MASH Report (4/4/13)

Today, I am going to focus on some pitch speed data. While starters have pitched only once, pitch speeds stabilize quickly and the small amount of data is useful. It takes only a couple of pitches to get an idea of a pitcher’s speed.

While a loss in velocity can be a sign of injury, it can also mean a pitcher is in a transition period. All pitcher’s will lose speed over time at the rate of 0.25 mph per year. Pitchers are going to to have to adjust to throwing slower and slower if they want to stay in the league. It is a fact of life.

I believe there are two types of velocity loss. The first if a slow, gradual loss in speed. A pitcher losses a tick or there. They are able to make small adjustments as they go along. The second type is a decent (~1 or more mph) velocity drop, especially for high K pitchers. They are no longer able to pitch like they did previously and now need to make major adjustments. The transition time is when a pitcher pitches their worst. Finally they will adjust and steady out to a new production level.

Pitcher A
Before adjustment: 3.50 ERA pitcher
During adjustment: 5.00 ERA pitcher
After Adjustment: 4.00 ERA pitcher

I have not been able to prove this theory with a detailed study yet, but I have seen it in several pitchers such as A.J. Burnett. He transitioned from a 95 mph from a 92.5 mph fastball.

2007 and earlier: 3.76 ERA and 95 mph fastball
2008 to 2010: 4.42 ERA and fastball declines to 92.5 mph
2011 and later: 4.32 ERA and 92.5 MPH

When and if a pitcher eventually stabilizes is not known, but they really seem to struggle during the transition time compared to when they come out of the transition. Currently, Tim Lincecum seems to be such a pitcher.

Recent injury data

 • Some starters with noticeable drops in velocity over the first few days

CC Sabathia (92.4 to 89.9) – Sabathia is seeing the largest drop among the big name starters. It is an almost 2.5 MPH drop and Bill Petti went into details a couple days ago.

Felix Hernandez (92.4 to 91.2 mph) – Felix seems to continue his slow drop in velocity which saw him at 95.5 mph in 2007. His average velocity has dropped every year from then on. He seems to be able to adjust as he goes along.

Roy Halladay – (90.5 to 89.6 mph) – Halladay’s issues were well documented in spring training and the results continue onto the regular season. Besides the drop in velocity, his release point has dropped about half a foot from last season.

Ervin Santana – (91.7 to 90.1 mph) – He really struggled in his first start with a drop in velocity over each of the last 3 years.

 • Mark Teixeira is aiming for a May 1st return. He may be available in a few shallow leagues (71% ownership at Yahoo!).

 • Shaun Marcum had a setback with his hopes of returning soon.

 • Ryan Ludwick is out at least 3 months after shoulder surgery. Derrick Robinson will take his place on the Reds.

 • Stephen Drew (concussion) may be ready to play on Monday.

 • Carl Crawford sat out the 2nd and 3rd game of the season after having TJS last year. I would just stay away from Crawford if at all possible.

Correction. I based the following on a report he was too hurt to play. He is playing a hitting over .500.

