Seth Maness and The Professor; learning efficiency from the best
By Scott Bierman
ATLANTA, GA - JULY 27: Seth Maness #61 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on July 27, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) By Scott Cunningham
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 26: Seth Maness #61 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches in relief during the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 26, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) By Harry How
By Scott Bierman
(BaseballStL) -- The rookie members of the Cardinals bullpen are continuing rack up successes as Seth Maness cleaned up another multi-runner mess Tuesday night.
After throwing his 12th double play of the season, Maness calmly walked off the mound; business as usual. In just over 39 innings of work he leads all relievers in double plays induced.
The 24 year old has said he models his style after Greg Maddux, and his double play success is certainly born of Maddux-like efficiency.
64 percent of Maness' first pitches are strikes (same as Maddux). 13 percent of the time, batters swing and miss (Maddux was at 14 percent). Once foul balls and hits are included, 72 percent of all of his strikes are swung at (same as Maddux).
He has only seen a 3-0 count in four percent of all plate appearances (Maddux was at three). He doesn't have high strikeout numbers, and batters have an 80 percent contact rate against him (Maddux had a contact rate of 81).
Both hurlers were efficient and kept their pitches per plate appearance under 3.5 (3.30 for Maddux and 3.47 for Maness).
It looks like with his skill set, Maness picked the right model to follow. He's continuing to throw strikes and throw them often, forcing batters to swing at his offerings. By the time they do, they're swinging at pitches that are in poor spots, resulting in a ground ball to fly ball ratio of 2.37.
He's also averaging 5.6 ground outs to every fly out, and gotten 12 double plays in 44 chances, for a rate of 27 percent. That's blowing the league average of 11 percent right out of the water.
Now Maddux threw for more than two decades and spent the majority of his career as a starter, but if I'm Seth Maness it's awful nice to see my stats matching The Professor.