SABR

Petti: At what point should we worry about velocity loss?

From SABR member Bill Petti at FanGraphs on July 26, 2012:

I’ve written quite a bit this year on trends in pitcher aging, specifically velocity loss and gain. In the last iteration I focused on the odds of pitchers gaining velocity back after a season where their fastball dropped by at least 1 mph.

In that piece I listed a few pitchers to keep your eye on given that their velocity was down from 2011. In June, I wrote about CC Sabathia for ESPN and noted that the big lefty is likely beginning to “age”, as the odds are quite a bit higher that pitchers over the age of 30 do not gain velocity back once they’ve lost it.

After thinking about it a while it occurred to me that there is of course the chance that these pitchers will gain their velocity back by the end of the year (as I noted in both pieces). We know that, generally speaking, pitchers gain velocity as the season goes on. Temperatures rise, and so too do fastball velocities. If this is the case I wondered at what point in the season we can say with greater certainty that a pitcher is throwing as hard as he is going to throw. Is there a particular month where a velocity decline is more likely to translate to or predict a full season velocity decline?

Read the full article here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/at-what-point-should-we-worry-about-velocity-loss/

This page was last updated July 26, 2012 at 11:07 am MST.

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