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6 minutes ago, Dtwncbad said:

I was just casually wondering if other fans are baffled by Heaney not getting shelled when he pitches?

Believe me, I love that he is effective and I am happy the Angels have him.

But watching him actually pitch, watching his actual pitches delivered, I just don't understand how he isn't just hammered.

What about him pitching and his actually delivery of pitches baffles you that he doesn’t get hammered? It does not baffle me at all. 

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18 minutes ago, Dtwncbad said:

I was just casually wondering if other fans are baffled by Heaney not getting shelled when he pitches?

Believe me, I love that he is effective and I am happy the Angels have him.

But watching him actually pitch, watching his actual pitches delivered, I just don't understand how he isn't just hammered.

Check out this fangraphs article about Heaney....you are not the only baffled...He throws a curve ball that doesnt curve and a sinker that doesnt sink....It's all about spin rate.

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/andrew-heaney-is-effectively-unusual/

Here are a few snipets:

 

Last year, in a limited sample of 21.1 innings, his curveball ranked first in whiffs per swing (59.1%) despite ranking 180th out of 187 in vertical break among curves thrown by starters who threw the pitch at least 50 times (-0.60 inches) and 182nd in horizontal movement (0.44 inches).

This season Heaney’s do-nothing curveball, which he is throwing more often, ranks sixth in whiffs per swing (45.3%), one spot ahead of Gerrit Cole. Out of 96 pitchers to have thrown at least 50 breaking balls, Heaney’s curve ranks 88th in horizontal movement (1.91 inches) and 92nd in vertical break (-1.41 inches).

 

Then there is his sinker that doesn’t sink, but rather plays as a fly-ball pitch.

More spin equals more lift. The pitch is averaging 2,464 rpms this season. (The MLB average average for a two-seamer is 2,150.) His fastball averaged 2,459 rpms last season, 2,407 in a injury-shortened 2016, and 2,366 in 2015 in 2015. The pitch has elite spin despite below-average velocity (91.7 mph).

The pitch is classified by Savant and Pitch Info as a sinker, yet it ranks fourth in rise or vertical lift (8.69 inches) among 107 pitchers to have thrown at least 50 sinkers — and it has the fourth-highest fly-ball ratio (0.71 GB/FB). He ranks fifth in whiffs in the zone via his sinker. And he elevates the pitch with the 11th highest vertical height (2.54 feet) among pitchers to have thrown at least 50 sinkers. The pitch also has about eight inches of horizontal run.

He has the 27th-lowest zone-contact rate (83%) among starting pitchers.

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1 minute ago, Dtwncbad said:

Nothing looks overpowering and looks like everyone just swings right through his pitches.

It's crazy to watch.

I kind of get where you're coming from. Early in the year when he was getting shelled, he like a horrible, soft tossing lefty. But then those hits turned into strike outs and soft contact. His stuff still doesn't look amazing, but he gets results and he's been a blessing to this rotation, even though our offense hasn't done their part. I'm happy that Skaggs and Heaney have done well this year. It's very encouraging moving forward.

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Seems random that fangraphs would take the time to write an article about Andrew Heaney. Do they write about every player in baseball or are they just obsessed with the Angels? I understand that they're the most interesting team in the league, but still.

That said, those numbers could be explained by command and/or delivery, although his delivery seems pretty normal. Maybe it's the side of the rubber? Or he's a genius with pitch sequencing? 

 

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31 minutes ago, Stradling said:

I listened to something about him changing sides of the rubber and the angles it creates, especially to righties.  

Didn’t he change sides of the rubber immediately after his injury (apparently to limit re-injury) and then due to poor results he went back to the other side of the rubber?  All this year. 

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58 minutes ago, jordan said:

Didn’t he change sides of the rubber immediately after his injury (apparently to limit re-injury) and then due to poor results he went back to the other side of the rubber?  All this year. 

He had always pitched from the 1b side. Last year after he came back from TJ they moved him to the 3B side because they thought it would keep him healthy. He pitched terribly. 

He was still there in his first 2 starts this year, also terrible. 

Then he switched back and he’s been good for the most part. 

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1 hour ago, jordan said:

Didn’t he change sides of the rubber immediately after his injury (apparently to limit re-injury) and then due to poor results he went back to the other side of the rubber?  All this year. 

I think it was last year, but that's what I remember.

Still, I would imagine there are other left-handers in the league who pitch from the left side.

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3 minutes ago, Jeff Fletcher said:

He had always pitched from the 1b side. Last year after he came back from TJ they moved him to the 3B side because they thought it would keep him healthy. He pitched terribly. 

He was still there in his first 2 starts this year, also terrible. 

Then he switched back and he’s been good for the most part. 

Well, shit.

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It baffles me how he has any success, too. He always looks very hittable.

Scioscia would probably say "the ball is coming out of his hand real well" or "he hides the ball real well" or something...........

I just dont see him being anything but a #4-5 starter, at best. But every team needs those. Unfortunately, we have a lot of them.

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1 hour ago, WeatherWonk said:

I just dont see him being anything but a #4-5 starter, at best. But every team needs those. Unfortunately, we have a lot of them.

17th lowest ERA in the American League. 

Think for just one moment about that. There are only 15 teams in the AL and Heaney is the 17th best pitcher. Heaney slots in as a #2 for almost any team not named Astros, Indians or Twins.

Not #4/5, a solid #2. 

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I feel like spin rate is way overrated.  To me it's about the 4th or 5th thing down the list that matters.  

1. Location
2. Consistency of release point between various pitches
3. Controlled movement and spin rate
4. Perceived velo - not just straight up but what does it seem like with deception.  
5. Speed differential
6. Sequencing  

these are in no particular order and matter differently for different pitchers.  

I feel like Heaney's biggest assets are release point and location.  All three pitches come from the same spot.  and on top of that he generally locates all three of those pitches well.  He's also decently deceptive.   
 

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12 minutes ago, Dochalo said:

I feel like spin rate is way overrated.  To me it's about the 4th or 5th thing down the list that matters.  

1. Location
2. Consistency of release point between various pitches
3. Controlled movement and spin rate
4. Perceived velo - not just straight up but what does it seem like with deception.  
5. Speed differential
6. Sequencing  

these are in no particular order and matter differently for different pitchers.  

I feel like Heaney's biggest assets are release point and location.  All three pitches come from the same spot.  and on top of that he generally locates all three of those pitches well.  He's also decently deceptive.   
 

My biggest problem with spin rate is that, to my knowledge, it's still completely proprietary and not publicly available anywhere. So when Victor or Goobs quotes it on the broadcast, I have no way to understand what's normal for a lefty vs a righty or a fastball vs a change vs a curve. So, I think "OK, uh, thanks for the info?"

I'm the rare type I think that with the data I'd try to dig into it the way I have on baseballsavant with launch angle, etc, but I can't. So why even give me the random one off numbers on the broadcast? 

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21 minutes ago, Dochalo said:

I feel like spin rate is way overrated.  To me it's about the 4th or 5th thing down the list that matters.  

1. Location
2. Consistency of release point between various pitches
3. Controlled movement and spin rate
4. Perceived velo - not just straight up but what does it seem like with deception.  
5. Speed differential
6. Sequencing  

these are in no particular order and matter differently for different pitchers.  

I feel like Heaney's biggest assets are release point and location.  All three pitches come from the same spot.  and on top of that he generally locates all three of those pitches well.  He's also decently deceptive.   
 

Hit the nail on the head, as usual doc. The curveball and his fastball have a pretty big speed differential. The change up is decent enough to keep them off the fastball 

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