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#1 Sprowl


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Posted 09 April 2012 - 10:11 PM

#4 starter delivers: 5 ip, 4 h, 2 r, 3 bb, 6 K, 101 pitches, 62 for strikes.

Early: lots of nibbling with the fastball. Batters wait him out, protect the plate, and get lots of foul balls.

Late: excellent change of pace, getting strikes with the curve and changeup. Increasingly impressive as time wore on, and occasionally dominant with the offspeed stuff.

The full repertoire: mostly 4-seamers, 20 curves, 15-20 sinkers, 10 changeups, 4-7 sliders or cutters.

Posted Image


Doubront throws strikes, but the umpire didn't always call them. He throws the curve mostly for strikes. The batters had a hard time pulling the trigger, and when they did, often enough they missed. Doubront kept the changeup out of the heart of the strike zone.

Posted Image


So, what did you think of the noubie?

#2 Manramsclan

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 10:19 PM

Doubie doubie dou.

I thought he looked fantastic, mixing all of his pitches and keeping Toronto off balance.

He needs to be more agressive with his offspeed pitches with two strikes and as the game wore on he did just that.

He might have trouble with a more patient lineup but there is a lot to like here.

#3 aron7awol

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 10:29 PM

I liked that he seemed to live right at the outside edge of the strike zone for the most part and didn't make many mistakes over the heart of the plate. His nibbling did remind me of 2008 Dice-K, but I can live with that out of the 5th best starter. I don't see him matching up well against a patient lineup like the Yankees' but I'm happy with his performance tonight.

#4 czar


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Posted 09 April 2012 - 11:00 PM

I also thought he looked good. There was some nibbling, but a few borderline strikes that could have gone his way. Most egregious was a beautiful 2-2 pitch at the knees of Bautista. He got him to pop out foul to 3rd 3 pitchers later, but he threw an absolutely perfect fastball right to Salty's glove to one of the best hitters in the AL.

Of course, he's never really been an economical pitcher (career 17+ pitches/inning), but if he can get a few more quicks outs every once in a while, I'll have a lot more faith in his ability to go 6-7 on a quasi-regular basis as opposed to bumping 100 pitchers after 5 like tonight.

Edited by czar, 09 April 2012 - 11:03 PM.


#5 deconstruction

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 11:17 PM

I liked that he seemed to live right at the outside edge of the strike zone for the most part and didn't make many mistakes over the heart of the plate. His nibbling did remind me of 2008 Dice-K, but I can live with that out of the 5th best starter. I don't see him matching up well against a patient lineup like the Yankees' but I'm happy with his performance tonight.


Seemed like the Jays were pretty patient with him, so I'm not sure what exactly you're presuming the Yankees would do differently.

Posted Image

He didn't get several close calls on three sides of the zone, and, by (rough) sight, it looks like the Jays O-Swing% was 26-30%. Last year, the Yankees team O-Swing% was around 28%.

#6 Eric Van


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Posted 09 April 2012 - 11:37 PM

The full repertoire: mostly 4-seamers, 20 curves, 15-20 sinkers, 10 changeups, 4-7 sliders or cutters.


The horizontal vs. vertical and spin vs. speed graphs make it clear that there were 6 of these intermediate breaking balls. And it has the same spin axis as his curve, roughly. It's just a lot harder and with less rotation, but still more rotation that a classic slider. If you put a gun to my head I'd call it a hard curveball, but a topspin slider wouldn't be wrong. It's a very interesting extra pitch.

He gets tremendous rotation and drop on his curve, and gets a very nice variety of movement with his fastballs.

Differentiating between his 4- and 2-seamers is not easy with those graphs, but I think there may have been more of the latter than the former. In the polar graph, I think the division may be at around 115 degrees; you can see that the 2-seamers (90-115) have a bigger RPM range.

When you look at the spin and speed graphs, it also looks like he cut 2-4 of his four-seamers to make them run away from a LHB, but they might have been accidents.

#7 mauidano


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Posted 09 April 2012 - 11:47 PM

Great start by The Doubie Brother. No fear, pitched with confidence. Not necessarily economical though lots of foul balls. Great confidence builder. Lived up to his scouting report at least tonight!

Edited by mauidano, 09 April 2012 - 11:49 PM.


#8 Alcohol&Overcalls

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 12:51 AM

Yeah, agree with czar - it wasn't efficient, but that much was to be expected.

I was honestly a little surprised at the strikezone plot - I felt like he was wild, but not necessarily wild inside the zone, and expected a bit more of a donut. Still, it was a pretty damn good start against a tough offense in a tough park - I came away impressed, more than I expected to be. The stuff isn't electric, but it's better than the most pessimistic reports.

#9 Sprowl


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Posted 10 April 2012 - 01:00 AM

The horizontal vs. vertical and spin vs. speed graphs make it clear that there were 6 of these intermediate breaking balls. And it has the same spin axis as his curve, roughly. It's just a lot harder and with less rotation, but still more rotation that a classic slider. If you put a gun to my head I'd call it a hard curveball, but a topspin slider wouldn't be wrong. It's a very interesting extra pitch.

He gets tremendous rotation and drop on his curve, and gets a very nice variety of movement with his fastballs.

Differentiating between his 4- and 2-seamers is not easy with those graphs, but I think there may have been more of the latter than the former. In the polar graph, I think the division may be at around 115 degrees; you can see that the 2-seamers (90-115) have a bigger RPM range.

When you look at the spin and speed graphs, it also looks like he cut 2-4 of his four-seamers to make them run away from a LHB, but they might have been accidents.


The strike zone location, velocity and horizontal movement data all look more or less correct, but Toronto's pitchfx data is badly wrong on the vertical scale: it subtracts 5-9" from all pitches, making it appear as if Doubront's cutter/slider has downward motion. That throws off identification based on vertical movement, and makes the fastball look like a sinker, the slider look like a curve, and the curve look like a pitch from another dimension (nobody's curve averages -16" vertical drop!). I would discount all the charts using vertical movement, and any charts derived from it, including spin.

Based on last year's charts, it is possible that Doubront throws both a slider (~87 mph) and a cutter (~90 mph), and intends them to be different pitches, but I think we'll need a few more games to see them clearly reflected in the data.

#10 Eric Van


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Posted 10 April 2012 - 02:32 AM

The strike zone location, velocity and horizontal movement data all look more or less correct, but Toronto's pitchfx data is badly wrong on the vertical scale: it subtracts 5-9" from all pitches, making it appear as if Doubront's cutter/slider has downward motion. That throws off identification based on vertical movement, and makes the fastball look like a sinker, the slider look like a curve, and the curve look like a pitch from another dimension (nobody's curve averages -16" vertical drop!). I would discount all the charts using vertical movement, and any charts derived from it, including spin.

Based on last year's charts, it is possible that Doubront throws both a slider (~87 mph) and a cutter (~90 mph), and intends them to be different pitches, but I think we'll need a few more games to see them clearly reflected in the data.


Yeah, that certainly sounds right, and it should have occurred to me! In fact, after looking at all of his Fenway appearances from last year, this Toronto data seems almost meaningless. Since he threw a grand total of five slider / cutters at Fenway last year, I agree, we need more data to try to characterize it / them ... but I'd call those 5 from last year, collectively, slutters. They're pretty much splitting the difference.

#11 brimac

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 12:00 PM

Based on last year's charts, it is possible that Doubront throws both a slider (~87 mph) and a cutter (~90 mph), and intends them to be different pitches, but I think we'll need a few more games to see them clearly reflected in the data.

He calls it a cutter. It's a pitch the Red Sox didn't want him to throw when he was in the minor leagues because they wanted him to emphasize and develop his fastball. He threw it sometimes anyway and then claimed it was a sinker when confronted about it. His Triple-A pitching coach says it's a major-league-ready pitch.

