Strasburg early struggles

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Nation
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Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:46 pm

Strasburg early struggles

Postby Nation » Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:06 pm

I admittedly dont watch a lot of nationals baseball as there are, well, some time restraints to the amount of sports I can watch. However I can't quite put my finger on what is causing Strassy's early woes and why his ERA is so high and K rate is so low.

Looking at his career #'s, these are down:
k/9 (11.1 to 8.0)
bb/9 (2.7 to 2.3)
BABIP (.311 to 2.64)
HR/FB% (11.5 to 8.3%)
LOB% (Career 75.5 to 66% this year)

[edit: went back and added at what rates these #'s stabilize, so just see the footnote]
Only the k/9 is bad, but im not sure how many batters faced that takes to normalize. A lot of the other stats start to stabilize after about 3 starts (SWSTR% for instance), and we have about 2x that information available.[1]

One thing i'd like to note, is that while Strassy's velocity is actually slightly up depending on what site you're looking at, one thing that is consistent is that his fastball % is way up from last year/career %'s.[2].

Also of note is that batters seem to be swinging at a much higher number of pitches inside the zone (bad), but also at pitches outside the zone (good).

The only thing i can really think of is that his fastball location is a little off and as a result of being behind in the count has to throw more fastballs and is therefore a more predictable pitcher [3]. Take a look at the fangraphs and you'll see all the swing stats are way up over last year.

[1]k/9 normalizes at 60BF, K/BB at 250BF. All batted ball stats normalize after about 50 BF except for pop ups which doesn't stabilize until about 350 BF.

[2]*Career*
Fourseam (FA) 2243 48% 96.99mph
Sinker (SI) 730 16% 96.19mph
Curveball (CU) 929 20%
Changeup (CH) 740 16%
*2013*
Fourseam (FA) 284 54% 96.45mph
Sinker (SI) 53 10% 95.47 mph
Curveball (CU) 98 19% 80.44 8mph
Changeup (CH) 88 17%

[3] Called Strike % on first pitch is down from 19% to about 15%, but whats interesting is that the amount of balls called is down about 3% from 32+% to low 30%

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ohbilly2134
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 8:12 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: Strasburg early struggles

Postby ohbilly2134 » Wed May 01, 2013 3:59 am

They're saying that he's been feeling a little stiffness in his forearm, which can often be a prelude to experiencing elbow pain... which, as we all know, can lead to TJ surgery.

Hopefully, this isn't the case, but my guess is that if this continues for another start or two, the Nats will shut him down.
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