During the offseason, we took a look at Houston Astros' starter Brett Myers and his success in 2010. First, his success against right handed batters jumped tremendously. And second, one of the major contributing factors to this success was how he located his pitches, as well as his improved slider. Myers was keeping the ball away from the middle of the zone. Meanwhile, batters were hitting nearly one hundred points lower against his slider in 2010 compared to a year earlier.
This season, however, many of the reasons for Brett Myers great 2011 season have faded. Let's take his pitch location to start. Compare his pitch location from 2010 to his current location:
Myers' is back to throwing to the middle of the zone again. Opposing RHB aren't hitting Myers much better than last season. Their weighted on base average is basically the same as it was for the 2010 season. However, lefties are crushing Myers this season. Opposing LHB have a wOBA 87 points higher than last season. They have hit 10 home runs against him already; last season lefties hit all of 8 against Myers.
And how about that slider? Overall, opposing batters have a .307 wOBA on the pitch this season, compared to .264 from last. The majority of the damage has come against lefties, who hold a .425 wOBA versus his slider, up from .298 in 2010.
Lastly, Myers has had a rough time pitching at Minute Maid Park this year. Batters are hitting .270/.332/.540 against him at home compared to .259/.309/.391 on the road. As evident by the jump in slugging percentage, Myers has yielded more home runs at home; his 6.9% home run rate at home is nearly double that on the road.
Minute Maid Park ranks fairly high this season on the HR friendly park list. However, Myers' did fairly well at home last season, as we noted in a previous post. His location issues are probably more to blame for his troubles this season. Unless he can begin to locate like he did in 2010, he'll likely continue to struggle.