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Daily Notes, Largely Concerning Tom Milone’s Change

Posted By Carson Cistulli On August 28, 2012 @ 10:30 am In Daily Notes | 10 Comments

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

1. Tommy Milone’s Changeup
2. Today’s Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

Tommy Milone’s Changeup
What the Attentive Reader Might Notice
The attentive reader might notice that Tommy Milone is pitching for Oakland tonight, against Cleveland.

What a More Attentive Reader Might Notice
An even more attentive reader than that first one might notice that Tommy Milone has pitched quite well this season. Like, to the point where it would be entirely reasonable to suggest that he’s a slightly above-average major-league starter. To wit: 153.1 IP, 17.8% K, 4.8% BB, 39.2% GB, 3.97 SIERA, 96 xFIP-, 2.1 WAR.

What the Most Attentive Reader Might Notice
What the most attentive reader will notice is that Milone’s success is almost entirely due to his changeup. Consider, for example, the pitch values (runs relative to average) for his repertoire:

Four-Seam Fastball: -6.3 runs, -0.53 runs/100.
Two-Seam Fastball: -5.2 runs, -4.07 runs/100.
Cut Fastball: -0.5 runs, -0.20 runs/100.
Curveball: 0.7 runs, 0.28 runs/100.
Changeup: 16.1 runs, 2.67 runs/100.

Leaderboard: Runs from Changeup
Milone’s changeup has not only been his best pitch, but, in fact, has been the entire league’s best changeup. Here are the top-10 pitchers by pitch-type runs for changeups. (Hor and Ver represent horizontal and vertical movement relative to a spinless ball.)


Name Team IP CH% MPH Hor. Ver. Runs R/100
Jason Vargas Mariners 180.0 25.7% 79.8 11.2 2.9 16.1 2.4
Tommy Milone Athletics 153.1 25.3% 80.2 10.2 3.6 16.1 2.7
Fernando Rodney Rays 58.2 35.4% 82.5 -8.0 1.7 14.3 4.6
Cole Hamels Phillies 177.1 29.6% 83.8 8.2 6.7 11.7 1.5
Alex Cobb Rays 102.0 34.9% 84.6 -5.9 1.0 10.8 1.9
Kris Medlen Braves 87.0 20.0% 81.2 -8.5 5.1 10.7 4.3
Chris Capuano Dodgers 162.2 25.1% 77.7 8.1 4.2 10.6 1.8
James Shields Rays 175.0 29.0% 84.9 -6.8 3.2 9.2 1.1
Tyler Clippard Nationals 58.1 36.1% 81.1 -6.7 7.8 8.7 2.4
Felix Hernandez Mariners 196.2 26.1% 89.3 -5.6 1.9 8.5 1.2

One Consequence of Milone’s Excellent Changeup
One consequence of Milone’s excellent changeup is (possibly) that he’s more effective against right- than left-handed batters. For example, here’s what left-handers are batting off him: 172 PA, .255/.322/.406 (.280 BABIP), .319 wOBA. And here’s right-handed ones: 457 PA, .256/.287/.399 (.287 BABIP), .290 wOBA.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast
In the event that one were interested in watching Milone pitch, that’s a thing — as noted above — that’s a thing he’s actually doing tonight against Cleveland. Here’s when that game starts: 7:05pm ET. And here’s the broadcast that FanGraphs readers prefer: Cleveland Radio (link).

Other Notable Games
Detroit at Kansas City | 20:10 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
Justin Verlander (190.2 IP, 79 xFIP-, 5.5 WAR) pitches.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Detroit Radio.

Atlanta at San Diego | 22:05 ET
Kris Medlen faces Andrew Werner. The latter has been one of the best pitchers this August. The latter posted a ground-ball rate of 72.2% in his major-league debut last week.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Atlanta 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 4.3.

Note: the following Game Scores include the poorly conceived playoff-odds adjustment discussed in a recent edition of Daily Notes. Also note: the following table is entirely sortable.


Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Chris Sale CHA 10 5 6 1 6 BAL Chris Tillman 19:05
Chris Young NYN 0 2 0 5 4 PHI Vance Worley 19:05
Tommy Milone OAK 6 6 5 2 7 CLE Zach McAllister 19:05
Jake Westbrook STL 5 9 6 4 5 PIT James McDonald 19:05
Ricky Romero TOR 2 5 2 6 5 NYA Phil Hughes 19:05
Stephen Strasburg WAS 10 6 4 3 4 MIA Ricky Nolasco 19:10
Yovani Gallardo MIL 6 8 3 2 3 CHN Travis Wood 20:05
Matt Cain SF 7 3 5 4 6 HOU Bud Norris 20:05
James Shields TB 8 4 6 8 7 TEX Yu Darvish 20:05
Justin Verlander DET 10 4 5 7 2 KC Luis Mendoza 20:10
Hisashi Iwakuma SEA 5 4 3 4 6 MIN Scott Diamond 20:10
Chris Capuano LAN 6 1 5 7 4 COL Tyler Chatwood 20:40
Johnny Cueto CIN 7 4 5 7 7 AZ Wade Miley 21:40
Kris Medlen ATL 8 8 6 6 8 SD Andrew Werner* 22:05
Clay Buchholz BOS 4 6 3 8 4 LAA Jered Weaver 22:05

To learn more about Pitcher and Team NERD scores 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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