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The Matt Magill Improvement Story

Posted by Miles Death , 20 June 2018 · 955 views

pitching magill molitor bullpen fangraphs
By now, most of us have noticed how Matt Magill has been a solid arm in the Twins bullpen this season. He made his first appearance of 2018 in a clunker of a game (which I attended :angry: ) on April 29th against the Cincinnati Reds. He threw 2.1 innings that Sunday and gave up just 3 hits and 0 earned runs, adding 2 punch-outs as well. So far this year with the Twins, he’s given up a total of 3 ER over 23.2 IP, for an ERA of 1.14.
Magill was drafted in 2008 in the 31st round to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He had two briefs stints in the majors with both the L.A. Dodgers (2013) and the Cincinnati Reds (2016) before joining the Minnesota Twins (2018). During that time, he had ERA’s of 6.51 and 6.23 respectively. He’s clearly been around for a while; so why the recent success on the bump?
In my mind, there’s two simple reasons:
  • He’s throwing more strikes:
    • In 2013 as a starting pitcher, Magill gave 28 free passes in 27.2 IP (BB/9 = 9.11 – ouch.)
    • In 2016 as a relief pitcher, he had a BB/9 of 10.38 in just 4.1 IP
    • Now, in 2018, he currently holds a BB/9 of 1.3 – and that is fun to watch
  • His stuff is a lot better:
    • His fastball velocity has an average of 95.1 MPH so far in 2018, compare that to 93.1 MPH in 2016, and 91.8 MPH in 2013.
    • He’s getting more movement on both his 4-seam fastball, and his “cutter” or hard slider. Check out the charts from FanGraphs below on the horizontal movement for Magill's pitches (2018 first, 2016 second). For your reference, a positive value on horizontal movement means the ball will be moving away from a right-handed hitter, and therefore a negative value means the ball is tailing in on a righty.

Matt Magill - 2018 Horizontal Movement

Matt Magill - 2016 Horizontal Movement


Clearly, in 2018 he’s getting more movement on that cut fastball (FC), slightly more run in on the righties, and again more velocity with the 4-seamer (FA). This could be a contributing factor to why he's been so effective this season at producing weak contact (.219 BABIP - Nice!).

Check out the vertical movement below (2018 first, 2016 second):

Matt Magill - 2018 Vertical Movement

Matt Magill - 2016 Vertical Movement


Again, the notable difference is with the cut fastball (FC).
Magill is throwing the ball over the plate, and he has increased his velocity considerably, while getting more movement on his cutter. This is a recipe for continued success and I believe it’s time for Molitor to start utilizing him in higher leverage spots. Can somebody explain to me why he hasn’t gotten this chance yet?
Let me know what you think in the comments!
-Miles

  • gil4, nicksaviking, jun and 3 others like this



 

Can somebody explain to me why he hasn’t gotten this chance yet?

1. Molitor hasn't seen your charts.

2. Pressly's arm hasn't fallen off yet.

 

That's all I have.

    • nicksaviking and Miles Death like this

1. Molitor hasn't seen your charts.
2. Pressly's arm hasn't fallen off yet.
 
That's all I have.

FO is saving his arm for after Presslys falls off. Sadly for Magill the teams medical staff will transplant Magills arm to Pressly over the ASG break, but won't tell Molitor. He will keep running Pressly out there, and won't notice Magills right arm is missing till the end of the season good byes after our annual one and done in NY.
    • gil4 and ThejacKmp like this
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howieramone2
Jun 21 2018 08:37 AM

If it's not broken, don't fix it.

1] Molitor falls in love with guys performing well that he "knows".

2] Molitor can be stubborn about roles, IMO, and keeps holding MaGill out to be the long guy.

Having defined roles for the pen is not a bad thing. But when guys gets overworked or slump, it's time to be flexible and creative.
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nicksaviking
Jun 21 2018 09:06 AM

Great, stuff. Yeah, Molitor needs to stop abusing Pressly and Reed. Magill seems like a fine candidate to ease their burden.

 

 

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tarheeltwinsfan
Jun 24 2018 03:14 PM

 

If it's not broken, don't fix it

Oh it's broken.

    • Miles Death likes this
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ChrisKnutson
Jun 24 2018 06:42 PM
If we’re not using him then we might as well trade him (opening a spot for Luke Bard) cuz I think other teams view him a little more than just a mop up guy. Might as well trade Zach Duke too so Adalberto Mejia/Gabriel Moya can audition for 2019.

 

FO is saving his arm for after Presslys falls off. Sadly for Magill the teams medical staff will transplant Magills arm to Pressly over the ASG break, but won't tell Molitor. He will keep running Pressly out there, and won't notice Magills right arm is missing till the end of the season good byes after our annual one and done in NY.

Sadly, our annual one and done in NY is in grave danger due to Molitor's golf schedule.

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Miles Death
Jun 25 2018 10:40 AM

 

Sadly, our annual one and done in NY is in grave danger due to Molitor's golf schedule.

 

Dark.... but true.