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It’s no secret that, generally speaking, as pitchers age, they lose velocity. It’s also no secret that, generally speaking, as players age (past 28-30), they become less effective at baseball. On the pitching side, those probably aren’t wholly independent truisms.

But does that mean that, when a pitcher sees a drop in his velocity, he’s in for a serious decline in performance?

As part of my due diligence on the Edwin Jackson signing (still not official, mind you), I reviewed a variety of things about his 2012 season, and previous seasons, wrapping my head around his prior performances, and what they suggest about his future with the Cubs. I’ve already dug into a great deal of the statistical analysis piece, but my research turned up something else worth discussing.

Here’s a chart from FanGraphs showing Edwin Jackson’s fastball velocity over the last five years:

fangraphs edwin jackson velocity

While it isn’t dramatic, you can see a pretty clear drop in velocity in 2012 – from about 94.5 mph to about 93.5 mph. My internal alarms went off: should we be concerned? Is this the start of a decline in velocity, and, more importantly, performance?

The Cubs will have Jackson for the seasons in which he turns 30, 31, 32, and 33. I was curious, then, if I could find examples of other pitchers who lost fastball velocity in their late-20s/early-30s, and, if so, examine how those pitchers fared during those early-30s years, despite the drop in velocity.

In short, the results were encouraging – albeit in a very limited sample. As a starting point, I looked at pitchers who pitched the 2012 season at ages 32 to 34, on the thinking that what we really want to capture is performance in the later years of the Jackson contract. I limited the group to pitchers who threw at least 170 innings, trying to weed out pitchers who had serious injuries, which could skew both velocity and performance.

That left me with 11 pitchers (to which I added CC Sabathia because (1) he turned 32 during the 2012 season, and (2) he’s always been a hard-thrower, and I thought he was a pretty good fit for this exercise): Cliff Lee, Kyle Lohse, Ryan Vogelsong, Wandy Rodriguez, Josh Beckett, Jake Westbrook, Mark Buehrle, Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang, Jeremy Guthrie, and Barry Zito.

Remembering that the point of this exercise is to find pitchers who experienced a drop in velocity and then review their attending performance, I threw out the pitchers who do not appear to have experienced an appreciable drop in their velocity over the last five years – Lee, Rodriguez, Westbrook, Capuano, and Vogelsong.

The other seven pitchers:

  • Kyle Lohse – Back in 2007-09, when Lohse was in his late 20′s, his fastball used to sit in the 91-92 mph range. Now, at 34, he’s closer to the 89/90 mph range. His effectiveness, however, has actually seen an uptick in the last two years. Encouraging right? Well, the rub here is that Lohse has started relying much less heavily on a true fastball, instead opting for a very effective sinker (though, interestingly, his ground ball rate has not increased). In something we’ll see with the subsequent pitchers who retained or improved effectiveness despite a decline in velocity, Lohse learned to adjust his game.
  • CC Sabathia – In his late 20s, Sabathia was a mid-90s fastball kind of guy. Now that he’s entered his 30s, that fastball is much closer to the 93/94 mph range, with 2012 being a solidly 93 mph year. Outside of a huge, probably unsustainable, leap in his HR/FB rate, Sabathia’s performance this year still fell generally in line with his peak years. In other words, it doesn’t look like the decline in velocity has translated into a decline in performance just yet for Sabathia. But, keep in mind, he just turned 32, and, like Lohse, Sabathia began relying much more heavily on his off-speed stuff in 2012 than he ever has before (for his career, he’s thrown the fastball 61.4% of the time, but in 2012, that figure was just 54.0%).
  • Josh Beckett – One of the hardest throwing pitchers in his 20s, Beckett’s fastball velocity has declined dramatically over the last three years (ages 30, 31, and 32), from the 93/94 range in 2009, down to 90/91/92 range this past season. It has shown in his performance where two of the worst seasons of his career came during that three year stretch in his 30s. Like Sabathia and Lohse before him, Beckett has definitely started relying less on his fastball (as well as his curveball), in favor of a cutter that he throws a few mph slower than his fastball. Apparently it hasn’t been too effective just yet.
  • Mark Buehrle – Something of an anomaly in this list, Buerhle has never been a hard-thrower. In his late-20s, Buerhle’s fastball sat in the 86/87 mph range, but, in recent years (ages 32, 33), it has fallen to right around 85 mph. Although Buerhle did have a bit of a down year in 2012, because he’s been stunningly consistent for his career, it’s hard to say whether that was the start of a trend or an anomaly. Interestingly, Buehrle’s pitch mix in 2012 changed dramatically according to Baseball Info Solutions, who had Buerhle’s fastball percentage dropping from 45-50% to just 37%, with a huge uptick in his slider (from 3/4% to over 15%). Change in teams and pitching coach, perhaps? Hard to say, and it’s hard to take a whole lot from the Buerhle case anyway, as he’s never been overly reliant on a big fastball.
  • Aaron Harang – As he was turning 31, Harang’s fastball was right around 90/91 consistently. He was coming off some very effective years with the Reds, pitching for Dusty Baker, and looked primed for many more good seasons. But then his effectiveness dropped dramatically, followed by about a 1 mph drop in fastball velocity, and he just hasn’t been a great pitcher in the last few years (ages 32, 33, 34). His pitch mix hasn’t changed too much, and the drop in velocity was slight. Because it also seemed to follow his drop in effectiveness, I’m not sure you can call him a guy whose effectiveness fell off as he aged because of a drop in velocity. In other words, I’m not sure there’s a lot of anecdotal value here.
  • Jeremy Guthrie – In his late 20s, Guthrie was one of the harder throwers in baseball, with his fastball sitting around 93/94 mph. As he’s entered his age 32/33 seasons, however, that velocity has dipped into the 92/93 mph range. It isn’t a huge drop, and he only just experience his first down season in 2012 (with a bounce back in the second half with Kansas City), so the decline may not hurt him. We’ll have to see – in that 2012 season, he didn’t change up his pitch mix, so it’s possible that the down year was the start of a decline if he doesn’t adjust.
  • Barry Zito – The cautionary tale. Zito was a Cy Young caliber pitcher in his younger days, and his fastball sat in the 87/88 mph range. As he came to San Francisco and turned 30, that velocity dropped into the 84/85 mph range, and his effectiveness fell off the map. Interestingly, his pitch mix didn’t change at all until 2012 (a bounce back year of sorts), when he finally stopped using the fastball more than 50% of the time, instead using his slider and his fastball each about a third of the time.

So, what can we take away from this exercise? Well, not too much – it is an extremely limited sample, and the drops in velocity we’re discussing are typically just a mile per hour or two. (Of course, in the big leagues, such a drop can make a dramatic difference.) Further, there are always latent explanations for changes in effectiveness that have nothing to do with fastball velocity.

We also have to keep in mind that this is all relative. Even after his drop in velocity in 2012, Jackson’s average fastball velocity was still good enough for seventh in all of baseball. And, despite that drop of a mile per hour in velocity, his stats did not drop in any meaningful way.

It does seem clear, though, that as pitchers enter their 30s and experience a drop in fastball velocity, they are best served by recalibrating their pitch mix, and learning to become an effective pitcher in ways unrelated to blowing hitters away. The pitchers who have had the most success in that adjustment have started relying far less on their fastball as they age.

And, hey, what do you know? Edwin may have already started the process. In 2012, he threw his fastball less (53.8% of the time) than he has ever in his career before, and started throwing a cutter (which he throws almost as hard as his fastball).

I’m cautiously optimistic that, even if Jackson’s decline in velocity from 2012 is here to stay, he can still be an effective pitcher during his stay with the Cubs – and could even improve.

UPDATE: A comment of mine from below, in response to some very astute readers: “By limiting it to guys who are still pitching (lots of innings), I (inadvertently!) cut out a huge swath of players who could have seen their velocity drop in their late-20s/early-30s, and then got bounced to the pen or out of the league completely. It made sense to me as I was doing it, and I stand by not wanting to include guys with injury problems (because they are unpredictable, and because, as they relate to velocity/performance, we could get into a tail wagging the dog situation), but I obviously goofed by going backwards. It’s still interesting to see how these particular pitchers evolved as they aged, I guess.”

  • BD

    That is some awesome in-depth analysis! I was curious about this, but didn’t have the time to dig into it. Thanks Brett!

  • ISU Birds

    I ain’t scared. Edwin is coming into his prime. Right guys? Right?

  • russ

    “So, what can we take away from this exercise? Well, not too much…”

    Indeed.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks for reading!