#12 There is no Rev


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Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:18 PM

I was honestly a little surprised at the strikezone plot - I felt like he was wild, but not necessarily wild inside the zone, and expected a bit more of a donut. Still, it was a pretty damn good start against a tough offense in a tough park - I came away impressed, more than I expected to be. The stuff isn't electric, but it's better than the most pessimistic reports.


You might be thinking of innings three and four when, as Sprowl pointed out, he started really getting his off-speed stuff the way he wanted it.

Inning 3:
Posted Image

Inning 4:
Posted Image


Here's 1, 2 and 5:
Posted Image


Fifth is understandable as his pitch count was up. Depending what happened such that he got into it in 3 and 4, be it finding rhythm or feel or whatever, especially if he can get into that sooner, I really, really like him as a fourth starter.

Edited by Reverend, 10 April 2012 - 03:19 PM.


#13 Dogman2


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Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:23 PM

To me, it seemed like he did a very good job at getting first pitch strikes as his outing went on. I may be wrong on this but perhaps this is why his off speed stuff was that much more effective in the 3rd and 4th innings.

BTW, where can I find first pitch strike info on the internet?

Edited by Dogman2, 10 April 2012 - 03:24 PM.


#14 There is no Rev


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Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:48 PM

To me, it seemed like he did a very good job at getting first pitch strikes as his outing went on. I may be wrong on this but perhaps this is why his off speed stuff was that much more effective in the 3rd and 4th innings.

BTW, where can I find first pitch strike info on the internet?


Same place--Brooks Baseball Pitchfx tool:

1
Posted Image



2
Posted Image


3
Posted Image


4
Posted Image


It doesn't appear that he's getting more first pitch strikes, so much as much better first pitches (even when they are balls) which maybe gives the batter some pause. But his location really seems to get sharper as he goes and you can see that donut opening up.

Shoulda coulda woulda hindsight and all that, but one wonders how things go if he picks up those two first pitch balls as strikes in the first inning--maybe he got got frustrated and then calmed down, one never knows, but it's an interesting progression of innings.

Edited by Reverend, 10 April 2012 - 03:58 PM.


#15 Sprowl


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Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:18 PM

Doubront's second start went well until the 5th inning, when the Rays hit the ball hard and the Sox fielders came up short. He used more variety this time around - by my count 17 curves, 13 changeups, 10 cutters (but they behaved more like sliders today), and ~9 sinkers, along with his staple fastball. Most of his swinging strikes again came on the curve and the changeup.

Posted Image


Doubront throws a lot of strikes, probably too many. He seemed leery of coming inside to RHB or away from LHB -- perhaps that was just an abundance of Fenway caution.

Posted Image

#16 Dogman2


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Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:23 PM

You said his 10 cutters behaved like sliders. Do you think there was a grip change to facilitate more movement?

#17 Sprowl


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Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:26 PM

You said his 10 cutters behaved like sliders. Do you think there was a grip change to facilitate more movement?


Not that I could see -- and there seems to be very little movement on Doubront's cutter. In terms of nomenclature, I'm thinking that 86 mph is very slow for a cutter.

#18 Plympton91


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Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:34 PM

That was a disappointing 5th inning. His fielders could have bailed him out, but they would have had to have done so by fielding rockets.

Doubront is still at this point just another one of the many pitchers the Red Sox have who would be fine as the 11th or 12th man on the staff.



#19 JakeRae


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Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:52 PM

That was a disappointing 5th inning. His fielders could have bailed him out, but they would have had to have done so by fielding rockets.

Doubront is still at this point just another one of the many pitchers the Red Sox have who would be fine as the 11th or 12th man on the staff.

5 IP, 7 K, 1 BB is a pretty impressive set of peripherals, even with the HR. He gave up 8 hits on 11 balls in play today. Even with the ball getting hit pretty hard, that's horrible BABIP luck. If his line is 5 IP, 7 K, 1 BB and 2 runs instead of 4, that would be two very solid starts for a rookie.

