Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Give 'em the heat, meat

Daniel Cabrera is pitching tonight for the O's and Stanley recently noted Cabrera seems to be taking the advice about pounding the strike zone. So, I took a look at Cabrera's stats on Fangraphs and I think they're telling.

Cabrera is throwing 87% fastballs, by far the highest percentage of his career. His career average is 73.5%. His fastball is averaging 93.1 mph, the lowest mark of his career (lifetime average 94.7). He is using his slider and curveball far less and mixing in more changeups. He's also throwing all 3 of those pitches with less velocity. His K/9 are down by nearly 2, but his BB/9 also are down by close to 2.

Baltimore is among the better defensive teams in the AL and Cabrera is benefiting from a .240 BABIP. That number could indicate some good luck for Cabrera, but it also could be the result of throwing strikes and letting his defense do some work behind him. It seems reasonable to believe that BABIP can be influenced some by getting hitters to swing in pitchers' counts rather than hitters' counts.

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