Mike Fires, Kirpal, Baseball discussed on Effectively Wild: A FanGraphs Baseball Podcast
So this will be this would be kinda quick maybe I don't know. So we, we briefly talked about my fires. I think I don't even know if that's true, so, but for the most part I tried, I tried to write about Mike fires when he was claimed off waivers by the as and I just couldn't find anything that was worth sending out to the world. You know, like I could write a few hundred words of my fires, but I didn't think it would improve anyone's life. So I skipped it. So did I think the rest of us at fan graphs? And so of course, since Mike fires was completely summarily ignored by myself and my colleagues started three times for Oakland allowed. Three runs with one walk in twenty one outs. He's been amazing. He's been one of the better because major league baseball, and I was curious what might be going on with Mike fires, and I found something something has been going on with Mike fires. And so I remember when the as claimed him, I saw some quote Thun front of me, but I think it was David forced as GM saying something to effect of. Happened at fires in. We're going to just see how he does with our pitching plan for him in what that implied is that the as had something they wanted to do with Mike fires to maybe trying to make them better fires. You strike at more batters than he has lately anyway. So I saw the words pitching plan on, I thought, okay, that's interesting. And then fires turned in three good starts in a row, and I thought though that's even more interesting. So what I did I looked at a, I have two things I'm going to. I'm going to say. So I looked at a at all pitchers in major league baseball through August. First, when Mike fires made his last appearance with diapers and since August second after like fires wound up going to the ace. So I was looking at forcing fastballs and I was looking at curve balls. So I have data sample of two hundred sixty pitchers who threw sufficient number of four seam fastballs on both sides of that date. And Mike fires has shown the out of that sample of two hundred six pitchers. Mike fires has shown the fifth biggest increase in average fastball height. His. Fastball since one of the as is up zero point, four, three feet, which more related a little more than five inches. His average forcing fastball has now risen by a little more than five inches joining the eights. So he was already throwing pretty high with the Tigers, but he's just working up his. That's not anything that's too unfamiliar. We hear about between this time, here's your gets even more interesting. So fires also has a big sexy, looping curveball. And so I, I looked at the same kind of data, and I wound up with a sample of one hundred sixteen pitchers who threw enough curve balls on either side of that August first date and Mike fires, average curveball height has dropped by the most. It's down zero point, four, four feet or again a little more than five inches. So since joining the as Mike fires is average, fastball has risen by five inches and his average giant looping Kirpal his dropped by another five inches being. He's Inada. Another ten inches of separation between his fastball and his Kirpal, which is exactly what people have just said, classically fastball up Kirpal down so long, short of it. Fires is trying to keep his fastball above bats, and he's trying to keep his curveball below bets and it's been working out for him. It's not the only stuff he's done since joining the as, but that's the most visible stuff. And it's certainly worked out to this point. So pretty easy changes. He used to throw his fastball higher than he did with his carbos been around for a while. So I don't think it was anything to radical the, but just these simple differences in Mike fires turned into a really good pitcher apparently. So fund move and the kind of thing that might be cited as an antidote in this book. I've heard about this in the words. Yeah, that is possible. We've certainly seen any totally. It's hard to go back. I mean, there may have been time certainly prior to pitch FX, stat, casts, and all this, where a team traded for someone and said, we want him to do this thing differently..