MASH Report: Greinke, Lackey, and Tomlin by Jeff Zimmerman April 21, 2017 With the 2017 changes MLB Advanced Media implemented with their StatCast pitch tracking data, I’ve been scrambling to recode my pitcher injury finder. Well, it seems to be working fine and here are some pitchers it found to be concerned about. Note: I have bumped up all 2016 and earlier values to be equal with higher 2017 readings. John Lackey It’s tough to tell if Lackey is hurt or he’s at a new, lower talent level. His last start was the most concerning. Here are his velocity and spin rates over the past two seasons. John Lackey’s Velocity and Spin (2015 & 2016) Time Frame Average FB Velo Spin 2016 (BOS to early July) 93.0 2290 2016 (6 starts before DL) 93.1 2230 2016 (after DL) 92.3 2260 2017 90.5 2210 2017 (last start) 89.5 2130 He was able to keep his velocity and spin relatively constant in 2016 considering he spent time on the DL with a shoulder injury. This season, not so much, especially during his last start. During the start, his velocity constantly dropped. Besides the velocity drop, his couldn’t find a good release point. 4/12 Game 4/17 Game In that game, he only struck out two batters while allowing three home runs. He just wasn’t right. For the season, his stats still look good. The Cubs great defense has helped keep his BABIP at .277. His 9.5 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 are completely respectable to go along with a slightly inflated 4.00 ERA. On the surface, he seems fine. Sell now. I’d sit the 38-year-old if I owned him in any leagues. He would need to prove to me he can bump up his velocity and spin. Additionally, he needs to tighten up his release points. There is just too much wrong right now. Zack Greinke The 33-year-old’s production has been dropping over the past few season, especially after signing with Arizona. I chalked up the decline to him aging into his mid-30’s. Then his last start happened. Greinke set a personal all-time low average game fastball velocity at 89 mph. This sub-90 mph value is 2 mph less than his last start and almost 3 mph less than his 2016 average (92.7 mph). Greinke’s not going to be a decent regular option throwing 89 mph. If an owner is thinking of selling, now is the time while is ERA is still under 3.50. And he’s not on the DL. I would definitely bench him for his next start and then re-evaluate the situation. Rich Hill Both his velocity and spin were down in his last start. And he quickly headed back to the DL with another blister. Shocking. Josh Tomlin While few owners are rostering Josh Tomlin (4% at ESPN), I will give those desperate few who are eyeballing him in AL-only leagues a reason to look away. Tomlin’s velocity and spin rate are free falling. His sinker is down 2 mph over his first three starts and down 3 mph from last year. Additionally, the pitch’s spin is down about 200 rpm from last season (2400 rpm to 2200 rpm). He such a borderline starter in any league that any stud middle reliever would be a better option at this point.