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Wednesday Graphic in Technicolor: The Twins pitchers and human rain delays in 2013

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Originally published at The Tenth Inning Stretch
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For most of the fans who watched the Minnesota Twins play in 2013, one thing was fairly obvious: the pitchers were taking their sweet time on the mound between pitches. I suspect that the collective gut feeling of the Twins' Territory is that it was bad, but how bad exactly was is?

Mike Hargrove in his playing days was nicknamed the human rain delay because of his elaborate routine at the batter's box between pitches. He was the original, but shares the nickname with a pitcher, Steve Trachsel who took his sweet time on the mound between pitches. Because of PitchF/X and because Trachsel pitched his last couple seasons when the technology was there, we now can quantify the average time between pitches for the human rain delay: It is 23.6 seconds.

How bad were the Twins?

Here is a graph indicating the seconds between pitches of all the Twins' pitchers who pitched more than 3 innings in 2013 (Sorry Tyler Robertson and Jamey Carroll), along with their individual numbers the previous 3 seasons (2010-2012). At the end there is an average of the previous 3 seasons and the difference of 2013 from that average:



Five Twins pitchers, Brian Duensing, Mike Pelfrey, Jared Burton, Casey Fien and Kevin Correia were worse than the human rain delay. And a sixth, Liam Hendriks, was at the ballpark. The MLB average time between pitches is 20.8 seconds, the Twins took a total of 2 more seconds than that in average. Only two players, Shairon Martis and PJ Walters pitched faster than the MLB average.

Also, of interest is that other than 3 players (Walters, Cole DeVries and Josh Roenicke; all former Twins now) who decreased their time between pitches in 2013 compared to their 3 previous season average and 2 players (Samuel Deduno and Pedron Hernandez, another former Twin) who remained constant, the rest increased their time between pitches this season. Brian Duensing, Mike Pelfrey, Kevin Correia, Liam Hendriks, Glen Perkins and Vance Worley were the biggest culprits, with Dunsing's and Pelfrey's differentials at an astonishing 3-4 second rate.

Working fast and keeping your defense on their toes, has been an axiom as far as successful pitching goes. Is this part of the Twins' woes in 2013? Was the fact that Vance Worley took 2 more seconds between pitches this season and indicator of problems on the mount, which translated to below expectations? The cause and effect are not certain here, but this is something that the Twins might want to address during the 2014 Spring Training.
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