The Mockingbird

First Look At David Purcey

with 8 comments

Of course the most important thing for Purcey’s first outing was settling down and throwing strikes, here’s a look at what he was throwing. He does have a changeup, but did not feature it at all last night:

UPDATE: He did also throw a two-seam fastball (hat tip- Obal) that ranged between 84-91 mph. It didn’t move like a changeup, but a couple of times (like when he got Ordonez to pop out), it was as slow as one. So Purcey was either usefully erratic on his first day or “taking something off it”. It’s news to me that he even had that pitch in his arsenal (there should also be a marginal slider lurking around).

His fastball was 94-95 and was tailing well. His curve wasn’t anything special (edit: on second thought, I might just be spoiled. It was like Burnett’s on his first night out when he had his normal drop but mediocre side-to-side movement. But most pitchers DREAM of that kind of movement) but if you saw the game you know he was able to throw it for some key strikes- unlike his fastball that was sailing up on him:

Now it’s back to the minors for the big lefty (he will be replaced by Shawn Camp according to Wilner). Not sure what he “learned about the umpires” except that they’re pretty good (as I showed over at Baseball Digest Daily, umpires are not typically any harder on rookies) but not a terrible debut…remember McGowan?


Written by halejon

April 19, 2008 at 3:52 am

Posted in Seriousness

Tagged with , ,

8 Responses

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  1. I had a nice set of seats just above the plate, and seeing the pitch f/x reassures my initial thought.

    I think he was over-throwing the fastball, because he wasn’t confident throwing it at 91-92 miles an hour to that lineup. As a result, he tried to pick too sharp of spots, and added a little too much extra on it to really control it.

    He used the curve to set up a lot of key outs and strikes, and if he can add something between the 91-92 of his fastball and 72-75 of his curve, he might be able to be a part of something down the road.

    I mean, I’m all about adding tall lefties with a devastating curveball.


    April 19, 2008 at 4:34 am

  2. Interesting…I’m very interested in comparing pitch f/x to the impressions from watching the real thing. What was your impression of his Curveball? Throwing three of them in a row when it was the only pitch he could get over was pure gold by Zaun.

    I thought you could pretty clearly see him trying too hard on certain pitches. Forgot that he doesn’t normally hit 95 consistently, that could have done it.


    April 19, 2008 at 4:48 am

  3. Sweet.

    First time, long time. Just curious, about the missing changeup: How does Gameday identify the pitch types? It says Purcey threw four pitches with start speeds between 84 and 88 which are listed as fastballs but I think might actually have been changeups. They all tail off more laterally than all of the actual fastballs, but don’t break like sliders.

    If that’s the change, he actually got Magglio with it once. Gameday says Purcey’s first (change?) came 1-0 to Magglio in the 3rd, which he pulled off of and popped up to left. Then he came right back with a first-pitch (change?) to the next hitter Cabrera for a ball. His last one was the wild pitch to Ordonez in the 5th which allowed Polanco to take second.

    This is my first time ever touching pitch f/x though, so I could be totally lost.



    April 19, 2008 at 6:19 am

  4. That’s a great email address. I am totally spamming the hell out of it.

    Gameday uses a pretty advanced pitch algorithm, but it’s still really in its infancy when done 100% automatically. It works by statistical grouping, identifying the fastball group by velocity and then other groups by differences velocity and movement/break. I don’t trust it 100% because it can be pretty hard to tell the difference between a good cutter and a poor slider, for example. But when it’s 3 in the morning I would trust it with my life. 🙂

    Anyway, you got me all excited but now I’m pretty sure that was a 2-seam fastball. It’s not quite slow enough, and doesn’t drop like every other changeup out there. The tailing action and slight drop in velocity is atypical of a sinker/2-seamer, but I didn’t bother to look because I didn’t think he threw one. Nice catch!


    April 19, 2008 at 11:32 am

  5. […] in 62+ innings of work. The Mockingbird did a full writeup on his Pitchf/x data and uncovered a mid 90’s fastball with good movement. David Appelman is the creator of […]

  6. Always good to read about baseball and its players, I’ve played since a kid..

    Can I ask though – how did you get this picked up and into google news?

    Very impressive, is it something that is just up to Google or you actively created?

    Obviously this is a popular blog with great data so well done on your seo success..

    Weapons: Kamas

    July 21, 2008 at 11:15 pm

  7. Google news? Huh? Where? I’d love to help, but I do pretty much nothing to promote this blog these days so I have no idea…I would guess that Google just picked up some post that got a bunch of traffic.


    July 22, 2008 at 12:30 am

  8. […] couple of curveballs this time, which is a good thing (remember when he first came up when that was all he threw?). According to my newly-reborn database (now taking requests if anyone’s wondering about […]

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