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Entries in Torono Blue Jays (3)

Friday
May112012

Best Mistake Hitters since 2010

Highest HR% on Mistake Pitches since 2010
PlayerPPAAVGSLUGK%HR%
Jose Bautista474183.396.9566.6%16.5%
David Ortiz383176.405.9714.5%15.0%
Matt Joyce25097.389.95811.3%14.7%
Shelley Duncan20475.387.89321.3%14.7%
Jim Thome21483.402.92716.9%14.6%
Russell Branyan17262.306.80619.4%14.5%
Matt Kemp508185.379.8799.7%13.7%
Pedro Alvarez21482.415.91512.2%13.4%
Mike Stanton293116.421.95610.3%13.2%
Pat Burrell24679.408.92111.4%13.2%
Josh Hamilton252124.369.8208.9%13.1%
Brennan Boesch276129.414.8757.0%12.5%
Ryan Braun458178.434.9146.7%12.0%
Brian McCann301109.367.78911.9%11.9%
Carlos Pena361139.296.74112.2%11.9%
Jorge Posada237101.257.64416.8%11.9%
Adam LaRoche24293.376.8179.7%11.8%
Joey Votto420165.466.9759.7%11.7%
Mark Reynolds459170.293.73117.6%11.4%
Carlos Quentin303109.286.7057.3%11.4%
Prince Fielder368159.365.7556.3%11.3%
Albert Pujols407162.379.8144.3%11.2%
Curtis Granderson411110.336.7763.6%11.2%
Kelly Johnson412153.329.7639.2%11.2%

Make a mistake to any of these hitters, and you're bound to pay for it. The above list includes only pitches that crossed the center of the strike zone since 2010. It's no surprise that Jose Bautista has a high HR% on mistake pitches; same for David Ortiz, Matt Kemp and a bunch of others.

I'm somewhat surprised to see Matt Joyce as #3 on the list. Of the 36 home runs he's hit since the start of 2010, 14 have come on pitches right in the center of the strike zone. Eight of those HRs came in 2011 when he hit 19 total long balls.

Nick Swisher has the most hits on mistake pitches with 80, while teammate Derek Jeter's 79 hits has him tied for second with Michael Young.

Mark Reynolds, #20 on the list, also has 30 strike outs on pitches over the middle of the plate since 2010. That's second only to Adam Dunn with 33.

Thursday
May102012

Vladimir Guerrero Signs with Toronto

Vladimir Guerrero may be headed back to Canada, the place where his career started.  The powerful right-handed hitter has signed a minor league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Blue Jays could be hoping that Vlad starts at DH against lefties, moving hot hitter Edwin Encarnacion to first base.  However, last season with Baltimore showed that Vlad may have lost some punch against southpaws.

Click image to enlargeGuerrero batted .288 in 161 plate appearances versus lefties last season, however he hit just two home runs.  His slugging percentage against LHP was down from .536 in 2010 to .386 in 2011.

It's probably not likely that Vlad will be an everyday player for the Jays, but his numbers versus LHP are cause for concern.  Unless he shows that he can still hit for power again, he may not be much of an upgrade for the Jays in the long run, even with Adam Lind struggling.

Friday
May042012

Brandon Morrow's Slider

With a 2.38 ERA and .912 WHIP, Brandon Morrow seems to be off to a great start for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012.  However, his 4.33 FIP may indicate he's in line for some regression soon.

What's interesting about Morrow's season so far is that he's been recording the majority of his outs on sliders, while his fastball has been getting hit fairly hard.  Through his first six starts, Morrow's fastball has a .397 wOBA against, and his .681 slugging percentage against is third worst in baseball. All seven of the home runs yielded by Morrow have come off the fastball, as well as eight of ten doubles.

Click image to enlargeBy contrast, Morrow's slider has just a .107 wOBA against.  Batters are only making contact on 60.5% of their swings on his slider, compared to 91.3% on his fastball.

Morrow's slider is hitting the strike zone 41.4% of the time.  Batters are chasing his slider out of the zone 39.0% of the time; eventually, they'll lay off the pitch more and sit on the fastball, which could precipitate that regression.