Newer Slimmer Carlos Silva’s missing sinker
Ignore the possible issues with Gameday’s pitch classification. What about the fact that Silva’s sinker is exactly the same pitch as his fastball? Does it matter if he mixes them if they produce the same results?
Here’s some graphs off my new favorite tool, the BrooksBaseball PitchFX Tool
Carlos Silva’s sinker is indistinguishable from his fastball, if we grant that he even throws two pitches. He’s playing rock-paper-scissors with rock, rock, and rock.
Not that that kind of clustering is at all unusual. Here’s what a pitcher who can throw a sinker looks like:
Webb’s got a better spread of movement, and a secondary pitch that’s clearly different. Silva doesn’t. Check out, say, that colorcoded break chart. You can see that not only does Webb get more varied movement and have two distinct, different pitches while Silva’s pretty much throwing the same speed and getting the same break.
If you didn’t know what Silva was supposedly throwing, and you eyeballed his break chart (see this rough reference guide), you’d think he was throwing nothing but two-seam fastballs. Looking at Webb, an actual sinkerballer, he’s getting the kind of movement you’d associate with a changeup… at 90mph.
So you’re thinking “that’s not fair, comparing Silva to Webb”. And it’s not, because Webb is good, but beyond that, pick any effective sinkerball pitcher and look at what they’re throwing. They’re getting better movement and throw at least two distinct pitches.
Silva has one pitch, and it’s hittable. I don’t care if he’s got nine grips or arm actions or whatever: they results are all the same. Maybe he should try something else. Like retiring.
I know, I’m bitter. I just watched him pitch, you should sympathize.