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Entries in New York Yankees (126)

Wednesday
Jun152011

Jorge Posada's Troubles vs. Lefties

From 2009-2010, Jorge Posada, of the Yankees, batted .273/.349/.485 vs. left-handed pitching.  The switch hitting catcher-turned-DH hit 16 doubles and 13 home runs from the right side of the plate, with a .361 wOBA, compared to a .370 wOBA vs. righties over the same period.  This season, he's hitting .088/.225/.088 vs. lefties in 40 plate appearances.  And while his K-rate vs. lefties from 2009-2010 was a fairly high 27.4%, that number has climbed to 32.5% in 2011, tenth worst in all of baseball.

Jorge Posada vs. LHP
(Click to enlarge)

The Yankees were certainly hoping for a much better start to the season from their DH. One thing that might portend better things to come for Jorge is his current BABIP which sits at .262, 46 points below his 2009-10 average. In fact, his 2011 BABIP vs. LHP is .143 compared to .345 from 2009-10. Posada has already seen a bit of a correction over the last month with a BABIP of .396 in 72 plate appearances. While he probably won't be able to sustain such a high average for the rest of the season, expect to see him hit closer to his career BABIP of .317 as the rest of his numbers continue to climb.

Tuesday
May312011

Bartolo Colon's Doughnut

Bartolo Colon of the Yankees pitched his first shutout since 2006 on Monday against the Athletics.  Colon allowed just four hits and did not walk a batter.  His kept his approach simple, throw his fastball and keep it away from batters.  Eighty six of his 103 pitches came in as fastballs, varying in speed between 89 and 94 miles per hour.  His location really did the trick, however:

Bartolo Colon, fastball pitch frequency, May 30, 2011.Colon did a great job of being around the middle of the plate without being in the middle of the plate.  His pitches form a delicious looking doughnut, the hole being right in the sweet spot for batters.  That hole is actually formed by his ability to keep the fastball away from both right and left handed batters.  Against lefties, he was able to make the fastball fade away:

Bartoto Colon, fastball movement against LHB, May 30, 2011.Against righties, the pitch came in straighter, but with a little movement away:

Bartolo Colon, fastball movement vs. RHB, May 30, 2011.So in fact, Bartolo threw two fastballs, with slightly different velocities and spin:

Bartolo Colon, fastball spin, May 30, 2011.One fastball, represented by the darker orange, is the classic overhand backspin pitch.  The lighter orange pitch looks like it's thrown at a slightly lower angle, and in some ways looks like a very fast change up.  With the mixing of location, speeds and spins, Colon kept the Athletics off balanced and pitched his best game in half a decade.

Thursday
May192011

Bartolo Colon's Heat Map: Yankees vs. Orioles 5/18


Bartolo Colon threw 87 pitches yesterday, and while he didn't get the win, he held the Orioles to 3 hits over 8 innings. He threw mostly fastballs (90.8%), a few sliders, and one changeup according to PitchFX data. His fastball averaged a -5.8 BrkX (horizontal movement from spin) reading and 8.5 BrkZ (vertical movement from spin) reading, both slightly better than league average. He yielded 10 ground balls, 5 line drives, and 4 fly balls, while striking out 7. And as you can see, he located his pitches extremely well, avoiding the middle of the plate while jamming lefties up and in. He also threw to the outside edge of the plate to righties and lefties, recording 5 of his strikeouts on pitches away, 4 of them looking.