Advanced Analytics Explain Why Jameson Taillon Has Stunk For The Yankees

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The Yankees practically got Jameson Taillon from the Pirates for free last offseason, and while they had high hopes for his resurgence — it just hasn’t worked out. His stuff looks solid on screen, but he seems to struggle with his breaking stuff.

At least that’s what analytics say.

Taillon now has a 5.76 ERA with 46 strikeouts on the season. Pretty good, so why is he giving up runs at this rate? Well, he’s getting a ton of hitters to two strikes, and then he tries to rack up strikeouts with the elevated fastball. That’s a pitch big league arms are using more frequently to strike hitters out, but you still need a polished breaking ball. He does this over and over:

Taillon mentioned his struggle with off-speed after last night’s outing:

“A streak of a couple hitters, two outs, a couple two-strike hits. Think [Nick] Zolak was a two-strike hit, [Adolis] Garcia had a two-strike hit. So, yeah, it’s kinda the same old, same old in my bad outings so far.”

According to Baseball Savant, Taillon is releasing his curveball higher than any other pitch.

Is that the problem?

I think it’s possible. Interestingly enough, Mets ace Jacob deGrom has the most consistent release point since baseball started recording this stat. And common sense says that if a pitcher lets go of the baseball in the same place, then it should be more difficult to pick up the ball.

“I thought the slider took steps forward compared to the last start,” Tiallon said. “I thought the curveball — they had a couple hits on it early, and I think we just kinda forgot about it and didn’t throw it as much as we normally would.”

Like I said earlier, his slider and curveball are good. It’s not that his slider necessarily has to improve — but the release point, according to data, needs to be adjusted. As a lifelong hitter, I can attest that much of hitting is being able to differentiate pitches as soon as they leave the hand. If a pitcher lets go of his curveball like an Iron Mike and his fastball looks athletic, then I have a clue what’s coming. These big league hitters will take advantage of everything you give them, so that type of stuff can’t happen.

We’d imagine Taillon knows this data by now, so it’s just a matter of time before we see an overhaul with him.

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr

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  1. “Taillon now has a 5.76 ERA with 46 strikeouts on the season. Pretty good…”

    Only in the idiotic world of “advanced analytics” is a 5.76 ERA defined as “pretty good”. Here’s a better thought: A pitcher with a 5.76 ERA will not last long, no matter how many Ks he gets in a league where every swing is for the fence. Or try this thought: A 5.76 ERA in any era of baseball, frankly, sucks. Any pitcher giving up that many runs will not and should not last long as a starter or a reliever.

    Analytics continues to ruin baseball. Your analysis is perfect evidence.

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