For my daughter’s tenth birthday, I did what any good father would do and I took her out of school early. I showed shows up to surprise her at 10am on her 10th birthday for a day of, what else, baseball.
Earlier in the month while driving around, my daughter and I were talking about how the Royals had gotten hot recently and how exciting it was to see good baseball this late into the season. During this drive my daughter reached into my center console and grabbed my Royals schedule and sighs: there was no game scheduled for August 26th, her birthday. She was excited to see that there was a game on my birthday, but quickly disappointed to learn it was an away game.
Being the consummate baseball lover that I am, I had remembered that the Royals and Rays had a game that was snowed out earlier this year. Recently, the game had been rescheduled for make up on August 26th. Even more exciting was that it was a 1:10pm start time — a good enough reason as any to take her out of school early.
So at 10am on her birthday, off to the Royals game we went. I had purchased seats just behind first base about 25 rows back. On the way to the K we stopped and picked up giant-sized bottles of water and some BBQ sunflower seeds. We arrived at about 11am and started to prep for tailgating.
Since being included in the “Wil Myers-James Shields” trade, Wade Davis has been written about an awful lot, especially at saber-minded baseball sites.
The boost in effectiveness that Davis got from shifting to the bullpen is well-examined in this article by Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs: increased velocity on most of his pitches led to higher K%, lower H% and Contact%, and, thus, overall success.
But I wonder: is there anything that we can see in the PITCHfx (or other) numbers that indicates Davis might be able to maintain some of his new-found gains? I took a glance at his pitch values to see which pitches saw the greatest jump in value. Four out of five of them saw a jump in value: his four-seamer, slider, curve, and changeup all increased in value. But, while his four-seamer increased by a mere 0.17 runs/100-thrown, his curveball and slider both saw massive jumps: 4.16/C and 2.97/C, respectively. He wasn’t throwing these pitches with less frequency in relation to his fastballs as he did as a starter, so they weren’t necessarily getting a bump in value from being seen less.
I looked at PITCHfx more in-depth at Brooks Baseball and wasn’t surprised by what I found, at least in regard to his slider: