Author: Aaron Gleeman

Jered Weaver

What the heck happened to Jered Weaver’s fastball?


Angels right-hander Jered Weaver tossed three innings against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday and his fastball was clocked in the low 80s, topping out at 85 miles per hour.

Naturally he was asked about the low velocity by reporters afterward and Weaver replied:

How many velocity questions are we going to have? I don’t pay attention to velocity. It’s more about getting location down and being able to get on pitches when you need to.

Meanwhile, manager Mike Scioscia admitted that Weaver “has a lot of moving parts” within his pitching mechanics and “was a little out of sync, really fighting himself.”

Weaver has never been a hard-thrower and his fastball velocity has been in a pretty steady decline for years:

2010: 89.9 mph
2011: 89.1 mph
2012: 87.8 mph
2013: 86.5 mph
2014: 86.3 mph

Last season among the 148 pitchers to throw at least 100 innings Weaver’s average fastball velocity of 86.3 miles per hour was the fifth-slowest behind R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle, Chris Young, and Josh Collmenter. Dickey and Buehrle were the only two pitchers to average below 85 miles per hour, so that’s the company a 32-year-old Weaver would potentially be keeping if his velocity dips further in 2015.

And unlike those two soft-tossers Weaver is neither a knuckleballer nor a crafty left-hander, although if anyone qualifies as a crafty right-hander it’s certainly him. Despite never throwing very hard and recently throwing in the mid-80s he’s posted an ERA of 3.75 or lower every season since 2009, with three top-five finishes in the Cy Young voting. And last year, while averaging 86 miles per hour, Weaver won 18 games and threw 213 innings with a 3.59 ERA and 169 strikeouts.

He’s probably sick of being asked questions about his lack of velocity because he’s been succeeding despite the missing miles per hour, but it seems fair to ask at what point not even Weaver can keep walking that tightrope.

Tim Hudson on track for Opening Day, calls ankle surgery a “non-issue”

Tim Hudson AP
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As of mid-February reports had Tim Hudson behind schedule in his recovery from offseason ankle surgery, but the Giants right-hander took the mound for his spring training debut Wednesday and afterward “expressed confidence” in being ready for Opening Day.

Hudson threw a scoreless inning against the Brewers and then told Chris Haft of that his ankle is a “non-issue.”

Hudson, who turns 40 in July, has indicated that 2015 will be his 17th and final season. Last year he logged 189 innings for the Giants, posting a 3.57 ERA and 120/34 K/BB ratio, but struggled in the playoffs.

Chris Capuano is headed for the Yankees’ disabled list

Chris Capuano Yankees

Yankees left-hander Chris Capuano has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 quadriceps strain and is expected to begin the season on the disabled list.

That means New York has an opening in the rotation after re-signing the 36-year-old veteran for $5 million to eat some back-of-the-rotation innings. Last season Capuano posted a 4.35 ERA in 97 innings for the Red Sox and Yankees, spending time in the rotation and the bullpen.

Adam Warren is one candidate to step into the rotation spot, although the Yankees may be tempted to keep him in the bullpen after last year’s success as a reliever.