Slicing Up Bob Howry

In the Randy Johnson thread, things moved on into Bob Howry.  As a Cub fan, I lamented his performance and wished the Giants luck.  Or words to that effect.

The question surrounds Howry's fastball, or questions.  They are

  1. How much slower was it in 2008 vs. 2007?
  2. Was his performance impacted by the velocity?
  3. Was his performance impacted by the location?

I'll measure performance four ways

  1. Whiff Rate (whiffs/swings)
  2. Fat Rate (pitches in the middle 8 inches, within the top/bottom strike zone)
  3. BB/9 Inning (not pitch specific)
  4. BABIP (not pitch specific)

I'm breaking time down by month.  The first two metrics are specific to the fastballs, and are based on PITCHf/x data.  The last two are general, and were taken from Baseball Reference (and they combine Mar/Apr and Sept/Oct).  For PFX sampling reasons, I'm using July-September 2007 and April-September 2008.

This is a test.  If this were actual analysis I would've actually tried this before.  We'll see what happens.

First, the zones - the darker are in the middle is "Fat", the solid areas flanking it are "Sides", then "Edges" (now off the plate) followed by "Off" and "Wide" (or "Wild"). 


Actually, the Sides are just a hair short of the 17 inch plate.  The fat is 8 inches, 4 on each half, and the plate is 17 inches.  So part of each Edge is a rule book strike.  All of the Edges are within the zone that umpires and batters seem to actually see/play/call.

Updated: League #'s for the slices ... much more in the comments

cfx # Fat Side Edge Off Wide
FA 101,132 0.210 0.191 0.154 0.104 0.058

Howry's fastball is less "fat" than the average FA in the above sample

Howry's raw numbers ....

mon. yr. n Fat MPH BBp9* BABIP* Swing Whiff
7 2007 101 0.178 94.2 0.7 0.359 0.505 0.196
8 2007 189 0.180 93.9 2.5 0.176 0.571 0.204
9 2007 156 0.199 94.8 1.2 0.268 0.622 0.186
4 2008 168 0.202 90.8 1.4 0.391 0.548 0.098
5 2008 143 0.224 92.1 1.8 0.318 0.546 0.154
6 2008 124 0.194 93.3 0.9 0.344 0.532 0.121
7 2008 171 0.175 92.8 1.4 0.238 0.579 0.172
8 2008 120 0.150 92.2 0.8 0.361 0.542 0.108
9 2008 98 0.174 91.7 5.4 0.478 0.510 0.280

Pictures ...

Howry9_medium Howry10_medium Howry11_medium
Yea, I'm not getting anything.  This was only a test.  The metrics applied may not be useful, the samples too small, the analysis too crude.  But, it is another way of trying to put PITCHf/x together with performance - something I've found challenging to date.

Bonus: Speed Charts for Howry. 

Howry1_medium Howry2_medium

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