Daily Notes: Scott Kazmir’s Increasing Velocity, Animated

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.

1. Featured Game: Seattle at Cleveland, 12:05pm ET
2. Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

Featured Game: Seattle at Cleveland, 12:05pm ET
Regarding This Game, Who’s Starting It for Cleveland
Starting this game for Cleveland is left-hander Scott Kazmir (25.1 IP, 96 xFIP-, -0.1 WAR).

Regarding Scott Kazmir, A Thing of Which the Author Is Aware
The author is aware that recently, in these pages, FanGraphs managing editor and viceroy of love Dave Cameron welcomed back now-Cleveland left-hander Scott Kazmir to major-league baseball — welcomed him back, that is, largely due to the impressive velocity Kazmir had exhibited in a start against Oakland on May 9th.

Another Thing of Which the Author Is Aware
Another thing of which the author aware is that perhaps the Reading Public — itself busy attempting to navigate life’s horrors one-by-one — needs only so many status updates in re Scott Kazmir’s velocity.

That Having Been Said
All of that having been said, it’s entirely possible that the present author (a) has recently devised for himself how to render multiple, successive PITCHf/x charts into GIF form and now (b) wants badly to share the fruit of that particular labor with the world — in particular, as it pertains to Scott Kazmir.

Pitch Chart GIF: Scott Kazmir
Below is the aforementioned pitch-chart GIF for Scott Kazmir’s five starts in 2013. Each chart plots velocity (on the Y-axis) against horizontal movement (on the X-axis). Note that he red bar at around the 94-mph mark represents the absolutely hardest fastball Kazmir threw in his season debut. It’s intended to provide a reference point for Kazmir’s velocity in his next four starts. Also note that pitch classifications — between four- and two-seam fastballs, for example — are estimates and not always entirely accurate.

Kaz Velo

What One Finds
What one finds from Kazmir’s pitch-chart GIF is that Kazmir has (a) thrown a number of pitches faster than his first start’s fastest pitch and also has (b) thrown generally, in each successive appearance, more and more pitches faster than that first start’s hardest pitch.

What Else One Finds
What else one finds is that, so far as fruits of labors are concerned, the pitch-chart GIF is probably along the lines of a pomegranate — insofar as the labor required to prepare the fruit might not be entirely justified, except just occasionally for purposes of novelty.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast
Per the results of our crowdsourcing project from the 2011-2012 offseason, FanGraphs readers prefer Cleveland Radio (link).

Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
Tampa Bay at Toronto | 13:07 ET
Jake Odorizzi faces R.A. Dickey. The former is making his season debut following the trade this winter that sent him to the Rays from Royals, along with very promising outfielder Wil Myers, in exchange for Wade Davis and James Shields. Here’s Odorizzi’s rest-of-season Steamer projection: 38.0 IP, 7.06 K/9, 3.71 BB/9, 1.06 HR/9, .287 BABIP, 4.48 FIP, 4.33 ERA, 0.3 WAR.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Toronto 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 4.9.

Note: the following table is entirely sortable.

Away SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Hisashi Iwakuma SEA 8 6 8 9 7 CLE Scott Kazmir 12:05
Jake Odorizzi* TB 7 7 7 4 9 TOR R.A. Dickey 13:07
CC Sabathia NYA 6 5 5 8 3 BAL Freddy Garcia* 19:05
Johnny Cueto* CIN 8 5 5 7 2 NYN Shaun Marcum* 19:10
Kevin Correia MIN 2 3 4 8 6 ATL Julio Teheran 19:10
Cole Hamels PHI 5 0 2 0 1 MIA Alex Sanabia 19:10
Bartolo Colon OAK 6 6 5 4 5 TEX Josh Lindblom* 20:05
Jon Lester BOS 6 8 4 0 1 CHA Dylan Axelrod 20:10
Jeremy Guthrie KC 3 6 4 4 3 HOU Dallas Keuchel* 20:10
Clayton Kershaw LAN 10 2 6 6 3 MIL Yovani Gallardo 20:10
Patrick Corbin AZ 6 4 5 8 3 COL Jon Garland 20:40
Shelby Miller STL 10 2 5 5 0 SD Jason Marquis 22:10
Zach Duke* WAS 4 2 3 6 2 SF Ryan Vogelsong 22:15

To learn how Pitcher and Team NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.

Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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Dan Rozenson

There are also a couple of ballparks with noticeably “hot” radar guns. I don’t think Progressive Field or Citizens Bank Park have that problem, and that’s where Kazmir made his last three starts.

Pat G
Pat G

isn’t there a good chance those Velos are PitchF/X?

Dan Rozenson

They are, indeed, PITCHf/x-based. Toronto is one stadium with a fast speed reading (about +1.5).