Sign in to follow this  
Chuckster70

AngelsWin.com Today: Andrew Heaney’s encouraging start to 2017

26 posts in this topic

10 K's, 6 IP, 1 ER. Just 2 hits allowed. 

Hit 94-95 MPH several times, 96 MPH in his last frame in which he struck out the side. 

I guess this was his first start in which he's thrown his breaking ball and it looked good. Definitely made a difference as he was just FB-CH before that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Chuckster70 said:

10 K's, 6 IP, 1 ER. Just 2 hits allowed. 

Hit 94-95 MPH several times, 96 MPH in his last frame in which he struck out the side. 

I guess this was his first start in which he's thrown his breaking ball and it looked good. Definitely made a difference as he was just FB-CH before that.

didn't realize that.  That curve is a nice pitch in that he can bury it, throw it low and in or throw it for a strike.  They started to recognize it for a bit in the 5th and then he pitched backwards getting k's in the 6th on fastballs.  

probably in the top 5 of all the games started by the staff this year.  

It's so great to have him back, but it makes me sad to think of what we could have been with him (and others) healthy.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today was super encouraging. Blown away by that K number - i didn't remember him being a strikeout pitcher. I wanna see him do it again before i start feeling real comfortable, but honestly...this sounds stupid, but outside of the home runs, he has looked pretty good since coming back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With Ramirez out, Heaney and Skaggs are the key to any wild card hopes....Heaney pitches like he did last night and Skaggs is more "Good Tyler" than "Bad Tyler", we have a chance....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, DMVol said:

With Ramirez out, Heaney and Skaggs are the key to any wild card hopes....Heaney pitches like he did last night and Skaggs is more "Good Tyler" than "Bad Tyler", we have a chance....

and then when rosters expand and richards arrives, him and nolasco can split starts - put them both on a 60 pitch/3 or so inning cap, and see if nolasco can be effective over that span.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All these guys are fresh back from injury like him and Skaggs etc... effectively they are still in spring training mode so im not passing judgement on any of them as yet.  It is encouraging to see him put together a game like that though 100% 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kinda like teams facing the Halos lineup...it was against the Athletics so I wouldn't get too worked up....but it was nice to see.

nice fastball control and he was burying that breaking ball...signs of why he was so highly thought of. Solid addition to the staff of he can build off this start. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, GrittyVeterans said:

None of it matters if you can't get Nolasco out of the rotation. He is a constant liability every 5 days and it's really costing the team. This team needs one of Richards or Meyer to be healthy for most of September in order to make it

GRich is expected back between September 8-12.   Meyer may be out for the rest of the season.

And yes, any start by NoStuffCo is a challenge for this team.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Angel Oracle said:

GRich is expected back between September 8-12.   Meyer may be out for the rest of the season.

And yes, any start by NoStuffCo is a challenge for this team.

I mean...Meyer was just recently saying he is trying to come back this season. Unlikely, but...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

heaney_1280_214g8vvc_1v5a8v5n.jpg?w=640

By @Brent Maguire, AngelsWin.com Staff Reporter

Andrew Heaney has a 5.63 ERA and 7.81 FIP in his first 3 starts of 2017. That may make you question the title of this piece but a deeper look into his numbers bring up some cause for optimism.

On Monday night, Andrew Heaney toed the rubber for his 3rd MLB start of the 2017 season. His previous 2 starts were not good strictly from a run prevention stand point. In those first 2 starts since returning from Tommy John surgery, Heaney allowed 15 hits and 9 runs in 10 innings, including 7 home runs. For a pitcher returning from a major surgery, this was not something to freak out about and for a pitcher who relies more on command than pure stuff, it was too early to panic. A bright spot in those first 2 starts, however, was the 9 strikeouts he generated against the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers, while walking zero batters. You could key in on those peripherals and potentially forecast a strong start coming soon.

That strong start came on Monday against the Oakland Athletics, as Heaney punched out a career high 10 hitters and allowed 1 run on 2 hits and 3 walks in his 6 innings of work. Heaney sacrificed a bit of his control to get the A’s hitters to expand out of the zone and it worked as he posted a career best 19.2% swinging strike rate in this game, well above his 9.6% career mark. Take a look at the stuff Heaney had on display Monday night.

