09 May 2008
Cabrera Strikes Again
Posted by Jon Shepherd
Daniel Cabrera has been able to pitch well on a rather consistent basis using a fastball. This sort of thing is possible in Little League, but it should not be in the Majors. Particularly, he throws it in the low 90s. He benefits from a BABIP of .226 while his career BABIP is .300. His FIP is 4.75, while he ERA is 3.54. He is posting his worst K/BB rate for his career (1.43) and has upped his career left on base percentage by ten points to 78.9%. All of this marks for a downturn. The only thing that explains it to me is that his Line Drive percentage is at 11.8%, which is about 6% less than he normally posts. As you all know, a rough hand estimate for batting average is taking your line drive percentage and adding 12% to it. So, with an 11.8%, you'd explain a batting average of roughly .238 and that is essentially what we have. His groundball percentage is also 6% higher, so it seems he has essentially traded some line drives into groundballs. The weird thing here is that his fastball looks like a four seemer as opposed to a sinker. How is this possible when you only throw fastballs (85% of his pitches are fastballs) and they average at 92.9 mph? I don't know, but that graph below is pretty (note: he has little command of his slider).
Cabrera's Fastball and Slider Pitch Location for May 8, 2008 against the Royals.