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Jim Johnson's 97 mph two-seam fastball

Jim Johnson's 97 mph two-seam fastball

PostPost #1 by Jordan Tuwiner » September 27th, 2011, 4:32 pm

Fangraphs posted this GIF of a 97 mph Jim Johnson fastball with some crazy movement. I suspect most of us have seen something like this from him before but I don't think I've seen one with that velocity and that movement.

That's why I think he'd play as a starter, especially at OPACY. But I don't think there's a rotation spot for him.

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Re: Jim Johnson's 97 mph two-seam fastball

PostPost #2 by Rising O's » September 27th, 2011, 10:20 pm

Pretty sick if he could ever do it consistently and over 6 innings. With a trade there could be a spot for him and see who beats out whom in a race between him, Hunter, Tillman, and Simon.
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Re: Jim Johnson's 97 mph two-seam fastball

PostPost #3 by ofahn » September 28th, 2011, 2:00 pm

Jordan wrote:I don't think there's a rotation spot for him.


I'm curious as to why you feel that way.

I see one lock for next year's rotation, Guthrie. Britton seems like a good bet as is Arrietta if he's ready to pitch. After that.......................

Matusz is a BIG question mark and, IMO, Tommy Hunter is not an ML starter on a winning team yet, and won't be until he learns to pitch into at least the seventh inning on a regular basis. Ditto Alfredo Simon. Tillman is looking more and more like a middle reliever and Bergesen looks lost. I don't see a full rotation out of that group.

That being said I think it would be a mistake to count on Johnson being a successful starter. He has the pitches and he's efficient with them but that doesn't guarantee that he will still be getting outs the second and third time through the order.

I would like to see us acquire one and perhaps two solid ML starters this winter. That might mean eating a big contract or signing three or four question marks and allowing two to pitch their way on to the team. It would do our young pitchers some good this winter to see a crowded rotation. It might give them some incentive to work harder and take instruction more seriously. Besides, if we finish spring training with more pitchers than we need we can always trade the excess for prospects.
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Re: Jim Johnson's 97 mph two-seam fastball

PostPost #4 by Jordan Tuwiner » September 28th, 2011, 2:32 pm

ofahn wrote:
Jordan wrote:I don't think there's a rotation spot for him.


I'm curious as to why you feel that way.

I see one lock for next year's rotation, Guthrie. Britton seems like a good bet as is Arrietta if he's ready to pitch. After that.......................

Matusz is a BIG question mark and, IMO, Tommy Hunter is not an ML starter on a winning team yet, and won't be until he learns to pitch into at least the seventh inning on a regular basis. Ditto Alfredo Simon. Tillman is looking more and more like a middle reliever and Bergesen looks lost. I don't see a full rotation out of that group.

That being said I think it would be a mistake to count on Johnson being a successful starter. He has the pitches and he's efficient with them but that doesn't guarantee that he will still be getting outs the second and third time through the order.

I would like to see us acquire one and perhaps two solid ML starters this winter. That might mean eating a big contract or signing three or four question marks and allowing two to pitch their way on to the team. It would do our young pitchers some good this winter to see a crowded rotation. It might give them some incentive to work harder and take instruction more seriously. Besides, if we finish spring training with more pitchers than we need we can always trade the excess for prospects.

Guthrie, Britton and Arrieta are locks. I'm working on a post on this, so I'll keep it brief here and let the post express my thoughts.

We'll see what happens with Brian Matusz. It's a big if, and he did look terrible, but you have to think he's going to work out and make the necessary changes to return to form. Don can expand on this more, but I believe he feels that if he adds some muscle and maintains a good diet the velocity will come back. I think he grabs that fourth spot.

That leaves one spot for Johnson, Tillman, Hunter and Simon. I personally think it goes to Hunter. Either way, Simon, Tillman and Johnson in the bullpen, along with Patton, Strop and Berken and make a solid bullpen.
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Re: Jim Johnson's 97 mph two-seam fastball

PostPost #5 by Matt P » October 6th, 2011, 7:25 pm

He does great as a reliever and that pitch is nasty but I don't think he would be an effective starter. He wouldn't be able to maintain throwing 96/97/98 over 6+ innings. His K rate is not anything impressive (5.73 K/9) and it would likely drop when he turns into a starter considering he would be losing velocity. He does have three pitches but I think his changeup is much better than his curve which is why he is much better against lefties than righties (his FIP vs lefties was 2.32 and vs righties was 4.14). I also don't know that I trust him with those secondary pitches two or three times through a batting order. He may fool a hitter once but will he be able to do it twice in the same game? I'm not convinced he would be able to. He was also never anything great in the minors as a starter.
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Re: Jim Johnson's 97 mph two-seam fastball

