Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Batters Will Let You Know

Pitching coach and Hustler aficionado Steve McCatty on Garrett Mock after the pitcher's latest bed-crapping:

"Other than Strasburg," pitching coach Steve McCatty said, "he probably has the best overall stuff of anybody here."


For his major-league career, he's allowing a .288/ .370/ .447 line. That is to say, the average batter is like Ryan Zimmerman with about 25 more walks.

His pitches may move and dance around occasionally, but that doesn't mean he has good stuff.

If he had good stuff, teams wouldn't be slugging .447 off him. If he had good stuff, he wouldn't give up so many liners.

The other team will let us know whether his stuff is good or not. Here's a hint: it's probably not.

Hits allowed isn't a particularly useful stat for any number of reasons, but he's allowed 155 hits in his 135 major-league innings. In the minors, he was just as hittable.

2005: 202 hits in 174 innings.
2006: 173 in 147

He improved that in his last two years in Triple-A, but pitchers with great stuff don't get hit that hard in the low minors. They just don't.

When you combine that with his decent K rate at those levels, what that means is that when the batters DID put the bat on the ball, he was getting hit hard. That's carried, more or less, all the way up.

What I'd assume was happening then is that his stuff carried him. While it's not major-league caliber, it does sometimes dance and move a lot. He could get Ks from the kids on some of those movements, but far too often he'd hang a pitch, leaving it over the plate. If his majors peformance is similar, it's his fastball that gets nailed. He could fool them with junk off the zone, but when he came in with the heat, BAM.

So you've got a pitcher with a mediocre fastball trying to get batters out. No matter how good those secondary pitches are, if they know they can wait it out for one of those slow-moving meatballs, what's it matter? BAM. BAM. BAM. Ballgame.

I'd suspect. (Hey, it's the internet, lemme go check!) Hey, I was right. The fangraphs pitch value charts show that his fastball is terrible. Last year, he gave up 18 more runs on his fastball than the average pitcher.

So where's the evidence that his stuff is second on the team to Strasburg's? I don't see it with my eyes. And the numbers certainly don't show it.

Although given what we've seen from Marquis and Lannan, maybe being second on the team in stuff is sort of a tallest midget compliment?


  • Brilliant - what a more pungent way of saying "he soiled himself." I am assuming the middle of the rotation will soon be Strasburg, Olson, and Wang?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/10/2010 10:30 AM  

  • Garrett Mock: IQ roughly the same as tonight's low temperature. If McCatty really believes this horsefellows, he should be pink-slipped today along with that dippy group sales lady who pimped herself out to those Philadelphia morons on opening day for a couple of shekels.

    By Anonymous Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_for_Me, at 4/10/2010 10:09 PM  

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