I’m sure you’ve heard this one a thousand times since A-Rod came back, that Tex is now seeing more fastballs, which is supposed to explain why he broke out of his slump. Well, it’s simply not true. Check out this post from the Statistician Magician blog:
“Last night, on the ESPN broadcast of the Yankees/Rangers game. Rick Sutcliffe said that Mark Teixeira has been getting more fastballs since Alex Rodriguez came back from a torn labrum.
I know that I have written about this before, about how Tex was a great hitter and was going to get hot about that time anyway, as he does every single year. But now I have some evidence.
Dave Allen over at The Baseball Analysts wrote a good piece questioning whether or not Milton Bradley was in fact getting balls out of the strike zone called against him more often.
So I posed a question, and asked him if he could tell me if Tex had actually been seeing more fastballs since the return of ARod.
“Joe, yeah that is very easy to check with the pitchf/x data. It looks to me like before May 8th Tex was thrown 288 fastballs out of 479 pitches, about 60%. Since May 8th he has seen 167 fastballs of 287 pitches, 58%. He has seen fewer fastballs since A-Rod has been back, but the difference is small.”
Another thing we’ve heard repeated a zillion times lately, which turns out to be totally false. At least we didn’t hear it from Tim McCarver this time.