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#341 JeffLong

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 09:20 AM

Exactly..or, it's a difference between missing and fouling it off.

Or maybe pitchfx is off.

Whatever it is, there is no doubt when you watch Hammel last year and Hammel this year that he isn't the same guy.

His lake of ks and missed bats back that up.

Now, his command is also worse this year.

I would like to see Hammel this year vs last year in a split screen. I still say he was more over the top last year.

 

 

There might be something to that Rob. Check out his release points:

 

chart2r.jpg

 

chartgk.jpg


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#342 SportsGuy

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:13 AM

I think he may be 22 and at AA right now.  Gausman is the only guy in the organization I envision having a good shot at being dominant late in this season (aside from a 4-5 game hot stretch, I'm talking consistently and routinely dominant).  I don't think any of our top 4 starters will pitch their way out of the rotation - I've seen enough from Tillman to think he's at least solid, Chen is reliable if not spectacular, and Gonzo I'm still confident in even though he's shown the least this year - but I don't see much better than a fringey #2/3 at best in any of them, and most are more like 3/4 type starters.  It's a ton to ask of a guy who's not even a full year into his professional career, but at this point I think Gausman may end up as the best starter on the team by the end of the season.

 

Maybe Hammel can get back to the nasty, hard-sinking stuff he had last season with the command needed to benefit from it, that's not impossible yet, but I think we're gonna have to get by with an average at best rotation and hit, field, and relieve really well.  Fortunately, I'm confident in those other areas of the team, and solid upside still does remain for the rotation, at least a bit.

If Gausman can be dominant, great...We need a SECOND guy to do that.  Hammel being the first.



#343 SportsGuy

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:20 AM

Jeff..I haven't ever seen those charts before.

 

So, -2 is actually closer to more 3/4 than -2.2??



#344 Mackus

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:28 AM

If Gausman can be dominant, great...We need a SECOND guy to do that.  Hammel being the first.

 

I think we need a dominant starter more for winning in the postseason than for getting there.  We didn't have a dominant starter last year and we got there.  Although, I suppose we had some sort of a hybrid ace if you put Hammel's first half and Tillman's second half together.  I think the team can still be quite successful even if Hammel, or anybody else, don't pitch like a high end #2 like he did last year.  It'll be tougher than if we've got someone pitching great nearly every time out, but as long as we've got a decent depth of at least acceptable starting pitching, we'll still be able to win enough games to stay very relevant.



#345 SportsGuy

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:32 AM

I think we need a dominant starter more for winning in the postseason than for getting there.  We didn't have a dominant starter last year and we got there.  Although, I suppose we had some sort of a hybrid ace if you put Hammel's first half and Tillman's second half together.  I think the team can still be quite successful even if Hammel, or anybody else, don't pitch like a high end #2 like he did last year.  It'll be tougher than if we've got someone pitching great nearly every time out, but as long as we've got a decent depth of at least acceptable starting pitching, we'll still be able to win enough games to stay very relevant.

Agreed.  But you are also assuming that the rest of the rotation can hold up as well.



#346 JeffLong

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:35 AM

Jeff..I haven't ever seen those charts before.

 

So, -2 is actually closer to more 3/4 than -2.2??

 

The numbers indicate feet from the center of the rubber to show how from from dead center he's throwing. -2.0 means he's releasing the ball from closer to first base (than -2.2 last year for example). This though could be explained by him moving on the rubber to stand on the first base side as opposed to the middle or something like that.

 

The difference I'm interested in is the seeming drop in vertical release point which suggests he's not getting on top of the ball as well as he once was. This change could result in less downward plane on his fastball which would mean less ground balls. The change is subtle but definitely there.

 

Check out this chart for a different view of vertical release point:

 

434628.z0.S.png

You can pretty clearly see that in 2013 they are skewing a bit lower than they did last year, especially after he came back from injury.


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#347 Mackus

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:40 AM

Agreed.  But you are also assuming that the rest of the rotation can hold up as well.

 

I am, but I'm fairly confident in that, at least in terms of the lower threshold for success of merely being a decent middle of the rotation starter.  I think Hammel, Chen, and Tillman are all safe bets to be suitable and I'm still optimistic about Gonzo.  I'll add that I'm much more confident in these guys all sticking in the rotaiton now than I was heading into the season.  Early results are at least a bit indicative of last year not being a fluke and these guys mostly being pretty safe bets as reliable if unspectacular starting pitchers. 

 

No idea what will happen with the 5th spot, not expecting anything particularly good there, though.  At least not until they are ready to make the move to Gausman, and then even with him I'm more excited about his future than anticipating great things right away.



#348 SportsGuy

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:36 AM

The numbers indicate feet from the center of the rubber to show how from from dead center he's throwing. -2.0 means he's releasing the ball from closer to first base (than -2.2 last year for example). This though could be explained by him moving on the rubber to stand on the first base side as opposed to the middle or something like that.

