The Mockingbird


with 5 comments


Time to recycle other sites for the complete lack of Jays news! Fangraphs has a nifty review of Jays up and comers that made me want to tack on something about Jesse Carlson. They mention that Bill James predicts him to stay productive next year, which is almost certainly due to his high strikeout rate. Despite being constantly called “overrated”, strikeouts for pitchers are very consistent from year to year (as are walks) while hit rates fluctuate wildly and randomly – which gives a lot of hope to SABR types for a pitcher like Carlson to be more than a flash in the pan.

The caveat is that he’s rather unique. As Fangraphs points out, he works off a slider, throwing it 56% of the time. What they don’t mention is that was the highest percentage in the league for anyone who threw anywhere near that number of sliders. The hopeful news is that hitters hit sliders for the worst average of any pitch (.220ish), so if he can continue to throw them for strikes at the freakish rate he does now maybe he can keep it up. The bad is that there aren’t really any other pitchers ever who have managed to pull this off. New pitching technique, or just another Litsch – who makes it through a year on pure novelty and then has to learn how to pitch the way everyone else does?

So maybe we can look at his minor league numbers to identify some sort of trend in his development. Or maybe they’re all over the place from one year to the next and completely befuddling.


Written by halejon

November 25, 2008 at 3:57 am

Posted in Seriousness

5 Responses

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  1. Hey Jon. Heads up: that second link isn’t working.


    November 25, 2008 at 10:53 am

  2. Hey Jon,

    At some point over the off-season I would love to hear your opinion on Jesse Litsch’s chances of having success going forward.

    Great site. I check it everyday regardless of the frequency of your posts. I’ll take the quality over quantity everyday.


    November 27, 2008 at 6:44 pm

  3. Thanks a lot, man. As you can probably tell, I don’t dig the daily reporting much (unless I’m getting paid for it), and could use some ideas on what to dig into. I was just thinking about Litsch, I’ll get on that.


    November 27, 2008 at 6:52 pm

  4. Gah…except there’s so little to go on for Litsch because he completely reinvented himself towards the end of the season.


    December 18, 2008 at 4:02 am

  5. […] (which makes Scott Downs year, ummm…godlike?)  but he’s a total freak, throwing his slider more than anyone, and for strikes at an abnormal rate. I’m hopeful because sliders are fundamentally harder to […]

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