You know who’s grand nugget of wisdom today:
This what should be discussed at Cashman’s Starting Five Summit: There have been some concerns about Michael Pineda‘s velocity, which a scout still had at mostly 89-91 in his last time out. The official said he was encouraged because he said Pineda has hit 94 a few times on the gun.
When these stats, showing how much better hitters batted against Pineda’s sub-95 fastball were pointed out to the official, he said that the league average jumps at 94 for all starters. Lower than 94 gets hit must harder than plus 94, which seems obvious, but is relevant with Pineda.
If 94 is a line to draw between good and great, then Pineda likely needs to find those two or three miles per hour if he is going eventually graduate to the No. 2 spot.
You know that moment when you read something and it’s so instantly obvious that its as wrong as it could possibly be, and you wonder what in the heck the writer could possibly be thinking? Yeah, this would be one of those moments if it hadn’t been going on all spring.
Anyway, as to the substantive claim that Pineda needs to throw 94+ to become a quality number two starter, I would assume that the false nature of the claim is obvious on its face. According to Fangraphs, only six qualified pitchers in all of baseball averaged at least 94 MPH with their fastball last year which. Here’s a brief, largely random list of some pitchers who averaged less than that, with their average velocity in parentheses:
C.C. Sabathia (93.8)
Clayton Kershaw (93.4)
Felix Hernandez (93.3)
Jon Lester (92.8)
Yovani Gallardo (92.7)
Zack Greinke (92.5)
Tim Lincecum (92.3)
Cole Hamels (91.7)
Cliff Lee (91.5)
James Shields (91.0)
Dan Haren (90.0)
Okay, I take it back; we would clearly have to consider Pineda a total failure if he ended up being the equivalent of any of these pitchers. In a world where balls and strikes weren’t called based on the reading on the radar gun, however, his ability (or lack thereof) to execute a pitch with movement and command, or to throw a pitch that wasn’t a fastball on occasion, might make him a pretty useful player. Continue reading Today in over-emphasizing velocity