 

The difference I'm interested in is the seeming drop in vertical release point which suggests he's not getting on top of the ball as well as he once was. This change could result in less downward plane on his fastball which would mean less ground balls. The change is subtle but definitely there.

 

Check out this chart for a different view of vertical release point:

 

434628.z0.S.png

You can pretty clearly see that in 2013 they are skewing a bit lower than they did last year, especially after he came back from injury.

Ok gotcha...Thanks.

 

From the eye test, this seems to be correct.



#349 Atomtastic

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:40 AM

First off- Really good article Jeff.  Second- what I have noticed with Hammel this season is that he has been sporadic with his results within the course of a start.  What I mean by that is he always seems to have one or two innings each start where he will really struggle with his command and then he will correct it coming out for the next inning.  For example his last start in Anaheim, he really struggled that first inning, but take that inning away and he was much more collective outside of that Trout moonshot.  To me that would indicate something off in his delivery/ mechanics that is making his stuff a bit sporadic/ unreapeatable. 


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#350 JeffLong

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 02:45 PM

First off- Really good article Jeff.  Second- what I have noticed with Hammel this season is that he has been sporadic with his results within the course of a start.  What I mean by that is he always seems to have one or two innings each start where he will really struggle with his command and then he will correct it coming out for the next inning.  For example his last start in Anaheim, he really struggled that first inning, but take that inning away and he was much more collective outside of that Trout moonshot.  To me that would indicate something off in his delivery/ mechanics that is making his stuff a bit sporadic/ unreapeatable. 

 

Thanks for the kind words!

 

I think this is spot on, and it kind of coincides with the release point discussion we had above. If he's losing feel for his release point sporadically throughout a start, it could be having disastrous effects on his pitches. It's definitely something to look out for in his next start.


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#351 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 02:29 PM

Watching Hammel tonight, what are you going to key on?



#352 You Play to Win the Game

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 02:36 PM

Watching Hammel tonight, what are you going to key on?

 

I want to see whiffs and ground balls. I know that's overly simplistic. Obviously a consistent delivery/consistent command is the key to achieving what I want to see... but I would be really encouraged to see Hammel missing bats and getting ground balls or pop ups when he doesn't. Minnesota has hit pretty well of late, so this will be a nice test for him.


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#353 Mackus

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 02:37 PM

Get ground balls, get strikeouts.

 

His GB% is down to 44.4% from 53.2% last year.  His K% is down to 14.% from 23.9%.

 

He's giving up more HR, but the HR/FB is only 1% higher.  10.7% vs 9.7%, plus it's a small sample size, if he had only 5 HR on the year instead of 6, his rate would be 9.1%.  His BB% is pretty close to the same (8.8% vs 8.5%).  So it's really more of a concern of just the number of balls being put in play and how they are being hit.  He's not getting strikeouts or groundballs at the same rates as last year, and that's probably due to the same symptom of his stuff just not diving as much as it did last year.

 

So you'd like to see him get back to that hard, late sink.  If he gets back there, then you'll see a lot more ground balls and a lot more strikeouts than so far this season.


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#354 Matt

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 12:55 AM

No fastball control tonight.



#355 fishteacher

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 07:50 AM

Before anyone gets worked up over the use of the term 'struggling'...

 

Hammel is 5-1, and he is pitching overall as an effective starter.... what Jeff's article illustrates is how Hammel's peripherals are not as strong as they were last year. That while Hammel has remained an effective starter, he set the bar pretty high last year in his 20 starts...and that Hammel is 'struggling' a bit with matching the high expectations that came from that performance.

As much as I have been complaining about how "bad" he's looked thus far, we can't complain too much...Look at the 2012 Cy Young winners David Price & R.A. Dickey.....crikey!


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#356 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 09:44 AM

Coming off his worst outing of the year (4ip, 8 hits, 6 er, 2 bb's, 6 k's), Hammel is back on the mound tonight.

 

This will be Hammel's 2nd start of the year vs. TB.



#357 You Play to Win the Game

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 06:12 PM

On tonight's MASN broadcast, Jim Palmer mentioned that Hammel told him he'd been experiencing tightness in his forearm.



#358 You Play to Win the Game

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 09:31 PM

In a night where the bats put 10 on the board, Hammel gets shellacked once again. He goes 4.2, gives up 10 hits, 2 BB's and 7 runs. He wasn't fooling anyone. 



#359 NewMarketSean

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 10:58 PM

He's picked a helluva time to start sucking. It's May 17 and everyone outside of Tillman will need to be replaced in the rotation due to injury or ineffectivness. At least last year the team made it to July before that overhaul happened.
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#360 Mike in STL

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 11:27 PM

I remember him doing an Interview from the dugout during the FOX game ot the week with the Angels. He said this year he's not trying so hard to strike guys out, cliche cliche cliche, solid defense behind me, cliche, let the hitters put the ball in play.

Why change what made him so successful a year ago? Or, he's hurt and won't go down until a couple more bad starts, just like Halladay and Price.
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