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« Albert Pujols' Slow Start | Main | Hamilton Comes Out Swinging in Walk Year »
Monday
Apr232012

Is Yu Getting Squeezed?

While Yu Darvish sports a 2-0 record and a 3.57 ERA in his first three MLB starts, his control has left something to be desired. The 25-year-old righty, formerly of the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, has walked nearly as many batters (13) as he has whiffed (14) in 17.2 innings pitched. Your first inclination might be to think that Darvish has been a Dice-K-like nibbler, preferring to throw pitches out of the strike zone and relying upon hitters to chase. That hasn't really been the case, though. Rather, Darvish appears to have gotten some tough calls from ups so far.

Despite his high walk total, Darvish's percentage of pitches thrown in the strike zone (52) is actually well above the 48 percent average for AL starting pitchers in 2012. But when it comes to getting called strikes on pitches taken in the strike zone, Darvish lags behind. Take a look at his called strike rate on in-zone pitches taken, and then the AL average for starters:

Darvish's called strike rate on pitches taken in the strike zone, 2012Average called strike rate on in-zone pitches taken for AL SP, 2012

Overall, AL starters have a called strike rate of 78% on pitches taken in the strike zone. Darvish, however, has a called strike rate of just under 67% in such situations. That's dead last among AL starters who have faced at least 40 batters:

Called strike rate on in-zone pitches taken by batters, 2012

PitcherPAClStk%
Dan Haren 68 90.2%
James Shields 74 89.5%
Jeremy Hellickson 52 86.7%
Brandon McCarthy 80 84.2%
Matt Moore 56 82.2%
Jason Vargas 48 81.8%
Ivan Nova 56 81.4%
Hiroki Kuroda 56 80.4%
Brandon Morrow 51 80.4%
C. J. Wilson 52 79.4%
CC Sabathia 61 79.3%
Tommy Hunter 52 79.2%
Matt Harrison 52 79.1%
Francisco Liriano 48 78.9%
Felix Hernandez 48 78.8%
Bartolo Colon 52 78.6%
Jered Weaver 58 78.3%
Ricky Romero 67 77.6%
John Danks 77 77.0%
Colby Lewis 66 76.7%
Derek Holland 57 76.4%
Justin Verlander 71 76.1%
Carl Pavano 66 75.8%
Blake Beavan 52 75.5%
Jake Arrieta 68 71.9%
Neftali Feliz 56 71.7%
Henderson Alvarez 55 68.8%
Justin Masterson 62 67.9%
Ervin Santana 63 67.9%
Yu Darvish 58 66.7%

 

The umps' skinny strike zone and a low chase rate by batters when Darvish has thrown a pitch out of the zone (22 percent, compared to the 28% average) have led to Yu's control woes. Yu has to hope he stops getting squeezed so much starting on Tuesday against the Yankees.

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    [...]Is Yu Getting Squeezed? - Baseball Analytics Blog - MLB Baseball Analytics[...]

Reader Comments (2)

Some of this may have to do with Mike Napoli being the catcher for two of his starts. Not exactly a good framing catcher: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15093

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Interesting, how about Orioles Wei-Yin Chen's result? He faces batter 77 times and also AL Starters...

April 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEdgar
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