So it's been said that Rick Ankiel has turned things around. Has he really?
Apr 6 - Jun 1 (.221/.299/.358/.657)
Jun 2 - Present (.359/.405/.692/1.097)
Sure looks like it. Has he had any other 10 game span in 2009 that matches up?
Apr 21 - Apr 30 (.364/.421/.667/1.008)
Yup; that's pretty close. So we're not out of the woods yet. He could tailspin into another month-long drought. The following are the outcomes of the result-pitches he's seen over the past 11 games.
Jun 12: fastball (groundout), fastball (groundout), fastball (single), fastball (walk)
Jun 11: fastball (single), curveball (SO), curveball (single), changeup (single), fastball (SO)
Jun 10: fastball (groundout), changeup (popout), fastball (triple), changeup (double), fastball (HR)
Jun 09: fastball (single), slider (double), intentional walk, fastball (lined out)
Jun 08: slider (SO)
Jun 07: fastball (groundout), changeup (groundout), fastball (SO), two-seam fastball (groundout)
Jun 06: slider (groundout), sinker (walk), slider (HR), changeup (flyout)
Jun 05: fastball (groundout), slider (SO), slider (groundout), slider (double)
Jun 04: fastball (single), fastball (flyout), slider (SO)
Jun 03: slider (groundout), slider (flyout), slider (popout), sinker (double)
Jun 02: slider (flyout), changeup (SO), changeup (groundout), changeup (double)
42 plate appearances, 6 singles, 5 doubles, 1 triple, 2 HRs, 3 walks (one intentional), 7 Strikeouts (16.7%)
Of his hits (14), only six were on fastballs... fewer than half. Ankiel also has 8 extra-base hits in this span while only amassing 17 for the entire 2009 season. He only had 9 extra-base hits in his first 29 games which means that he's almost doubled his tally in the last 11 games (40 games total). That is somewhat encouraging, right?
If I could do it all over again (well technically, I could... but... no), I would have taken a look at the pitches right before Ankiel managed to get a hit on a fastball to see if he has been taking off-speed pitches to draw more fastball offerings. A quick glance over the past couple of games makes me wonder if the Indians know Rick Ankiel at all; of the 27 pitches that he was delivered in yesterday's game, 21 were four-seam fastballs (78%). Compare that to the Marlins whose 24 pitches to Ankiel only featured 11 four-seamers (46%). Then again, he went 3-5 that day.
It's been easy to see that Ankiel has been lost at the plate for much of the year. In 2007 & 2008, Ankiel welcomed curveballs. Respectively, he generated 2.59 and 1.61 runs above average on that pitch (per 100 pitches) while only .27 and .09 runs above average each of those two years on fastballs. In 2009, Rick's generating 1.36 runs above average on fastballs (per 100) while curveballs suddenly make him tremble (-5.7 runs below average per 100).
Not really sure if I have a point here. Just throwing around some information. Thoughts?