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View Full Version : Mat Latos article on Fangraphs



Plus Plus
04-24-2012, 07:54 PM
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/mat-latos-velocity-repertoire-and-command/


Why three straight fastballs? Iím not sure, but whatís also pretty clear is that Latos has altered his repertoire since coming over to Cincinnati. In his brief career, he has typically used his slider about 27% of the time. It has historically been his best pitch at just over a run above average per 100 pitches in both 2010 and 2011 and generating a whiff rate at about 24%. But heís dropped his usage of the slider by about 10% in 2012, with increased reliance on his change:

Brutus
04-24-2012, 08:11 PM
There may be a lot of truth to what Barr is saying, but I think it's premature to say it's "pretty clear" he's altered his repertoire based on throwing 10% fewer sliders. I don't see that being clear since Latos has only thrown 292 total pitches thus far this season.

MikeThierry
04-24-2012, 09:46 PM
His average fastball speed has also decreased from the past couple of years as well.

Homer Bailey
04-24-2012, 10:23 PM
His average fastball speed has also decreased from the past couple of years as well.

He's averaging 93 MPH this year. He's averaged 93.4 MPH for his career. So, no, not really.

WVRedsFan
04-24-2012, 11:48 PM
I think it's obvious that he done good tonight, regardless. Spoken in true West Virginian among the common people ;).

Homer Bailey
04-25-2012, 12:03 AM
I think it's obvious that he done good tonight, regardless. Spoken in true West Virginian among the common people ;).

Me thinks Latos is going to be juuuust fine.

MikeThierry
04-25-2012, 12:10 AM
He's averaging 93 MPH this year. He's averaged 93.4 MPH for his career. So, no, not really.

Every single year, his velocity has been down from the year before. It may have averaged 93.4 in his career but that is down from previous years when he was averaging a faster fast ball. I think last year or the year before last, for example, he averaged 94 mph on his fast ball. 93 MPH is still good but I think there are some warning signs there. He simply does not have the electric fast ball as he had earlier in his career.

Brutus
04-25-2012, 12:18 AM
Every single year, his velocity has been down from the year before. It may have averaged 93.4 in his career but that is down from previous years when he was averaging a faster fast ball. I think last year or the year before last, for example, he averaged 94 mph on his fast ball. 93 MPH is still good but I think there are some warning signs there. He simply does not have the electric fast ball as he had earlier in his career.

He only pitched 50 innings his first season. So the drop in velocity from year one to year two may have been a sample issue or it may have been as simple as pitching an entire year's workload. The second year could be any number of things. But losing 1 MPH in a year isn't really that big of a red flag. Some pitchers intentionally use a different grip which alone explains the velocity.

You're really, really grasping at straws.

The Operator
04-25-2012, 12:19 AM
Latos was regularly hitting 93-95 MPH tonight. I sure didn't see any issues with his velocity.

MikeThierry
04-25-2012, 12:28 AM
He only pitched 50 innings his first season. So the drop in velocity from year one to year two may have been a sample issue or it may have been as simple as pitching an entire year's workload. The second year could be any number of things. But losing 1 MPH in a year isn't really that big of a red flag. Some pitchers intentionally use a different grip which alone explains the velocity.

You're really, really grasping at straws.

You're right. Losing 1 mph off the fastball in one year isn't that much of a red flag. However, losing velocity off the fast ball multiple years in a row seems to me, at least, to be an alarming trend. Maybe Latos velocity will come back to form this year. Who knows.

Brutus
04-25-2012, 12:30 AM
You're right. Losing 1 mph off the fastball in one year isn't that much of a red flag. However, losing velocity off the fast ball multiple years in a row seems to me, at least, to be an alarming trend. Maybe Latos velocity will come back to form this year. Who knows.

It was only two years though. And like I said, the first year, he went from 50 innings to 184 innings. So that can easily be assumed that the drop was simply a matter of pitching a full season. That's very common for young pitchers to wear down in velocity toward the end of a year.

This year, his velocity is up slightly over last year.

The point is that two years hardly is a trend.

Homer Bailey
04-25-2012, 12:33 AM
Every single year, his velocity has been down from the year before. It may have averaged 93.4 in his career but that is down from previous years when he was averaging a faster fast ball. I think last year or the year before last, for example, he averaged 94 mph on his fast ball. 93 MPH is still good but I think there are some warning signs there. He simply does not have the electric fast ball as he had earlier in his career.

You're reaching. The fastest his fastball has ever been over a full season is 93.7 MPH. The lowest it has ever been over a full season is 92.8 MPH. Less than a 1 MPH variance.

