Exploring the Arsenal: Previewing the Braves’ Probable Starting Pitchers (Part 2)

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

 

Wednesday, 7:10 PM – Jair Jurrjens

(click to enlarge)

Jurrjens’ velocity is down a bit this year, as his fastball has mostly been in the 89-90 range after comfortably sitting in the low 90’s in past seasons. As a result, the fastball’s whiff rate is down a bit this year. He makes heavy use of his low 80’s changeup against left-handed batters, but also throws it frequently to opposing righties. His big strikeout pitch is his 80 MPH slider, which is very tough on right-handed batters. He does not use the slider against lefties all that often.

 

Thursday, 7:10 PM – Derek Lowe

(click to enlarge)

Lowe is a prototypical ground ball pitcher, led by his heavy sinking fastball. He throws with a three-quarters delivery, and his sinker sits in the upper 80’s. He also throws a low 80’s slider, a mid 80’s changeup and a mid to upper 80’s cutter. All of his pitches generate a solid number of swings-and-misses, and his plus sinker consistently keeps him near the top of the ground ball leaderboard. Not only does he have the big sinker, but he also keeps all of his pitches down in the strike zone, rarely giving hitters anything to drive.

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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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