clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

A Pitch/FX Look At Bud Norris

The Hardball Times has a nice piece up this morning about everyones favorite Astro! 

↵

(No, he retired. Him too. He's a Phillie. Right, no, I'm talking about Bud Norris. Yes, Bud Norris.)

↵

Norris has been one of the few bright spots for the Astros so far, racking up 52 strikeouts in just 42 early innings and complimenting that with a 3.16 ERA. Vince Caramela calls Norris' slider a "genuine bat misser" but worries a bit about his diminished velocity of late.

↵
↵

Since his third start on April 14, his average fastball velocity has steadily dropped from 92.4 to 91.4. This may not seem like a lot, but keep in mind that Norris' highest average fastball velocity registered at 93.4 on April 9. That is a drop of nearly two miles per hour in one month and according to Mike Fast's study on fastball velocity decrease, a starting pitcher tends to allow one more full run per nine innings for every four miles per hour lost off his heater. Norris isn't at this stage yet, but it is worth monitoring.

↵

Looking over his velocity via Gameday, I have noticed that Norris would easily hit between 95 to 94 miles per hour with his labeled four-seamer earlier this season. Compared to his previous two starts, Norris' fastball has rarely touched 94 mph while a steady drop in fastball velocity is noticed throughout the game.

↵
↵

This might be something to look at during tonight's start with the Mets. You're going to that game, right? No? 

↵

It's worth noting that Norris has actually struck out more batters as his velocity has decreased, which isn't the result you'd normally expect to happen. Perhaps he's just now realizing how dominant his slider can be and easing off the gas on his fastball because of it?

↵

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.