Exploring the Arsenal – Jake Westbrook
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 .
Tuesday, 7:05 PM – Jake Westbrook
Westbrook pitches to contact and does not miss many bats, with a strikeout and overall whiff rate that are both comfortably below average. He lives on his plus sinker, a pitch that sits around 89-92 MPH and generates a ton of ground balls. His 79-82 MPH changeup also shows good sinking movement, giving him another weapon to keep batted balls on the infield. Westbrook appears to have added a new pitch this season, one that is being classified as a changeup by Brooks Baseball. As you can see in the charts below, there is a new distinct cluster of changeups (blue) in the 2012 chart. This offering has changeup-like movement, but comes in at a higher velocity, sitting around 85-88 MPH. Westbrook also mixes in an 85-89 MPH cutter and a 78-81 MPH curveball. After struggling to miss bats with the curve last year, it is back to being his best strikeout pitch. His cutter has always been an effective pitch with impressive movement. He is still missing bats with it this year, but it has been hit hard at times. Westbrook led the majors with a 59.3% ground ball rate in 2011 and has continued his ground ball ways with an identical 59.3% rate thus far in 2012.