This came out last week and I missed it somehow. Kyle Lotzkar actually tore his labrum last season in his shoulder, but it didn’t require surgery. However, as a result, he will be used as a reliever moving forward in his career. Last year was the first time he had really made it a full season without an injury causing a chunk of missed time, and unfortunately he did wind up with an injury, just in the last two weeks of the season. Whenever you hear shoulder injury, it isn’t good. The fact that there was an actual tear in his shoulder and he is still pitching is concerning for the future, but let’s hope there is no further injury. It will be interesting to see how he responds to working out of the bullpen, both in terms of his stuff and the usage patterns given his arm history.
Drew Hayes has impressed Dusty Baker this spring. However it is a good example of why it is not good to really pay attention to spring training. Dusty had this to say:
“He’s a guy I brought in the first two or three games with the bases loaded,” Baker said on Friday. “I apologized to him and said, ‘Hey, sorry I can’t start you out with a clean inning.’ He seemed unfazed by it. He said, ‘It’s OK, no problem.’ He throws strikes. He has a good attitude. He and [Chad] Rogers, they stand out by throwing strikes.”
Hayes has a career walk rate of 5 batters per 9 innings in the minor leagues and in two of his three seasons is well over 5.0. Historically speaking, he is not a strike thrower at all. I am also curious about Baker’s quote, as Hayes has 3 walks and 1 strikeout in 2.2 innings this spring. His stuff is impressive, but control isn’t and hasn’t been any kind of asset to this point.
Reds.com has another article up on Chad Rogers that details some of his shark attack and dives into his spring a little bit as well. Rogers has had a solid spring thus far with a walk and 4 strikeouts in 5 innings.
Tom Nichols has up his 2013 Dayton Dragons preview on first baseman up at DaytonDragons.com. He pegs Carlos Sanchez as the likely starter after his outstanding 2012 with the Billings Mustangs. Robert Maddox could also see time at first base.
Harder throwing pitchers have less hard contact against them according to a new study done by Graham Goldbeck who studied years of Hit F/X data (which I would LOVE to get my hands on, just in case someone is out there listening). The studies shows something that we all have known since little league: When you pull the ball, you hit it harder. The further in front of the zone a hitter makes contact with the ball, the harder they tend to hit the ball. The pitchers that throw the ball harder tend to have the ball contacted further into the zone, thus decreasing the speed of the ball off of the bat.
Jon Roegele poses an interesting question (more of a series of questions throughout his article) at Beyond the Box Score. Can adding extra oomph on your fastball when desired potentially be dangerous? It seems that there may be a small correlation with relievers. It is also interesting to note that both starters and relievers tend to add velocity with each additional strike they throw in a given at bat.
Tim Crabbe threw for Team Italy against the USA on Saturday. Crabbe worked out of the bullpen and tossed just 0.2 innings. His fastball was 92-93 MPH. In terms of movement, it moves similarly to the fastball of Jose Arredondo. He mixed in a cutter, change up, curveball and slider as well (he only threw one of each off speed pitch in his 13 pitch outing).