Yu Darvish Final 2011 Pitch Count

Taking a look at Yu Darvish’s final 2011 pitch count, in-season velocity and MLB teams that have scouted recent starts.

Yu Darvish’s 2011 NPB regular season

Date ERA IP Pitches Hits HR K BB + HBP
04/12/11 9 7 119 7 1 9 3
04/19/11 4.8 8 119 4 0 8 2
04/26/11 3.52 8 123 6 0 10 1
05/03/11 3.38 9 136 5 0 7 3
05/10/11 2.63 9 136 6 0 15 1
05/18/11 2.2 8 127 5 0 5 1
05/25/11 1.86 9 121 4 0 11 1
06/01/11 1.61 9 103 4 0 8 0
06/08/11 1.42 9 109 3 0 10 0
06/15/11 1.39 8 103 9 0 10 1
06/24/11 1.37 8 131 7 1 13 0
06/30/11 1.44 8 131 7 0 13 3
07/07/11 1.5 8 108 6 1 5 2
07/13/11 1.47 8 117 5 0 7 2
07/20/11 1.44 9 114 4 0 9 1
07/30/11 1.56 8 145 8 0 11 3
08/06/11 1.67 7 112 7 1 8 0
08/12/11 1.57 9 126 5 0 14 2
08/19/11 1.59 9 123 8 0 9 1
08/25/11 1.56 9 114 4 0 15 2
08/31/11 1.54 8 118 5 0 9 3
09/06/11 1.52 8 122 5 0 10 1
09/11/11 1.47 7 111 4 0 7 2
09/17/11 1.45 9 127 6 0 12 0
09/23/11 1.48 8 130 7 1 5 3
09/29/11 1.42 8 117 2 0 12 0
10/05/11 1.49 8 124 10 0 9 3
10/11/11 1.44 9 130 3 0 15 1
Final ERA IP Pitches Hits HR K BB + HBP
Stats  1.44 232 3396 156 5 276 42

 

Yu pitched once a week for approximately 60% of the season, from opening day until right around August 19th. From that point on, he pitched on an MLB like five to six days rest. Due to the Nippon Ham Fighters securing a playoff spot, the team skipped his final start of the regular season (scheduled for Oct 16th).

The ERA stat is on-going seasonal mark, which in this instance showcases Yu maintaining a high level of success throughout the season. For the 2011 campaign and 232 IP, Yu allowed only 156 hits, 5 HR and struck out 276 against only 46 walks + hit batters. He threw at least 8 IP in 25 of his 28 starts. He averaged 121 pitches per start.

Playoff Amendment to pitch count: Coming soon (once the NPB playoffs have concluded). To be updated fan us on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter @mopupduty

In-Season Velocity

While Darvish throws as many as five different pitches, his two main offerings are his fastball and slider. Using NPBTracker tracker data, here are pitch velocities from the beginning, middle and end of the 2011 regular season.


In-Season Pitch Avg Velocity
Start #1 fastball 93.71
slider 79.73
Start #14 fastball 93.18
slider 79.32
Start #28 fastball 94.67
slider 80.8

 

2011 vs 2010:

As noted in our Yu Darvish 2010 Pitch Count article, last season Yu broke the 140+ pitch count barrier nine times and the 130 barrier ten times, for a season total of 3234 pitches.

This season he threw 140+ only once (145 on July 30th) and the 130+ mark seven times, eliminating higher workload starts but throwing more total pitches for the season (3396). His 2011 total would have earned him a rank of 22nd overall in the MLB.

As was the case in 2010, Darvish’s total pitch count is similar to Toronto Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero. Romero threw 3241 pitches in 2010 & 3374 pitches in 2011.

Interested Parties

It’s easy to find unsubstantiated Darvish rumours within just about every teams Blogsphere. The following is a concrete list of teams have scouted at least one Darvish start since August 2011, sourced by traditional Japanese media sources such as Nippon Sports (Sponichi Sports), Asahi, etc (via Yakyu Baka)

Baltimore Orioles

Boston Red Sox

Cleveland Indians

LA Angels

LA Dodgers

Minnesota Twins

NY Mets

NY Yankees

SF Giants

Tampa Rays

Texas Rangers

Toronto Blue Jays

Washington Nationals

Outside of possibility of the Chicago Cubs (who may be involved since the Epstein hiring), the majority of the MLB ‘big spenders’ appear to be interested. One would imagine that the starting pitching questions in Boston & the Bronx has risen Yu’s procurement cost.

Concerns

Is the pitch count still a concern? The crazy 140+ outings have been all but eliminated. With a total posting fee plus contract cost likely exceeding $100 million, is the potential reward of an ace worth the financial risk?

 

Sources: NPB Tracker, Yakyu Baba, Mopupduty.com, Google Images

has written for mopupduty.com since 2006. Follow Matthias on Twitter, Facebook and Google +

  • Greg

    Very interesting piece. I am wondering when he will arrive and at how much. Seems Japanese pitchers as a whole have a pretty erratic and spotty track record. I do think he will be better than Dice-K, but likely will be a #2 vs. an Ace like many will expect from him. Not to say a #2 is a bad thing, but we saw what expectations can do like with Nomo and Dice-K.

  • Razor Ramone

    Is he worth it? I think it depends on the team that sign him. If it’s the Yankees or Red Sox, who seemingly have an endless amount of money to spend to rectify previous signing blunders, then sure. I mean, the Dice K signing would have sunk the Pirates, but not the Sox or Yanks. The risk is obviously a lot more if the team signing him absolutely NEEDS it to work out and has no room for error.

  • Keith 72

    I think the comparisons to previous Japanese imports are overlooking a few basic facts:
    First Yu has not been overworked like Dice K
    Second he has better stuff than Dice K ever had. Dice K never was hitting 97 and did not sit at 94 as you have pointed out. He also has better control than Dice K did when he came over.
    Lastly he is more in the mould of a MLB pitcher as he is 6’5 and 190 lbs. there is probably room to add muscle which will only serve to improve his stamina or increase his fastball speed.
    Is there risk? Yes there is risk with any player. But I think that the upside outweighs the risk here. I, for one, hope the Jays get him.