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A Look at Pitch Type & Value

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For a little while now I have wanted to take a look at the relationship between pitch type and value (as tracked by Fangraphs). Following the KISS method I wanted to see what it would look like when you compared each pitcher's pitch type % multiplied by their corresponding pitch value. One would think that a good pitcher would use his best pitch the most and each lesser pitch less. After all, what is the value of having a great pitch if you never use it. I looked at every pitcher with at least 10 IP this year (Sorry Randy Choate) and then broke this out by including anyone that has thrown an inning as a starter on the starter side and doing the same for relievers. As you can imagine there is some overlap, but I wanted to be as indiscriminate as possible. Here are your Rays.

Rank Name Team FB SL CT CB CH SF KN Total
28 Matt Garza Rays 0.17 0.58 - 0.16 (0.13) - - 0.77
80 James Shields Rays (0.25) 0.04 (0.07) (0.06) 0.44 - - 0.09
102 Jeff Niemann Rays 0.15 (0.16) - (0.15) (0.07) 0.04 - (0.19)
127 David Price Rays 0.03 (0.38) - (0.03) 0.00 - - (0.37)
167 Andy Sonnanstine Rays (0.34) (0.32) (0.03) (0.33) (0.01) - - (1.03)
183 Scott Kazmir Rays (1.09) (0.58) - - 0.18 - - (1.49)

There ended up being 206 pitchers that have thrown an inning as a starter with Chris Carpenter (2.68) being the best and Brandon Backe (-3.87) being the worst. You can Download the file by Pitcher Effectiveness
The averages came out to be
Rank Name Team FB SL CT CB CH SF KN Total
Avg Average Average (0.29) 0.08 0.05 (0.01) (0.01) 0.02 (0.11) (0.23)

As you can see Garza, Shields, and Niemann have had above-average "stuff" so far this year with Price not too far behind. Sonny has been quite a bit below the average and bad Kaz has reared his ugly head for most of the season.

I think this passes the smell test when you see names like Carpenter, Haren, Greinke, Weaver, Halladay, Johnson, Lincecum and Vazquez in the top 10 and names like Backe, Wang, Benson, Olsen, and Matsuzaka in the bottom 10.

In the next installment, I will look at the relievers, hope that Choate gets 3 outs tonight.