Manager poll, rumors, and PITCHf/x

A few readers emailed me this quote Rob Biertempfel had in the Trib the other day:

"I keep hearing whispers that things are taking a while to develop because the Pirates are having trouble finding people who are eager to work for them."

Whispers? Gezz.. ever hear how loud a fog horn is? That’s how loud it has been since September 21. It’s nice to see Biertempfel finally got in the loop and/or admitted he is.

Perhaps the fans should wonder why others are pretending not to hear things? Right Mr. Meyer?

BTW, one good source says John Farrell has no intention of becoming the Pirates next manager. But a front office gig he might entertain. Perhaps that is what Huntington had in mind all along? But don’t count on seeing Farrell in any position in Pittsburgh, the source said. We’ll see.

What happened to yesterday’s post on the rumors? I accidentally  overwrote it (and the backup copy) watching the World Series. First time in two years that’s happened. Go figure.

Essentially, we’re still hearing the Twins have an interest in Bay based on whether Hunter is resigned or not; Wilson to Detroit is all but dead as the Tigers seem to be going after Renteria; and there is speculation the Rockies are going to come after Snell. I was surpised hearing that one knowing the Rockies have some right hand pitching depth in their system but if Dave Holliday comes to the Pirates front office..

For those who haven’t been watching Gameday this year, gamecast software includes detailed pitch tracking information (PITCHf/x) about pitches thrown. This data can be extracted from xml files that power Gameday and used to evaluate players. Unfortunately, many stadiums didn’t get their cameras until late in the year like PNC Park so data is spotty this year at best.

That being said, I extracted what data is available for the Pirates and have some basic analysis for your viewing pleasure.

The spreadsheet below shows each player and the percentage of pitch types they saw (% pl P = % of all pitches that player saw), a comparison to the league average, and the player’s batting average and slugging stats from each pitch type.

A wealth of information is available with the PITCHf/x data. For instance, did you know Jack Wilson saw 55% fastballs and that, when he got ahead in the count, he was thrown a fastball three out of four times? Now you know why Wilson had a .519 OBP on 2-0 last year.. he ate fastballs for dinner on the count.

On the flip side, Nady – who we have always thought of a fastball killer, saw 49% heaters and hit just .139 off them.

Saying that, there is this disclaimer –  only 3500 pitches were able to be tracked and they were all late in the year. Nady and Bay, as you know, were not 100% late. So as mentioned earlier, be careful not to assume too much from this data set other than what pitchers were throwing the players on average.

<td width="56" style="BORDER-RIGHT: silver 0.5pt solid; PADDING-RIGHT: 1px; BORDER-TOP: medium none; PADDING-LEFT: 1px; FONT-WEIGHT: 400; FONT-SIZE: 8pt; VERTICAL-ALIGN: bottom; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; WIDTH: 42pt; COLOR: windowtext; PADDING-TOP: 1px; BORDER-BOTTOM: silv



    Dumatrait rolls right into that red sox plan he was picked in rd 1 22nd overall in 90 by duquette. Does that mean Casey Fossum will be the Pirates #5 since AAA Armas jr is gone(watch for a minor league deal, fossum 1st rounder- pck 48) Chris Reitsma has a shot at the bullpen then also I think he’s available he was also picked in rd.1-34th pick overall by Duquette. These are 3 moves that I don’t want to happen but if they do will make sense to me. Cause you figure Pirates will probably clean house with all the arbitration guys falling off the board to pair payroll- LaRoche, Bautista and Castillo are probably gonzo. They won’t exercise Martes 6 million option. Will duquette have Huntington try to trade Jack Wilson to Houston for Adam Everett(’98 1st rounder- pick 12) and a couple prospects


    I’ll explain the usage of the word “whispers” for you. Whispers are referring to some completely unreliable source spewing fictional BS in a blog. Wonder where he read the rumors he is referring to as whispers?

    This is exactly how false rumors spread. One unaccountable source starts them. Several other sources repeat them. Next thing you know, multiple sources are repeating them and the media is running with it. I look forward to some real news, so people like you have something real to report.


    Hey Jake, are you getting so good that Biertempfel is now whispering your rumors? That’s what the previous poster thinks. Good for you!

    P.S. Didn’t he also use your blog’s name?


    Yo Jake-Who did you vote for? Seems like jamie Quirk is getting some pub lately. Perrotto said something about a Yankee scout for Scouting director. What do you think?

  5. Pirate

    Bill — “other” 😉

    Jeff Wetherby is the scout – he’s buds with Jeff Manto and John Russell, among others. He’s been a pro scout for 6 years. He’s not what I would call an exciting candidate for scouting director.

    Quirk? What a joke.. I guess we’re starting to dredge the bottom of the sea.


    MLBTR says co-GM’s Huntington and BILL SMITH will have to unload Bay this offseason…

    Who is Bill Smith?

  7. Pirate

    I emailed Tim at MLBTR and he is correcting the post mhoffman. He had someone helping him out that made a mistake.

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    Player Type % pl P LG Ave % BA SLG
    Nady Cutter 9.9 6.0 0.800 0.800
    Paulino Curve 6.4 7.7 0.750 1.000
    Sanchez Cutter 9.3 6.0 0.529 0.706
    Wilson Sinker 7.9 8.7 0.500 0.600
    Wilson Curve 5.5 7.7 0.500 0.500
    Wilson Splitter 1.9 2.2 0.500 1.000
    Nady Sinker 9.0 8.7 0.455 1.091
    Wilson Fastball 55.2 46.1 0.404 0.596
    Sanchez Splitter 3.0 2.2 0.400 0.400
    LaRoche Cutter 8.0 6.0 0.400 0.700
    Bautista Change 8.1 12.8 0.400 0.800
    LaRoche Fastball 40.2 46.1 0.365 0.673
    Bay Sinker 7.8 8.7 0.333 0.333
    Bay Splitter 2.1 2.2 0.333 0.333
    Bay Cutter 12.6 6.0 0.333 0.750
    Wilson Change 6.0 12.8 0.333 0.889
    Sanchez Change 10.7 12.8 0.333 0.467
    Nady Splitter 1.6 2.2 0.333 0.333
    Paulino Fastball 47.3 46.1 0.326 0.370
    Sanchez Slider 17.2 16.1 0.320 0.400
    Sanchez Fastball 39.2 46.1 0.317 0.650
    Bautista Sinker 8.6 8.7 0.300 0.500
    Bautista Curve 7.4 7.7 0.300 0.500