With the offday today, now seemed like as good a time as any to take a moment to look at some numbers and see if we can get a feel for what's working/not working in the Brewer bullpen.
As things stand right now, the Brewers have nine pitchers that fit the following criteria:
1) Have pitched at least ten innings out of the bullpen this season, and
2) Are not a current member of the starting rotation.
Those pitchers are:
Carlos Villanueva (35.2 IP)
Jeff Suppan (31 IP)
Todd Coffey (25.1 IP)
Trevor Hoffman (22 IP)
Claudio Vargas (19.2 IP)
John Axford (16 IP)
LaTroy Hawkins (11.2 IP)
Kameron Loe (11 IP)
Zach Braddock (10 IP)
With help from FanGraphs, follow the jump for a look at their numbers!
Everyone likes a big fastball. Let's start with a look at the Brewers' hardest throwers, and how often they use the fastball:
|John Axford||94.8 mph||62.4%|
|Todd Coffey||94.3 mph||68.3%|
|Zach Braddock||93.9 mph||61.5%|
|LaTroy Hawkins||92.6 mph||81.1%|
|Carlos Villanueva||90.1 mph||29.3%|
|Claudio Vargas||89.4 mph||65.0%|
|Kameron Loe||89.3 mph||74.2%|
|Jeff Suppan||87.5 mph||49.8%|
|Trevor Hoffman||85.2 mph||56.1%|
No, that's not a typo. Carlos Villanueva has a 90 mph fastball he's using less than 30% of the time.
Moving on, let's take a quick look at luck. Here are two stats that seem to at least partially display how lucky a pitcher has been on the mound: FIP-ERA and Batting average on balls in play (BABIP):
Any pitching coach or analyst will tell you the importance of getting ground balls. But which Brewers do it well?
Here's a look at strikeouts and walks:
As ranked by Run value per 100 pitches, here's a look at each Brewer's best pitch:
And on the other side of the coin, the worst:
Now, the best Brewers at throwing strikes:
And the Brewers doing the best job of getting their opponents to swing at non-strikes:
Before I jump to conclusions here, I should note a giant sample size caveat: Even the largest sample size included here (Carlos Villanueva's 35.2 IP) is much too small to use as a true evaluation. Using ten innings of Zach Braddock or Kameron Loe is not nearly enough to make any relevant statements about their long-term effectiveness.
With that said, I think there are encouraging things here for LaTroy Hawkins, Zach Braddock and John Axford, about what we'd expect from Kameron Loe, and reasons to be concerned about Todd Coffey, who isn't getting strikeouts, isn't fooling anyone into swinging at bad pitches and appears to be getting lucky on balls in play.
What do you think?