A Baseball Weblog

Friday, August 20, 2010

Yankees' pitch times

Quantifying which pitchers are quick workers has always been intriguing to me. The PITCHf/x data has a time-stamp that goes down to the second, so with some Excel manipulation (I'm learning!), it is possible to get a feel for. I haven't seen a whole lot of work done on the subject, other than a few articles by PITCHf/x guru Mike Fast. Anyway, I attempted to test out some pitch times on the Excel file with the Yankees' 2010 data. I had to set a few different parameters to make sure that the data was accurate. I eliminated: the first pitch of each plate appearance so that I wouldn't get the time between each PA; all pitches with runners on base since the data doesn't detect pick-off attempts; and all intervals of either 0 seconds or greater than 1 minute since they either represent either an error in the data or a game delay. The quickest worker on the Yankees so far this year is Dustin Moseley, who takes an average of 18.3 seconds between each pitch. Joba Chamberlain is the slowest, averaging almost 26 seconds. The data looked realistic, but all I had to compare it to was one 2008 article by Mike Fast on his blog, in which he displayed the pitch times for the pitchers of all 30 teams. I got in touch with Mike a few days ago, and it seems like we're using similar parameters. For the Yankee pitchers who have pitched in 2008 and 2010, here is how my data compares to Mike's:

Name2008 Time (in seconds)2010 Time (in seconds)
A.J. Burnett24.724.7
Andy Pettitte22.122.3
Boone Logan21.423.5
CC Sabathia23.724.5
Chad Gaudin20.620.8
Chan Ho Park22.822.8
Damaso Marte21.522.9
Dustin Moseley22.718.3
Javier Vazquez22.923.2
Joba Chamberlain25.125.9
Kerry Wood20.720.5
Mariano Rivera22.721.4
Phil Hughes25.123.5

It looks legit. This is pretty exciting. I'll do a lot more with this in the future.

Further reading: Mike Fast did another article on pitch times, this one for The Hardball Times, in 2008.

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