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View Full Version : The Cincinnati Pitching Arsenal: Repertoire for Every Reds Hurler



AtomicDumpling
04-12-2012, 05:54 AM
Player Name Innings Speed 4-Seam 2-Seam Cutter Split Sinker Slider Curve Change-Up
Aroldis Chapman 53.0 98.1 79.70% 15.50% 4.80%

Alfredo Simon 118.1 94.2 18.10% 33.20% 7.10% 17.70% 22.80%

Nick Masset 70.1 93.6 52.60% 13.80% 9.20% 22.10%

Mat Latos 199.0 93.0 43.30% 11.70% 0.40% 26.50% 11.00% 6.60%

Homer Bailey 137.2 92.2 46.60% 11.10% 23.50% 11.00% 7.50%

Logan Ondrusek 63.1 92.1 34.30% 27.10% 10.30% 21.70% 4.00%

Johnny Cueto 163.0 92.0 22.70% 40.00% 0.00% 27.20% 9.90%

Jose Arredondo 54.1 91.5 42.60% 40.10% 14.90%

Sean Marshall 77.2 90.7 28.60% 0.20% 0.90% 29.40% 39.60%

Bill Bray 49.2 90.4 51.50% 1.90% 28.50% 17.00%

Sam LeCure 80.2 90.1 28.60% 32.40% 2.40% 23.90% 5.60% 6.00%

Mike Leake 173.2 89.0 7.60% 31.30% 27.10% 15.50% 7.40% 10.60%

Bronson Arroyo 205.1 86.7 29.40% 3.80% 8.00% 18.50% 17.00% 11.40% 11.30%

This data is from the 2011 season plus the first few games of 2012.

The Speed column is the average fastball velocity. Aroldis Chapman and Henry Rodriguez of the Nationals both averaged 98mph in 2011 to lead the majors. Jordan Walden, Daniel Bard, Bobby Parnell and Joel Hanrahan all averaged 97+mph. Amongst starting pitchers Justin Verlander, David Price, Alexi Ogando, Edwin Jackson and Michael Pineda averaged 95mph. An average major league fastball is about 91.5mph, with righties throwing about 1mph harder than lefties and relievers throwing harder than starters. The average fastball has been slowly but steadily getting faster over the years.

The remaining columns show what pitches each player can throw and how often he throws each one.

The 2-seam and 4-seam are standard fastball grips. This is the most common pitch in the game as well as the fastest. Fire-balling closers throw fastballs 75-85% of the time. Clayton Kershaw and Derek Holland throw fastballs 66% of the time.

The Cutter is a type of fastball with sharp, late, horizontal movement. Mariano Rivera throws his cutter 86% of the time and his success with this pitch has led to a dramatic increase in its use among many pitchers leaguewide. Many analysts and hitters (such as Chipper Jones) have credited the cutter with being the primary reason scoring levels have been trending downward in the last few seasons. This could be the most effective pitch in the game today.

The Split-finger is also a type of fastball but with late downward movement. It is a pitch that is not very popular these days. Jose Arredondo and Edward Mujica are the biggest users of the splitter these days at 40%. Very few starting pitchers throw this pitch very often, with Hiroki Kuroda leading the way with only 14% usage of his splitter. Bruce Sutter was the first to popularize this pitch in the 1970s. Mike Scott won a Cy Young Award with his splitter in the 1980s. David Cone and Roger Clemens also had great success with their split-fingered fastballs.

The Sinker is another type of fastball. It generates extra drop without sacrificing speed. It is thrown with the same grip as the 2-seam fastball but with downward wrist motion upon release. This pitch is often used by pitchers that don't have great velocity on their fastballs. Relievers like Johnny Venters and Kameron Lowe throw this pitch about 70% of the time. Amongst starting pitchers Jake Westbrook leads the way with 62% usage. Trevor Cahill and Scott Baker are good pitchers who throw a lot of sinkers. I have noticed that many current and former Cardinals (Carpenter, Westbrook, Lohse, Pineiro, McClellan, Rzepczynski, Marquis) throw this pitch frequently, so Dave Duncan apparently teaches the pitch or has a preference for obtaining pitchers that can throw it well.

