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.
|FA: Four-Seam Fastball||FT: Two-Seam Fastball||FC: Cutter|
|CU: Curveball||SL: Slider||CH: Changeup|
Thursday, 1:35 PM – Roy Halladay
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Halladay thoroughly mixes five distinct pitches on the mound. He effectively throws his four-seam fastball to all four quadrants of the strike zone. He gets excellent movement on his sinking two-seamer, which he mostly utilizes in on the hands of right-handed hitters. In the past, Halladay would throw his cutter to both righties and lefties, almost exclusively locating it in on lefties and away from righties. However, he has moved it all around the strike zone the past couple years. All three of these pitches sit comfortably in the low 90’s. He also throws a changeup in the low to mid 80’s with good sinking action and a curve in the upper 70’s. Halladay pitches to contact with the four-seam/two-seam/cutter trio, generating approximately league average whiff rates with those three pitches. The curve/change combo is his knockout punch, with 2011 whiff rates over 35% for both pitches.
Saturday, 7:05 PM – Cliff Lee
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Lee moves each of his different pitches all over the strike zone, keeping opposing hitters off-balance with the variety. Both his four-seam and two-seam fastballs sit comfortably in the 91-92 MPH range, and he mixes in a plus mid to upper 80’s cutter. He also throws a mid 80’s changeup and a mid 70’s curveball. Lee does not have overpowering stuff, but his elite command makes him very difficult to hit. He pounds all parts of the strike zone at will, and just about every one of his offerings generates an above average whiff rate.
Sunday, 1:35 PM – Vance Worley
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Worley’s fastball sits around 90 MPH and can touch as high as 93. He mostly throws a four-seam fastball, but also mixes in a cutter and two-seamer at similar velocities. His slider and changeup sit in the mid 80’s, and he throws an occasional curveball in the mid to upper 70’s. Worley’s stuff has been pretty hittable thus far in his limited time in the majors, but he has maintained solid strikeout rates by often catching hitters looking. He experimented with a new split-fingered grip for his changeup this spring, but apparently he has scrapped it for the circle change grip he has used in the past.Pirates Prospects is FREE today in honor of the Wild Card game. You get special access to all of our content, which is typically reserved only for subscribers. We cover the Pirates 365 days a year, with live coverage all throughout the playoffs, and off-season coverage of the minor league players in the Arizona Fall League and Winter Leagues. During the season we average well over 6 articles per day on the Pirates. This is the best stop if you're a hardcore Pirates fan, and the subscription prices are very low.
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