Exploring the Arsenal: Previewing the Cardinals’ 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


Monday , 7:05 PM – Kyle Lohse

(click to enlarge)

Lohse is a soft-tossing right-hander with very hittable stuff. He throws a two-seam fastball that sits in the high 80’s and gets up into the 90-91 range at times. His best pitch is probably a circle change that sits around 80 MPH and generates an above average whiff rate. The rest of his pitches are regularly put into play. In fact, in 691 batters faced this year, his fastball has only led to about 28 swings-and-misses. Lohse also throws a low 80’s slider and mixes in an occasional slow curve. He generally works on the outer half of the plate, but will occasionally work inside on left-handers with the two-seamer.


Tuesday, 7:05 PM – Chris Carpenter

(click to enlarge)

Carpenter does not have a very diverse repertoire. He pounds the zone with a sinking fastball that sits in the low 90’s and touches 95 MPH. He also throws a plus cutter in the upper 80’s and an above average mid 70’s curve. The cutter is his big swing-and-miss pitch, with a whiff rate just a touch under 30%. Both the cutter and fastball show strong sinking movement, which leads to his excellent ground ball rates. That ground ball rate is down a bit this year, but is still comfortably above average. Carpenter generally works in all four quandrants of the strike zone, making him even more effective.


Wednesday, 12:35 PM – Edwin Jackson

(click to enlarge)

Jackson is your typical power pitcher, with a fastball that sits comfortably in the mid 90’s and can touch the 97-98 range. He also throws a hard slider in the upper 80’s that generates a good number of swings-and-misses. Occasionally, he will mix in a mid 80’s changeup to keep hitters honest. Despite the power repertoire, Jackson’s whiff rate is usually right around league average, as his fastball is surprisingly hittable. It seems that opposing teams tend to stack the lineup with left-handed batters when facing Jackson. He has faced more lefties than righties, both this season and over his entire career. That is unusual, especially considering the fact that he has never had much of a platoon split.

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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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