Brandon McCarthy’s new approach not paying dividends for Diamondbacks


(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Arizona Diamondbacks starter Brandon McCarthy loves throwing the sinker. The righthander has thrown it more than half the time this season (56.2 percent) and has been relying on it more and more over the past few years, all but abandoning his other “hard” pitches.


It looks like it’s working. He is striking out 22.2 percent of batters, has a strikeouts-per-nine-innings rate of 8.4 and is getting more whiffs on all pitches this season.


So why does McCarthy have a 1-6 record and 5.01 ERA? Flyballs are leaving the yard more often than ever despite hitters popping them up less frequently.

Overall, hitters have an isolated power of 0.210 against McCarthy’s sinker — almost double last year’s mark.


McCarthy’s FIP (3.85), which measures a pitcher’s effectiveness at preventing home runs, walks and hit batsmen and causing strikeouts, is more than a full run lower than his ERA, indicating that there may be hope on the horizon. But until then, there could be some more losses in his future.

Neil Greenberg analyzes advanced sports statistics for the Fancy Stats blog and prefers to be called a geek rather than a nerd.

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Jeffrey Tomik · May 20, 2014