community projection: kyle lohse

after his simulated game yesterday, kyle lohse told the post-dispatch: "My slider has pretty much always been my go-to pitch. I can throw it for a strike at any count, or run it off the plate a little bit. … I did that today." the available numbers back that up. according to josh kalk’s compilations from pitch/FX data, in 2007 lohse threw his slider nearly a third of the time:

overall vs RHB vs LHB
fastball   47   52   43
slider   29   29   30
change   17   13   20
curve    7    6    7

this is far from a complete sample --- neither of lohse’s home ballparks last year (cincinnati and philadelphia) was wired for FX, so these kalkulations (get it?) are based on only 900 or so pitches (about 1/3 of lohse’s overall tosses). the new pitch-type data at fangraphs, which come from a different source (Baseball Info Solutions), cover all 3000 of lohse’s pitches from 2007; they show kyle throwing the slider with slightly less frequency (53 percent FB, 23 percent SL, 18 percent CH, 6 percent CU), but the relative proportions are about the same.

i want to return to josh kalk’s smaller sample for a second, because it shows platoon breakouts. lohse’s tendency to throw the slider in equal proportion to right / left batters is rare. most pitchers feature the slider less often against lefties; that's true even among pitchers who throw a lot of sliders. for example, sliders represent 37 percent of all the pitches john smoltz throws --- but the proportion is 44 percent against righties, only 31 percent vs lefties. jeremy bonderman (also 37 percent overall) threw it 43 percent vs right-handers, 31 percent vs lefties. among lohse's new teammates on the cardinals, ryan franklin throws his slider 22 percent of the time --- 36 percent against right-handers, 7 percent against lefties. for adam wainwright, the proportions are 20 percent overall, 30 percent vs right-handed hitters, 9 percent vs left-handers. the only pitcher i found who had a similar platoon (non)split with respect to the slider was --- ladies, better hang on to your boyfriends --- jason marquis, another frustrating hurler to whom lohse has been compared in the past.

kalk’s numbers also amply illustrate lohse’s statement that the slider is his "go-to" pitch. check out his percentages last year a) when he had 2 strikes on the hitter, and b) when he was ahead in the count:

overall 2 str
(249 pp)
(262 pp)
fastball   47   41   39
slider   29   36   41
change   17   20   18
curve    7    3    6

when he’s ahead in the count (ie, 0-1, 0-2, or 1-2) he throws the slider more than any other pitch; on 2-strike counts (0-2, 1-2, 2-2, 3-2) it runs a close second to the fastball. on the pivotal 2-2 count, he threw the slider as often as the fastball (albeit in a small sample of only 60 pitches).

well, so much for the preliminaries. please give me the following 9 numbers in comma-delimited (no spaces) format for kyle lohse:


i’ll share the results on thursday.

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