Spin-Vestigation! II: The De-Whiffening | RotoGraphs Fantasy Baseball


With the so-called “sticky-stuff” memo getting released almost exactly one year ago, it seems about time to take another peek at which pitchers have been spinning the ball less since the crackdown was announced and how much (if any) their stuff and/or results have been affected since.

Keep in mind that we can’t just make a broad generalization of more spin equaling better pitches, or that less spin equals a worse pitch. Changes in spin can garner better or worse results but the most definitive conclusion we can make is what physical (movement) changes it has resulted in and what results have come from it. While it does look easy to connect the dots between giant drops in spin suddenly occurring immediately after MLB released their new enforcement memo, it’s still circumstantial evidence and changes in pitch shape, movement, etc can always occur from year to year, and the use of nefarious grip enhancers doesn’t have to be every answer. 

The changes in spin, whiff rates, etc, are all just breadcrumbs when it comes to analyzing pitcher performance, and no one metric is going to get you the whole loaf. But they can be important clues and the more you stack up, the more confident we can be in our conclusions. And when you find some pitchers that have seen significant drops in their spin, movement, whiffs, and overall performance, and they all happened to start around June 2nd of last year, it’s okay to wonder who was driving the bus behind their previously excellent results. The pitcher, or the goo?

To find some of these examples, we’ll look at each pitch by type and break up the time since the start of last season into three periods (min. 75 pitches per period):

  1. Beginning of 2021 – June 2nd (pre-mem0)
  2. June 3rd – End of 2021 (post-memo)
  3. 2022 Season through June 1st

In 2021, there were 894 individual pitches that qualified pre- and post-memo, and only 10 of them increased their average spin by at least 100 rpm from pre to post. On the flip side, there were 215 pitches that dropped by at least 100 rpm – 73 pitchers made the list once, 79 pitchers made it twice, 12 hit a triple, and four pulled a quad.

But only two pitchers landed a platinum sombrero.

Walker Buehler claimed one and the drops between pre- and post-memo weren’t skimpy; his four-seamer, cutter, and sinker all dropped around 250 rpm, the curveball was down 322 rpm, and the slider lost 205 rpm. And the dips have continued in 2022, with his cutter and curveball both down around 400 rpm compared to pre-memo, the four-seamer is currently down 368 rpm, and the slider is down 272 rpm. The only one of his pitches that hasn’t dropped more spin in 2022 is the sinker but that’s only because it’s simply been dropped.

Can you pick out about when the memo hit?

With six wins and a 3.22 ERA (3.45 FIP), it’s hard to say that this new spin-less version of Buehler has been a “bad” m pitcher. But for fantasy purposes, a 20.0% K% and 1.24 WHIP are more than a little concerning for someone who was drafted as a top-five pitcher in 2022, with many believing this could be the season that he would ascend into the very top tier.

The large increase in WHIP (0.97 WHIP from 2020-2021) is being driven by a lot more hits, as his 6.1% BB% is right in line with previous results. And him seeming more hittable makes more sense when looking at the drops in the overall whiffery that is behind a 20% K% in 2022 that is down from 26% in 2021 and 29.1% from 2019-2020.

Buehler’s 11.9% SwStr% this season is actually up from an 11.6% SwStr% in 2021 and isn’t that far removed from 12.3% and 12.1% in his respective 2020 and 2019 seasons. But while the SwStr% for his slider and curveball is up in 2022 compared to pre-memo, the swing-and-miss results for his four-seam and cut fastballs have dropped off substantially.

The cutter (18.0% usage in 2022) has dropped from a 16.7% SwStr% and 30.9% Whiff% prior to the memo, to a 14.5% SwStr% and 26.2% Whiff% in 2022. But it’s the four-seamer wearing the real crown of decreased whiffery for Buehler; a 12.0% SwStr% dropped to 6.7% post-memo and is down another point to a 5.7% SwStr% (or, the same as Kyle Hendricks) this season, while a 24.4% Whiff% dropped to 16.2% last year, and is down again to a 13.5% Whiff% (or, less than Michael Pineda) in 2022. 

Batters aren’t just making more contact with Buehler’s four-seamer, they’re doing damage, posting a .642 SLG (.690 xSLG) and .483 wOBAcon (.469 xwOBAcon) against it in 2022, up from a .366 SLG (.423 xSLG) and .327 wOBAcon (.387 xwOBAcon) in 2021. Considering those results, it makes a lot of sense that his four-seam usage continues to drop, decreasing from 53% usage in 2019-20 and 50% pre-memo, to 41.4% post-memo and 32.5% usage so far in 2022.

