Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 10/25/14
While it goes without saying that the present site is required reading for all of baseball’s most progressive front offices, it’s also the case that no post at the site today will be read more hungrily or with such hunger as this one — which post is a very urgent scouting report on Skip Schumaker, who both (a) is a middle infielder for the Dodgers and (b) threw a scoreless inning for that same team on Monday night (box). Fastball Schumaker’s fastball — in relief, at least — bears striking resemblance to an average major-league one, sitting at about 88-90 mph and with similar rise and arm-side run. Irrefutable proof of same is contained within this animated GIF: Curveball If Monday’s appearance is any indication, Schumaker throws his curveball precisely 4% of the time. So far as outcomes are concerned, the most likely and/or only one is a ground ball up the middle by Carlos Gonzalez. To wit: Changeup Schumaker throws his changeup at a variety of speeds — either (a) with a view to disrupting the timing of his opponents or (b) because he only throws it six or eight times every two years. Here’s one at 83 mph for a called strike to Jonathan Herrera: Whatever This Is This pitch was classified by PITCHf/x as a knuckleball, even though it’s probably a changeup. What this scouting report presupposes is: what if it isn’t? (Although, note: it probably is. A changeup, I mean.) Regard: Mechanics Schumaker throws from a three-quarter arm slot, but insists on referring to it as a “75/100ths” slot, because his teachers neglected to teach him how to reduce a fraction to its lowest terms. Mound Presence In terms of mound presence, Skip Schumaker most resembles a Midwestern father who’s been invited by his son to a Gay Pride parade. Does that father support his son? Yes. Would anyone describe said parade as that father’s “scene”? Likely not. Future Schumaker went 615 days between pitching appearances — his first being on August 23, 2011, with the Cardinals. Given that same timetable, it’s reasonable to expect Schumaker’s next pitching appearance to occur January 5, 2015 — in the Venezuelan Winter League, one assumes. PITCHf/x data from Brooks Baseball was essential to this post.
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