Visually Comparing Clay Buchholz, 2012-2013

Greetings FanGraphs readers, I am Drew Sheppard, and if you recognize my name it is probably from the Yu Darvish pitch selection GIF that made the rounds last week. Over the coming months, it is my goal to use similar techniques to put a visual spin on some of the information FanGraphs has always provided, including but not limited to similar pitcher breakdowns.

Today I will be offering a look at some of the repertoire for reigning American League Pitcher of the Month Clay Buchholz, using overlaid pitches from his up-and-down 2012 campaign as a reference point.

Buchholz Cut Fastball

These two cutters are from Aug. 4, 2012, against Ryan Doumit and April 25, 2013, against Marwin Gonzalez. I won’t be diving into statistics today, but the cutter has been a valuable weapon for Buchholz in 2013.

Buchholz Two-Seam Fastball

Here we have a May 1, 2013, two-seam fastball to Jose Bautista in Toronto that has been the topic of some discussion, while the Sept. 15, 2012, pitch to Moises Sierra appears to have more movement.

However, this is somewhat of an optical illusion. Toronto has slightly shifted its center field camera angle for 2013 to a lesser offset, affecting the appearance of the pitch’s very similar movement. This is something for viewers to consider when watching any game, as a straight-on camera provides a significantly different look than the more offset angles.

Buchholz Curveball

Finally, we have an April 25, 2013, curveball to Jason Castro matched up with one from Aug. 4, 2012, to Brian Dozier.

This is too little information to provide any conclusions on Buchholz’s banner month — it is just six pitches. This merely provides some further reference for your consideration.

We hoped you liked reading Visually Comparing Clay Buchholz, 2012-2013 by Drew Sheppard!

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Drew Sheppard is a writer for FanGraphs, graphic artist and GIF enthusiast. If you have a topic you would like Drew to take a look at in the future using overlay GIFs, please let him know in the comments here or on Twitter @DShep25.

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Well-Beered Englishman
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Well-Beered Englishman

Welcome, Drew! We’re glad to have you and to gawk at your artful GIFs. I have but two thoughts.
– If a criticism were to be made: it takes a certain level of concentration to see that Marwin Gonzalez swings in the first GIF. Have you experimented with a slightly greater ‘presence’ for the second batter? (Maybe you have and the result was visually confusing…)
– How do you pronounce ‘GIF’?

Welcome to FanGraphs and cheers!