Very Urgent Scouting Report: Skip Schumaker, Pitcher

While it goes without saying that the present site is required reading for all of baseball’s most progressive front offices, it’s also the case that no post at the site today will be read more hungrily or with such hunger as this one — which post is a very urgent scouting report on Skip Schumaker, who both (a) is a middle infielder for the Dodgers and (b) threw a scoreless inning for that same team on Monday night (box).

Fastball
Schumaker’s fastball — in relief, at least — bears striking resemblance to an average major-league one, sitting at about 88-90 mph and with similar rise and arm-side run.

Irrefutable proof of same is contained within this animated GIF:

Schumaker FA

Curveball
If Monday’s appearance is any indication, Schumaker throws his curveball precisely 4% of the time. So far as outcomes are concerned, the most likely and/or only one is a ground ball up the middle by Carlos Gonzalez.

To wit:

Schumaker CU

Changeup
Schumaker throws his changeup at a variety of speeds — either (a) with a view to disrupting the timing of his opponents or (b) because he only throws it six or eight times every two years.

Here’s one at 83 mph for a called strike to Jonathan Herrera:

Schumaker CH Maybe

Whatever This Is
This pitch was classified by PITCHf/x as a knuckleball, even though it’s probably a changeup. What this scouting report presupposes is: what if it isn’t? (Although, note: it probably is. A changeup, I mean.)

Regard:

Schumaker KN 2

Mechanics
Schumaker throws from a three-quarter arm slot, but insists on referring to it as a “75/100ths” slot, because his teachers neglected to teach him how to reduce a fraction to its lowest terms.

Mound Presence
In terms of mound presence, Skip Schumaker most resembles a Midwestern father who’s been invited by his son to a Gay Pride parade. Does that father support his son? Yes. Would anyone describe said parade as that father’s “scene”? Likely not.

Future
Schumaker went 615 days between pitching appearances — his first being on August 23, 2011, with the Cardinals. Given that same timetable, it’s reasonable to expect Schumaker’s next pitching appearance to occur January 5, 2015 — in the Venezuelan Winter League, one assumes.

PITCHf/x data from Brooks Baseball was essential to this post.



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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.


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MFYG
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MFYG
3 years 2 months ago

best pitcher for the dodgers last night

JuanPierreDoesSteroids
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JuanPierreDoesSteroids
3 years 2 months ago

Cy Skippy.

Steve
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Steve
3 years 2 months ago

He’s got more pitches than Cingrani!

Chris K
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Chris K
3 years 2 months ago

I don’t think you’re supposed to combine NotGraphs with FanGraphs. I’m pretty sure that’s what killed Independent George.

Someone tell Carson about the worlds.

Urban Shocker
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Urban Shocker
3 years 2 months ago

Baumann posts graphs on NotGraphs all the time though.

David
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David
3 years 2 months ago

You have no idea of the magnitude of this thing. If Notgraphs is allowed to infiltrate this world, then Fangraphs as you know it, ceases to exist! Right now we have Notgraphs, but there is also fangraphs. That’s the fangraphs you know, the fangraphs you grew up with. Prospects fangraphs, fangraphs chats, and fangraphs audios. We love that fangraphs. And it’s dying! If Notgraphs walks through this door, it will kill fangraphs. A graphs against itself cannot stand.

Ian R.
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Ian R.
3 years 2 months ago

If you “grew up” with FanGraphs, a site that hasn’t been around for a terribly long time in the grand scheme of things, you’re likely too young to be commenting.

This guy
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This guy
3 years 2 months ago

You clearly didn’t “grow up” with Seinfeld.

chuckb
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chuckb
3 years 2 months ago

Worlds are colliding!

ttnorm
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ttnorm
3 years 2 months ago

Yes we’ve got trouble my friends, with a capital T that rhymes with C and that stands for Cistulli.

Urban Shocker
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Urban Shocker
3 years 2 months ago

Forget it, he’s on a roll.

Euclid
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Euclid
3 years 2 months ago

“Schumaker throws from a three-quarter arm slot, but insists on referring to it as a “75/100ths” slot, because his teachers neglected to teach him how to reduce a fraction to its lowest terms.”

YES! MOAR MATH JOKES! ME LIKEY.

ASURay
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ASURay
3 years 2 months ago

reduce simplify

Jon L.
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Jon L.
3 years 2 months ago

Schumaker’s got the makeup to be good spot starter/long reliever. Some guys show signs of rust when they go on 615 days rest, but he looks good.

Ben
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Ben
3 years 2 months ago

I’d love to see a Schumaker vs. Chris Davis pitching gif-fest

NatsFan73
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NatsFan73
3 years 2 months ago

I’d like to see a Schumaker uber-gif, ala Yu Darvish…

Well-Beered Englishman
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Well-Beered Englishman
3 years 2 months ago

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

Sean
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Sean
3 years 2 months ago

Schumaker has really taking to a pitching role this year. He’s even emulating a typical pitcher’s hitting line.

BillyBeaned
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BillyBeaned
3 years 2 months ago

I don’t know if anyone else feels this way but I find Cistulli’s persistent attempts at comedy – now posted twice or even three times daily here – feeble, tedious, unilluminating and unfunny. Sorry, but is this really necessary?

Recommender
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Recommender
3 years 2 months ago

Maybe Ow My Balls is for you?

