Quick Hits: Perkins saves, Burton under pressure and Hendriks struggles
by, 09-26-2012 at 12:00 AM (665 Views)
Since assuming the closer’s role for good, Glen Perkins has been absolutely brilliant, now converting 11 consecutive save opportunities.
There was one semi-minor hiccup – allowing a solo home run to Andruw Jones to bring the Yankees within one of the Twins. The pitch was clearly a slider which was intended to be buried at Jones’s feet but rather hung belt high over the plate. It wound up being the third home run Perkins has surrendered on his slider this year.
Since June 12, 33 of Jared Burton’s last 36 appearances have been scoreless. As Seth Stohs noted yesterday, he’s been one hell of an acquisition for the Twins front office. In fact, among all pitchers, Burton’s performance in high leverage situation – those in which the game is on the line – have been the best in baseball. Under those circumstances, opponents are hitting just .083 – the lowest in the MLB.
Of course, Burton’s performance in those situations should have no bearing on his future performance. For example, the Nationals’ Tyler Clippard led baseball with a .067 average against in high leverage situations in 2011 and ended up with a .230 average against this season. Still, Burton is sound nonetheless. He’s got a high swing-and-miss rate (13.8%) and with a solid changeup, he gets a ton chases out of the zone (37.7%).
The Yankees’ Phil Hughes had entered last night’s game with the worst numbers when facing right-handed hitting in 2012. In addition to a .307/.343/.595 batting line against, he’s also allowed 23 home runs to righties this year. Naturally, the Twins have two right-handed hitters in the lineup – Trevor Plouffe and Jamey Carroll – who go 1-for- 6 with just a single from Carroll.
According to the Twins’ official press release, after Joe Mauer threw out two would-be Yankees base thieves, it marked the first time he had nailed two runners in a game since July 28, 2011 in Texas. This now brings his season total to five runners caught – a trend which may be sourced to improper mechanics.
Following Liam Hendriks’ three-run first inning on Monday night, the Twins total first innings runs allowed reached 124 on the year – 52 more runs in the first than that of last year.
Nick Nelson plays the comparison game with Liam Hendriks, likening the start of his career to another homer-happy Twins hurler.
In detailing Hendriks’ woes last week, I noted that his inability or reluctance to pitch right-handers inside adversely affected the outcome of his slider.
According to Baseball Prospectus’s Pitch F/X leaderboard, it is one of the least effective sliders in 2012.
First is the utter destruction of the pitch. While Ervin Santana (13) has
outpaced Hendriks (7) and the rest of baseball in terms of home runs allowed on the pitch, keep in mind Santana has thrown many more this year – spinning 948 to Hendriks’ 172 sliders. In fact, among those who have had seven or more home runs hit off of their slider, the minimum amount of had been 630 (Jason Marquis).
Second, in addition to being hit hard, he’s simply unable to retire anyone with what should be a put away pitch but Hendriks’ 4.35% put away percentage is currently the lowest in baseball.
In his last start, the one thing Hendriks did extremely well was attacking the inner-half of the plate on the right-handed hitting Alex Rodriguez which opened up the outer-half for his slider.
The Wall Street Journal examines just how biased your hometown announcers are. Where does Dick & Bert rate among all of baseball?