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 Brooks Baseball and The Hardball Times .

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

 

Friday, 7:05 PM – Lance Lynn

Lynn is a hard-throwing, 24-year-old right-hander that misses plenty of bats, which has led to excellent strike out numbers early in his major league career. He throws his four-seam fastball in the 91-93 range, and reached as high as 97 MPH while pitching in relief last season. The pitch has been pretty untouchable to this point, with a whiff rate that stacks up well with some of the best fastballs in the game. His big-breaking 80 MPH curve is probably his second best pitch, although he has struggled to miss bats with it so far in the big leagues. Lynn’s repertoire is rounded out with a low 90’s sinker, a mid 80’s changeup and an upper 80’s cutter. He has not needed these pitches too often as a reliever, so there is not much data available on them. It will be interesting to see how he incorporates them into his arsenal now that he is in the rotation.

Saturday, 7:05 PM – Jake Westbrook

Westbrook pitches to contact and does not miss many bats, with a strikeout and overall whiff rate that are both well below average. He lives on his plus sinker, a pitch that sits around 90-91 MPH and generates a ton of ground balls. His 80 MPH changeup also shows good sinking movement, which also helps him keep batted balls on the infield. He mixes in a mid to upper 80’s cutter and a curve that ranges from the upper 70’s to the low 80’s. His change and cutter are his only decent swing-and-miss pitches at this point, although his curve missed a good number of bats in his younger years. Westbrook led the majors with a 59.3% ground ball rate in 2011, and has continued his ground ball ways with a 60.5% rate thus far in 2012.

Sunday, 1:35 PM – Kyle Lohse

Lohse is a right-hander with very hittable stuff. He throws a sinker that sits in the 88-89 range and gets up to 92 MPH at times. His best pitch is probably a circle change that sits around 80 MPH and generates a whiff rate near league average. The rest of his pitches are regularly put into play. In fact, in 775 batters faced in 2011, his sinker only generated about 31 swings-and-misses. It also does not produce as many ground balls as one would expect from a sinker. Lohse also throws a low 80’s slider and mixes in an occasional (and very hittable) slow curve. He generally works on the outer half of the plate, but sometimes will come inside on both left-handers and right-handers with the sinker.

Share This Article

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.

Jeff Karstens Removed From Game With Shoulder Inflammation

Next Story »

Correia Sidelined with Side Discomfort; Hanrahan Available

  • gonfalon

    So it’s Morton vs. Lynn (today), Correia vs. Westbrook (Saturday), and Bedard vs. Lohse (Sunday)?

    Most of the Pirates have 1 AB or less vs. Lynn (Barmes is 1 for 3), and Tabata has hit well vs. Westbrook over his career (4/9 with 1 2B, 1 3B, and 1 BB).  but based on past performance, the best chance for an offensive explosion might be vs. Lohse, as Alvarez, Jones, McLouth, McCutchen, Tabata, and Walker have all hit well against him.

    on the other side, Berkman’s absence is a boon; while he has never faced Bedard, he has owned Morton (2.057 OPS) and done well vs. Correia (1.227 OPS).  in addition, Holliday has done well vs. all three SP, and also both Cruz and Hanrahan. 

    if the Pirates can score some runs and effectively neutralize Holliday’s bat, they could win all three games, or at least 2 of 3.  (no jinx no jinx no jinx :D)

Latest Analysis

  • Austin Meadows

    Austin Meadows Lowered His Hand Position to Add More Power

    16 hours ago

    Ever since he was drafted, Austin Meadows was regarded as a prospect with power that you could dream about. He drew comps to Jay Bruce in the ...

    Read More
  • Tarpley Brault

    Will the Snider Trade Result in the Pirates Finally Having a Left-Handed Starting Prospect?

    1 day ago

    Despite adding plenty of pitching through the draft over the last several years, the Pittsburgh Pirates have been short on the amount of quality left-handed pitching in their ...

    Read More
  • Connor Joe 2

    Meet Connor Joe: The First Round Pick You Know Nothing About

    2 days ago

    This site is now in its seventh year of existence. For the last four years, I’ve been doing this full-time, allowing me to see every affiliate throughout the year, along ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    What is the Difference Between Mel Rojas and Keon Broxton?

    2 days ago

    Mel Rojas Jr. was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third round of the 2010 MLB draft. The son of the former big league closer had ...

    Read More
  • Jose Tabata

    The Details of Jose Tabata’s New Swing

    4 days ago

    On Friday I wrote about how Jose Tabata talked to Marlon Byrd over the off-season, aimed at changing his swing to add some leverage, lift the ball, ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    What Led to Keon Broxton’s Breakout Year in Altoona?

    5 days ago

    Keon Broxton used to be one of the top prospects in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ farm system. Baseball America ranked him as high as tenth in the system ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles

    More

    Advertisement