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Who’s got the fastest-working rotation in baseball?

Apr 17, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

slow clock

The Cleveland Indians, that’s who. And you will not be at all surprised at who has the slowest. The fastest individual worker? Roy Halladay.  Dave Cameron broke it down over at the Wall Street Journal today.

I have always thought that pitchers do better when they work faster. Cameron’s analysis doesn’t exactly bear that correlation out. So I guess I’ll just have to be satisfied with saying that I freakin’ enjoy faster-working pitchers way, way more than deliberate dudes who make me want to cry.

  1. Lukehart80 - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    Clearly Roy Halladay should demand to be traded to the Indians.

  2. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    Slow batters annoy me too. Guys who step out of the box, look out on the field somewhere, adjust their gloves 80 times (Nomar)…sometimes you have to adjust but sometimes it’s a dull mindgame.

  3. danaking - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    You may still be right. This just shows who’s fastest and slowest, with no correlation to skill. The way to test your theory–which I agree with–would be to compare the same pitcher’s times for different games and see where he was more effective. You’d need a pretty large data sample–men on base slow things down, which creates a chicken and egg scenario–but it could be done.

    • Jeremy Fox - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:53 PM

      I guess that’s why the Red Sox traded away Justin Masterson–he worked too fast and was pulling the team’s average up.

    • Jeremy Fox - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:59 PM

      Yeah, comparing the same pitcher’s work rate for different games is the right idea. Not sure you’d find much though, except maybe for pitchers like Chapman who’ve apparently made a conscious effort to speed up considerably. I suspect most guys don’t vary their pace much, except for slowing down with guys on base, which as you say confounds things. Between that, and the fact that there are so many reasons for variation in performance that are independent of a pitcher’s pace, I don’t know that you’d find anything even with a massive sample size. Heck, I doubt you’d find much even if you just correlated pace and success across pitchers (I’m sure there are good, slow-working pitchers) But only one way to find out, I guess…

  4. gosport474 - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Aroldis Chapman is working much quicker this season and has yet to walk a batter with a strikeout rate of 2 per inning. I definitely think it is the pitcher’s advantage to work quickly and not let the batters ‘dig in.’

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:47 PM

      I agree 474. Aroldis has been much more effective this year. I also think it isn’t a coincendence that he seems to be working much more deliberately this year. I don’t seem to notice him lollygagging at the mound if you will. This can lead to far too much thinking. He’s doing a great job this year. Dusty: START HIM NOW.

  5. heyblueyoustink - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    Kind of figured Lincecum wouldn’t be, um, high, on this list…..

    “I’m just here to chill man…..what’s with all the rushing around?”

    • Utley's Hair - Apr 17, 2012 at 3:23 PM

      BLUE!!!!!!!! What’s up man?

      • heyblueyoustink - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:59 AM

        Back from the dead, otherwise known as an agonizing SAP conversion…… I swear this system is the German’s revenge on the world…..

    • Utley's Hair - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:47 AM

      Well, welcome back, you apparent techno geek you.

  6. jwbiii - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    What I find interesting is that the Red Sox and Yankees have filled 10 of the 12 bottom slots since 2007 even though both teams have changed managers, starting catchers, and most of their starting staffs since 2007.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:16 PM

      I think it was Pedroia who said it best, Yanks/Sox is a matchup of two of the best teams in MLB for quite some time. If he needs to take another extra second or two to better concentrate on the task at hand, he’s going to take it.

      Never mind the fact that many of their games are nationally televised, which has longer commercial breaks* which makes the games last longer.

      *Lester also mentioned that there have been times he’s done his warmup pitches between innings but has been forced to wait because the broadcast isn’t back from commercial yet.

    • dowhatifeellike - Apr 17, 2012 at 5:15 PM

      The yanks are epescially painful to watch because their hitters take more pitches than any other team. At least it seems that way to me. Even if they go down 1-2-3 it still takes 10 minutes.

  7. griffnjnc - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    This is only reporting on the 2012 season. There have been only 2-3 starts per starter. Extremely small sample size. This study is BS. If this study was done on the entirety of a season, I would be interested in the results as they would actually be significant.

  8. dowhatifeellike - Apr 17, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Pitchers have a natural/preferred work rate. It’s not going to change much over the course of a season unless they’re struggling and need to make changes.

    • Utley's Hair - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:45 AM

      Unless, of course, the umps decide to start enforcing the time limit between pitches. If they do start charging pitchers a ball for violations, I’ll bet some pitchers’ “natural/preferred work rate” will jump up right quick.

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