The Slider is an off-speed pitch with strong horizontal and downward break. Compared to a curveball the slider is slightly faster, has more horizontal break, less downward break and a sharper, shorter break than a curveball. Rafael Perez of the Indians throws his slider 66% of the time and Cubs closer Carlos Marmol throws it 57% of the time. Among starting pitchers Edwin Jackson throws it 43% of the time and Bud Norris 38%. This pitch is very effective in generating swings and misses but is hard to throw for strikes. It is also hard on the elbow so its usage is usually carefully watched.

The Curveball is an off-speed pitch with a sweeping break, mostly in a downward direction. It is thrown with lower velocity than the slider and is easier to throw for strikes. Sean Marshall is the most prolific curveballer, throwing it 40% of the time. His curve is often considered the best in the game today. Amongst starters Wandy Rodriguez (37%), Erik Bedard (31%) and Gio Gonzalez (28%) are the heaviest users of the curveball.

There are other pitches that are not thrown by any current Reds pitchers. The forkball is only thrown by Brian Sanches, Scott Linebrink and Livan Hernandez. The knucklecurve is thrown only by A.J. Burnett and Nathan Adcock. In 2012 R.A Dickey is the only knuckleballer now that Tim Wakefield retired. And nobody currently tosses a screwball.


Aroldis Chapman: Not surprisingly he lives and dies with that devastating fastball with a few wicked sliders mixed in. No trickery, just pure power. Here it is boys, hit it if you can.

Alfredo Simon: Has a hard fastball, but also mixes in a cutter, splitter and a slider. Starter's arsenal. Solid 4 pitch mix.

Nick Massett: Mostly heat but employs a splitter and a slider to good effect.

Mat Latos: Mostly a fastball/slider pitcher, but also works in a good mix of curveball and change-up. Is developing a cutter this spring. If he masters that pitch he could be off the charts good.

Homer Bailey: Throws exactly the same mix of pitches as Mat Latos, but his fastball is straighter and he lacks consistent command.

Logan Ondrusek: Nice 5-pitch mix worthy of a starter. Has a good fastball but complements it with a cutter and slider that he throws frequently. The sinker and change-up are thrown occasionally.

Johnny Cueto: Plenty of fastballs with good downward movement, a nice slider and enough change-ups to keep the hitters honest. Good command in the bottom of the strike zone.

Jose Arredondo: Frequent use of the split-fingered fastball, which could be the source of his wildness. Slightly above average fastball, mixes in a slider.

Sean Marshall: Gets ahead with the fastball. Throws a ton of sweeping, wicked curveballs/sliders and can command the breaking balls in the strike zone. Not just a LOOGY. He is equally tough on hitters on both sides.

Bill Bray: Fastballs to get ahead, gets swings and misses with the slider and change-up. Tough stuff from the left side.

Sam LeCure: Mostly fastballs with the slider as his out pitch. Tosses in some curves and change-ups. Only has an average fastball but has good control. Would likely use more curves and change-ups if put into the rotation. Has a starter's repertoire.

Mike Leake: Very unusual mix of pitches. Has a below average true fastball and rarely throws it as a result. Puts movement on almost every pitch. Cutter and Sinker are his primary weapons. Also has a slider, curveball, change-up and a straight 4-seam fastball. Good luck guessing what he is going to throw you next.

Bronson Arroyo: Very sub-par fastball. Can use 7 pitches. Rarely throws the cutter. Trickery and deception are his calling card. No sharp movement. Constantly changing speeds and angles to keep the hitter off balance.

mth123
04-12-2012, 06:29 AM
Nice.

Blimpie
04-12-2012, 07:46 AM
That is one of the most interesting tables I have seen posted on RZ in a long time. Thanks for sharing, AD...

_Sir_Charles_
04-12-2012, 08:16 AM
Great post. Very informative. Sticky worthy?

The Operator
04-12-2012, 08:36 AM
Great post. Very informative. Sticky worthy?I'll sticky it for now. If some of the other mods think it shouldn't be, we might remove the stick. But for now I don't see why not.

klw
04-12-2012, 08:55 AM
What really struck me is the consistency with which the slider is used. Every pitcher on the chart uses it from 15.5 to 29.4% of the time regardless of what else they use. The fastball ranges from 7.6 to 79.7 usage and some don't even throw a curve but the slider is there for all and used just about the same.

The other striking item is how little Chapman uses his fastball. I would think he would work that in a bit more just to keep hitters completely guessing. I guess the theory is if they can't hit the fastball then why slow things down for them.

nate
04-12-2012, 09:10 AM
Nice post, AD.

High five!

RANDY IN INDY
04-12-2012, 09:35 AM
And nobody currently tosses a screwball.

