RationalSportsFan — March 6, 2012 @ 12:40 pm

  25. Sounds like there may be some C.C. Sabathia influence at work here. I remember reading that he deliberately dialed back the speed on his path to becoming a pitcher rather than thrower. If Pineda is getting an earlier start I’d consider that a good sign. It will depend on how his change develops.

    Comment by Greg Narum — March 6, 2012 @ 12:40 pm

  26. At the very least, he had started doing it by June 23.

    Comment by Joof — March 6, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

  27. Did anyone read the article at all? If you did you’d know the real concern is not with his 2 IP yesterday but an intentional adjustment he made in the 2nd half last last season (or that physical ailment forced him into) that has resulted in reduced velocity and reduced performance. Yesterday? Just continuing the ongoing trend.

    Comment by TheOneWhoKnocks — March 6, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

  28. Keith Law grew up loving the Yankees and Buster Olney wrote a bestselling book about them … but don’t let the facts get in the way of your own need to see bias in others’ attempts at objectivity.

    Comment by Monroe — March 6, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

  29. Except that he didn’t show reduced performance in any meaningful way — his ERA was worse, but all the underlying indicators were essentially stable.

    Thanks for playing.

    Comment by The Ancient Mariner — March 6, 2012 @ 1:00 pm

  30. I never said they hate the Yankees. You inferred that from my statement. Time to cool down the tempers and talk rationally here.

    Comment by Ben — March 6, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

  31. Wow a lot of anger on this site. Usually, this is a good forum for rational baseball discussion. Guess I need to stay out of Yankee threads henceforth. Yankee fans and haters alike cannot keep their emotions out of comments related to the team. I was not trying to stir up the pot here, but I guess you can’t mention the Yankees without making somebody angry. I’ve learned my lesson.

    Comment by Ben — March 6, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

  32. “the anti-Yankee analysts emphasized the velocity”

    Comment by RationalSportsFan — March 6, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

  33. Ha, I haven’t seen a reply to you that seemed angry or temper-filled IN THE LEAST. You seem to be reading emotions into posts that are just not there.

    I’ve seen a lot of sarcasm, but this is the internet. Sarcasm is par for the course. But no one seems angry at all.

    Comment by RationalSportsFan — March 6, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

  34. Perhaps this is a strategy thing with him? Start with more modest speeds the first pass or two thru the lineup, then as they see you a 3rd time, pump 95 mph heat past them?


    Maybe he does this so get a feel for his pitches (like an extended warm up) and improve location in the early goings. Once he has the feel for the arm slot grip and release, he can rear back and fire. Many pitchers say their body acts differently every start, and that might be his way of figuring out how to utilize what his body is giving him.

    Or maybe he’s more out of shape than last year. I wouldn’t worry unless he’s still doing this in April.

    Comment by DD — March 6, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

  35. Omar, I don’t want to hear your excuses.

    Comment by keg411 — March 6, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

  36. pineda’s K rates, BB rates, and xFIP didn’t change much in the 2nd half.

    Comment by Woodrum's UZR Article — March 6, 2012 @ 1:22 pm

  37. Do we know if he was throwing exclusively the 4-seam FB though?

    Pineda’s GB rate actually improved after the All-Star break last season. Just wondering if he began throwing some 2-seamers? PitchFx doesn’t always do justice to guys who mix 2-seamers and who also throw the hard 4-seamers.

    Comment by GonzoFlyBall — March 6, 2012 @ 1:22 pm

  38. according to this site’s metrics, there was no reduced performance in the 2nd half

    Comment by Woodrum's UZR Article — March 6, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

  39. You can attribute his second half home run spike to random events. I’ll attribute it to him throwing an inferior fastball on occasion.

    Comment by soamx — March 6, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

  40. “He didn’t crack 94, and the average velocity was just over 91. The results were still fine, as he retired the side in order in the first inning, including getting two strikeouts, but the velocity wasn’t what he had shown earlier in the year.”

    I can’t believe Dave used this sample size. So ok, he started a game with decreased velocity against the Rays one game last year and had a good inning. How is that predictive? I read the article in full, and realize he did this in more than just that one Rays game, but why even cite the results from one inning? Seems to fly in the face of the type of analysis this site is about. If Pineda really needs a few innings to get his velocity up moving forward, that is a concern, regardless of how he faired against the Rays that one inning that one time.

    Comment by EarlSweatshirt — March 6, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

  41. Thing is, he’s not averaging 91. He’s averaging 89, and barely topping 91. That’s not a good sign, even if it’s the first game of ST.

    Doesn’t mean anyone should jump to conclusions, but should you be worried, at least a little? Hell yes. There’s a billion reasons it happened, but the fact is it happened. And until he’s hitting 95-96 again anyone who’s a Pineda fan should be worried.

    Comment by Killua — March 6, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

  42. Whenever I get ‘-12’, I figure I’ve ticked people off. Ben’s right, you guys are in a surly mood.

    Comment by Richie — March 6, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

  43. This is exactly what Ben said up above, except he named two of the second guessers (while suggesting they were part of a much greater whole). Interesting that that’s enough to take you from ‘+8’ to ‘-12’.

    Comment by Richie — March 6, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

  44. I don’t see any anger Ben. I think it’s all in your interpretation. Take a deep breath and read again. All of the comments seem really even keel.

    Comment by Johnny Come Lately — March 6, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

  45. I much liked the article, till I saw this comment (and the similar one up above).

    I’d suggest it’s just a poorly-written part of a still-good article. Had Dave just first mentioned the overall evidence, then cited that game clearly as an illustration of it, then I think the article is still very good.

    Comment by Richie — March 6, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

  46. If this article were a Shakespeare play it would be Much Ado About Nothing.

    Comment by JDanger — March 6, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

  47. When did indifference become the alternative to panic? The Yankees shouldn’t be headed for the bridge because of game 1 radar gun readings, but they’d be foolish to ignore them.

    Also, although the info about Pineda conserving his energy is interesting, I am not sure its relevant in a two inning stint.

    Comment by Will — March 6, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

  48. Lighthearted comments about overreactions in general seem better-received than targeted comments about specific reporters that question their objectivity (even when their reporting in this case didn’t lack any).

    Fascinating, I agree.

    Comment by NS — March 6, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

  49. His L/R FIP split last year was insignificant.

    Comment by NS — March 6, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

  50. Ben, u mad bro?

    Comment by Steven Stevey Steve Steveson — March 6, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

  51. …False.

    Comment by NS — March 6, 2012 @ 3:13 pm

  52. Pineda dialed it back and became more efficient late in the year last year eh? Did anyone else notice that his performance also fell off a cliff at the end of last year?

    Comment by stan — March 6, 2012 @ 3:28 pm

  53. Dave…. did you even read Keith Law?

    Saw him on 3/7/11. 93-96. “@Jbeck73: @keithlaw Pineda’s velocity yesterday is meaningless unless we know what it was at this time last yr”w’s quote?

    WHERE does he say he was throwing harder last year at this time? Sadly Dave this is typical of you M’s and Yankees articles… you slant things, then play the objective piece, while continuing to slant things.

    Please show where how you came to the conclusion that Keith Law said he was throwing harder last year at this time….. remember that piece on confirmation bias? You didn’t even get the facts right on this one,

    Comment by joe — March 6, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

  54. True. (hey this is fun)

    Comment by joe — March 6, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

  55. I wouldn’t overrate it, but I’d bet a whole bunch of people just dropped him a little in the drafts. Every pitcher that ever went on the DL started off rubbing his elbow a little or trying to stretch his shoulder slightly.

    As a RS fan, if Buchholz or Bailey show reduced velocity, I won’t be jumping off the Tobin, but I will certainly be concerned.

    Comment by Joebrady — March 6, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

  56. Still false. Pineda’s HR/9 (and thus his FIP) was worse in the second half and so was his average against (and thus his WHIP).

    This is why the poster above wrote “essentially stable” instead of “stable”. “Essentially” is what the man with the agenda writes instead of “not”.

    Comment by NS — March 6, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

  57. Did you read Law? He clearly says he was throwing much harder (93-96) when he scouted him almost one year to the day. Try being accurate before making silly accusations against someone with a good reputation.

