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Harry Chappas
07-20-2012, 09:31 AM
This will be a statement of the obvious, but his fastball that used to be 97-98, is now sitting at 94-95. 97 from a lefty with good location and you can survive if not thrive with just a fastball. But 94-95 is BP. He had to know that as he got older, he'd lose a couple of ticks of his heater. So how is it that over the course of his career, he hasn't learned to throw a secondary pitch for a strike?

Every successful closer outside of Rivera, who throws primarily a cutter with pinpoint location, seems to have something else in their arsenal.

I know Thornton has a breaking ball so even if he doesn't control it well, you'd think he'd throw it just to keep batters honest. On what planet does he (and Cooper/AJ) think he can get by with pumping 95 over the heart of the plate? It's mind-numbing.

mahagga73
07-20-2012, 10:27 AM
This will be a statement of the obvious, but his fastball that used to be 97-98, is now sitting at 94-95. 97 from a lefty with good location and you can survive if not thrive with just a fastball. But 94-95 is BP. He had to know that as he got older, he'd lose a couple of ticks of his heater. So how is it that over the course of his career, he hasn't learned to throw a secondary pitch for a strike?

Every successful closer outside of Rivera, who throws primarily a cutter with pinpoint location, seems to have something else in their arsenal.

I know Thornton has a breaking ball so even if he doesn't control it well, you'd think he'd throw it just to keep batters honest. On what planet does he (and Cooper/AJ) think he can get by with pumping 95 over the heart of the plate? It's mind-numbing.
He's a one trick pony who has not been able to develop an effective secondary pitch ,but he's lefthanded so they continue to trot him out there hoping he will regain that 5 mph on his fastball and be effective again. I think he throws some kind of a cutter ,but it stinks. It might be that he is a true professional and they really really want him to be good again, but he's not. This should be his last year here if they can find any kind of decent lefthanded bullpen help.

sullythered
07-20-2012, 10:41 AM
God knows, I agree that Thornton has been ineffective, but where the hell are you guys coming up with your velocity stats? Thornton's average fastball this season has been 95.2 mph. His career average fastball is 95.3, and his career high season is 96.1. If he has lost any velocity from his peak, it is practically statistically insignificant.

GlassSox
07-20-2012, 11:07 AM
God knows, I agree that Thornton has been ineffective, but where the hell are you guys coming up with your velocity stats? Thornton's average fastball this season has been 95.2 mph. His career average fastball is 95.3, and his career high season is 96.1. If he has lost any velocity from his peak, it is practically statistically insignificant.

Yes, speed is down a bit and it appears he just doesn't much of anything to fool the hitters.

His career numbers in save opportunities are very bad except for 2010.

Yr SaveOpportunities Saves BlownSaves %
06 5 2 3 40%
07 7 2 5 29%
08 6 1 5 17%
09 9 4 5 44%
10 10 8 2 80%
11 7 3 4 43%
12 5 2 3 40%

Don't let Thornton pitch in save situations.

doublem23
07-20-2012, 11:10 AM
Yes, speed is down a bit and it appears he just doesn't much of anything to fool the hitters.

His career numbers in save opportunities are very bad except for 2010.

Yr SaveOpportunities Saves BlownSaves %
06 5 2 3 40%
07 7 2 5 29%
08 6 1 5 17%
09 9 4 5 44%
10 10 8 2 80%
11 7 3 4 43%
12 5 2 3 40%

Don't let Thornton pitch in save situations.

That's kind of a misleading stat because any time a pitcher enters a game in what would be a save situation and blows the lead, he gets tagged with a BS but when he preserves the lead and hands it off to the next reliever, he gets no credit for the save (just a hold, which is not counted). So if Thornton comes in the 8th in a 1-run game and serves up a run, he still gets a BS, even though that's what his role on the team is supposed to be.

GlassSox
07-20-2012, 11:16 AM
That's kind of a misleading stat because any time a pitcher enters a game in what would be a save situation and blows the lead, he gets tagged with a BS but when he preserves the lead and hands it off to the next reliever, he gets no credit for the save (just a hold, which is not counted). So if Thornton comes in the 8th in a 1-run game and serves up a run, he still gets a BS, even though that's what his role on the team is supposed to be.

Agreed. Is there a hold stat anywhere?

SaltyPretzel
07-20-2012, 11:18 AM
He reminds me of a lefty Billy Koch. His fastball was straight as an arrow and once he lost a little velocity, he was toast.

doublem23
07-20-2012, 11:27 AM
Agreed. Is there a hold stat anywhere?

Yes (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/thornma01-pitch.shtml#pitching_reliever::none)

GlassSox
07-20-2012, 11:30 AM
Yes (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/thornma01-pitch.shtml#pitching_reliever::none)

Thanks, I did not see that before.

Harry Chappas
07-20-2012, 11:34 AM
God knows, I agree that Thornton has been ineffective, but where the hell are you guys coming up with your velocity stats? Thornton's average fastball this season has been 95.2 mph. His career average fastball is 95.3, and his career high season is 96.1. If he has lost any velocity from his peak, it is practically statistically insignificant.

I'm not sure where you got those stats or how accurate the readings are, but there's no way anyone can convince me that he hasn't lost any velocity.

Location is part of his problem, but there's no other explanation as to how a one-time All-Star can go from from dominating to this...

