It should be no secret by now to anyone who watches the Yankees on a regular basis that Bartolo Colon isn’t a one pitch pitcher, but he’s the next closest thing to it. According to Fangraphs 82.5% of Bartolo’s offerings this season have been fastballs. He’s complimented his fastball with a slider that he throws 12.4% of the time, a change up that he throws 4.5% of the time, and the occasional cutter, that he throws just 0.7% of the time. To provide context, CC Sabathia throws his fastball 59.6% of the time, evidence of just how reliant Colon is on his fastball.
Here’s the break down of the pitches he’s thrown from 2002-2005 and for 2011, the last seasons in which he was a regular starter where data are available:
The data show that Colon has become more reliant on his fastball and his slider as the years have progressed. In the past he used his change up more often. The data also show that Colon hasn’t lost much velocity on any of his pitches. Despite maintaining his velocity, Colon is mixing in his secondary offerings less because they are bad pitches. The data below are taken from Fangraphs.
These data show two things. First, they show that Colon has one good pitch, his fastball, and three other pitches that are somewhere between bad (his slider) and horrible (his cutter). Colon is therefore effectively a one pitch pitcher. He lives and dies by his fastball. His other offerings either serve to keep a batter off balance, or no purpose at all, because they can’t get anyone out. These data also show that Colon has pretty much always been a one trick pony. His slider and change up were plus pitches in 2003, but not in any other season for which data are available.
In light of this information, it becomes even more shocking that Colon has had the success he has enjoyed over the years. Most pitchers need at least two plus pitches, sometimes more, but Colon has been a good to very good starter for a long time in the big leagues, and he’s done it with the one pitch batters are most successful hitting. That said, his reliance on the fastball, and his lack of a secondary out pitch, also explain why he’s stumbled of late. There is a limit to how effective any starter can be if he just buzzes fastballs past the batter. If he doesn’t have movement, or location, it’s only a matter of time until he gets killed.
Much has been made of Bartolo Colon’s decline since he came back from the DL. This isn’t an accurate portrayal of his work. Since coming back on July 2nd, Bartolo has given up more than three runs only twice. He’s gone less than five innings only once. That is good, but not great, performance. The problem is that Bartolo raised expectations so high with his work in the first half of the season. But, in retrospect, it was only a matter of time before the league began figuring Colon out. As demonstrated, he throws only fastballs, a pitch professional hitters can handle. By now teams have enough information on what Colon is offering to prepare for him. If he can get the late break on his fastball, and the calls around the corners, all the preparation in the world won’t save the opposing offense. When he can’t, however, at a minimum opposing teams can drive his pitch count up and get him out of the game, which is precisely what’s been going on during his last several starts. With any luck, Colon will either make an adjustment, or get that late break back on his two seamer.
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
- walkfit platinum reviews on The TYA staff on the Yankees’ television and radio broadcast teams
- essentialtexting.com on Open Thread | Game 3 | Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees | Sunday, April 3, 2011
- www25.tok2.com on Sabermetrics Doesn’t Have A Monopoly on Not-Stupid: Mike Trout is the AL MVP
- グッチ 財布 on Sunday Links-Joba’s Timetable, Comparing eras, Pineda
- raspberry ketone diet 1200 on Sabermetrics Doesn’t Have A Monopoly on Not-Stupid: Mike Trout is the AL MVP
- Free riot codes on Off-Topic
- Fran on The Great Subway Race
- sleeping bag hand Orientation on What about Austin Romine?
- camping stove heat diffuser on What about Austin Romine?
- 手機殼 on The Yankees’ Standing In The AL East Right Now
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