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  1. I wondered how many of his starts were at home, and saw it was only one. I think he’s going to continue to get lit up at home, but it doesn’t explain his road losses. Other than the fact that he’s a tool. I predicted Mr. Latos to implode this year…so far, so good.

    Comment by Lee — April 24, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

  2. I say give every pitcher who struggles in April and is not named Tim Lincecum the benefit of the doubt. (Mind the sarchasm.)

    Comment by Graham — April 24, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

  3. If you read the first sentence you would understand that he has always had trouble in April. Why is he a tool? Do you know him?

    Comment by trevor steel — April 24, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

  4. I believe the OP is referring to a few incidents of what might be considered churlish behavior in Mr. Latos’ past, not to his pitching.

    Comment by Graham — April 24, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

  5. Been looking for this kind of analysis… thanks for the writeup!

    Comment by shibboleth — April 24, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

  6. Hehehe – Latos pitches against his favorite team tomorrow, where they’ll trot out like 7 left handed batters against him. Should be fun..

    Comment by fergie348 — April 24, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

  7. Sorry, that game would be tonight. A must-see first inning, I’d say..

    Comment by fergie348 — April 24, 2012 @ 3:46 pm

  8. If you look at his brooksbaseball page, you can see that his slider is giving him a lot of trouble. he actually threw it 25% his first start which was not far off from last year’s usage. in starts 2 and 3, he cut it to about half that. to me, it seems likely that he doesn’t have a feel for the slider, and as a result, he has cut down the usage.

    there’s a clear lack of movement going on. RPMs are way down, and both horizontal and vertical movement are significantly reduced, both for slider and curve.

    he’s struggling with command of his slider and curve as well, possibly due to its lack of movement. he’s throwing it for a ball significantly more frequently than in the past.

    so it’s an interesting chicken/egg situation here. I get the impression that he’s lost his feel for his breaking pitches, and as a result he’s introduced more change-ups. I hope that it’s simply a grip or mechanics issue that can be fixed. I went back and watched the Marlins game and he was throwing some filthy sliders early on.

    one thing that does have me concerned is that with an entirely new staff, they might not be able to work with him as effectively.

    Comment by jsp2014 — April 24, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

  9. Latos has always had the physical skills, his problems are between the ears. In San Diego he would get mad, lose his composure and have to be reminded to concentrate. I suspect he is also trying too hard to please his new team and prove the Padres wrong for trading him.

    Comment by Hurtlockertwo — April 24, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

  10. You bet. If anyone else is on your radar, shoot me a note and I can see about doing something similar.

    Comment by Michael Barr — April 24, 2012 @ 4:17 pm

  11. yeah, I’m really looking forward to this start tonight. In his last start, he threw 73% four seam or two seam fastballs to LHB and his two seamer produced exactly zero whiffs. Last year, he threw 22% sliders to LHB and produced a 25% whiff rate – going mostly “backdoor” slider with it in strikeout counts. It’ll be interesting if he goes back to what was successful last season.

    Comment by Michael Barr — April 24, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

  12. good points here. I’m looking forward to more data on the release point, because his lack of command might have a lot to do with being able to replicate his motion for some reason.

    Comment by Michael Barr — April 24, 2012 @ 4:27 pm

  13. Very informative. Great Work michael.

    Comment by tommyboobaa — April 24, 2012 @ 4:54 pm

  14. Great article. I put money on the under the total of 7 runs for tonight’s game (Cain vs. Latos)
    Before this year’s opening start at Great American, Latos was outstanding pitching there (0.50 whip in two starts). With his stuff the ballpark is a non factor…
    ZIPS ROS projection seems accurate

    Comment by eliasll — April 24, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

  15. i blame dusty baker… he is like a vampire who feeds on the elbow ligaments of pitchers.
    –disgruntled cubs fan

    Comment by nscheer — April 24, 2012 @ 7:38 pm

  16. Yes. we go way back

    Comment by Screw Driver — April 24, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

  17. I concur.
    He’s one of us.

    Comment by Wrench — April 24, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

  18. Latos did his part. Thank you Otero.

    Comment by eliasll — April 24, 2012 @ 9:39 pm

  19. Did work tonight!

    Comment by TSteel — April 24, 2012 @ 11:20 pm

  20. Got to echo that I hate that he’s pitching for Dusty Baker now. I’m pretty much counting on an May 2013 elbow injury at this point. Its pitcher abuse when you let a guy throw 40+ pitches in an inning then let him go past 100-110 pitches. Thats the type of thing that over-stress the arm…I get angry just thinking about it…

    Great analysis on his velocity, if I didn’t own him in every league I’d try trading for him before tonights performance. I do worry about him in Cincy, but he’s got the talent to be great regardless.

    Comment by MLB Rainmaker — April 25, 2012 @ 1:43 am

  21. “Why three straight fastballs? I’m not sure, but what’s also pretty clear is that Latos has altered his repertoire since coming over to Cincinnati.”

    i don’t know if this is ever much talked about or studied, but you have to wonder perhaps about adjustment periods between pitchers and catchers who are new teammates. a catcher has to get to know what a pitcher likes to throw when – does this usually happen for the first few starts for starters who transition to new teams? maybe there’s no way to measure if there is a success/failure scale w/r/t to this adjustment period (i.e., sometimes pitchers are successful even though they may be having a tough time getting on the same page as a their catcher, or fail despite early kinship…) – but just wondered if this might be one of those “human” parts of the story.

    Comment by Goose. — April 25, 2012 @ 2:04 am

  22. What are you referencing? He only threw 95 pitches through 7 innings last night.

    Comment by Ryan — April 25, 2012 @ 9:36 am

  23. Any chance of a similar Justin Masterson analysis?

    Comment by Kevin — April 25, 2012 @ 9:38 am

  24. The cutter didn’t show up on the pitch chart until 2012…is it possible the “cutter” is really just the slider being misclassified?

    Comment by Brad — April 25, 2012 @ 11:34 am

  25. what?

    Comment by JDanger — April 25, 2012 @ 11:46 am

  26. It is interesting to note that Ryan Hanigan caught Latos last night, while rookie Devin Mesoraco caught him the first two starts.

    Comment by MBP — April 25, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

  27. Really good analysis. I agree that this is just a bump in the road, and that he’ll find his command as the season progresses.

    Comment by John yere — April 25, 2012 @ 1:38 pm

  28. Holy small sample size. Saying that he has “pretty clearly” altered his repertoire is just silly to say at this point.

    Comment by Derrick — April 25, 2012 @ 10:26 pm

  29. Maybe, just maybe, Mat Latos was right when he said that his first three starts were a result of not trusting his own stuff. I know. Hard to imagine results without formulated statistical reasoning.

    Comment by beeviss — April 26, 2012 @ 2:28 am

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