New Jays Starters and Pitching to AL DH’s

The obvious: The trio of incoming Toronto Blue Jays starters will have to deal with American League DH’s.

How big of an impact will this have? While there have been some historical study’s regarding league switches–Hardball Times 2008–these tend to vary season to season, and suffer from samples issues, etc. And reading about a 3% drop in GB/FB ratio just isn’t as fun as checking out the ridiculous splits.

Format for this post:

  • Splits, beginning with vs positional pitcher, then vs non-pitchers; followed by comments
  • Percentage of fastballs (or in Dickey’s case, his knuckler) vs pitchers and non-pitchers, followed by comments.

 

Mark Buehrle


Buehrle PA AB H HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip
vs. Pitcher 61 50 3 0 1 16 0.06 0.078 0.06 0.138 0.088
vs. Non-P 767 713 194 26 39 109 0.272 0.311 0.439 0.75 0.287

Took care of business; issued only one walk; BABIP non-existent, showcasing weak contact.


Buehrle FB+Cutter Total  Percentage
NP 1368 2878 0.47533009
Pitcher 117 183 0.639344262

Large up-tick as expected; lower ‘stress’ with FB/CU; finished PA in 3 pitches vs 3.75 to non-pitchers.

 

R.A Dickey


Dickey PA AB H HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip
vs. Pitcher 64 56 11 1 1 16 0.196 0.207 0.25 0.457 0.25
vs. Non-P 863 792 181 23 53 214 0.229 0.283 0.37 0.653 0.282

Higher than expected BABIP of .250; 1 HR allowed was an 0-2, 380 foot shot to Adam Wainwright; great SO/BB ratio

 


Dickey Knuckle Total  Percentage
NP 2772 3156 0.878326996
Pitcher 130 203 0.640394089

Large up-tick in fastballs to opposing pitchers; pitchers hit .273 on Dickey FB, only .178 on knuckleball

 

Josh Johnson

Johnson PA AB H HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip
vs. Pitcher 62 55 4 0 2 19 0.073 0.103 0.109 0.213 0.108
vs. Non-P 736 658 176 14 63 146 0.267 0.332 0.384 0.716 0.321

Great SO/BB ratio; went to 3 ball count only 6 times in 62 PA; 35 balls put in play, 24 on the ground

 

Johnson FB Total Percentage
NP 1578 2929 0.538750427
Pitcher 140 215 0.651162791

Average FB velocity exactly the same to both NP & Pitchers at 92.7 MPH; 1st pitch FB percentage was over 85%

Conclusion

Nothing out of the ordinary; all three pitchers benefited in 2012 from NL rules. Having to face AL DH’s should make life more difficult, however with the nature of the DH position switching from a full-time hitter to more of a rotational/day-off type position, the impact should be less than years past.

Sources: Baseball-Refernence, ESPN Stats & Media, Image via Google Images

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