Exploring the Arsenal: Previewing the Reds’ 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

 

Tuesday, 7:10 PM – Homer Bailey

Bailey’s fastball sits in the low 90′s and can get up to the 95-96 range on occasion. He throws a hard upper 80′s slider, which he has gone to a bit more frequently the past few years. He also throws an upper 70′s curve and a mid 80′s splitter. The slider has been more effective with increased usage, missing more bats in recent years. His curve and splitter have also generated comfortably above average whiff rates so far this year. Bailey generally attacks right-handed batters with the fastball/slider combo, while varying his pitches much more against lefties.

Wednesday, 7:10 PM – Johnny Cueto

Cueto is a power pitcher who throws in the low 90′s and touches 95 MPH. He generally locates his four-seam fastball on the glove-side of the plate (inside to left-handed batters and outside to righties) and his two-seamer on the arm-side. His fastball is a solid strikeout pitch, but his secondary stuff is pretty hittable. His main secondary offering is a slider that sits in the low 80′s. Cueto generally sticks to the fastball/slider combo, mixing in an occasional mid 80′s changeup. He may also throw a cutter and curve on rare occasions, although it’s difficult to say that conclusively.

Thursday, 7:10 PM – Mike Leake

Leake does not have overwhelming stuff, with a fastball that sits in the upper 80′s and occasionally touches the low 90′s. His bread and butter is a two-seamer with heavy sink, which allows him to generate a good number of ground balls. However, the pitch has not been as effective this season. It has not shown the good sink that it has in the past, and his ground ball rate has dropped as a result. Leake makes heavy use of his upper 80′s cutter, which also has good sinking movement. He misses plenty of bats with an above average low 80′s slider, but the rest of his pitches are pretty hittable. He rounds out a deep arsenal with a low 80′s changeup and an occasional curve in the mid 70′s. Leake’s strikeout rate is down a bit this year, but it has been rising quickly in his past several starts.

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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.

Alen Hanson, Gregory Polanco, and Matt Benedict are SAL All-Stars

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