Guzman’s NPB Career So Far

» 22 April 2011 » In nichibei, npb »

I’ve mentioned once or twice that Joel Guzman hasn’t looked good at the plate so far this season. On Thursday he went 2-3 against Yakult to bring his average up a little bit, but he he still has a rough line so far: 37 plate appearances, 6 hits, 1 home run, 17 strikeouts, 0 walks. Obviously if this continues, his Chunichi Dragons career won’t last long.

I dug in a little and charted the result he’s gotten on each of the pitches he’s faced so far this season.

result count
ball 60
flyball hit 3
flyout 7
foul 30
groundball hit 1
groundout 6
hbp 1
home run 1
linedrive single 1
strike looking 24
strike swinging 30

Yikes. About one pitch out of three has resulted in a called strike or a whiff for Guzman. My perception was that Guzman had been waving at a lot of breaking pitches, so I narrowed my query to just look at strikes.

pitch result count
curve strike looking 2
cut fastball strike looking 1
fastball strike looking 12
shuuto strike looking 1
slider strike looking 8
changeup strike swinging 1
cut fastball strike swinging 3
fastball strike swinging 10
forkball strike swinging 2
shuuto strike swinging 1
sinker strike swinging 1
slider strike swinging 12

I don’t mind the strikes looking so much; those are explainable by taking first pitch fastballs, and adjusting to a new strike zone. The number of fastballs he’s swung through surprises me though.

So is there any hope for Guzman? Maybe, but he needs to quickly make some adjustments, notably laying off breaking pitches, waiting for fastballs, and identifying mistake pitches.


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