This wasn't like Bard's first start, where BABIP just destroyed him, but Doubront had some bad luck and pitched fairly well. I'm not seeing why he belongs in the back of the bullpen instead of the back of the rotation right now. Right now, I definitely prefer Doubront as a starter to Cook. Between being a sucker for upside and Doubront's more than adequate performances so far, I can't see a good reason to bump him out of the rotation for Cook.

#20 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 15 April 2012 - 07:03 PM

That was a disappointing 5th inning. His fielders could have bailed him out, but they would have had to have done so by fielding rockets.

Doubront is still at this point just another one of the many pitchers the Red Sox have who would be fine as the 11th or 12th man on the staff.


One bad inning in an otherwise excellent outing and you're calling him roster filler?

Boy, are you strict.

#21 OttoC


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Posted 15 April 2012 - 07:28 PM

...Doubront throws a lot of strikes, probably too many....


Has anyone ever looked into whether there is an optimal range for percentage of strikes? Obviously, there are times when a pitcher's stuff is so "filthy" that he could throw all strikes and succeed but I have been thinking about throwing too high of a percentage of strikes. One problem with trying to so this study is that pitch-by-pitch data is not available very far back.

#22 Jnai


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Posted 15 April 2012 - 09:08 PM

Not that I could see -- and there seems to be very little movement on Doubront's cutter. In terms of nomenclature, I'm thinking that 86 mph is very slow for a cutter.


Actually, I have 404 distinct cutters in my database (human labeled); the average speed is 87.03mph.

#23 Rasputin


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Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:23 PM

Actually, I have 404 distinct cutters in my database (human labeled); the average speed is 87.03mph.


Somewhere Mike Gimbel is petting a Caiman and weeping at your awesomeness.

#24 Eric Van


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Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:29 AM

Has anyone ever looked into whether there is an optimal range for percentage of strikes? Obviously, there are times when a pitcher's stuff is so "filthy" that he could throw all strikes and succeed but I have been thinking about throwing too high of a percentage of strikes. One problem with trying to so this study is that pitch-by-pitch data is not available very far back.


This winter I did a study of what made a changeup effective, with a big regression model that included interactions and squared terms. I found some really interesting and counter-intuitive results. But a limit to strike % (which is to say, a negative coefficient for strike % ^2) was not one of them. The higher the strike %, the more effective the changeup, all other things being equal.

This was done based on season stats ... doing it start-by-start might be different.

#25 Carl Everetts Therapist


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Posted 16 April 2012 - 06:42 AM

He's a number 4 or 5 starter, he kept the team in the game against a tough opponent into the 6th inning.....A game they won.... What more do you want out of your 4th or 5th starter? If Doubront is your 11th or 12th pitcher on the staff , your collection of pitchers is pretty frickin awesome.

#26 TomRicardo


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Posted 16 April 2012 - 06:53 AM

To be fair DH3 would probably find ways to be critical of Pedro's 2000 season (only 18 wins? Last year it was 23. Clearly not the ace we use to have.)

Edited by TomRicardo, 16 April 2012 - 06:53 AM.


#27 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:16 AM

To be fair DH3 would probably find ways to be critical of Pedro's 2000 season (only 18 wins? Last year it was 23. Clearly not the ace we use to have.)


Not to mention the red flags of a declining K-rate and inability to pitch even 220 innings.

Seriously, if three tough but perfectly catchable balls are fielded by an average level of competence in the 6th inning, Doubront gives up maybe two runs instead of four, and likely goes six innings. Doubront looks perfectly fine as a back-of-the rotation starter, with a good combination of MLB-quality pitches and a good approach to using them.

Even if there's still some work for him to be able to get through a MLB lineup three or more times, there's a lot to work with.

#28 TomRicardo


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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:23 AM

Doubront is definitely a good back of the rotation starter with potential for some growth. I will be pissed if they move Doubront out of the rotation instead of Bard when Daisuke comes back.