PostPost #6 by Jordan Tuwiner » October 6th, 2011, 11:25 pm

Matt P wrote:He does great as a reliever and that pitch is nasty but I don't think he would be an effective starter. He wouldn't be able to maintain throwing 96/97/98 over 6+ innings. His K rate is not anything impressive (5.73 K/9) and it would likely drop when he turns into a starter considering he would be losing velocity. He does have three pitches but I think his changeup is much better than his curve which is why he is much better against lefties than righties (his FIP vs lefties was 2.32 and vs righties was 4.14). I also don't know that I trust him with those secondary pitches two or three times through a batting order. He may fool a hitter once but will he be able to do it twice in the same game? I'm not convinced he would be able to. He was also never anything great in the minors as a starter.

Johnson was pitching to contact more, throwing a lot more fastballs than last year and throwing his curveball less than in 2010. If he wanted to strikeout more batters, he could. But instead he pitches to contact and induces a ton of ground balls.
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Re: Jim Johnson's 97 mph two-seam fastball

PostPost #7 by Rising O's » October 7th, 2011, 6:01 am

Its up to him to come into Spring Training ready to win a starters job. Even if Buck says he's a reliever he can still prepare himself to start and if the need arises, or he is persuasive enough he maybe gets a look. I hope guys like Johnson take it upon themselves to be ready for bigger roles in 2012 because we need more leadership.
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Re: Jim Johnson's 97 mph two-seam fastball

PostPost #8 by Tucker Blair » October 7th, 2011, 9:01 am

I am on the fence with JJ. Like Matt said, I think he is so much more effective as a reliever (and the statistics back it up). While I think he can be an effective starter as well, I just do not see how he can be so much more effective that it is worth taking him out of his current role. At this point, he is essentially THE focal point of our bullpen. I realize that a starter is much more valuable than a reliever, but I don't think we can afford to take him out of the pen. Either way, I will be alright with what they choose to do with him I guess. I just hope they choose quickly and do not fool around with him any longer than what the Rangers did with Neftali Feliz this year.
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Re: Jim Johnson's 97 mph two-seam fastball

PostPost #9 by Matt P » October 7th, 2011, 9:23 am

Jordan wrote:
Matt P wrote:He does great as a reliever and that pitch is nasty but I don't think he would be an effective starter. He wouldn't be able to maintain throwing 96/97/98 over 6+ innings. His K rate is not anything impressive (5.73 K/9) and it would likely drop when he turns into a starter considering he would be losing velocity. He does have three pitches but I think his changeup is much better than his curve which is why he is much better against lefties than righties (his FIP vs lefties was 2.32 and vs righties was 4.14). I also don't know that I trust him with those secondary pitches two or three times through a batting order. He may fool a hitter once but will he be able to do it twice in the same game? I'm not convinced he would be able to. He was also never anything great in the minors as a starter.

Johnson was pitching to contact more, throwing a lot more fastballs than last year and throwing his curveball less than in 2010. If he wanted to strikeout more batters, he could. But instead he pitches to contact and induces a ton of ground balls.

I would have to see it to believe it. His K/9 was never anything impressive throughout his time in Baltimore and in the minors it decreased every time he got promoted.
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Re: Jim Johnson's 97 mph two-seam fastball

PostPost #10 by ofahn » October 7th, 2011, 10:03 am

The solution to our pitching problems is not "to rearrange the deck chairs" but to add more quality pitching to the team. If we have to worry about whether we need Johnson in the starting rotation next spring then we have failed during the winter.
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Re: Jim Johnson's 97 mph two-seam fastball

PostPost #11 by Jordan Tuwiner » October 10th, 2011, 12:01 am

ofahn wrote:The solution to our pitching problems is not "to rearrange the deck chairs" but to add more quality pitching to the team. If we have to worry about whether we need Johnson in the starting rotation next spring then we have failed during the winter.

Couldn't have said it better. Post on this coming soon. The Orioles need to get to where the Rays are in that they can deal a guy with one or two years of control left (like Matt Garza) and have another MLB ready pitched prepared to come up (Jeremy Hellickson).
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Re: Jim Johnson's 97 mph two-seam fastball

PostPost #12 by ofahn » October 10th, 2011, 10:55 am

Jordan wrote:The Orioles need to get to where the Rays are


As I write this, SEAL Team Six is on its way to St. Petersburg to execute a "snatch and grab" operation to secure the entire Tampa Bay front office and relocate them to the Warehouse.

Or not.
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