MASH Report (4/7/14) – Sonny Gray & Danny Salazar in Depth

Sonny Gray has me perplexed a bit. First, his velocity is down compared to last season.

More importantly, he has shifted to a new spot on the pitching rubber during each of his first two 2014 starts. He doesn’t continually move around, but makes a one time shift in the middle innings.  Here are the release points from his last three regular season games. His release point shifts more towards the middle of the plate around the 3rd or 4th inning in his 2014 starts (images are from the catcher’s perspective).

Here is Gray’s different positions on the rubber from his last start.

While it is not easy to see pitching rubber, he does move almost a foot on it towards first base. I have not heard/read why he is making the change yet, but will look more into it.

Danny Salazar is displaying a few injury characteristics. First, his velocity is down quite a bit compared to last season

Additionally, he was not able to keep a constant velocity across his one start.

Finally he reased his release point a bit compared to last season.

Last 2013 start

First 2014 start.

It would be nice to see him reverse these trends in his next start.

Clay Buchholz is throwing at the same speed as he ended last down … way down.

• In his first start off the DL, Jon Niese‘s fastball velocity looks fine.

• So did you Darvish’s fastball.

Ryan Braun, if playing, will be dealing with a sore thumb.

“The challenging thing is when I can’t take a normal swing,” Braun said. “I think the first series [against the Braves], I did, I took a lot of good swings and lined out quite a few times, had some good at-bats. [Friday], that wasn’t the case.

“It’s frustrating. I’ve dealt with it a long time. Like I said, I’m optimistic we’ll figure something out to make it better, but when it gets to a point I can’t come close to taking a normal swing, it’s counterproductive to the team and to me to continue to play.”

For his owners, I don’t know what would be the correct action in dealing with him. Trade him for pennies on the dollar while you can still get pennies? Play him with reduced production? Give up?

• If Ryan Zimmerman doesn’t go on the DL, he may be dealing with a sore shoulder for a bit.

Will Middlebrooks will be out a couple of weeks on the DL with a strained calf.

Bobby Parnell will go ahead and have Tommy John surgery instead of trying to rehab his partially torn MCL.

• On April 10th, Colby Lewis must be added to the Rangers MLB roster and last night was the last time he will pitch before the decision. For Round Rock, he threw five innings, walked three, struck out two and allowed four hits. We will find out in the next few days if the effort was enough for the Rangers to add him to their roster.

Omar Infante is going to play through a tender elbow caused by a bone spur.

Second basemanOmar Infante had a day off after each of his first two games for the Royals, but he’s seen as an everyday player despite his recurring right elbow tenderness.
“He’s going to be every day right now because we have off-days built in during April, four of them, and we’re going day to day with him, but he feels great,” manager Ned Yost said. “He hasn’t had any issues with it, and that’s good.

As usual, expect lower than expected production from him until the injury is healed.

Ryan Cook was activated from the DL today.

Josh Beckett may come off the DL and throw on Wednesday.

Jonathan Broxton (possible Reds closer) will be coming off the DL any day now.

• Pirates prospect Jameson Taillon, will under go Tommy John surgery.

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.

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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.

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Great stuff as always. I heard a rumor that Strasburg’s velocity was down. Any truth to that?