MASH Report (8/19/13)

Quite a bit of injury information for once. I am looking at a few reader suggestions from last week and examing a few bigger named pitchers coming off the DL. Later this week, I will look at the PAIN and HURT leaders with an attempt to look at PAIN over a section of the season vice the whole enchilada.

First some reader questions from last week.

Me and Adam Jones asked the following about Adam Jones “Is it an injured psyche from the banana incident or something more?” I am going with the banana. His power was fine (ISO and HR/9 are almost the same as 2012). His Speed Score was the same as last year (5.2 vs 5.3). Also his contact was up about 1.5% points. No sign of a real injury.

Kmen asked if Homer Bailey‘s struggles may be injury releated. Looking at Bailey, he has seen a velocity decline over the last few games, but this was after an increase by the same amount earlier in the season.

During the last couple games, he had problems finding the strike zone (46% Zone%), but both his 2012 and 2013 Zone% are identical at 49.4%. I don’t see any problems unless his velocity drops even further. I would start to worry if his average fastball velocity nears 92 mph.

James N. wanted my thoughts on Bartolo Colon. Well, Colon went on the DL with a groin injury before I could answer. The signs were there pointing to an injury. Huge velocity drop.

After leading the league in Zone% for much of the season, his Zone% values dropped about 10% points during the velocity decline.

I am little late for James, but yes there were issues surrounding Colon which pointed to an injury.

Samuel Deduno is pitching through a bit of shoulder discomfort. Here he describes the problem (source).

According to Deduno, the nagging pain behind his shoulder that he first noticed a few starts ago has moved to the front of the shoulder.

“It’s not sore, but I can’t be aggressive with any of my pitches,” Deduno told the Pioneer Press after a 5-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox. “When I try to throw hard, I feel it. I changed the angle of my arm to try not to feel pain. I think that’s the problem.”

“It started behind the shoulder a couple weeks ago, but I could handle that,” Deduno said. “Now it’s in the front. I felt it a few days ago. Today, I didn’t feel good. In the bullpen and during the game, I didn’t feel strong.”

Deduno’s release points have been varying quite a bit.

It is almost a 2 foot swing from one extreme to the other. The varied release points seem to point to a pitcher looking to find a comfortable delivery.

CC Sabathia is experiencing a nice upward trend in velocity which is getting closer to his 2012 velocity levels

Pitchers Returning from the DL

Yovani Gallardo returned with some decent results, zero runs allowed over 6.1 innings. His average fastball velocity was inline with his 2013 values which were down from his 2012 values.

He was able to keep the ball in the strike zone with a 51% Zone% for the game.

The major problem I see with him is his new release point. In early July he moved is positioning on the rubber about 2 feet to the 3B side. He struggled quite a bit after the move.

Right now, I am looking to see if he can adapt for the 2014 season or if he is struggles to find some consistency.

Trevor Cahill returned from the DL. First off, he looked to be throwing just like he did before the injury, like a injured pitcher. He had problems finding the strike zone (<40% Zone%).

His release point was all over the place. Usually, different pitches are from the different arm slots, but with Cahill, his sinker release point changes position by 1 vertically and 1.5 feet horizontally.

Also, he was not able to maintain his velocity over the course of the game with his fastball losing about 3 mph.

He is back from the DL and hopefully he can make it the rest of the season until he goes back on it.

Rafael Betancourt‘s average fastball velocity was near his 3 year low upon return. It would not surprise me if his appendix was still bothering him a bit.

Alex Cobb threw and his fastball velocity was fine.

Brandon Gomes velocity was fine.

Players on the DL

(*) 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 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.

10 Responses to “MASH Report (8/19/13)”

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  1. Woody Barrelson says:

    Any signs of injury with Samardzija? He’s had a rough handful of starts recently, and I think I remember reading his velocity’s been down this year.

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  2. Brian S says:

    What about Doug Fister? Seems like a guy who’s never in the strike zone, but never shows up on PAIN?

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    • EmptyTheBench says:

      What’s interesting to me here is that the FGs plate discipline stats consistently have him with a lower Zone% than the PITCHf/x stats. In the former he’s at 44.8%, below average, while the latter has him at 50.4%, a bit above average. And it’s been the case every year ofh is career. Is this the norm?

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      • Jeff Zimmerman says:

        The plain Zone% value are from STATS or BIS and change all the time. Some seasons, no one threw under 50% in the zone. Their current values I think are set off the rule book strike zone. The called strike zone is smaller than the rule book zone.

        For the Pitchf/x Zone% values, the called strike zone determined by Mike Fast is used.

        Fister’s Zone% is fine, over 50% and velocity is good.

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  3. Isaac says:

    Safe to drop David Wright and/or Matt Kemp in my total points league? im still charging strong into the playoffs and want to pick-up some young 2-start prospects, such as Tyson Ross or Sonny Gray.
    Thanks !

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    • Ralph says:

      While I think Ross is a worthwhile pickup, I think Gray is in for a downturn shortly here, plus his upcoming schedule is not favorable… I wouldn’t drop a stud hitter for him

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      I think it is a small chance Wright will play in 2013. If he does, it will be sparingly. Feel free to drop him in a redraft league.

      Kemp will try to return with the Dodgers in the playoff picture. Couple of issues with him. I would bet on him not being 100%. He may not play all the time.

      If Ross and Gray are your best bets, go with them.

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  4. Dolemite says:


    You have always said that when Niese is going right, his vertical release point is >6ft and horizontal is near 1 ft

    It seems that his last few starts he has been solid and his release points seem to be trending in the right direction, and his velocity is solid

    Are you buying that he may be back in vintage form and worth an add down the stretch (esp this coming week with the phillies at Metco and the nonhitting lefties Nats)

    Thanks in advance

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