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The Health of Hawkins

Wanted to do a little check on the velocity of LaTroy Hawkins, whose role in the bullpen seems to be getting bigger quickly as injuries and some unexpected ineffectiveness have screwed up the bullpen so far. I'm confident that the bullpen will end up being a strength of this team once Braddock gets on track and Saito returns from the DL, but right now Hawkins seems to be the other setup guy next to Kameron Loe

To be honest, I had completely forgotten that Hawkins came back to pitch for the Brewers later last season.

Pre-Cubs meltdown (4/6- 4/11, 2010). 3 1/3 scoreless innings

93.7 mph fastball velocity, 88% fastballs

Post-Cubs meltdown, before going on to the DL (4/12-5/6, 2010). 8 1/3 innings, 10+ERA

92.2 mph fastball velocity, 75% fastballs

End of season stint after returning from the DL (7/29-8/11, 2010) 4 1/3 innings, 6 ERA

91.8 mph fastball velocity, 67% fastballs

Start of 2011 season (4/22-4/27, 2011) 3 innings, 3 ERA

92 mph fastball velocity, 58% fastballs

For the record, the Hawkins fastball velocity had been around 94 prior to signing with the Brewers. He's also getting up there in age as far as baseball players go, so I'd expect a bit of a decline overall but it's a bit of a concern that it looks like he's having trouble getting the velocity back to the point that it was before the injury. 

There are reasons I'm not too concerned, however. A drop from 94 to 92 doesn't mean a reliever can't be effective. And Hawkins seems to be able to stil go back and get velocity if he really needs it-- he hit 94.6 with at least 1 pitch in his first outing of this season against the Astros.

So the average has definitely been down since his injury early last year. It's not something to be sounding the alarms about at this point, but it would be wise for the Brewers to at least keep an eye on it.