#29 JMDurron

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:59 AM

5 IP, 7 K, 1 BB is a pretty impressive set of peripherals, even with the HR. He gave up 8 hits on 11 balls in play today. Even with the ball getting hit pretty hard, that's horrible BABIP luck. If his line is 5 IP, 7 K, 1 BB and 2 runs instead of 4, that would be two very solid starts for a rookie.

This wasn't like Bard's first start, where BABIP just destroyed him, but Doubront had some bad luck and pitched fairly well. I'm not seeing why he belongs in the back of the bullpen instead of the back of the rotation right now. Right now, I definitely prefer Doubront as a starter to Cook. Between being a sucker for upside and Doubront's more than adequate performances so far, I can't see a good reason to bump him out of the rotation for Cook.


It's not just a matter of luck/BABIP when almost every BIP in the last IP+ of his outing was crushed. The combination of the peripherals and his 5th-6th inning performance seems to indicate two likely possibilities here - either Doubront had a major reduction in control starting in the 5th inning, leading to lots of pitches that were swinging strikes early in the game becoming rockets off the bat, or his stuff is only sufficient to fool hitters twice through the lineup, and they adjusted and crushed him the third time through. That 7K/1BB result is what gives me hope that his stuff is good enough to be a MLB starter for the long haul, but it seems that his fastball was not getting past anyone when he had to go to it late in the game. I only see one swinging strike on the fastball in Sprowl's charts above, and that's slightly concerning if/when he doesn't have his best curveball/changeup control.

#30 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:14 AM

It's not just a matter of luck/BABIP when almost every BIP in the last IP+ of his outing was crushed. The combination of the peripherals and his 5th-6th inning performance seems to indicate two likely possibilities here - either Doubront had a major reduction in control starting in the 5th inning, leading to lots of pitches that were swinging strikes early in the game becoming rockets off the bat, or his stuff is only sufficient to fool hitters twice through the lineup, and they adjusted and crushed him the third time through. That 7K/1BB result is what gives me hope that his stuff is good enough to be a MLB starter for the long haul, but it seems that his fastball was not getting past anyone when he had to go to it late in the game. I only see one swinging strike on the fastball in Sprowl's charts above, and that's slightly concerning if/when he doesn't have his best curveball/changeup control.


I wonder if the problem was that they went to his secondary pitches a bit too much early in the game, so the hitters were in the driver's seat, pitch-recognition-wise, by the third time through the order. People here used to get on Varitek for being so stingy with the secondary pitches early on, but maybe he was onto something.

#31 JMDurron

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:38 AM

I wonder if the problem was that they went to his secondary pitches a bit too much early in the game, so the hitters were in the driver's seat, pitch-recognition-wise, by the third time through the order. People here used to get on Varitek for being so stingy with the secondary pitches early on, but maybe he was onto something.


It could always be a combination of the two - they went to his secondary pitches early on while he was sharp with them, making it that much easier for the hitters to recognize what was coming later in the game, when he had less fine control of those pitches. Once the recognition was easier, Doubront's fastball just isn't good enough to get him out of any trouble against competent hitters, even outside fastballs were being crushed by Pena, Longoria, and Scott.

#32 Plympton91


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Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:53 AM

He's a number 4 or 5 starter, he kept the team in the game against a tough opponent into the 6th inning.....A game they won.... What more do you want out of your 4th or 5th starter? If Doubront is your 11th or 12th pitcher on the staff , your collection of pitchers is pretty frickin awesome.


The Rays are tough because they have a great pitching staff; how tough, exactly, is their offense?

The Red Sox need a collection of pitchers that is pretty frickin awesome. Being complacent about finishing second to the Yankees year after year after year after year after year after year .... after year is now much more likely to produce the results we saw from 1918 to 1994 than the results we saw from 1995 to 2011.

#33 trekfan55


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Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:55 AM

Doubront is definitely a good back of the rotation starter with potential for some growth. I will be pissed if they move Doubront out of the rotation instead of Bard when Daisuke comes back.


