Hamels and Release Points
I’ve been pawing through some Pitch F/X data on Cole Hamels and the only significant finding is his differing release points.
Yesterday, he was releasing higher and more towards first base. The effects weren’t significant:
- He threw 64% of his pitches for strikes yesterday as opposed to 61% in Washington
- He had slightly more vertical movement on both his four-seam fastball and cutter
The differences are small enough that they could have been caused by complete randomness given the relatively small sample of pitches (103 and 109 respectively).
For comparison, here is a graph of Hamels’ release points on all of his pitches from last year.
Last year, Hamels released the ball from a slightly higher point than he did during his April 7 start. It appears Hamels actively made a decision to alter his release point for yesterday’s start. It will be interesting to find out if this was something he did on his own or if it was suggested by pitching coach Rich Dubee, manager Charlie Manuel, or someone else.