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A Brief Comparison

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Player Pitches SwStr% Foul% K% uBB% FB Velo xFIP
Pitcher A 2012 8.4 19.8 18.06 9.92 90.7 5.16
Pitcher B 516 7.8 30.8 18.97 6.9 92.5 5.06

 

Both of those are Scott Kazmir in 2009. A is his Rays season while B represents his Angels season. I'm not going to pretend to know what happened with his foul rate or velocity -- maybe Florida has a velocity tax I'm unaware of -- but for the most part, nothing changed. Fewer pitches were whiffed on, more were fouled off -- which raised his strike rate, but unintentionally so -- he struck out about a batter more per 100 faced, walked three less, and avoided the home run bug.  The thing is, you can do this for just about any stretch for any player. Below are the numbers from Kazmir's last five Rays starts:

 

Player Pitches SwStr% Foul% K% uBB% FB Velo
Pitcher C 523 10.1 N/A 22.1 6.87 90.7

 

Those numbers are more comforting if I'm an Angels fan. Of course Kazmir promptly lost the strikeouts and whiffs while gaining velocity, which goes against expectations.

I guess what I'm saying is: Scott Kazmir is an odd bird.