This article is part of our Collette Calls series.
It is very tough to look at much of anything on opening weekend, or even the opening two weeks, in any kind of predictive nature. There is one thing, however, we can look at – pitcher velocity. It might be a slow gun in a park or cold weather, but a drop in velocity from pitchers is a concern. The danger some seem to fall into is comparing March or April velocities to what was happening toward the end of the previous season. That particular exercise is risky because fastball velocity is influenced by temperature, plus or minus one degree, according to research done in 2011 by Mike Fast:
Below we'll compare pitcher velocities from the first weekend to how each pitcher ended last season and to how they started the 2017 season to see if there is anything of concern. The readings for 2017 would be the earliest start in April or the pitcher's earliest 2017 start while September readings are the pitcher's final regular-season start even if it did not take place in September.
|PITCHER||2018||SEPT 2017||APRIL 2017|