    • hansman1982

      “…as pitchers enter their 30s and experience a drop in fastball velocity, they are best served by recalibrating their pitch mix, and learning to become an effective pitcher in ways unrelated to blowing hitters away.”

      • baldtaxguy

        Yes, my take-away as well. I’m looking forward to watching Jackson in these years and see how his pitch mix develops. This article, as well as more exposure to Jackson’s stats and career has me thinking that this is much more of a positive signing than meets the eye. Thanks, Brett, for the research in this article.

  • ChicagoJoe

    Kind of a random thought, but this article got me thinking about average velocities of successful pitchers.

    Does anyone know if there has been a comprehensive analysis done on trends in pitching velocity pre and post-agreement to regularly test for PEDs?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I don’t know of it, but I’d sure like to see one if it’s out there. Very interesting topic – especially for guys in their mid-30s.

      • Internet Random

        Same.

        Kyle, you seem to have way too much time on your hands. Why don’t you put something together for us?

    • DocPeterWimsey

      It’s not quite what you are asking, but the number of guys who average 90+ has tripled over the last decade, from ~10 ten years ago to ~30 now.

  • http://bleachernation Ferris

    Curious as to why pierzynski got a one yr deal for 7.5mm and martin got a two yr 17mm an napolii got 3 and 39m……A.J. clearly had the better (o) numbers and is a better def. catcher than nap. thats why hes going to 1b,and is a far better hitter than martin,martin the bettr (d) catcher tho..

    also looking at these contracts the red sox are doing, I dont get it
    3 an 39 for napoli…..was anyone even close to that on him?
    3 an 39 for victorino…same ?
    and then head scratcher of the bunch 9.5-10mm for drew for 1 yr..wow 223-7-28 seriously.

    i like boston because they know what us cubs fans are going through they had an 86 yr drought but people are questioning signings we are making,none are this bad…..these are good players but way overpaid in ea. case. boston needs to hope the napoli deal falls through….imo

    • Internet Random

      Nobody likes A.J. Nobody.

      • Cubbie Blues

        Maybe his mom, but that is still doubtful.

  • cRAaZYHORSE

    Hmm elite baserunners through out baseball history ? age 30 to 34 the verdict is ?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Rickey Henderson, for example, was at his best at stealing bases in his early 20s (most volume, and not much below his career rate). What does this have to do with this post, though?

      • cRAaZYHORSE

        Sorry was a way at work stuff- i like your article on velocity and its finding . I think Jackson was a decent signing for the Cubs . A good pitcher to have in the cupboard.
        A workhorse that will give the Cubs durable innings . I always hear how speed guys lose a step or two with age . i was just wondering what the drop off is to elite runners? between the age of 30 to 34.

    • baldtaxguy

      Tim Raines, as well (I think). I agree, quite the random topic. I think we lost Crazyhorse at “Harang.”

  • legen wait for it dary

    how about this trade castro,shark,marmol,vitters,mcnutt for upton,skaggs,bradley,matt davidson and a throw in. that would be a a great trade for both of us.

    • legen wait for it dary

      this trade might be more possible though if we took out davidson and put chris young in there

      • Galvan316

        Chris Young is in Oakland

        Still a terrible deal even if he wasn’t in Oakland

    • BWA

      Seems like a terrible deal for us IMO

      • Marcel91

        That’s because it is…..

  • MichCubFan

    Is he unable to throw with the same velocity as before or is he just throwing with less effort?

    • baldtaxguy

      Maybe along the theme he is managing his pitch selection more as he further develops into a pitcher. Part of that management could be that extra 1mph has the same effect? Interesting what a pitcher is thinking or a pitching coach could be coaching.

  • Marcel91

    Your kidding right? I think you are. Cubs get absolutely robbed in that deal. You’d have to get theo drunk to make that trade.

  • Timmy

    Not doom in this case because he’s durable. But he’ll be a guy who puts in 180-200 innings as a #4 pitcher for 2 years and a #5 pitcher for the second two years. This would of course be a benefit if we weren’t paying him like a #3. Overall I think it’s a good signing though.

  • legen wait for it dary

    are u stupid we get 2 top pitching prospects a power outfielder 3base of the future with davidson for castro who we can replace next year with baez or maybe this year with lake and shark realy hasnt proven any thing yet last year could have been a fluke if anyones getting robbed its the dbacks

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Sincere tip: use punctuation. Your thoughts are extremely difficult to follow without punctuation.

