Exploring the Arsenal: Previewing the Royals’ 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 2012. 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

 

Friday, 7:05 PM – Luke Hochevar

Hochevar throws hard, with a low 90’s fastball that occasionally gets up to 95 MPH. He throws a low 90’s sinker that shows good movement, piling up a good number of ground balls with the pitch. He makes heavy use of a cutter around 88-92 MPH, and throws a similar looking slider in the mid to upper 80’s. He also throws an upper 70’s curveball and a mid 80’s changeup. Hochevar generally gets most of his swings and misses on the slider and cutter, although his curveball has a whiff rate well over 40% so far in 2012. Overall, he misses bats at about a league average rate.

Saturday, 7:15 PM – Vin Mazzaro

Mazarro’s fastball sits in the 92-93 range and touches 95 MPH. He throws a two-seamer around the same velocity with good arm-side run. His primary breaking ball is a mid 80’s slider, and he mixes in a mid 80’s changeup and a low 80’s curve. Mazarro is very hittable, with only his slider missing bats at a near average rate. His changeup is particularly easy to put in play, but it has good sinking movement and generates a lot of ground balls.

Sunday, 1:35 PM – Bruce Chen

Chen does not have much velocity these days, as his fastball sits around 86-88 and only occasionally cracks the 90 MPH mark. He throws a mid 80’s two-seamer, but has greatly reduced his use of the pitch over the past couple years in favor of a low to mid 80’s cutter. With its lower velocity and solid break, the cutter looks a lot like a typical slider. He also throws a low 70’s curveball and a changeup in the upper 70’s. Chen does not miss many bats, with only his fastball possessing a whiff rate that approaches league average. He also does not generate many ground balls, which is not a good trait for a pitch-to-contact hurler.

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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