My sweet Dylan Bundy claimed the other platinum five-pack, with the average spin on all five of his pitches dropping significantly in 2021, and again in 2022 – except for a curveball that has simply been dropped. His four-seamer (36.8% usage) is averaging 89.1 mph in 2022, after sitting 91.5 mph pre-memo, and 89.7 mph post-memo. And the whiffs have followed suit – a 10.4% SwStr% dropped to 7.7% post-memo and is at 7.9% in 2022, while a 21.4% Whiff% dropped to 16.5% and again to 14.4% so far in 2022.

Bundy’s best pitch has always been his slider, though, and it’s been getting as many whiffs as ever in 2022, after initially dropping way off following our memo line of demarcation. Bundy’s slider dropped from an 18.7 SwStr% and 37.8% Whiff% pre-memo to an 11.4% SwStr% and 32.7% Whiff% post-memo but have rebounded way back in 2022, posting a 24.0% SwStr% and 45.5% Whiff%.

Looking at the whole group again, there is a segment of pitchers who initially felt a spin-squeeze in 2021 but have gained some of it back in 2022. And when comparing the 539 qualified pitches between the pre-memo period in 2021 and the first part of 2022, there are 29 pitches that have gained at least 100 rpm.

But there are still 136 pitches that have lost at least 100 rpm in 2022 compared to prior June 3 of 2021. And of those, 78 pitchers had one pitch make the list, 26 pitchers made it twice, eight were there in triplicate, and three made it four.

 

