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
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)
• 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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