Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Craig Stammen... Is He Part of the Future

Wow... took a week to get this posted. Work has been getting in the way of all this blogging and crap.

Craig Stammen finally got back on track last week against Atlanta. He only went 6 innings, but didn't get knocked around like he had in his previous starts. Some may think that he has regained the form he showed in his early July hot spell. However, start in Atlanta was marred with inconsistent location, and the Rockies game exhibited a steady decline in velocity from pitch 1 to 81. It should also be noted the consistency of the strike zone last night... in a season of lousy calls, the His last two starts, he has avoided the fly ball. Basically, Stammen doesn't have the velocity to beat anyone above the belt. However, if he continues to throw nothing but fastballs low and away, teams will adjust and hit the ball the other way. At some point, he needs that fourth pitch to keep hitters off balance the third time through the lineup.

In any event, with his innings getting up there and the bullpen relatively fresh, do not expect another performance as to what he showed in July.

His last good start in July shows the ball staying down and away with a consistent release point. In the Atlanta game, he appears to have gotten away with a few pitches up in the zone that had been spanked recently. The thing that bugged me most about Stammen's recent slump though was this:

I'm not exactly sure what shape that is, but clearly the flattening of his release point had a huge negative impact on his ability to keep the ball down in the zone. It continued from the first Milwaukee game into the Pittsburgh game... honestly, the Florida game was too short to get a good feel, but it looked like his release was significantly more erratic.

The conclusion is that Craig Stammen and Coach McCatty need to fine tune his mechanics so that he doesn't have that "inverted T" on his release chart. This reflects the fact that he locates his pitches better with a more "over the top" delivery. In the offseason, he will have a chance to polish his 2-seam fastball to make it more of a weapon driving the ball down in the zone.

Update: The second Milwaukee game yields better results with a tighter release point. Clearly the further he strays side-to-side, the more danger he finds.

1 comment:

  1. this is really good work. the data supports the general idea that if he keeps the ball down, he can be useful. if he gets the ball uop, it's BP.