2022 Spin Rate Drops












































































































































Player Pitch Pre Use% 2022 Use% Pre spin 2022 spin Spin +/- Pre Mph 2022 mph MPH +/-
Aaron Loup Cutter 38.5 43.7 2431 2327 -104 85.4 84.8 -0.6
Adam Ottavino Slider 48.6 42.6 2870 2736 -134 80.7 80.8 0.1
Adam Ottavino Sinker 35.5 23.6 2398 2275 -123 94.4 93.7 -0.7
Adrian Houser Changeup 11.6 10.4 2010 1563 -447 87.5 85.7 -1.8
Alex Cobb Split-Finger 42 40.8 1722 1611 -111 87.5 89.5 2.0
Alex Vesia 4-Seam Fastball 80.4 58.9 2408 2251 -157 93.1 93.2 0.1
Alex Wood Sinker 44.9 50.8 2185 2047 -138 91.8 92.6 0.8
Alex Wood Slider 33.1 32.2 2158 2058 -100 84.5 85.2 0.7
Andrew Kittredge Slider 40.8 41.9 2848 2659 -189 88.1 89.2 1.1
Andrew Kittredge Sinker 53.2 43.3 2466 2347 -119 95.1 95.1 0.0
Anthony Misiewicz Cutter 44 35.9 2526 2406 -120 88.5 88.8 0.3
Aroldis Chapman 4-Seam Fastball 58.7 51.9 2460 2288 -172 98.8 96.8 -2.0
Brad Boxberger 4-Seam Fastball 50.3 59.9 2506 2363 -143 93.7 92.9 -0.8
Brad Hand Slider 43.7 52.0 2443 2263 -180 80.1 79.2 -0.9
Brad Hand 4-Seam Fastball 45 31.2 2450 2346 -104 92.7 92.4 -0.3
Brandon Woodruff Curveball 12.8 12.0 2689 2546 -143 84.0 83.6 -0.4
Brandon Woodruff Slider 13.7 12.0 2584 2448 -136 86.5 88.7 2.2
Buck Farmer Slider 30.9 35.1 2758 2648 -110 82.1 82.5 0.4
Caleb Smith Slider 24.2 30.7 2532 2332 -200 84.5 85.6 1.1
Caleb Thielbar 4-Seam Fastball 49.4 48.1 2391 2247 -144 90.9 92.4 1.5
Caleb Thielbar Slider 37.9 22.2 2474 2332 -142 79.4 80.9 1.5
Casey Mize 4-Seam Fastball 29.4 49.1 2257 1951 -306 94.4 93.4 -1.0
Chad Green Curveball 33.9 35.3 2599 2474 -125 84.0 84.5 0.5
Chad Green 4-Seam Fastball 64.8 63.1 2530 2410 -120 95.2 94.6 -0.6
Clayton Kershaw 4-Seam Fastball 36.7 37.3 2546 2418 -128 90.7 90.5 -0.2
Clayton Kershaw Slider 47 45.3 2688 2576 -112 87.4 85.7 -1.7
Cole Sulser 4-Seam Fastball 57.1 50.2 2371 2239 -132 93.1 91.9 -1.2
Corbin Burnes Cutter 54.3 55.6 2858 2609 -249 95.4 94.5 -0.9
Corbin Burnes Curveball 12.4 19.9 2948 2753 -195 81.7 81.9 0.2
Corbin Burnes Sinker 11.2 7.6 2651 2509 -142 96.9 96.0 -0.9
Dane Dunning Changeup 12.5 21.5 1985 1880 -105 84.4 83.5 -0.9
Daniel Lynch 4-Seam Fastball 50 40.6 2293 2117 -176 95.0 93.9 -1.1
Dennis Santana Sinker 50.5 39.6 2565 2387 -178 95.0 96.3 1.3
Dinelson Lamet Slider 51.7 59.2 2496 2261 -235 86.1 86.9 0.8
Drew Rasmussen Slider 26.4 30.8 2750 2454 -296 87.0 84.5 -2.5
Drew Rasmussen 4-Seam Fastball 68.1 32.7 2521 2417 -104 97.1 95.3 -1.8
Drew Smyly Knuckle Curve 37.8 42.7 2133 1985 -148 78.8 77.8 -1.0
Drew Smyly Sinker 56.6 26.3 2180 2056 -124 92.5 91.8 -0.7
Dylan Bundy Changeup 15.5 16.6 1700 1247 -453 84.1 81.4 -2.7
Dylan Bundy Slider 21.7 23.6 2709 2391 -318 81.0 79.3 -1.7
Dylan Bundy Sinker 13.4 14.7 2431 2170 -261 91.4 89.5 -1.9
Dylan Bundy 4-Seam Fastball 34.5 36.8 2550 2353 -197 91.5 89.1 -2.4
Dylan Cease Knuckle Curve 11.2 15.5 2854 2664 -190 78.7 79.8 1.1
