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Thread: Cingrani...

  1. #76
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Cingrani...

    Would you say that it is a slider that moves like a curveball scrap? Or do you look at that video and not knowing any better still see a slider?

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  3. #77
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Cingrani...

    Quote Originally Posted by Superdude View Post
    I think I'm in a better position than anyone to speak on the subject. If you followed the blue Ace Hardware team in '98, you would have seen me attempt to throw tons of sliders in my rare mop up appearances. Like Cingrani, I learned that intentions don't always match reality. Unlike Cingrani, I cried after the game.
    You didn't attempt a slider dude, you actually threw one. Because all that matters is what you were attempting to throw, not the fact that it was a 50 mph meatball down Broadway.

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    Re: Cingrani...

    Quote Originally Posted by Superdude View Post
    In an attempt to move beyond another semantic "who's athletic" "what's a slider" argument, can anyone comment on whether this was Cingrani's main breaking ball last night? Is this a new pitch or just a slider that accidentally looped more than usual.
    Every breaking ball he threw looked similar to this. None of them were this good. This one was the best. But several others were still darn good. A few weren't so good. They all looked like they were attempting to look like this one.

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    Re: Cingrani...

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Has everyone lost their collective mind?

    Cingrani said it was a slider.

    It's a slider. It's the same slider he's been working on since he's been pitching.

    It makes no logical sense to ignore the pitcher's own statement in favor of your own narrative or opinion.
    But, but, but.......but......but......but......what if Cingrani THINKS it's a slider but he's really throwing a curve? Maybe he is simply using the wrong word to describe it.

    Yes.
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    Re: Cingrani...

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    Would you say that it is a slider that moves like a curveball scrap? Or do you look at that video and not knowing any better still see a slider?
    I think it moves like a slow slider. See wiki:

    In baseball, a slider (also known as a yakker or a snapper) is a pitch that breaks laterally and down, with a speed between that of a curveball and that of a fastball.

    The break on the pitch is shorter than that of a curveball. The release technique of a slider is between a curveball and a fastball. The slider is similar to the cutter, a pitch which is thrown as a fastball, but differs in the sense that a slider tends to be more of a breaking ball.
    That pitch broke laterally and down. Best examples include Steve Carlton's and Randy Johnson's. Both break two planes very quickly. The average major league slider, according to efastball.com, is 84 mph. However, Sergio Romo throws his slider this slow. Jake Peavy throws one even slower. Jared Weaver throws one about that slow as well.

    A curve, meanwhile, again, according to wiki:
    The curveball is a type of pitch in baseball thrown with a characteristic grip and hand movement that imparts forward spin to the ball causing it to dive in a downward path as it approaches the plate.
    Curves can break laterally, but that normally depends on whether the pitcher "cuts" the ball as he throws it. So we know this wasn't a curve. (Well, we know it wasn't a curve because Cingrani said it wasn't. But I digress.) Cingrani's pitch can't be called a true slurve either, as it's thrown like a curveball but acts like a slider. This pitch, according to the many experts on Redszone, acted like a curve, but was thrown by a man who claimed he threw a slider. You can't get there from here.
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  7. #81
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    Re: Cingrani...

    You can trust wikipedia. I will trust science and math via Pitch F/X. Normally speaking, the slider has 0-3 inches of horizontal movement. The curveball has 3-6 inches of horizontal movement.

    Now, you did bring up Sergio Romo's slider as an example. That is a good one. His slider goes against what Pitch F/X data suggests is a slider sometimes. His slider ranges from 1 inch of horizontal movement to nearly 15 inches. There aren't many guys like that. The Reds for example have a staff full of guys with really good sliders. Homer Bailey gets 2-4 inches of horizontal movement on his. Mat Latos gets -1 inch to 2 inches of horizontal movement on his. Johnny Cueto averages 1 inches of horizontal movement on his, but ranges from 0-5 inches. Aroldis Chapman averages 4 inches of horizontal movement on his, but ranges from that 0-10 inch range. Sam LeCure averages 1 inch on his slide, ranging from 0-4 inches.

