Mark Melancon Comments on His Drop in Velocity

Mark Melancon has thrown three innings this year, and already there is concern about his future in the closer role. It’s not so much the numbers, which are largely inflated due to an incredibly small sample size. Instead, it’s about his velocity, which has dropped early in the 2015 season.

Melancon was averaging 92.5 MPH with his fastball last year, and 91.8 MPH with his cutter. He has been at 89.6 MPH so far this year with the fastball, and 88.7 MPH with the cutter. That’s a 3 MPH drop on each pitch.

“I haven’t even noticed,” Melancon said when I asked him about the velocity drop. He added that he felt fine, and didn’t make any changes to the way he has been throwing.

Melancon has been mostly working with the cutter this year, laying off the fastball, according to Pitch F/X records. However, those might be inaccurate, as he said he’s not throwing his pitches any different than he has in previous years

Clint Hurdle said on Tuesday that the club would monitor Melancon, and watch his velocity going forward. This could just be an early season issue, as it has been just three innings. For now, monitoring the situation seems to be the best approach to take.

  • Ok, I am stupid about these things.
    Can someone help me out. Is it
    1) Arm is sore and he is not telling anyone?
    2) Arm is getting old?
    3) Something else?

    Thanks.

  • In this era of computerization and statistics, I have to think that the club would monitor every aspect of a pitcher, especially the difference in 3 mph. But, it is definitely not something you say a whole lot about. Thankfully, stadiums these days are outfitted with the proper equipment to call attention to such issues. Now the issue becomes WHY the drastic drop in velocity, and how will the Pirates try to deal with the problem..

    • Maybe scoring some runs could reduce dependency on a strong Closer?

      • He did come in with a 4 run lead one 9th inning and almost ruined that. So, very early on, it appears Mark is a bit shaky no matter the situation.

  • I call BS on you Mark the Shark. I guarantee you he knows the difference between throwing 92 and 89.

  • Thanks Tim…no writer in Pittsburgh media has thought to ask Melancon.
    Worth the price of admission to site.

    • Rats… Jeff just typed what I wanted to type.

    • Only BD and this site have people covering this issue, which is somewhat embarrassing for all the PIT papers and their beat guys.

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