Charting Pitches – Want to Help?

Dave · May 22, 2006 at 11:14 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Okay, so, if you haven’t noticed, I’ve gotten into this whole Charting Felix thing. I’ve now discovered that mlb.TV archives the game footage off of Fox’s broadcasts, which means if I chart off the archive, I get radar readings. So, I’m now putting together a plan to create a Felix database, charting every pitch he throws this season.

I’ve created a fairly easy-to-use excel spreadsheet to record the data. The problem is time – I don’t have enough to go back and rewatch all his starts. So, if you have and want to volunteer to chart a game, email us and I’ll send you the spreadsheet and a date of one of his starts to watch.

After we get all his previous starts logged, I’ll keep charting the rest of his starts, and we’ll put together a database of Felix’s pitches for the year. Could be a really interesting tool.


10 Responses to “Charting Pitches – Want to Help?”

  1. Ralph Malph on May 22nd, 2006 11:47 am

    Of course this opens up whole new arenas of masochism: the chart Gil project.

  2. Matthew Carruth on May 22nd, 2006 12:30 pm

    Would be interesting to compile the data for 2005 vs. 2006 and see if there’s a difference.

  3. Mat on May 22nd, 2006 1:32 pm

    So I was looking through some BABIP data just now, and I saw that Felix has the 4th worst BABIP amongst pitchers with 40+ innings pitched on the season (an unsightly .359). How much of that is on him so far? You’ve been very critical of his pitch selection, but even if his pitch selection hasn’t been great, he’s still got a really great groundball rate, and the BP data shows he has a pretty average line drive rate so far. Has he been unlucky in addition to having pitch selection issues?

  4. Dave on May 22nd, 2006 1:47 pm

    Groundball pitchers are often going to have higher than average BABIP’s, and fly ball pitchers vice versa, due to their nature. Ground balls are turned into outs far less frequently than fly balls, though they offset that by being extra base hits far less often.

    But, yea, there’s no way his BABIP is going to stay THIS high all year. I think part of it is pitch selection – hitters are sitting on that first pitch fastball and whacking it. When he either gets command of his fastball or mixes his pitches, they’ll have to change their approach, and his BABIP will come down.

    Part of it is poor pitching, part of it is being a groundball pitcher, and part of it is bad luck.

  5. Mat on May 22nd, 2006 2:36 pm

    Yeah, that seems reasonable. I’ve been a bit lost lately with regards to BABIP, as the 2006 Twins are seriously shaking my beliefs in DIPS-type research. Currently, their defense is on a history-shattering pace for worst defensive efficency and it’s not really very close. Their team BABIP is .354, and it’s actually gotten worse over the last month than it was at the end of April. The worst BABIP allowed I can find over the last 45 years is a .334 BABIP allowed by the Rockies in 1999. At least something to keep in mind the next time you’re flipping through listening to some clueless announcing crew talking about how solid the Twins’ defense is.

  6. Paul Covert on May 22nd, 2006 4:27 pm

    the 2006 Twins are seriously shaking my beliefs in DIPS-type research.

    I think there can certainly be exceptions to the usual DIPS rules, and mistake-prone pitchers (as Felix may be this year) are at the top of my current list. But the existence of really bad defenses doesn’t contradict Voros at all– his idea was only that BABIP tends to be (more or less) independent of the pitcher (not of the defense!).

    (Or did you just mean that phrase as hyperbole? If so, then never mind.)

  7. mln on May 22nd, 2006 4:28 pm

    Too bad Matt Thornton is no longer around. It would fun charting his pitches–fun in a kind of “how did I get myself in this” way.

  8. argh on May 22nd, 2006 4:58 pm

    It would [be] fun charting his pitches….

    A random walk towards home plate.

  9. Mat on May 22nd, 2006 5:05 pm

    I meant more that the Twins’ BABIP is so low right now, that it’s tough for me, at least initially, to put it all or even almost all on the defense, like Voros’ research would indicate. But Santana’s been dealing lately, has historically been a slightly better than average BABIP pitcher (flyballs and pop-ups) and even his BABIP is up over .300, which would sort of point to the problem being a problem with the defense. A gigantic problem, if you’re the Twins.

  10. Wells on May 22nd, 2006 7:16 pm

    You could put this in a mySQL database or some equivalent on the server and allow people to build little web apps around it.

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