FanPost

Matt Cain Pitch Value

At the risk of inciting my fellow Mccoven to violence, I will admit to my luke warm feelings on Cain.  Allow me first to produce my now standard caveat: Matt Cain is a good pitcher.  He is young, durable, and has a reasonable contract.   He is a significantly valuable baseball commodity. 

 

That said, Cain, in my estimation, is not a great pitcher (or even a very good one). He allows a disproportionately low HR rate adjusted for his fly ball rate (thanks to marcello for pointing out my error) , walks too many people, and most surprisingly, just does not strike hitters outs.  I don't believe his problem is stuff as I actually like Cain's fastball and curveball.  Fortunately, the invaluable fangraphs allows us to further examine Cain's repertoire.

 

Pitch Type

2006 runs above average/100

2007 runs above average/ 100

2008 runs above average/100

2009 runs above average/100

Fastball

.64

.53

.16

.51

Slider

-1.82

1.37

1.23

-2.33

Curveball

.92

-1.74

-1.92

-.76

Changeup

-.11

2.22

.85

3.78

 

Pitch type

2006 %

2007 %

2008%

2009 %

Fastball

72

64.5

65.4

62.6

Slider

6.7

16.5

13.8

10

Curveball

14.1

8.6

10.2

16.8

Changeup

5.8

10.4

10.6

10.6

 

Observations:

1. Cain built his reputation as a prospect on his velocity and his curveball.  So, I am absolutely shocked that his curveball has not  been a very good pitch in the majors.  I need someone (that someone would happen to be known as Xanthan) to look at Cain's curve with pitch FX

2. I had no idea that Cain threw so many sliders.  His slider was actually his 2nd and 1st best pitch in 2006 and 2007 respectively.   Interestingly his slider has lost effectiveness in 2009 and he has compensated by throwing it far less.

3. I assumed before looking at the data that the FB would be Cain's major weakness.   It has actually consistently been a slightly above average pitch over the course of his career.  Like Lincecum, Cain has lost about 2 mph on his FB this season.  I wonder if something wanky is going on with the pitchFX data at Mays' Field.

This FanPost is reader-generated, and it does not necessarily reflect the views of McCovey Chronicles. If the author uses filler to achieve the minimum word requirement, a moderator may edit the FanPost for his or her own amusement.

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