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Any reax to Fangraphs article on Hughes?

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#1 BigTrane


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Posted 11 April 2014 - 12:53 PM

Been waiting to see something on this here... guess I'll go first.

Pretty thorough- though somewhat inconclusive piece on Hughes.
Their conclusion, in a nutshell: his change-up isn't dropping.
Everything in the same plane- I think we've seen plenty of that.

The point that caught my eye is the foul-ball rate with 2 strikes.
That seems to be outweighing the change of scenery/HR factor, at least to this point.

Anyway, curious to know what others think about Hughes, and the analysis.

Feel free to pile on about Suzuki.

#2 Craig Arko

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 01:02 PM

It seems like sound analysis. Obviously something is not working right.

It will be instructive, as always, to get Parker's take.

#3 blindeke



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Posted 11 April 2014 - 01:29 PM

I thought he isn't throwing the changeup very much this year?

I was interested that his fastball had as much movement as Scherzer's. I always thought Hughes' FB was rather straight.

#4 BigTrane


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Posted 11 April 2014 - 02:09 PM

The thing I caught from ST was that he was back to his curve.
Cutter? In his case, possibly NYY Brainwash.

The curve seemed to be effective in ST, though I have been more focused on that than his changeup. I'll trust FG on the numbers. Doesn't seem like he's thrown the curve much... not trusting it yet?

Ballpark factor, HR/rate? We'll find out over the season.
With the 2-strike fouloff rate, an out-pitch is the question.

Another striking thing in the article was the comment about his hammy injury and how his curve was never the same after that. If Anderson is pushing him back to that pitch (which was once his out-pitch) and ditching the cutter (please) then he has to rely on his changeup for a 3rd pitch.

HR rates may not be the issue here.
Feel free to pile on about Suzuki.

#5 Willihammer



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Posted 11 April 2014 - 02:30 PM

I'd like to see Hughes' decision tree.


It doesn't seem right that opponents can foul off a 92-93 mph fastball and then a 78-79 mph curveball. Maybe he's too predictable, or tipping his pitches?

#6 Parker Hageman

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 02:51 PM

Couple of factoids:

Hughes is currently leading baseball with a 50% foul rate (league average being 34%). With two strikes, that rate goes to 54% but several other pitchers leapfrog him.

Part of the reason he has always had a high foul rate is the same reason Scott Baker did as well: With two-strikes they attacked just above the zone. That is prime real estate for a hitter to send one back to the screen. Beyond that, while hitters are looking for the 92 mph letter-high cheese, he drops a fair number of slow curves which hitters have no choice but to pull into the stands or down the line.

"You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." -- Jim Bouton, "Ball Four"

#7 BigTrane


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Posted 11 April 2014 - 03:23 PM

Aha! Parker! crarko called it...

Parker, I'd love to see a breakdown- what you say is informative, I just want to see more. More detail, please!

The Baker/Hughes comparison is interesting, as is the constant voice of Bert in my head about "change the plane" and "go down in the zone". Sounds about right.

Question is: does Hughes have an out pitch?
Key point of the FG article was that he wastes so many pitches on 2nd-strikes that he racks up around a 100 PC by the fifth. Clearly not sustainable. And distinctly different from the HR concerns when he was signed.

So... and all caveats on the table... small sample size, etc., I'd love your analysis on the situation. Temple himself was not conclusive.... but as time goes by, I'd really be interested to see your breakdown/analysis in an extended piece.

My take? Just an impression: he's wearing himself out of games because of this. His curve seems to be more effective than his cutter, but he doesn't throw it much- confidence issue.
No out-pitch? What next? Where does/should this go?
Feel free to pile on about Suzuki.