Today, Orso examines Luis Severino great year, Julio Teheran domination over El Padres on Father’s Day, and must watch Match ups this week.
The Yankees’ ace dominated the Rays on Saturday afternoon in the Bronx. He allowed just three hits—all singles—in eight shutout innings as New York defeated Tampa Bay, 4-1.
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This type of outing shouldn’t surprise fans. The 24-year old righty has a 2.68 ERA in 46 starts since the start of the 2017 season. Below are his ranks among all American League pitchers since the start of last season, entering Sunday. Each of the ranks are with a minimum 200 innings pitched since the start of last year.
- ERA 2.68 – 2nd
- ERA+ 166 – 2nd
- K/9 10.7 – 3rd
- WHIP 1.00 – 3rd
But, what makes Luis Severino so successful? I believe it’s his four-seam fastball and slider combo, which has improved from last season. In 2017, Severino threw his four-seam fastball 51.3 percent of the time, while he threw his slider 35.1 percent of time. This season, his fastball percentage has gone down a bit to 48.8 percent, while his slider usage has slightly increased to 38 percent. He’s trusting his slider even more this season, which is increasing the effectiveness of his four-seamer.
Here’s a comparison of Severino’s slider over the last two seasons:
Two things stand out to me here. First, the spin rate of his slider has increased dramatically since last season. Spin Rate, according to Statcast, is “the rate of spin on a baseball after it’s released.” The higher the Spin Rate, the better a pitch usually is. In 2017, Severino’s slider had the ninth-highest spin rate in the majors (with a minimum 250 sliders thrown). This season, Severino’s slider has the second-highest Spin Rate in the majors (with a minimum 100 sliders thrown). Only Garrett Richards (2,904) is better—entering Sunday.
Second, the velocity on his slider has decreased, while the velocity on his fastball has increased. He’s averaging 97.7 miles per hour on his four-seam fastball this season, which is the highest average four-seam velocity in the majors (with a minimum 500 four-seamers thrown). That’s slightly up from his 2017 average of 97.5 MPH, which was also the best in the majors last season (with a minimum 1,000 four-seamers thrown). His slider velocity has also dropped almost half a mile and hour from 88.3-to-87.9. While it doesn’t seem like much, I believe that dip in velocity between his pitches is having a positive impact for the Yankees’ righty.
Julio Teheran dominates the Padres on Father’s Day
Sunday marked the fourth-time Braves’ righty Julio Teheran started on Father’s Day. He had previously started on Father’s Day in 2013, 2015 and 2016 for Atlanta.
On June 16, 2013, he pitched six shutout innings and got the win against the Giants.
On June 21, 2015, he pitched seven shutout innings and got the win against the Mets.
On June 19, 2016, he pitched a complete-game, one-hit, shutout against the Mets.
Did Teheran outdo himself on Sunday? The answer is….YES!
Teheran pitched six no-hit innings against the Padres (and yes, I see the pun of pitching well against the “Padres” on Father’s Day). He struck out a season-high eleven batters and threw 95 pitches. Since this is “new age” of pitch counts—and his first start after missing more than a week on the DL due to a right thumb injury—he was removed prior to the seventh.
Below are Teheran’s career statistics on Father’s Day:
- ERA – 0.00
- IP – 28
- K/BB – 31/6
- WHIP – 0.54
In other words, he hasn’t allowed a run in 28 career innings on this holiday! The Colombia native has given up just nine hits in those four starts. You can’t get much better than that.
Side note: I’d like to wish my dad, Ron, a happy Father’s Day! You’re the best father in the world and I am so blessed to have you in my life!
Must See Action
Here are some matchups to look forward to in the coming days.
Monday: A potential World Series preview?
The first place Yankees and second place Nationals will “make-up” a two-game series from mid-May. Play was suspended on May 15 due to rain and their game on May 16 was completely rained out. The first game will begin in the bottom the sixth inning with the game at tied at three. They will make-up the May 16th game following the conclusion of the suspended game.
These clubs split a two-game series in New York last week. This will be just a one-day series for these teams. The Yankees will head back to the Bronx to begin a three-game series with Seattle, which starts on Tuesday. The Nationals will stay at home and start a three-game series with Baltimore on Tuesday.
Monday: Mike Trout vs. Paul Goldschmidt
The Diamondbacks and Angels will face off for a mini two-game series in California to begin the week. The series will feature a matchup between two members of the 2009 MLB Draft class—Mike Trout and Paul Goldschmidt. Trout was taken with the 25th overall pick in the draft by the Angels, while Goldschmidt was drafted in the eighth round by Arizona. Both players began their major league careers in 2011.
Trout, a six-time All-Star, is slashing .307/.413/.574 with 224 homers and 615 RBI in 996 games (entering play on Sunday).
Goldschmidt, a five-time All-Star, is slashing .296/.397/.530 with 190 homers and 662 RBI in 1,003 games (entering play on Sunday).
Tuesday: Blake Snell vs. Justin Verlander
This will be one of the premier pitching matchups this week. Snell has proven to be the Rays’ best starter this season, posting a 2.58 ERA in 15 outings. He’s struck out 97 batters in 87-and-a-third innings—a 10.0 strikeout-per-nine ratio.
Meanwhile, Verlander has proven—once again—to be one of the best starters in baseball overall Entering Sunday, his 1.61 ERA was the second-best in the majors among qualified pitchers, trailing only Jacob deGrom’s 1.55 ERA. The 2011 American League MVP and Cy Young winner has struck out 120 batters in 100-and-a-third innings this year—a 10.8 strikeout-per-nine ratio.