    Comment by Will — March 6, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

  58. That is a fine testament to how stupid people are in general. I don’t mean they’re stupid because they did not get Omar’s joke. Rather, it was perfectly reasonable of them, given what we see on the Internet every day, to assume he was being serious.

    Comment by Justin Bailey — March 6, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

  59. Are you European? 3/7/11 is almost exactly this time last year. Keith Law saw him pitch on March 7th in 2011 and he was 93-96.

    Comment by Josh — March 6, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

  60. “Saw him on 3/7/11. 93-96.”

    Comment by I Agree Guy — March 6, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

  61. reply fail


    Comment by I Agree Guy — March 6, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

  62. Well, he started doing it with the M’s last year, so Sabbathia’s influence would be pretty indirect.

    Comment by philosofool — March 6, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

  63. I think Verlander has stated in interviews that he eases off his velocity early in games. He frequently sat at 92 in the early innings and once he got into the 8th or 9th inning and knew he had no reason to save anything (or got into a jam), he would unleash some 99s.

    He also does use a lot of offspeed stuff late in the game. Watch some of the highlight videos of his starts.

    Comment by JG — March 6, 2012 @ 4:10 pm

  64. You need to look at HR/FB ratio, what parks he was pitching, opponents. HR/9 can also be BABIP driven (as that can drive IP)…. When you are looking at 1 month sample sizes, the secondary effects that are assumed to even out may actually be important on a smaller sample size.

    Also how about looking at xFIP?

    When you are looking at 1 month samples, it’s never going to be completely stable…..especially the last few months where Pineda was pitching fewer innings and having starts pushed out.

    He didn’t give up a HR in April… shockingly the FIP kind of looks pretty good when that happens He had a 19% HR/FB ratio in August… kind of hammers the FIP. Are these solely reflective of his performance dropping off? (or does opponent, weather, park, random variation come into play)

    Comment by joe — March 6, 2012 @ 4:12 pm

  65. Was he scouting him yesterday? Or relying on other gun readings?

    Or are all guns the same? If he has his own readings from yesterday than it is a good comparison.

    Comment by joe — March 6, 2012 @ 4:15 pm

  66. It’s all about the Luscious Lemon. The ones with hot peppers are great too.

    Comment by JG — March 6, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

  67. Also the fact that he’s worked with Sabathia, for what… 3 weeks at most? Unless they worked together before Spring Training (which may have happened – I’m pretty ig’nant about the Yankees’ hot stove minutiae)

    Comment by JG — March 6, 2012 @ 4:21 pm

  68. Hilariously predictable. First there was no reduced performance. Now there was a reduced performance, but it was just a fluke and let me tell you why. Why not just acknowledge the numbers in the first place? Why creep around with this “essentially stable” stuff? Just call the numbers what they are, then you can get into what they mean.

    His performance was not stable. It wasn’t. The degree to which his second-half was attributable to velocity change is an interesting question that you are starting to get into with your reply. But that’s what you’re doing: analyzing the change, not denying it.

    Comment by NS — March 6, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

  69. If there’s one thing this site is all about, it’s using FIP without regard for fluctuations in home run rate, and opponents’ batting average. What an absurd series of statements. K/BB and GB% improved, xFIP improved. The apparent decline was just a flukishly low HR rate regressing, and flukishly low LOB rate in the second half. It’s amazing that a fangraphs reader would fail to appreciate that.

    That’s a snappy one-liner about the word “essentially,” unfortunately it’s nonsense.

    Comment by Greg — March 6, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

  70. Took a lot of huffing and puffing (and one guy even dropped K/BB like it was a useful thing), but we’ve now moved up to “apparent decline”. Progress!

    His second half was worse than his first. There in fact was “a reduced performance according to this site’s metrics”. This is now being conceded in the same oh yeah? tone in which it was originally denied three times in a row.

    Not all of us are as confident as you sages that his second-half decline was completely unrelated to his velocity drop.

    Comment by NS — March 6, 2012 @ 5:19 pm

  71. I write ‘essentially’ when I mean necessarily a constituent of something… I tend to misinterpret people a lot.

    Comment by LTG — March 6, 2012 @ 5:19 pm

  72. …without the sex.