Innings/Hits/SOs

'08 67/48/77
'09 72/58/87
'10 60/41/81
'11 59/60/63
'12 39/42/37

His struggles started last year and have carried over to this year.

Lip Man 1
07-20-2012, 11:41 AM
He's getting older remember.

Lip

voodoochile
07-20-2012, 11:48 AM
Just an impression I get, but Thornton seems to have some of the worst luck of any pitcher I can recall. I mean is there another pitcher in baseball who gives up so many cheapo hits? Last night he gave up a seeing eye single and an infield grounder that was hit too weakly to turn two and that's not the first time I can recall that type of stuff happening to him. It seems to be a regular occurrence when he gives up game changing runs. Maybe that's just my selective memory, but I really wonder if his BABIPA is one of the worst in the majors...

sullythered
07-20-2012, 12:54 PM
I'm not sure where you got those stats or how accurate the readings are, but there's no way anyone can convince me that he hasn't lost any velocity.

Location is part of his problem, but there's no other explanation as to how a one-time All-Star can go from from dominating to this...

Innings/Hits/SOs

'08 67/48/77
'09 72/58/87
'10 60/41/81
'11 59/60/63
'12 39/42/37

His struggles started last year and have carried over to this year.
Fangraphs. Pretty reliable. Velocity isn't his problem.

DonnieDarko
07-20-2012, 01:16 PM
Yes (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/thornma01-pitch.shtml#pitching_reliever::none)

Wow, 15 Holds? He should be on track for his best year in Holds, even if only by a number or two.

JB98
07-20-2012, 01:42 PM
Fangraphs. Pretty reliable. Velocity isn't his problem.

His location is his biggest problem. When he tries to come inside to lefties, he isn't getting it inside. He's leaving it out over the plate.

I know he doesn't want to get beat on his second-best pitch, so to a point I understand the reliance on the fastball. But I'd like to see him use the breaking ball more as a "show-me" pitch just to change the hitter's eye level a bit if nothing else.

If he can get the hitter thinking, "Well, he might throw me a slider down," that might be just enough for Matt to be able to get his fastball by somebody belt high -- even if it is "only" 94 mph. He still has enough velocity to retire hitters.

Harry Chappas
07-20-2012, 02:19 PM
His location is his biggest problem. When he tries to come inside to lefties, he isn't getting it inside. He's leaving it out over the plate.

I know he doesn't want to get beat on his second-best pitch, so to a point I understand the reliance on the fastball. But I'd like to see him use the breaking ball more as a "show-me" pitch just to change the hitter's eye level a bit if nothing else.

If he can get the hitter thinking, "Well, he might throw me a slider down," that might be just enough for Matt to be able to get his fastball by somebody belt high -- even if it is "only" 94 mph. He still has enough velocity to retire hitters.

That's partly what I was thinking which is why I included Coop/AJ in my initial post. Any pro worth their salt can/will hit a fast ball - even a good one - if they're waiting for it. The fact that he's throwing it over the middle of the plate and belt-high doesn't help.

BigKlu59
07-20-2012, 10:57 PM
His location is his biggest problem. When he tries to come inside to lefties, he isn't getting it inside. He's leaving it out over the plate.

I know he doesn't want to get beat on his second-best pitch, so to a point I understand the reliance on the fastball. But I'd like to see him use the breaking ball more as a "show-me" pitch just to change the hitter's eye level a bit if nothing else.

If he can get the hitter thinking, "Well, he might throw me a slider down," that might be just enough for Matt to be able to get his fastball by somebody belt high -- even if it is "only" 94 mph. He still has enough velocity to retire hitters.


There you have it... What once was a "cruise missle' thru the crosshairs has become a "Salerno Butter Cookie"... Hitters now sit on his pitches...

BK59

Chez
07-21-2012, 09:59 AM
Going into the ASB, I was feeling good about Thornton. He seemed to have developed an effective off-speed pitch and was in a really good groove. My eyes tell me that either Matt has lost a click on his fastball from years past, but it's location more than anything. He seems to be throwing the fastball to lefties further down in the strike zone. I'd prefer he throw it higher to tie up the left handed hitters. Again, this is based solely on observation. not data.

palehosepub
07-21-2012, 01:03 PM
The last game in Boston was awful - he had two hitters 0-2 and he throws a fastball over the plate and gives up two key hits. No way those hitters should be seeing that pitch it was in that situation. Very frustrating

oldgrouch
07-21-2012, 06:08 PM
Just an impression I get, but Thornton seems to have some of the worst luck of any pitcher I can recall. I mean is there another pitcher in baseball who gives up so many cheapo hits? Last night he gave up a seeing eye single and an infield grounder that was hit too weakly to turn two and that's not the first time I can recall that type of stuff happening to him. It seems to be a regular occurrence when he gives up game changing runs. Maybe that's just my selective memory, but I really wonder if his BABIPA is one of the worst in the majors...

Melton says the cheapo hits are the result of guys just dropping the head of
the bat on the heater rather than trying to kill it.

Lip Man 1
07-21-2012, 06:42 PM
Which is smart of the opposing hitters. They adjust...most times our hitters still swing for that 800 foot, six run home run.

Lip

MetroPD
07-21-2012, 11:39 PM
Fangraphs. Pretty reliable. Velocity isn't his problem.
yeah his problem is his location on his straight as an arrow fastball is terrible. Each pitch looks identical to the one before. Its a small wonder why people are not taking him out of the park on each one of his throws.