Daily Notes: Largely Concerning Randall Delgado’s Virtues

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.

1. Concerning Randall Delgado’s Virtues
2. Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

Concerning Randall Delgado’s Virtues
Five of today’s starters currently possess a perfect 10 NERD score*. Four of them (i.e. four of those pitchers) have assembled impressive major-league resumes by one means or another — namely, Homer Bailey, Clayton Kershaw, Matt Harvey, and Jordan Zimmermann. The fifth is Arizona right-hander Randall Delgado. What follows is a brief inspection of Delgado’s very high NERD score, sorted more or less by the degree to which it informs said score.

*The present site’s very proprietary and also infallible watchability metric. See below for more information on NERD.

Fielding Independent Pitching
Delgado has recorded an xFIP and xFIP-* of 3.18 and 83, respectively, this season in 39.0 innings — almost all of them as a starter. The former of those marks is 1.4 standard deviations better than average among pitchers who’ve thrown at least 20 innings in a starting capacity.

*Park-adjusted xFIP relative to league (where 100 is average and a lower than 100 is better than average).

Delgado’s main strength thus far has been his capacity to throw strikes. He currently possesses a strike rate of 67.8% — relative to an average rate of 63.4% (again, among pitchers with 20-plus innings as a starter). Delgado’s strike percentage is 1.8 standard deviations above the mean, in this case.

Despite entering the 2013 season having already recorded nearly 130 major-league innings over the last two seasons — and having been regarded as a prospect for some time before that — Delgado is still just only 23 years old, or about 1.3 standard deviations younger than the population of starters with which we’re dealing, the average age of which is 28.

Swinging-Strike Rate
One might imagine that there’s rather a strong correlation between swinging-strike rate and overall strike rate. In fact, it’s rather weak. And perhaps it stands to reason: pitchers who induce whiffs often do so by working outside of the zone or by virtue of pitches with tremendous movement — such that, those pitches at which a batter doesn’t offer are more likely to be called a ball. In any case, Delgado has been excellent in both areas — both overall strike rate (as noted above) and swinging-strike rate. His 10.4% mark is approximately 1.1 standard deviations above the mean for starters, for whom the average is 8.5%. His best pitch to this end has been his changeup, on which he’s recorded a 26.9% swinging-strike rate.

Action Footage: Delgado’s Changeup
Here’s footage of Delgado change from a July 3rd start against the Mets — specifically to strike out Omar Quintanilla:

Delgado Change Other

Slower Action Footage: Delgado’s Changeup
Here’s footage of that same pitch, except by means of SNY’s excellent slow-motion camera:

Delgado Change Other Slow

Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
Cleveland at Minnesota | 14:10 ET
Justin Masterson (135.1 IP, 85 xFIP-, 2.4 WAR) faces Scott Diamond (91.1 IP, 113 xFIP-, 0.1 WAR). Of note regarding Masterson, here are his strikeout rates from 2010 to -12, in order: 17.5%, 17.4%, and 17.6%. Now here’s his strikeout rate this season: 24.4%. Probably related is this: Masterson never threw his slider more than 20% of the time those three years; this year, his slider rate is 28.1%.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Cleveland Radio.

Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 6.3.

Note: the following table is entirely sortable.

Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Chris Archer TB 5 10 7 6 9 TOR R.A. Dickey 13:07
Cliff Lee PHI 9 1 8 6 10 NYN Matt Harvey 13:10
Jeff Locke PIT 3 7 6 3 10 CIN Homer Bailey 13:10
Clayton Kershaw LAN 10 2 8 2 10 WAS J. Zimmermann 13:35
Mike Minor ATL 8 8 6 2 5 CHA Jose Quintana 14:10
Justin Masterson CLE 8 7 5 2 2 MIN Scott Diamond 14:10
Doug Fister DET 7 7 7 7 6 KC James Shields 14:10
Hen. Alvarez* MIA 6 2 5 4 5 MIL Wily Peralta 14:10
Felix Hernandez SEA 9 5 6 3 5 HOU Jordan Lyles 14:10
Eric Stults SD 4 6 6 4 9 STL A. Wainwright 14:15
Bartolo Colon OAK 5 6 5 7 4 LAA Jerome Williams 15:35
Randall Delgado AZ 10 2 8 6 8 SF M. Bumgarner 16:05
Edwin Jackson CHN 5 5 6 8 6 COL Tyler Chatwood 16:10
Chris Tillman BAL 4 9 6 3 7 TEX Martin Perez 19:05
CC Sabathia NYA 7 3 5 8 3 BOS Ryan Dempster 20:05

To learn how Pitcher and Team NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.

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