Zach Braddock‘s velocity has been a concern for the Brewers since mid-spring. After averaging 93 mph on his fastball last season and occasionally touching the mid-to-upper 90s, he’s been around 2 mph slower this year. Up until last night, though, many were looking past it — he was still getting results, it typically takes him awhile to build up velocity, and the cool weather may have messed with his ability to get loose.
Considering Braddock’s injury history, though, a lot of us still felt uneasy. If losing two ticks on his fastball through the first 10 games was a small red flag, his appearance Wednesday night in Pittsburgh should be setting off warning sirens. It was that bad. His pitch-by-pitch velocity:
Cedeno (Walk): 87, 87, 87, 87
Pearce (Groundout): 87, 78, 87, 78, 87, 88, 90, 87
Tabata (Walk): 88, 81, 87, 89, 89, 87
He threw 15 fastballs, averaging just 87.87 mph with a max speed of 90.1 mph. Only 6 of those 15 were thrown for strikes. The numbers you see in the high 70s and low 80s are the 3 sliders he threw, with only 1 going for a strike.
Maybe it’s one bad outing. Maybe he did just have problems getting loose. But if it continues, the Brewers should be thinking about shutting him down.