FanPost

Does Bobby Parnell need additional time to Warm Up?

Bumped from FanPosts. --Chris

---

Bobby Parnell is a pitcher who relies a good deal on throwing gas.  And this year, he's done that pretty successfully - his fastball is at the highest velocity it has ever been and he's breaking 100 quite regularly.  In fact, as of 8/17, only Henry Rodriguez (37 times) and Aroldis Chapman (93 times!) have broken triple digits with a pitch more often than Bobby Parnell. 

But Parnell had an issue with throwing his pitches (both this fastball and his slider) at their peak velocities:  for the first batter or so, Parnell often seems unable to hit his normal high velocities, as if he was still warming up.  You can see this on Figure 1 below, which shows the average velocity of Parnell's fastball through the first 15 pitches of his appearances: 

Axpnm2pcaaamb8c_medium
 
Figure 1:  A graph showing how the velocity of Parnell's fastball rises as he throws more pitches in an appearance. 

As you can see on the graph above, Parnell starts off his appearances on average at 95.5 MPH and doesn't reach high velocities until pitch 5 - and even then his velocity still hasn't peaked until a few pitches later.  Figure 2 below shows the effect of this on an at-bat basis: 

 

Parnellbybatternumber_medium
Figure 2: A look at Parnell's average fastball velocity based upon each additional batter faced. 

As Figure 2 clearly shows, the first batter Bobby Parnell faces when he comes into the game gets the clear advantage of avoiding the super velocity that is Parnell's specialty.  Parnell's slider shows the same pattern - the first batter to face Parnell when he comes in faces slower sliders as well as fastballs.  The second batter may also get a slight advantage, but the advantage is nowhere near as big as it is with the first batter (In other words, it may sometimes take Parnell two batters to reach max velocity, but not always - but it always takes him one batter to get there). 

This trend is NOT normal.  To take another Met Pitcher for example: Jason Isringhausen's fastballs appear to start essentially at his average velocity. 

Now the question is:  Does Parnell's lower velocity hurt him against the first batters who face him in each appearance?  It's impossible for me to say one way or the other conclusively, but his results this year suggest that the answer is yes, as you can see in Table 1:

Batter #
K% BB%
 Expected Run Value Per At Bat*
1st
21.05%
5.26%
-0.025
2nd
23.68%
13.16%
-0.039
3rd
27.03%
8.11%
-0.083
4th
22.22%
3.70%
-0.106
5th
27.78%
11.11%
-0.033

Table 1:  The Results of Bobby Parnell based upon what batter is facing Parnell in an apperance.

*NOTE:  Negative Run Values are GOOD for Pitchers, Positive are BAD.

As Table 1 shows, the first batter Parnell faces in each appearances is having the best results against Bobby Parnell - they're striking out the least and doing the best overall offensively, as shown by the run values (admittedly, the lack of velocity isn't causing Parnell to walk a ton of batters).  Note that these results are from a small sample size (and we can't clearly identify the results as caused by the lack of velocity), but the implication seems strong. 

Now this seems fixable right?  Shouldn't Parnell be able to figure out how to warm up so he comes out with his best stuff, or something close to it, rather than doing what he does now?  I mean this isn't like someone who requires a short bit to gain control, this is figuring out how to throw your hardest - it's the very sort of thing that warming up is meant to do for pitchers.  If Parnell CAN fix this, well, one would have to think he'd get even better, which would be excellent if he's to be our new closer.

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions, reasoning skills, or attention to grammar and usage rules held by the editors of this site.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Amazin' Avenue

You must be a member of Amazin' Avenue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Amazin' Avenue. You should read them.

Join Amazin' Avenue

You must be a member of Amazin' Avenue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Amazin' Avenue. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker