MASH Report (3/3/14)

Holy cow, a ton of news to catch up on so let’s get started.

Johnny Cueto hasn’t lost the twist, but he says he is feeling good.

2014

2013 (40 sec mark)

My untrained scouting eye, doesn’t see a huge difference. I suspect he will experience more trunk injuries this season.

Cameron Maybin injured his right shoulder and “initial diagnosis suggested a fairly serious injury…” Don’t draft him for now and expect more details in the up coming days.

Taijuan Walker will like miss the first couple of weeks to start the season because of an inflamed shoulder. News later this week will give us a better idea for his return date.

Zack Greinke will likely miss the opening series in Australia with a tender calf

Miguel Sano will be out all of 2014 after having Tommy John surgery.

John Lannan is back facing live hitting.  With the lumps the Nationals medical staff took last season, here is another grim tale of their incompetence:

Lannan, 29, had been bothered with pain for years while pitching for the Washington Nationals, but never had an MRI of the area because doctors did stability tests by hand and determined everything seemed sound. He simply was diagnosed with tendinitis.

“I was still pitching,” said Lannan, who went 10-13 with a 3.70 ERA in 33 starts for the Nats in 2011. “I was still pitching pretty well.”

In his third start last year for the Phillies, however, the issue intensified. With his knee mobility limited, Lannan said his mechanics changed and he had less life on his fastball.

The data reflects that: Lannan’s fastball last season averaged 87.8 mph. The previous season with the Nats it averaged 89.4 mph.

He said he feels lucky he did not hurt his pitching shoulder with the mechanics he altered to compensate for the leg issue.

Lannan knew his 2013 season was done Aug. 14 at Atlanta, when he pulled himself from a game in which he allowed a first-inning homer to Jason Heyward.

“It just didn’t feel right,” Lannan said. “… It was my last try at trying to get through it, and it just didn’t go as planned. It was a low point in my career.”

It is pretty sad the Mets, who have had their own problems with medical issues, looked into and corrected Lannan problem.

Matt Kemp has been OK’ed to run.

Starlin Castro just strained his hamstring and he will just be ready to start the season.

• I am worried that Marco Scutaro‘s hip will cost him some time. The Giants are almost trying too hard to down play the effects on the injury prone 38-year-old.

Pedro Florimon may miss a week or two to start the season as he is recovering from a having his appendix removed.

• I have a few items I plan on checking during spring training and one is, Could Albert Pujols sprint? Some good video exists on him running 100% on a double play.

I timed him at 4.65 secs which is a 20 on the 20-80 scouting spectrum. Pujols is running at basically catcher speed which is better than I thought he would. Additionally, he looked good in the field. Finally, he isn’t 100%, he does plan on DHing or taking days off.

Pujols looked agile at first base in the first inning Sunday, scampering down the foul line to catch a pop fly for the first out and snaring a line drive for the third out.

“He’s moving as well as he has in four or five years,” Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said.

Pujols said he has no particular number of games he wants to play at first base this season, but he said he would not object when Scioscia wants to rest him.

“If I need a day as a DH, I’ll take it,” Pujols said. “If I need a day off, I’ll take a day off.

I really should watch a game or two of his, but with the above information, I am not as scared of him as I was previously.

• Another player I wanted to investigate was Trevor Bauer. He was clocked between 94 and 97 mph, but with a little wildness in his first appearance. He averaged only 93 mph last season. If he can throw strikes, he may be a nice post hype sleeper.

Pitcher velocity issues

Felipe Paulino was back throwing after not pitching in the majors during 2013.

Feeling good was the most important thing for Paulino, followed closely by being able to throw strikes.
“My arm feels OK right now,” said Paulino, who threw 31 of his 47 pitches for strikes. “The thing right now is how I wake up tomorrow. I believe I’m going to be OK. I feel confident about it. I feel strong but just wait for tomorrow and try to get ready for the next [start].

Pitchf/x camera picked him up throwing between 91-93 mph. In 2012, he average throwing 95 mph.

Alexi Ogando‘s struggles continue. After dealing with shoulder issues last year, his velocity is down to a career low of 89 to 93 mph (mlb.com). Just stay away.

