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 the season indicated. 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

 

Tuesday, 8:15 PM – Adam Wainwright

(2010 Pitches)

Wainwright’s primary offering is a sinker, although the pitch moves more like a typical four-seam fastball. His sinker sat at 90-92 MPH prior to last season’s Tommy John surgery, and has been just a tick slower in his first few post-surgery starts. Wainwright’s main swing-and-miss pitches are a mid 70’s curve and a mid 80’s cutter. In 2010, Wainwright’s last full season, the curve had a whiff rate of close to 40%. The cutter also misses a ton of at-bats, resembling the typical slider in regard to movement and effectiveness. Wainwright also mixes in an occasional low to mid 80’s changeup against left-handers.

Wednesday, 8:15 PM – Lance Lynn

(2012 Pitches)

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.

Thursday, 1:45 PM – Jake Westbrook

(2011 Pitches)

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, while 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 65.1% rate thus far in 2012.

Author: 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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