• Rafael Soriano

    Posted by on April 26th, 2011 · Comments (15)

    It’s how you say Kyle Farnsworth in Spanish.

    Comments on Rafael Soriano

    1. Evan3457
      April 26th, 2011 | 9:57 pm

      He’s gotta be better than this.

      I was against signing him, as you’ll recall, but he can’t keep pitching this badly; he’s way too talented for this. He’s having the usual free agent struggle adjusting to the pressure of New York and the big money deal.

      He has to be a lot better than this.

    2. April 26th, 2011 | 10:06 pm

      I admit I was in favor of signing him. That said, I think if they can find a good trade match I’d try to move him. I have a feeling this is not going to work out. I don’t like his attitude, his body language or his explanations.

    3. jrk
      April 26th, 2011 | 10:08 pm

      Every time he blows a lead, Cashman probably says to himself, “f*cking Randy Levine.”

    4. April 26th, 2011 | 11:30 pm

      jrk wrote:

      Every time he blows a lead, Cashman probably says to himself, “f*cking Randy Levine.”

      Thought the same… I wonder what Soriano has to say (or not say) about this one.

    5. BOHAN
      April 27th, 2011 | 2:32 am

      I am so tired of this guy. He’s a joke. first its the weather that is the reason he’s like crap… well last night it was gorgeous now whats the excuse (havent seen any interviews or anything.) the only excuse he should have is that he sucked and has sucked. I honestly don’t see him getting any better. Another waste of $10 million. If I was Cashman I would be walking around Yankee stadium singing “I told you so!” Get him out of the 8th inning and put Joba in there. Even though I know that won’t happen because he’s making $10 million. Stay hot Levine and Steinbrenners and whoever else forced Cashman to get this deal done.

    6. Scout
      April 27th, 2011 | 3:52 am

      When ownership has invested so much money and baseball smarts in a free agent pitcher, he gets a long leash. That’s in the manager’s job survival guide.

    7. Raf
      April 27th, 2011 | 5:33 am

      BOHAN wrote:

      first its the weather that is the reason he’s like crap…

      I heard Kay mention this, he’s full of crap. I guess this is going to be the new meme that has no basis in reality?

    8. Raf
      April 27th, 2011 | 5:34 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      He’s having the usual free agent struggle adjusting to the pressure of New York and the big money deal.

      I’m sure he’d have the same struggles no matter where he is.

    9. MJ Recanati
      April 27th, 2011 | 8:00 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I was against signing him

      As were most rational people, given the absurd pricetag and the lack of overwhelming need at the position.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      but he can’t keep pitching this badly; he’s way too talented for this.

      Plenty of “talented” relievers have lousy years. There’s no reason to think that this can’t just be one of those years for Soriano, whatever talent he has notwithstanding.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      He’s having the usual free agent struggle adjusting to the pressure of New York and the big money deal.

      I don’t believe any of this and never have for any player. There’s pressure in every city. New Yorkers (and Bostonians and Philadelphians, and their respective journalists in each city) like to flatter themselves that we’re tougher than everywhere else. Plenty of newly-wealthy players have flopped in places like Los Angeles, San Francisco, St. Louis, etc. where the fan base is supposedly either lax and inattentive or supportive like an overprotective mommy at the playground.

    10. MJ Recanati
      April 27th, 2011 | 8:01 am

      Scout wrote:

      When ownership has invested so much money and baseball smarts in a free agent pitcher, he gets a long leash. That’s in the manager’s job survival guide.

      Sadly, I agree. Girardi will keep trotting out this stinking turd until he blows 10 games, and then there will be a bullpen role re-adjustment to play the hotter hand.

    11. MJ Recanati
      April 27th, 2011 | 8:02 am

      jrk wrote:

      Every time he blows a lead, Cashman probably says to himself, “f*cking Randy Levine.”

      BOHAN wrote:

      If I was Cashman I would be walking around Yankee stadium singing “I told you so!”

      And Cashman would be 100% right to do so.

    12. agsf
      April 27th, 2011 | 11:16 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      I don’t believe any of this and never have for any player.

      There’s more pressure playing in NYC or Boston after signing a big contract, over say, Tampa Bay or Houston, period. It’s common sense. That you don’t believe it doesn’t change that. You’re simply flat out wrong.

      Yes, players flop in other cities after signing big contracts. That doesn’t mean there isn’t more pressure in NY. Certain players deal with pressure better than others. So the pressure of playing in a big city isn’t always the cause, and playing in a lower market city doesn’t promise success, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    13. MJ Recanati
      April 27th, 2011 | 11:24 am

      agsf wrote:

      It’s common sense. That you don’t believe it doesn’t change that. You’re simply flat out wrong.

      Prove it.

      That you say I’m wrong doesn’t mean I am.

    14. YankCrank
      April 27th, 2011 | 11:53 am

      agsf wrote:

      There’s more pressure playing in NYC or Boston after signing a big contract, over say, Tampa Bay or Houston, period. It’s common sense.

      It’s not common sense, it’s commonly perceived. Just because it’s commonly perceived that way doesn’t make it true. I think your point would make more sense and be easier to prove if you simply said there’s more pressure when you sign a large contract, despite the market you play in.

      This may be an extreme case, but A-Rod referenced his new large contract in 2001 for the reason why he started using performance enhancers. Arlington sure isn’t Boston or Philly.

    15. MJ Recanati
      April 27th, 2011 | 2:10 pm

      In looking at the quality of Soriano’s pitches thus far in 2011 as compared to 2010, PitchFX says:

      2010:
      Four-Seam (FF): 47% deployment, 93 mph, 10.0v, -2.4h
      Cutter (FC): 30%, 91.6 mph, 8.8v, 1.0h
      Slider (SL): 21%, 83.4 mph, 2.0v, 5.0h

      2011:
      FF: 17%, 93.1 mph, 8.0v, -4.0h
      FC: 53%, 91.4 mph, 10.45v, -1.59h
      SL: 30%, 81.4 mph, 0.62v, 4.16h

      Accepting that no PitchFX system gets all pitch types perfectly right (there can be confusion between a cutter and slider, for example, or a sinker and changeup), we can still surmise that the classifications are correct here because of the general disparity in velocities between the two most similar pitches (Soriano’s cutter and slider, both of which break away from RHB).

      Here are some things that pop out at me, in no particular order:

      1) He’s using his FF a lot less for some reason;
      2) The release point on his FC seems to have dropped down a little bit which may be causing the ball to have less bite (horizontal) but more backspin (vertical);
      3) The SL seems to have less depth this year; and
      4) Related to the first three points, according to FanGraphs, his “runs above average” for each pitch are 2.1 (FF), 0.0 (FC) and -1.2 (SL). Last year, those same pitches rated 9.0, 3.4 and 7.4 which really does feed into the fact that the SL went from being a good pitch to a lousy one this year (And the lack of depth could be the reason).

      It would seem to me that Soriano is off mechanically in some way, either in terms of his release point or in terms of his pitch grips. Since I didn’t watch Soriano last year (except for when he pitched against the Yanks), I can’t recall what he looked like last year as compared to this year. But the PitchFX data does certainly demonstrate that the quality of the SL, at least, has been somewhat degraded and the deployment of his pitches has been dramatically altered.

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