As of his game today (June 28) he’s faster than his last few games for the major-league Sox, but barely back to where he started the year, and nowhere near where he was a couple years ago.
Justin Masterson pitch speed, 2015
He probably needs to pick up another couple mph at the least to have a chance at consistent effectiveness at the major-league level.
Rick Porcello hasn’t been pitching very well for the Red Sox so far. Although there’s a meme going around that Porcello needs to use his two-seam fastball more, in an article I wrote (Location is the Key for Rick Porcello) I suggested that his pitch mix is not the problem, while the location of his four-seam fastball might be.
Rick Porcello: Pitch characteristics (2015)
There have been suggestions from the Red Sox management that the gap between AAA and the major leagues is wider today than ever before. I looked at the claim (Are Rookies Having a Harder Time?) and didn’t find much evidence to support it.
Rookie wRC+ by year
I wrote about Eduardo Rodriguez’ poor fourth start against the Blue Jays, and how he righted the ship for his fifth start: How Eduardo Rodriguez Got His Groove Back
Rodriguez average fastball velocity by inning
As a followup to my look at the new strike zone, I looked at one player who may be disproportionately affected by the changing size of the strike zone over the years.
Mike Napoli’s percentage of called strikes that would not have been strikes in previous years
In a later article, I looked at the same effect across baseball: The Effect of Additional Called Strikes with the Expanding Strike Zone. Yunel Escobar was the player most affected by the expanded strike zone in 2014.
Yunel Escobar: Called strikes in 2014 that were not in the 2013 strike zone
The strike zone in 2015 is continuing to expand, though not as dramatically as it did between 2013-2014. I wrote about it at Has the Strike Zone Expanded?
The strike zone in 2015 compared to 2014
I wrote a summary of Eduardo Rodriguez’s first major-league start at Eduardo Rodriguez Dominated in His First Start.
Eduardo Rodriguez, 5-28-15
I didn’t write a summary of his second start, but here are a couple of charts that show it:
Eduardo Rodriguez, 6-3-15 (Second start)
Eduardo Rodriguez four-seam fastball, 6-3-15 (Second start)
Eduardo Rodriguez changeup, 6-3-15 (Second start)
Eduardo Rodriguez slider, 6-3-15 (Second start)
I looked at David Ortiz’s 2015 struggles at the plate (David Ortiz Struggles With Fastballs From Left Handers). It looks as if he’s been hitting right-handers fine, and has also done reasonably well against breaking pitches and off-speed stuff from left-handers, but has had a terrible time against left-handers’ fastballs. More charts and comparisons, and some guesswork at the rest of his year, at sonsofsamhorn.com.
David Ortiz hit charts, 2015