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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 6/14/19

Carlos Santana’s launch angle; Masahiro Tanaka’s disappearing splitter; Lucas Giolito’s long road to becoming an ace

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals Peter G. Aiken

FanGraphs | Jake Mailhot: Carlos Santana lost a bit of his signature stroke that he cultivated with the Indians when he was with the Phillies, but after going to the Mariners and then back to the Indians, he’s re-found it again, hitting to a 144 wRC+ this year... thanks to a new approach and higher launch angle, of course.

Baseball Prospectus | Luke Apostoleris ($): Masahiro Tanaka is a slightly different pitcher now, using his slider and curve significantly more than earlier in his big league or Japanese career, but his signature pitch was always the splitter. Now the splitter has been poor, showing a few inches less vertical movement and hitting more of the strike zone than he’d like. The reasons for this are likely mechanical and hopefully fixable, but without it, he now has very limited options to succeed.

The Ringer | Michael Baumann: It took seven years, but Lucas Giolito might finally be an ace. After injuries hurting his velocity and command that hit an all-time low last year, he found the secret sauce by revamping his pitching mechanics so he went from a stabbing motion to just pulling out of the glove and throwing. The difference has been better velocity, more consistent command, and finally... a lot of strikeouts.