James Paxton was between 90 and 94 mph (mlb.com). Last spring training, he was at 89 mph and was sent to the minors. When he was finally called up to the majors, he averaged 95 mph. Hopefully he will be a little faster in getting his mechanics in order this season.

Neftali Feliz‘s fastball was clocked at between 89 to 91 mph (mlb.com) after averaging 95 mph in 2012. He is going to need the extra speed to close. Before Feliz’s outing, Evan Grant wrote the following:

Feliz was not sharp in his intrasquad game and I’m told his mechanics are still kind of out of whack. He’s not getting his arm extended enough to max out the velocity. And let’s face facts: Velocity is what Feliz is all about. The real competition for the closer’s job starts Sunday. Feliz can start to seize it or create real concerns.

His handcuffs didn’t look much better. Joakim Soria was probably the best possible closer. He threw 86 to 90 mph after averaging 91 mph last season. Tanner Scheppers stood at 92-95 mph after a 96 mph average last season. Of the group, I am worried about Feliz the most. His velocity is similar to his last year values before going on the DL.

Greg Holland threw his fastball between 92-93 mph versus 96 mph in 2013. He has always throw a bit slower in the spring, so not a ton to worry about.

CC Sabathia‘s fastball was around 88 mph.

“My fastball is what it is. If it gets better, it will,” Sabathia said. “If it’s not, it won’t. I can pitch. I’m fine. As long as I’m healthy, I’ll be good.”

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that any chatter about Sabathia’s velocity does not concern him.

“I don’t make much of it,” Girardi said. “That was something people wanted to make a ton about last year, and I’m not going to make much of it. To me, if he’s downhill and locating, I don’t care what his velocity is. He’s going to get people out.”

I am concerned tough. I feel like I heard the same comments when Roy Halladay saw a huge drop last spring training and that didn’t turn out the best.

Brandon Beachy is back throwing and is almost near his previous velocity.

During his early exhibition-season starts, Beachy will throw a limited number of breaking balls and steadily increase his effort level. His fastball sat between 88-91 mph during Friday’s 43-pitch effort. According to FanGraphs, the average velocity of his fastball was 92 mph in 2011 and 91 mph in 2012, which was the year he underwent Tommy John surgery.

“Today is the hardest I’ve tried to throw,” Beachy said. “I’d like to think I can throw harder than I did tonight. But it’s early. Hopefully by the end of this month, I’ll be throwing harder than I did tonight, and be ready to go in April.”

It seems he may miss a bit of time to start the season, but not too much.

R.A. Dickey‘s knuckle is about to the speed where it is effective.

“This time last year, I remember peeking back there and seeing high 60s and low 70s,” said Dickey, who topped out at 75 mph during his first start of the spring on Thursday. “I obviously feel better at this point than I did last year, which I hope will carry out throughout the spring and into the opening game.”

The velocity is expected to trend upwards as Dickey gets deeper into Spring Training. The goal is to add a few more miles per hour to his knuckleball before the start of the regular season, which would have him sitting around 77-78 mph — the range where he was during his 2012 National League Cy Young Award-winning year with the Mets.

Good, but not perfect news.

• Each night during spring training, I will report on Twitter (@jeffwzimmerman) pitcher velocities from the stadium’s with Pitchf/x cameras.

Players on or Probably on the DL to Start the 2014 Season

(*) 15 Day Disabled List
(**) 60 Day Disabled List
(***) 7 Day Concussion List
(****) Free Agent
Red colored entries are updates since last report.

Major League Report

On DL

Probably on DL

Minor League Report




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Jeff writes for FanGraphs, The Hardball Times and Royals Review, as well as his own website, Baseball Heat Maps with his brother Darrell. In tandem with Bill Petti, he won the 2013 SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

2 Responses to “MASH Report (3/3/14)”

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  1. quikclipze says:

    “Mike Minor: Scared Urethra”

    Is that otherwise known as Hank Hill syndrome?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. RT says:

    Nice report, I really appreciate the velo updates as someone thought it was a good idea to not display them on the live game feeds…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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