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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New Toy at FanGraphs: Pitch Type Linear Weights

Today, FanGraphs debuted what they're calling Pitch Type Linear Weights. They're only on the player pages, for now. Appelman:
What this section does is it uses linear weights by count and by event and breaks it down by each pitch type so you can see in runs the actual effectiveness of each pitch.
So, if you make an out on a pitch, you get credited for the linear weights value of an out. If you allow a single on a pitch, you get penalized the linear weights value for that event. And it's broken down by count as well. So, you get a strike on a hitter, you are credited for typical value of a strike. Allow a ball, you're penalized for the typical value of a ball.

These are really new stats, so it's hard to know how to interpret them. So, to start, I pulled career totals for all current Reds pitchers (minus Janish...). All data are average run values per 100 pitches of that type (that's what the "/C" means). My comments are in the table.

Player wFB/C wSL/C wCT/C wCB/C wCH/C Comments
Arroyo -0.76 1.44 0.07 0.79 -0.64 Breaking stuff is strong, but high-80's fastball gets hit. Has to be thrown to set up the other pitches, though.
Burton 0.71 -2.42 1.33
3.13 You see that cutter, which he throws about half the time. Should he ditch the slider?
Cordero 0.44 1.52

1.38 Probably best slider on the staff--that's not a surprise, right?
Cueto -0.09 0.4

-1.74 In 2009, Cueto's FB & SL are +1.39/C and +3.18/C, but his change is -8.13 runs/C. Wasn't that something he was working on?
Harang 0.31 0.22
-0.57 -2.22 Harang (like Cueto) is primarily a two-pitch guy, so I guess it's not surprise that his 3rd and 4th pitches don't look so good..?
Herrera 0.75 1.44
-1.58 -0.48 I have no idea how they're classifying his screwball here. Given this and the sample size, I'm ignoring this one
Lincoln -0.39
-3.17 0.85 4.71 Last year, Lincoln's curve ball was +1.29 runs/C. This year, -3.13 runs/C. Location? Any pitchf/xers want to look?
Masset -0.38 1.26
1.24 -1.27 Masset throws his fastball 70% of the time. Should he try using his breaking pitches a bit more often (60/20/20 instead of 70/15/15)?
Owings 0.44 -0.84

-0.91 Some guys throw their fastball to set up the offspreed stuff. This makes me think Owings uses to the offspeed to set up his 89 mph FB.
Rhodes 0.93 0.89

1.52 The change-up is little used (low sample), but he gets by just fine with his FB/SL combo.
Volquez -0.26 -0.72
-1.03 0.76 His early years are weighing him down--his '08-'09 data are much better.
Weathers 0.06 0.84

0.75 He's has gone from using his change-up 3% of pitches to 7% last year and 10% this year, with good results. Simultaneously, he's relying less on his slowing FB.

Your thoughts are welcome!