Exploring the Arsenal: A Preview of the Boston Red Sox 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


Friday, 7:05 PM – Jon Lester

(click to enlarge)

Lester throws both his four-seam and two-seam fastballs in the low 90’s, but he gets significantly more arm-side and sinking break with the two-seamer. He also throws an excellent changeup in the mid 80’s with very similar movement to the two-seam fastball. His big pitch is his cutter, which he uses often and effectively. The pitch is generally a touch slower than his fastballs, sitting in the 89-91 range. Lester also throws a mid-70’s curveball.


Saturday, 7:05 PM – Tim Wakefield

(click to enlarge)

Obviously, Wakefield’s claim to fame is the knuckleball. The 44-year-old former Pirate throws the pitch almost exclusively, over 90% of the time. The knuckler averages about 65 MPH, sitting in the 60-70 MPH range over the course of a game. As with most knuckleballs, both the movement and location are all over the map. Wakefield also mixes in an occasional fastball in the low to mid 70’s in an attempt to keep hitters honest.


Sunday, 1:35 PM – Andrew Miller

(click to enlarge)

Miller has made just one major league start this season, as he attempts to resurrect his career with the Red Sox. He does not have much variety in his repertoire, sticking to a fastball, slider, changeup combination. His fastball sits in the low to mid 90’s with minimal movement. Miller also throws a slider in the 80 MPH range, with big slurvy break. His changeup sits in the mid 80’s with some sinking motion.

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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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