Hector Santiago of the Chicago White Sox throws a screwball.

MikeS21
04-12-2012, 09:44 AM
Is this information from Fangraphs? I'd love to see all the other teams. Sure wish there was a site to view minor league stuff like this.

RANDY IN INDY
04-12-2012, 10:15 AM
Homer Bailey used to throw a split. Not positive but I think he still does.

IslandRed
04-12-2012, 11:08 AM
Thanks for pulling that together, AD. Good stuff.

Spitball
04-12-2012, 11:12 AM
Homer Bailey used to throw a split. Not positive but I think he still does.

I believe you are correct, and I believe he may have given credit to Justin Lehr for teaching him the pitch.

Here is a link:

http://redlegsbaseball.blogspot.com/2009/06/homer-and-splitter.html

Ghosts of 1990
04-12-2012, 11:12 AM
One of the better posts I've read in a long time. I enjoy your work Atomic D

Spitball
04-12-2012, 11:19 AM
This is a great post, AtomicDumpling. Is there more information out there on other teams?

BuckeyeRedleg
04-12-2012, 11:31 AM
Amazing how similar Bailey and Latos are.

They are almost twins in their overall make up.

dougdirt
04-12-2012, 04:09 PM
Homer Bailey used to throw a split. Not positive but I think he still does.

He does, but it is generally classified as a change up.

RANDY IN INDY
04-12-2012, 04:24 PM
He does, but it is generally classified as a change up.

Makes no sense to list a pitch and th.en call it something else.

dougdirt
04-12-2012, 04:30 PM
Makes no sense to list a pitch and th.en call it something else.

Well, I am assuming that AD took this from fangraphs. Fangraphs gets their data from Pitch F/X. Pitch F/X uses an algorithm that, while continuously improving, still classifies some pitches incorrectly. Even when you know what a pitch is supposed to move like, there are still guys out there who are trying to zoom in on video of certain pitchers/pitches to see the grip they are using because the pitch is tough to classify.

reds44
04-12-2012, 04:32 PM
I thought Chapman had never thrown a change up in his life?

RANDY IN INDY
04-12-2012, 04:33 PM
Well, I am assuming that AD took this from fangraphs. Fangraphs gets their data from Pitch F/X. Pitch F/X uses an algorithm that, while continuously improving, still classifies some pitches incorrectly. Even when you know what a pitch is supposed to move like, there are still guys out there who are trying to zoom in on video of certain pitchers/pitches to see the grip they are using because the pitch is tough to classify.

Baseball people know a split.

dougdirt
04-12-2012, 04:36 PM
Baseball people know a split.

Baseball people don't classify the pitches for Pitch F/X, an algorithm does that is based on speed, movement and spin of the baseball. And I was just giving an example on how some guys go about trying to better determine the pitches that some guys are throwing.

dougdirt
04-12-2012, 04:40 PM
I thought Chapman had never thrown a change up in his life?

He hasn't in the Majors. Well, maybe one this year. The pitches are being misclassified.... or his change up moves exactly like his fastball does (change ups don't typically move like a fastball, they have more run/tail and sink than the fastball).

reds44
04-12-2012, 04:45 PM
He hasn't in the Majors. Well, maybe one this year. The pitches are being misclassified.... or his change up moves exactly like his fastball does (change ups don't typically move like a fastball, they have more run/tail and sink than the fastball).
Pitchers don't usually throw 102 with 93 MPH sliders either.

RANDY IN INDY
04-12-2012, 04:51 PM
Baseball people don't classify the pitches for Pitch F/X, an algorithm does that is based on speed, movement and spin of the baseball. And I was just giving an example on how some guys go about trying to better determine the pitches that some guys are throwing.

Exactly.

jojo
04-12-2012, 05:21 PM
Baseball people know a split.

Homer just doesn't know how to throw one.....

Boss-Hog
04-12-2012, 05:33 PM
I have copied this one to the Archives. Nice post.

Brutus
04-12-2012, 06:01 PM
Good post, AD.

I often look at Fangraphs to see this info for pitchers, but I've never seen it put together collectively like this. Very neat.

Vottomatic
04-12-2012, 06:10 PM
Alfredo Simon specializes in fastballs and wild pitches. He's really dealin' on the second one I mentioned. He has the makings of the next Reds closer. Well.....atleast Dusty thinks so.

dougdirt
04-12-2012, 08:58 PM
Pitchers don't usually throw 102 with 93 MPH sliders either.