      • legen wait for it dary

        I will try my keyboard sucks. I try to save time by not adding punctuation.

        • baldtaxguy

          Take your time….please.

    • Marcel91

      I think your the slow one here. Let me break down your ridiculous trade first hand

      Castro, based on his position alone, has more value that Upton. Top 10 shortstops are hard to find. Right fielders are not. There’s a reason why texas and atlanta won’t trade their shortstops for Upton. Do some research

      In your trade the left side becomes Baez and Davidson versus Baez and castro without the trade. Your telling me you’d take Baez and Davidson
      over Baez + Castro??? Again that makes no sense

      Second, your essentially doing shark for Skaggs which makes no sense. Skaggs is what you hope Shark will become so you want to trade your best young pitcher who’s already in your rotation for a guy you hope comes even a bit close to being him…what?

      So basically your trading two of your best young, proven players at premium positions plus more prospects for Upton and a couple prospects who may not amount to anything? What ever potential gain you get from upton you lose because you just traded your goddamn allstar shortstop and frontline pitcher to get him

      Now tell me again if that makes any sense? Shark and Castro nby themselves can bring back huge packages and you want t deal them both PLUS MORE PROSPECTS for upton, Skaggs and a couple nobodies……whatever your smoking, I want some

      • legen wait for it dary

        I said shark,(a 28 year old who IMO will never be an ace) Marmol,(we will lose him at the end of the year any ways) vitters(a bust) and mcnutt(at best a RP imo). <win for cubs. castro for upton and davidson(already plus defense at 3rd). Baez (no one knows if baez can play 3rd yet.Why take the risk when you wouldn't have to). That's my oppinion and you have your own it isn't likely it will happen but both team would get what they want and i give the cubs a slight edge. Marcel91

        • Kevin B

          Maybe Shark will not be a #1, but its looking more like he may. At 28 he is entering his prime right now and getting better and better, even if he winds up a #2 that is fantastic! How do you know Skaags is a #1?

          How is Vitters a bust? for the 100 AB’s he had in the bigs? His AAA numbers at his age are real good and he is on pace to be a solid major leaguer, though may not be at 3B and may not be a star.

          You don’t know if Baez can play 3B? Ok. You don’t know he will stay at SS either, his range and growth indicate a position change. So you trade your young star SS who alone could bring a boatload for Upton? And have a HUGE whole at SS?

          I just do not see how that is a win for the Cubs???

      • Kevin B

        Thank you Marcel you saved me so much time in saying the same exact thing.

        What a joke that “trade” would be.

  • http://bleachernation Ferris

    moves id like to see….

    sign j.p. howell 3yr 10mm

    I hate to get rid of rizzo but what about rizzo,vitters,concepcion,coleman for stanton an nolasko

    trade sori and 28mm to tb for rhp- pat leonard,and parker markel.(send those to aa/aaa)

    marmol an nolasko to tx.for olt an ptbnl(olt on roster/low level ptbnl)

    sign laroche to a 3 yr 40mm deal..big dan v. is two- three yrs away,this would work out nice,we would contend this yr.

    cf-dejesus/sappelt
    ss-castro
    rf-stanton
    1b-laroche
    3b-olt
    lf-sherholtz/sappelt
    c-castilla/navaro
    2b-barney

    shark/garza/jackson/baker/(feldman-wood-villenueva) we’d have epth and a solid rotation an pen…this is a contender,and stock the farm at same time….fft..

    • legen wait for it dary

      They would never take Conception with his contract IMO.

    • Andrew

      None of those trades are anywhere close to fair.

    • Kevin B

      Well they may be moves you would like to see but now come back to planet earth please.

      1. You think Howell is going to sign for 3 years and $10 Million dollars with anyone? In this market? $3.33 million average per year – that is not even the major league average (3.42 million I believe is) – and he is an in demand pitcher requiring no draft pick compensation?

      2. Rizzo alone will NOT get you Stanton and you think throwing in Concepcion who just cleared waivers (yes the Marlins could have had him for free) and Casey Coleman is going to get you Stanton AND they are going to throw in Nolasko as well?

      By the way Coleman passed through waivers a few months ago, yes the Marlins could have had him for free as well but they did not think he (or Concepcion) was worth a 40 man roster spot but they are going to give us Stanton now because we are throwing them in the deal?

