The Slow Stuff

Especially after the Mets winning streak, it is difficult to criticize the Mets starting pitching. Some alarms, however, should be ringing in the Mets dugout regarding the velocity of some of the pitchers.

Johan Santana has seen a dip in speed for all of his pitches this year, with his fastball dropping from an average velocity of 90.5 MPH to 89.4 MPH. His slider and changeup have slipped similar amounts.

John Maine’s velocity struggles have been well documented, but to repeat them his fastball which usually sits in the low 90s and averaged at 91.3 MPH last year is down over MPH to 89.2.

Even Mike Pelfrey, who has seeminly come into his own this year, has seen a slow down among his pitches. His fastball is down from 92.6 to 91.5 MPH.

The only exception on the staff is the youngster, Jon Niese whose fastball averages 90.2 compared to 89.6 MPH last year.

This trend even continues to the bullpen, where Francisco Rodriguez and Pedro Feliciano have both seen their average fastball velocities drop over 1 MPH.

Clearly this has not been a problem for many of these guys as most of these guys are off to very good starts. Perhaps even it is beneficial for some of them because maybe by taking a mile per hour off they have added new movement to their pitch, or found better control. Still though, it is something to watch out for as it might not be a good sign for everybody. This could be especially true of Santana who has not had an ace like start to the season and is coming off surgery to remove bone chips in his throwing arm. So, even if these dips in velocities aren’t a problem yet, it is something the Mets should be paying attention to closely.

All statistics courtesy of fangraphs.com

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