FanPost

Your New Closer: Rafael Soriano

The Rays just added a much needed flame thrower to the bullpen after two straight years having one of the lowest average fastball velocities for relievers. Rafael Soriano is a power pitcher bringing a well located (more on that later) low-mid 90s fastball that he can throw as a two-seamer as well. His primary offspeed pitch is his slider which is a little slurvey coming in around the low-80s and decent movement separation from the fastball. Soriano rarely throws a changeup with only seven tracked by MLB Gameday. But this season Soriano added a cutter which has a little more cut from his fastball, and a little better outcomes with (SSS).

So here are some basic pitch movement numbers for Soriano's three pitches.

table.tableizer-table {border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;} .tableizer-table td {padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc;} .tableizer-table th {background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold;}

 

PitSelect%MPHHMOVVMOVspindirspinrate
FF 60.9% 93.4 -4.6 9.2 206 2162
SL 23.4% 83.2 3.0 2.2 126 760
FC 15.2% 91.8 -0.5 8.5 183 1732
CH 0.6% 81.0 -1.4 4.6 193 972

Some movement visuals of his pitches.

From The Rays Party

 

Although I can't separate the two fastballs by clustering yet, we can see that Soriano clearly throws a two seam fastball. That should make Hickey's job a whole lot easier.

Now for spin axis vs. velocity chart.

From The Rays Party

 

The fastball/slider velocity separation is a little slower than average even though the movement is very-very similar to the average slider.

And some basic stats for each pitch.

table.tableizer-table {border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;} .tableizer-table td {padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc;} .tableizer-table th {background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold;}

Pitrv100WhiffIWZSwingOSWINGTakeLDGBFBPUSLGCON
FF -0.97731874 12.0% 50.9% 46.7% 27.9% 53.4% 16.1% 30.1% 37.6% 11.8% .742
SL -1.21163701 16.4% 49.1% 49.5% 35.7% 50.5% 21.8% 30.9% 43.6% 1.8% .491
FC -3.41846154 12.6% 52.2% 47.8% 36.8% 51.7% 15.4% 23.1% 50.0% 11.5% .346
CH 1.74857143 0.0% 28.6% 14.3% 0.0% 85.7%        

 

Small sample size but the cutter produces some really excellent results compared to the fastball which can get beat up at times with that high SLGCON(slugging on contact or TB/BIP). Soriano seems to get hitters to swing outside the zone at his pitcher for an above average rate, more specifically the slider. The MLB average for OSWING for a slider was 30.8%. Soriano has almost five percentage points more. We can also see that Soriano is a flyball pitcher, getting a decent amount of infield flyballs on the fastball and cutter.

 

Remember when I said Soriano had well-located fastballs? I believe it is a huge reason for his great splits against both left-handed and right-handed hitters.

I Split PA HR BB SO SO/BB BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+
vs RHB as RH 718 15 51 226 4.43 .168 .236 .284 .520 .228 72
vs LHB as RH 619 20 53 139 2.62 .235 .303 .404 .707 .278 133

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/10/2009.

 

Well we can see that command visually through pitch f/x.

From The Rays Party

 

 

From The Rays Party

 

Not exactly Mariano Rivera, but this is very good. You can watch this in action in this short clip from MLB.com.

Update:I didn't know Andy Hellickson also did one already but I was working on my database all afternoon. I have more numbers yet he has the better visual.

This post was written by a member of the DRaysBay community and does not necessarily express the views or opinions of DRaysBay staff.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join DRaysBay

You must be a member of DRaysBay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at DRaysBay. You should read them.

Join DRaysBay

You must be a member of DRaysBay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at DRaysBay. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker