While searching deep in the bowels of the internet on Sunday night for a Trevor Cahill article, I found some interesting nuggets on Luis Perdomo.
(Note: Most of these numbers don’t include last night’s start.)
Interesting nugget No. 1: Perdomo has gotten a 71 percent groundball/BIP on his sinker, ninth in the league among pitchers with at least 50 sinkers thrown.
This probably isn’t a huge surprise given Perdomo’s well-documented groundball ways, but it’s a six percentage point improvement over last season, and it’s led to a league-leading 68 percent groundball rate overall this year. Part of Perdomo’s success involves him keeping the ball on the ground, and his home run rate is significantly improved over last season.
I didn’t catch Trevor Cahill‘s start on Saturday night because I was in Boston watching another ace named Chris Sale. I came away from that experience convinced that the key to solving baseball’s pace-of-play problem is to clone about 50 or so Sales, although that would immediately prompt a new run-scoring problem (and, perhaps, cross some ethical boundaries). Back to the subject at hand . . .
Cahill didn’t have his best start against the White Sox, but he still managed seven strikeouts and a lone walk on the road in a hitter-friendly ballpark in the league with the DH. When even your bad starts look pretty darned good, you know you’re getting somewhere. We’re a month and a half into the season—or 41 1/3 innings in Cahill Time—so I figured it’d be a good time to check in on where Cahill stands in the majors in a variety of pitching categories (among starting pitchers). Let’s get right to it.
13. Lance McCullers, 2.02
14. Trevor Cahill, 2.07
15. Madison Bumgarner, 2.11
Brief stat description: Deserved Run Average, from Baseball Prospectus, is probably the best catch-all pitching stat going these days, a tremendously ambitious attempt to isolate pitcher performance as best as humanely possible.
Distance to leader: 1.01. Whoops, here’s that Sale guy again. He currently has a 1.06 DRA, which is 50 points better than Craig Kimbrel‘s best full season. I know it’s not fair to put anyone on Clayton Kershaw‘s level, but Sale is pushing the envelope. He is, quite simply, shredding it in a Red Sox uniform.
As for Cahill, this number, by itself, goes a long way toward validating just how good he’s been so far this year. You don’t put up the 14th-best DRA in the majors with smoke and mirrors.
Here’s some stuff I read this week that you might enjoy:
- Every Player In Its Right Place (Baseball Prospectus) – Jeff Long presents results of BP’s collaboration with a company called Ayasdi to create “similarity maps” that attempt to put players into various buckets based on shared characteristics. Many of the technical aspects are over my head, but I like the concept and will be interested to see where they take this.
- Ayala High’s Jonathan Buckley pitches a winner against diabetes (Los Angeles Times) – Need a reason to love Brandon Morrow? Try this: “The player turned around and whether because of fate or luck, it was Morrow. For more than 30 minutes, he graciously talked to Buckley and his family, explaining that Type 1 diabetes would not prevent anyone from pursuing their dreams.”
- What MLB scouts see when they watch the Chihuahuas (Sports Town El Paso) – Jason Green tells us what’s happening at Triple-A. His report includes thoughts from an American League scout on Rymer Liriano, Austin Hedges, Nick Vincent, and more. Meanwhile, BP’s Brendan Gawlowski saw El Paso right-hander Aaron Northcraft (acquired in the Justin Upton trade) and came away less than impressed. Further down the chain, Curt Rallo profiles Michael Gettys at MiLB.com. Desire? As Gettys says, “I try to make every part of my game better, whether it’s hitting, hitting for power, base running, defensively. I try to be the best at every aspect. I work at everything.” Seems like a good plan. [h/t reader LynchMob for the Gettys article]
- Introducing Deserved Run Average (DRA)—And All Its Friends (Baseball Prospectus) – Harry Pavlidis et al. have introduced a new pitching metric. This bad boy checks in at nearly 5,000 words, so cancel those afternoon meetings that you would have slept through anyway. If you’re still bored and/or awake after that, here’s an even longer (!) article on the same. Still need more pitching stuff? At Hardball Times, Saul Jackman examines Tyson Ross’ devastating slider, among other things.
- Cardinals minor league strength coordinator breaks gender barrier in baseball (Peoria Journal Star) – This is good to see. Hopefully Rachel Balkovec isn’t categorically dismissed by closed-minded individuals the way former Padres massage therapist Kelly Calabrese once was by Keith “Just for Men” Hernandez. As Calabrese correctly noted back in 2006, “I don’t think the big issue is whether it’s a woman or a man, but just finding the person for the job.” [h/t SABR; follow the link for more goodies]