Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.
A Brief Review of Jose Alvarez’s Sunday Start
Left-hander Jose Alvarez, signed by Detroit this past November to a minor-league contract, made his major-league debut on Sunday afternoon after recording the second-highest strikeout rate (25.8%) and highest strikeout-walk differential (20.7%) among qualified starters in the Triple-A International League. What follows is a very brief review of his first career start.
Alvarez was excellent on Sunday, recording a 7:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 6.0 innings and the lowest single-game xFIP among all of Sunday’s 32 starting pitchers. Here’s his overall line (box): 6.0 IP, 22 TBF, 7 K, 1 BB, 9 GB on 14 batted-balls (64.3%), 1 HR, 3 H, 1 R.
MLB’s Gameday algorithm had some difficulty with Alvarez, classifying what appear to be two different breaking pitches both as a slider. As the annotated PITCHf/x chart below (featuring pitch speed and horizontal movement) demonstrates, though, the distinction between the two isn’t entirely clear.
Overall, it seems as though Alvarez threw four-plus pitches: anywhere from one to three different fastballs (four-seam, two-seam, cut), a slider, a curve, and a changeup.
Alvarez’s Breaking Pitch: Example One
Here’s an example of one pitch that was classified as a slider, Alvarez’s slowest pitch of the day — a 73 mph breaking ball for a called first strike to Michael Bourn in the third inning:
Alvarez’s Breaking Pitch: Example Two
Here’s a second breaking pitch, at 78 mph, by Alvarez — from later in that same at-bat, actually, for a swinging strike three:
Alvarez’s Breaking Pitch: Example Three
Finally, here’s another pitch that was classified as a slider — in this case, at 86 mph to Nick Swisher for a called strike. Incidentally, Tigers broadcaster Rod Allen referred to this one as a cut fastball.
Alvarez’s Best Pitch
According both to Gameday’s PITCHf/x data and also to Brooks Baseball, Alvarez’s most effective pitch on Sunday was his changeup, saving somewhere between 1.6 and 1.8 runs relative to average. According to Brooks, Alvarez threw the change 21 times and got three swinging strikes on it.
Action Footage: Jose Alvarez’s Changeup
Here’s the best footage from Sunday of Alvarez’s changeup — in this case to Yan Gomes for a strikeout in the second inning. Unfortunately, because of the off-center camera angle, it’s difficult to get a full sense of the pitch’s arm-side fade.
Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
Los Angeles AL at Baltimore | 19:05 ET
Jered Weaver (23.0 IP, 116 xFIP-, 0.5 WAR) faces Freddy Garcia (38.1 IP, 110 xFIP-, -0.4 WAR). The former has been rather good in two starts since returning from the DL, recording a 12:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and conceding just two runs in 12.0 innings.
Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Baltimore Radio.
Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 5.4.
Note: the following table is entirely sortable.
|Jered Weaver||LAA||2||6||3||9||2||BAL||Freddy Garcia||19:05|
|John Lackey||BOS||7||9||8||6||8||TB||Alex Cobb||19:10|
|Yovani Gallardo||MIL||5||4||4||0||4||MIA||Ricky Nolasco||19:10|
|Homer Bailey||CIN||9||5||6||5||3||CHN||Scott Feldman||20:05|
|Scott Kazmir||CLE||6||8||6||4||6||TEX||Josh Lindblom*||20:05|
|Doug Fister||DET||7||7||5||5||3||KC||Jeremy Guthrie||20:10|
|R.A. Dickey||TOR||8||6||5||0||2||CHA||Dylan Axelrod||20:10|
|Wade Miley||AZ||5||3||6||2||9||LAN||Clay. Kershaw||22:10|
|Julio Teheran||ATL||7||8||5||7||0||SD||Jason Marquis||22:10|
|Dallas Keuchel||HOU||5||4||6||6||7||SEA||His. Iwakuma||22:10|
Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.