    Tony Cingrani has 9 sliders thrown with Pitch F/X cameras running. Small sample size alert here, but his average horizontal movement on those 9 sliders is 1.64 inches. The range is -1 to 3 inches of horizontal movement. It is worth noting that 4 of those were thrown this spring, so there is a reference for that pitch. He averaged 80 MPH with it. They were 78 MPH, 80 MPH, 80 MPH and 82 MPH.

    So, here is where we are at. We have data, albeit a small amount, that says Cingrani has thrown a slider with no horizontal break to it and it is around 78-82 MPH, which backs up what he has said in past interviews about his slider. Some people can throw sliders that have horizontal break on them, but they are few and far between (Sergio Romo is a good example - Aroldis Chapman is a little lesser of an example, but he gets more than most guys).

    We have video showing a pitch that doesn't look at all like that pitch described above that he referred to as his slider in the past. We also have radar readings that aren't in the range that both he has said his slider is at in the past as well as what Pitch F/X has clocked a very small number of his sliders at as well.
    Last edited by dougdirt; 04-06-2013 at 09:08 PM.

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    Re: Cingrani...

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    You can trust wikipedia. I will trust science and math via Pitch F/X. Normally speaking, the slider has 0-3 inches of horizontal movement. The curveball has 3-6 inches of horizontal movement.

    Now, you did bring up Sergio Romo's slider as an example. That is a good one. His slider goes against what Pitch F/X data suggests is a slider sometimes. His slider ranges from 1 inch of horizontal movement to nearly 15 inches. There aren't many guys like that. The Reds for example have a staff full of guys with really good sliders. Homer Bailey gets 2-4 inches of horizontal movement on his. Mat Latos gets -1 inch to 2 inches of horizontal movement on his. Johnny Cueto averages 1 inches of horizontal movement on his, but ranges from 0-5 inches. Aroldis Chapman averages 4 inches of horizontal movement on his, but ranges from that 0-10 inch range. Sam LeCure averages 1 inch on his slide, ranging from 0-4 inches.

    Tony Cingrani has 9 sliders thrown with Pitch F/X cameras running. Small sample size alert here, but his average horizontal movement on those 9 sliders is 1.64 inches. The range is -1 to 3 inches of horizontal movement. It is worth noting that 4 of those were thrown this spring, so there is a reference for that pitch. He averaged 80 MPH with it. They were 78 MPH, 80 MPH, 80 MPH and 82 MPH.
    1) Who determines the fx pitch data, and how do they determine it?
    2) Are you now saying Cingrani's pitch is a slider, much like that of Romo?
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  9. #83
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    Re: Cingrani...

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    1) Who determines the fx pitch data, and how do they determine it?
    2) Are you now saying Cingrani's pitch is a slider, much like that of Romo?
    I need you to expand on the first question because I am not entirely sure what you are asking.

    As for the second thing, no, I am not saying that. I am saying that it is possible, but that my eyes don't suggest it and that it is a different breaking ball than he was throwing last season.

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    Re: Cingrani...

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I need you to expand on the first question because I am not entirely sure what you are asking.
    I asked how they came up with what pitch was which. How do they determine that Johnny Cueto threw a cut fastball and not a changeup? Or that Sergio Romo threw a slider and not a curve?

    I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) people determine pitches from watching videotape. I also believe that that's been a major problem in the past and at least one reason why pitch fx is often questioned.

    In particular, as noted in the Hardball Times article discussing pitch fx, sliders vary greatly among pitchers. Some sliders, according to the article (and pitch fx) have no break, while some have massive break and act like a curve. The quote in question:

    ... there is a whole spectrum of sliders out there: some are closer to the fastball, some morph gradually into curveball territory.

    Some sliders, as we'll see, show no horizontal or vertical break whatsoever. Since it's the ball's spin which gives it break and since it's hard to imagine throwing a slider without spin, this seems like a contradiction. However, if the axis of spin is aligned with the direction of the pitch (like a football toss, or a ... gyroball), there will be no break. I believe this is what we are seeing when we see a pitch with no movement. I wouldn't call these gyroballs, by the way. Or maybe I should—in any case, a number of different pitchers throw sliders that fit the description, and I don't believe it's anything new.
    I find any research that tells me a slider often has no spin despite being thrown correctly is research that needs to be looked at again. I suspect pitch fx is incorrectly identifying fastballs (cut, two-seam, or four) as sliders.

