I made some observations on Martis yesterday, here is what I saw this morning from Lannan's data:
- He is throwing pitches at pretty much the same rate he has in his first two seasons: Fastball (57%), Slider (22%), Curveball (12%), Change up (9%). His use of the slider is up a bit from last year (~6%). The speeds on all the pitches have gone almost unchanged from last year.
- He is getting more ground balls than he was last year, at a rate of 2.36 GO/FB, easily the best ratio on the team. Lannan didn't have the best outings the first two times around, but he wasn't helped much by his defense either. Lannan is not always going to get the strikeouts he got last time on the mound, but he can be a very effective pitcher if the infield defense does its job.
- First strike percentage is 58%. Lannan had an additional inch of horizontal break on all of his pitches last week, and an additional inch of horizontal break on his curve and two seamer. This is one of the main reasons he was able to get so many batters to whiff last week. If he has the same type of movement on his pitches tonight, he is in for another good outing.
- His K/9 and BB/9 numbers are improved, one up/one down. I'm not going to put too much stock into these until the sample size increases. Other posters have highlighted this before, but Lannan can't leave his fastball hanging up in the zone, or else he is going to get taken yard. He also can't try to be too fine, or else he is going to get behind in the count and have to rely on his fastball. He needs to be ahead in the count so he can throw his slider and/or curve.