Friday, April 15, 2016

Your 2016 Giants: Cueto Fatigue

Continuing my series of posts on Cueto.  As I have been finding out, Cueto have splits, both by home vs. road, and first half vs. second half.  And those splits hold even when taking the two splits into account, both home and road gets worse in the second half.  The mysteries are two-fold:  why is he so much better in Cincinnati and why is he that much worse in the second half?

I don't think we can ever answer the former (my best guess is that there is something in the background of the stadium that works well with his deceptive pitching motion; there was an analysis long ago of why San Jose Municipal Stadium has a much higher strikeout rate and Giants hitters (including Bowker), noted that there were mountains in the background in CF that hid the ball in some visual haze plus also the sun would set in CF in the second half of the season and the hitter would be looking into the sun, so there was no hitter's eye, making it harder for the hitters to see the ball) but let's take a look at his monthly stats and see what's there.


ogc thoughts

ISplitGPAABRH2B3BHRSBCSBBSOSO/WBAOBPSLGOPSTBGDPHBPSHSFIBBROEBAbiptOPS+
April/March36941856781834622233582103.62.214.273.349.62229911139557.25682
May4010789751002165042768752172.89.222.282.364.6463552410117411.25689
June401027932962194042569691942.81.235.298.367.665342201592010.27195
July3910399181032314351737862012.34.252.324.365.6883352014165216.304103
August35903818921994043053551943.53.243.305.412.71733712206415.283109
Sept/Oct389498591082364852428691672.42.275.335.426.76236621124535.315123
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/14/2016.

ISplitWLW-L%ERAGGSGFCGSHOSVIPHRERHRBBIBBSOHBPBKWPBFWHIPSO9SO/W
April/March139.5912.8436360210234.118378742258521013549411.0288.13.62
May1913.5942.9340400420267.12161008727754217103210781.0897.32.89
June2110.6773.0740400100252.1219968625690194150610271.1416.92.81
July1711.6073.3839390320242.12311039117862201142210391.3087.52.34
August1613.5523.6335350210216.019992873055119420139031.1768.13.53
Sept/Oct1214.4624.1438380000222.02361081022469316712169491.3746.82.42
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/14/2016.

Sometimes a chart tells a thousand words.  As one can see in his OPS, it just get steadily worse and worse, until he's pretty bad in Sept/Oct.  And his ERA mirrors that mostly, though as one can see, his OPS almost linearly gets worse, but there is a big jump in ERA once he gets to July, and the bigger jump in Sept/Oct.  His BABIP mostly mirrors that, as well as his K/BB (or SO/W in the chart), except for his odd improvement in peripherals in August, but still worsening ERA and OPS.  So it appears to be fatigue.

The thing is, I'm not sure what else he can do to combat that.  It helps now that he's in a temperate ballpark, so we'll see if he can avoid the second half decline at home this season.  He is known as an innings eater, that is a big reason we signed him, but it might behoove the Giants not to ride him too hard, if the relievers are well rested and needing work.

The Reds appear to have kept an eye on him, his pitch count was actually lower by 1.6 pitches in H2 vs. H1.  He also pitched about a third of an inning less, probably as the result of giving up so many more hits and XBH's.   Still, his PQS fell from 3.91 to 3.31 and Game Score fell from 62 to 56, from H1 to H2.  He's giving up much more homers, though, only up slightly, and it was still very good, from 5.5% to 5.8%.

10 comments:

  1. Thanks a lot for all the interesting observations on our very interesting new pitcher. My thoughts on why his FIP data are misleading: (1) He's quite good at managing contact, I saw an article on hit f(x) a few weeks ago and he's in the top 10 in the majors, his career LD% is 20.0%, Hard% is 26.8%, not great but well above average, (2) He's an excellent fielder, (3) Everyone says that fielders field better behind pitchers who work fast, and there aren't too many who work as fast as Cueto, and (4) he varies his speeds a lot and saves the fastest pitches for the most important situations, so his career LOB% is very high (76.3%)--his high-leverage Hard% is 19.7% (as opposed to medium-leverage 27.3% and low-leverage 27.5%), that's the second-lowest Hard% in HL situations of pitchers with 100+ IP since leverage statistics started being kept in 2002 (behind Mariano Rivera).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your thoughts. I heard 3 on the radio. Did not know 2. I figured as much on 2 and 4 because of the way he pitches. I was very pleasantly surprised when he reached 95 MPH a number of times in his later innings in his last start, I didn't know he had such heat, I thought he was all about the deception.

      Wow, second only to Rivera, that's pretty good company, and he's going it as a starter, thanks for that factoid.

      Delete
  2. Some more really weird Cueto statistics--his career AVG against in 3-0 situations is .198 and in 3-.1 situations it's .189 (his other AVGs with 0 or 1 balls are .214-.254, and 3-2 is the lowest)--the AVG is LOWER with 3 balls than with 0, 1, or 2. Of course he walks a lot of batters in 3-0 and 3-1 situations. He simply doesn't give in to the batter in 3-0 and 3-1 situations, and this is presumably a big reason for his contact management.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, SSS probably still affects those Counts splits. Still, very interesting datapoints, thanks.

      Delete
  3. The giants should be careful with him no doubt.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Just found this old article on Kyle Lohse and low BABIP, attributing it to him getting into get 3-ball situations. If there's something to this, it would be another factor explaining Cueto's low BABIP, as it looks like he simply doesn't give in in 3-ball situations. That would presumably raise his number of walks (and therefore FIP etc.) but lower his BABIP relatively.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the article on Kyle Lohse, I had never read that before. I really enjoyed it, as it explained some stuff about Fangraphs and FIP that I did not know about.

      However, I disagree with what you took from the article. It is not that he does not give in when there is a 3-ball situation, it is that he pounds the zone and avoids 3-ball situations:

      "The more favorable the count to the pitcher, the less likely the hitter will get on base from his hit. Kyle Lohse’s three best counts for limiting batter wOBA this year? Why, those would be 0-2, 1-2, and 0-1. And the three counts Kyle Lohse faces far less than any others? Those would be 3-0, 3-1, and 3-2. "

      Now, for an article on a pitcher who doesn't give in (but when there is runners on base), I recall this article on Rueter by Nate Silver: http://espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?id=1561575

      But I like the original version, as it has the table on how they do depending on the situation: http://web.archive.org/web/20030623200113/http://espn.go.com/mlb/columns/bp/1561575.html

      Rueter would pitch to avoid a homer when runners were on base, especially RISP, which resulted in a lot more walks, but less crooked numbers on the scoreboard.

      I would say that Lohse was pitching like how Big Daddy Reuschel used to pitch, he was known for being a strike thrower but he had such control that he let the hitters know that the best strike they are going to get is on the first pitch, and after that, he would give them harder strikes to hit.

      Delete
  5. http://www.fangraphs.com/community/the-exceptional-kyle-lohse/

    ReplyDelete
  6. http://www.fangraphs.com/community/the-exceptional-kyle-lohse/

    ReplyDelete

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