Lincecum's velocity


#1

Just noticed something while watching the world series, where has Lincecum’s velocity gone? I mean his 2008 and even 2009 season he was in the 93-96 range consistently. Now he’s more like 90-91. Just by looking at him it looks his followthrough is more in control and he’s not quite as big of a followthrough in that he doesn’t finish quite as far to the first base side as he used too. This could mean simply that he isn’t trying to throw as hard, which would explain why his delivery would be more under control since he’s putting less effort into it. What do you guys think


#2

He’s got a lot of innings under his belt this season … That absolutely has something to do with it, in my opinion. Most pitchers peak in the mid-summer and plateau or decline a bit as the season works its way into fall.


#3

I recall I read an article about his velocity. When he threw with a top of 96 mph he relied mostly on his fastball. Since last year he worked on perfecting his changeup, he dropped velocity on his fastball to go deeper in games but maintained the same or even more effectiveness. Also he has thrown a lot of innings this year which can be a factor too.


#4

Just throwing it out there, that I recall an article I read recently that said that his average fastball velocity hasn’t really changed much this season. I think in April he was averaging like 92 and now he is averaging like 91.5. In 08 and 09 he would generally see his fastball drop a few mph over the course of the season.


#5

I’d say it’s tied to his effort level. Throwing 200+ innings is very difficult to do at 100%. So part of it is that he’s dialed it down a bit in order to get through a long season.

Also, he’s not exactly a great command guy (I’d say his fastball command is about MLB average), so perhaps it’s a way for him to try and throw more consistent strikes.

The other lesson here, as mentioned above, he’s basically become a change up pitcher. That’s his best pitch and the pitch he throws in any and all counts. Just like we continue to tell young pitchers to keep throwing fastballs and develop arm strength, the same can probably be said for Lincecum right now. He’s throwing less fastballs, so his velocity is down a touch. On the other hand, when you have a great change up, your fastball can still be successful with a little less velocity and command.


#6

i wonder his fastball velocitys were at the beginning and of the seasons for all his years


#7

Paul Nyman (coachxj) has indicated that guys who fall in love with their changeup tend to lose fastball velocity over time. The quote that I remember this from is when Paul was talking about his research on Jensen Lewis a few years ago and can probably be found on SETPRO.

This is an interesting theory and one that makes sense. It applies to Lincecum as he has steadily thrown more changeups every season he has pitched in the MLB. You can find that data here:

http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=5705&position=P#pitchtype

Additionally, pitchers tend to lose velocity over a season, which is normal.


#8

[quote=“kyleb”]Paul Nyman (coachxj) has indicated that guys who fall in love with their changeup tend to lose fastball velocity over time. The quote that I remember this from is when Paul was talking about his research on Jensen Lewis a few years ago and can probably be found on SETPRO.

This is an interesting theory and one that makes sense. It applies to Lincecum as he has steadily thrown more changeups every season he has pitched in the MLB. You can find that data here:

http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=5705&position=P#pitchtype

[/quote]

But could it possibly be that the loss of velocity caused more use of the changeup, instead of vice versa. I mean maybe Lincecum lost some velocity and because of needed to rely on his change-up more. Not disapproving your (or Nyman’s) theory but simply playing the devil’s advocate.

In the frame of mind, if you look from Nyman’s perspective, would thus the delivery differ from fastball to offspeed? What I mean is that would somebody have a slightly different way of throwing the pitch from whether the pitch was a fastball or offspeed? I’ve noticed that Jake Peavy when throwing a fastball has alot of recoil, while throwing a curve has more followthrough. Same thing with Matt Purke, he has that violence when throwing a fastball but is more controlled when throwing a curve.

I don’t know I’ve always been taught that you should try and make your delivery’s identical so a hitter doesn’t know whats coming. Does this mean that it is acceptable to slow down the arm or be more controlled when throwing offspeed as compared to a fastball?


#9

Slow down the arm speed? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!
There are many ways you can change up on a pitch—alter the grip, for example; you can tighten or loosen it, you can hold the ball way back in the palm of your hand or further forward, things like that. But you have to throw every pitch, no matter what it is, with the same arm motion and the same arm speed as you would the fast ball; to do otherwise would be telegraphing the pitch, and that is an absolute no-no. Otherwise you might as well yell out to the batter, "Hey, here comes a changeup!"
Tim Lincecum may have lost a little velocity on his fast ball, but this is something that often happens to pitchers as the season winds down, for whatever reason. But apparently he has been compensating for this with various alterations in the grip. He definiktely has not been slowing down his arm speed, and regardless of how fast he may or may not be throwing the batters still don’t know what’s coming. And isn’t that the whole point?—to confuse and discombooberate the batters, regardless of whether you’re throwing at 98 MPH or 88 MPH? You don’t do this by slowing down the arm speed.
I remember when I was playing, many moons ago. We were facing a team whose starting pitcher had the most beautiful slow curve I had ever seen—but the guy was telegraphing it; he slowed down his arm speed, and once we caught on to that he was out of there by the third inning. Q.E.D.


#10

[quote=“Zita Carno”]Slow down the arm speed? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!
There are many ways you can change up on a pitch—alter the grip, for example; you can tighten or loosen it, you can hold the ball way back in the palm of your hand or further forward, things like that. But you have to throw every pitch, no matter what it is, with the same arm motion and the same arm speed as you would the fast ball; to do otherwise would be telegraphing the pitch, and that is an absolute no-no. Otherwise you might as well yell out to the batter, "Hey, here comes a changeup!"
Tim Lincecum may have lost a little velocity on his fast ball, but this is something that often happens to pitchers as the season winds down, for whatever reason. But apparently he has been compensating for this with various alterations in the grip. He definiktely has not been slowing down his arm speed, and regardless of how fast he may or may not be throwing the batters still don’t know what’s coming. And isn’t that the whole point?—to confuse and discombooberate the batters, regardless of whether you’re throwing at 98 MPH or 88 MPH? You don’t do this by slowing down the arm speed.
I remember when I was playing, many moons ago. We were facing a team whose starting pitcher had the most beautiful slow curve I had ever seen—but the guy was telegraphing it; he slowed down his arm speed, and once we caught on to that he was out of there by the third inning. Q.E.D.[/quote]

The point trying to be made was not that Lincecum was TRYING to slow down his arm speed, but that throwing so many change ups actually subconsciously forces arm speed to slow down a bit.

Even the guys with the best change ups still slow down the arm, just a touch, when they throw the change. It’s almost impossible for the hitter to see, but they still slow down just a bit. The NPA has proven this and I think it’s very easy to see from a sideways view from a distance. Some pitchers slow down a lot and they do actually tip their pitches.

The more fastballs you throw, the better chance you’ll throw more pitches closer to your higher velocity.


#11

If you think he needs more velocity to be more dominant then what did we see last night. This really goes to the thought that velocity is important but control is king. I think he really looked excellent in game 5.


#12

[quote=“buwhite”]If you think he needs more velocity to be more dominant then what did we see last night. This really goes to the thought that velocity is important but control is king. I think he really looked excellent in game 5.[quote]

yea but this season his velocity was down all year and his era was a whole point higher, maybe just adjusting to losing that velo?


#13

yea but this season his velocity was down all year and his era was a whole point higher, maybe just adjusting to losing that velo?