    Comment by LTG — March 6, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

  73. Josh apparently is unaware that the internet and baseball extend to Europe.

    Comment by LTG — March 6, 2012 @ 5:22 pm

  74. You ever have the chipotle flavor? MONEY!!!

    Comment by Tate Hutchinson — March 6, 2012 @ 6:12 pm

  75. That’s silly. More than one scout confirmed the reading, so unless your point is Keith Law has the only working gun in Florida, or his readings are overstated (which I think would have been made evident), your point is still irrelevant. Based on what Law tweeted, Pineda is throwing well below the velocity he had at this point last year. That’s an objective fact.

    Comment by Will — March 6, 2012 @ 6:14 pm

  76. NS…. try pulling up the velocity charts for last year… outside of the very last game, which was after a bunch of time off where is this velocity “drop” you refer to?

    Comment by joe — March 6, 2012 @ 6:24 pm

  77. I also would not like to see God traded to the Yankees.

    Comment by colin — March 6, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

  78. I’m not doubting the readings yesterday, but is it possible that KLaw’s readings last year were off?

    Haven’t seen the multiple confirmation of KLaw’s #’s last March.

    The problem is… based on what KLaw tweeted… without a 2nd reference point (of his), i’t not an objective fact it’s an inference as you are comparing his ONE set readings last year with a different set of readings this year. Given variation in guns and how the release is measured, there is some variaton…. probably not 4mph, but if he’s 2 mph (which is quite possible) is this even a story?

    Comment by joe — March 6, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

  79. I think @Ben stepped over the line by insinuating that Law and Rosenthal were biased with their reporting. However, there does seem to be a common trend on fangraphs to rate as “negative” any comment that accuses anyone in the baseball community of bias.

    I would argue everybody has natural, inherent bias that cannot be removed from commentary and that everyone should be on guard of it to some degree.

    Also there is a tendency to get “negative” ratings when you make claims without supportive research. I am lazy and do not intend on going through article commentary to back up my claim. I throw myself upon the mercy of the fangraphs commentators on that one. Though I maintain if I did do that research the subsequent post ‘deserves’ to be at -50 for lameness within the hour.

    Comment by colin — March 6, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

  80. Have to side with JG here, the stats and the miscellaneous evidence both support that JV intentionally throws softer and will dial it up later in games/in high leverage situations. I have not seen anything to suggest he uses his curveball less often as the game goes on.

    Comment by colin — March 6, 2012 @ 6:38 pm

  81. The Poe is strong in this one.

    Comment by Sensual Sharting — March 6, 2012 @ 6:41 pm

  82. Yes NS, an “apparent” decline. It appears to you that his overall performance declined, when in fact it did not. You couldn’t possibly be as dense as you’re pretending to be. The idea that his performance declined according to this site’s preferred metrics can be predicated only on a gross misunderstanding of how this site looks at pitching. Hell, there have been several articles written on this site devoted in whole or in part to debunking his “decline.” This concession you speak of is completely imagined.

    Comment by Greg — March 6, 2012 @ 6:54 pm

  83. The previuos year he played winter ball just prior to ST, whereas this year he didn’t.

    It is a long race and he knows he’ll need to pitch for another month seeing he is out of Seattle. I wouldn’t start talking about it until he goes 4-5 innings in an outing in about two weeks and I wouldn’t reach for the panic button for another month.

    Nothing to see here, move along.

    Comment by CS Yankee — March 6, 2012 @ 7:02 pm

  84. Interesting but dancing around what may be going on here. His ERA was over 5 after this supposed changed in approach last year. What if it WAS an injury? And if it isn’t then the approach sucks

    Comment by Eric — March 6, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

  85. exactly!

    Comment by Eric — March 6, 2012 @ 7:09 pm

  86. Sure, it’s possible, but that’s not the point. You specifically stated Law didn’t state Pineda was throwing harder last year, but that is the clear implication of his tweet. Maybe Klaw’s readings were wrong, but that doesn’t change what he said. Considering Cameron cited Law’s opinion, that’s all that counts. That Law said Pineda was throwing harder last year is an objective fact, making your initial contradiction flat out wrong. You can debate the importance of that information all you want, but your original comment was still out of line.

