Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.

The Forums

Article: Game Thread: Twins @ White Sox, 9/30 7:10pm CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:05 PM
To steal a line from Kenny Loggins… “This is it.”All good things must come to an end…. umm… and all bad things must come to an end as wel...
Full topic ›

Article: Can Falvey Learn Anything From the Cubs' Tur...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:03 PM
With the Twins expected to officially announce the hiring of Derek Falvey as President of Baseball Opportunities any day now, I thought i...
Full topic ›

Byron Buxton Appreciation Thread

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:56 PM
This season has gotten really, really pathetic. The team sucks, the manager sucks, leading to a nearly unwatchable product. Literally the...
Full topic ›

Stop What You Are Doing And Watch Byron Buxton

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:47 PM
Byron Buxton is pretty good at defense, that much is true. Check out the coverage on this catch here:      It doesn't see...
Full topic ›

Article: Seth's Preliminary Top 50 Twins Prospects: P...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 01:40 PM
After posting Part 1 and Part 2over the last couple of days, predictably, today I am going to post Part 3 of my personal (preliminary) To...
Full topic ›
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email


Ricky Nolasco and the Declining Strikeout Rate

Attached Image: RN.jpg The Minnesota Twins’ starting pitching shortage of strikeouts has continued into 2014.

That’s not anything new but it makes you wonder if the fumes from the garbage burner are causing pitchers to simply lob the ball into the strike zone. As of Tuesday, the Twins were owners of the bottom three strikeout rates in the American League.

Attached Image: Krate.png
While Kevin Correia and Kyle Gibson are thought of as contact-oriented pitchers, it is Ricky Nolasco’s inclusion on the list which is a bit surprising. After all, Nolasco held a 19% strikeout rate over his career. Though a drop in the strikeout rate is expected during the switch in leagues and pitchers have to face a designated hitter instead of a car antenna-swinging pitcher, the drop from 20% in 2013 to 11% so far in 2014 has been curious.

Nolasco has been able to get to a two-strike count regularly, however, he has failed to put hitters away at an expected pace. According to ESPN/TruMedia, Nolasco leads all qualified starters with a .295 batting average in two-strike situations (he also owns a .333 average in 0-2 counts this year!!!)(!!!!!!).

Attached Image: BAA.png

What is happening?

The most notable difference between last year and this year is his reliance on the fastball instead of either of his breaking balls. After throwing 35%/65% fastball/secondary split in two-strike counts in 2013, he’s throwing at a 44%/56% split this year – and his fastball has been hammered. When he throws the fastball in two-strike situations, opponents are hitting .429 (9-for-21 with 3 doubles).

Another interesting aspect to this strikeout drop-off is his curveball usage. More than the usage, it is the effectiveness which is more cause for concern. Last year he posted a 25% swing-and-miss rate, that’s down to 7% this year.

Who knows where this change is coming from – coaching staff, catcher or Nolasco himself. As he mentioned in spring training, Nolasco knows he has the final say to what is thrown in what situation. As of now, he has not been effective in what should be put-away situations.

At the very least, it probably is time to reconsider what he is tossing in two-strike counts.

~~~
Twins beat the Indians on Monday so on Tuesday you can treat your family to a half price Papa John's L or XL pizza by using the promocode 'twinswin' at

PapaJohns.com

.
~~~



  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

More From MinnCentric

0 Comments