Wednesday Rockpile: Drew Pomeranz's Maddening Inefficiency

September 4, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz (13) pitches in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Though four Rockies pitchers combined for the team's 6th shutout of the year in last night's victory, the effort was marred somewhat by the inefficiency of Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz lasted only 3 innings and needed 72 pitches (only 43 of which were strikes) to get through them. He also needed to maneuver through the traffic created by 5 hits and a walk. The good news is that he didn't allow any runs...but then again, we're hearing this sort of thing more and more:

Pomeranz said he will be fine going forward, even though he felt that his velocity dropped on Tuesday night.

"My arm didn't feel that great," Pomeranz said, "but I've got to expect that. It's part of it."

Lack of length has been a huge issue for most Rockies starters this season, but it's a problem that particularly seems to affect the two pitchers acquired in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade, Pomeranz and Alex White.

Pomeranz has made it through 5 innings only once in his last 7 starts and throughout has had arm soreness that have caused him to have his starts pushed back. Meanwhile, White has only had 1 5+ inning start in his last 10 outings, and none in his last 6. Before that point, White and Pomeranz were in the more traditional rotation that allowed them a longer leash in terms of pitch count, and yet the longest either man has pitched into a game for the Rockies is 7 innings (once).

Bradley Woodrum of Fangraphs says that Pomeranz needs better secondary pitches due to his high walk rate (3.87 BB/8) that isn't really off-set by a decent strikeout rate (7.4 K/9). It seems that Pomeranz's poor command of his curveball (specifically, the lack of deception in the pitch) and changeup have been his biggest bugaboos to date.

It's hard to argue with the Pitch F/X data on this one -- Pomeranz hasn't had effective off-speed offerings all year, which has led to wasting a lot of pitches on curveballs out of the zone that hitters simply aren't swinging at. If he is to become the top of rotation pitcher he was touted as when he was acquired, Pomeranz and the Rockies will have to improve this aspect of his pitching repertoire.

Off-Topic.

Los Links!

Dante Bichette (hey, it happens) thinks that the key to victory at Coors Field is a dominant offense at home. Of course he does.

People need to stop referring to Jordan Pacheco as versatile. Being below average or flat out bad at a large number of positions (Ty Wigginton syndrome) is not versatility -- if it were, then I would be an excellent candidate for a September call-up.

Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus has an article about the paired pitching experiment -- if only I were a BPro subscriber, I could tell you what its conclusions were.

Finally, there are two articles by Joe Posnanski to share -- one that illustrates why people want to put Jack Morris in the Hall of Fame and another that eulogizes baseball blogger Mac Thomason. The latter article is a great treatise on the value of baseball blogs and what they represent in this brave new world.

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