Not including this start, just looking at some PITCHf/x data as well as batted ball data. He's lost 1mph on his 2 seamer and 4 seamer. But, batted ball data, I'm looking at his line drive percentage on his pitches.
His 2 seamer last year had a line drive percentage of only 13.4% in 661 pitches. His 2 seamer is the pitch he threw the most. His next 2 being his 4 seamer (528 times) and then his slider (425 times). All 3 of them had line drive percentages of less than 20%. Breakdown:
2 seamer: 13.4% (661 pitches)
4 seamer: 15.3% (428 pitches)
slider: 17.2% (425 pitches)
This year it's quite a bit different.
2 seamer: 20.6% (298 pitches)
4 seamer: 9.7% (180 pitches)
slider: 17.2% (157 pitches)
Right away you can see his slider isn't getting hit that hard. AS a matter of fact, it's being hit on the ground 62.1% of the time (last year it was 50% of the time). What you will see is that the line drive rate off of his 2 seamer is up 7%. His ground ball percentage off his 2 seamer is also down (2012 it was 59.1%, this year it's 46%). Do the math on that.
7% increase in line drives off of his 2 seamer and a drop of 13% of ground balls off of it. Fly ball percentage is up 10% year over year off of it as well.
But this isn't just an issue with his 2 seamer. His 4 seam fastball is also down from 47% ground balls to only 29% this year. That's an 18% drop. The good thing is that the line drives are down (15.3% to 9.7%). The bad sign is that the fly balls are tremendously up (37.5% to 61.3%).
So, just by watching his starts and looking at the data, he's not getting the ground balls. Balls are up in the zone, and they're being hit in the air.
Digging a little deeper, I noticed something. This year he's thrown his change-up already 58 times. In 2012 he threw it 97 times the entire year.
Out of his 1,910 pitches in 2012, he threw his change-up only 97 times. Just 5% of the times.
This year? He's already thrown 767 pitches (not including today). He's thrown his change-up 58 times. Up a tick from last year (nearly 8% this year). It's getting hit *hard*. Line drives are 31%.
Digging a little bit further, his walk rate on his 4 seam fastball is 19% this year. Last year it was 10%. His strikeout rate on his 4 seam fastball this year? Only 10.6%. Last year it was 22.7%.
Putting it all together, it looks like his slider is working still. The problem is that his 4 seam fastball is not working and his 2 seamer isn't quite getting him the ground balls it normally does.
It all comes down to fastball command with Hammel. He's walking too many guys with his 4 seamer. And he's not strikeout out enough guys with both his 2 seamer and his 4 wseamer. Just poor command location with it. Too high in the zone.
I know this is a lot of rambling to say that he's walking too many guys and leaving balls up. But the numbers are showing his issues are with his fastballs.
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