You want to see pitchers with velocity drops, see Jimenez, Santana, and (gradually) Lincecum. There is basically zero correlation to Latos' fastball speed.

jojo
04-25-2012, 05:43 AM
This is actually one of my biggest pet peeves with fangraphs. It's a great sight because it's saber-oriented and provides a wealth of statistical information easily at the fingertips but in an effort to provide daily content so many of the articles suffer from relying upon inappropriately small sample sizes.

Vottomatic
04-25-2012, 07:28 AM
You're reaching. The fastest his fastball has ever been over a full season is 93.7 MPH. The lowest it has ever been over a full season is 92.8 MPH. Less than a 1 MPH variance.

You want to see pitchers with velocity drops, see Jimenez, Santana, and (gradually) Lincecum. There is basically zero correlation to Latos' fastball speed.

Definitely agree with you on this.

I watched the game last night and he was routinely hitting 94-95 mph on his fastball. I thought the problem was that both he and Cain were being squeezed by the everchanging tightening of the strike zone by the ump behind the plate by the 5th through 7th innings. On a side note, it hit me funny when Arredondo came in and struck out the last batter on a pitch on the inside corner that the ump wasn't giving to Cain or Latos all night. It was like the strike zone changed again. Has to be frustrating for a pitcher to deal with that.

The other problem I saw for Latos was that he didn't have much confidence in his other pitches last night. His breaking ball and changeup were spending alot of time hitting the dirt, so he was reluctant to throw them, especially in the 6th inning as the bases began to load. Gotta hand it to the middle of the Giants order too...........they all battled and were tough outs.

cbowen2112
04-25-2012, 08:53 AM
Chapman's velocity has dropped from 99-98 mph....what shall we do?!!!;)

traderumor
04-25-2012, 09:31 AM
Cueto used to work in the 93-95 range and was an average thrower. Now he works in the 90-92 range is an above average pitcher. Young arms like to just air it out and they overpower people--until they hit the majors. There may be some initial overpower ability, but you better be prepared to adjust, no matter who you are and how good an arm you have. Latos is no exception.

Moral of the story: Varying velocities and changes in pitch mix can just as easily be a sign of a growing, maturing, adjusting MLB pitcher from young, immature, hard-headed thrower just as much as it is any kind of red flag for doom.

I am curious about the clear diminished use of the slider. During that brutal 6th inning last night, I was wondering where the slider to put away Sandobal and Posey. Of course, he did put away Sandobal, the ump missed it and cost Latos 10-15 more pitches....

elfmanvt07
04-25-2012, 09:39 AM
I am curious about the clear diminished use of the slider. During that brutal 6th inning last night, I was wondering where the slider to put away Sandobal and Posey. Of course, he did put away Sandobal, the ump missed it and cost Latos 10-15 more pitches....

That call was unbelievable. I wish I was fast enough on Pitch FX to take a screenshot.

Forgive my ignorance, but is this Hanigan's first time catching Latos? If so, is there data on the pitch breakdown, split by catcher?

CySeymour
04-25-2012, 09:42 AM
My one question about the averaging of fastball velocity is that they have to be taken with different guns in different parks, so I would think that in itself would effect the velocity stats.

dougdirt
04-25-2012, 09:53 AM
That call was unbelievable. I wish I was fast enough on Pitch FX to take a screenshot.

Forgive my ignorance, but is this Hanigan's first time catching Latos? If so, is there data on the pitch breakdown, split by catcher?

brooksbaseball.net has what you are looking for.

elfmanvt07
04-25-2012, 10:01 AM
brooksbaseball.net has what you are looking for.

And more. SO MANY NUMBERS.

dougdirt
04-25-2012, 10:11 AM
My one question about the averaging of fastball velocity is that they have to be taken with different guns in different parks, so I would think that in itself would effect the velocity stats.

The pitch f/x system does not use a radar gun for velocity.

IslandRed
04-25-2012, 10:16 AM
Moral of the story: Varying velocities and changes in pitch mix can just as easily be a sign of a growing, maturing, adjusting MLB pitcher from young, immature, hard-headed thrower just as much as it is any kind of red flag for doom.

Yep. Part of growing up as a MLB pitcher is learning every heater doesn't have to be thrown at the max.

REDREAD
04-25-2012, 10:22 AM
Forgive my ignorance, but is this Hanigan's first time catching Latos? If so, is there data on the pitch breakdown, split by catcher?

That was my thought too.
Not a criticism of our catchers, but perhaps they just call the game differently than the SD catchers do. Maybe they call less sliders?

