WHIFF PROFILE: KYLE LOHSE
Lohse has had trouble missing bats with his curveball, and, until two weeks ago, hadn't missed a single one with it.
We've focused plenty on the plus side of the pitch spectrum when discussing WHIFF, but, just as useful (and rarely talked about) is the opposite end.
One of the ideas behind WHIFF was trying to find a metric that would identify deception. Why do some guys, with ostensibly good stuff, get shelled, while others, with the same stuff and comparable command, get outs?
Kyle Lohse is a prime example of a guy who appears to have good stuff: He's capable of hitting the mid-90s with his heater (even high-90s as a reliever) , each offering in his repertoire is crisp, and he consistently mixes them during each start. So why has he been so hittable during his big league career?
It's possible that there's simply a major lack of deception with his delivery--he creates comfortable at-bats--while somebody else, with very similar, if not ostensibly inferior stuff (like Chris Young), creates discomfort at the plate.
Lohse has an eye-opening WHIFF rate for one particular pitch, and it's for all the wrong reasons. Lohse's curveball is currently drawing a whiff rate of .031. That is to say, he's coaxed just one (1) swing-and-miss out of the 38 swings hitters have taken against this pitch...a big breaking ball. This is not a good pitch. The opposition is hitting .500 against it, and slugging .607. Fortunately, this is his least used pitch, but it might not be a terrible idea to ditch it completely.
His fastball, meanwhile, is near the bottom quartile of baseball. Lohse is getting a .097 WHIFF with it.
His slider is more towards the middle, but still in the lower half, posting a .255 WHIFF.
Fortunately for Lohse, his changeup has been a very good option. He's posted a .311 WHIFF, while the oppostion has hit only .184 against it, and slugged .298.
Kyle Lohse WHIFF Breakdown
Fastball - .097 (MLB AVG .140)
Curveball - .031 (MLB AVG .273)
Slider - .255 (MLB AVG .298)
Change - .311 (MLB AVG .275)