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Entries in Josh Johnson (5)

Friday
Apr222011

Marlins' Josh Johnson: No Need for Sinkers

Back in spring training, there was talk coming out of Marlins camp that pitcher Josh Johnson(FLA) was tinkering with a sinker.  PitchFX has yet to track any sinkers from Josh so far this season.  However, he's off to a tremendous start with a 3-0 record in 4 starts, and a 1.00 ERA and 0.593 WHIP.  Part of his great start could be due to his ability to keep his pitches down consistently.

Josh Johnson Pitch Location
(Click to enlarge)

Josh has successfully managed to locate his pitches away to both lefties and righties so far this season.  Against RHB especially, he's sniped that down and away zone very efficiently.  In 36 plate appearances, opposing right-handed batters have hit only .086 versus Johnson with a 36.1% strike out rate and a 2.8% walk rate.  Against 61 sliders so far, opposing righties have not managed a single hit.

For now, adding a sinker doesn't seem necessary for Josh Johnson.

Monday
Mar212011

Josh Johnson adds a sinker?

Josh Johnson has apparently been working on a sinker this Spring Training.  He claims he picked it up while playing catch with fellow Marlins starter Chris Volstad.

Adding a sinker to his arsenal could prove to be even more deadly for opposing hitters this season.  Johnson went 11-6 with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, throwing a fastball averaging 94.7 MPH, a slider, and a changeup. 

Josh Johnson 2010
AVGOBPSLUGwOBABABIPK%BB%HR%
Fastball.231.295.336.280.30425.6%8.2%1.0%
Change Up.273.293.330.277.34320.7%3.3%0.0%
Slider.210.249.307.246.26825.8%3.6%1.5%
Totals.229.282.325.269.29825.0%6.5%1.0%

 

Volstad is not a bad guy to learn a sinker from, as his has some of the best downward movement in the game. Last year, his sinker ranked 7th in all of baseball in movement with an average of 14.8 feet per second of downward velocity. However, he got into trouble leaving his sinker up in the zone too often, and batters hit .283 and slugged .442 on it.



It remains to be seen if Josh Johnson will effectively utilize the sinker this season. He's been able to induce some groundballs with it in limited use this spring, but until the real games begin, there's no way of knowing how confident he'll be throwing it. With men on base and less than 2 outs, a sinker can be a pitcher's best friend. If Johnson can master the pitch, he'll have yet another weapon to keep batters off their game.

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