One Night Only: Totally Not About Colby Lewis

Just kidding, it actually is about Colby Lewis. Except not entirely about Colby Lewis. Except mostly about Colby Lewis.

Chicago (NL) at Texas | Friday, May 21 | 8:05 pm ET
Starting Pitchers
Cubs: Ted Lilly
31.0 IP, 4.94 K/9, 2.03 BB/9, .262 BABIP, 36.6% GB, 10.9% HR/FB, 4.70 xFIP
Projected FIP: 4.02 (FAN) 4.10 (CHONE) 4.06 (ZiPS)

Rangers: Colby Lewis
51.1 IP, 9.47 K/9, 3.68 BB/9, .261 BABIP, 36.6% GB, 8.3% HR/FB, 3.99 xFIP
Projected FIP: N/A (FAN) 3.99 (CHONE) 4.39 (ZiPS)

Watch For
• Colby Lewis’s slidepiece. (See below.)
Starlin Castro. He’s just a tiny, tiny baby. The type of baby with only four strikeouts in his first 49 plate appearances.
Geovany Soto. Specifcally, his place in the batting order. Soto’s started 32 games and has batted either seventh or eighth in 30 of those games. Also, guess what? He has a .452 OBP.
Marlon Byrd. Somehow Byrd is third among all MLBers in WAR with a 2.2 mark.

On Colby Lewis’s Slidepiece
A couple weeks ago, Dave Allen commanded his computer brain to think about Colby Lewis’s slider. Here’s what it found out:

Compared to his previous time in the MLB, he is getting tons more swings outside the zone and swinging strikes — not surprising given his huge strikeout rate. This increase seems due, at least partially, to increased slider use. In his pre-NPB days he threw it 7% of the time, but through five starts this year he is throwing it a hair below 30% (according to the BIS classifications as well as my classifications of the pitchf/x data). By linear weights of the BIS classifications it is his nastiest pitch, already worth 5 runs above average, and I see it getting swinging strikes 20% of the time. The average slider last year got a swinging strike 13% of the time. Overall, Lewis is getting just under 12% swinging strikes compared to a league average of 8%.

Another Thing About Colby Lewis
In case you haven’t seen Matthew Carruth’s series previews over at Lookout Landing, you should know that he provides these great tables. As Carruth writes:

Basically, it lays out each pitcher’s basic repertoire, frequency and average speed and then grades it on the familiar 20-80 scouting scale. The grades are determined by league percentiles in swinging strikes (K), strike rate (BB) and ground balls (GB) for each pitch. Hopefully this should give you an easy overview of each pitcher’s strengths and weaknesses. The last row is the overall ranks for the pitcher based on all his pitches thrown.

Here’s what Colby Lewis’s repertoire looks like by that method:

Pitch 	%	Sp 	K 	BB 	GB
FB 	56% 	90 	65 	45 	20
SL 	25% 	82 	65 	70 	75
CB 	12% 	79 	40 	50 	65
CH 	7% 	85 	40 	75 	50
Overall	--	--	70	55	25

What you notice there is that (a) yes, Lewis’s slider is good, and (b) probably another ground ball or two on the fastball wouldn’t hurt. For how high he works in the zone with it, though — the fastball, that is — such a thing might not be happening, stat.

What You, the Reader, Are Saying to Me
Hey, Carson: did you ever consider for even one second in your life that maybe Colby Lewis isn’t some kind of deity?

What I Am Saying Right Back to You
Yeah, I actually did think that for a second, and it was the darkest, loneliest second of my life, you jerk nut.

If I Had My Druthers
• Colby Lewis would found a fast-food chain.
• The featured item on menu of said chain would be sliders.
• Get it? Sliders!

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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.

9 Responses to “One Night Only: Totally Not About Colby Lewis”

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  1. Hello Carson.
    I have a question for the Fantasy Friday podcast. (provided you didn’t record it skullduggerously under the cover of darkness late last night pacific time early this morning eastern time)

    The question is: Do the continued struggles of Scott Feldman, the inconsistency of Rich Harden, the possibly beginning regression to mean of C.J. Wilson, the injury to Matt Harrison and the late start of Derek Holland effectively ensure that Colby Lewis can at last claim his rightful place as ace of the Rangers staff?

    I already know your answer (he’s been the ace all along – yes I know) Still I’m curious about the opinions of your panel, and look forward to hearing their reactions to a reader submitted question that could very easily have been scripted by you.

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  2. Jason B says:

    If I had *my* druthers, Colby doesn’t have to start a new fast food chain, he can just restart the now-defunct Druthers chain of eateries. Anyone remember those?

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  3. Mike says:

    I can’t complain about your man crush on Colby Lewis, it prompted me to get him for my fantasy team, and he helped me find my way into second place, in striking distance of first.

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  4. The Usual SusBeck says:

    I just sent an email to my sister suggesting Colby as a name for her 1st child. Although I’m now thinking I might get an angry email back because I’m a bad brother for not remembering she’s having a girl.

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  5. Brent says:

    I was prescient enough to get Colby Lewis in the last rounds of my two fantasy leagues…it was largely based on CHONE’s optimism….and Colby’s forthcoming Cy Youngs didn’t hurt either.

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  6. Hahmann says:

    Can Dan Wheeler get in on the fast food chain with Lewis?

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  7. philkid3 says:

    Is the restaurant called “Colbyashi’s” or “Colby Cheese?”

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  8. Judie Tonge says:

    Hello, I just stopped by this page via Yahoo and wanted to comment on your post. I love independent artists and this is a great find. Another site that I visit is Fifty 100, it’s for independent artists too.

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