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This site utilizes the MLB analytics platform powered by TruMedia Networks

Tuesday
Apr122011

Vernon Wells's Wheelhouse

Vernon Wells starts the 2011 season mired in a horrible slump.  His 4 for 44 with a double and two walks resulted in a number of squandered RBI opportunities for the Angels.  The slump may be less what Vernon is doing wrong than what the opposing pitchers are doing right.

During the previous three seasons, Wells's wheelhouse, the area where he generated the most power sat in the middle of the plate in.

Vernon Wells home runs, 2008-2010.Note the vertical reference line marking the border where the bulk of Vernon's home runs begin.  This season, pitchers have been very good at avoiding that area:

Vernon Wells, all pitches, 2011, through April 11.The majority of pitches are to the outside part of the plate avoiding Vernon's home run zone.  In the past, Wells did a good job picking up doubles and singles in those areas, so his problems are more than just good pitching.  As long as Vernon doesn't hit those pitches on the outside part of the plate, however, there's no reason to come back inside.

Tuesday
Apr122011

InDepth Spotlight: Brad Penny vs. Nelson Cruz

(Click to enlarge)

The Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers square off this afternoon.  Brad Penny will have his hands full with a dangerous Rangers lineup.  Keep an eye on the Penny and Nelson Cruz matchup.  The above graphic shows all data dating back to 2008.  Cruz gets a lot of big hits up in the zone, and Penny tends to give up more hits there.

It will be interesting to see if Penny tries to come in on Cruz at all.  He's been fairly successful hitting that low inside corner against right-handed batters, holding them to a .136 batting average and .227 slugging percentage since 2008.  However, Cruz has done a lot of damage on pitches down and in from righties over that same period, producing a .649 SLG% and a 10.5% home run rate.

Will Penny challenge him?

Monday
Apr112011

InDepth Recap: Jered Weaver's 15K Day

Jered Weaver set a career high yesterday by striking out 15 batters in 7 2/3 innings.  Here's where he was putting his pitches versus the Jays:

Jered Weaver vs. Toronto Blue Jays (4/10/11)
(Click to enlarge)

It helped that Jered only had to face 6 left-handed batters all game.  He was able to hit that outside edge against them and yielded one hit, an infield single to Travis Snider.  

Coming into the game, batters made contact on 76.2 percent of Weaver's pitches.  Yesterday, the Blue Jays only made contact on 51.9 percent.  He had them off balance all game, recording 6 strike outs on fastballs, 6 on sliders, 2 on curveballs, and 1 on a changeup. 

Weaver's off-speed pitches were filthy yesteday.  Jays' hitters posted a miniscule 20.0 percent contact rate on the 35 sliders thrown by Jered, compared to the 71.2 percent contact rate batters have produced on his slider since 2008. 

PitchFX data indicates that since 2008, Weaver's slider tends to cross the plate with 16.8 feet per second of downward velocity.  Yesterday, it averaged 17.4 ft/s of downward movement.  He also had a BrkZ average of .9 on his slider entering the game.  Against the Jays yesterday it came in at -.4.  He was simply getting much more movement on the pitch, resulting in a lot of whiffs from opposing batters.