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May be adding Trevor from A with an eye towards July

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Jeff Curry, USA Today Sports

Last Friday, the Athletics signed a right reliever Trevor May for a one-year, $7 million deal. join Elodemis Diaz And the Jess Peterson As veteran players short term in order to rebuild the A’s, but while Díaz is coming off a fairly typical season for him and Peterson is out of his best form, May will be looking to bounce back after a poor showing in 2022.

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Given that the A’s still have a ways to go before entering competitive territory again, one of the drivers behind these signings, along with getting more mentors for newcomers, will likely provide fodder for the trade deadline. Diaz and Peterson are likely to attract some interest if they maintain their current performance levels; The former has been around 100 wRC+ for some time now, and the latter has had a good few years at the plate and could increase his value even more by consolidating his gains with the gauntlet. Either way, the ground is relatively high for these workers, but the range of their results is narrow. May, however, has the potential to be either a non-factor or a very valuable July.

May was selected in the fourth round of the 2008 draft by the Phillies, and was dealt to the Twins after a few years with Vance Worley vs Ben Revere. He would make his debut for Minnesota after pitching a 2.84 ERA across 18 starts for the Triple-A team in 2014. After a difficult debut in the major leagues and a subsequent medium relief outing, he appeared in the next 23 games (stretching from 2014 through the middle of 2015) all started. During that time, he ran a 5.40 ERA despite a 3.76 SIERA backed by a 21.2% hitting and 5.8% strikeout and walk rates. Of the 110 pitchers who have thrown at least 100 innings during this stretch, his 1.77 ERA-FIP class was easily the largest. But at .352, his BABIP was the second most, confirmed with a 30.6% hit rate tied for 21st and an above-average line drive rate tied for 38th.

We don’t know if regression is coming for the May tent, as he’s been moved to the bullpen. But his four seam, which he threw 48.9% of the time over a 23-start stretch despite the pitch costing him 3.1 runs, immediately saw a surge of pace, validating the Twins’ decision no matter what:

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The 26 was his first as a reliever, as you might be able to tell by his tighter range and higher velocity. Finally, the pitch went from an average of 92.1 mph to 95 the rest of 2015. He threw it 54.8% of the time and that was saved 4.3 It works, and it easily beats its other offerings. His BABIP remained high at 0.337, but his swing strike rate jumped nearly four points to 13%, and his K-BB% jumped six points to 21.4%. His severely affected rate has also dropped to 26%. These improvements lowered his ERA to 3.15.

The following year, May exclusively dropped out of the game. He has had some misfortunes, such as a low 66.4% strand rate, which has caused his ERA to swell to 5.27. But he kept his gains in hitting and speed, striking out 32.1% of batters for a 94.5 average on the heater. On the heels of that performance, he was already vying for a place in the rotation ahead of the 2017 season, but unfortunately he suffered an injury in the Champions League that forced him to undergo Tommy John surgery.

He came back with a vengeance in the second half of 2018, posting a healthy 15.4% swing hit rate and an impressive 30.1% K-BB%. At 94.0 mph, outwardly he was still not 100% healthy; The following year, at full strength, the filo jumped again, this time to 95.5. The idea that speed increases on average after Tommy John surgery is an afterthought myth; In fact, for pitchers who have surgery when they’re between the ages of 25 and 29 (as May did), velocity is significant. decreases On average, which puts it out in that regard.

Not only has Mai defied trends by increasing his speed, but his fastball has also become one of the best as a result. In his first year of surge, in 2019, his fastball saves him 16.9 points. This season stands out as the 19th best out of all four 1,234 seasons (minimum 60 innings) since the pitch-tracking era began in 2007. Moreover, since his last jump in 2019, his quadruple seam has been the best in the history. Baseball Among the 369 pitchers with at least 750 pitchers thrown during the past four years, he ranks first with a 16.3% swing strike rate. He has bowled 1,827, so he has over 1,000 to spare on the leaderboard.

What separates My Four Tailors from the package? For all that his speed did, which peaked at 96.5 in 2021, his 96.2 average over the past four seasons only ties him to 53rd on the above leaderboards. He may get a good stretch, so his effective speed on the field is 21, but that’s still not enough to make him stand out. The action is slightly above average as well, with a pitch that has 7% more rise and 3% more run than four seamers of the same pace. Is his speedball really unnoticeable despite its breeze?

May’s fastball tackles may be his two plus points, relics from his time as a starter. Since 2019, he is the only 160-seater pitcher to have a swing strike rate of at least 15% in both his changeup and four-seater (min. 750 stitches, 400 change-up). It actually exceeds 16% for both: 16.3% on the four tailors and 16.7% on the changeover. The two stadiums have an axis of rotation (lower left) that differs by only 15 minutes or 7.5 degrees, yet their motion (lower right) differs by a wider margin, indicating their ability to work in tandem:

Moreover, the speed gap between the two is increasing. As I mentioned in my last review Article About Noah Syndergaard Despite his new contract, velocity does not decrease uniformly across the pitcher’s pitches. As for May, it wasn’t his offerings Faster uniformly:

Trevor May’s speed leaps through the court

time frame vFA vSL vCH
2014-2015 92.0 82.9 84.1
2015-2018 94.2 86.3 85.9
2019-2022 96.1 84.4 87.3

The current version of the Fastball/change combination has the largest size (so The best) velocity gap. But what is going on with the scroll bar? Her gain speed exceeded that of the four tailors by 1.2 mph after the first jump, but then Lost 1.9 mph the next time the quad tailor jumped. The court floor grew firmer after the first jump, and the drop and slash movement was lost, so May may have made a change to increase the movement again:

Trevor May slide move

time frame xmov zMov
2014-2015 4.3 -1.1
2015-2018 3.8 1.0
2019-2022 2.5 -1.8

Despite the increase in lows to career highs, May’s slider still lost its chops in the final timeframe, which led me to believe the shift was actually about regaining the speed gap between itself and its four-seamers. In addition, the slider tracked performance better with velocity gap than with movement (it had the most movement during the first timeframe):

Slider value from Velo Gap

time frame WSL/C. difference
2014-2015 -0.20 9.1
2015-2018 -1.88 7.9
2019-2022 0.88 11.7

May’s slider has actually become a minor favourite. He used to mix in a curveball and two seams earlier, but both pitches cost him 1.2 runs per 100 pitches, and he’s effectively scrapped them by 2020. Since then, he’s used the slider more than a quarter of the time, with the changeover scored at 15.5% usage and the rest going in full. Round to the four tailors.

With his ammunition honing and his speed gains solidifying, what went wrong with May in 2022? In the month that bears his name, he learned he was jumping through a stress reaction in a section of the humerus bone near his elbow. injury that Experiment – did experiments With the change division may have contributed to, it was Causing His pain since the start of the season. As a result, he coughed up eight runs in 8.1 innings pitched. After returning in August and suspending a split change, he allowed just six runs in 16.2 innings the rest of the way at a 35.7% K average. This despite a worse-than-average fastball command, which may have been chalked to rust. Bottom left, during the dog days of the 2022 season, he missed the heater more often than he has in his career (bottom right):

If he remains healthy – the ‘if’ for someone who is now 33 with several serious arm injuries in the past – May should be the most valuable Oakland player available at deadline day. It looks like he’s ready to bounce back, especially if he regains his fast command and stays away from IL. On the extended run, what competitor wouldn’t trade the prospect of cementing his fortune with one of the best fastballs in the league?

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