He has two starts to Bard's one. I hope that the decision is made to keep the pitcher in the starting rotation who can help the Sox win more games. But I believe Bard has a lower innings ceiling.

#34 Toe Nash

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 11:16 AM

Doubront is definitely a good back of the rotation starter with potential for some growth. I will be pissed if they move Doubront out of the rotation instead of Bard when Daisuke comes back.


It's fairly likely that one of the five will be injured or at least need a few-week break by that point. I wouldn't sweat it now.

#35 Harry Hooper


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Posted 16 April 2012 - 11:35 AM

It could always be a combination of the two - they went to his secondary pitches early on while he was sharp with them, making it that much easier for the hitters to recognize what was coming later in the game, when he had less fine control of those pitches. Once the recognition was easier, Doubront's fastball just isn't good enough to get him out of any trouble against competent hitters, even outside fastballs were being crushed by Pena, Longoria, and Scott.



The bolded portion is what I noticed. He needs to buzz the batters more often, so they are less comfortable going out across the plate to drive the ball.

#36 JakeRae


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Posted 16 April 2012 - 05:35 PM

It's not just a matter of luck/BABIP when almost every BIP in the last IP+ of his outing was crushed. The combination of the peripherals and his 5th-6th inning performance seems to indicate two likely possibilities here - either Doubront had a major reduction in control starting in the 5th inning, leading to lots of pitches that were swinging strikes early in the game becoming rockets off the bat, or his stuff is only sufficient to fool hitters twice through the lineup, and they adjusted and crushed him the third time through. That 7K/1BB result is what gives me hope that his stuff is good enough to be a MLB starter for the long haul, but it seems that his fastball was not getting past anyone when he had to go to it late in the game. I only see one swinging strike on the fastball in Sprowl's charts above, and that's slightly concerning if/when he doesn't have his best curveball/changeup control.

Except, it was. With normal defense, several of those balls get fielded. I'm not saying he should've given up a .300 BABIP for the game. But, unless every ball hit in that game was a line drive (they weren't all) a 0.727 BABIP is absurdly high. If we lower that to around .500 since the ball was getting hit hard, that's an extra 2 or 3 outs which matches what most of us think should've been fielded and gets him through 6 while allowing around 2 runs.

Just because he was bad enough that DIPS adjustments shouldn't be used doesn't mean we can't adjust for bad BABIP luck.

#37 aron7awol

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 06:14 PM

He has two starts to Bard's one. I hope that the decision is made to keep the pitcher in the starting rotation who can help the Sox win more games. But I believe Bard has a lower innings ceiling.


I disagree about Bard having a lower inning limit. From a post I made in Taking the Pulse:

I think a useful exercise is to look at the previous years in terms of percentage of a "full workload", defined as 220 IP for a starter or 75 IP for a reliever.

Doubront's last 3 years, most innings as a starter:
121.0 IP as a 21 year old (55% of a full workload)
105.0 IP as a 22 year old (57% of a full workload)
87.2 IP as a 23 year old (48% of a full workload)

Bard's last 3 years, all innings as a reliever:
68.1 IP as a 24 year old (91% of a full workoad)
74.2 IP as a 25 year old (100% of a full workload)
73.0 IP as a 26 year old (97% of a full workload)

Based on this quick analysis, there may not be a need to limit Bard's innings. It depends if you think 220 innings of starting and 75 innings of relieving are similar in terms of stress on an arm. Let's also look at a couple of examples of guys who went from relieving to starting...

