Exploring the Arsenal – Joe Saunders
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 .
Thursday, 4:05 PM – Joe Saunders
The left-handed Saunders throws a four-seam fastball that generally sits in the 88-90 MPH range, but can touch as high as 93 and sometimes drops as low as 85. It has been rare to see him in that 93 range this year, as he has topped out around 91 in most starts. He throws the pitch to all four quadrants of the zone, placing particular emphasis on the inner half against righties. His two-seamer sits around 87-90 MPH with good sink and sharp arm-side break. Saunders generally does a good job of locating his 79-81 MPH changeup down and away against right-handed hitters, while rarely using it against lefties. His 73-76 MPH curveball has been very effective in 2012, with a comfortably above average whiff rate. Saunders has eliminated his slider this year, which is a bit odd. The pitch missed bats at close to a 35% clip in 2011, making it appear to be one of his better offerings.