Dylan Cease 4-Seam Fastball 49.3 42.6 2620 2492 -128 96.0 96.5 0.5
Dylan Cease Slider 30.6 34.9 2925 2816 -109 85.5 86.0 0.5
Frankie Montas Split-Finger 16.7 28.1 1886 1408 -478 87.5 86.2 -1.3
Frankie Montas Slider 14.8 16.9 2548 2411 -137 88.3 86.7 -1.6
Frankie Montas Sinker 34.4 23.1 2356 2239 -117 95.9 95.5 -0.4
Frankie Montas 4-Seam Fastball 30.9 25.6 2456 2350 -106 96.3 96.0 -0.3
Freddy Peralta Slider 31.9 22.5 2292 2130 -162 80.2 80.5 0.3
Garrett Richards Slider 24.1 36.1 2876 2586 -290 88.1 88.2 0.1
Gerrit Cole Changeup 15 9.0 1744 1579 -165 89.1 89.5 0.4
Gerrit Cole Slider 19.9 20.4 2711 2572 -139 88.3 88.0 -0.3
Gerrit Cole 4-Seam Fastball 45.9 49.0 2560 2458 -102 97.2 97.6 0.4
Heath Hembree Slider 46.7 47.4 2865 2645 -220 85.8 84.4 -1.4
Heath Hembree 4-Seam Fastball 52.2 51.3 2482 2284 -198 94.9 94.1 -0.8
Huascar Ynoa 4-Seam Fastball 47.4 52.4 2172 2007 -165 96.7 96.4 -0.3
Ian Anderson 4-Seam Fastball 47.3 46.3 2051 1901 -150 94.7 93.6 -1.1
Ian Anderson Changeup 32.1 30.4 1675 1555 -120 87.9 87.8 -0.1
J.P. Feyereisen 4-Seam Fastball 45.2 44.2 2627 2350 -277 93.6 92.3 -1.3
J.P. Feyereisen Changeup 21.6 26.9 1666 1458 -208 87.9 87.2 -0.7
J.P. Feyereisen Slider 32.9 29.0 2888 2718 -170 86.1 84.0 -2.1
Jake McGee 4-Seam Fastball 88.8 83.3 2261 2098 -163 94.4 94.1 -0.3
James Kaprielian 4-Seam Fastball 53.7 52.6 2166 2034 -132 92.7 93.5 0.8
Jarlín García 4-Seam Fastball 48.2 42.2 2280 2127 -153 93.1 93.0 -0.1
Jesús Luzardo 4-Seam Fastball 30.8 29.5 2422 2222 -200 95.8 97.2 1.4
Jesús Luzardo Sinker 30.6 16.8 2381 2186 -195 94.9 96.4 1.5
Jesús Luzardo Curveball 18.1 38.2 2470 2307 -163 83.9 84.2 0.3
Jordan Lyles Curveball 21.1 11.6 2702 2272 -430 80.1 79.5 -0.6
Jordan Lyles 4-Seam Fastball 43.9 26.7 2346 2215 -131 92.7 91.9 -0.8
Jordan Romano Slider 48.3 46.5 2345 2052 -293 88.3 86.5 -1.8
Jordan Romano 4-Seam Fastball 50.2 52.6 2492 2306 -186 97.1 96.2 -0.9
José Álvarez Sinker 30.2 50.2 2302 2032 -270 90.7 90.9 0.2
José Ruiz Curveball 34.7 24.3 2413 2295 -118 84.5 85.5 1.0
Josh Sborz 4-Seam Fastball 59.7 54.1 2436 2314 -122 96.4 96.8 0.4
Keegan Akin 4-Seam Fastball 63.5 51.0 2393 2261 -132 91.7 93.3 1.6
Kenley Jansen Cutter 60.2 64.9 2814 2553 -261 91.8 92.0 0.2
Kolby Allard 4-Seam Fastball 50.1 56.8 2225 2121 -104 91.9 91.5 -0.4
Kyle Crick Slider 58.1 58.1 3341 3038 -303 78.9 79.4 0.5
Logan Webb Sinker 30.3 33.3 2044 1924 -120 92.3 91.9 -0.4
Logan Webb Slider 23.9 30.2 2760 2659 -101 82.1 82.4 0.3
Lucas Gilbreath 4-Seam Fastball 74.1 69.5 2461 2332 -129 93.6 93.0 -0.6
Lucas Giolito 4-Seam Fastball 45.3 48.1 2425 2159 -266 93.7 93.1 -0.6
Lucas Giolito Slider 16.6 23.1 2165 1956 -209 86.1 84.7 -1.4
Madison Bumgarner Curveball 23.2 18.4 2668 2256 -412 79.1 78.3 -0.8
Madison Bumgarner 4-Seam Fastball 36.2 26.5 2496 2153 -343 91.1 91.0 -0.1
Madison Bumgarner Cutter 36.6 43.7 2579 2245 -334 86.4 87.8 1.4
Marco Gonzales Sinker 41.8 38.4 2192 1984 -208 87.9 88.2 0.3
Marco Gonzales Curveball 19.9 10.7 2324 2117 -207 74.6 76.3 1.7
