Daily Notes, With No Little Attention to Ross Detwiler

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

1. Featured Game: Arizona at Washington, 19:05 ET
2. Other Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
3. Today’s Complete Schedule
4. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Atlanta Radio

Featured Game: Arizona at Washington, 19:05 ET
Regarding a Question the Reader Might’ve Asked
A question the reader might’ve asked aloud regarding Ross Detwiler — who starts tonight for Washington — is, “What’ve you done with Ross Detwiler, Ross Detwiler?”

Regarding Why the Reader Might’ve Asked That
For comic effect, probably.

Regarding Why the Reader Might’ve Also Asked That
The reader might’ve also asked that question, on account of this is the line Detwiler has posted through four starts: 22.0 IP, 21.8% K, 6.9% BB, 66.1% GB, 2.93 SIERA, 82 xFIP-, 0.4 WAR.

Regarding How Those Numbers Compare to Detwiler’s Career Numbers
They represent a considerable improvement — to the point where one is forced to italicize the word considerable for appropriate effect.

Regarding a Potential Reason Why That Is
Generally, when a pitcher begins posting peripherals that are considerably different than his previously established levels, it makes sense to look at the pitch data. Curiously, Detwiler’s pitch mix is roughly the same as before in his career. According to PITCHf/x, he’s throwing more four-seamers than last year, and a slider instead of a curve, but those difference appear more likely to be the result of differences in pitch classification than changes Detwiler himself has made.

Regarding One Thing to Note
One thing to note is that — through his four starts, at least — that Detwiler has been considerably more effective against left-handed (which, in his case, are same-handed) batters than in previous seasons.

For example, Detwiler’s xFIP against 58 left-handers last season was 4.57. His xFIP against 20 left-handers this one: 1.42.

Regarding Who Pitches for Arizona
Right-hander Ian Kennedy (32.0 IP, 104 xFIP-, 0.8 WAR) is pitching for Arizona.

Bryce Harper Status Update
Here’s a Bryce Harper Status Update (including last night): 15 PA, 5 H, 0 HR, 1 BB, 2 K, 0-1 SB.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast
Per the results of our offseason crowdsourcing project, FanGraphs readers prefer Arizona Television (link).

Other Notable Games
Seattle at Tampa Bay | 13:10 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
Challenge: you’re a junior member of an advertising firm and have been tasked with selling a game that’s being started by Kevin Millwood and Jeff Niemann. You’ll get a promotion if you do well… and could be fired if you don’t. Go!

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Tampa Bay.

New York AL at Kansas City | 20:10 ET
Danny Duffy (17.1 IP, 93 xFIP-, 0.3 WAR) returns after missing his most recent start due to elbow tightness. Of interest: Duffy’s velocity readings so far. He’s averaged 95.0 mph on his fastball, per PITCHf/x, in three starts — as opposed to 93.3 mph last season. The Kauffman Stadium PITCHf/x system has been known to have calibration issues, but it’s something to monitor.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Neither, Really.

Toronto at Los Angeles AL | 22:05 ET
Mike Trout since his recall: 16 PA, 2 H, 0 HR, 2 BB, 2 K, 1-1 SB.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Los Angeles AL.

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 5.1.

Regard, a magnificent and sortable table:

Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Joe Blanton PHI 5 2 5 8 5 ATL Randall Delgado 12:10
Ryan Dempster CHN 7 1 5 3 5 CIN Homer Bailey 12:35
Kevin Millwood SEA 3 3 4 7 4 TB Jeff Niemann 13:10
Erik Bedard PIT 4 3 5 10 5 STL Jake Westbrook 13:45
Anibal Sanchez MIA 8 3 6 5 5 SF Ryan Vogelsong* 15:45
Ian Kennedy AZ 5 7 6 0 8 WAS Ross Detwiler 19:05
Justin Masterson CLE 1 4 3 5 4 CHA John Danks 20:10
David Phelps* NYA 5 7 6 9 6 KC Danny Duffy* 20:10
Brandon Morrow TOR 5 6 6 3 7 LAA Dan Haren 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.

Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Atlanta 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.)

