The number of frontline starters who have lost a significant amount of fastball velocity compared to the first month-plus of last season is startling. This isn’t just a few stragglers. It’s a half-dozen of the game’s best pitchers and a handful more in the next tier. It’s Cy Young winners and superheroes and $200 million men and royalty.
No great unifying explanation seems to exist. Some are hard throwers who aren’t throwing as hard. Some have considerable mileage on their arms. Some are showing the vagaries of age. One, actually, is purposely not throwing as hard. Not all velo dips are the same, though all do raise eyebrows at a time when pitches zoom in faster than ever.
A year-over-year drop in April doesn’t necessarily portend doom. Pitchers can find their stuff in a snap. (See: Mat Latos, whose fastball averaged 91.4 mph in his last start after sitting at 89.3 mph for all of April.) The fear, of course, is that when fastball velo goes, it’s often for a permanent vacation. AndRead More »from 10 Degrees: The scary trend Matt Harvey and other aces are facing