    Sliders by their very definition break down and away. True, the amount of break is determined by the speed with which they're thrown and the snap/ hold of the pitcher throwing it. However, the key is that break. If they don't break down and away, they're either hanging sliders (which means they weren't thrown properly) or another type of pitch.

    Curveballs might also break down and away, depending on how they're thrown. They also might simply drop off the table (i.e., straight down). The curve, IMO, is the toughest pitch to determine (aside, now, from the cut and two-seam fastball). However, the Hardball Times primer says it's the easiest, not because of its break, but because of its speed.

    That should raise some serious red flags for those that live and die with pitch fx numbers. Because changeups and sliders can be that slow-- and often are thrown that slowly and with movement that could mimic the curve's. (Examples of changeups that move both down and away include Boston starter Clay Buchholz and Colorado reliever Chris Reitsma.)
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  11. #85
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    Re: Cingrani...

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    I asked how they came up with what pitch was which. How do they determine that Johnny Cueto threw a cut fastball and not a changeup? Or that Sergio Romo threw a slider and not a curve?
    Well, it depends when you were asking the question. In the beginning, they used a pure algorithm based solely on numbers and it wasn't always right. At this point, MLBAM gets most of them right, but I still tend to lean toward the BrooksBaseball player cards based on the research done by Harry Pavlidis studying movement, grips and video comparisons. Most pitches are easy to identify because of how they move. It is the 10% of them that don't move like they should exactly that get complicated. That is when you need to dive further. Bust out the video, look at the spin rate of the pitch, what other pitches does the guy throw and how do those ones move?

    In particular, as noted in the Hardball Times article discussing pitch fx, sliders vary greatly among pitchers. Some sliders, according to the article (and pitch fx) have no break, while some have massive break and act like a curve.
    How old is that article? From reading it, my guess is some time before 2010. I understand what he is trying to say, but generally speaking, the Pitch FX community is far beyond that at this point.

    Gameday will misidentify pitches from time to time still. They used to do it a lot more, which is why in the past I would always classify them myself based on the research done by Josh Kalk (now working for an MLB team doing Pitch F/X research), Harry Pavlidis (works in Pitch F/X data) and Dr. Alan Nathan. What they have done has been picked up by MLBAM/Sportsvision over the years and now the gameday classifications are much better than they used to be.

    Sliders by their very definition break down and away. True, the amount of break is determined by the speed with which they're thrown and the snap/ hold of the pitcher throwing it. However, the key is that break. If they don't break down and away, they're either hanging sliders (which means they weren't thrown properly) or another type of pitch.
    Watc Homer Bailey or Mat Latos throw a slider. They don't break sideways. They bite downward and hard. Cueto seems to get more sideways break, but that is simply a byproduct that he throws across his body rather than more over the top like Bailey/Cueto do, so his pitch is already moving that direction. Similar to Chapman who also throws across his body.

    That should raise some serious red flags for those that live and die with pitch fx numbers. Because changeups and sliders can be that slow-- and often are thrown that slowly and with movement that could mimic the curve's. (Examples of changeups that move both down and away include Boston starter Clay Buchholz and Colorado reliever Chris Reitsma.)
    You need to erase whatever article you read at The Hardball Times, because no one would ever look at a change up and confuse it with a curveball in Pitch FX (though a link would be nice, so I can read it and see exactly what they were attempting to say, as someone who understands the system rather well, versus you who doesn't seem to understand it much so you may just be misunderstanding what was attempting to be said by their wording throughout). They are always going to be on opposite sides of a graph broken into four quadrants. A change up will be in the upper right square (for a RHP) and the curve will always be in the lower left square (for a RHP). No one would ever confuse the two. I will once again share this chart with you, to show you how Pitch F/X pitches are generally classified.


    As you can see, there is no way to confuse the change up and the slider/curveball. You can see that some sliders/curves could mix into that same area, but curves have more sink and more horizontal break than sliders do (generally speaking).
    Last edited by dougdirt; 04-06-2013 at 10:49 PM.

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    Re: Cingrani...

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post


    As you can see, there is no way to confuse the change up and the slider/curveball. You can see that some sliders/curves could mix into that same area, but curves have more sink and more horizontal break than sliders do (generally speaking).
    There's no way to confuse the change, the slider, and the curveball for Shaun Marcum.