    Comment by Will — March 6, 2012 @ 7:17 pm

  87. Yankees might have got fleeced.

    A lot of us suspected Pineda had arm trouble in the 2nd half when his performance fell off. He had arm troubles a couple of years before, in 2009 I believe.

    Too early to panic. Beckett was throwing 88 in his first ST start. Maybe coaches have advised Pineda to ramp it up slowly. YS3 and the AL East will prove a big challenge for Pineda even with a 96 mph FB.

    Comment by pft — March 6, 2012 @ 7:43 pm

  88. and just think, they could have had montero and pineda both

    Comment by jim — March 6, 2012 @ 8:01 pm

  89. Maybe if they offered Sabathia and a deity to be named later?

    Comment by Aaron (UK) — March 6, 2012 @ 8:05 pm

  90. God is already is on the Yankees. He wears #42.

    Comment by Eric — March 6, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

  91. Also, Rosenthal is hardly anti-Yankees. If anything, he’s a Yankee booster.

    Comment by Ari Collins — March 6, 2012 @ 8:24 pm

  92. That concession was just a fluke; your performance is regressing (but not declining!).

    It appears to you that his overall performance declined, when in fact it did not.

    We have the data. His second-half FIP is worse than his first-half. He gave up many more hits and many more HRs in the second half than in the first. These are the facts.

    In order to preserve the claim that this change in results (as measured by at least one stat that excludes defense) does not represent a decline in performance, it needs to be argued that all of the hits and all of the home runs were exclusively a function of luck and/or defense. The explanation you have offered to this point (that it was simply “regression from a first-half fluke”) is, in the context of this exchange, awkwardly incomplete. Unless you are claiming that the regression was entirely based on luck-and-defense, you aren’t in fact contradicting the claim that his performance declined.

    And if you are in fact making that claim, I’m afraid you’re not as in-step with the fangraphs establishment as you seem to hope.

    Comment by NS — March 6, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

  93. What was hughes velocity today?….more concerned about that.

    Comment by ML — March 6, 2012 @ 8:50 pm

  94. Consistently threw 93

    Comment by Preston — March 6, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

  95. I’ll tell you what…if I had a 97 mph heater, I’d throw a ton junk early in the count too. Can you imagine a typical at bat, 2-2 count, a couple of foul balls on 5-6 pitches in the 85-91 range, and then a 97mph steamer comes whizzing in? There will be a lot of head shaking on the way back to the dugout.

    Comment by Hawaii Dave — March 6, 2012 @ 10:03 pm

  96. NS…. or he had a fair amount of luck in the first half?

    0 HR’s in April is not solely due to good pitching.

    It’s not a matter of being “lucky” in the 2nd half but when your LOB% is below 50% one month their does seem to be a variation component

    Comment by joe — March 6, 2012 @ 11:03 pm

  97. Oh no, dude, you gotta rock the ‘roasted red pepper’ variety. Priceless.

    Comment by bstar — March 6, 2012 @ 11:09 pm

  98. How is it incomplete to argue that it was regression and statistical noise? How is a minor decline in performance not reasonably called an “apparent decline” and “essentially stable” if it’s minor?

    Stop being snarkily insulting. If you want to make an argument about his performance, make it, instead of deriding other people’s arguments.

    Comment by Ari Collins — March 6, 2012 @ 11:13 pm

  99. Wow, 2 innings in one start and everyone is crying. Seriously, the dude probably relaxed all offseason because he knew he had a rotation spot and was just chilling. He might need a week or two of games to get it loose.

    Comment by c dawggg — March 6, 2012 @ 11:34 pm

  100. There could be a million explanations for this that are benign. One obvious one is, last year he was fighting to land an MLB job. This year he knows he’s an MLB starting pitcher, trying to get ready for the new season. That’s a pretty huge difference.

    The only thing he needs to do is get himself ready for April. Seems the cautious approach out the gate makes a lot of sense for a young guy.

    Comment by noseeum — March 6, 2012 @ 11:35 pm

  101. This dispute started (and ends) at the question of whether or not there was a reduction in performance in the second half. Scroll up, you’ll see. There is a simple question of fact on the table there.

