Search Archives
Follow Us

Featured Sponsors


Mailing List
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust
Twitter Feeds
« How many 30+ homer hitters will we have this season? | Main | Ellsbury's Pull Power Disappears »
Saturday
Sep082012

Maholm's Breaking Stuff Getting Chases, Ks in Atlanta

The Braves pushed hard to pick up Ryan Dempster in July, but the now-Texas Ranger's decision to veto a trade to Atlanta has actually worked out splendidly. Atlanta homed in on another available Cubs starter, Paul Maholm, and the lefty has posted a 117 ERA+ in 44 innings pitched (Dempster has a 104 ERA+ with Texas). Maholm's breaking stuff is a big reason for his success: More chases and less contact against his curveball and slider has led to an uptick in strikeouts.

With Chicago, Maholm threw more of his curves and sliders in the strike zone (49%) than the average starting pitcher (46%):

Maholm's curveball and slider location with the Cubs

But as a Brave, he's tossing far fewer of his breaking pitches in the zone (just 36%):

Maholm's curveball and slider location with the Braves

Happily for Maholm, hitters have expanded their zones and gone after those off-the-plate breaking pitches. Maholm's curveballs and slider chase rate has jumped from 34% with the Cubs to 40% in Atlanta (32% average for starters):

Maholm's curveball and slider swing rate by pitch location with the Cubs 

 

Maholm's curveball and slider swing rate by pitch location with the Braves

They're coming up empty on many of those outside swings, too. Maholm's miss rate with his breaking stuff was 24% in Chicago, far below the 30% average for starters. In Atlanta, hiss miss rate is 39%:

Maholm's curveball and slider contact rate by pitch location with the Cubs

 

Maholm's curveball and slider contact rate by pitch location with the Braves

By using his curve and slider as chase pitches, Maholm has struck out 7.8 batters per nine innings pitched with his new club. He whiffed 6.1 per nine with Chicago, and his career K rate is just 5.7 per nine. We might have to revisit that whole "finesse lefty" tag if he keeps this up.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend