The Rodriguez Effect

Like most pitchers who come to the New York Mets after a nice run of success elsewhere, Francisco Rodriguez doesn’t throw his fastball as fast in New York as he threw it at the peak of his success.

I could make a similar chart for goal scorers coming to the Rangers, but that’s a topic for another day.

This is basically the list of Omar Minaya’s high profile pitching acquisitions as Mets GM. Now, interestingly, all of these guys saw their velocity peak a 2-3 years before the Mets acquired them and in most cases that velocity had fallen at least somewhat in the season before the Mets pursued these players. It’s not surprising then that for all of these guys (except Oliver Perez and K-Rod actually) their velocity continued to fall with the Mets.

Now clearly, as Metsblog.com points out this morning, K-Rod has struggled lately (7.79 ERA since July 1, 12.79 ERA in August). What I find interesting is their suggestion that K-Rod’s loss of velocity lately is his main problem. Unfortunately those guys didn’t make use of the wealth of data (Fangraphs, Brooksbaseball.net) available on this subject to actually tell us what K-Rod’s fastball has been doing.