In the article, they give the example of Latos throwing 3 fastballs in a row.
I don't remember the at bat, but it seems that Latos got 2 strikes on the fastball, and the third one was hit.. It's not malpractice to call the same pitch for the third time if you just got two strikes off it.. Typically you'd want to move that pitch a little closer to the edge of the strikezone when you do that.. maybe Hannigan called that, and Latos just got too much of the heart of the plate.

I guess I don't see anything in the article to get alarmed about (Not saying anyone here is alarmed)..

And yes, it was wonderful to see Latos pitch that game last night :)
Another "Maybe we don't suck afterall" moment :)

Superdude
04-25-2012, 03:42 PM
He only pitched 50 innings his first season. So the drop in velocity from year one to year two may have been a sample issue or it may have been as simple as pitching an entire year's workload. The second year could be any number of things. But losing 1 MPH in a year isn't really that big of a red flag. Some pitchers intentionally use a different grip which alone explains the velocity.

You're really, really grasping at straws.

Yea, what's the velocity concern here? He's already averaging better than last year even after a noticeably slower first start.

VR
04-25-2012, 03:57 PM
And more. SO MANY NUMBERS.

Perhaps when you stare at numbers long enough trying to find the solution for Latos, you see an image of Hanigan?

elfmanvt07
04-25-2012, 05:09 PM
Perhaps when you stare at numbers long enough trying to find the solution for Latos, you see an image of Hanigan?

This one is close.

http://cdn.brooksbaseball.net/player_cards/card_imgs/502009.x.x.L.L.png

_Sir_Charles_
04-25-2012, 06:22 PM
what in the world can an image like that teach ANYBODY about a pitcher?

I know that more info is usually better, but that much info just becomes noise.

dougdirt
04-25-2012, 06:26 PM
what in the world can an image like that teach ANYBODY about a pitcher?

I know that more info is usually better, but that much info just becomes noise.

That one, next to nothing other than don't expect a fastball down and in if you are a lefty or down and away if you are a righty.

Tom Servo
04-25-2012, 06:29 PM
This one is close.

http://cdn.brooksbaseball.net/player_cards/card_imgs/502009.x.x.L.L.png
I think I see a sailboat.

I(heart)Freel
04-25-2012, 10:01 PM
You're right. Losing 1 mph off the fastball in one year isn't that much of a red flag. However, losing velocity off the fast ball multiple years in a row seems to me, at least, to be an alarming trend. Maybe Latos velocity will come back to form this year. Who knows.

I clicked on Jaime Garcia on fangraphs for fun.

Looky there... he's lost velocity off his fastball each year for the past 3 years. 89.9. 89.2. 88.2.

Hmm. There might be some warning signs there. He simply does not have the electric fast ball as he had earlier in his career, ya know?

Brutus
04-25-2012, 11:43 PM
I clicked on Jaime Garcia on fangraphs for fun.

Looky there... he's lost velocity off his fastball each year for the past 3 years. 89.9. 89.2. 88.2.

Hmm. There might be some warning signs there. He simply does not have the electric fast ball as he had earlier in his career, ya know?

heh. You said "electric" to describe Garcia :)

mdccclxix
06-01-2012, 07:43 AM
I checked out fangraphs page for this info and before posting a new thread found this one. So yeah, what's up with less sliders eh? Same thing happened with Cordero after he got here and before long his 10k/9 was like 6k/9. Are they just protecting his high priced arm? Does it have to do with GABP? Price's general philosophy? His slider was crucial to his dominance, it would appear. His contact rates have gone up, walk rate up, k rate down. For all intents and purposes he's Homer Bailey, not Mat Latos.

dougdirt
06-01-2012, 08:07 AM
I checked out fangraphs page for this info and before posting a new thread found this one. So yeah, what's up with less sliders eh? Same thing happened with Cordero after he got here and before long his 10k/9 was like 6k/9. Are they just protecting his high priced arm? Does it have to do with GABP? Price's general philosophy? His slider was crucial to his dominance, it would appear. His contact rates have gone up, walk rate up, k rate down. For all intents and purposes he's Homer Bailey, not Mat Latos.

I doubt the fewer sliders are due to them protecting his arm. The Reds taught Bailey a slider. They wouldn't have done that if they thought the pitch were an issue.

dougdirt
06-01-2012, 08:10 AM
Also, Latos threw 24% sliders in May, in line with his career. In April he was under 19%. Maybe it was due to the fact that he simply was unable to throw strikes in April and wasn't getting ahead of guys, so he wasn't throwing his slider to put them away.