Mariano Rivera has seemed a bit off over the last week to ten days or so, going deeper into counts and allowing more baserunners than he did earlier in the season. While he has been able to limit the damage, it has been evident that Mo was not exactly himself. Well, now we may know why:
Mariano Rivera didn’t throw at all today and was unavailable to pitch. “He was feeling a little cranky today,” Joe Girardi said. Rivera told us his right shoulder was sore, but he did not classify the soreness as painful. He said he has felt this pain before and felt fine soon after. Girardi said he’d be “shocked” if Rivera weren’t available tomorrow in Seattle.
Mariano goes through a dead arm period every August, and it freaks out Yankees fans until he inevitably straightens it out. The numbers actually bear out this observation very clearly, as Mariano’s August ERA is indistinguishable from other months, but most of his peripherals are worse in August. Looking at his career splits, August is his worst month in terms of BAA, OBPA, SLGA, SO/BB, and WHIP. His tOPS+ for August is 116, meaning that his OPS against is 16% worse than usual in August. Furthermore, as he has done thus far this month, Mariano generally powers through his dead arm period without breaking, as evidenced by his unaltered ERA. So do not worry. This is normal, and it should not lead to much harm.
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