In the aftermath of the Freddy Garcia signing I mentioned that if I felt so inspired I’d dig into the numbers to “see if there are any curiosities in his recent poor performance that might suggest a turnaround,” and of course my buddy Joe beat me to the punch to a certain extent in noting that Garcia’s 2010 changeup was actually a pretty effective weapon against lefties.
For my deeper look at Garcia I thought I’d analyze the PitchFX data, to see whether anything instructive or informative might arise. First, a quick look at Garcia’s stats going back the last three seasons, as that’s as far back as the PitchFX data goes:
Unfortunately, outside of last season Garcia’s seen pretty limited action while also performing rather poorly, so these small samples aren’t all that instructive, but as it’s all we have they can at least provide us with some guidance.
Garcia’s best performance during the last four seasons came during the nine starts he made in 2009 — not surprisingly that season featured his best GB% since 2005 and the first time in his career he walked less than two batters per nine innings.
While Garcia strikes righties out more frequently then lefties and walks them less frequently, for whatever reason he has some issues with surrendering the long ball to righthanded batters, which is reflected in his FIP, which was higher vs. righties in every season except 2009. However, given that it’s slightly harder to hit a home run at Yankee Stadium hitting righthanded than lefthanded (RHB HR Park Factor of 110 vs. LHB Park Factor of 124) — though YS still plays as an above-average HR park for RHB — maybe Garcia will have slightly better luck keeping the ball in the park against same-handed batters. Although given that none of the projection systems see a HR/9 lower than 1.1 (with PECOTA projecting a particularly brutal 1.4) I wouldn’t go holding my breath.
Here’s the horizontal and vertical break for Freddy’s four main pitches (I excluded the splitter — even though Fangraphs has wSF data for Garcia, they only have h-break and v-break for 2010, so there didn’t seem to be much utility in including).
In his lone good year of 2009, Garcia’s changeup was worth 3.4 runs above average, and broke about two inches less than league average horizontally and about two inches higher vertically. The pitch was even more effective in 2010, and while it essentially had league-average horizontal break, it once again broke more than two inches higher than the league, so it would appear that if Freddy can throw his change with 6-7 inches of elevation it will remain a good pitch for him.
Garcia’s fastball was pretty awful last year, and actually worse than Javier Vazquez‘s 89mph avg., -3.5 runs above average offering. Garcia had similar H-break on his fastball, but elevated it an inch-and-a-half higher than Javy — and nearly two inches higher than the league — and so while elevation may be the name of the game for Freddy’s change, he throws his fastball too high and as a result it more or less gets crushed.
His slider was solid in 2009, but though its H-break and V-break barely changed in 2010, he lost about a mile-and-a-half of velocity on it, which was enough to turn the pitch from an asset to a detriment. If Freddy can’t get the slider back up to 81 he’s going to have to limit its usage (he threw it more than a quarter of the time last season, down from 2009′s 29% but way up from 2008′s admittedly abbreviated 13%. In 2007 he threw it 14% of the time).
His 2010 curve was OK, but nothing to get terribly excited over. He throws it significantly slower than the league average curveball — given the near 20-mph difference between his curve and fastball, if he locates it well it’s probably a pretty nice pitch to have in his back pocket.
Unfortunately a deeper dig into some of the numbers hasn’t really yielded anything profoundly positive that might suggest a stronger 2011 campaign for Freddy Garcia. He’ll have to continue the effective deployment of his changeup to be of any use, while perhaps mixing in his curveball a bit more often (only 5% of the time last season) to keep hitters off balance so they’re not sitting on a fat 88mph fastball.
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- Brand bc on Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- http://2804lasela.wordpress.com/ on TYA Predictions: Bold predictions for 2012
- the tao of badass pdf on What about Austin Romine?
- Joey Parkhill on Dante Bichette Jr’s Swing
- lululemon factory outlet on Contact Us
- Cary on Will R.A. Dickey’s Knuckleball Succeed In A Domed Stadium?
- Brenna on Links: Prospects, Support for A-Rod, Mariano is Love and Who’s in Center?
- Louis Vuitton Outlet Sale Singapore on The Monthly Prospector: April Edition
- Authentic Louis Vuitton Outlet Store on The Monthly Prospector: June Edition
- Louis Vuitton Outlet San Diego on Banuelos to Undergo Tommy John Surgery, Yankees Prospectors to Undergo Grief Counseling
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees