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« Dunn's Weakness | Main | Finding Consistency »
Tuesday
Mar012011

Ubaldo Jimenez: What Went Wrong? (Part 2)

We previously looked at the change in location of Ubaldo's fastball in the second half of the 2010 season. Judging from only a slight increase in opponents' offense, it seemed as though an increase in elevation was not a problem for him. However, it's important to look at his splits since a pitcher will locate pitches differently for left-handed and right-handed batters.

Ubaldo's fastball was nearly just as effective against LHB in the second half. In fact, he saw a .014 drop in opponents' wOBA. This may have been a result of keeping the pitch away more:

Ubaldo Jimenez Fastballs to LHB (click to enlarge)

Jimenez's biggest problems in the second half came against righties. Check out the change in his location of his fastball:

Ubaldo Jimenez Fastballs to RHB (click to enlarge)

He located his fastball down and over the middle of the plate early on, something he got away with given the movement and velocity he gets on the pitch. However, in the second half he left the ball up more to RHB. This resulted in no HRs, but more hits overall, as well as more walks. While Jimenez also throws a changeup, curveball and splitter, I'm focusing on his fastball and slider since he relies on these pitches far more. However, the totals line below includes all pitches thrown in 2010.

Ubaldo Jimenez vs. RHB, April 5 - July 12
PAAVGOBPSLUGwOBAK%HR%BABIP
Totals232.190.259.265.24222.0%1.4%.234
Fastball151.199.272.272.25114.6%1.5%.221
Slider35.194.286.258.25734.3%0.0%.316

Ubaldo Jimenez vs. RHB, July 19 - October 2
PAAVGOBPSLUGwOBAK%HR%BABIP
Totals190.282.379.393.34919.5%1.2%.352
Fastball117.265.376.337.33216.2%0.0%.325
Slider36.313.389.406.35919.4%3.1%.375

Both his fastball and slider were hit harder in the second half. As noted in the previous post, he was getting more strikeouts on his fastball. However, this came at the expense of a 4.7% increase in walks overall. His BABIP also saw a large jump on both his primary pitches. He may have been a little lucky in the first half, or unlucky in the second (or both - his BABIP on fastballs/sliders is .279 since 2008). His LD% increased about 2% on fastballs and sliders, but this isn't significant enough to draw any conclusions.

Only 71 plate appearances is a very thin sample size to judge his slider, however that only accounts for plate appearances decided on the pitch. To get a more accurate read, we'll have to take a look at his expected numbers for the pitch, which we'll do in the next post.

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