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What kind of commentary is this on the Nationals system? Was this severely edited by ESPN.com or something? You mention Bryce Harper (who hasn't played yet and who everyone knows) and the only other name mentioned is Tom Milone, a soft-tossing lefty who is fringy top-11 material at best? No love for Wilson Ramos, Danny Espinosa, Derek Norris, Eury Perez, Stephen Lombardozzi, etc?
Oh, not to mention the fact that even during a year with an injury that's supposed to sap your power for a year, he has a .157 ISO. Which doesn't indicate "power slipping away" since it's higher than 6 or 8 qualifying major league catchers this season.
Ummm, with a missing bone in his wrist. Even his MLE ISO is higher than 3 of the 8 catchers.
Plus, unless stats mean nothing, his defense certainly seems to have improved this season, at least in his passed balls and CS%.
I find this article so strange because of the seeming reluctance to chalk up Norris' season to the hamate bone injury, which has a pretty strange effect on most players for up to 12 months after having surgery. Dustin Pedroia had a .260/.311/.365 line through the middle of June 2008 after having surgery in November 2007, then hit .375/.422/.588 the rest of the year. Ryan Zimmerman in the same year after November surgery was at .259/.300/.414 on July 29 and went .311/.370/.474 for the rest of the season and improved even more in 2009.
Norris has hit 8% line drives this year and 65% flyballs, including a 19% IFFB rate. The first two would lead the majors by far, the third would be 4th in the majors. All those rates are really far off his career averages and last year's numbers.
So, given the pretty obvious (and likely real) reason staring everyone in the face, why jump to the conclusion that anything else is wrong with him when his strikeout rate and walk rate are still fine?
Isn't it possible that he's making strange contact as he adjusts to his new wrist?
Interesting about the camera angles. Karstens obviously had the biggest sample size, so let's look at him:
Last night's v-break numbers for Karstens: 4F 8.7 vs. 8.5 career, 2F 5.8 vs. 4.7, CU -5.3 vs. -5.2, SL 0.9 vs. 1.6, CH 4.4 vs. 4.2.
So at least for Karstens, the camera looks fairly accurate. Even if is was a couple of inches off, it appears that Strasburg will have like a 2-3 CH, at least a couple extra inches of vertical break off average, and up there with the really premium dropping changeups in the game.
Can you talk about how Strasburg's changeup seems to get a ridiculous amount of drop?
Of am I reading the data incorrectly? Aren't most changeups around +5, with the really good ones at +3, while Strasburg was at 0?
Little known fact: The Nationals are going to call up Bryce Harper on June 3rd.
Widely known fact: The Nationals are going to call up Stephen Strasburg on June 4th.
Little known fact: Rudy Jaramillo is spanish for Bryce Harper.
Little known fact: Albert Pujols needed some help getting out of his May power slump at the plate. He called the University of Southern Nevada and asked for Bryce Harper.
Little known fact: The Monday Ten-Pack is going to start allocating it's highlights thusly - three for NL prospects, three for AL prospects, and four for Bryce Harper.
Little known fact: The power tool scale only goes from 2-8 because 9 and 10 were reserved for Bryce Harper.
Bryce Harper: What's a guy gotta do to get in the Monday Ten-Pack?
I think this problem is completely different from his problem in the 2007 playoffs. Then, it seems likely that he was overthrowing, since his average fastball was 94 and he topped out at 96 but he cut his movement about in half. It's not generally a good idea for a sinkerballer to overthrow his movement and turn himself into a straightballer like Kyle Farnsworth.
This season, he's lost movement AND speed, which it a huge red flag. I never trust the pitcher or the management if they say he's not injured (every pitcher says he's not injured right up until the moment he goes to Alabama to see James Andrews). But either way, if he's become a soft straight tosser (due to injury or something else), that's not good for the Yankees.
Didn't you miss a pretty big possibility here - that injury (or something else) has decreased velocity on his sinker, which is a pretty big deal for a pitching looking for contact?
On Saturday, Wang through 46 fastballs according to pitch f/x at an average velocity of under 91 MPH with a max of 92 MPH. On August 25, 2007, when Wang wnet 8 strong against Detroit in the middle of one of his two good seasons, his average fastball was about 93 with a max of 95.
Even during his first start of the season last year, he was throwing about 1 MPH harder with far more vertical and horizontal break on his fastballs. Couldn't it just be that his sinker sucks, he may be injured, and he's throwing meatballs?