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Let's toss out the NYY start since Buck said Tillman had the flu.While the velocity is declining, it might be helpful to see if his horizontal movement on his pitches is greater than before. Tillman could be throwing move 2 seam fastballs now.But yes, this is concerning. Especially since Tillman appears to have put on weight and strength since his last extended stint in Baltimore.
Did he pitch less frequently in the minors (ie, every six days?), perhaps because there were more off-days?
He looked good last night.Maybe he's giving up a little velocity for better command?
Nope, not more 2 seamers. Maybe lingering effects of flu...I don't know. However, decreased velocity has been trouble for him in the past.
Tillman is 4-1.The mess against Minnesota can arguably be pinned to an error that allowed 6 unearned runs to score. If I were on the mound and the infield opened the door to a squadron of unearned runs, I'd be flustered, too.After that, he's 4-0.Who cares what his velocity is?He knows it, too, and is obviously able to compensate in some way.One excellent game can be a fluke. but this is a larger sample. I dunno when a sample becomes a long-term trend, but 4-1 is sure better than 2-3.He isn't walking many batters...unlike Mr Darvish. His career walks are way down. If you expanded this season's walk total over his career, he'd have almost 30 fewer walks. That's important.His hit toal for the season, expanded over his career, would result in 41 fewer hits.So who cares what his velocity is?Tillman is either 1) learning to read the hitters better and choose his pitches more effectively, or 2) he's throwing more accurately. Based on a brief look at this year versus previous years, it just seems that he's smarter and more effective.Part of this may be Wieters' influence, but only part.I may be incorrectly analyzing his performance, but it sure seems like Tillman is pitching more skillfully and more intelligently.but who's complaining, either way?
Maybe...however losing 4 mph over a few starts is peculiar. Is a sample of 4 starts luck proof? No. That is an incredibly small sample. Jose Mercedes had people dreaming with a much larger sample size.I think he is pitching better, but the velocity change is a weird thing to see.
I'm not sure if he was amped up at Safeco but he was throwing in a way I'd never seen before or since from him that day. He is good enough, had it up to 93 a few times last night and is throwing strikes. Not an ace because his secondary command is poor and his 4seam fastball is pretty straight but if he can keep you in the game that is all you can ask. Bundy starts tomorrow, wouldn't you like to see him pitch Tuesday night? Would be a sellout for one thing, for another I don't see Tommy Hunter's pitch to contact fly ball act working too well against Boston.
Perhaps a better way to look at this is that he has pitched in 5 different stadiums over his 6 starts this year with only two coming at Camden Yards (7/26 and 8/6). Until we have a bigger sample size that could potentially correspond to a decrease in game performance, there is no need to press the panic button. These numbers may simply imply a lack of calibration between the 5 different stadium radar guns employed.
They should be calibrated by now. If not, just compare the other pitchers as they go from park to park.Also if it was spotty calibration...it certainly is remarkable how the fastball gets slower every time out.I think it is rather unquestionable that his velocity is decreasing.
a couple of theories: I think the guns were hot in Seattle during that first series that he came up in, I can't confirm this, but it seems like maybe it could be considered. second: he seems to be throwing his cutter a lot more which could cause a drop in velo. overall, he's seemed pretty effective whether he's throwing 95 or 91 this year, even against a team like NY, so I'm not terribly worried yet.
The first hypothesis does not jive well with the rest of the data set. the second hypothesis probably does not explain things because pitch fx does identify cutters.
I thought the guns were hot in Seattle. I seem to remember everyone being surprised at Chen's velocity there too.That said, there's still an obvious decrease happening. If it levels off or just fluctuates around where it is now, it doesn't seem like it should be a problem. But then again, other than the Yankees (and that was the Yankees lite), Tillman hasn't exactly faced a tough lineup yet.
July 30, 2014 is when Chris Tillman's pitching will be him going into his wind up and then gently setting the ball on the rubber.
And at that time he will have officially mastered the game of baseball."Subtle and insubstantial, the expert leaves no trace; divinely mysterious, he is inaudible. Thus he is the master of his enemy's fate."
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