No they don't, but if Chapman is throwing his change up and it moves just like his fastball, then he is throwing a low 90's fastball regardless of the grip he is using.

dougdirt
04-12-2012, 09:00 PM
Exactly.

I am confused as to what you were trying to say in this thread at this point.

RANDY IN INDY
04-12-2012, 09:44 PM
Bad data, from sources that don't understand.

dougdirt
04-12-2012, 09:47 PM
Bad data, from sources that don't understand.

The data is solid, the algorithm isn't. The data will tell us what the pitch is. We just need to know how to read the graphs correctly (and in some cases, know the pitcher is throwing XYZ Pitch as every now and again some pitch types can overlap such as different types of fastballs).

jojo
04-12-2012, 10:19 PM
Bad data, from sources that don't understand.

Or maybe Homer's pitch doesn't actually do what baseball people know it should?

RANDY IN INDY
04-12-2012, 11:19 PM
Whatever

AtomicDumpling
04-12-2012, 11:43 PM
Thanks for the nice comments guys. I am glad you enjoyed the post. I found the info interesting and I figured you guys would too.

The data is from PITCHf/x and can be found at various places on the web. Fangraphs is the easiest to use and sort in convenient charts but their data is a little less reliable. There are some other sites that modify the data to make it more accurate. Brooks Baseball has a group that actually charts pitches to help insure the PITCHf/x data is correct. TexasLeaguers is another good site. Joe Lefkowitz has a site that gives you some sorting options that are not available anywhere else.

The PITCHf/x data is based purely on the movement of the pitches. If a guy throws a pitch that moves within a certain range it will be classified on that basis regardless of the grip or wrist action the pitcher uses. That can cause some pitches to be mis-categorized. A pitching coach would classify a pitch based on the hand grip and wrist motion (how the pitch is thrown), but PITCHf/x is only looking at what the pitch does after it leaves the pitcher's hand. To get around this you can go to Brooks Baseball for clarification. Change-ups in particular can be tricky because they have little movement and because there are so many different grips used by pitchers on change-ups.

Since RANDY IN INDY brought up the subject I looked it up, Homer Bailey does in fact throw a split-finger pitch that has very little movement and is slower than his fastball, so PITCHf/x labels it a change-up because it fits within their speed and movement criteria for the change-up class. However, Brooks Baseball classifies that pitch as a splitter because they have manually scouted some of his games and have double-checked his grips. Homer Bailey threw 164 splitters in 2011 and does not have a true change-up. I can't edit the original post in this thread anymore, but if I could I would move the change-up rate of 7.5% over to the splitter column.

Brooks Baseball has also reclassified some of Hector Santiago's pitches as screwballs. They show him as having thrown 40 screwballs in his career. I am guessing they don't break much because PITCHf/x is not picking up their reverse movement.

I am guessing there is some degree of blurriness to the data. For example, did Sean Marshall really throw .20% 2-seamers and .90% cutters? More likely those were just 4-Seamers with a little extra movement. How many of Marshall's sliders were actually curveballs with extra-sharp movement? I would imagine Marshall has several different grips and wrist actions for his excellent sliders/curves, each one slightly different from the others. Depending on the playing situation and conditions he may need to adjust his technique a little bit. Would the PITCHf/x system pick up the difference? No, I doubt it. But the tool is very useful and gives us a clearer picture of what makes each pitcher unique in baseball.



PITCHf/x is a pitch tracking system, created by Sportvision, and is installed in every MLB stadium since around 2006. This system tracks the velocity, movement, release point, spin, and pitch location for every pitch thrown in baseball, allowing pitches and pitchers to be analyzed and compared at a detailed level.

RANDY IN INDY
04-13-2012, 07:56 AM
There was a segment on Reds Live with Chris Welsh and Marshall. He was explaining his grips and he does have quite a few different pitches and grips. Most pitchers are always messing around with new grips to find some extra edge. It is fascinating to me to listen to the different ways guys throw pitches. Different grips, wrist tilts, releases and such. I also thought that there were many more "spiked" or knuckle curve balls being used.

It was a very informative post, AtomicDumpling. Thanks for posting.

*BaseClogger*
04-13-2012, 02:38 PM
IIRC, Justin Verlander used to throw a knucklecurve, but had to scrap it because he kept developing blisters. He went back to throwing traditional curveballs (it seems to be working for him)...