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Today's Other Fun Fact

As you might remember, or as you might not remember, some months ago Fangraphs began displaying "Pace" on its pitcher pages. You can see Felix as an example here. Pace is the average number of seconds between each pitch that a pitcher throws, as determined by PITCHfx time stamps, and while it doesn't really have anything in the way of analytical value, it's interesting information nonetheless.

I don't remember what inspired me to start looking, but I thought I'd compare the Mariners pitchers' paces in 2011 to their paces in 2010. I didn't think anything would turn up and I was just looking out of curiosity, so this was unexpected:

Pitcher 2010 2011 Difference
Felix 20.4 21.4 1.0
Fister 17.8 19.4 1.6
Vargas 18.9 21.1 2.2
Pauley 18.8 19.5 0.7
League 21.7 24.6 2.9
Wright 23.2 22.8 -0.4
Laffey 20.7 21.9 1.2
Ray 20.9 22.4 1.5
Cortes 19.4 23.6 4.2
AVERAGE 20.2 21.9 1.7

On average, Mariners pitchers have been taking nearly two more seconds between pitches this year than they did last year, with Jamey Wright being the only guy to work quicker. Pineda, Wilhelmsen, Lueke, Bedard and Gray are excluded for obvious reasons.

Why are they taking longer? I'm not sure. Going through last year's Rockies, I can't find compelling evidence that this is a Miguel Olivo effect. Going through this year's Padres, I can't find compelling evidence that this is a Rob Johnson effect. It could be a Carl Willis effect.

And ultimately, it probably doesn't make much of a difference anyway. But it's a change, and it strikes me as a significant change, which is interesting, even if it's practically irrelevant. You might not find it so interesting, I guess, but haha made you read