Marcus Stroman Sinker 42.7 32.8 2365 2236 -129 92.4 91.8 -0.6
Matt Barnes Knuckle Curve 45.3 50.3 2189 1999 -190 85.6 83.6 -2.0
Matt Barnes 4-Seam Fastball 54.7 40.9 2334 2227 -107 95.9 94.5 -1.4
Matt Foster 4-Seam Fastball 58 49.9 2374 2221 -153 93.9 93.4 -0.5
Matt Wisler Slider 89.6 93.0 2600 2470 -130 82.2 79.8 -2.4
Max Scherzer Cutter 10.3 12.1 2518 2385 -133 89.9 89.2 -0.7
Michael Fulmer Slider 35 55.6 2426 2306 -120 90.2 90.7 0.5
Miguel Castro Slider 32 39.3 2972 2818 -154 86.1 85.5 -0.6
Miguel Castro Sinker 41.5 40.0 2260 2129 -131 98.2 97.8 -0.4
Mike Mayers Slider 20.4 44.4 2278 2096 -182 84.7 84.1 -0.6
Mike Mayers 4-Seam Fastball 30.1 44.4 2447 2266 -181 94.4 93.8 -0.6
Mitch White 4-Seam Fastball 53.8 49.4 2468 2222 -246 94.4 93.5 -0.9
Mychal Givens 4-Seam Fastball 40.5 48.1 2567 2450 -117 94.1 93.1 -1.0
Nick Pivetta Slider 28.1 18.1 2311 2210 -101 85.8 85.5 -0.3
Nick Sandlin Slider 43 42.4 2882 2598 -284 78.4 80.6 2.2
Paul Fry Slider 38.9 50.0 2842 2711 -131 85.4 84.1 -1.3
Rich Hill Curveball 39.7 41.6 2803 2644 -159 72.8 71.6 -1.2
Rich Hill 4-Seam Fastball 45.7 39.6 2384 2261 -123 88.8 88.2 -0.6
Robert Stephenson 4-Seam Fastball 47.6 50.2 2519 2362 -157 96.6 96.9 0.3
Ryan Yarbrough Changeup 26.5 25.5 2104 1927 -177 78.9 78.7 -0.2
Ryan Yarbrough Curveball 17.6 23.9 2318 2151 -167 71.1 71.8 0.7
Ryan Yarbrough Cutter 43.8 36.5 2180 2021 -159 82.5 83.3 0.8
Sandy Alcantara 4-Seam Fastball 23.6 27.4 2323 2171 -152 97.7 97.7 0.0
Shane Bieber Knuckle Curve 32.6 18.1 2439 2119 -320 83.2 81.9 -1.3
Shane Bieber 4-Seam Fastball 34.3 37.8 2349 2185 -164 93.0 90.7 -2.3
Shohei Ohtani Split-Finger 20.7 12.4 1547 1329 -218 88.2 89.4 1.2
Shohei Ohtani 4-Seam Fastball 54.1 41.3 2345 2237 -108 95.6 97.0 1.4
Steve Cishek Slider 41.9 43.6 2385 2229 -156 76.7 76.9 0.2
Taijuan Walker Split-Finger 14.8 26.7 1660 1479 -181 89.6 88.7 -0.9
Trevor May 4-Seam Fastball 57.8 56.5 2393 2236 -157 96.0 95.9 -0.1
Trevor Rogers Slider 15.4 17.6 2125 1996 -129 82.2 80.2 -2.0
Trevor Rogers Changeup 24.9 30.5 1449 1339 -110 85.9 85.5 -0.4
Tyler Anderson Cutter 27.5 26.0 2617 2388 -229 84.4 85.1 0.7
Tyler Anderson 4-Seam Fastball 38.1 30.0 2414 2189 -225 90.1 90.2 0.1
Tyler Anderson Sinker 8.3 11.0 2366 2228 -138 88.9 89.0 0.1
Tyler Kinley Slider 50.4 51.0 2641 2432 -209 90.3 89.6 -0.7
Tyler Kinley 4-Seam Fastball 45.3 46.8 2391 2252 -139 95.3 95.4 0.1
Tyler Mahle 4-Seam Fastball 51 49.3 2471 2303 -168 94.4 93.4 -1.0
Tyler Matzek 4-Seam Fastball 69 79.7 2519 2365 -154 96.0 94.7 -1.3
Walker Buehler Knuckle Curve 16.2 18.0 3060 2657 -403 80.4 79.1 -1.3
Walker Buehler Cutter 13.3 25.7 2807 2409 -398 91.5 91.4 -0.1
Walker Buehler 4-Seam Fastball 50.2 32.5 2630 2262 -368 95.3 95.0 -0.3
Walker Buehler Slider 11.3 11.2 2947 2675 -272 85.6 83.4 -2.2
Wandy Peralta Changeup 36.6 48.9 2281 2164 -117 88.6 87.9 -0.7
Yu Darvish 4-Seam Fastball 18.4 26.5 2565 2392 -173 94.6 95.3 0.7
Yu Darvish Slider 23.1 21.7 2802 2693 -109 81.6 82.5 0.9
Yusei Kikuchi Slider 20 26.5 2484 2363 -121 82.9 87.2 4.3