  • http://www.stevesfantasyadvice.com Steve

    Jackson’s drop in velocity is noteworthy, but I think you completely missed the point, Brett. Jackson’s 2012 WHIP and BB/9 were the lowest of his career. It is entirely possible Jackson’s decreased fastball velocity was a conscious effort by Jackson to actually find the strikezone with regularity, which he has never done before. Kyle Lohse is more effective now than when he was younger because he doesn’t walk anyone. If Jackson keeps his WHIP below the 1.40 range it has been in most of his career it likely won’t matter if his fastball velocity continues to decrease.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I didn’t miss that point, it simply wasn’t the focus (because of the speculation required to make that leap). But I do think it’s a good discussion.

  • Marc N.

    93.5 is still above average velocity, and the loss in velocity is probably more the natural process of aging. He’s been a major league pitcher for almost a decade now, and velocity tends to peak in the early-mid 20′s anyway.

    Not worried about this one.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That kind of reads like an executive summary of the post. That’s where I would land, too.

  • mak

    I enjoyed the article, Brett, but not all drop in velocities are created equally. When a pitcher goes from 92/91 to 89/88, you’d expect a different result than someone dropping from 95/94 to 92/91. The pitcher who drops from low 90′s to high 80′s was probably not relying heavily on velocity, but rather movement and mixing pitches.

    It would be interesting to see how pitchers who lost velocity in the same way Edwin has were effected (that would be a difficult project of course). Nonetheless, a very thought provoking article.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, mak – and I did point out at varying points that, for many pitchers, the drops in velocity matter less because they don’t rely on blowing guys away with their fastball.

      • True(ly) Blue

        I really enjoyed the article, Brett. Very thought provoking. It may well be that Jackson is becoming a “pitcher” rather than being a “thrower”. Remember that one of the great pitchers in recent memory was Greg Maddox who never threw over 90. His mantra was location and movement. Lets hope that EJ can develop/or and improve those skills.

        • Drew7

          “Remember that one of the great pitchers in recent memory was Greg Maddox who never threw over 90.”

          If “never” is the same as “after he turned 35″, then you’re right.

        • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

          *sigh*

          Every time someone perpetuates the myth that Maddux was a soft-tosser, God gives a kitten cancer.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Actually, it’s not any divine power. It’s one of the outs in animal testing procedure proposals: you monitor the internet for perpetuated myths like this one or the president was born in Kenya or something like that, and you get one animal to test for every time you find it. The lab that got dibs on the “Maddux never threw more than 90″ has gone through a lot of kittens…..

  • rbreeze

    I like the Jackson deal and Jackson as a pitcher. He has learned to become a pitcher and not the thrower that he had been earlier in his career. Some pitchers throw varying speeds on their fastballs too. Its all about location and setting up the hitters.
    Thanks for the analysis Brett. Great stuff!

  • Deez

    Non-issue. I think he’s the 2nd best pitcher in our rotation because he’s the most proven & his body of work. Jackson has averaged 200IP & 30+ starts the last 4 seasons. We got a quality, proven MLB pitcher at a value. I can see Jackson doing nothing lesss but paying great dividends for us. I think it will prove to be one of the best signings of the winter.

  • Andrew

    Hey this looks like a great place to propose stupid trades!

    Garza gets traded for Pujols plus 200 million dollars

    That frees up Rizzo to get traded for Beltre, and Andrus (Rangers have tons of depth there so they dont need them)

    That frees up Castro to get traded for Stanton and like 3 mid level prospects

    Now we trade Soriano plus all the money owed to him for Garza again.

    Trade Garza for Upton (both of the uptons, Atlanta gets 1/4 of garza Arizona gets 3/4)

    Then trade Dejesus, Barney, and sappelt for Robinson Cano.

    DAMN this gives us a lineup of:

    1B Pujols
    2B Cano
    3B Beltre
    SS Andrus
    LF Stanton
    CF BJ Upton
    RF Justin Upton
    C Castillo

    Get to work theo

    • Marcel91

      LOL! That sounds about right in line with some of the fantasy baseball league trades people throw out on here.

      • Marcel91

        The funniest thing about these trades are most times the Cubs end up the losers in them. If your going to make ridiculous trades at least make sure the Cubs get the better deal lol

    • MightyBear

      Why did you keep Castillo?

