Search Archives
Follow Us

Featured Sponsors

Mailing List
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust
Twitter Feeds

This site utilizes the MLB analytics platform powered by TruMedia Networks

Entries in Tampa Bay Rays (46)


Hellickson's Gem

Jeremy Hellickson held the Yankees to just three hits in his first start of 2012, nearly throwing a complete game in the process.

Jeremy Hellickson vs. New York Yankees (4/8/2012)In 2011, Hellickson threw just 37 cutters, 1.3% of his total pitches. Yesterday afternoon, the young righty threw 20 cutters out of his 118 total pitches.

Jeremy Hellickson's Cutter vs. New York Yankees (4/8/2012)Most of the cutters on the left side of the graphic were to lefty batters. Hellickson affectively got the pitch in on Yankee lefties resulting in no hits and just one walk. While it's too early and too small a sample size to judge whether his cutter will continue to work for him, it's a good sign for the Rays if their young starter has mastered another pitch.


A-Rod vs. Shields

MLB Offense from March 30, 2011 - April 14, 2011 (click to enlarge)

Through the first two weeks of the 2011 season, A-Rod was mashing. He faces a tough pitcher today in James Shields. Shields' curve has become one of his most effective pitches; opposing batters have a swing-and-miss rate of 30.8% against it since the start of 2011.

Rodriguez has struggled against curveballs, posting a .284 wOBA on the pitch in 2011. If Shields can get ahead of A-Rod in the count, the Yankees third baseman should see a heavy dose of them.


Where Are Wade Davis' K's?

Not long ago, the Tampa Bay Rays hoped that Wade Davis would join David Price and James Shields atop the club's loaded starting rotation. A 6-foot-5 righty right out of central casting, Davis whiffed nearly a batter per inning in the minors and ranked as a Baseball America top 35 prospect three times. Yet, nearly 400 innings into his MLB career, Davis has the 15th-lowest K rate (5.9 per nine) and the tenth-worst ERA+ (92) among AL starters since 2009. Rays manager Joe Maddon just named Jeff Niemann the team's fifth starter, banishing Davis to the bullpen for the time being.

Davis' punch out rate has plummeted from 8.9 per nine during six starts with the Rays in '09 to 6.1 per nine in '10 and just 5.1 per nine this past year. His miss rate and overall performance with two strikes has taken a beating:

Wade Davis with two strikes, 2009-11

2009 25.2 .132 .185 .171
2010 17.9 .196 .275 .294
2011 14.2 .205 .279 .300
AVG for AL SP 20.6 .186 .254 .283


The 26-year-old's pitch selection with two strikes hasn't changed much over the past three years -- he throws fastballs about 60% of the time, throws sliders 20-25%, curves about 15% and very rarely goes to his changeup. But his fastball miss rate with the batter's back against the wall has gone from 22.7% in 2009 to 10.4% in 2011.

So, why has his miss rate with that pitch been more than cut in half? Davis has progressively thrown more fastballs inside with two strikes against batters on both sides of the plate, with little success. He threw a two-strike fastball inside to lefties about 25% in 2009-10 and 35% in 2011. Against righties, he went inside 28% in '09, 33% in '10 and 41% in '11. Now, let's look at hitters' contact rate by location vs. Davis' two-strike fastballs, starting with lefty batters:

Lefties in 2009


Lefties in 2010


Lefties in 2011


With two strikes, lefties' miss rate against Davis' inside fastballs has nosedived from 38% in '09 to nine percent in '11. They're swinging at more inside fastballs, too (50% in '09, 70% in '11). Now, take a look at righties' contact rate by location vs. Davis' two-strike fastballs:

Righties in 2009


Righties in 2010


Righties in 2011


Righty hitters' miss rate against two-strike fastballs inside hasn't seen as dramatic a drop-off, but it has gone from 20% in '09 to 18% this past year. Their swing rate has gone from 46% to 62%.

Considering that Davis is going inside so often and hitters are responding with more swings and contact, you could argue that he's becoming too predictable with his two-strike fastball location. To get opponents off those inside fastballs and get his K rate out of Paul Wilson/Mark Hendrickson territory, Davis might might want to pepper the outside corner or mix in his breaking stuff more often.


Page 1 ... 5 6 7 8 9 ... 16 Next 3 Entries »