Exploring the Arsenal: Previewing the Marlins’ 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


Monday, 7:10 PM – Anibal Sanchez

Sanchez has an easy, almost casual delivery. His fastball averages about 91-92 MPH, but has a pretty wide range of velocity. He will often drop into the 87-88 range, but also regularly dials it up over 94 MPH. His velocity has been down just a tick this year, and he has not missed as many bats with the fastball as in the past. He mostly works with a four-seam fastball, but mixes in a two-seamer with decent tailing movement as well. His main secondary pitch is a mid 80’s slider that has been very effective the past couple years. The slider has a whiff rate over 40% in 2012. Sanchez has an above average low to mid 80’s changeup, a pitch that has a good amount of sink. He mostly uses it against lefties, but is not afraid to go to it against a right-hander at times. He also mixes in a slow curve on occasion, a pitch that sits in the upper 70’s and is generally pretty hittable.

Tuesday, 7:10 PM – Josh Johnson

A few years ago, Johnson threw a mid 90’s fastball that sometimes touched 98 MPH. After missing much of 2011 with a shoulder injury, that velocity is down fairly significantly. So far in 2012, Johnson’s fastball has sat in the 92-93 range, occasionally getting up to 94-95 MPH. He is not missing bats with the heater quite as often as he did in 2010, but the pitch’s whiff rate has still been a bit above average this year. His upper 80’s slider is his best strikeout pitch, with a 2012 whiff rate around 40%. He also throws a mid to upper 80’s changeup, mostly against left-handed batters. Johnson appears to have added a curveball in 2011, throwing it in the upper 70’s. He generally does not miss many bats with the curve or change, but racks up a ton of ground balls with the two offerings.

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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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