CJ Wilson:
68.1 IP as a 26 year old reliever (91% of a full workload)
46.1 IP as a 27 year old reliever (62% of a full workload)
73.2 IP as a 28 year old reliever (98% of a full workload)
228.1 IP as a 29 year old starter (104% of a full workload)
251.1 IP as a 30 year old starter (114% of a full workload)

John Smoltz:
83.2 IP as a 35 year old reliever (112% of a full workload)
67.2 IP as a 36 year old reliever (90% of a full workload)
86.2 IP as a 37 year old reliever (116% of a full workload)
236.1 IP as a 38 year old starter (107% of a full workload)
232.0 IP as a 39 year old starter (105% of a full workload)

#38 Sprowl


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Posted 21 April 2012 - 07:32 PM

Doubront has been one of the very few brights spots on the pitching staff, and he handled the Yankees very well for 6 innings and 99 pitches. His command of the 2-seamer has been impressive, especially his ability to keep it out of the power zones. He also keeps the changeup off the plate and is unafraid to go high and tight on LHB. He again showed an abundance of Fenway caution, jamming Cano and Granderson and working RHB on the outside edge.

Posted Image


Doubront had the best sinker that I have seen him throw. His location was so consistently effective that he could use the sinker to get strikes, and then throw his curve and changeup outside the zone. He got many of the Yankee hitters off balance by moving the ball around.

Posted Image

#39 Van Everyman


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Posted 21 April 2012 - 07:44 PM

I agree that he's been a real bright spot. He doesn't give in. He gets swings and misses. And he's a lefty. Thank god we didn't trade him when his value was lower.

Now, if only he can be a bit more efficient. It seems silly to say when you have a 9 run lead, but more than buying a new bullpen, this team needs its starters to go more than 6 IP.

#40 JakeRae


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Posted 21 April 2012 - 07:48 PM

I agree that he's been a real bright spot. He doesn't give in. He gets swings and misses. And he's a lefty. Thank god we didn't trade him when his value was lower.

Now, if only he can be a bit more efficient. It seems silly to say when you have a 9 run lead, but more than buying a new bullpen, this team needs its starters to go more than 6 IP.

Today was a step up efficiency wise for him. It's not unusual for young pitchers to struggle with efficiency upon making the jump to the Show so I'm willing to cut him a lot of slack on that front early on. If he can consistently sit in the 5-7 IP range with an ERA under 4.00, he's going to be a real asset at the back end of the rotation. There is nothing wrong with 6 good innings out of a back of the rotation starter.

#41 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 21 April 2012 - 09:34 PM

I agree that he's been a real bright spot. He doesn't give in. He gets swings and misses. And he's a lefty. Thank god we didn't trade him when his value was lower.

Now, if only he can be a bit more efficient. It seems silly to say when you have a 9 run lead, but more than buying a new bullpen, this team needs its starters to go more than 6 IP.


A LHP against the Yankees is fortunate to go 6 IP. To do so with 7 K's and only allowing one run is outstanding.

I've been saying for two years that his raw stuff in the minors compares alright to Lester's. It's nice to see him start showing it at the MLB level.

#42 tonyarmasjr

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 09:56 PM

Today was a step up efficiency wise for him. It's not unusual for young pitchers to struggle with efficiency upon making the jump to the Show so I'm willing to cut him a lot of slack on that front early on. If he can consistently sit in the 5-7 IP range with an ERA under 4.00, he's going to be a real asset at the back end of the rotation. There is nothing wrong with 6 good innings out of a back of the rotation starter.

If he and Bard can consistently go 6 innings with ERAs under 4.5 that's a big win for the organization. We're talking about two guys taking their first real cracks at being starters in the bigs. The problem I'm seeing is that the other 3 starters need to be going deeper into games. Having those guys lay an egg 1/3 of the time when you know you're going to have shorter outings from your #4 and #5 puts too much from the craptastic bullpen. I'm more pleased with what Doubront (and Bard) has done so far.

#43 Sprowl


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Posted 28 April 2012 - 01:46 PM

Another solid start from the team's most reliable starter barely merits mention, but a few patterns are becoming clear:

- He's got the full repertoire (fastball, sinker, changeup, curve and cutter), and so far has avoided big mistakes on any of them.
- He's got swing-and-miss stuff when he needs it (22 K in 22 IP), and he will throw any of his offspeed pitches for strikes.
- His staple approach is to nibble with the sinker, inside to LHB and down and away to RHB.

