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Entries in Kris Medlen (4)

Wednesday
Feb262014

Mike Minor: President of the Andrelton Simmons Fan Club

The Atlanta Braves continue to follow the John Hart model of locking up pre-arbitration talent, inking Andrelton Simmons to a seven-year, $58 million contract extension last week. The 24-year-old Simmons must be thrilled with the deal, which makes him the most handsomely compensated domestic player in history with less than two years of major league service time. But those cheers you hear emanating from Atlanta's Disney World Resort spring training complex? It's Braves pitchers celebrating that fact that the dean of shortstop defense will have their backs through the 2020 season.

Simmons is absolute death to grounders hit deep into the hole. In 2013, Atlanta pitchers had a collective .103 Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP) when opponents hit a ground ball to the left-center portion of the infield. That was over 30 points lower than the next closest club, the Colorado Rockies. Since the advent of Pitch F/X, only the 2008 Rockies (.101) had a lower team BABIP on grounders hit to left-center.

Lowest team BABIP on ground balls hit to left-center, 2013

 

Pretty much all Braves hurlers got a boost from Simmons' mound-worthy arm and exquisite range (the highest BABIP on grounders hit to left-center belonged to Tim Hudson, at .167), but Mike Minor must be giddy that his shortstop is locked up. The lefty enjoyed a .054 BABIP on grounders hit to left-center, lowest among all MLB pitchers who put at least 50 balls in play to that location on the diamond. The since-departed Paul Maholm (.084 BABIP) owes Simmons a debt of gratitude, while Kris Medlen (.154 BABIP) and fellow new millionaire Julio Teheran (.154) will benefit from pitching in front of this generation's Ozzie Smith for years to come.

Saturday
Jun082013

One and D'oh!

Al Michaels has always been one of my favorite announcers, and while many of you may think of him as a football announcer or asking the immortal question, "Do you believe in miracles?", I always loved his work in baseball.

Like many announcers, the Brooklyn-born Michaels has certain tells in their speech as to their background. With Michaels, I would always wait for the first pitch of an at bat to a batter to hear Michaels channel his inner not-yet-created Homer Simpson state, "The count is one and d'oh."

Here's a look at that first pitch ball.

The 1-0 pitch

Pitchers don't want to go 1-0. It's better than giving a hit on 0-0, but that's it. Everything else is worse. You fall behind and immediately give an advantage to the batter as a result.

The difference between 0-1 and 1-0

SplitPAABRH2B3BHRBAOBPSLGOPSTB
1-0 Count 4589 4439 751 1444 308 37 188 .325 .326 .538 .864 2390
0-1 Count 6106 5867 808 1836 347 29 166 .313 .320 .467 .787 2739
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/8/2013.

Who are the best 1-0 pitchers?

There are 10 pitchers who have held batters to under a .200 batting average against on 1-0 pitches.

Doug Fister has been incredible only allowing one hit, an infield single to Mark DeRosa on 4/11 in the midst of a Tigers blowout of the Jays.

Clay Buchholz has been equally effective only allowing a Vernon Wells single in a Red Sox victory over the Yankees on 4/3.

The Tribe's Zach McAllister has permitted just two hits on the 1-0 count. 

 

Name

G

PA

AVG

OBP

SLUG

OPS

1

Doug  Fister  (DET)

12

21

0.053

0.143

0.053

0.195

2

Clay Buchholz (BOS)

11

12

0.083

0.083

0.083

0.167

3

Zach McAllister (CLE)

11

21

0.100

0.143

0.100

0.243

4

A.J. Griffin (OAK)

12

17

0.118

0.118

0.118

0.235

5

Travis Wood (CHC)

12

20

0.150

0.150

0.200

0.350

6

C.J. Wilson (LAA)

12

18

0.176

0.222

0.353

0.575

7

Nick Tepesch (TEX)

11

17

0.176

0.176

0.529

0.706

8

Jon Niese (NYM)

11

16

0.188

0.188

0.313

0.500

9

Lance Lynn (STL)

12

17

0.188

0.188

0.250

0.438

10

Jason Hammel (BAL)

13

22

0.190

0.182

0.286

0.468

 

The pitchers who struggle on 1-0

There are 24 pitchers who have a .400+ batting average against them on 1-0 counts. 