Player Return Timetables

Name Injury Injury/Surgery Date Early Return Date Later Return date Status Source(s)
Tony Abreu (*) Quad Strain UNK UNK UNK UNK UNK
Henderson Alvarez (*) Shoulder UNK UNK UNK UNK UNK
Scott Baker (**) TJS Complications 04/17/12 Late July August Rest (1)
Darwin Barney (*) Cut Knee 03/31/13 Mid April Late April Rest (1)
Brandon Beachy (*) TJS 06/21/12 Mid June Mid June Playing Catch (1)
Wilson Betemit (*) Knee 03/25/13 Late April Mid May Rest (1)
Jeff Bianchi (*) Hip UNK UNK UNK UNK UNK
Chad Billingsley (*) Finger 03/07/13 Mid April Early May Pitching (1)
Willie Bloomquist (*) Strained Oblique 03/27/13 UNK UNK Rest (1)
Craig Breslow (*) Sore Shoulder 03/07/13 April April Throwing (1)
Cesar Cabral (**) Elbow fracture UNK UNK UNK UNK UNK
Edwar Cabrera (**) Shoulder 08/01/12 Mid April Unknown Unknown (1)
Chris Carpenter (**) Nerve 02/05/13 2014 Retire Rest (1)
Jose Ceda (**) TJS 04/01/12 UNK UNK UNK UNK
Chase d’Arnaud (**) Thumb 02/20/13 Mid May June Rest (1)
James Darnell (*) Strained Oblique UNK UNK UNK UNK UNK
John Danks (*) Shoulder 03/15/13 April April Throwing Games (1)
Scott Diamond (*) Elbow Surgery 10/01/12 Mid April May Bullpen Sessions (1)
Kyle Drabek (**) TJS 06/19/12 Mid Season Mid Season Unknown (1)
Stephen Drew (***) Concussion 03/03/13 Late March April Rest (1)
Danny Duffy (*) TJS 06/13/12 Early June All Star Game Throwing (1)
Adam Eaton (*) Strained Elbow 03/22/13 Late April Late May Rest (1)
Scott Elbert (*) Elbow Surgery 01/01/13 UNK UNK UNK UNK
Nathan Eovaldi (*) Shoulder UNK UNK UNK UNK UNK
Neftali Feliz (**) TJS 08/01/12 July August Playing Catch (1)
Logan Forsythe (*) Foot 03/28/13 Mid April May Playing (1)
Frank Francisco (*) Elbow 02/14/13 Mid April Mid April Throwing (1)
David Freese (*) Back 03/20/13 Early April Late April Rest (1)
Rafael Furcal (*) TJS 03/13/13 2014 2014 Rest (1)
Mat Gamel (**) Knee 02/18/13 2014 2014 Rest (1)
Avisail Garcia (*) Bruised Heel 03/22/13 UNK UNK UNK (1)
Christian Garcia (*) Forearm 03/22/13 April May Rest (1)
Matt Garza (*) Strained Lat 02/21/13 April May Throwing (1)
Jason Giambi (*) Back strain UNK UNK UNK UNK UNK
Didi Gredorius (*) Elbow UNK UNK UNK UNK UNK
Curtis Granderson (*) Right forearm 02/24/13 Early May Middle May Rest (1)
Taylor Green (*) Hip Strain UNK UNK UNK UNK UNK
Corey Hart (*) Right knee surgery 01/26/13 Late May Late May Rest (1)
Chase Headley (*) Broke Thumb 03/18/13 Mid April Late April Rest (1)
Frank Herrmann (**) TJS 03/01/13 UNK UNK UNK UNK
Daniel Hudson (**) TJS 07/09/12 July July Throw of mound (1)
Phil Hughes (*) Bulging Disk 02/28/13 Mid April Late April Pitching (1)
Drew Hutchison (**) TJS 08/08/12 August October Rehabilitation (1)
Brandon Inge (*) Shoulder UNK UNK UNK UNK UNK
Paul Janish (*) Shoulder Surgery 10/01/12 UNK UNK UNK UNK
Derek Jeter (*) Fractured Left Ankle 10/01/12 Mid April Early May Playing Games (1)
Steve Johnson (*) Lat strain UNK UNK UNK UNK UNK
Ryan Kalish (**) Shoulder Surgery 01/25/13 Early April Unknown Rest (1)
Jeff Karstens (*) Shoulder 02/01/13 April April Batting Practice (1)
Casey Kelly (**) Elbow 03/14/13 Unknown 2014 Rest (1)
Josh Kinney (**) Side 03/10/13 May June Rest (1)
Brett Lawrie (*) Ribs 03/07/13 Mid April Late April Exercise (1)
Colby Lewis (*) Elbow Surgery 07/01/12 Late May June Throwing (1)
Ted Lilly (*) Shoulder Surgery 09/01/12 April April Pitching (1)
Francisco Liriano (*) Broken humerus 12/01/12 Early April Late May Rest (1)
Ryan Ludwick (*) Shoulder 04/03/13 Early July Early July Rest (1)
Cory Luebke (**) TJS 05/23/12 July July Unknown (1)
Ryan Madson (*) TJS 04/11/12 May June Throwing off mound (1)
Joe Mahoney (*) Intercostal Strain UNK UNK UNK UNK UNK
Shawn Marcum (*) Shoulder 03/20/13 Mid April Mid April Throwing (1)
Fernando Martinez (*) Strained Oblique UNK UNK UNK UNK UNK
Nick Masset (*) Shoulder Surgery 09/07/12 Unknown Unknown Throwing (1)
Jeff Mathis (*) Broken Collarbone 02/23/13 Early May Early May Rest (1)
Brian McCann (*) Torn labrum 07/04/12 Late April May Batting Practice (1)
Dustin McGowan (*) Shoulder UNK UNK UNK UNK UNK
Jerry Mejia (*) Elbow Sprain UNK UNK UNK UNK UNK
Franklin Morales (*) Bulging Disk 03/15/13 Early April Late April Rest (1)
Logan Morrison (**) Knee 09/01/12 Late May June Light Training (1)
Charlie Morton (*) TJS 06/21/12 June Unknown Throwing (1)
Jason Motte (*) Elbow Strain 03/23/13 Early April Late April Rest (1)
Hiroyuki Nakajima (*) Strained hamstring 03/28/13 Mid April Mid April Rest (1)
David Ortiz (*) Achilles 03/03/13 Mid April Early May Hitting (1)
Juan Oviedo (**) TJS 09/06/12 September 2014 Rest (1)
Felipe Paulino (**) TJS 07/03/12 Early July Early July Throwing (1)
Luis Perez (**) TJS 07/01/12 Early July Early September Rest UNK
Martin Perez (*) Broken Forearm 03/03/13 Late April Late May Rest (1)
Brett Pill (*) Knee UNK UNK UNK UNK UNK
Michael Pineda (**) Shoulder Surgery 05/01/12 June Early July Bullpen (1)
Hanley Ramirez (*) Thumb 03/17/13 Early April June Rest (1)
Adam Rosales (*) Thunk 03/24/13 Early April Late April Rest (1)
Alex Rodriguez (**) Hip surgery 01/16/13 Early July 2014 season Rest (1)
Fernando Rodriguez (**) TJS 03/14/13 2014 2014 Rest (1)
Mark Rodgers (*) Shoulder UNK UNK UNK UNK UNK
Cody Ross (*) Strained Leg 01/06/13 April April Jogging (1)
Johan Santana (*) Back 02/25/13 2014 2014 Throwing off flat ground (1)
Luke Scott (*) Calf Strain 03/31/13 Mid April Mid May Rest (1)
Leyson Septimo (*) Shoulder Strain UNK UNK UNK UNK UNK
Alfredo Silverio (**) Fractured Clavicle UNK UNK UNK UNK UNK
Michael Schwimer (*) Shoulder UNK UNK UNK UNK UNK
Joakim Soria (*) TJS 04/02/12 Late May Early June Playing Catch (1)
Ian Stewart (*) Quadricep 02/15/13 April Unknown Everything, but run (1)
Eric Surkamp (*) TJS 07/24/12 Late July September Unknown (1)
Anthony Swarzak (*) Ribs 01/25/13 April May Throw of mound (1)
Andrew Taylor (*) Torn labrum UNK UNK UNK UNK UNK
Mark Teixeira (*) Strained Wrist 03/06/13 May 1st Mid June Rest (1)
Chris Tillman (*) Abdominal Strain UNK UNK UNK UNK UNK
Josh Tomlin (**) TJS 08/22/12 August 2014 Rest (1)
Jonny Venters (*) Elbow Sprain 03/26/13 Mid May UNK Rest (1)
Arodys Vizcaino (**) TJS 03/01/12 March June UNK UNK
Joe Wieland (**) TJS 07/27/12 Early August 2014 Catch (1)
Tsuyoshi Wada (*) TJS 05/11/12 May June Throwing off mound (1)
Alex White (**) Likely TJS 04/04/13 2014 2014 UNK (1)
Blake Wood (**) TJS 05/01/12 May June Unknown UNK
Tim Wood (*) Rotator cuff strain UNK UNK UNK UNK UNK
Delmon Young (*) Right ankle 10/01/12 Mid April Early May Rest (1)