    That question is resolved by checking the data. And given that the numbers explicitly indicate that there was in fact decline (later conceded under the new name “apparent decline”), the only side here that needs to make an argument is the side that says there wasn’t decline despite the data indicating that there was. That’s not my side, remember, so “deriding” those arguments is precisely (and exclusively) what my role here is would be. I have no argument. I have data.

    Your question is red herring. No one has argued “statistical noise”, so I can’t tell you how that would be incomplete. Greg’s argument — “it was regression” — is an incomplete argument for the conclusion that Pineda’s second-half was not a reduction in performance – since that’s exactly what regression means. (Yes, regression [to the mean] can also refer to an improved performance, but it doesn’t here.)

    So what is the “statistical noise” argument exactly? To be clear, the fact that we could reliably predict regression after a 0% HR/FB sample doesn’t change the fact that when the regression happens it is a reduction in performance. It also doesn’t make that reduction just luck, which is Greg’s implied premise. We all seem to understand that luck is a factor, but the only way to argue that Pineda’s second-half was not decline is to say the difference was only luck.

    Again, if that’s his position (or yours), he’s on an desert island off the DIPS coast. Given his “a fangraphs reader ought to know” schtick, that’s a pretty funny turnaround.

    Comment by NS — March 6, 2012 @ 11:48 pm

  102. And given that the numbers explicitly indicate that there was in fact decline (later conceded under the new name “apparent decline”)

    You’re obviously getting some push-back on the issue of whether or not his numbers indicate a decline of any sort, let alone that they “explicitly indicate” it, so maybe explain that rather than making a point of misunderstanding the meaning of the word “apparent” in that context.

    Your argument (a generous characterization) has been made up nearly entirely of conclusory statements, and insults that are falling quite flat. On what basis do you claim that his performance declined? Is it only hits, homers, and FIP? If that’s the case, then your assertion that his performance declined “according to this site’s metrics” is ridiculous. If you mean to say that his FIP declined, and because FIP is a metric frequently cited on this site, then he declined according to this site’s metrics, then that would just be embarrassing for all involved.

    Comment by Greg — March 7, 2012 @ 1:18 am

  103. That’s a cool little writeup.

    Comment by BronxBomber — March 7, 2012 @ 1:34 am

  104. So it was decreed in heaven Eric, and so it is on the mound.

    Comment by BronxBomber — March 7, 2012 @ 1:37 am

  105. Free Earl! Anyways, you’re right. If he needs a few innings to ramp up it is a concern. But if he chooses to use a few innings before raring back, that’s an entirely different animal. Pitching, as opposed to throwing, involves strategy.

    Comment by BronxBomber — March 7, 2012 @ 1:51 am

  106. Boo to no sex!

    Comment by BronxBomber — March 7, 2012 @ 1:51 am

  107. NS, your comments expose you as a Yankee-hater!

    Comment by Jon L. — March 7, 2012 @ 2:30 am

  108. ^^^amongst my all-time favorite Jeff Sullivan things

    Comment by Ray — March 7, 2012 @ 2:43 am

  109. And as mentioned earlier, he played Winter Ball last year.

    Winter ball + fighting for a job certainly adds up to higher velocity in the early stages of Spring Training. It could also explain his 2nd half decline (I know, I know, peripherals largely stayed the same and he went from one extreme fluke to another). How many innings did he throw in Winter Ball pre-2011?

    Comment by G — March 7, 2012 @ 2:51 am


    Comment by INGY — March 7, 2012 @ 9:07 am

  111. That’s not a Justin Verlander strategy; it’s a Cy Young/Walter Johnson strategy that probably goes all the way back to Old Hoss, even.

    Comment by therood — March 7, 2012 @ 9:10 am

  112. This is the second time you’ve dodged the substance of the comments you’re responding to in favor of the “you just don’t get it” throwaways. It’s passable rhetoric, but boring by the third episode.

    Since you’ve twice declined to clarify otherwise, I’m going to assume you are in fact taking the only position a person could in order to conclude that pineda’s second half was regression-but-not-decline: that the difference between the two halves was exclusively luck and defense. That’s a position DIPS theory has moved well beyond by now, so this is kinda anticlimactic.

