With the day off today it seemed like a great time to dig into the pitch f/x data on the season thus far. As always, data comes from BrooksBaseball with my own buckets and formulas scattered throughout. There’s a lot to cover so I’m going to nix the terrible jokes for once and dig right in starting with batters:
The top two tables show the number of pitches and total run values accrued so far by pitcher handedness and pitch type. The raw totals for total run values show some scary stuff with the Rays only accruing positive value on lefty breaking balls and righty fastballs. Lefty fastballs have absolutely killed this team with righty breaking balls having the next worst impact.
Moving down to the middle two tables we see the prior stuff adjusted to show each pitch as a percentage and run values per 100 pitches. The Rays are seeing more breaking balls from righties with lefties subbing in change ups instead. As an outline, these are great ways to attack righties. The breaking ball from righties has been thrown early and often against Myers, Rodriguez, and Jennings, while Zobrist is seeing a number of fastballs where pitchers have had to be more cautious with the heater in the past. Joyce is seeing a ton of change ups from righties while Longo is getting almost strictly fastball/breaking ball.
Using RV/100 we see that Joyce has been a monster with Longoria, Jennings, and Zobrist being quite valuable, overall. Loney and Hanigan have been similarly above average, and Sean Rodriguez has put up numbers due to selective plate appearances. The other end of the spectrum shows a split dichotomy between guys that can’t hit and guys that aren’t hitting. We see Guyer, Molina, and Kiermaier in the former while DeJesus, Forsythe, Myers, and Escobar make up the latter group. While I wouldn’t expect much offense from the first group we should expect the second to hit better than they have which should raise the overall level of the offense. The total line shows us just how far below average the offense has been thus far.
Lastly, I wanted to take a look at the percent these pitches are turned into swings and in the zone. As with the stuff above, there’s too much to walk through, but it all does a great job of showing what these guys have done so think of it as a reference tool as much as anything. I’ve been saying that I think Forsythe is too passive, but the swing numbers indicate he’s actually swinging too much especially in contrast to his zone percentages. Let’s look at this stuff from the perspective of our pitchers:
Zooming right ahead to the middle table I wanted to focus on the relief pitcher shuttle bus that we’ve seen so far. Boxberger shows a three-pitch mix to righties, but shelves the breaking ball against lefties. Riefenhauser hasn’t thrown a change yet throwing a ton of breaking balls to both types of batters. Beliveau is a different sort of lefty using his fastball a ton. Moving over to the RV/100 table we see that Boxy has been death to lefties and righties, alike. Beliveau has seen similar success (in 18 pitches!) and Riefenhauser had a lefty hit his fastball. The samples are really small here so this is mean to be more of an introduction on these guys.
These three guys have been good out of the pen, but they aren’t alone. Gomes has been slightly better than averge. Balfour has been very good despite some ball four issues, at times. Heath Bell hasn’t been very good, but he’s posting nice numbers against lefties. Jake McGee has been lights out using his curve a little here and there, though not seeing great results on the pitch it gives the batters something else to think about. Peralta has also been very good and Josh Lueke feels like a dead man walking.
Lots more here to talk about, but I hope this gives some insight in how these guys are faring roughly 10% into the year.