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Exploring the Arsenal: Previewing the Cubs’ Probable Starting Pitchers (Part 2)


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 FanGraphs.

Pitch Types  
FA: Four-Seam Fastball FT: Two-Seam Fastball FC: Cutter
CU: Curveball SL: Slider CH: Changeup
FS: Splitter


Wednesday, 7:05 PM – Matt Garza

(click to enlarge)

In the past, Garza has leaned heavily on his fastball, throwing it about 70% of the time. In 2011, he has gone to his secondary stuff much more often, throwing the heater on just over 50% of his pitches. His fastball averages about 93 MPH, but he can reach back and touch 96-97 at times. He also throws a slider and changeup in the mid 80’s and a curve in the mid 70’s. His slider is his big strikeout pitch, with a whiff rate around 40% this season. Garza has seen a significant jump in both strikeouts and ground balls since coming over to the National League this year.


Thursday, 7:05 PM – Rodrigo Lopez

(click to enlarge)

Lopez, making his seventh start of the season, has pretty underwhelming stuff. He rarely touches 90 MPH with his fastball, generally sitting in the high 80’s. He also throws a slurvy breaking ball around 80 MPH and a changeup in the low 80’s. He locates all of his pitches fairly well, moving them all around the zone. He has not hesitated to throw his changeup to both righties and lefties. Lopez rarely misses bats, and has only struck out about 12% of opposing hitters this season. He has a little hitch in his windup, which may help keep hitters somewhat off balance.

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