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 2011. 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 .
|FA: Four-Seam Fastball||FT: Two-Seam Fastball||FC: Cutter|
|CU: Curveball||SL: Slider||CH: Changeup|
|FS: Splitter||SI: Sinker|
Friday, 8:10 PM – Randy Wolf
Wolf’s fastball sits in the 88-89 range and touches 91 MPH. He is somewhat unusual for a soft-tossing southpaw, in that his four-seam fastball misses a good number of bats while his secondary stuff is very hittable. His two-seamer is similar velocity-wise to his four-seamer, with decent tailing movement. He also throws a mid-80′s slider/cutter, which may actually be two different pitches. Rounding out Wolf’s arsenal is an upper 70′s changeup and a very slow curve that generally sits in the upper 60′s. He generally uses the fastball/slider combo against left-handers, and goes to the curve and change much more often against righties.
Saturday, 7:10 PM – Shaun Marcum
Marcum generates plenty of swings-and-misses despite underwhelming velocity. His fastball sits in the 86-87 range, and has yet to touch 90 MPH in 2012. He has a deep arsenal and does a good job of mixing up his offerings. He has gone to his low 80′s changeup much less frequently this year than in the past, increasing the usage of his low 80’s slider in the process. The difference has come in his approach against right-handed hitters. Marcum has historically used his change pretty frequently against righties, which is unusual for a right-handed pitcher. This season, he has mostly scrapped the change against righties, leaning heavily on the slider in those situations. The changeup remains his best weapon against lefties. Overall, the change and slider are his two best strikeout pitches, with whiff rates that are well above average. Marcum also throws a slow curve in the low 70′s and a mid 80′s cutter.
Sunday, 2:10 PM – Michael Fiers
Fiers hides the ball well during his deceptive delivery, making it difficult for opposing hitters to pick up his release point. He mostly throws around 88-89 MPH, maxing out at 91. He throws a good changeup in the low 80’s with decent sink, a big, slow curve in the low 70’s and a mid 80’s slider. Fiers has a reputation of being a control/command guy with mediocre stuff, although he has put up some solid strikeout numbers in the minors.