Exploring the Arsenal: A Preview of the Atlanta Braves’ Probable Starting Pitchers

Exploring the Arsenal will run prior to each series, providing you with a brief scouting report on the starting pitchers expected to oppose the Pirates. The charts below show the horizontal and vertical movement of every pitch thrown by that particular pitcher in 2011. These charts are from the catcher’s point of view. For a general guide to pitch types for a right-handed pitcher, please check out this image created by Sons of Sam Horn. Graphs are courtesy of FanGraphs.

Pitch Types  
FA: Four-Seam Fastball FT: Two-Seam Fastball FC: Cutter
CU: Curveball SL: Slider CH: Changeup
FS: Splitter

 

Tuesday, 7:05 PM – Jair Jurrjens

(click to enlarge)

Jurrjens’ velocity is down a tick this year, averaging around 90 MPH. It appears that he throws both a four-seam and two-seam fastball, and also an occasional cutter. However, it is not clear that these are actually separate pitches, as there are only slight variations in the movement and velocity of each. Jurrjens also throws a changeup in the low 80’s and a slider that sits around 80 MPH. He is missing fewer bats so far this year, but he has also cut down his walk rate significantly.

 

Wednesday, 12:35 PM – Mike Minor

(2010 results)

(click to enlarge)

Minor will make his second start of the season Wednesday, filling in for the injured Tim Hudson. He allowed 5 runs in 4.1 innings on April 6th in Milwaukee, after making eight starts for the Braves in 2010. The polished southpaw throws a four-seam fastball in the low 90’s, a plus changeup in the low 80’s and a slurvy breaking ball in the upper 70’s. In his brief time in the majors, Minor has shown a willingness to work inside with the fastball to right-handed batters. However, he has not done the same with lefties, mostly staying on the outer half. He has had success missing bats at this level, with a whiff rate approaching 22% in his career. He induces a large number of swings-and-misses with his change, although his other pitches have proven difficult to put in play as well.

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Matt Bandi

Matt has covered the Pirates at Wait ‘Til Next Year, Pittsburgh Lumber Co. and now Pirates Prospects. He served as Pirates team expert for Heater Magazine in 2009 and 2010 and has contributed to Graphical Player 2009, 2010 and 2011. Matt was also the editor of the 2011 and 2012 Pirates Prospects Annuals.

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