Posted by: Peter | May 9, 2008

Slowey Train Coming

Kevin Slowey made his return yesterday, and the results were uneven. I didn’t watch the game, but apparently he was doing OK until the fifth inning.

It’s crucial that Slowey contribute quality innings, especially with Pat Neshek injured. We’ll have to wait and see how things go for him.

In the meantime, here’s a chart I whipped up, comparing yesterday’s start to the one Slowey made in April. I don’t have any particular point to make with these. This isn’t an analytical post (unlike the Gomez post). This is more along the lines of, “I figured out how to get all this neat pitch data, so why not share it with the world!”

On the left you see Slowey’s location, with pitches coded according to pitch type and inning. This just use’s MLB’s somewhat inaccurate pitch classifications. On the right is a plot of pitch type using speed and “spin”, the latter calculated according to Fast & Nathan’s equation (see here for more.) I coded these pitches by their MLB classifications, and by the outcome of the pitch (ball, strike, or in play).

The graph isn’t really readable this small, so click on it to get the full size version. From what I can ascertain, Slowey is supposed to throw a fastball, a slider, a curveball and a changeup. I think I can pick them all out on the the speed/spin graph–the curveball on the lower left, the changeup on the upper left, the fastball on the upper right and the slider just down and to the left of the fastball. Or maybe that’s just a different kind of fastball, I don’t know. Either way, it looks like his pitches were a little less distinct this time than in his first start. You can also see that he hung a bunch of curveballs in the fifth, generally not a recipe for success. Not a lot to conclude from this, but it will be interesting to see what his next few starts look like


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