Exploring the Arsenal – Barry Zito

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 – Barry Zito

Zito’s velocity dipped pretty significantly last season, with his four-seam fastball dropping into the mid 80’s. The velocity has not recovered in 2012. He mostly sits around 83-85 MPH these days, occasionally reaching back and touching 86 or so. His two-seamer shows more horizontal break than the four-seamer, but it only flashes marginally more sinking action. Zito is famous for his big, slow 71-73 MPH curveball. The pitch still looks as pretty as ever, but it has been fairly hittable in recent years. He also throws a 74-77 MPH changeup and a 77-78 MPH slider. Overall, he does not miss many bats, as the changeup is his only offering with a whiff rate near league average. Zito has only struck 52 batters while walking 45 in 93.2 innings this year. He has been very fortunate to post a 3.84 ERA, and is unlikely to sustain that success moving forward.

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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