The Mockingbird

Putting Romero Back Together

with 9 comments

Ok so it turns out I do have to go back to Romero, because although the thing that automatically detects the type of pitch is getting better, they are way off for Romero. Here’s the movement on his pitches and what the machine called them:

romero1So the things it calls sliders are moving in two directions and at two different speeds, then there are some curveballs in the exact same place…you get the idea.

What Romero is actually throwing is this:

  • A 92 mph fastball that sinks — a real 4 seam fastball is up at 9-10 horizontally, Romero’s averages about 4 inches below that.
  • A 2-seamer/sinker — There’s no clear line between it and his fastball, but the ones with the most dip are about 4 mph slower and sink six inches.
  • A cutter — Significantly slower and thrown only to righties.
  • A change — Hmmm…I forgot to label this one. I think it was a distinct pitch. Also only thrown to righties, but with more bend and down at 80-81. Only four of them all night so hard to tell.
  • A decent slider with some side-to-side variation.
  • A huge breaking ball that was very consistent.

romero-circles

And now this just gets hideous, but if you squint your eyes at that following chart that tells you what actually happened to these pitches, here’s what you get:

  • His breaking pitches were mostly balls. On the other hand, there were a few swinging strikes and nobody made contact with one all night.
  • His groundouts all came on a combination of his sinker, cutter, and his fastballs that sunk so much they were pretty much sinkers.
  • All the hits against him came against his fastball. Especially the ones that didn’t sink so much. Duh.

romeroresults

Written by halejon

April 11, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Posted in Seriousness

9 Responses

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  1. Thanks, halejon.

    eyebleaf

    April 11, 2009 at 4:35 pm

  2. Great work, as always. It’s much appreciated.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to see Romero throw yet this year, so I was wondering if anyone had noticed the following. I remembered reading a scouting report on him over the off-season (can’t remember where) that said that his arm slot drops about four inches when he throws his curve or slider compared to the rest of his pitches? Does anyone know if this was the case, and, if so, whether or not it’s been corrected? The pictures looked pretty clear, and I can’t imagine this taking long to get around the league if it’s the case, and if it is, I’m assuming this could soon become a pretty big problem.

    Blackbyrd

    April 11, 2009 at 7:43 pm

  3. Does MLB Gameday use the same “thing” to track the pitches as your source?

    They were consistently tracking his fastball at 93mph, with the odd 94 and his sinker was like clockwork at 89. Though I didn’t start watching until the 4th inning.

    Scott Lewis was peculiar though. His 86mph “fastball” and 85mph “changeup” were giving Gameday trouble.

    ayjackson

    April 11, 2009 at 8:00 pm

  4. One other thing, Jon. BJ’s release point looked quite variable today. In two appearances, do we have enough data to make an haphazard comparisons to last year? Or 2006?

    ayjackson

    April 11, 2009 at 8:02 pm

  5. Blackbyrd: I posted a quick and dirty look at his release point. It’s in inches so the main clumps aren’t too bad, but the ones that drift out to the left are probably a completely different slot.

    halejon

    April 11, 2009 at 9:11 pm

  6. Ayjackson: Hmmm…it should be, but I don’t see him hitting 94 at any point in the record. Maybe they round up for the crowds? Later in the game Romero was throwing his four seamer a lot more and hitting 93 regularly.

    Jesse Litsch used to be the worst on Gameday. It just had no idea what was happening out there on the mound.

    We might be able to make an comparison, but it would be EXTREMELY haphazard. The data for release points isn’t consistent and I think especially from one year to the next. I’ll take a look but I think Beej just doesn’t throw his freaking slider any more, anyway…

    halejon

    April 11, 2009 at 9:20 pm

  7. I’ve been having a hell of a time with this, mainly because i haven’t looked through the entire xml file — but I think there’s the possibility that Romero’s not throwing a 2-seamer at all. I know the plots and movement show that it should be a 2-seamer.

    I wish I could get a look of his grip, because I think that Romero might just be throwing his cutter and getting dip on it at different speeds.

    Is this a crazy thought? I think i’m going to need one more start to really take a look at the data — but I’m intrigued.

    kris

    April 15, 2009 at 3:03 pm

  8. Well, there’s not much difference between the two pitches anyway (see: roy Halladay’s two cutters that weren’t/aren’t) so I would say sure it could be the same grip, but in terms of speed and movement I think the pitches marked 2-seamer are more similar to his fastball than cutter.

    halejon

    April 15, 2009 at 5:24 pm

  9. Yah, I completely agree with you — I’m just screwed up with Romero’s stuff.

    Almost all of the Jays throw a hard cutter — I think Halladay’s comes in at 2 or 3mph less than his FB. Marcum and Litsch pull the same steeze, right?

    I know Romero’s had the cutter since the days of CSF, but I get the feeling that the Jays worked on something — or at least got Romero throwing it harder.

    From the looks of it, Romero’s barely even throwing something that you could classify as a true cutter.

    I dont know when he picked up the 2-seamer/sinker, because I’ve always just focused agreeing with MAN-GOD, Keith Law, about Romero’s selection.

    kris

    April 15, 2009 at 6:21 pm


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