Catching up; Jon Meloan claimed and Ross Ohlendorf’s fastball

Two quick notes to catch up after spending all day in my “written comps deprivation chamber.”

The first is that the Pirates claimed Jon Meloan off of waivers from Tampa today. When I saw Tampa DFA’d him last week, I thought to myself, “the Pirates should claim him.” You can decide whether it’s a good thing or not that Huntington and I are on the same wavelength, but Meloan seems like a nice pickup. His minor league numbers as a reliever prior to last year were exceptional. The Dodgers then made the curious move of trying to make him a starter in the PCL, which had predictably ugly results. He went to Cleveland in the Casey Blake trade, then to Tampa this summer. His minor league numbers didn’t bounce back to his previous levels (his walks have been out of control this year), but he still seems like an interesting guy and worth a shot at this point.

Second, a few people have asked about Ross Ohlendorf’s fastball last night. To be honest, I wasn’t paying that much attention during the game (I’m currently surrounded by a halo of journal articles on the floor along with a highlighter and a legal pad full of indecipherable scribbles as I work on this test) but it’s certainly easy enough to look up his PitchFX at Brooks’ Baseball. If you’ll recall, I wrote this when describing Ohlendorf’s fastball back in early July:

His fastball this year is much slower than it was out of the pen with the Yankees in 2008. His fastball with the Yankees averaged about 93.9 mph and you can see he hit above 96 several times. His fastball with the Pirates averages 90.6 and it’s very rarely touched above 94.

Last night, he averaged 93.37 and topped out at 96.4. Taking a quick glance at the velocity graph, I actually see about 21 pitches above 94 from last night. Doing a quick survey of his other outings since I put the PitchFX study together a month ago, he’s been pretty consistently averaging between 91 and 92 and topping out right around 94 every time out. Kevin Hart’s velocity didn’t change that much between his last start (at PNC) and his start tonight, so I’ll tentatively say this increase for Ohlendorf was for real. I’ll certainly keep a closer eye on it next time he takes the mound.

Pat Lackey

About Pat Lackey

In 2005, I started a WHYGAVS instead of working on organic chemistry homework. Many years later, I've written about baseball and the Pirates for a number of sites all across the internet, but WHYGAVS is still my home. I still haven't finished that O-Chem homework, though.

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