For those of you who having heard, Jeremy Bonderman will miss the rest of the season in order to undergo surgery for a blood clot resulting from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS). I didn't write about it until now because I wanted to look through the pitch FX data to see if there was anything we could really discern and I found out that Pitch FX can be more truthful sometimes than any athlete.
Read the full analysis at Fantasy Baseball Strategy.com.
Just taking a look at it at quick glance, it appears that he wasn't consistent in any aspect of his game. Release point across each start overlaps some but it spreads out over 1.5 feet horizontally and over a foot vertically. I suspect that if his arm wasn't feeling completely normal he was trying to use his lower body and trunk more to get the pitches to act "normally". As he relied on this his arm became more of a "wet noodle" and less likely to be move about in space in a consistent manner. Looking at his average release point in the chart below it, you can see that even though it doesn't appear as bad, it still varies quite a lot for an average of 90 pitches per start.
His velocity on his pitches is also erratic. Up down Up down and then it's a big jump up and then down again. I can't explain the completely erratic nature of his velocity on all his pitches. I wonder if the data is somewhat corrupted but I doubt that.
After these two, I look at the movement of his pitches, his speed versus vertical movement (I don't care all that much about horizontal movement), and avg movement per pitch type per start. Again, reproducibility is non existent.
So, let's look at this a different way, let's start with the results and work backwords. Rotoworld.com first began to question the health of his arm back in mid to late April, specifically 4/24/08. They began to question this after he displayed extremely poor command over back to back starts where he couldn't find the strike zone. Both of these starts in particular have the furthest horizontal release point with it being almost at the bottom of his total release point zone. His average velocity started to tail off significantly at that point and then over the next several days. His average horizontal movement was the most and the average vertical movement was near the lowest amount on all his pitches over all of the starts.
To summarize this means to me that he was dropping down, trying to relieve some pressure off his shoulder and the vein. By dropping down he was throwing more in the horizontal plane and less in the vertical plane causing his movement to suffer as well as his pitch command.