Chris’ Hangover: Brad Hand And A Headline Without A Hand Pun

Last Wednesday, in an excellent post as is his tradition, Dustin noted Trevor Cahill is finding success this year using a higher mix of breaking pitches. Meanwhile, Brad Hand seemed to throw lots of wrinkles during last night’s Padres win over the Texas Rangers. Plus, with former Padre Drew Pomeranz‘s increased breaking ball usage in mind, I couldn’t help but wonder whether all the breaking pitches out of Brad’s Hand* indicate another piece in the pattern of Padres pitchers’ performance improving significantly after joining the team. Hand has been excellent again this year, rocking a 3.11 FIP and a 2.60 Deserved Run Average in 17 IP.

Lucky for us, lots of this information is recorded on the Internet, so let’s take a look! Via Fangraphs and pitch/fx (not including last night):

Fastball Two Seam Slider Curveball Changeup
2014 (Marlins) 43% 25% 0% 22% 11%
2015 (Marlins) 42% 27% 4% 15% 12%
2016 (Padres) 28% 34% 6% 31% 1%
2017 (Padres) 25% 26% 42% 7% 0%

The first thing that jumps out is how many more sliders he’s thrown this year, while he’s relied much less on the curveball. He also seems to have completely abandoned his changeup with the Padres. It makes sense too, every year since 2015 more than 20% of his sliders have been swung on and missed.

But to answer my original question we need to simplify, so let’s combine four seam and two seam fastballs with all breaking balls:

brad hand fastball breaking ball graph

Would you look at that. I don’t know if this officially counts as a pattern among Padres pitchers, but Tommy Bahama is taking notice.

*Ok one pun, but just in the article body

 

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