From the category archives:


Thumbnail image for “Slow Starts” in the Leyland Era

“Slow Starts” in the Leyland Era

15.04.2013 14 comments

(the following was contributed by poster Jeff Molby) There’s been a lot of talk about “slow starts” and “choking down the stretch” during the Leyland years. With 7 years of data points available, I figured it’s time to see if there’s anything to it. There’s not. I didn’t bother to weight the numbers based on […]

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Charting Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA

06.03.2012 7 comments

Last week I wrote about Baseball Prospectus’ 2012 PECOTA projections.  There was some great feedback from everyone, including Lee’s line which suggested that PECOTA isn’t so much projection for a specific player, but rather a projection for a similar player based on that player’s past performance and comparables.  (Lee runs Tiger Tales and his Beyond […]

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Playing in the spray – Curtis Granderson

16.11.2009 25 comments

Curtis Granderson’s 2009 season has received plenty of scrutiny, and this was even before trade rumors crept up. His .249 batting average was the lowest of his career and it was a drag on his on base percentage and slugging percentage as well. We know batting average is volatile so did Granderson just suffer from some bad luck, or did something else change? Fortunately we have hit location data to help shed some light on these questions.

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Thumbnail image for Justin Verlander’s New Slider

Justin Verlander’s New Slider

09.05.2009 17 comments

Justin Verlander has turned in 3 remarkable outings in a row amassing 31 strike outs as hitters can’t catch up with his heater or their knees buckle with the curve. But very quietly Verlander has added a slider to his repertoire.

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What’s up with Verlander in the stretch?

26.04.2009 19 comments

Justin Verlander has gotten off to a rough start in 2009. People are starting to question his “ace-hood” and with an ERA of 9.00 after 4 starts it is probably justified. What makes his start so perplexing is that his “stuff” appears to be back. His fastball velocity is over 95mph and he’s fanning 10.7 batters per 9 innings. The numbers that really need a deeper examination though are those when runners are on base. Verlander is stranding only 39.6% of runners (a normal rate is 65-75%) and hitters post a 457 OBP with men on and only 296 with the bases empty. What’s up with that?

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Not pounding the zone

06.01.2009 1 comment

Way back in 2008 I started to run a series using pitch f/x data to look at strike throwing tendencies. Sadly this is the slowest moving “series” of posts ever. Nonetheless, it’s time for part 3 where we look at how teams do when they get strikes outside of the zone. For this exercise I’m […]

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Strike Throwing – Part 1 – Lots of Tables

27.10.2008 12 comments

The Tigers walked a lot of people last year. Along the way they threw a lot of pitches, and many seemed to be ill advised. The performance cost Chuck Hernandez his job, jettisoned in favor of an instructor whose students have gone on to gain some renown as strike throwing machines. Armed with a season’s […]

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Pitch f/x: Bonderman 4-3-08

03.04.2008 8 comments

From time to time this year (as time permits), I’ll delve in to’s pitch f/x data to analyze a starters outing. Tonight we look at Jeremy Bonderman’s start against the Kansas City Royals on April 3rd. Pitch Mix This season started classifying pitches. This seems pretty convenient, but from what I’ve seen so […]

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Do Bonderman’s pitches fool umpires?

21.03.2008 4 comments

An article at the Wall Street Journal delved into Jeremy Bonderman’s first inning struggles. Former pitching coach Bob Cluck wondered whether or not Bonderman’s struggles are attributable to umpires needing an inning to adjust to the movement on Bonderman’s pitches. The stats seem to support this theory. The last seven times Mr. Bonderman faced an […]

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Scouting Bonderman with pitch f/x

17.02.2008 12 comments

Jim Leyland has come out on several occasions and said that Jeremy Bonderman is one of the keys to any success the Tigers might enjoy in 2008. Bonderman’s second half swoon, which I attribute largely to his elbow pain that he finally fessed up to, clouded what was starting out to be a phenomenal season. An ERA of 8.50 over his last 9 starts, combined with the arm troubles meant that Bonderman finished with the highest ERA and lowest innings total since his rookie season. Like with Dontrelle Willis, we’ll delve into the pitch f/x data and see what we can find out about the veteran 25 year old pitcher.

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Scouting Dontrelle Willis

10.02.2008 12 comments

On Friday Lynn Henning wrote a detailed look at Dontrelle Willis with a heavy emphasis on scouting. I found the article fascinating from the stand point of getting a better understanding of Willis’s repertoire as well as the thought processes that went along with approving the deal for the lefty. He was after all coming off a pretty rough year. I also viewed it as a chance to dust off that pitch f/x database I’ve had sitting dormant and explore whether or not the reports meshed with what the system had reported.

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Trammell, grass, and the Hall of Fame

04.01.2008 25 comments

This year’s induction class for the Baseball Hall of Fame will be announced on Tuesday. And once again Alan Trammell will be on the outside looking in despite some compelling arguments that he should be in. I won’t make a case for him because quite frankly I’m fully aware of my bias. He was one […]

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