An analysis of Williams' start with the Angels and a brief comparison to 2007.
Prior to last week, Jerome Williams last played in the major leagues in 2007. He suffered a rotator cuff injury that April and finished with a 7.20 ERA in six starts before being demoted by the Washington Nationals. Since then, he has pitched for minor league affiliates of the Nationals, Twins, Dodgers, and Athletics. He spent the 2010 season with the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions of the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan, and he started the 2011 season with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the independent Atlantic League. On June 16, the Angels signed him to a minor league contract and assigned him to the Salt Lake Bees. Last week, the Angels recalled him to the major leagues.
What factors determine how often hitters take one for the team?
Every season major league pitchers throw tens of thousands of pitches inside off the plate, yet they hit batters “only” about 1500-1800 times in a season. Why do some inside pitches hit the batter, while others do not?
Craig Counsell has been in a bit of a slump lately. Okay, maybe that undersells it a little. Counsell is 0 for his last 45 at-bats. His last hit came a couple months back, on June 10. Another hitless at-bat will tie him with Bill Bergen of the 1909 Brooklyn Superbas for the longestknown streak of hitless at-bats by a position player.
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
A review of the call at home plate by Jerry Meals to end the Pirates-Braves game.
Last night the Braves and Pirates played 19 innings. The game ended on a ground ball by Scott Proctor to Pedro Alvarez at third base. Julio Lugo broke from third base in attempt to score, and the throw from Alvarez to catcher Michael McKenry easily beat Lugo to home plate. McKenry attempted a swipe tag of Lugo's leg as he slid toward the plate. Home plate umpire Jerry Meals called Lugo safe with the winning run for the Braves, at which point Lugo quickly made a second effort to touch the plate. The Pirates and a great portion of baseball fans still awake at that hour were incensed with Meals' call, and the Braves celebrated.
As Jose Bautista can attest, the percentage of pitches a batter sees in the strike zone tells us a good deal about his capabilities.
The pitcher begins each confrontation with a batter with the initiative. He alone controls when the baseball is thrown, how it moves, and where it is located. Thus, the batter is by nature placed in a reactive position. However, the batter, too, has a measure of control over how the plate appearance proceeds. He stands at the plate with a club, and it is within his discretion to swing his weapon or not.
The screwball is fairly rare pitch in the major leagues, thrown in recent years by only two pitchers. Daniel Ray Herrera uses the screwball regularly, and Dallas Bradenhas thrown it on rare occasion. It's time to add another member to the screwballers club.
Examining the approach that has made Ryan Vogelsong a giant among Giants with the aid of PITCHf/x.
In January, Ryan Vogelsong signed a minor-league contract with the San Francisco Giants. He compiled a 3.27 ERA in 22 solid innings in spring training but was sent to Triple-A Fresno to begin the year. He followed that up with two strong starts at Fresno, allowing three runs and striking out 17 in 11 1/3 innings. On April 17, Vogelsong joined the big club when Barry Zito went on the disabled list with a foot injury, and on April 28, he took Zito’s place in the Giants starting rotation.
When it comes to determining the actual upper and lower boundaries of the zone, pitchers may have more to tell us than the players at the plate.
Three months ago, I investigated the nature of the major-league strike zone, focusing on its inside and outside boundaries. I concluded that the location of a pitch relative to the catcher’s target had a significant impact on the umpire’s likelihood of calling a strike. This article will examine the top and bottom boundaries of the strike zone.
Catcher interference leaders among batters, catchers, and pitchers 2007-2011
In the eighth inning of Sunday night's game against the Chicago Cubs, Carl Crawford reached base on a catcher interference call against Welington Castillo. That marked the twelfth time Crawford had reached via catcher interference in the last five seasons. He easily leads the major leagues over that time frame.
How can we distinguish between benign fluctuations in fastball speed and those that indicate injury or ineffectiveness ahead?
A pitcher’s fastball speed is probably the most macho attribute of his ability. Guile, command, deception, a good breaking ball, and the ability to change speeds are all very important parts of the pitching craft. Only one number, however, routinely makes the scoreboard and the television screen on every pitch—the speed. As Jeff Francoeurcan tell you, if it’s on the scoreboard, it’s important.