 

After showing across-the-board velocity drops post-memo, Madison Bumgarner in 2022 has mostly regained what heat was lost in 2021. But not when it comes to spinning it. Compared to pre-memo, Bumgarner’s four-seamer is down 343 rpm, the cutter is down 334 rpm, and his curveball is down 412 rpm. And while his four-seamer is actually getting more whiffs, increasing to an 8.9% SwStr% and 25.6% Whiff% from a 7.8% SwStr% and 18.3% Whiff%, the curveball and cutter haven’t been nearly as fortunate.

Bumgarner’s cutter has dropped from a 12.5% SwStr% and 22.7% Whiff% to an 8.7% SwStr% and 15.6% Whiff% but the curveball has been the biggest whiff loser. It has just a 7.3% SwStr% that is down from a 15.3% SwStr% pre-memo, while a 19.0% Whiff% is down from 33.3%. Given the extreme drop in whiffs that is backing his paltry 16.4% K%, trusting that Bumgarner’s current 3.31 ERA (4.93 FIP, 4.72 xFIP) will continue, seems to be a very dicey proposition.

Basically begging to be labeled a “crafty lefty”, Tyler Anderson is a great example of less spin not equaling worse overall results, as 67% of the time he throws three fastballs (four-seam, sinker, cutter) that are a combined 592 rpm lower than pre-memo. Batters have done significantly more damage against each, posting a .452 SLG (up from .358 SLG) against the cutter, a .614 SLG (up from .448 SLG) against the four-seamer, and a .619 SLG (up from a .278 SLG) against the sinker. And while whiff rates have only decreased slightly against the cutter, the four-seam and sinker have both dropped around four points on SwStr%, and a respective 7.4 and 9.4 points on Whiff%.

Ok, so all of that sounds fairly awful. So, how to square that with how excellent Anderson has been in his first year as a Dodger, currently running a 2.90 ERA (3.27 FIP), 1.01 WHIP, 24.2% K%, and 14.8% SwStr% that are all career bests? For one, his seam-shifted cutter still induces a lot of soft contact, even if batters are also doing more damage against it. And the results by Run Value are well above-average, with the cutter producing a -1.1 RV per 100 pitches.

But it’s the new-and-improved changeup that’s helping Mr. Anderson unlock a new level of the strikeout matrix, with the pitch garnering 26.4% SwStr% that is up from 15.9%, and a 44.9% Whiff% that’s up from 28.7%. The shape is slightly different, averaging 1.7 mph less than in 2021 and getting 5.6 inches more vertical break, while fading down to his glove-side against lefties (against whom it is almost exclusively used), contrasting with his cutter that works in.

But when he’s using it is what really demonstrates how much he believes in the changeup as a strikeout weapon, with it posting a 30.8% PutAway% that is up from 12.4% in 2021. And why shouldn’t he? There are 80 pitchers who have thrown at least 100 changeups in 2022; Anderson ranks 3rd in SwStr%, 7th in Whiff%, 7th in SLG%, 3rd in wOBA, and 4th in xwOBA.

That’s nasty.

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We’ve seen how things are spinning less, so let’s now take a wider look at which of them have also lost a bucket of whiffs. Of our previously qualified 136 pitches, 76 have dropped at least two points in SwStr% and/or four points in Whiff%.

 

