Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bring the Heat...

Hey, the front office mantra since 2008 has been power arms. So we thought we'd check out Fangraphs, who get their data from Baseball Info Solutions, and see how much heat the current Bucco hurlers bring and how often.


  • James McDonald - 92 MPH (70% fastballs)
  • Ross Ohlendorf - 92 MPH (71% fastballs)
  • Charlie Morton - 92 MPH (80% fastballs)
  • Brad Lincoln* - 92 MPH (65% fastballs)
  • Kevin Correia - 90 MPH (49% fastballs)
  • Jeff Karstens - 89 MPH (56% fastballs)
  • Paul Maholm - 88 MPH (56% fastballs)
  • Brian Burres* - 88 MPH (60% fastballs)
* - 2010 figures

No true flamethrowers in the lot, although with the exception of J-Mac and Lincoln, most of the staff throws sinkers or two seamers, which cuts the velocity down a tick or three but gets balls pounded into the ground.


Joel Hanrahan - 97 MPH (84% fastballs)
Tim Wood - 95 MPH (70% fastballs)
Jose Veras - 94 MPH (51% fastballs)
Chris Resop - 93 MPH (75% fastballs)
Evan Meek - 93 MPH (48% fastballs)
Mike Crotta - 93 MPH (86% fastballs)
Tony Watson - 92 MPH (72% fastballs)
Dan Moskos - 92 MPH (60% fastballs)
Daniel McCutchen - 91 MPH (53% fastballs)
Joe Beimel - 86 MPH (62% fastballs)

These guys mostly rear back and let loose; Crotta, Watson and Beimel use sinkers/two-seamers. And it's easy to see how the Pirate FO was taken by Hanny when they sent Sean Burnett to the Nats. They knew he had an elite arm if he could sharpen his command. His slider is all that more effective in 2011 because of how often he throws the ol' number one. In prior years, he threw the slider over 30% of the time; this year, just 16%, and he's completely lost the change. That's in keeping with the Ray Searage credo to go with your strength. It may cost you some K's, but it sure helps to rack up those saves.

Veras goes the opposite way; he combines a good fastball with a 79 MPH curve. When he has the pair of them clicking, he's nasty. When the hook doesn't find the plate is when he has problems.

Meek was throwing a lot of cutters - 28% this season - and whether that was deliberate or because of his shoulder problems is hard to tell. In 2010, the ratio was 59%/14% FBs to cutters.

So the Bucs haven't become the heat-seekers on the mound that the FO envisioned in 2008 quite yet, although the bullpen has a few guys that can bring it. But we expect you'll see a difference in two or three more seasons, when the high school kids they drafted and Gerritt Cole percolate through the system and reach PNC Park.

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