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  1. More strikeouts often means more flyballs, if this is true…perhaps he’s the anti-duncan. It seems like cub pitchers walk a LOT as well, I wouldn’t be surprised if rothschild increases a pitchers K% BB%, and FB%, while duncan does the polar opposite (seemingly decreasing BB%, and FB% at the very least.

    Comment by slash12 — June 11, 2010 @ 11:13 am

  2. Great writeup!

    I liked Penny for a late pick given his team’s pitching coach. Now I wonder if perhaps Silva should have been more of a sleeper/flyer given similar logic…

    Comment by jimbo — June 11, 2010 @ 2:05 pm

  3. There is more than one approach to successful pitching. Thanks for focusing on Rothschild, because his pitchers have had some success using his approach.

    Now when are you going to look at Darren Balsley of the Padres and what he’s done building a bullpen and ushering in young arms to the rotation, as well as turning around a fair number of the Padres reclamation projects? I have to ask, because I don’t know how to do it myself.

    I’m a Pads fan, and I get sick of hearing all of the media attention focused on the great Dave Duncan, because the Pads have been spinning gold out of straw (and every other kind of castoff) for several years now. If I sound angry or bitter, I’m not. Maybe a little jealous about the attention others get and that Darren Balsley is consistently overlooked.

    Comment by jirish — June 12, 2010 @ 12:02 pm

  4. What’s going on with Silva? I know he has received great run support, but he is like a whole new pitcher! Are we calling him the Cubs ace, now?

    Really interesting statistical analysis. . . . you should coach little league!

    Comment by Dustin — June 12, 2010 @ 2:14 pm

  5. Thanks for the comments guys. I would have to look at the Padres closer, but I would guess that their pitchers’ improvements have a lot to do with Petco. Balsley’s first full season as pitching coach was 2004, the first season they played in Petco. That would be something to check.

    As far as Silva goes, he’s been analyzed several times this year on Fangraphs. Basically he’s throwing his fastball a lot less and his changeup and slider a lot more. And those two pitches have been pretty awesome for him.

    Comment by Ja4ed — June 12, 2010 @ 5:36 pm

  6. Plenty of this “effect” is just changing leagues from AL to NL. This data is inconclusive at best.

    Comment by evo34 — June 13, 2010 @ 2:15 am

  7. Could any of those increases in k% be a result of guys moving from the AL to the NL? The pitchers are now pitching at lighter lineups with out a DH which in itself could be a reason they get a few more K’s.

    Lilly, Silva, Gregg, Harden, etc. They had the most improvement but they switched leagues! What do you think?

    Comment by ChiGuy — June 13, 2010 @ 10:56 am

  8. Ja4ed, You’re killing my Pads heart here! Okay, Balsley’s no good, and the Padres pitchers all stink, it is all a figment of Petco’s imagination. I know you didn’t say that, but that is always the knock against him and the Pads staff. I still maintain that they are good pitchers who are well coached.

    Let’s also consider that a pitcher who can’t up his K rate probably is not going to be successful under Rothschild and that Dave Duncan hand picks the pitchers he’s going to work with. So their successes are skewed too.

    Comment by jirish — June 13, 2010 @ 11:51 am

  9. Another thing to consider is age. Pitchers lose velocity as they age and we know velocity is a huge part of strikeouts. 4 of the 5 pitchers on the list that didn’t improve were older players (Maddux, Estes, Grabow, and Marquis).

    As for the flyball percentage remark, the Cubs were middle of the pack in 2008 and 2009. They had the 10th lowest FB% in 2007 and 3rd lowest in 2006. middle of the pack in 2004 (12th) and 2005 (17th). 12th in 2003. 17th in 2002.

    I don’t know if players have increased their FB% with Rothschild or not, but the team as a whole has allowed fewer fly balls than the average team during his tenure with the Cubs.

    Comment by MB21 — June 13, 2010 @ 9:33 pm

  10. Any theory on how he might be doing it? Is he a big fan of teaching the splitter or something? A big jump in change ups when they come to the Cubs?

    Comment by Franco — June 14, 2010 @ 4:07 am

  11. I don’t care what the stats show – I think Rothschild is way overrated. He may coax more K’s out of these guys but the Cubs are also league leaders in BBs too. Which leads to higher pitch counts which leads to shorter outings. And I wouldn’t say the Cubs or Rothschild has been that successful in building an effective bullpen either.

    Comment by odbsol — June 14, 2010 @ 12:28 pm

  12. League leaders in walks doesn’t mean much to me. The question is whether he improves control or makes it worse. We see here that he clearly improves strikeouts and I just looked at this same sample and he also improves walks. I know that’s hard to believe for most Cubs fans, but the facts don’t lie,

    Comment by MB21 — June 14, 2010 @ 4:55 pm

  13. Nice work. I guess it just seems that they walk more guys when I’m watching.

    Comment by odbsol — June 15, 2010 @ 10:21 am

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