Rate other teams: Washington / Toronto / Texas / Tampa Bay / Seattle / San Francisco / San Diego / St. Louis / Pittsburgh / Philadelphia / Oakland / New York (NL) / New York (AL) / Minnesota / Milwaukee / Miami / Los Angeles (NL) / Los Angeles (AL) / Kansas City / Houston / Detroit / Colorado / Cleveland / Cincinnati / Chicago (NL) / Chicago (AL) / Boston / Baltimore.

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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.

14 Responses to “Daily Notes, With No Little Attention to Ross Detwiler”

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  1. Brian says:

    “Challenge: you’re a junior member of an advertising firm and have been tasked with selling a game that’s being started by Kevin Millwood and Jeff Niemann. You’ll get a promotion if you do well… and could be fired if you don’t. Go!”


    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Well-Beered Englishman says:

    “The last time Seattle faced a member of the 2003 Rice Owls National Championship rotation, Philip Humber pitched a perfect game. Tonight, Seattle faces another of the ’03 Owls…

    “…and Jeff Niemann will pitch a perfect game.”

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Jordan says:

    “Here’s a Bryce Harper Status Update (including last night): 15 PA, 5 H, 0 HR, 1 BB, 2 K, 0-1 SB.”
    It’s safe o say this is understating his impact.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • jorgath says:

      No mention of, oh, runs scored for Harper? No mention of RBIs? And you guys really need to work on those fielding metrics so that we can have a useful evaluation.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Well-Beered Englishman says:

        He was responsible for 3 runs last night. Scored from second on an infield hit.

        Scored, from second, on an infield hit.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • monkey business says:

        There are also the amazing throws from left. Most players don’t expect it (yet) but once the umps and Ramos expect it (they are surprised too), that arm will prevent guys from rounding third or crossing the plate safely.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Brazen Reader says:

        I can’t take my eyes off Harper’s hair. I also like the competition between Harper and Lawrie to take the “Most Red Assed Baseball Player” title, left vacant when Jason Kendall retired and AJ Przkswesxie got cuddly.

        I recognize hair, red-assery, knuckleheadedness, screwballery, etc. are not official “(NERD) scores” components, but they live among the reasons I like to watch baseball. I can’t wait for Manny to get back.

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    • JCA says:

      hitting 3d tonight.

      So, when is he hit for the first time?

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  4. Choo says:

    It looks like Detwiler made some changes in 2011 that are carrying over to 2012. Separating the 4-seamer from the 2-seamer might be a PitchFx refinement, but his velocity is up, he looks to have better command of his changeup, and the tilt on his breaking ball is not the same. Maybe he picked up a couple of new grips or adjusted his arm angle – something is effecting his repertoire for the better.

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  5. Scandalrag says:

    Challenge: you’re a junior member of an advertising firm and have been tasked with selling a game that’s being started by Kevin Millwood and Jeff Niemann. You’ll get a promotion if you do well… and could be fired if you don’t. Go!

    It’s anti-social day at the Trop. Come out and sit by yourself. We guarantee no one will be within five rows of you.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Brazen Reader says:

    The Seattle at Tampa Bay tilt will offer the viewers insight, and just plain sight, into the deepest, rarest arms of those teams bullpens. And probably by the 4th inning.

    Also, this game offers the best chance for your favorite worst hitters in baseball, who probably reside in these line-ups, to visit first base. (Dear Chone Figgins and Jose Molina (and maybe Scott Speizo): I’ll always love you for 2002. Dear SeanRod: I’m sorry you couldn’t beat out Brandon Wood and Dallas McPherson.)

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Steven R. says:

    Detwiller changed his deliver at the beginning of last year–maybe he’s finally perfected it, which is something that wouldn’t show up in his stat line.

    And do his career numbers really tell you anything when he’s barely pitched in the big leagues?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Del B. Vista says:

    This is decidedly non-sabermetric, but Detwiler and the Nats have pointed to a May 24, 2011, conversation that has changed his attitude for the better. Basically, somebody would dump a flare or get a cheap hit, and he’d kinda mentally throw up his arms (throw up his medulla oblongata?) and check out instead of continuing to compete.

    Here’s a link to the article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/post/ross-detwilers-season-changing-conversation/2011/09/21/gIQAueP0lK_blog.html

    Detwiler threw 24 of his first 27 pitches for strikes tonight, I believe.

    Vote -1 Vote +1