Jered Weaver’s diminishing fastball velocity is nothing new and the Angels right-hander always insists it’s no big deal, but on Opening Day his fastball averaged 84.3 miles per hour. That’s low, even by his standards:
2010: 89.9 mph
2011: 89.1 mph
2012: 87.8 mph
2013: 86.5 mph
2014: 86.3 mph
2015: 84.3 mph
Usually it’s tough to get too concerned about Weaver’s poor velocity because he’s pitching well, posting a 3.75 ERA or lower every season since 2009 with three top-five finishes in the Cy Young voting. However, at some point you’ve got to think he can’t continue to be effective throwing this slowly.
Last year the only two starting pitchers with an average fastball below 85 miles per hour were a knuckleballer (R.A. Dickey) and a soft-tossing lefty (Mark Buehrle). Weaver is neither and his results on Opening Day weren’t pretty: He allowed four runs on eight hits in six innings against the Mariners, striking out just one of the 25 batters he faced. During the previous three seasons Weaver had just one game in which he faced 20 or more batters and failed to record more than one strikeout.