While Major League Baseball is moving in a different direction than the Pitch F/X system for some of their newer tracking services for the 2015 season, several of the parks in Arizona have the system installed and running for spring training. The Reds had a split squad game against Colorado on Monday afternoon and the system was up and running at the home of the Rockies.
Michael Lorenzen threw two innings, but he was very effective, needing only 19 pitches to get through both innings. Fourteen of the pitches were strikes. He threw 12 fastballs, what appears to be two change ups and three sliders with two pitches not registering on the system. With a small sample size to work with, just 12 fastballs thrown, and knowing he could go all out a little easier with just two innings on the day, perhaps he let it go a little more, but Lorenzen was throwing his fastball at 96 MPH on the day.
Just kidding. The 96 MPH fastball that he threw was the slowest of the 12 fastballs that he threw on the day. Four of them were 97 MPH and the other seven were all 98 MPH. Not that velocity in that range is out of the question for Lorenzen, who was throwing in the upper 90’s as a reliever, but as a starter he hadn’t really been in that range. The first thing that went through my mind was to double check the velocities of the other pitchers in the game and they lined up with what you would expect from those players, so it would seem that the Pitch F/X system was accurate on the day.
Maybe the spike in velocity is just because of the limited innings and Lorenzen didn’t have to pace himself as much and let it fly. Or maybe he’s picked up some extra velocity after getting a full season in last year and putting in an incredible amount of work in the offseason.