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February 24, 2011

BP Unfiltered

Did Wainwright Drop His Arm Angle?

by Mike Fast

Earlier today, Buster Olney tweeted, "A couple of scouts say this: they saw Wainwright's arm angle dropping down the stretch last year, a sign of trouble."

Jeff Sullivan examined the claim over at SB Nation and found no evidence to support it. I thought I'd check my corrected PITCHf/x release point data to see if I could find anything that Jeff might have missed by working with uncorrected data. Not really—I agree with Jeff.

This graph uses the technique outlined here and presents two dimensions of Adam Wainwright's release point over time.

Wainwright release point 2008-2010

Wainwright did drop his arm angle on May 16, 2009, but it's been pretty constant since then, according to PITCHf/x data.  There were some minor variations throughout 2009 and early 2010, but from June 9, 2010, Wainwright's arm angle was very consistent. He did begin in June the process of moving over about six inches toward the first base side of the pitching rubber, but his arm angle stayed consistent throughout that time.

Mike Fast is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Mike's other articles. You can contact Mike by clicking here

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