Saturday Pitch f/x

We'll focus on Mr. Kawakami and show what Mr. Moylan looks like when he's back in form.

Here's the horizontal and vertical break for Kawakami's pitches:




And here's a table via Brooks Baseball

Pitch Type  Average Speed  Max Speed  Average H-Break  Average V-Break  Number Thrown 
FF (FourSeam Fastball) 89.91 91.7 -6.77 10.33 41
CH (Changeup) 83.91 84.9 -7.1 5.2 8
SL (Slider) 83.51 84.8 2.2 5.14 13
CU (Curveball) 68.46 70.5 8.35 -5.81 14
FC (Cutter) 85.55 86.5 -0.39 7.85 6
FT (TwoSeam Fastball) 89.43 90.8 -8.19 7.86 7


His movement is as good as advertised.  Every pitch has above average break on it and he throws a variety of pitches.  I am pretty sure what's classified as a changeup is actually a shuuto.  It's what some people call a "reverse slider," but it's faster than a slider.  It's basically what would be in between a 2 seam fastball and reverse slider.  Oh, and some of the sliders/cutters are mixed together, but you can see the general difference.

His curveball has that massive, massive break, but I'm not a fan of it.  Offspeed pitches need to be disguised and every time he threw that curveball, everyone knew it was coming.  It just doesn't seem like it'll fool the better big league hitters.

I think the two things that will allow Kawakami to be a good big league pitcher is his command and variety of pitches.  His walk rate has been bad in the majors so far, but I hope he'll settle down eventually.  Once he gets that down, he'll be very effective because he'll be able to throw 5 pitches ranging from 84 MPH to 90 MPH with different movement.  If he throws a pitch down and away to a righty, is it going to tail back into the strike zone like his 4 seamer or 2 seamer might?  Or will it tail back in, but fall back out of the strike zone like the shuuto?  Will it move half a foot off the plate and dive into the dirt like the slider?  Even if the batter is waiting for a fastball instead of a slider or curveball, he'll still have trouble because that fastball can break 3 or 4 different directions depending on which one is thrown.  There's a lot Kawakami can do and a veteran pitcher with great control and a ton of options can be very effective.  We'll just have to hope the control comes around eventually.

Here's the pitch results for Kawakami:



Some nice looking swinging strikeouts.  That home run pitch is about as far down the plate as a pitch can be.  Wow.  Lucky that other flyout/lineout/popout next to the home run didn't do any damage.

And here's Peter Moylan looking sharp:



His fastball/sinker (whatever the heck you want to call it) velocity isn't quite back yet.  It's 2 MPH or so down from 2007, but his location was real sharp on Saturday.  Kept the ball down and away on this lefties and got two swinging strikeouts from it.  The called strikeout was against a righty and he placed it right at the knees for that called K.




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