Detroit Tigers: Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal and Matt Manning took flight

Detroit Tigers pitchers Derek Holland, Casey Mize, Ian Krol, and Tarik Skubal warm up during spring training Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, on the Tiger Town practice fields at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida. Monday was the first day position players joined pitchers and catchers for spring training.Spring Training
Detroit Tigers pitchers Derek Holland, Casey Mize, Ian Krol, and Tarik Skubal warm up during spring training Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, on the Tiger Town practice fields at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida. Monday was the first day position players joined pitchers and catchers for spring training.Spring Training /
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Detroit Tigers
Aug 12, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Tarik Skubal (29) delivers a first inning pitch against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

Detroit Tigers LHP-Tarik Skubal.

Now, this stat that was just shared by Eno Sarris of The Athletic this afternoon pops out a bit about the type of season Tarik Skubal has had.

Skubal, who is the fastest Tigers pitcher to 200 career strikeouts, finished the second half of the season giving up less walks than he did in the first half of the season.  He finished the season with 164 strikeouts in 149.1 innings pitched but gave up 35 home runs, second only to Jordan Lyles. Of the 35 he gave up, 22 of them came off his fastball.

Like Mize, Skubal found success with his slider. In the 22.8% of the time he used the pitch, teams were batting just .204 against it and next to his changeup, it was his second-best put away pitch in terms of percentage.

Skubal struggled in April before putting together a good May and June and again in July, he struggled with allowing home runs.  Just looking at the numbers, Skubal appeared to be trying to find what work best for him.  For example, per Statcast, he threw mainly his fastball and slider, to the tune of 53.3% and 26.7% in the month of April.

When May and June hit, the difference there was that he started throwing his changeup more. (17.1% in May and 16% in June) which gave him a different look. Hitters were not just sitting on his fastball, they had to respect the changeup. In fact, in the month of August,  he threw the pitch 46 times against right-handers and he did not allow a single hit. It was pretty impressive as a whole, looking at it month to month.

  • May: # of times thrown: 80  strikeouts generated: 7. Percentage of pitch thrown: 17.1%      BA: .188
  • June: # of times thrown: 78, strikeouts generated: 5. Percentage of pitch thrown: 16%          BA: .214
  • July:  # of times thrown: 71 strikeouts generated: 4. Percentage of pitch thrown: 15.9%          BA: .182
  • August: # of times thrown: 47  strikeouts generated: 4. Percentage of pitch thrown: 10%    BA: .000
  • September:  # of times thrown: 32 strikeouts generated: 1. Percentage of pitch thrown: 13% BA: .333

The sinker usage also went up as the season went along but as Skubal mixed in other pitches with his fastball, it made the pitch much more effective based on the data.

I thought he had a good chance to win AL Rookie of the Year based on his stuff but he made progress this season as his command improved and you cant ask for anything more.

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