As mentioned before, Heaney has long been touted as a command before stuff pitcher so this jump in swing and misses through his 1st 3 starts has been a bit of a surprise. What isn’t surprising is the jump in swing and misses is probably correlated to a jump in velocity. Thanks to the wonderful website brooksbaseball.net, we can view all sorts of charts and in this case, velocity charts. Here are Andrew Heaney’s average velocities by each game over his career.

screen-shot-2017-08-29-at-4-28-08-pm.png
Andrew Heaney velocity by game

Immediately, you’ll notice the average velocity on his fastball, which is classified as a sinker on Brooks Baseball based on vertical and horizontal movement. Through 3 starts, Andrew Heaney is throwing harder than ever. In fact, his start on Monday night proved to be his hardest throwing night of his MLB career, as he averaged 93.12 mph on his sinker. The previous start was Heaney’s 2nd hardest throwing night in his career, where he averaged 93.06 mph on his sinker. Both starts came at Angel Stadium so it’s fair to question if the gun was potentially hot but based on the swings and misses Heaney got, it’s also fair to wonder if Heaney’s stuff is just better so far. Through 3 starts, Heaney has a very healthy strikeout minus walk%(K-BB%) of 23.2%, which is much higher than his 13.1% career mark. He has struck out 19 batters and only walked 3 in his 16 innings of work, which are pretty gaudy totals for a pitcher with Heaney’s track record of not striking out loads of batters.

Heaney’s stuff is better and that’s noteworthy in itself but there’s a little more to him just striking out more batters. Heaney has altered his arm angles and he’s adjusted his positioning on the rubber. Check out the Heaney’s horizontal release point.

screen-shot-2017-08-29-at-4-45-54-pm.png
Andrew Heaney’s horizontal release point

This is a drastic change in release point for any pitcher, let alone one who just missed over a full year of game action due to surgery. It seems rather likely that Heaney dug into the stats during his down time and tried to make some tweaks to the way he positioned his body and his arm actions on the mound. Video backs up these changes, as Heaney has totally changed his position on the mound. Look at the difference of where Heaney’s back foot is on the rubber in a start from 2015 compared to his start on Monday night vs Oakland.

screen-shot-2017-08-29-at-4-44-29-pm.png
Andrew Heaney 2015 start(via MLB video)
screen-shot-2017-08-29-at-4-45-12-pm.png
Andrew Heaney on Monday 8/28/17(Via MLB video)

Heaney has switched from the first base side of the rubber over the third base side of the rubber, which is a drastic change but one many pitchers make if their results aren’t good. This change especially makes sense for a pitcher like Heaney, who faced dramatic platoon splits before this season. As a lefty who placed himself on the 1st base side of the rubber, this may have allowed right handed hitters to get a better look at his release point. Consider this: Lefties hit just .228/.261/.307 against Heaney in 2015, his first full big league season, but righties hit .252/.321/.402 against him. His K-BB% vs lefties in 2015 was 21.8% while it was a measly 7.8% vs righties. While righties have torched Heaney to a .268/.316/.722 clip in 2017, his K-BB% is 25.4% against righties, which is a phenomenal rate for a lefty pitcher throwing to right handed hitters.

Another small tweak that Heaney has already made in 2017 is adjusting his vertical release point, which was significantly lower in his 1st 2 starts. That subtle difference may explain the home run issues he had, as a lower release point usually means less plane on your pitches, which means pitches come on a more ideal plane for hitters. Heaney seemingly picked up on his release point quickly and got it back to his usual level in his past start, which probably explains why he had a career best outing on Monday night.

screen-shot-2017-08-29-at-5-01-34-pm.png
Andrew Heaney Vertical Release Point 

All of these changes Heaney has made has led to a potentially better version than even his biggest fans thought he’d be. A 3 game sample of games is too small to draw huge conclusions but there are some very encouraging signs that Heaney is showing so far. It’s also fair to acknowledge that his past start came against an Athletics lineup whose #3 hitter was Jed Lowrie, whose an owner of a career 101 wRC+. Striking out 20% of batters against any MLB lineup is impressive regardless but we’ll need to see this over a larger sample. The home run issue is likely a small blip on the radar(7 home runs in 2 games is an anomaly) but if these bat missing improvements are real, the upside for Heaney maybe changes from a potential 3/4 starter, which Fangraphs labeled him in 2015, to a potential #2 starter. Lefties who average 93 mph on their fastball, have 2 above average off speed pitches and generate 27.5% strikeout rates are hard to find and that’s the current 2017 version of Heaney. Proceed with cautious optimism but there are reasons to be excited about Andrew Heaney moving forward.


734774 b.gif?host=thesportsdaily.com&blog=11432

View the full article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, GrittyVeterans said:

None of it matters if you can't get Nolasco out of the rotation. He is a constant liability every 5 days and it's really costing the team. This team needs one of Richards or Meyer to be healthy for most of September in order to make it

I think Richards will replace Scribner rather than Nolasco.  After all Nolasco is a gritty veteran that takes the ball every five days and gives the Angels a 50/50 chance of staying in the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Revad said:

I think Richards will replace Scribner rather than Nolasco.  After all Nolasco is a gritty veteran that takes the ball every five days and gives the Angels a 50/50 chance of staying in the game.

I haven't dissected the schedule, with off days, but I'm not sure Richards will be ready before Scribner's next turn in the rotation....Honestly, Nolasco isn't great but Scribner really struggled last night and we're in a pennant race.  Neither is a great option but I'd go with Nolasco over Scribner right now....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • AngelsWin.com Ad-free Membership Options