Blofkin
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Blofkin
3 years 2 months ago

Yes, yes it is.
Go back to the basement now, son.

atoms
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atoms
3 years 2 months ago

Is your whiny comment really necessary?

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
3 years 2 months ago

I await Cistulli’s posts hungrily and with hunger.

Dreamin
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Dreamin
3 years 2 months ago

Define ‘necessary.’ I think you’re at the wrong site, in general.

LTG
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LTG
3 years 2 months ago

Impossible to be otherwise. But, of course, we have different kinds of necessity: logical, metaphysical, physical, historical (maybe), biological (maybe). I’m guessing he means logical, as in “Had Carson not posted this, would the universe have contained a contradiction?” It’s a very high standard for posting.

Jaack
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Jaack
3 years 2 months ago

It is necessary: your very existence depends on it.

bigboneded
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bigboneded
3 years 2 months ago

I was hungry. Currently I am satiated.

Devon Young
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3 years 2 months ago

The only thing that would concern me, is that most of those pitches seem a bit flat. MLB hitters would catch on to that quick if Schumaker pitched regularly. Altho, maybe that’s something a pitching coach could work on. That’s all probably a moot point tho, as I hardly expect any team would use him that often. I think this gives Mattingly an interesting option… when Schumaker’s playing SS instead of Sellers, he could switch the pitcher to SS and Schumaker to P, for 1 batter, and then switch them back again. It could be really useful, even multiple times the same game. It could really save a bullpen in a series where he needs to give ’em a rest.

I love the movement on that changeup tho. Reminds me of a Youtube video I saw of Mark Fydrich mowing down the Yankees.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
3 years 2 months ago

“Altho, maybe that’s something a pitching coach could work on.”

Yeah, over the course of many many years.

Kk
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Kk
3 years 2 months ago

Should be notgraphs

Chad
Member
Chad
3 years 2 months ago

He looks better than Julio Teheran on the mound.

Neil
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Neil
3 years 2 months ago

I rather enjoyed this. It may be written in NotGraphs dialect, but it’s a perfectly reasonable and interesting post regarding LITERALLY the most enjoyable thing about baseball: position players pitching.

DD
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DD
3 years 2 months ago

Hitters pitching >>>>>>>>>> pitchers hitting.

Brazen Reader
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3 years 2 months ago

Do you think Nolan Arenado faced better pitching in his last AAA game or his first MLB game?

Welcome to the bigish leagues, son.

rustyspatula
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rustyspatula
3 years 2 months ago

It was his second game, but the point is well-taken anyway.

CardinalRules
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CardinalRules
3 years 2 months ago

The Cardinals could really use him in the pen this year….

Astro Villain
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Astro Villain
3 years 2 months ago

Position players who pitch is indeed one of the most interesting things about baseball. I wouldn’t be too afraid to pitch Schumaker ~10 innings a year in the right situation. A little afraid, well very afraid, but I’d do it if I knew that my job wouldn’t be lost because of it. That situation is not against Carlos Gonzalez, but it worked. That’s baseball. Weird things happen.

There are a few players who could be used very interestingly, but managers are almost universally archaic, and even the most progressive manager would probably not do this. Mike Leake is an interesting guy. He never played much in the field in college and none in the pros, but when he did play, he played a little all over the diamond. It would be fun to stash him somewhere for a batter to take advantage of pitching matchups, but that could only work if he was a reliever. He’s a good enough pitcher to stay in the rotation, so I doubt that ever happens.

Micah Owings just started his career as an outfielder this year and has been passable as an ML starting pitcher. He’ll probably never be a regular player, but after a year in AAA getting regular time at the dish, why shouldn’t he be able to be used 20 innings per year as well as a pinch hitter? He’s obviously a better pitcher than Schumaker and probably a better hitter as well. Dude OPS’ed over 1.000 in college with 48 career homers. I just wish he started his career as a position player earlier, but with the power he has he could still be around a while.

The most useful player who could pitch, though, is probably Ike Davis. Nevermind the fact that he’s hitting like a pitcher right now, but he’s a lefty. He struck out more than a batter per inning (and walked just 4 in 24 IP) his final year in college as a closer. Did I mention he’s a lefty? I would love to play around with him as a LOOGY for one batter. Would one of the Mets’ relievers really be worse than Duda in the outfield, with Duda moving to first for one batter? Never going to happen with Collins, who refuses to possibly maybe mess with Duda’s head by even starting him for one game at first, but a position player who throws lefty is probably the best bet for this working at all.

Aside from the fun, this could actually take away some stress from the bullpen. How much could never really be measured, but it’s logical that 20 innings in a season from a guy whose throwing skills are decent can help a team if used correctly.

Sorry for the long-winded post but I get fired up about this. Are there any other players this could work for, a la Brooks Kieschnick?

Jason H
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Jason H
3 years 2 months ago

As a practical issue, a position player moving to the mound to pitch for one batter would be allowed no warmup. His first pitch from the mound would be live action. It’s a fun idea, but probably a recipe for disaster.

Urban Shocker
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Urban Shocker
3 years 2 months ago

Didn’t La Russa consider some variation of sending his relievers into the field (say to play OF) after their appearance? I can’t remember the reasoning but it was some rule quirk.

Wizzle
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Wizzle
3 years 2 months ago

Yes, he did that, so he could bring in a righty reliever to face a righty and then bring the LOOGY who he stashed in LF back into the game to pitch against a lefty.

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