Exploring the Arsenal: Previewing the Giants’ 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, 4:35 PM – Matt Cain

Cain pitches off his four-seam fastball, which generally sits around 90-92 MPH and touches 94. He often works up in the zone with the pitch, and he is not afraid to attack the middle of the plate with it. Occasionally, he mixes in a sinking two-seamer at similar velocity. He throws a slider and a changeup, both of which sit in the 85-87 range. Cain uses the slider predominantly against right-handed hitters, and does a good job of locating it on the outer half of the plate. He makes heavy use of the change against opposite handed hitters, commanding it well on the outside corner against lefties. He also goes to it relatively frequently against righties. Despite posting consistently well above average strikeout rates, he surprisingly does not miss a ton of bats. His whiff rate has generally sat around league average, and he does not really possess a standout strikeout pitch.

Saturday, 9:05 PM – Barry Zito

Zito’s velocity dipped pretty significantly last season, with his four-seam fastball dropping into the mid 80’s. It has been even slower at times, with him often struggling to touch 85 MPH. His two-seamer shows more horizontal break than the four-seamer, but it only flashes marginally more sinking action. Zito is famous for his big, slow, low 70’s curveball, but the pitch has been pretty hittable in recent years. He also throws a mid 70’s changeup and an upper 70’s slider. Overall, he does not miss many bats, as his four-seam fastball is his only offering with a whiff rate near league average. Zito missed a good portion of 2011 with foot injuries. When he returned to the mound in September, it appears that he moved from the third base side of the rubber to the first base side.

Sunday, 4:05 PM – Ryan Vogelsong

Vogelsong’s four-seam fastball sits at 91-92 MPH and touches 94. He generally uses it on the outer half against right-handers, while moving it around the zone against lefties. He throws a good sinking two-seamer with just a tick less velocity, using it to induce plenty of ground balls. He consistently throws the sinker on the arm side of the strike zone, busting righties in on the hands while staying away from lefties. Vogelsong commands his upper 70’s curve well, and gets a good number of swings-and-misses with the pitch. He does a good job of locating his upper 80’s cutter on the outside corner against right-handed hitters, and also mixes in a mid 80’s changeup.

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.

Resop Added New Pitches Over the Offseason

Next Story »

Jeff Karstens Finds His Role As A Starter

Latest Analysis

  • Adrian Sampson

    Don’t Forget About This Pitcher When Creating Your Pirates Dream Rotation

    7 hours ago

    If you’re setting up a dream rotation for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the not-too-distant future, then you’re going to be throwing out names like Tyler Glasnow, Gerrit ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    Jose Tabata Changed His Swing After Talking With Marlon Byrd

    1 day ago

    Yesterday, Jose Tabata put one on the roof of the batting cages over the left-field fence at Pirate City. Today, he added two more. By that pattern, ...

    Read More
  • Antonio Bastardo

    How Ray Searage is Trying to Fix Antonio Bastardo’s Control Issues

    1 day ago

    Tony Watson has established himself as one of the best left-handed relievers in the game. Out of 142 qualified relievers last year, he ranked 21st in WAR, ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    Q&A: Will PNC Park Burn Down When Neil Walker Eventually Leaves?

    1 day ago

    Last week we started a Q&A article that will run every Friday. Right after the first article went up, we got a lot more questions. Normally I’ll ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow

    The Change That Will Help Tyler Glasnow Reach His Upside

    2 days ago

    The 2011 draft made headlines for the Pittsburgh Pirates for two main reasons. They selected Gerrit Cole first overall, and gave him a record-setting bonus of $8 ...

    Read More
  • Jameson Taillon

    The Next Steps in Jameson Taillon’s Tommy John Rehab Process

    3 days ago

    Jameson Taillon threw a bullpen session yesterday, which I outlined in the daily recap. Taillon is still in “rehab mode” as Clint Hurdle put it, which means ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles

    More

    Advertisement