Clockwise from lower left: curve, cutter, fastball, sinker and changeup.

Posted Image

#44 StupendousMan

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 02:12 PM

Is the "sinker" group similar to what is sometimes called a "2-seam fastball"?

#45 Sprowl


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Posted 28 April 2012 - 02:16 PM

Is the "sinker" group similar to what is sometimes called a "2-seam fastball"?


Yes, I am using the terms interchangeably. If it's just a "fastball," it's usually the 4-seam variety. In 2010, Doubront threw mostly 4-seamers, but in 2011 and 2012, Doubront seems to have made a big change in approach. I think it was probably related to the injuries that started cropping up at the end of 2010, which also led to a change in arm slot. He doesn't seem to feel that his 4-seamer up-and-in to RHB is reliable anymore, and has pretty much discarded it.

#46 JimBoSox9


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Posted 28 April 2012 - 02:20 PM

On that graph, it probably will seem to be. 2-seam fastballs (which are entirely mis-named because most cutters and sinkers have a 2-seam grip) run away from opposite handed hitters. Sinkers tend to have a little of the same horizontal movement as well. For a pitcher who throws both (Derek Lowe may be a good example), the difference will be more obvious in a horizontal x vertical graph.

#47 kieckeredinthehead

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 02:22 PM

Doubront has been an unsung hero of the season, probably losing attention slightly due to the Bard experiment. He carries himself very well on the mound - never looks flustered, never seems to abandon his game plan. Right now, among eligible starters, he has the 6th best K/9 in the AL, better than Haren, Verlander and that other Felix. If he can get his BB rate down, I don't think the Lester and Pettitte comparisons are too far off.

Edited by kieckeredinthehead, 28 April 2012 - 02:22 PM.


#48 nvalvo


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Posted 28 April 2012 - 05:33 PM

Doubront has been an unsung hero of the season, probably losing attention slightly due to the Bard experiment. He carries himself very well on the mound - never looks flustered, never seems to abandon his game plan. Right now, among eligible starters, he has the 6th best K/9 in the AL, better than Haren, Verlander and that other Felix. If he can get his BB rate down, I don't think the Lester and Pettitte comparisons are too far off.


The better he pitches, the more pissed I get that he showed up last year out of shape. If this version of Doubront came up when Matsuzaka went down, the Red Sox win the division.

#49 Sprowl


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Posted 02 May 2012 - 10:29 PM

Lost in the disappointment over the inability of the Red Sox to come up with offense against any but the Milonest of pitchers was Doubront's changeup's effectiveness as an out pitch: 8 whiffs out of 25 changeups is impressive, not far from Buchholz 2009. Impressive also was the re-appearance of his 4-seam fastball up and in to RHB. The changeup and 4-seamer accounted for all of his swinging strikes, while the 2-seamer on the edges continues to be staple pitch. He really is a five-pitch starter, and at least two of those extra pitches explain his success against RHP. Unlike Lester, Doubront's cutter is of no special consequence, and merely gives him another mid-80s alternative.

Posted Image


PS, thread title changed to reflect game thread conventional wisdom.

#50 Sprowl


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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:04 PM

Doubront leads the league in K/9


...from the game thread. So how is Doobie doing what he does so well? It all depends on the platoon split (data from TexasLeaguers.com):

vs RHB: 72 changeups, 22% whiff rate -- but Doubront also throws the fastball (either generic fastball or 4-seamer) up or inside to righties, for a whiff rate approaching 10%. In contrast, the two-seamer (his staple pitch) is used early in the count, on the edges, but not for swinging strikes (3.6% whiff rate).

vs LHB: primarily fastballs and curves, and a much lower whiff rate. Curves seem to be his out pitch against lefties, with a whiff rate of 14%, but there is a good reason why Doubront has a reverse platoon split -- lefties don't swing and miss against him.

Against righties, Doubront is a strikeout pitcher. Against lefties, he pitches to contact, mostly with the sinker.