Exploring the Arsenal – Max Scherzer

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


Saturday, 4:05 PM – Max Scherzer

Scherzer, who throws from a low three-quarters release point, has excellent stuff. He keeps things pretty simple on the mound, sticking to three main pitches. His fastball sits in the 93-95 range and he can ramp it up to 97 MPH at times. The heater also has a good amount of movement and life. His slider sits around 85-88 MPH and is an elite strikeout pitch. The slider is particularly nasty against right-handed batters. Scherzer’s third pitch is a solid mid 80’s circle change that features a good amount of sinking movement. His fastball and slider are very tough to put in play. In 2012, the slider has a whiff rate right around 40% while the heater is missing bats at close to a 24% clip. Both of those numbers are well above average for the particular pitch type. The changeup is no slouch either, with a whiff rate right around league average. Scherzer generally sticks to the fastball/slider combo against right-handed batters and goes fastball/change against lefties. He does mix in an occasional changeup when facing a right-hander and has generated a lot of swings-and-misses in that small sample. Scherzer struck out a career high 15 batters in his start against the Pirates on May 20.

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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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