    There's certainly a way to confuse the change up and the curve of Clay Buchholz or Bronson Arroyo.

    Some pitchers throw pitches that are difficult to label. The systems used by pitch fx people are extremely fallible (though the information can be handy) and can't be trusted to tell you what type of pitch was thrown because they misidentify pitches often. (Look at the Chris Carpenter World Series pitching charts in Texas and St. Louis as an example.)

    Some sliders, like those seen here, break like curve balls. I realize you've said basically the same thing, doug, but it's important to reiterate that fact-- some pitchers have sliders that break like curve balls.

    Therefore, to bring this entire conversation back to the beginning, it seems plausible that Cingrani threw (and throws) sliders that may look/ act like curve balls, in that they break down and away (from LH hitters). When combined with his own words that he "threw a few sliders", the assertion that he was throwing the slider as his off-speed pitch becomes a near certainty.

    Too, I've seen that pitch before. I've seen it break that way before. It's not often. It's not normally that slow. But I've seen it. So have others.

    ... he [Cingrani] flashes just enough of a loopy slider and acceptable change to keep hitters more or less honest.
    In short, it's the same old pitch he's been throwing-- you just saw a good one (or three or four, actually) that stood out.
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  13. #87
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    Re: Cingrani...

    Scrap, the charts you liked for Arroyo and Buchholz are completely different than the one shown for Marcum. And the chart for Marcum works out just like almost every other pitcher. That is how we know which pitches to classify as what. They all move in a certain way.

    You simply aren't sure what you are looking at when you look at all of those charts, which is why you are confused by them.

    Bronson Arroyo is a crazy dude, who throws 20 different pitches because of his arm angles. Yet his pitches all fall in line exactly where you would expect them to in a horizontal by vertical movement chart. The two pitches aren't being confused.

    Clay Buchholz is a little different. His change up works the opposite way from his "Fastball", but works the right way from his "Cutter". My guess would be that he throws the change up similarly to his cutter, which is why it reacts off of that instead of the 2 and 4 seamer he throws.

    I will be back in a little bit with a breakdown of the Reds pitches from last year. The Shaun Marcum chart is for him specifically, but it works for almost every right hander and left hander (just mirror the image for those guys).

    I will also note that the Escobar chart you linked to was from 2008, when Pitch F/X was in the beginning of it's use. The data there may not be correct. The pitch classification very much could be incorrect too. Do you know which Escobar is being referenced there so we can look it all up?

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    Re: Cingrani...

    I feel like I know what I'm seeing, doug. The blue dots represent what pitch fx thinks are change ups, while the yellow are supposed to be curves. The curves break a bit more than do Buchholz's changeups, but some changeups are over into the curve field. That means, when he really gets good movement on his change, Buchholz changeup can look like/ break like a curve. (It's the same thing with Arroyo's change, his cutter, and his curve. Each can break/ move like the other.

    Please, correct me if I'm wrong.

    As to which Escobar, I have no idea which one it is. Found it on the first page of a Google search from "pitch fx data".
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    Re: Cingrani...

    The two links you showed for Arroyo/Buchholz were Velocity by horizontal movement. The Marcum chart, which is the kind used to help identify pitches is horizontal movement by vertical movement. The charts are not the same. The kind I showed, shows both directions of movement. The kind you linked only shows one. They aren't the same. You are confused by what you are looking at.

  16. #90
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    Re: Cingrani...

    Here is the Reds lefty chart for movement from 2012


    Here is the Reds righty (starter) chart for movement from 2012


    The Fastball isn't being mistaken from other pitches. So that is what we identify first. The change up sinks a little more and moves away a little more from the fastball. Also easily identifiable since we know what the fastball is. The slider stays near the "cross" in the middle. It has good sink, but not much run/tail either way. The curveball has better sink, often actually have "negative" sink and it has more tailing action as well.

    To use the Bronson Arroyo example of confusing his curveball and change up.... the two pitches are nearly 15 inches apart on the chart. No one is confusing them if they are looking at the right chart. You weren't.
    Last edited by dougdirt; 04-07-2013 at 12:59 PM.


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