Thursday, May 9, 2013

What's the matter with Ryan Vogelsong?

Ryan Vogelsong has not gotten off to a great start and it lead me to take a look at what has and has not been different with him this season compared to previously with the Giants.

I looked into the statistics and I think for the most part he has been a victim of bad luck.

Here is what I wrote for Bay Area Sports Guy:
When you look at the peripheral numbers things really haven’t changed all that much; in 2011 he struck out 18.5% of the batters he faced while walking 8.1%, last year he struck out 20.1% while walking 7.9%, and so far this season he has struck out 18.8% while walking 7.5%.
For the most part he is striking out and walking about the same number of people. That’s good news for Vogelsong as we go forward.
If we switch and take a look at his batted ball data, courtesy of Fangraphs:
Season
Team
GB/FB
LD%
GB%
FB%
IFFB%
HR/FB
IFH%
BUH%
2011
Giants
1.34
20.40%
45.60%
34.00%
9.30%
8.20%
7.00%
16.70%
2012
Giants
1.14
18.50%
43.50%
38.00%
11.10%
8.20%
6.70%
7.70%
2013
Giants
1.14
20.00%
42.60%
37.40%
7.00%
18.60%
6.10%
0.00%
Total
- – -
1.11
20.90%
41.60%
37.60%
11.30%
8.90%
6.90%
11.50%
Things look mostly the same over the last three seasons.
  • A few less ground balls this year than the previous two, but nothing drastic.
  • A slightly higher line drive rate, but still lower than his excellent 2011 season.
  • The flyball rate is right in between the last two years.
  • His infield fly ball rate is lower, but not significantly so.
The big difference is that the number of balls that have gone over the fence per flyball is much higher than the last two seasons and well above his career rate.
If we look further into the balls that have been put into play against Vogelsong, we see that currently 35% are falling in for hits. The number of balls in play that turn into hits is not something that is fully in the control of the pitcher and tends to hover around 30%. If we again take a look at the mix of balls that Vogelsong has given up you would expect that only 29.8% of the balls in play would have fallen in for hits with an average defense behind him.
Going forward I wouldn’t expect him to continue to give up home runs and fly balls like every hitter he faced was David Ortiz. Nor would I expect him to continue to allow 35% of balls in play to fall into hits, especially not with the Giants posting the highest ultimate zone rating in baseball right now.
Check out the full thing.

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