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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Santana's Injured, And How We Could Have Seen It


Questioning whether Santana was really healthy is nothing new. A decline in strikeouts and increase in walks and homeruns against raised red flags. Fewer batters are chasing Santana out of the zone and this is the most contact Santana has ever allowed. Our batted ball data has Santana giving up 26.1% line drives. That measure usually stabilizes early, so while there’s some sample size issues at play, there’s reason to believe Santana was being hit quite hard.

Part of the reason for the increased contact rates is the velocity of Santana’s fastball. No longer is Santana flashing a fastball that sits in the mid-90s; instead, he’s barely touching that point. Dave covered this back in early June, but here’s a look at Santana’s updated velocity chart:

Via David Pinto.

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