Madison Bumgarner’s missing velocity

Madison Bumgarner worked in a Spring Training game for the Giants on Wednesday. He happened to be facing the Mariners in Peoria. Peoria happens to have PITCHf/x installed. This is the sixth game of Bumgarner’s seen by PITCHf/x. Here’s each game, the park, and his average fastball velocity (lumping four- and two-seam varieties together, using my own pitch classifications). And, yes, there were a few Spring Training games captured by PITCHf/x last year (all in Scottsdale, March 15-19, 2009).

I wouldn’t expect to see him at top velocity already, but FYI dead-arm trackers (h/t JD Sussman):

03/17/2009 Scottsdale     93.4 mph
09/09/2009 San Francisco  88.7
09/19/2009 Los Angeles    91.8
09/22/2009 Phoenix        90.6
10/03/2009 San Diego      91.6
03/03/2010 Peoria, AZ     89.3

The Giants will be in Peoria two more times and Surprise twice (site of the other PITCHf/x installation) by March 15, with a split-squad pair at each park on the 15th. Hopefully we’ll catch some more data on Bumgarner. Until then, the worriers can worry.


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SharksRog
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SharksRog
According to Giants beat writer Andrew Baggarly, Mad Bum was hitting 86-89 on the scouts’ guns today. Not bad for this early in the spring, although Tim Lincecum was said to be in the 91-93 range. Bumgarner said he lost the velocity by throwing too much between starts in the minors.  He said that when he was called up in September, he was surprised a how little the Giants’ starters threw between starts. Will Madison regain his lost velocity?  I don’t think today’s outing provided great hope, but it is still quite early.  And Mad Bum did get all but… Read more »
Harry Pavlidis
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Harry Pavlidis

Lincecum was 90-93, Bumgarner 88-91 today. Interesting that the scout’s gun agrees on Lincecum, but not Bumgarner (all his off-speed stuff was 82 and below).

obsessivegiantscompulsive
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obsessivegiantscompulsive
Here is some detailed news from Chris Haft, the giants.com reporter: “Bumgarner’s fastball was clocked in the 89-90 mph range, a tad slower than his best velocity readings. Then again, pitching coach Dave Righetti advised him not to overthrow. “He said, ‘You’re not going to make the team on the first day,’ and that makes a lot of sense,” said Bumgarner, who’s competing for the fifth starter’s spot.” http://chrishaft.mlblogs.com/archives/2010/03/burriss_hurts_foot_huff_starts.html And if his average was 89 (noted in PITCHf/x stats in article), then wouldn’t the range be more like 87-91? I think it deserves to be monitored, but it’s too early… Read more »
Harry Pavlidis
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Harry Pavlidis

@obsessivegiantscompulsive I’d guess Haft is talking top velocity, and the value I use is adjusted to five feet further away from the plate, so my numbers will be just a touch faster.

@Sharksrog I’m beginning to wonder if he throws a slider and a curveball. His arm slot makes the curve work 2-to-8 but he also has something more slider-ish. I need to look through all his games again.

Harry Pavlidis
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Harry Pavlidis

Here are the FB speeds for Bumgarner’s appearance in Peoria. One may have been a two-seam fastball, but it didn’t deflect much more than some of his four-seams.

89.7
90.0
90.6
90.0
90.4
89.3
90.2
88.4
89.9
88.6
89.8
89.4
89.4
88.5
89.2
88.4
88.5
88.6
88.6
89.2

Kampfer
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Kampfer

This early in the year, his velocity is pretty impressive. Looks like a starter who can throw 92 in the season.

SharksRog
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SharksRog

Any time, Norman.

Yeti Monster
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Yeti Monster

I was lucky enough to see some of MadBum’s starts in SJ and his first start in SF last year.  His breaking pitch seemed slurvy to me, partially due to arm slot.

Also, per SharksRog’s comment, I’d rather Bomber’s strike outs be of the swinging variety rather than the looking.

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