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MASH Report (5/6/13)

This week I will examine a few items, a couple pitchers making rehab starts, a couple pitchers returning from the disabled list, a couple pitchers with large velocity drops and a few hitters dealing with recent back injuries.

Francisco Liriano and John Danks are making rehab starts. John Danks is throwing his fastball at 87 to 90 mph. These values are at or below his 2012 average value of 90.1 mph.

Francisco Liriano’s fastball is in the 90 to 94 MPH range for his rehab start. His average 2012 fastball velocity was near 93 mph.

Both pitchers are not throwing up any huge warning signs, but I would not start them once they return to the majors.

Jhoulys Chacin made his first start since coming back from the DL with a average fastball velocity consistent with his other 2013 starts. His fastball is down over a half mph from last season.

Jeremy Affeldt‘s average fastball velocity is consistent with his previous 2013 appearances, but his 2013 average velocity (90.1 mph) is down over 1 mph from 2012 (91.4 mph).

Felix Doubront‘s fastball velocity has been dropping since the season’s start.

It is a drop from 92.7 mph in 2012 to 90.2 in 2013. Other signs don’t point to an injury. His Zone% is up from last year. My injury predictor didn’t come up with anything.

Manager John Farrell and Doubront both says the velocity drop is not physical.

“You want a little bit more velocity and it’s not there,” Doubront said. “Sometimes I find I don’t have that power to get the swing and miss and go in hard with the hitters.”
Doubront insisted it’s not a physical issue.
“It’s weird, man. It’s nothing that’s bothering me,” he said. “It’s so weird. I can’t explain it.”

“Physically he doesn’t express any restrictions or any tightness, any soreness,” Farrell said. “When he tries to get his better velocity, that’s when he starts to really lose command.”
Farrell said Doubront lacks the arm speed he once had.
“You really tell it on his curveball. The curveball gets kind of big and loopy and lacks the consistent shape to it, as well as the finish to his fastball,” Farrell said. “We continue to search.”

This was the same kind of talk Roy Halladay had before his DL stint. Monitor his progress.

David Price has seen his fastball down over 2 mph from 2012.

His Zone% is fine at 52.1%. With the slower fastball, he is getting hit around a bit more (2012 BABIP = .285 and 2013 = .351). I am not worried about him being injured, but he may not be pitching at Cy Young level.

• Earlier today I looked at back injury effects. In short, a back injury is pretty devastating. In 2012 a few hitters went on the DL for back injuries (****) and I decided to compare their 2012 OPS to 2013 OPS. On average, the groups OPS dropped from an .719 average to one of .670. The OPS historically has dropped 50 points and the 2013 the value has been 49 points. I really need to improve my accuracy.

**** Taylor Teagarden, Nolan Reimold, B.J. Upton, Justin Sellers, Matt Joyce, Adam Lind, Placido Polanco, Kevin Youkilis, Mark Kotsay, Eric Sogard, Freddy Galvis, Travis Hafner, Luke Scott

Players on the DL

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