Exploring the Arsenal – Justin Masterson

Exploring the Arsenal will run prior to each game, providing you with a brief scouting report on the starting pitcher expected to oppose the Pirates. The chart below shows the horizontal and vertical movement of every pitch thrown by that particular pitcher in 2012. This chart is 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 , unless otherwise specified.

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 – Justin Masterson

Masterson throws with a low three-quarters, almost sidearm delivery. The low release point causes his 90-91 MPH sinker to drop dramatically, leading to loads of ground balls. Over 65% of his sinkers that have been put into play have been on the ground. His slider is a slurvy pitch, with a great deal of horizontal movement. The pitch averages about 85-87 MPH and genearates a ton of swings and misses. The slider has a whiff rate just over 40% in 2012, and has been particularly deadly against right-handed batters. He also very rarely mixes in a mid 80’s changeup, mostly against left-handed batters. Among starting pitchers, Masterson has one of the least diverse arsenals in the game. For the most part, he sticks to the fastball/sinker combo, going to one of the two pitches on nearly 80% of his offerings. Here is a breakdown of his 2012 pitch type usage, courtesy of Brooks Baseball.

Pitch Count Frequency
Sinker 502 39%
Four-seam fastball 488 38%
Slider 287 22%
Changeup 15 1%

Here is a clip of Masterson striking out Shane Robinson with the slider on June 9th.

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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.

Jones Swinging a Hot Bat in June

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What’s Wrong With Jameson Taillon?

  • Lee Young

    He’ll strike out 10+ vs our band of marauders.

    • Lee Young

      I was close….NINE….Acta shoulda never pulled him….lol

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