Quick Pitch: Rasmus’ Bermuda Triangle; Romero vs Leadoff Hitters; EE 3 Year Chase Split

Another Quick Pitch (mini-post). A few approach issues for struggling Toronto Blue Jays.

Romero’s Leadoff Woes

Last season, Romero allowed 40.4% of leadoff batters to reach via hit; walk; hbp— the #1 rate amongst pitchers with 75+ IP. This includes 30 BB; 7 HR; 44 hits; 4 HBP. Yes, 30 BB in 193 leadoff PA!!!


78 193 159 38 44 7 30 19 4 1.947

Oddly enough, his overall SLG against of .440 is roughly middle of the pack for MLB starters. Confidence is a big part of Romero’s game; Let’s hope he regains a bit of his swagger, sorts out his mechanics and returns to at minimum his 33.5% leadoff hitter reach rate of 2011.

Colby Rasmus’ Bermuda Triangle of Production

I debated whether or not to include text with this write-up. The below charts are pretty self explanatory.

Rasmus vs LHP & RHP, 2012 based upon ‘lower half’ out of the strike zone pitch location.

Batting Average (.175)

ISO (.078)


K (75) vs BB (18)


Nearly 50% swing rate on low pitches over the plate!


  • .275/.442/.325 vs Fastballs – 11 hits in 40 AB, extra base hits include 2 doubles, 12 BB vs 11K
  • .146/.185/.252 vs ‘Soft’–change, curve, slider – 58 K in 108 PA, only 5 extra base hits

Clearly, Rasmus needs to avoid this hacking at low out of the zone location. On the plus side he’s walking on low fastballs, and earning a few cheap singles. But when he’s fooled by off-speed he’s producing at NL pitcher levels. I imagine Motta and company have addressed this issue all spring; we’ll have to wait and see how Rasmus adjusts to this pitch location.


EE’s eye 

One of the biggest improvements in EE’s game over the past couple of seasons is his batting eye.

Chase Rate (2010 – 2012)

  • 28.8% – 2010
  • 24.2% – 2011
  • 20.0%  – 2012

While he’s improved against all pitch types, the biggest improvement is against fastballs (all varieties). 2010 chase rate vs ‘Hard’ = 26.5%. This rate improved to 19.7% last season.


Written By

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

  • J. Paquin

    Quality write-up.

    I have to admit I was blinded by the playoff performances as well. I’ve always been a Jays fan first, Tigers fan second, so Jack has always been one of my boys.

  • Cincinnatus C.

    The Jack Morris playoff performance I’ll always remember is the shocked look on his face as he watched Damon Berryhill’s home run sail out of the park.

  • Early

    On Dodger blogs do they have the same argument for Fernando Valenzuela instead of Morris. I think Valenzuela has a better case than Steib due to the intangibles you brushed over. Valenzuela had 20 win season, Cy Young Awards and was a key player in World Series and Playoff victories.

    Also, if Morris goes in there is a better chance that Steib will go in as the Veteran Committee inductee. If Morris and Steib and Valenzuela are all “alike” players they will likely be a package in the HOF.

    Morris may benefit from votes going to him as MLB and Cooperstown are still not ready to deal with eligible players that may or may not have used PED’s.

  • Latarone

    Morris had a 3.90 ERA. That is NOT Hall of Fame, no matter how you cut it. I saw them both pitch in the ’80s, and as this author has, you could make a pretty good case for Steib being the better of the two. But neither are Hall of Famers. Both were good pitchers, yes, but not great.

  • Hi Callum. I realize this is an old post, but it features prominently in a piece I wrote about Stieb recently – http://ad.am/2012/08/the-fine-line-between-good-and-great/ – Thanks for the data