Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.

The fastest pitch in the Statcast era was a ball low and inside


Last month we witnessed he hardest-hit ball in the two-year Statcast era. It was a Giancarlo Stanton grounder that resulted in a fairly easy 4-6-3 double play.

Last night we saw the fastest pitch in the two-year Statcast era. It was 105.1 miles per hour and, of course, it came courtesy of Aroldis Chapman.

Oh, and it was a ball, low and inside, that Steve Pearce (um, I dunno) J.J. Hardy laid off of because, well, it was not a great pitch:

I continue to stand by my comments from the Stanton thing: Statcast is pretty neat and I’m confident that, at some point, there will a lot of cool things analysts can do with it and which players can, eventually, use to enhance their games. It’s pretty useless to tout speeds and angles and stuff in a vacuum, however, and the social media and broadcasting folks should maybe lay off of it unless and until there are actually some contextualized and relatable things to be drawn from the data which, on its own, is only moderately interesting.

Jered Weaver won a game on Sunday, after all, and he throws about as hard as the kid across the street who plays on the JV team. There’s a little more to it, ya know?

Jose Altuve wants it that way


Ballplayers talk about the clubhouse being their sanctuary. The place where they can escape the spotlight and the distractions. Where they can tune out the world and focus on the task at hand: pitched athletic competition and managing the grind of a long, grueling season.

If that makes you picture guys sitting quietly and gathering their thoughts or starting at nothing while managing an intense swelling of emotion and feeling which they’ll then attempt to channel into physical activity, well, you’re right. That happens. Definitely happens. I’ve seen it.

But sometimes it also involves wailing some Backstreet Boys while playing cards. That definitely happens too.

Royals prospect Kyle Zimmer will have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome surgery


Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is the new black, apparently. Matt Harvey underwent his surgery for it this week and now Royals prospect Kyle Zimmer will as well. He’s out for the year.

Zimmer was the fifth overall pick in the 2012 draft and was ranked as a top-25 prospect according to both Baseball America and heading into the 2014 season. He experienced numerous arm problems that year, however, and had “minor” shoulder surgery in that October. He pitched well, primarily in relief, across two levels in 2015 but has only pitched sparingly this season. He turns 25 in September.

While the timeline for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome surgery could have him back for spring training, recovery from it is unpredictable and it’s certainly going to cut into any offseason program Zimmer was going to pursue. Tough break for a kid who has had a few of them already.