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Jered Weaver losing velocity as career-high workload piles up

Sep 16, 2011, 2:14 PM EDT

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Detroit Tigers Getty Images

Jered Weaver got himself back on track following a shaky stretch in which his ERA rose from 1.78 to 2.49 in five starts, tossing eight innings of one-run ball against the Yankees on September 9 and seven innings of one-run ball versus the A’s on Wednesday.

However, with Weaver just three innings away from tying his career-high workload Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles notes that the right-hander’s velocity is down compared to early in the season.

Here are Weaver’s average fastball velocities by month from Fan Graphs:

April: 90.3 mph
May: 89.7 mph
June: 88.7 mph
July: 89.1 mph
August: 88.7 mph
September: 87.9 mph

Weaver has never been the type of pitcher to blow away hitters with fastball velocity, but he certainly seems to be wearing down somewhat. Not coincidentally his ERA has jumped from 1.86 in the first half to 3.33 in the second half and his strikeout-to-walk ratio has declined from 3.8 to 2.8.

And with the possibility of Weaver starting on short rest Sunday the Angels have to wonder how much he’ll have left in the tank if they somehow make the playoffs.

  1. clydeserra - Sep 16, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    He is going to be GREAT on 3 days rest.

    Seriously though, he was not really dominant against the weak hitting A’s last time out. I don’t think running him out on short rest is going to do the Angels much good.

    Didin’t Cliff lee rule out short rest in last years playoffs because he thought it was a bad idea?

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:20 PM

      Not so much rule it out as much as saying: Never-done-that-before-are-you-sure-NOW-is-a-good-time-to-find-out?

  2. APBA Guy - Sep 16, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    His movement and location were excellent against the A’s, that’s what saved him. Without the movement, the A’s would have put several runs on him. A good hitting team (like the Rangers, Yankees, Red Sox) will hit him hard with the stuff and velocity he had last Wednesday.

  3. SmackSaw - Sep 16, 2011 at 2:40 PM

    Weaver is not built to go on short rest. It’s just like the Angels to sign the guy to a multi-year extension and then beat him to death. In the off chance they do make the playoffs, Weaver will be exhausted. They’re paying Pinero a lot of money and his contract is up this year. Put him to work and live or die with him.

  4. wihalofan - Sep 16, 2011 at 4:15 PM

    A couple things to note with Weaver; 1) He’s thrown about 300 less pitches this year than last, which would put him on about the same pace as last year. 2) It looks like he’s not throwing his fastball as often this season as he has in previous seasons.

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