Brewers vs Angels
The rest of the media covered Shohei Ohtani in depth but I needed to see him for myself. Here are my thoughts.
Shohei Ohtani allowed a run while recording two strikeouts and a foul popout in his first inning. His fastball ranged from 93-97 mph. He threw some nasty secondary pitches, including a particularly nice 69-mph curveball.
— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) February 24, 2018
- I was not impressed. He looks to be a good pitcher, just not at ace level.
- The fastball was straight. The curve is slow and loopy. He had little feel for breaking balls. His split-change did look good though. It’s early but he did not impress.
- He’s a little slow throwing to home from the stretch with an average time of 1.5 seconds (below league average). He has a little early pause. I’d not be surprised if he has problems controlling the running.
Overall, acceptable but not great. I’m a little worried he’s going to need at least a few months to get back into a groove. For 2018, his 73 ADP is a little rich for me. I’d probably be in after Gerrit Cole at #85.
Braves vs. Astros
Collin McHugh rolled over the Braves. He’s a legit #3 to #4 starter but the Astros rotation is stacked. I’m not going to count on innings from him to start the season but I will count on one of the other starters getting hurt (e.g. McCullers). McHugh should be owned in most leagues.
Mike Soroka pitches move all over the place. He only pitched 1 IP but I’m impressed.
He’s like a young Rich Hill. Can’t throw his fastball for strikes (24 pitches in IP) but that curve…
Cardinals vs Mets
He couldn’t control his breaking balls at all. He walked three and hit another batter. In the 2nd inning, he aimed his fastball and was only 92 to 94 mph. He’ll have a month to work out his issues.
Rockies vs Reds
For the second straight game, Raimel Tapia has led off for the Rockies. The Rockies have several outfield/first base options with David Dahl, Gerardo Parra, Ian Desmond, Ryan McMahon, and Tapia. It’ll be interesting to see how this situation works itself out.
Royals vs Dodgers
Jesse Hahn worked out of a jam in the 1st by striking out Toles with a nasty breaking ball. Hahn has live fastball today ranging from 94-97
— Clubhouse Convo (@royalsclubhouse) February 24, 2018
Jesse Hahn averaged 93.8 mph last season. It’s a nice development.
Also, why should a pitcher get credited for a blown Save in the 3rd inning?
Cubs vs Rangers
Albert Almora Jr. led off. Maddon rolls out so many lineups so who knows where Almora will bat next.
Phillies vs Orioles
An interesting lineup for the Phillies with high-OBP Carlos Santana leading off and the speedy players, Cesar Hernandez and J.P. Crawford hitting 5th and 6th. If this lineup sticks, Santana will be limited in RBIs and the speedsters won’t be able to show off their speed as much.
Fastball Velocities: From pitch tracking system installed Salt Rivers (Rockies and D-Backs home park), teams with a broadcast radar (Mets and Yankees home games), and Twitter. Complete spreadsheet.
2017: 96.4 mph
2/24/18: 96.7 mph
2017: 91.9 mph
2/24/18: 91.6 mph
Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.