MASH Report (5/28/13)

Today, I will look at quite a few pitchers coming back from the DL, a couple pitchers missing starts and some hitters trying to play through injuries.

John Danks made his first start since early 2012 on Friday. His velocity is low, but not to some pre-surgery levels

He came out throwing strikes and had a 59% Zone%. So far, so good.

Ted Lilly is back after spending most of 2012 on the DL and a stretch in 2013. His velocity is back to 2012 pre injury levels.

Also, Lilly was using three release points. The release points on the right for LHH, the ones on the left for RHH and high and the high left ones for his curve.

I don’t like the various release points, but the 37-year-old is going to have to pull out every trick with a mid-80s fastball. Also, his Zone% for the game was at a low 44%.

Clayton Richard averaged 92 mph on his fastball yesterday.

Good news. The only blemish I could find was a 44% Zone%. I will be nice to see this number creep up as he makes more starts.

Kevin Jepsen‘s velocity is way off to the tune of about 2 mph from earlier in the season.

He has also changed is release point to be 1.5 feet closer to home plate

Not a good sign for owners as it may take him a while to adjust to the new release point. I would give him a few more appearances and see his production at this new release point.

Ivan Nova saw a 2 to 3 mph jump in his average fastball velocity in his first relief appearance compared to when he started early in the season.

Mike Adams looked good in his return. The couple fastball he threw where around 92 mph, but mainly he threw only sliders.

Tom Gorzelanny showed no signs of injury yesterday. His only mistake was to throw a ball right down the middle of the plate to Mauer.

Ryan Braun has been dealing with a thumb injury the last couple weeks. In his words:

“I’ve changed the way I’ve held the bat, I’ve changed the way I’ve swung,” he said. “And it’s frustrating, because we’re not progressing. It’s not getting any better at all, so it’s just at the point where I need to take the time to get it close to being healthy so I can contribute and do the things I’m used to doing.”

His power is down of quite a bit over the time frame:

ISO before .266
ISO after: .207

Average HR&FB Dist before: 308 ft
Average HR&FB Dist: after: 298 ft

Hopefully the injury doesn’t linger all season and his power comes back after the time off.

Danny Espinosa is another hitter playing through an injury. He broke his wrist in April and it would help to explain his small drop in power. His ISO is down from .155 in 2012 to .128. Also his average HR&FB distance went from 286 ft to 280 ft. I would expect a little more decline, but a still a drop.

Clay Buchholz didn’t make his scheduled start yesterday with collar bone area injury. I went back and looked at his data. Besides a small downward trend in Zone%, no injury signs exist.

Chris Sale returns tonight after missing a start. Look for a constant release point from him (problem discussed in last MASH report).

Colby Lewis‘s velocity in his rehab starts is maxing out at 87 mph. I would be careful starting him when he returns with a 3 mph drop from his previous game highs near 90 mph.

Players on the DL

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

7 Responses to “MASH Report (5/28/13)”

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  1. plasmaj says:

    these updates are great. any new thoughts on Greinke after his start last night. his velocity was up and his zone% was good, but still got shelled. possibly losing movement?

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      Greinke has always gotten hit hard as seen by his BABIP greater than the league average:

      I think when he comes into the zone, he serves up too many meat balls. The interesting point is his SwgStr% is the same as 2012, but his K/9 is down two percentage points.

      I don’t see him as hurt, just aging like most pitchers.

      Using my pitcher similarity tool:

      Once interest comp showed up, A.J. Burnett

      Some good, some bad as Zack ages.

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      • plasmaj says:

        and tying in with Podhorzer’s post on expected k%, his swstr rate may be similar, but his looking strike rate seems to be way down (assuming I can use 1 – Z-Swing% as a proxy, it is 27.1% thus year compared to career 35.1%)
        so he’s not able to sneak as many over the plate (his z-contact rate was an impressive 100% last night)

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      • John says:

        Love the info on Greinke, here. So…to put in fantasy terms, Greinke is a ___ pitcher ROS (AFTER he pitches at Coors this week). I want to try buying low after that outing.

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  2. shapular says:

    Do different types of injuries have different signs or do they generally affect a pitcher in the same way?

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      Generally in the same way. I really haven’t looked much further so far.

      Basically loss of speed and inconsistent delivery (release points and ability to throw the ball over the plate) can either be the signs of an existing injury -or- the inconsistent delivery could be the cause of the injury.

      Pretty much any injury is going to affect the pitcher’s mechanics.

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  3. Ruki Motomiya says:

    How much do you feel Austin Jackson’s injury will affect his peformance when he comes back, if at all? Hamstrings usually affect speed, right?

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