2022 Whiff Rate Drops
















































































Player Pitch Pre spin 2022 spin Pre SwStr% 2022 SwStr% SwStr% +/- Pre Whiff% 2022 Whiff% Whiff% +/-
Adam Ottavino Sinker 2398 2275 8.4 6.0 -2.4 20.7 17.2 -3.4
Alex Vesia 4-Seam Fastball 2408 2251 17.6 12.8 -4.7 43.3 27.4 -15.9
Alex Wood Slider 2158 2058 24.7 15.8 -8.9 42.0 28.6 -13.5
Andrew Kittredge Sinker 2466 2347 8.3 5.7 -2.7 16.7 11.6 -5.0
Anthony Misiewicz Cutter 2526 2406 11.3 8.3 -2.9 19.0 14.9 -4.2
Aroldis Chapman 4-Seam Fastball 2460 2288 16.3 10.3 -6.0 33.3 29.8 -3.5
Brad Boxberger 4-Seam Fastball 2506 2363 14.0 9.1 -4.8 30.0 21.9 -8.1
Brad Hand 4-Seam Fastball 2450 2346 11.0 6.9 -4.1 24.2 18.8 -5.4
Brandon Woodruff Curveball 2689 2546 9.8 7.2 -2.6 22.8 20.6 -2.2
Caleb Smith Slider 2532 2332 17.6 17.5 0.0 37.7 31.3 -6.4
Casey Mize 4-Seam Fastball 2257 1951 11.6 4.8 -6.8 25.2 10.5 -14.7
Chad Green 4-Seam Fastball 2530 2410 15.8 16.4 0.7 30.9 25.5 -5.4
Clayton Kershaw Slider 2688 2576 27.0 20.5 -6.4 43.4 34.2 -9.2
Clayton Kershaw 4-Seam Fastball 2546 2418 6.7 4.6 -2.1 16.4 11.1 -5.3
Cole Sulser 4-Seam Fastball 2371 2239 13.9 13.3 -0.7 30.0 24.4 -5.6
Corbin Burnes Sinker 2651 2509 10.1 6.7 -3.4 23.1 18.5 -4.6
Corbin Burnes Curveball 2948 2753 20.4 24.5 4.1 58.8 48.0 -10.8
Corbin Burnes Cutter 2858 2609 18.1 15.0 -3.2 32.6 31.4 -1.2
Dane Dunning Changeup 1985 1880 23.9 15.6 -8.3 41.5 26.5 -15.0
Dennis Santana Sinker 2565 2387 5.7 2.2 -3.6 13.1 5.3 -7.9
Drew Rasmussen 4-Seam Fastball 2521 2417 12.7 8.9 -3.7 29.1 20.4 -8.8
Drew Rasmussen Slider 2750 2454 13.0 15.3 2.2 37.5 28.0 -9.5
Drew Smyly Knuckle Curve 2133 1985 20.3 18.0 -2.3 45.2 32.9 -12.2
Dylan Bundy Changeup 1700 1247 17.7 12.6 -5.1 29.5 21.3 -8.2
Dylan Bundy 4-Seam Fastball 2550 2353 10.4 7.9 -2.5 21.4 14.4 -7.0
Dylan Cease Slider 2925 2816 22.0 20.0 -2.0 54.4 40.3 -14.1
Frankie Montas Split-Finger 1886 1408 24.3 18.8 -5.4 53.2 31.5 -21.6
Freddy Peralta Slider 2292 2130 20.0 15.8 -4.2 44.5 34.2 -10.3
Gerrit Cole Changeup 1744 1579 20.9 15.7 -5.2 37.8 33.3 -4.4
Heath Hembree Slider 2865 2645 18.0 9.9 -8.1 34.3 22.9 -11.4
Heath Hembree 4-Seam Fastball 2482 2284 9.8 5.0 -4.8 20.0 13.6 -6.4
Ian Anderson 4-Seam Fastball 2051 1901 10.4 7.1 -3.3 21.5 15.8 -5.7
Ian Anderson Changeup 1675 1555 20.7 18.3 -2.3 40.3 32.6 -7.6
J.P. Feyereisen Changeup 1666 1458 33.3 15.6 -17.8 54.5 32.6 -22.0
J.P. Feyereisen Slider 2888 2718 15.3 17.5 2.2 42.9 36.2 -6.7
Jesús Luzardo Curveball 2470 2307 31.1 16.7 -14.4 57.1 39.8 -17.4
Jordan Lyles Curveball 2702 2272 14.0 6.3 -7.7 31.0 18.4 -12.6
Jordan Romano 4-Seam Fastball 2492 2306 15.2 13.8 -1.5 39.1 25.8 -13.3
José Álvarez Sinker 2302 2032 7.3 2.5 -4.8 14.6 5.8 -8.8
José Ruiz Curveball 2413 2295 14.7 7.4 -7.3 34.0 22.6 -11.4
Josh Sborz 4-Seam Fastball 2436 2314 17.1 14.1 -3.0 32.2 30.2 -1.9
Kenley Jansen Cutter 2814 2553 15.3 12.4 -2.9 34.0 25.9 -8.1
Kolby Allard 4-Seam Fastball 2225 2121 12.3 10.1 -2.1 24.5 23.5 -1.0
Logan Webb Slider 2760 2659 23.0 11.2 -11.8 56.6 27.2 -29.4
Lucas Gilbreath 4-Seam Fastball 2461 2332 12.8 9.9 -3.0 25.9 20.8 -5.1
