With the pending retirement of Mark Buehrle, who was well-regarded as pitcher who worked quickly, which Blue Jays pitcher will be this year’s quickest worker?
Using Fangraphs.com Pace category, I will list the 5 quickest working and 5 slowest working pitchers (Starters and Relievers).
Pace is simply the time it takes a pitcher to throw the first and last pitch of an at-bat, minus pick-off attempts and mound visits. For a full description of Pace, visit Fangraphs.com using this link.
For context, this article will look at 2015’s top 5 quickest and slowest Pace pitchers, who threw a minimum of 50 innings. Why 50IP? I wanted to capture high usage relief pitchers.
2015 Quickest 5
- Mark Buehrle (Toronto Blue Jays)- 15.9
- Wade Miley (Boston Red Sox)- 17.5
- Doug Fister (Washington Nationals)- 17.8
- Jon Niese (New York Mets)- 17.9
- R.A. Dickey (Toronto Blue Jays)- 18.0
2015 Slowest 5
- Pedro Baez (Los Angeles Dodgers)- 29.8
- Junichi Tazawa (Boston Red Sox)- 29.4
- John Axford (Colorado Rockies)- 28.6
- Joaquin Benoit (San Diego Padres)- 28.4
- Tony Sipp (Houston Astros)- 28.3
It comes as no surprise to see Mark Buehrle at the top of the list, what with his reputation and all. It was also not surprising to see that the relievers were slower workers than starters. Seeing R.A. Dickey in the top 5 quickest was bit surprising.
Using Fangraphs, I recorded the Pace for all pitchers currently on the Toronto Blue Jays 40-man roster who pitched in 2015 to come up with the Top 5 Quickest and Slowest Toronto Blue Jays pitchers of 2016.
2016 Quickest 5
The Blue Jays predicted quickest in 2016, Scott Copeland, played the majority of 2015 with the Buffalo Bisons. Unfortunately, with the additions of Jesse Chavez, J.A. Happ, Roberto Hernandez, and Scott Diamond, it seems unlikely that Scott Copeland will see much action with the Blue Jays in 2016.
Mark Buehrle provided the Blue Jays with the perfect mentor for their future ACE, so seeing Marcus Stroman at the top of this list isn’t surprising. It will be interesting to see if Stroman continues to work quickly with the absence of Buehrle’s clubhouse presence and if he’s able to remain healthy for 200+ innings.
2016 Slowest 5
- Drew Storen– 24.8
- Roberto Osuna– 23.5
- Roberto Hernandez– 23.1
- Arnold Leon and Brett Cecil– 22.9
- Ryan Tepera– 22.8
Once again, no surprise to see all relievers as the 5 slowest. The 2 slowest being relievers who normally pitch in high leverage situations. It was surprising that Aaron Sanchez wasn’t included in this list, as he struggled with walks as a starter and pitched at the back-end of the bullpen as a reliever.
It is said that quick working pitcher engage their defense by keeping them on their toes. An engaged defense tends to commit fewer errors and are more apt to make the routine plays, which makes you wonder why late inning relievers don’t work more quickly. More importantly, a quick working pitcher can keep batters off-balance and the crowd engaged.
Toronto’s other Starting Pitchers
Macro Estrada- 21.7
J.A. Happ– 21.3
Drew Hutchison– 21
Jesse Chavez– 20.2
*FEATURED IMAGE Credit: Keith Allison UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.