    Comment by NS — March 7, 2012 @ 10:49 am

  113. Ken Rosenthal is an idiot. And you guys join him for repeating it. EVERYONE who knows ANYTHING about baseball knows these two things: Power pitchers take a little while to build arm strength in the Spring. AND Pineda was working on other pitches.

    Comment by Donald Sico — March 7, 2012 @ 11:31 am

  114. Speed is HIGHLY overrated!
    Hoyt Wilhelm threw 60 mph!
    So did Wakefield!
    The faster these guys throw,
    the faster they’ll be gone from
    the majors!
    We need more good knuckle-ball
    MLB hitters CANNOT hit a good

    Comment by rich — March 7, 2012 @ 11:47 am

  115. How bout, instead of that arm-killing steamer, a 60 mph knuckler dancing up to the plate?

    Comment by rich — March 7, 2012 @ 11:50 am

  116. He’s a friend of mine!
    I work him out with the
    best and most expensive
    gun in the world.
    He can throw over 100 mph
    at will!

    Comment by rich — March 7, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

  117. And you are apparently unaware that European’s generally do their dates dd/mm/yy, which would make 3/7/11 the third of July 2011.

    But hey, at least you got to be a smartass while looking like a dumbass.

    Comment by wilsonm24 — March 7, 2012 @ 12:40 pm

  118. I never knew E.E. Cummings was quite the baseball fan. What collection is this from?

    Comment by TomG — March 7, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

  119. What a surprise, you’re resorting to snark again rather than addressing what I actually said. If you think it’s obvious that he declined, and that it’s impossible for luck to adequately explain an increase in home run rate and BABIP and that any metrics that indicate he did not decline are misleading then have at it, but your stubborn refusal to explain your statements when explicitly asked to do so has become transparent.

    Comment by Greg — March 7, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

  120. holy baseball nerd Drama Batman!

    Comment by Matty Brown — March 7, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

  121. Geez, how about a guy trying to make a team in spring training vs. having made the team and working on his stuff?
    Last year Pineda was not expected to be in the rotation at the start of spring. This year there’s no pressure except to pitch well from day one, RS.
    I”ll bet you guys won’t be disappointed.

    Comment by Kevin — March 7, 2012 @ 6:08 pm

  122. Can I get the last five minutes of my life back for having to read this ridiculous “he said/she said” bullshit about what the words “apparent decline” really mean? This thread is really hard to get thru.

    Comment by bstar — March 7, 2012 @ 6:52 pm

  123. It’s Phil Hughes’ fault!

    Comment by Raf — March 9, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

  124. Joba Chamberlain injured his arm falling down getting out of the way of a throw from Ivan Rodriguez, jamming his shoulder in the process. Injuries happen in many ways.

    Comment by RobM — March 10, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

  125. Nice job, Dave Cameron, your article was just cited by Brian Cashman, GM of the NY Yankees, this afternoon.

    Comment by frankie d — March 10, 2012 @ 10:28 pm

  126. The only problem is that major league hitters wouldn’t foul off 5-6 pitches in the 85-91 range; they’d hit line drives all over the field.

    Comment by vivalajeter — March 11, 2012 @ 10:21 pm

  127. Damn, beat me to it :) Just caught it in my nightly review.

    Comment by Matt — March 11, 2012 @ 10:46 pm

  128. That’s what I was going to say.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — March 16, 2012 @ 4:40 pm

  129. Much ado about nothing. And a lot of nerd fights on the comment section over it too. This is nothing but tabloid sports news finding some material for their on-going soap opera since actually baseball news from Spring Training is boring to them. Good article explaining Pineda though.

    Comment by Frank — March 17, 2012 @ 9:58 am

  130. Well,now he has a sore shoulder, although just normal soreness. Looks like he may not start the season in the majors. Now is it time to worry? Of course, Hughes is looking better this year. Just the travails of a pitcher. Not like he’s throwing 85.

    Comment by wobatus — March 31, 2012 @ 10:51 am

  131. Huh. Guess it was time to panic.

    Comment by Lucky Jim — April 25, 2012 @ 6:28 pm

  132. Funny comment!

    Comment by cgehring — February 9, 2014 @ 3:22 pm

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