(*) 15 Day Disabled List
(**) 60 Day Disabled List
(***) 7 Day Concussion List

Players Returning From Injury

No information yet.

Players Playing Through Injuries

Name Injury Source
Carlos Beltran Toe (1)
Carl Crawford Elbow sitting
Zack Greinke Elbow (1)
Bryce Harper Thumb (1)
Nick Markakis Neck (1)
Russell Martin Shoulder (1)
Will Middlebrooks Wrist (1)
Daniel Murphy Intercostal (1)
Nolan Reimold Shoulder (1)
Pablo Sandoval Elbow (1)
David Wright Intercostal (1)

Here is the list of players who should exceed their power projections for 2013:

Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Howard, Cameron Maybin, Trevor Plouffe, Justin Upton, Paul Konerko, Dustin Pedroia, Luke Scott, Matt Kemp, Joey Votto, Mike Moustakas, Pablo Sandoval, Carl Crawford, Giancarlo Stanton, Jacoby Ellsbury, Evan Longoria, and Troy Tulowitzki. New additions: Dustin Ackley, Matt LaPorta, Howie Kendrick, Paul Konerko

Print This Post

Jeff writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first season in Tout Wars, he won the H2H league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
One Mans Opinion
One Mans Opinion

Should we be worried about Yovani Gallardo? His velocity has been gradually going down, and his fastball on Opening Day was nearly 2MPH slower than it was last year at this time.