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. Click here for a general guide to pitch types and classifications. Graphs are courtesy of Brooks Baseball and The Hardball Times , unless otherwise specified. Statistics are courtesy of FanGraphs .
Saturday, 7:05 PM – Carlos Zambrano
Zambrano’s velocity has slowly ticked downward over the past several years. At this point, his four-seam fastball sits around 88-90 MPH and occasionally touches the 93-94 range. He also throws an 89-91 MPH two-seamer with good sinking movement and an 88-91 MPH cutter. Against left-handed batters, he generally throws the two-seamer on the outer half and uses the cutter to tie up the inside corner. Zambrano uses a mid 80’s splitter as his offspeed offering, and does not hesitate to throw the pitch to right-handed hitters. His primary breaking pitch is a sweeping 78-80 MPH slider, and he also mixes in an occasional 68-71 MPH slow curve. In the past, Zambrano would throw from a variety of arm angles, moving from a straight over the top delivery all the way down to a three-quarters release point. However, he has mostly thrown from just the three-quarters angle this season. He does not really have a big swing-and-miss pitch these days, with most of his offerings generating a below average whiff rate. The curveball has been the lone exception this year, with a 2012 whiff rate around 40% in a very small sample. Overall, Zambrano’s stuff just isn’t nearly as impressive as it once was.