These are the seven worst.

 

 

G

PA

AVG

OBP

SLUG

OPS

1

Kris Medlen (ATL)

12

13

0.667

0.667

1.000

1.667

2

Dillon Gee (NYM)

12

26

0.654

0.654

0.962

1.615

3

Ubaldo Jimenez (CLE)

12

15

0.571

0.533

0.714

1.248

4

Ryan Dempster (BOS)

12

12

0.545

0.500

1.455

1.955

5

Marco Estrada (MIL)

12

22

0.545

0.545

1.091

1.636

6

Adam Wainwright (STL)

13

30

0.483

0.483

0.621

1.103

7

R.A. Dickey (TOR)

13

26

0.480

0.462

0.960

1.422

Nine to Know

  1. R.A. Dickey has thrown 166 1-0 pitches, Mark Buehrle 159, James Shields 148, constituting the three most 1-0 counts on batters.
  2. R.A. Dickey has thrown 104 1-0 strikes, Mark Buehrle 107, and Jon Lester 100
  3. Kevin Correia has had 39 1-0 plate appearances.
  4. Dillon Gee has has surrendered 17 1-0 hits.
  5. Marco Estrada and Kevin Correia have each allowed four 1-0 homers.
  6. Cliff Lee has produced 17 foul balls 1-0 counts.
  7. After 1-0, Jordan Zimmermann has gone 1-1 51 times, the most in the majors.
  8. After 1-0, R.A. Dickey and Edinson Volquez have gone 2-0 62 times, the most in the majors
  9. After 1-0, Jason Marquis has walked the batter 29 times, Tim Lincecum, Dickey, and Lucas Harrell 28 times each, the most in the majors.

There you go, my "one and d'oh" salute to the great Al Michaels.

Thursday
Oct042012

NL Wild Card K-Factor: Kris Medlen

The Atlanta Braves have managed to do what this year's Boston Red Sox team could not; they erased their failure to clinch the NL Wild Card in 2011 by making a strong run into the playoffs. They now have a one game, loser goes home playoff against the same team that knocked them out of the running last September: the St. Louis Cardinals. You can bet that Atlanta will be gunning for some retribution on Friday as they take the field in front of their home fans looking to take down the defending champs.

St. Louis sends RHP Kyle Lohse to the mound in the midst of a career season for the veteran starter. On the other side, Atlanta will throw young phenom Kris Medlen. Fresh off Tommy John's Surgery, Medlen was relegated to bullpen duty to start the season, being used in mid to high-leverage situations in a bullpen that featured both young fireballers lefty setup man Johnny Venters and right-handed closer Craig Kimbrel. 

On July 31st, Medlen was moved to the rotation, and every fifth game since then, the Braves have won a game. In those twelve starts, Medlen broke a long standing record winning each of the past 23 games he started. The major factor in this game is going to be if the young gun can stand the heat of the post season and continue posting zeroes on the scoreboard. Let's take a look at what Medlen has done since his first start of the season.

Just looking at his overall stat line is a quite a marvel:

12 starts, 0.97 ERA, .801 WHIP, .191 AVG against, .218 OBP, .265 SLG, .483 OPS, 9.04 K/9, 84 K to only 10 BB

Medlen's AVG against since becoming a starter July 31st

Since his first start, Medlen has given up less total bases than he has struck men out (79 TB). His strikeout pitch has been the fastball, reaching back for a little extra 48% of the time. His preferred location: down and away from right handers, and inside on left handers. 

St. Louis hitters have had only 22 total PAs versus Medlen this year, making him a mystery to most of their offense. The key matchup for Medlen will be versus Matt Holliday, whom he has already struck out once this year on a changeup. So far this season, Holliday has victimized offspeed pitches down and in averaging .333 and hitting 7 extra base hits.

Holliday versus Down and In Offspeed

If Kris Medlen can continue to control the plate with all three of his pitches then the Braves can look forward to increasing the win streak to 24.