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Daily Notes: It’s Yu Darvish Night in America
Posted By Carson Cistulli On April 9, 2012 @ 10:15 am In Daily Notes | 11 Comments
Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Daily Notes.
Brief Previews for Select Games
Here are very brief previews for four of today’s games — each including the preferred television feed of FanGraphs readers, per the results of our offseason crowdsourcing project. (Information on probable pitchers from MLB.com.)
Miami at Philadelphia | 13:05 ET
This is Monday’s lone early game (to be followed, at 16:10 ET, by C.J. Wilson‘s Angels debut against Nick Blackburn and the Twins). Here’s an update on Phillies second baseman Freddy Galvis: he’s only struck out twice (in 12 plate appearances), but is 0-for-8 on batted balls, giving him a line of .000/.091/.000 (.000 BABIP), .061 wOBA, -67 wRC+. Starters: Anibal Sanchez and Cole Hamels.
Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Miami.
Chicago AL at Cleveland | 19:05 ET
White Sox left-hander Chris Sale makes his first career start tonight, after posting a 2.1 WAR and 71 xFIP- in 94.1 relief innings over the last two seasons. Sale’s spring was a promising one: he recorded a 28:4 K:BB in six starts and 28.0 innings. Of interest will be to what degree the 24-year-old uses his changeup, a pitch he threw 9.0% of the time last season, but which will likely be of some benefit against right-handers. Sale faces Cleveland right-hander Josh Tomlin — and also all the hitters on Cleveland, too, as that’s how baseball works.
Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Cleveland.
Boston at Toronto | 19:07 ET
Right-hander Henderson Alvarez makes his first regular-season start of 2012, after putting up an 84 xFIP- last season in 63.2 innings. Of note: among the 184 starters with 50-plus innings in 2011, Alvarez had the lowest walk rate, at 3.1%. Despite averaging 93.3 mph on his fastball, his strikeout rate (15.4%) was also rather low. Reports from spring training indicate that Alvarez, who turns 22 on April 18th, was throwing his slider with more frequency — with a view, one assumes, to inducing more whiffs. Rookie left-hander Felix Doubront makes the start for Boston after earning a spot in the rotation this spring.
Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Boston.
Seattle at Texas | 20:05 ET
Famous offseason signing Yu Darvish makes his major-league debut for the Rangers tonight. He ended spring training with a 21:8 K:BB in just 15.0 innings. Steamer projects Darvish to post a 4.01 ERA, 7.4 K/9, and 2.9 BB/9. ZiPS is slightly more optimistic: 3.62 ERA, 7.8 K/9, 2.1 BB/9. Right-hander Hector Noesi, acquired from the Yankees in the trade that sent both Michael Pineda and Jose Campos to the Yankees, starts for the M’s.
Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Seattle, Barely.
Lightly Annotated Video: Darvish’s Repertoire
Per the PITCHf/x data at Brooks Baseball, Darvish threw seven different pitches this spring. In order of frequency they were as follows: four-seam fastball, sinker, cutter, slider, curve, changeup, and splitter. It’s possible that there’s some error here in terms of classification, but it’s also a fact that Darvish’s repertoire is diverse.
Here’s video from a March 30th appearance during which Darvish struck out 11 Rockies. In said video, we see what appears to be Darvish’s fastball (at 0:08, 0:19, 0:28, 0:34, 0:48, 1:11, 1:19, 1:57), slider (0:55, 1:06), curve (1:28, 1:47), and splitter (1:39). Note that a couple of those fastballs might be two-seamers, but, given the angle of the camera and absence of velocity readings, it’s hard for this author to tell.
Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Milwaukee Radio
Recently, we released the results of our television broadcaster rankings — itself the product of reader crowdsourcing that started in late November. Now, FanGraphs is asking readers to rate the radio broadcast teams for all 30 major-league clubs (Click here for more on this project.)
Please note that today we’re crowdsourcing the Brewers radio broadcast from last season — to help serve as a baseline of sorts for the other 29 broadcast teams. We’ll publish a ballot for Uecker and new radio addition Joe Block during the season sometime, to give fans a chance to become acquainted with the latter.
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