Johnson 2012 vs. Johnson 2013

Yesterday, the Orioles announced that they will tender Jim Johnson a contract for 2014.  Included in the link above are Duquette’s comments that, “He had a better year last year than he had this year, but he still had a good year this year.”

(You can discuss this article on the BSL Board here.)

Let’s take a further look at how Johnson’s 2012 and 2013 numbers compare.

2012: 2-1, 51 saves, 3 bs, 2.49 ERA, 3.63 xFIP, 71 games, 68.2 ip, 55 hits, 3 hr’s, 15 bb’s, 41 k’s, .556 OPS Against, 62.3% GB%

2013: 3-8, 48 saves, 9 bs, 2.90 ERA, 3.43 xFIP, 72 games, 68.1 ip, 68 hits, 5 hr’s, 18 bb’s, 54 k’s, .693 OPS Against, 58.1% GB%

What jumps out to you?

It is hard not to key on the 9 blown saves this year. I also note the increase in hits, rising OPS against, K’s, and the decreasing GB%.

Overall though, there is a lot of similarity in his numbers, particularly with the durability and usage.

Per Brooks Baseball, there are further numbers we can compare:

Trajectory and Movement – from 04/06/2012 to 10/02/2012

Pitch Type Count Freq Velo (mph) pfx HMov (in.) pfx VMov (in.) H. Rel (ft.) V. Rel (ft.)
Fourseam 88 8.59% 95.40 -6.30 9.14 -1.52 6.88
Sinker 682 66.60% 95.00 -8.91 5.99 -1.61 6.78
Change 131 12.79% 88.83 -8.54 3.59 -2.02 6.40
Curve 123 12.01% 80.56 4.52 -5.36 -1.84 6.68

Trajectory and Movement – from 04/02/2013 to 09/28/2013

Pitch Type Count Freq Velo (mph) pfx HMov (in.) pfx VMov (in.) H. Rel (ft.) V. Rel (ft.)
Fourseam 11 1.05% 94.61 -5.93 7.66 -1.39 7.07
Sinker 772 73.95% 94.43 -7.84 6.58 -1.46 7.09
Change 123 11.78% 88.76 -7.71 3.88 -1.91 6.78
Curve 138 13.22% 80.42 4.66 -5.87 -1.77 6.92

It is interesting to me that he used his Fourseam FB less in 2013, but saw a decrease in his GB%. I would have thought with an even higher reliance on the Sinker, we would have seen more grounders?

It is also interesting to see that while his FB velocity remained strong, it did decrease this year. Beyond that, we see how the horizontal and vertical movement compares year-to-year.

Pitch Usage – from 04/06/2012 to 10/02/2012

Fourseam Sinker Change Curve
LHH
All Counts 7% 61% 9% 23%
First Pitch 7% 74% 9% 9%
Batter Ahead 3% 77% 1% 19%
Even 8% 62% 10% 20%
Pitcher Ahead 9% 45% 17% 30%
Two Strikes 7% 45% 14% 34%
RHH
All Counts 11% 73% 15% 1%
First Pitch 13% 74% 12% 1%
Batter Ahead 13% 84% 3% 0%
Even 9% 74% 17% 0%
Pitcher Ahead 12% 57% 28% 3%
Two Strikes 7% 63% 28% 2%

Pitch Usage – from 04/02/2013 to 09/28/2013

Fourseam Sinker Change Curve
LHH
All Counts 0% 68% 11% 20%
First Pitch 0% 83% 10% 8%
Batter Ahead 0% 77% 3% 21%
Even 0% 72% 11% 17%
Pitcher Ahead 1% 54% 21% 25%
Two Strikes 1% 56% 20% 24%
RHH
All Counts 2% 80% 16% 2%
First Pitch 3% 85% 12% 0%
Batter Ahead 1% 92% 5% 1%
Even 3% 80% 15% 2%
Pitcher Ahead 1% 69% 27% 2%
Two Strikes 2% 71% 24% 4%

In 2012, Johnson used his Fourseam 7% of the time vs. LHB. In 2013, that dropped to 0%. This year, LHB are batting .270 vs. Johnson, with a .727 OPS. Last year, LHB batted .225 vs. Johnson, with a .581 OPS.  I also note that against lefties with 2 strikes in 2012, he used his curve 34% of the time. This year, he uses the curve 24% of the time in the same situation.

When we look at Johnson’s Pitch Outcomes from last year, to this year; more information is obtained.

In 2012, Johnson’s Line Drive % was 16.4%.  That has increased to 20.2% this year. By the numbers above, we see that the LD% increases as a whole, came off of gains against the Sinker, and Curve.

The Pitch Outcomes show that while the Swing % against Johnson’s Sinker increased in 2013 (perhaps accounting for the gain in K%), his Strike % with that pitch decreased (though his Strike % did increase with both his Change, and Curve).

The 2012 Sabermetic Outcomes and Results compared to the 2013 Sabermetric Outcomes and Results provides a retelling of what we’ve gone through above. The Fourseam usage decreased. The slugging % against the Sinker increased. The average against the Curve, and Change increased. His Whiff/Swing % increased across the board.

So, after all of these comparisons, where do we come down on the decision to tender Johnson? For me it comes down to an understanding of what the payroll will be in 2014. If the team salary is going to be $90-$95M, paying Johnson $8-$9M this coming year is likely not a luxury the O’s can (or should) afford. If the payroll is going to increase to $110-$115M, I think bringing back Johnson becomes a decision that is a lot easier to support.

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About the author


Chris Stoner   

Majority Owner

Chris Stoner founded Baltimore Sports and Life in 2009. He has appeared as a radio guest with 1090 WBAL, 105.7 The Fan, ESPN 1300, FOX 1370, WOYK 1350, WKAV 1400, and WNST 1570. You can find Stoner on Twitter @BmoreSportsLife, and you can reach him via email at Chris.Stoner@baltimoresportsandlife.com.


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One Response to Johnson 2012 vs. Johnson 2013

  1. Dave says:

    Difference between 2012 JJ and 2013 JJ

    BABIP
    2012- .251
    2013- .318

    Walks were up a tad, but that’s not a real concern because his walk rate is still pretty good. Quite simply, through watching him, he sometimes had the tendency to overthrow his sinker, which effectively made it a meatball.

    If the payroll gets up to the $110M+ range, I’m fine with the Orioles keeping JJ. If it’s not, I won’t. Question is, who replaces him if we let him go (still not sold Duquette is definitely tendering him a deal, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time Dan said one thing and decided to do the opposite)? Oliver Drake might not be a bad idea if he can maintain a respectable walk rate.

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