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Because he’s lazy and didn’t “get it done” on the Castillo for Posey trade….

        • Marcel91

          What Doc said lol

          but the serious answer(or question would be, who would you realistically upgrade him with? Catcher is a position of scarcity right now. There’s no good, young catcher set to be a FA and no team in their right mind would trade their’s unless they have an equally good catcher waiting in the wings.

          Good, young catchers are as hard to find as premium shortstops or frontline pitchers and Castillo happens to be one hence why he will be around for a while. People sleep on him too much, his ceiling is a good defensive catcher with a cannon arm and hits for power + improving plate discipline. That is an All-star-caliber catcher. If he reaches that ceiling is another discussion, but he has the makeup and skills to get there.

        • baldtaxguy

          I enjoy the demands for the FO to “get creative” for a proposed player addition. Totally ignores the costs required of “getting creative.” Very Special.

      • Spencer

        The Giants didn’t wanna trade Posey and Cain unless we threw in Campana, but Theo thought he was too valuable.

  • Andrewmoore4isu

    You should’ve thrown zambrano in there for comparison

  • OCCubFan

    Interesting article, Brett. However, to prevent sample bias, I think it would have been better to have gone back several years and find all the pitchers in their late 20s who had a dropoff in velocity of 1 to 2 mph. Then see how they fared in subsequent years. The methodology you used misses any pitcher who had such a great dropoff in results that he didn’t pitch 170 innings last year. It is a bit–though not so extreme–like taking all ballplayers who stole at least 20 bases and then examining how many had leg injuries in the previous year. That would not be the way to determine whether leg injuries affected base stealing.

  • bbrave307

    According to Fangraphs Jackson averaged 92.7 on his fastball in 2004 and 92.1 in 2004. Then in 2006 he averaged 94.9 which was his highest ever. I have noticed that many pitchers go up and down from year to year.
    It is hard to know how much you should read into a one year change. I am not ready to predict doon just yet.

  • DrRussell

    Hi Brett,

    I’ve enjoyed reading the site for several months now. I certainly appreciate the analysis you provided, but I’ve got a bit of a bone to pick with your methodology.

    By starting with pitchers in the league and working backward you biased your results to paint an overly optimistic picture. If you instead started with all pitchers who were 28-30 four years ago and looked for those who experienced a drop in velocity, you would have picked up all of the guys you reviewed, plus all of the guys who are no longer in the league due to the performance issues they experienced.

    That’s where we are with Jackson now. We do not know whether he will be in the league in four years. If he is, then we already know that his performance will still be acceptable (whatever that means). But you cannot assume that he is still pitching later and then use that assumption to prove that his performance is still good.

    Again, I really enjoy the site, but I just wanted to point out the assumption your approach makes.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Excellent point by both you and OCCubFan. By limiting it to guys who are still pitching (lots of innings), I (inadvertently!) cut out a huge swath of players who could have seen their velocity drop in their late-20s/early-30s, and then get bounced to the pen or out of the league completely. It made sense to me as I was doing it, and I stand by not wanting to include guys with injury problems (because they are unpredictable, and because, as they relate to velocity/performance, we could get into a tail wagging the dog situation), but I obviously goofed by going backwards. It’s still interesting to see how these particular pitchers evolved as they aged, I guess.

  • Rich H

    The guy I like to look at as far as the epitome of how useless win/loss record is should be Curt Schilling. His early career in Baltimore, a stop in Houston then Philly was not good as far as W/L was concerned. Did anyone besides Baltimore not think he was going to eventually become as ACE? Not really he was just on really crappy teams. At 30 he finally got out of Philly and became the dominant starter that we all thought he should be. So when anyone brings up well he doesn’t win blah blah blah I just bring up Schilling and hopefully in a few weeks I will be able to say HOF’er that just couldn’t win.

  • Carne Harris

    Good stuff. I agree on the methodology comments, but still instructive as far as what Jackson will need to do if he can’t blow his fastball by batters anymore, which he relies on so much. I’ve been noticing a lot of EJ’s sliders have split action, breaking straight down with no right to left movement. Maybe that would translate the same way as Lohse’s sinkerball. This might be what Fujikawa will need to do too since he tries to blow his fastball by batters but that might not work with MLB hitters.

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