August 30, 2012 at 1:33 pm by David Lee under Atlanta Braves
A Heap of Hanson
Tommy Hanson did this, continuing a career-worst season in which he has a 4.45 ERA and 4.39 xFIP.
A big problem lies in a .382 wOBA against left-handed batters compared to a career .332. While his wOBA against right-handed batters is also up, it’s not nearly the same difference as from the left side. Some numbers:
HR/FB vs. LHB: 16.5%
HR/FB vs. RHB: 7.7
BABIP vs. LHB: .341
BABIP vs. RHB: .290
FIP vs. LHB: 5.35
FIP vs. RHB: 3.72
The increase in BABIP vs. LHB tells that he has had both bad luck and more hard hit balls, and a slight increase in line drive percentage backs this up. The huge difference in FIP shows he’s getting fewer strikeouts and allowing more walks against lefties. But you put those two together, and add in the biggest factor affecting his FIP, a really bad home run rate against lefties, and you get a nasty split.
Hanson allowed just five home runs to left-handed batters in 2010. That’s five in 95.1 innings. He has already allowed 14 in 70.2 innings this year. What happened? His stuff is simply not getting left-handed batters out anymore.
In 2010, Hanson’s slider had a LD/BIP rate of 6% and a FB/BIP rate of 28%. He didn’t allow a single home run on the pitch.
In 2012, his slider’s LD/BIP rate is 13% with a FB/BIP rate of 44%. He has a HR/(LD+FB) rate of 9% on the pitch. His curveball has also seen a dramatic jump in similar form, albeit in a slightly smaller sample.
In no way am I trying to answer Hanson’s problems with just a few batted ball numbers. It’s just a way of showing that Hanson’s stuff isn’t fooling the left-handed side of the plate like it did in his best season, namely the secondary offerings. When people comment that Hanson’s stuff isn’t getting batters out like it used to, it doesn’t have to mean whiff rate, because his swinging strike percentage is maintaining surprising consistency. The problem lies in his inability to avoid hard contact, especially from the left side.
As I wrote on Twitter, I would not oppose calling up Julio Teheran and letting him loose in Hanson’s spot for the next few starts. To simplify it, Teheran couldn’t be any worse, and the potential is there for an upgrade. Teheran has exactly 20 innings remaining to match his career high for a season, so his innings total is in good shape, and I’m sure his arm has benefited from some of his shorter outings. There’s really nothing to lose here. Remember, rosters expand Saturday.
Braves.com recap for Wednesday’s loss.
AJC quotes following Wednesday’s loss.
The Braves announced their Arizona Fall League roster. Zeke Spruill, Edward Salcedo, Nick Ahmed, Matt Kennelly, Gus Schlosser and Cory Rasmus will play for the Phoenix Desert Dogs.
Ben takes a look at Kris Medlen’s season for FanGraphs.
Jacob Peterson takes a look at Craig Kimbrel’s season for Talking Chop.
Around the NL East
Bryce Harper hit two homers before being ejected in Washington’s win on Wednesday, giving the Nationals a five-game lead again.
Tyler Cloyd pitched well in his major league debut for the Phillies.
The Phillies are considering Chase Utley at third base in the future.
Ozzie Guillen plans to change how he handles player injuries.
The Mets will shut Matt Harvey down before the season ends due to an innings limit.