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  1. What about a comparison with just last April’s velocity? At the very least that might ease concern/temper optimism in some places where velocity is more similar in the season’s first month. Some pitchers don’t like the cold, and some pitchers may let it all hang out a bit too early in the year.

    Comment by Mark — April 11, 2011 @ 9:21 am

  2. Agreed. Most pitchers would probably throw their heat in May / June – July / August, with April and September being the dips due to building up strength in April and tiring in September.

    Comment by Geoff — April 11, 2011 @ 10:08 am

  3. If that data was available, or at least I knew where to find it, it would of course be better to use. That probably explains why the list was a lot larger and more significant for velocity losers than gainers.

    Comment by Mike Podhorzer — April 11, 2011 @ 10:11 am

  4. No injury grumblings about Soria, but notice Kyle Davies and Luke Hochevar as well. Three teammates. Remember it’s well known that the gun was juiced in KC last year; maybe it’s more accurate now?

    Comment by geo — April 11, 2011 @ 10:44 am

  5. I was just going to say that same thing. When half of the players are from 2 different teams (KC and Det), there might be something going on with the home ballpark radar gun. We’ll need to see a few more games before any reliable trend shows itself, though. It does seem interesting that the top 9 are all AL pitchers, though.

    I will say that Penny hasn’t thrown at home yet. And that Hochevar and Davies have started at KC and Det. Note that Bruce Chen is also down 1.2 mph from last year.

    Comment by Calogero — April 11, 2011 @ 11:14 am

  6. Would this effect relievers less though? They’re likely to be throwing gas early on, unless they haven’t built up arm strength.

    Comment by Ben — April 11, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

  7. Definitely interesting, but I do think the gainers are more interesting than the losers. Velocities generally peak in July/August, so there’s a weather effect.

    Comment by Eno Sarris — April 11, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

  8. Is Doug Fister worthy of any interest?

    Comment by Shaggychild — April 11, 2011 @ 1:40 pm

  9. Also, Hudson moved from Chicago to Arizona. Of his two starts this year, one was in Arizona, one was in 70degree weather in Denver. Presumingly much friendlier conditions than he experienced last April. He will come back to earth. Same can be said for Vazquez in south Florida.

    Comment by Jackson — April 11, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

  10. Don’t see a problem with Coke going from reliever to starter.

    Comment by Lou — April 11, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

  11. Tommy Hanson’s and Liriano’s velocity drops could be attributed to missed time in ST, right? I’m hoping so, because those guys, Brett Anderson, and F-Her all have 1+ MPH velocity drops and they anchor my rotation.

    Comment by Travis — April 11, 2011 @ 4:48 pm

  12. Agreed, which is why I didn’t comment on him. You would expect his velocity to decline, but I left him in the table.

    Comment by Mike Podhorzer — April 11, 2011 @ 6:14 pm

  13. Possibly Hanson, but Liriano had shoulder issues in spring training, whereas there has been nothing suggested about Hanson’s health. So it’s quite likely Liriano is simply hurt, whereas Hanson might just be a “continue to build arm strength” case.

    Comment by Mike Podhorzer — April 11, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

  14. FA, FC, FT and FF are a pain in the butt to compare and almost every instance requires looking at the pitch classifications compared to the previous year and make sure we’re not getting little green dots in the little blue dot area. It’s just an overall nut-buster.

    By the way, your best bet for getting the data for month-to-month is to spit it out on fangraphs and then head over to texasleaguers and set your dates individual by individual.

    Alternatively

    SELECT *, AVERAGE(VELOCITY) as AVG_VEL FROM TABLE WHERE TYPE=”FA” AND DATE between ’01-04-2010′ and ’05-05-2010′ GROUP BY PLAYER_NAME ORDER BY AVG_VEL DESC

    You should be able to join it to this year’s data and do MATH ON IT.

    I’m sure papa appleman will have no problem creating a clone of the DB for you to do MATHS ON IT.

    Comment by Kris — April 12, 2011 @ 12:47 am

  15. under the “Leaders” tab on FG, go to “Pitch Type” tab & limit search to starters>march/april. did a quick spreadsheet sorting FBv from 2010 to 2011.

    Top 10 March/April Losers:
    (2010,2011, +/-)
    Colby Lewis: 90.5, 87.9, -2.6
    Brett Myers: 89.9, 87.9, -2.3
    Wade Davis: 92.6, 90.3, -2.3
    Hochevar: 93.5, 91.3, -2.1
    Brett Cecil: 90.5, 88.4, -2.1
    Blackburn: 90.5, 88.4, -2.1
    Zito: 85.9, 83.9, -2.
    Brett Anderson: 92.5, 90.5, -2
    Jon Lester: 93.6, 91.6, -2
    Verlander: 95.7, 93.7, -2
    11.) Liriano: 93.4, 91.6, -1.8

    Top 10 March/April Gainers:
    (2010,2011, +/-)
    David Price: 95.1, 92.8, +2.3
    Hamels: 92.3, 90.5, +1.8
    Lincecum: 92.8, 91.4, +1.4
    Matt Harrison: 93, 91.8, +1.2
    Romero: 91.6, 90.4, +1.2
    Randy Wolf: 88.5, 87.6, +0.9
    Masterson: 91.5, 90.9, +0.6
    Anibal Sanchez: 91, 90.4, +0.6
    Gallardo: 92.1, 91.6, +0.5
    Kershaw: 93.4, 93, +0.4

    Small sample size, not much to read into imo. Maybe the losers more than the gainers

    Comment by dariv — April 12, 2011 @ 12:20 pm

  16. Where do we get the latest pitching velocity stats, is there a link for it.

    Comment by hoopsvader — April 12, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

  17. Cool article. I hope we continue to get updates every once in a while throughout the season.

    Comment by Silencio — April 13, 2011 @ 5:37 am

  18. Sure it’s early, but Kershaw’s sure looking great, isn’t he :)

    Comment by Ivdown — April 13, 2011 @ 3:54 pm

  19. fwiw timmy’s fastball is actually sitting higher than that (i think it’s averaging more like 93-94) but pitchf/x is picking up some of his harder thrown changeups as fastballs. so tim has probably picked up even more velocity than that

    Comment by lol — April 15, 2011 @ 4:38 am

  20. for instance you can look at the ethier at bat in the 1st from 4/12. both gameday and the brooks baseball pitchf/x tool call the last two pitches 88 mph fastballs (one 2 seam and 4 seam) but they were both changeups. he threw 4 fastballs in the pa which ranged from 94-96 according to pitchf/x.

    i assume you guys are gonna have the same problems with timmy’s fastball velo.

    Comment by lol — April 15, 2011 @ 4:44 am

  21. I was curious about Javy Vazquez’s velocity and realize that his numbers for 2011 likely changed since this article was written due to a start. However, I am wondering why his fastball velocity is listed at 88.7 mph when the link below shows it at 89?

    http://www.fangraphs.com/pitchfx.aspx?playerid=801&position=P

    What source is being used for the 2010 velocities?

    Comment by joeymitch — April 16, 2011 @ 12:32 am

  22. Clayton Kershaw throws an 88-mph change up?

    Comment by Spence — April 16, 2011 @ 5:50 pm

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