Madison Bumgarner Curveball 2668 2256 15.3 7.3 -8.0 33.3 19.0 -14.3
Madison Bumgarner Cutter 2579 2245 12.5 8.7 -3.7 22.7 15.6 -7.1
Marco Gonzales Curveball 2324 2117 10.5 6.7 -3.8 22.7 18.8 -4.0
Matt Barnes Knuckle Curve 2189 1999 21.4 12.3 -9.1 47.2 27.9 -19.3
Matt Barnes 4-Seam Fastball 2334 2227 18.8 12.7 -6.1 34.3 27.1 -7.2
Matt Foster 4-Seam Fastball 2374 2221 15.3 12.4 -3.0 29.1 24.0 -5.1
Matt Wisler Slider 2600 2470 18.9 12.8 -6.1 40.5 25.5 -15.0
Michael Fulmer Slider 2426 2306 18.9 15.0 -3.9 36.1 38.1 2.0
Miguel Castro Sinker 2260 2129 12.6 6.4 -6.3 32.8 23.3 -9.5
Miguel Castro Slider 2972 2818 17.9 15.7 -2.2 52.2 32.7 -19.5
Mike Mayers 4-Seam Fastball 2447 2266 21.0 8.1 -12.8 44.1 18.2 -25.9
Paul Fry Slider 2842 2711 16.8 9.5 -7.3 36.4 24.4 -11.9
Rich Hill 4-Seam Fastball 2384 2261 13.2 6.7 -6.4 29.7 17.5 -12.1
Rich Hill Curveball 2803 2644 12.5 7.5 -5.0 25.5 15.9 -9.6
Robert Stephenson 4-Seam Fastball 2519 2362 8.9 6.8 -2.0 19.2 11.6 -7.6
Ryan Yarbrough Curveball 2318 2151 15.9 10.8 -5.1 29.8 19.6 -10.1
Ryan Yarbrough Changeup 2104 1927 14.8 13.8 -1.0 28.2 23.4 -4.8
Shane Bieber 4-Seam Fastball 2349 2185 11.0 7.1 -3.9 24.9 16.5 -8.3
Shane Bieber Knuckle Curve 2439 2119 21.3 18.1 -3.1 43.5 33.8 -9.8
Shohei Ohtani Split-Finger 1547 1329 30.6 26.7 -3.8 58.7 52.3 -6.5
Trevor May 4-Seam Fastball 2393 2236 17.8 5.7 -12.0 29.9 11.4 -18.6
Trevor Rogers Changeup 1449 1339 20.8 10.7 -10.1 34.0 21.9 -12.2
Trevor Rogers Slider 2125 1996 18.5 13.9 -4.6 48.2 35.0 -13.2
Tyler Anderson Sinker 2366 2228 8.0 3.9 -4.1 19.4 10.0 -9.4
Tyler Anderson 4-Seam Fastball 2414 2189 13.3 9.6 -3.7 26.6 19.2 -7.4
Tyler Kinley 4-Seam Fastball 2391 2252 6.6 4.8 -1.8 17.5 10.1 -7.3
Walker Buehler 4-Seam Fastball 2630 2262 12.0 5.7 -6.2 24.4 13.5 -10.9
Walker Buehler Cutter 2807 2409 16.7 14.5 -2.1 30.9 26.2 -4.7
Wandy Peralta Changeup 2281 2164 20.8 18.3 -2.4 37.5 33.3 -4.2
Yu Darvish 4-Seam Fastball 2565 2392 16.6 6.4 -10.2 41.9 14.8 -27.1
Yusei Kikuchi Slider 2484 2363 19.6 14.6 -4.9 33.6 24.6 -9.1

Logan Webb has lost spin all over his mix but it’s his slider that has really suffered in the whiffs department, after running a 23.0% SwStr% and 56.6% Whiff% pre-memo and a 21.8% SwStr% and 43.7% Whiff% post-memo that were down from before but still excellent. But the dips have cratered even more in 2022, with Webb’s slider posting just an 11.2% SwStr% and 27.2% Whiff%. If you’re looking for the culprit behind a 20.0% K% that is down from 26.5% in 2021, the slider is your perp.

Jesús Luzardo was trying for a 2022 renaissance prior to hitting the IL but his shiny 34.5% K% over 29 IP (up 12 points from 2021) was being backed by a 13.7% SwStr% that had only risen a half-point from the prior season. That bump would be a lot higher (and make his K% more trustworthy) if his curveball whiff rates were anywhere similar to what they’d been pre-memo, when it ran an outrageous 31.1% SwStr% and 57.1% Whiff%. But alas, it wasn’t to be in 2022; Luzardo’s curveball has a 16.7% SwStr% and 39.8% Whiff%, dropping even further in 2022 than it did post-memo in 2021.



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