MASH Report (7/29/13): Peavy and Darvish In Detail

After taking a week off to vacation with my wife, I have quite a bit of injury information to catch up on. With the excess amount of information, I will look at some timely information today (pitchers returning from the disabled list) and tomorrow I will look at the HURT and PAIN leader boards, Zack Greinke, Jon Lester, Jason Marquis and other injury information.

Pitchers returning from D.L.

Jake Peavy returned from the DL and has made two starts so far. Peavy is probably the most popular and available trade target for teams needing starting pitching depth. A few issues could limit his value.

First his fastball velocity is down in 2013 compared to 2012 as Chris Cwik examines in an earlier article at Rotographs.

I don’t see this velocity drop as a major issue.

Second, since returning from the DL his game Zone%’s have been 50% and 46%, both below his season average of 52.5%. Even though it is just a couple of games, he has yet to find the strike zone compared to earlier in the season.

The main issue I see with him is an inconsistent release point. His 2013 season graph:

He is varying his horizontal release point by two feet over the course of the season. Besides not being consistent for the season, he dropped his arm angle by 1.5 feet for a couple of pitches late in his last start.

After searching the interwebs, I could not find any mention of why he did dropped his arm. It is not something he does on a regular basis. Besides the two out of place pitches, the rest of his release points varied by one foot in the horizontal and vertical directions. I would be leery of paying too much for him if he happens to change leagues.

Yu Darvish has made two starts also since coming back from the DL. A few weeks ago I examined him in detail and found a few issues. I am going to look at each one since his return.

Issue #1 – Low Zone%

Since returning, he is doing a better job of controlling the strike zone with a Zone% of 51% for his two starts (season average is 47%).

Issue #2 – Inconsistent Release Points.

These are still an issue as seen from his last start.

I would love to see more of a tight circle than the downward angled line.

Issue #3 – Late Game Consistency.

His last two starts are some of the lowest values for the season.

Issue #4 – End of Game Velocity Loss

In his first game back, he was not able to keep his velocity up with a three mph drop in the seventh inning after only 90 pitches.

In the second start, he was able to maintain his velocity consistently over 123 pitches.

A mixed bag of results.


Some good and bad pieces of information. In my opinion, the workload and inconsistent release points will eventually catch up to Darvish. He seemed to wear down after half a season. I will likely revisit his production in a month and see how he is holding up.

Tommy Hanson‘s fastball velocity is up significantly from the start of the season.

At the Hardball Times, Kyle Boddy breaks down the mechanical adjustments Hanson made (basically going back to his 2011 delivery) to get the added speed. I will always see Hanson as an injury risk, but while he is healthy, enjoy the production.

Jenrry Mejia is back to be part of the Mets six-man-rotation. I don’t know how much stock to put in his velocity chart with the lack of previous data, but his fastball speed is at three-year low.

Besides the lower velocity, he is still dealing with born spurs in his elbow. Like Hanson, enjoy the production while you can, but don’t be surprised to see Mejia end up back on the DL.

Alexi Ogando‘s velocity looks good along with his Zone%’s (54% and 55%) since coming back from the DL.

Zach McAllister‘s average fastball speed is at the same level as it was before going on the DL which is down 1 mph from 2012.

Ryan Mattheus‘s fastball velocity is back to to 2012 levels.

Alfredo Figaro‘s velocity looks fine.

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.

6 Responses to “MASH Report (7/29/13): Peavy and Darvish In Detail”

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  1. Jack says:

    Hope you had a great vacation. We missed you.

    Thoughts on Aaron Hill’s hand (not his hamstring)? I noticed that his flyball/hr distance on heatmaps is 291 which is very good (Votto’s at 292) and actually better than it’s been the last 4 years! How do the other things you track look? Do you think this means he’s at least what he was coming into the season (a top 10 2nd baseman)?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      Everything looks good with will. Contact and power are good.

      His BABIP is down from last year, but more inline with his career numbers.

      Not as many flyballs may bring down the HRs.

      I see no injuries issues and little regression from 2012.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Ashman says:

    Excited to see where Price tracks on the new pain chart

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. bdsparty32 says:

    Did Bourjos suffer a setback? I read that he had begun swinging a few days ago and should be ready for a rehab assignment soon, but your table has his return date set for late August or even September…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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