Archive for the ‘CC Sabathia’ Category

MLB: Chicago Cubs at New York Yankees

The Yankees shut out the Chicago Cubs Tuesday behind a dominant pitching performance. Check that: the Yankees shutout the Cubs twice on Tuesday behind two dominant pitching performances. Yankees starters combined for 13 strikeouts and two walks over 14 innings behind a nice start from Michael Pineda and an incredible outing from Masahiro Tanaka.

If faced with the prospect of digging in against pitchers of this calibre in a doubleheader, former Cubs great Ernie Banks might not be so enthusiastic about playing twice in one day.

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MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Washington Nationals

Spring Training is not a time for measuring results. For pitchers especially, Spring Training is a living laboratory for them to better shape their body and mind for the upcoming season grind.

For some hurlers, this means slowly building arm strength up to regular season levels. Pass a pitch count milestone each time out en route to regular season readiness. For others, spring activities are meant for tinkering. For searching for feel and something new. A time for playing around and getting a new wrinkle that will make them better pitchers during the regular season.

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Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees

The latest edition of My Approach gets into the head of one of the most patient and prolific sluggers in the game, Jose Bautista.

As he did last season, Jose is off to a bit of a slow start in 2013. While he isn’t putting up the batting average he’d like, Jose remains a very productive hitter, still walking at an elite rate and hitting for power like very few batters can. His walk rate is fifth-best in the American League and his seven home runs place him among the league leaders.

During the Jays most recent home stand, Jose spoke to Getting Blanked about many aspects of preparation and research, where Bautista quotes numbers and describes, in as many words, the game theory of hitting in the big leagues. Plus a whole lot on his preparation against his nemesis, CC Sabathia.

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Boston Red Sox v Tampa Bay Rays

April is cold. We have rainouts and snowouts to prove it. Velocity and temperature are related. We have Mike Fast pointing to August as the velocity peak to prove it.

That said, April velocity loss is interesting to us. Velocity stabilizes very quickly, and the difference between April and August is on the order of a half mile per hour — some hurlers have lost more than that delta and aren’t getting it all back.

And now Bill Petti is adding two asterisks to April velocity loss that makes it even worse. Here they are:

Pitchers who are down at least 1 mph compared to April of the previous year will go on to finish the season down at least 1 mph about 38% of the time.

Pitchers that were down at least 1 mph in April had an arm injury rate of 11%. Compared to 4% for non-velocity decliners, that’s an increased likelihood of 2.6.

So, to recap: pitchers with April velocity loss are very likely to continue showing velocity that’s lower than they showed the year before, slightly likely to have the same or worse velocity loss all year, and slightly more likely to get injured. All of this sounds very relevant to fantasy owners.

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Division Series - Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees - Game Five

Pitchers are a necessary evil to most fantasy players. They get hurt more often than hitters, and they stay hurt longer. While it’s extremely rare to lose a hitter for the entire season, it happens all the time with pitchers. But we need them, so here we are.

The holy grail for fantasy, then, is being able to predict pitcher injury. Well, that factors in pretty well with the real-world success of the White Sox for example, but this is a Roto column, so there.

Tom Verducci had a theory — pitchers with big jumps in innings from year to year were more susceptible to injury. Turns out it’s not really true. Jeff Zimmerman and I showed a case for sliders and curveballs adding to injury risk, but the added risk is a) not true for everyone and b) incremental. Zimmerman found a similar effect for wild pitchers after Billy Beane mentioned it. These things all have a little bit of truth to them, but they aren’t enough of a rack to hang the hat of our fantasy hopes upon.

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Though he didn’t look like it last night, CC Sabathia is an ace. He’s a stud and a true #1 starter. There are very few of them in this world and, like pornography, you know one when you see one.

The idea of an “ace” is constantly kicked around by all fans: the most “casual” types wondering if their team’s Opening Day starter qualifies as a legitimate ace or the prospect types projecting and/or wishcasting on a low-A fireballer.

Who are the real aces in baseball right now? Recently Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus tweeted that you can name all the aces in baseball right now on two hands. Is it true? Below, a list of one man’s humble opinions in no particular order.

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There is no need to sully the good name of Jack Morris on these digital pages again. If you aren’t already familiar with the official company line on the former Tigers, Blue Jays, and Twins starter, you can probably just assume and end up reasonably close.

When Jack Morris decides to sound off about the Stephen Strasburg Shutdown, there is no need to bring his resume into the discussion. His words do all the heavy lifting required to discredit his unique view.

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