Shane Bieber's Spin Rates Have Him In A Sticky Situation

Shane Bieber's Spin Rates Have Him In A Sticky Situation

Nick Pedone
3 years ago
2 min read
Shane Bieber's Spin Rates Have Him In A Sticky Situation

Shane Bieber only pitched 5.2 innings of below-average baseball this Sunday against a bad Mariners lineup.

Seattle was finishing up their final game of a three-series road trip, and just had all the wind taken out of their sails after a tough ninth inning Indians rally the day prior. It felt that Bieber would be able to roll through Jake Bauers and company, but he got beat up, and he also showed some concerning signs throughout his start.

First Time for Everything

Shane Bieber really struggled to get his knuckle curve past hitters today. It was the first time in his career that he had given up multiple home runs in the same game with the curve. It was only the seventh career home run hit off of this pitch, so this seems like more of an unlucky outing than anything else.

Something we can worry about is his spin rates. Shane’s spin rates have consistently risen over his four years in the majors, but today something else happened. The spin rates on every single one of his pitches were WAY down. It wasn’t just a tick or too either. The average spin rate on his knuckle curve this year has been 2424, but today it was only 2140, a 284 point decrease.

You might be asking what this decrease in spin rate causes, and it mainly impacts the break in his pitches. Bieber lost approximately two inches of break on his curveball and slider today, while everything actually went up.

What Does This Mean?

The question everyone is wondering is if Indians fans should be panicking? I don’t really think so.

Bieber had a great start against the Cardinals this week with his spin rates sitting in quite similar spots. Not only that but his velocity was way down on all of his pitches today. The only thing that impacts pitcher’s velocity is their own stamina, so I think Shane might have been overworked his last few starts.

Everyone will overreact to his spin rate drops since they happened to coincide with major league baseball cracking down on the use of foreign substances.

However, Shane’s already struggled against the Mariners, with his first start only totaling 4.2 innings of 3 run baseball. I think Bieber was tired today, but future struggles might be something we need to look out for. Nobody has ever accused Bieber of using a sticky substance, but his last two starts have not captured him in the best of light.

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